Out of the grid, into your screen: display your NFTs anywhere

Pau Waelder

The NFT revolution has brought an unprecedented attention to digital art, which is now easier to collect than ever before: once you sync your wallet to the marketplace, you only need to browse, pick your favorite NFTs, and in two clicks you’re the proud owner of a rare gem that just dropped. It is so easy that many collectors have hundreds, if not thousands, of digital artworks in their wallet. The excitement of owning something beautiful and unique, paired with the immediacy of the transaction, can become addictive. As the collection grows, it fills row after row of an endless grid that you can see on any web browser. With a simple copy and paste, you can also share your collection with anyone and brag about your possessions, your taste, or your ability to seize the opportunity and get that coveted artwork that is now out of reach of most wallets.

The excitement of owning something beautiful and unique, paired with the immediacy of the transaction, can become addictive. As the collection grows, it fills row after row of an endless grid that you can see on any web browser.

In the heyday of its market boom, NFTs were seen as quick investments that provided those who arrived earlier and were faster to collect an opportunity to multiply their earnings by buying and reselling quickly: this is what in the art market lingo is known as “flipping.” But art flippers are frowned upon in the art world: what artists, galleries, and also art lovers want are serious collectors. A serious collector is someone who buys art out of a deep appreciation for the artwork, and wants to keep it. Someone who likes to support artists and learn from their work, and obviously someone who enjoys experiencing the artwork, not just storing it somewhere.

As the NFT market has begun to attract serious collectors, a specific question has risen to the surface: how to display the NFTs in your collection? This is a concern that was usually ignored by those who intended to keep the artwork in their wallet for just a few minutes. But now that art flippers, discouraged by the drop in value of cryptocurrencies and many hyped collectibles, have begun to look elsewhere for investments, those who remain and are really interested in the art they collect are considering how to enjoy the artworks as they would if they owned a painting or a sculpture.

From browser to room

Typically, marketplaces focus on providing artworks for sale and securing the transactions. They can also provide additional files that only the owner of the NFT can access, countering the argument “why buy something anyone can download?. In some cases, the platform is not just an endless grid displaying every artwork that users have uploaded, but something more. This is, for instance, the case of Feral File, which features NFTs in curated selections that focus on a particular subject or format, and put together artworks by emerging and established artists, oftentimes produced specifically for the platform. Feral File also stands out from other marketplaces in that it provides collectors with detailed information about each artwork, its format, and the associated files that will be transferred after the sale. As I mentioned in a previous article, it is very important to know exactly what you are getting when you buy an NFT

Beyond securing the means to collect NFTs and preview them in their own website, most marketplaces do not offer any means for collectors to display the artworks they own elsewhere. Here again, Feral File is an exception with the development of the smartphone app Autonomy, which allows bringing to a single interface all NFTs collected in different wallets, on Ethereum or Tezos, and viewing them on the device’s screen. The artworks are collected from their IPFS addresses, which at first might cause some delays in loading and viewing the artworks, particularly for a large collection. The app also offers the possibility of connecting to a smart TV or projector and viewing a single artwork on a screen of projected surface, although this relies on a previous synchronization with the device that is not always easy to achieve: while Chromecast and AirPlay are increasingly used, not all screens and projectors support them properly. Solutions like Autonomy respond to the need that NFT collectors have of managing their collection and displaying the artworks, but they are still not fully developed.

Niio has a robust system for storing and managing collections of video and digital art, that is paired with a curated art program, and an app for iOS, Android, and Apple TV, also directly available on Samsung and LG screens, that allows to display a continuous stream of artworks, full collections, and curated selections with information about the art and the artists. The system also provides full integration with NFT collections by allowing users to synchronize their wallets and import the NFTs to their Vault, where a copy of the IPFS stored file is saved and can be immediately displayed on any screen using the Niio app. In this manner, the solution provided by Niio finally fills the gap between buying an artwork minted as an NFT and enjoying it on a high resolution screen at home, or anywhere. Once the wallet is connected to the collector’s personal account, they can buy NFTs on any marketplace, choose which ones to store in their private vault, create their own playlists, and view them in the app or on a screen.

This is the future of collecting, as gallery owners Valérie Hasson-Benillouche (Charlot, Paris) and Wolf Lieser (DAM, Berlin) recently pointed out: collectors are traveling a lot, and they like to have their collection with them, and also to share it with others. This brings a different way of buying art, as it is not only meant to be placed somewhere, but it becomes part of the collector’s daily life and interactions with others, wherever they go.

