Published on March 9th, 2011 | by Gbemiga0
GiiNii’s Video Picture Frame- A Step In The Right Direction
If a picture is worth so many words, then a video must be worth even more. That’s the premise behind some of the recent digital photo frames, now beginning the process of moving towards video support. One of the first stand-alone units that we’ve seen, today’s item looks much like other eight-inch photo frames, but this one hides video playback capability. Jumping into the already crowded digital picture frame, GiiNii tries to stand out from the crowd by offering more features. Despite its somewhat valiant attempt, the GiiNii “All-in-One” 8-inchTrue Video Picture Frame doesn’t quite fit make the grade.
The GiiNii gets its title of “All-In-One” by doing more than a lot of competing devices. It came out of the box as a solidly constructed, lightweight, well-made device with a cherry stained wood frame and glass cover. Aside from the GiiNii picture frame, other items we found in the box were the remote control, AC power cord, mini USB cable, user manual, warranty registration, quick start guide, and an odd paper mat for creating a border for the frame. The device also comes with a soft keypad allowing you label, tag and create your own albums without the need for a PC. The GiiNii screen has a 800 x 600 screen resolution and a 4:3 screen ratio, good enough for Grandma but probably not for professional photographers. We liked that the GiiNii comes with a 6-in-1 memory card reader making it compatible with wide array of memory cards, and that the screen is bright enough to use and see clearly in the daytime.
The software is always one the trickiest parts of any photo frame. We found this model’s interface good but not great. When we started up the GiiNii, it began playing the pre-installed photo library, and once we plugged in our memory card it started displaying the pictures on the memory card. You can also manage the photos from the device itself by using the Album icon to group our pictures into as many different albums as you please. Various slideshow formats can change the way images are displayed, and are easy to add or change.
From the Media Center Icon, you can play video files (MPEG, MPEG4 and H.264) and audio files (MP3, WMA, AAC and WAV ) and also connect your non-HD camcorder into it. One of our biggest disappointments with the GiiNii was its incompatibility with the iPod or the iPhone, which we feel severely limits its capabilities. We surprisingly found the stereo speakers of the device to be capable of pumping a decent volume, but the quality was nothing to write home about as the speakers are mainly sufficient for low level output or background music.
You can also use the GiiNii as an alarm clock, and you can also choose from a collection of different clock faces. More faces can be downloaded from their website. Using the remote control was an experience in frustration though. Sometimes, no matter how close we go to the device with the remote, absolutely nothing happened. There were times when there were delays of several seconds when using the remote and pointing it directly at the GiiNii. Luckily we were able to restrain ourselves from throwing the remote at the GiiNii because you can use the device itself to do what you want.
Altogether the various small flaws of the device come together to make what could be a great device merely a good device. We liked the ENERGYSTAR certification, fairly unique among competitors. The GiiNii only comes in cherry, and we hope that future versions will come with more options. RAW support and a higher resolution screen would also be great as well! The GiiNii can be found widely for prices ranging from $80-$110, and a ten-inch model is also available.