CEIVA DIGITAL FRAMES

Location of Company:

CEIVA LOGIC, LLC, manufacturer of CEIVA digital frames, is located in Burbank, California

Company Goal:

From its first Digital Photo Receiver in 2000 to the latest model, the innovative concept of a connected community of family and friends sharing their lives through photos has driven Ceiva to continually improve its product and its customer service. The digital frame in either a 7" or 8" size is the only product CEIVA has ever manufactured. Although there are still some 7" models left, the 8" size is the current product (CEIVAshare and Pro 80).

The CEIVA PICTUREPLAN:

The company's unique photo delivery service, the CEIVA PicturePlan enables CEIVA community members to connect with each other in a meaningful way. This is a paid subscription plan and is required for the newest models (CEIVAshare and Pro 80) to function. This is also true for the CEIVA 1, 2 and 3.

The CEIVA PicturePlan is so much more than just a photo sharing site as I will explain below:

Membership in the PicturePlan enables sharing of photos on a network of frames within a network of friends and family.

Photos can be received from on online account, email, from Facebook and from Picasa desktop software, as well as from a camera phone and iPhone. Photos, cards and greetings can be customized and personalized and sent to arrive on any chosen day.

PicturePlan members can also choose to have content channels, such as weather, news, sports and dozens of others, delivered daily.

Photo sharing is secure with constant virus protection updates and spam filtration technology.

Software upgrades are free and automatic.

A lifetime frame warranty is a major benefit available with each membership.

Live and US-based customer care support is a real plus.

CEIVA frames are bundled with anywhere from 3 months to 1 year of PicturePlan included with purchase. New frames currently come with a one-year PicturePlan.

CEIVA Frames for Gifting

All functions available on CEIVA frames can be pre-programmed before gifting. After set-up, slideshows of photos and content can be received through either a wireless adapter, broadband adapter or by simply plugging the frame into a telephone line.

The option to be able to use either an analog or a digital (with filter) phone line to send and receive photos and content really sets CEIVA apart from other frame manufacturers. This feature makes it an excellent choice for keeping in touch with those friends and relatives who do not want to, or do not have access to a computer and others who are simply not computer-savvy.

It is to CEIVA's credit that a good number of their older model frames can still be found for purchase at Amazon.com and other online merchants. Please note that the newer models offer an improved screen and more functionality. See Ceiva on Amazon.

FRAME STYLE:

Frame Appearance:

CEIVA's frames began as black wooden frames with gray matting. Through the years a variety of frames have been introduced, as well as interchangeable faceplates. Options for more skins can be obtained through CEIVA's partner Skinit.

Skinit Custom Skins

Frame Buttons:

From the earliest CEIVA frame, ease of use has been a driving force. "One-button control" was introduced with the first frame. Later frames had a glide-out "button ray" with additional buttons added for more features. Ports for wireless capability were also added. With the exception of the 8" CEIVAshare (SHR508A-US), which has its buttons on the included remote control, the button format used today includes six fixed buttons at the bottom of the frame and an indicator light to alert for new photos.

Frame Stands:

All CEIVA frames have stands that are a part of the frame itself so the frame has only one way to sit on a flat surface so they are not wall-mountable. The exception is the CEIVAshare which has a removable leg stand but is also not wall-mountable. This feature does make for a much more secure stand than some adjustable stands found on many other digital photo frames.

IMAGE DISPLAY QUALITY:

Screen Resolution:

All CEIVA frames have a 640x480 screen resolution with the exception of the 8" CEIVAshare (SHR508A-US) which has an 800x600 resolution. The latest frame, the 8" CDIVA Pro 80 has gone back to the 640x480 resolution. The pictures have excellent clarity and sharpness.

The frames are a bit limited in the size of the individual pictures that can be displayed (unless photo editing software is used). The 3 frames available from CEIVA today can accept JPEG pictures up to 12 megapixels in size. However, this is only relevant when using the card reader. Please read here for more info on size...

Aspect Ratio:

All have the same aspect ratio: 4:3 or portrait.

Brightness and Contrast:

All frames enable the user to control the brightness of the screen from the frame itself.

Color Depth:

The newer frames can display thousands of colors.

