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Published on March 9th, 2011 | by Gbemiga

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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.

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About the Author

In Gbemiga Sodipe's 28 years on this planet, he has lived on every continent but South America and has had a wide variety of jobs and experiences. He has worked as a Technical Writer for Microsoft in Beijing and as a coupon delivery guy in Springfield, Missouri. He loves books and is partial to Sci-Fi and Nonfiction but if you put any book in front of him his mind will be gone from this world and into the world of the book. Unless of course you put Uncle Toms Cabin or any book by L. Ron Hubbard in front of him, then he will first beat you to a bloody pulp with the book then commit what he considers to be one of his Seven Deadly Sins i.e. burn the book. In fact he for a time considered books much more interesting and less problematic than girls but that was during his early teenage years (ok maybe also every now and then but don’t tell his girlfriend that). Gbemiga speaks English and Mandarin Chinese fluently, understands but can’t speak Yoruba (to his mother’s eternal chagrin, even though it’s her fault) and knows the insults and swear words of 5 other languages (thank you International upbringing).



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