REVIEW: Netgear Meural: Beautiful Art, Stunning Smartphone Images Displayed Like Never Seen Before
It had to come the marriage of art and technology without the finished product looking like a glorified digital picture frame.
Whereas a traditional piece of artwork is placed on the wall and then remains there indefinitely, the new offering from Netgear allows you to refresh your art frame space as often as you’d like.
There are paintings from famous artists like Van Gogh, Pollock and Monet, as well as everything from man walking on the moon to clever GIF images that deliver animation.
This technology has been made available due to a unique acquisition that leading network Company Netgear made last year, art loving Australians now have the opportunity to hang some of the world’s most famous works of art, whether be an old Rembrandts or Monet’s or one of the rare Andy Warhol paintings and it won’t cost you tens of millions. You can also display your own images delivering impressive viewing for smartphone shot images with this new form of display technology.
And to top this unique offering off, the finished artwork or smartphone images looks seriously realistic due to a unique matt display technology that is built into The Meural which is a brand new high tech picture frame that Netgear has just released in Australia.
The Meural smart frame displays images in high definition due in part to a unique matt display that can be hung in landscape or portrait orientation, and you can choose from three different frame colours (black, white, and wood), so you’ll surely be able to match the frame to your home, office, or other location.
You can control the images displayed on the frame with physical hand gestures, or by using the Meural app on a smartphone or tablet, you can also use the voice commands of an Amazon Echo, unfortunately there is no Google Voice yet despite it being the dominant voice platform in Australia.
The display screen is wrapped in a walnut wood frame with a white surround that has the ability to stream fine art from a library of 30,000 pieces.
Setting up the display is easy; all you have to do is download the Netgear Meural app.
It may take a few attempts to get the motion right but the gesture control that kicks in when you swipe your hand horizontally near the bottom of the frame is very clever and an easy way to manage images shown on the display screen.
The gesture control allows owners to switch to the next picture in a pre-programmed catalogue.
Swiping your hand upward reveals a few lines of information about the painting, drawing, or photo you have on the screen it’s akin to the plaque below a piece of art in a gallery.
You can also control the Meural using a phone or tablet, cycling through images, while some come free, you also have to buy access to other famous pieces via an annual subscription of $70.
You get three years included with the purchase of a Canvas.
For those who want a little action in their artworks with the Meural you can display dynamic, moving images, such as a black and white image with a hot air balloon spinning round and round or an aeroplane flying past a galaxy of stars.
Netgear is currently set to deliver a new version of Meural for release in the second quarter of 2019.
Meural 3.0 adds a 21.5-inch frame size to the current 27-inch offering. The new frame will also be modular, meaning you’ll be able to swap out its design just like you can currently change the pictures. Netgear is also improving the ambient sensor that adjusts the display throughout the day based on the ambient lighting in the room.
The Meural is like a massive thin monitor or TV, with its 27-inch (67.5cm) Full HD LCD screen set inside a standard art frame and white border.
The frame is available from JB Hi Fi in Walnut for $1,299 or $1,199 in Black.
This is a neat piece of gear that actually grows on you. We set this up in the foyer of our office and immediately it became a talking point. What I really liked what the Meural app as it allows one to easily manage the content while also browsing a vast variety of available artwork as well as well-known images such as the famous Apollo 11 images of man walking on the moon 50 years ago.
Whatever you fancy in art Netgear has an offering via this app and one has to be careful that you don’t get taken away by the art because the last thing you want is to run out of memory.
For me the combination of other people’s art and my own shot images displayed in such a unique way is impressive on the Meural and well worth an in investment because everything looks …”so real’.