Moodies LA Takeover. Photo courtesy of Moodies by Hanuka

Formats and behaviors

A question that comes out when displaying NFTs usually is: how do I display my square NFT in a 16:9 screen? Certainly this is a common issue due to the paradoxical fact that TVs have evolved from being square to rectangular, while digital art, that usually adopts the format of a screen in portrait or landscape orientation, has usually adopted square formats in the NFT market. The explanation for NFTs being square can be found in the grid established by most marketplaces, which has become the field of battle where artists compete to show their work, the latter being limited to a square thumbnail. The square format has also proven to be the most successful on social media, and particularly apt for PFP collections, the type of art that one buys to use as a profile picture and signal one’s belonging to a community defined by a particular NFT project such as CryptoPunks, Bored Ape Yacht Club, or more recently, Moodies by Hanuka.

While some square frames exist, not all artworks minted as NFTs follow this rule, so it is up to each collector to decide whether to use a regular screen for all the art they own, or find a place for an additional screen in this particular format. Certainly, just as most collectors have artworks in different sizes that fit certain spaces of their homes, it is possible to have a series of screens (one in landscape orientation, another one in portrait orientation, and finally a square screen) to display different kinds of artworks. In this case, it is important to use a system that allows controlling the art displayed on all of the screens from one app, which is something that Niio can uniquely do.

Just as most collectors have artworks in different sizes that fit certain spaces of their homes, it is possible to have a series of screens to display different kinds of artworks

Not all NFTs are the same or have the same purpose. As previously mentioned, some are meant to be used as a profile picture or distributed online, which does not mean they can´t also be displayed on the wall. But others have a particular behavior, they can be generative, or interactive, which means they require a software to run continuously and sometimes an input in the form of a mouse click, movement captured by a camera, and so forth. Digital art has many forms beyond what is usually associated with NFTs, and since artists can mint any digital artwork as an NFT, it must be remembered that some can only be experienced with a specific software and hardware setup. In these cases, the collector must take into account that they need to setup a computer with the software provided by the artist, and connect it to a screen. Some companies, such as FRAMED*, sell a digital frame with an integrated computer that can run software-based artworks, but the collector must make sure that the software of the artwork they own is compatible with this type of device, as well as the size and orientation of the screen (FRAMED* currently sells a device named Mono X7 which is a 17.3-inch portrait orientation display). For video artworks, there are also solutions like Infinite Objects, which provide a customized small screen to display a single video in a continuous loop. Described as “video prints,” these screens have been used by some artists to turn an NFT into a unique object.

Autonomy lets you access your NFT collection and display it. Niio allows you to store, manage, distribute and display video, digital art, and NFTs on any screen.

A collection that lasts

The NFT space wants serious collectors that do not engage in art flipping and hold to the art they own. But collectors also demand a lasting solution for their art collections, which at first the NFT art market, immersed in constant dropping and transacting, did not care much to provide. Most NFTs are stored in IPFS, a peer-to-peer network system that is expected to keep artwork files safe and at the same time publicly available. However, the best option to ensure that one will be able to preserve the artwork is to download the file and keep copies in different locations. This is particularly true for unlockable content that is only available to collectors and usually consists of larger files and additional material. Most marketplaces rely on links to IPFS and store unlockables in their servers, but a safer choice is to keep everything at hand, in a private space. Niio provides collectors with a vault where they can store the artworks and manage all the information about them, including additional files that will be kept private and can always be downloaded. The artwork can be displayed and shared, but it is also securely stored.

Most marketplaces rely on links to IPFS and store unlockables in their servers, but a safer choice is to keep everything at hand, in a private space.

NFTs show that art collecting is entering a new phase in which collectors want flexibility, ease of use from their smartphone or any other connected device, and the ability to take their collection anywhere. But they still want reliability and a way to safely preserve their artworks. The solution that aptly responds to all of these needs will become the standard in the art world.

What do you get when you buy an NFT?

Pau Waelder

Quick Dive is a series of articles that offer a brief overview of a certain topic in a clear and concise manner. This article can be read in 6 minutes.

Image generated with OpenAI’s DALL-E 2

When Beeple’s famous artwork EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS was sold as an NFT at Christie’s on 11 March 2021 for $69.3 million, the collector Vignesh Sundaresan (a.k.a. MetaKovan) received a 21,069 x 21,069 pixels image in JPEG format. Soon after, links to download Beeple’s image began appearing on Twitter. Anyone could get a copy of the artwork and see it on their computer, but no one, except Sundaresan, could say they own it.