Viewing Angle and Type of Screen Backlighting Display:

The first 3 CEIVA frames employed a VGA display (Video Graphics Array), commonly used for 640x480 resolutions and 16 bit color modes at the time.

In 2006, with 7" CEIVA Digital Photo Frame with Card Reader (LF4007), the switch to a high resolution active-matrix TFT LCD display solved the problem of lack of color depth and has given the frames a better viewing angle as well as a sharper picture.

Screen Surface:

Most frames have a glass surface.

METHODS OF CONNECTIVITY for TRANSFERRING IMAGES:

Options for connecting through a home network as well as through a wireless connection are available. A phone line connection, either analog or digital (requires a filter) can still be used, if desired. The latest model, the 8" CEIVA Pro 80 comes with built-in Media Server capability and an included Wi-Fi adapter. Now members can stream photos instantly from a computer over a home network.

Memory Card Formats:

NOTE: Memory cards will not work on the latest models (CEIVAshare and Pro 80) unless the owner is a subscriber to CEIVA's PicturePlan.

The 7" Photo Frame with Card Reader (LF4007) is still offered by CEIVA and is the only frame not requiring a membership in PicturePlan. Thus the frame can read directly from inserted memory cards. Frames with C-ports can use thumb drive connections.

The following formats are accepted: CF (Compact Flash), Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO duo, SecureDigital, SmartMedia, MultiMedia Card, Microdrive, xD-Picture card and miniSD Card. Some may require an adaptor (usually Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo, SmartMedia Card, miniSD and xD-Picture Card.)

Picture Formats:

All frames accept the JPEG format. Through the years, CEIVA has added TIFF, GIF, BMP and PSD formats to its frames.

Audio and Video Files:

None of the frames support audio or video files at this time.

Text & Messaging Files:

All of the frames allow for customization of images, such as adding captions, personal greetings, messages or color borders to prints. Scanned images (such as a child's artwork) can also be added.

PICTURE FUNCTIONS and ADVANCED FEATURES:

Some of these include:
    All frames have automatic slideshow capability.

    Pictures can be uploaded easily with the drag and drop option.

    The amount of new photos that can be received from the website daily is currently set at 60 with the CEIVA Pro 80. It is important to note that when content channels are also chosen, one picture slot will be replaced by each Channel. For example, a 60 frame limit with 3 Channels will only be able to display 57 photos.

    Automatic time on/off can be adjusted directly from the frame.

    From the introduction of the 7" CEIVA (LF4007), easy-to-use on-screen menus such as types of display modes, photo rotation and deletion, slideshow transitions and timing, brightness and more can be controlled directly from the frame.

    Locking, deleting, ordering prints from a picture and scrolling through pictures directly from the frame are all features currently available. Postcards, prints, mugs, magnets, puzzles and key chains with selected photos are also available from the website through the PicturePlan.

    The 8" CEIVAshare and the 8" CEIVA Pro 80 have all functions available for controlling on the website as well as from the frame.

ACCESSORIES INCLUDED:

    7" CEIVA Digital Photo Frame with Card Reader (LF4007): telephone cord, dual phone jack, AC adapter.
    8" CEIVAshare (SHR508A-US): 6-button remote, dual phone jack, AC adapter, CEIVA Modem adapter.
    8" CEIVA Pro 80: dual phone jack, AC adapter, CEIVA Wireless Adapter, 2 interchangeable faceplates with finishes in black and wood.

COMPATIBILITY:

    8" CEIVAshare (SHR508A-US) and the 8" CEIVA Pro 80: Windows and Mac with OS 10.3 or higher.

    8" CEIVA Pro 80: also supports Windows Media Player 11 for Windows XP, Windows Photo Gallery for Windows Vista and Rivet for Mac OSX.

WARRANTY:

    7" Photo Frame with Card Reader (LF4008): 365 days from date of purchase. Customer pays shipping.

    8" CEIVAshare (SHR508A-US)and the 8" CEIVA Pro 80: 365 days from the date of purchase of any CEIVA product, including the CEIVA Broadband Adapter and the CEIVA Wireless Adapter. Customer pays shipping.

    With the purchase of PicturePlan (required)-Lifetime Warranty. If the frame breaks, CEIVA will fix it for free. Customer pays shipping.

