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Reel Rookie

Photostream Photo Resolution

Is their an optimal resolution for viewing photos via photostream on a 4K TV?

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Retired Moderator

Re: Photostream Photo Resolution

Hi @FLOne

Thank you for the post!

Yes, there is an optimal resolution for viewing photos via photostream on a ROKU 4K TV. The optimal resolution for viewing photos on a 4K TV would be 3840 x 2160 pixels, which is the native resolution of the TV.

However, it's worth noting that the resolution of the photos themselves will also affect the quality of the viewing experience. If the photos are lower resolution than the TV's native resolution, they may appear pixelated or blurry when viewed on the TV. On the other hand, if the photos are of higher resolution than the TV's native resolution, they may not look significantly better than if they were viewed at the TV's native resolution.

In summary, for the best viewing experience when using Photostream on a ROKU 4K TV, it is recommended to use photos that are at least 3840 x 2160 pixels, which is the TV's native resolution.

We hope it helps!

Warm regards,

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Re: Photostream Photo Resolution

I am a newbie to using the photo stream, and will greatly appreciate any pointers and clarifications you (and the community) can provide.

Years ago, I scanned thousands of family photographs for my immediate and extended family.  I used mostly .bmp and .jpg formats  to save them, and high resolutions in order that later on I would be able to provide clearer copies to my family as needed.  After 4-10 years, upon retirement, I am starting to do things with the scans, the first of which is to provide mom a Roku photo stream.  My problem is that I've forgotten more than I think I ever really knew, and I am having lots of trouble getting a usable end product.

The scan's are of all different formats:  Old 8 x 10, 4x5, and 2.5x4.5" b&w negatives (and some old old tin-types),  As well as 35mm b&w and color, 126 negatives and more. 

I am having great difficulty "fitting" them to the Roku format so that each type of resulting photo fits to show the entire photograph in the right orientation on the page.  Some of the "portrait" orientations only fit fully when I put them sideways, or in a landscape orientation.

I think there must be an easy fix to this, but I am at a loss... any suggestions?

Thank you for any recommendations you can give!


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Roku Guru

Re: Photostream Photo Resolution

A standard HD, or 4K TV is a 16:9 landscape device. There is no way for a portrait-oriented photo to fill the screen unless you are willing to turn the screen.  (There are a few computer monitors that can be rotated 90 degrees, but I know of no such TVs.)  But, I assume you know this, so let’s move on to the next sometimes very confusing possibility.

Back in “the old days” pixels in a file where pretty much stored and displayed in a single order.  However, sometime around 15 years ago, a field was added to some image file formats that indicates what orientation the “camera” was in, and if that field is set, the displaying device/software reorients the pixels on display. (“camera” can be a camera, cell phone, scanner etc.)

Unfortunately, this can lead to confusion.  The most confusion seems to come from using an old version of a photo editing program that knows nothing about this field. For example, you read such a file into a program that ignores the field.  Picture displays rotated or upside down.  So, you rotate it and save it.  Which also often saves the EXIF data unchanged.  (ie: old programs could read and write EXIF but didn’t make any use of it other than to display the data for the user.) So, a modern display program reads the file, see’s the field that says the image must be rotated and complies, rotating the image you already rotated in the editor, and it is double rotated back into the wrong orientation.

Of course, there are also some displaying programs that ignore the field.  But I think it is now mostly old editors that cause problems.  Because photo editors are complex and often expensive, people tend to stick with one for a long time. 

I think the iPhone was first major user of this field, and 10 years ago, it was really common for someone to email a bunch of iPhone pictures to a group of people and about half the group would complain about them being upside down and the others would say: What are you talking about?  They’re fine!  This problem happens less now because browsers and email clients have mostly been updated, but you can still run into it.  However, I think it’s now the old photo editor that is the most common cause. 

I have often wished this field had never been added.  On photo forums you can find some little utility programs that will force that field into the setting of your choosing.  For taking pictures for the web, I use a modern tool chain that respects the field, but on top of that, I try to take all my photos in the normal right-side-up landscape orientation, so if some viewer has an ancient web browser, it still works. 🙂

Banned but back. Because why not?
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Community Streaming Expert

Re: Photostream Photo Resolution

Photo Stream won't distort your pictures to fill the screen, which in my opinion is the right thing to do.  A circle should always be a circle!  🙂  If you don't like the black bars, you can edit your photos to stretch them (distort them) into 16:9 format or crop them into the same format.  If you crop a portrait photo into 16:9 you will lose quite a bit of the picture, so there's tradeoffs, but I prefer to see the whole picture and don't mind black bars.

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