So, what does it mean to own an NFT?

As this example shows, the non-fungible token (NFT) is not the artwork: Beeple’s artwork (the large JPEG file) was circulating online because it is stored in a file sharing network called IPFS, which is public and accessible to anyone. The NFT is a register on the Ethereum blockchain (in this case) that points to the artwork and to the wallet of its owner. The contents of the collector’s wallet are also publicly available, and therefore anyone can check the wallet and see the artwork there.

Owning an NFT means having a proof of ownership of a digital artwork that is secured by the structure of the blockchain (it cannot be forged) and is also publicly certifiable. In a way, it can be described as a certificate of ownership chiseled in stone in a public monument. It is actually more complicated than that, but let’s stay with the idea that you own the NFT (as long as it stays in your wallet) and that the NFT is a unique register that refers to an artwork that you bought. 

Larva Labs, Autoglyph (2019). Generative drawing minted as an on-chain NFT

And why isn’t the artwork inside the NFT?

It would probably be simpler if the NFT, instead of being a proof of purchase, would actually contain the artwork. In some cases, it does: these are called on-chain NFTs:

– Certain artworks are made of a few lines of code that produce a visual composition. These lines of code are added to the data that constitutes the non-fungible token, and therefore are also secured by the blockchain: the artwork (or rather the code that makes the artwork) is in this way stored permanently. 

– However, not all artworks can be on-chain: the blockchain was designed to record cryptocurrency transactions, with a limited amount of information. Each register on the blockchain costs money (gas fees) and to create an NFT with the information contained in a high resolution image or video is the equivalent of numerous transactions, which entail much higher costs.

For this reason, most NFTs are off-chain, which means that, as in the case of Beeple’s JPEG, the image is stored somewhere online, and the NFT points to it.

Auriea Harvey, The Mystery [v5-dv1] (2021). Digital sculpture and downloadable files.

What you get when you buy an NFT is not always the same

Since Beeple’s NFT made the headlines, the market for NFTs has moved fast and creators have come up with increasingly diverse and imaginative ways of selling their artworks as digital images or videos, software, prints and sculptures, and even performance pieces. 

To name a few, these are some of the things you can get when you buy an NFT:

(1) An image or a video stored on the IPFS network that you and anyone can download.

(2) The same as above, only the file on the IPFS network is in low resolution and you get access to a high resolution version that only you can download.

(3) A code-based artwork stored on the IPFS network that runs on its own data or takes data from somewhere else. Sometimes you cannot download the artwork, just run it on your browser, and it may stop working at some point.

(4) A virtual sculpture in the form of an image or video, alongside the file that you can download in order to 3D print a physical version of the sculpture.

(5) A code-based artwork that changes according to certain rules embedded in the NFT’s smart contract. These rules can include, for instance, that the artwork changes over time, or that it changes if another artwork is bought, or that it ceases to exist if the NFT is not transferred to another wallet after a certain amount of time.

(6) An artwork that was generated the moment you bought it by a program set to run a pre-defined number of times (e.g. 50-1,000 times). Your artwork is then unique but part of a limited series of similar artworks. The image you bought may be available in a similar way as (1) or (2).

(7) An artwork that grants access to other things, such as downloadable files, a Discord server, a club membership, or anything the creators have come up with. 

With so many different possibilities, it is advisable to find out what you will get with that NFT you are willing to buy. The information that is made available to collectors varies from marketplace to marketplace, and even from one artist and project to another in the same marketplace. 

Most simply assume that what you see is what you get: the image or video that caught your eye is what you will own, plain and simple. Even then, you should check whether the artwork is unique or part of a limited edition. When there is something more than what you see, read the description carefully and find out what else is there, maybe some downloadable content or conditions attached to the ownership of the artwork. 

The platform Feral File offers detailed information about the what the artwork is and what the collector will receive.

What to do once you bought the NFT

If you really like the artwork you bought, there are two main concerns you should take into account: how to view the artwork, and how to preserve it.

Preserving a copy of the artwork is more important than you may think. Resources such as IPFS may always be there, or they may not, and the file could get lost. Preservation is a concern to NFT creators, and this is why solutions such as on-chain NFTs are being developed. Until there is a better way to preserve artworks minted as NFTs, the best option is to go to the IPFS link and download the file, and also download any files made available by the marketplace or the creator. Where you store those files is up to you: you can put them in a USB stick inside a sock under your mattress, or use a cloud-based storage.

