In my late teens, I was so obsessed with painting that my Saturday’s were normally occupied visiting my local art gallery. The date was circa 1985 and was busy trying to attain a design diploma. At the time I was pretty fixated on super-realism and vividly remember standing too close (past the barrier) to the oil paintings. I was often scolded by the security guards but ultimately it was worthwhile to study the techniques and see the fine brush strokes. These days I still visit exhibitions and my taste in fine art has broadened massively. That is why I was intrigued to hear of a revolutionary product called the Meural Canvas by Netgear.

Previously, I have written reviews featuring Netgear’s Orbi and Arlo security cameras, which are very impressive. However, the Meural Canvas is an entirely different entity. This digital device gives consumers access to over 30,000 paintings and photographs from some of the world’s most renowned museums and galleries. It’s a phenomenally good idea that will really appeal to a broad demographic of discerning clients.

The Meural Canvas is available in Leonora Black, Leonora White and Winslow models. My favourite is the latter, which has a solid American Walnut frame and is named after acclaimed American artist and printmaker, Winslow Homer. Very kindly Netgear sent me a unit for review purposes and it certainly exceeded my expectations. Included with the Meural is everything you require to mount on the wall. However, I opted to display on an ornate solid maple antique easel. Not only does it look good but the wires are also discreetly hidden out of view.

Before receiving the Meural canvas I downloaded the App on my iPhone to operate the device remotely. Literally, it takes minutes to connect the two devices and then you are ready to go. As an artist, I was interested to see if the device would truly represent the artwork faithfully. Due to cutting edge technology every subtle detail and brushstroke is rendered absolutely perfectly. Another really cool feature the ambient light sensor that intuitively adjusts to your room’s brightness.

A few days ago I invited good friends over for a meal and they were delighted with the Meural. As they arrived I took a photograph of them and uploaded it instantly to the device. Sure digital frames have been around for years but never with a display of this quality. As well as a library of (complimentary) famous stock paintings there is also the option to purchase licensed works and upload your own images. These can be manipulated, with a variety of different effects or cropped to the desired size. All of this can be actioned effortlessly via the Meural App remotely.

What makes the Meural canvas so special is the flexibility to view images as you want. Depending on your mood you can freeze-frame a favourite picture or rotate the entire library randomly. My playlist comprises family photographs (with a cool poster effect) and iconic paintings. The rotation speed can be adjusted via the App according to your own personal preferences. At present, my device is set at 30-second intervals, which is enough time to appreciate the quality of each work. I have also highlighted the sleep mode, which is activated automatically at night time. You can also use the button on the left-hand side of the frame to achieve the same function.

After testing the Meural canvas extensively over the last few days I would highly recommend this product. As well as appealing to the domestic market I can also see this application working in the commercial sector. For example, hotels, restaurants, bars, cafes shops etc.

For more information about the Meural canvas follow this link

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