– If you love the artwork, you will want to see it. The marketplace grid is not a proper place for an artwork, nor is it the web browser (unless it was created for this space). The artwork needs a screen, certainly, but a dedicated screen. Currently marketplaces do not offer tools to view your NFTs outside of the browser, so it is up to each collector to find a way to properly display the artworks they own.

Niio offers a solution for both of these issues. You can sync your wallet to your account and automatically access the artworks you have bought, which you can copy to your personal space in a cloud-based storage system. Once the artworks are added to your account, you can easily display them on any screen using the Niio app.

The NFT market has experienced a fast-paced development in just a year and a half and still needs to consolidate practices, formats, and standards. In the meantime, collecting NFTs will continue to require finding out exactly what one is buying, and using smart tools to preserve and display the art.

Niio at ISE



We are pleased to announce that for the 3rd year in a row, Niio will be at Integrated Systems Europe (ISE), the largest AV and systems integration show in the world.

As part of our commitment to making digital art accessible, Niio is working with display hardware manufacturers as well as a global channel of AV integrators and designers to ensure that commercial and residential locations can easily access and experience high quality digital art on-demand.

Together with Barco Residential, PhilipsGenesis Technologies and Kramer Electronics we will be activating at four distinct  locations throughout the fair.   

At each location, we will be showing a curated selection of digital art, demonstrating  the Niio delivery and display platform and explaining how we work with AV integrators, consultants and design partners.

Of course we understand that digital art cannot be limited to any specific format, screen size or resolution and as such, these hardware and installation relationships, ensure that together with Niio, any type of digital art canvas can be perfectly created, installed and set up.


VIP LOUNGE (Room E-108)

The Lounge is a collaborative initiative between Niio, Genesis Technologies, Philips & Steinway, all  businesses that marry technology with design with the sole mission of raising the standard for the homes of today and tomorrow.  Learn more.


5-6pm daily
Request an invitation.
Schedule a meeting with us in advance. 

THE PHILIPS BOOTH (Hall 10-K170, 10-H170)

We are proud to say that the newest Philips 4K Professional Displays (32″ – 98″) are available globally with Niio’s 4K Art Player pre-integrated and ready to use.  Please join us at the Philips booth to experience Niio.


Niio art will be showcased on Barco’s high quality projectors across a triptych of LED tiles.  Don’t miss this installation!


Come see how Kramer’s innovative professional AV products for Corporate environments can be used to deliver and display high quality digital art.


Niio @ the B3 Biennial of the Moving Image (Frankfurt)

Several members of Niio including co-founder, Oren Moshe, had the opportunity to spend time in Frankfurt, Germany at the B3 Biennale of the Moving Image.

Since 2013, B3 has shaped the interdisciplinary and transnational debate on trends and developments relating to the moving image in the fields of art, cinema, TV, games, design, communication and immersion. The aim of the Biennial is to create a broad interdisciplinary alliance for the moving image, and offer the international culture and creative industry a platform for innovation and exchange.

Oren Moshe participated in several official events and discussions including a panel entitled: “Accessibility and monetization of moving image art now and in the future. New platforms and new solutions.”  Moderated by Julia Sökeland, co-founder blinkvideo, Oren was also joined by Clare Langan, a film and video artist from Ireland,  contemporary visual artist, Erika Harrsch, collector Tony Podesta and collector Baron Futa.

Check out some of the photos from our time in Germany at B3.

Niio Co-Founder, Oren Moshe @B3 discussing a work by Quayola. #digitalart

Panel @B3: “Accessibility and monetization of moving image art now and in the future. New platforms and new solutions.”

A large audience for Oren’s panel @ B3. #digitalart

Niio’s Xuf Mills experiencing ‘Levitation’ by David Guez and Bastien Didier.



NIIO + bitforms gallery + Philips @ Minnesota Street Project

Screen-based art can have a dramatic effect on any environment. As the medium grows in popularity, we’re often asked:

  • Where to discover and purchase media art?
  • How to manage, distribute and display media art?
  • The best screens for displaying media art in any home, office or public space?

The truth is, before Niio, these weren’t simple questions to answer.

This November, Niio, NYC’s bitforms gallery and Philips hosted a discussion about curating, collecting and distributing media art for the screen at San Francisco’s Minnesota Street Project.

If you’re interested in learning how you too can discover and display new media art in your home or office, please request an invitation at niio.com.


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Featured: bitforms gallery 15th Anniversary show @ Minnesota Street Project.