KUDOS:

    The first CEIVA frame introduced consumers to a plug and play, easy to use, 1 button operation with toll-free access to a website through an analog phone line. On that website, photos could be managed and stored on-line and in albums.

    PicturePlan has been available from the first frame. A subscription to CEIVA's PicturePlan opens a world of options for its members. Only 1 subscription needs to be valid on a frame to have permitted family members and friends send photos to the frame, as well as store their on photos on the CEIVA website.

    CEIVA has proved sensitive to the concerns of its customers and has added more functionality and ease of use with each new model. Built-in media server capability to stream photos from the Internet to the frame is one of the latest additions to CEIVA's growing list of customer options.

    CEIVA has updated and expanded its customer care team and added useful, well-written information to its easy-to-navigate website. CEIVA also offers a newsletter and forums for interested members.

    Streamlined menus are now available in English, Spanish, Italian and French.

    Most important to many consumers is the ability to pre-program a gift of a CEIVA frame to relatives and friends, regardless of the recipient's level of technical skill. Connection by analog or digital phone, or by broadband or wireless allows almost anyone to connect with family and friends through sharing photos on CEIVA frames.

CAVEATS:

    The #1 complaint usually voiced by consumers is the requirement that owners subscribe to the PicturePlan (which can start at approximately $6 per month.) NOTE: the 7" CEIVA currently offered by the company does not require membership.

    Content can only be updated daily because CEIVA does not currently offer RSS feeds (which continuously stream information from the Internet.)

    Wireless connecting can sometimes be a complicated procedure.

These are legitimate concerns. CEIVA has responded by offering constantly updated, innovative and useful features to the PicturePlan, by allowing updates of content at shorter intervals rather than just daily, by offering an EZ wireless connection update and by expanding their customer support.

SOME CURRENT "NEED-TO-KNOWS":

    If your subscription lapses or you cancel, you CANNOT ACCESS your photos. However, you can still display up to the last 60 photos sent to the frame.

    Though anyone in the world can send pictures to a CEIVA Digital Photo Frame, the frame to which these pictures are sent needs to be located in the US, Canada or Puerto Rico in order to receive photos. However, frames with Wi-Fi will now work from anywhere in the world.

    Connection via a DSL line (if desired) will require a DSL filter (not included but can be ordered from the DSL provider.)

    Not all frames have the wireless or broadband adapters included. The frames are now Wi-Fi and broadband ready. Adapters are optional and require an additional purchase. The exception to this is the CEIVA Pro 80 which comes with a Wi-Fi adapter.

KUDOS IN GENERAL:

    CEIVA has offered innovative ways to connect with family and friends through sharing photos and more since its first frame in 2000.

    With each new frame it has produced, CEIVA has listened to its consumers and has continually made improvements to its frames and the options available through PicturePlan. As an example, one of CEIVA's latest features is the GPS mapping for photos that come from cameras and cell phones that have that feature.

    CEIVA today continues to add features and expand its customer service in order to make CEIVA Digital Photo Frames as user-friendly and as enjoyable as possible. For example, one of the latest features now available is GPS mapping which can be found on photos that came from cameras and cell phones that have that feature.

The following video shows what giving and receiving a gift of a CEIVA frame can mean:



My Review

Please check out my review of the CEIVA Pro 80 and the CEIVAshare frames here.

February 2010 - Two New Offerings from CEIVA

Beginning February of 2010, CEIVA made available two new offerings for the members of the CEIVA community:

1. Excerpts from the Mashable Channel, a social media news blog covering cool new websites and social networks will be ready for sign up.

2. A new version (1.2) of the iPhoto plugin will be ready for Mac users to send photos directly from their photo library to CEIVA frames and albums. This newest version will include a number of interface and stability improvements.

September 2010 - New Pet Channel Now Available for CEIVA Frames

The Pet Photo Channel, the latest Channel offered by CEIVA is comprised of entries from this summer’s Pet Photo Contest. Each day, subscribers to CEIVA’S PicturePlan Photo Delivery Service can receive a new pet photo each day. What a great way to start the day!

Photos of the winning entries and finalists are now being displayed at ceiva.com.

Update: New Ceiva Channels

Two more channels have been added to the CEIVA PicturePlan for CEIVA frame owners. These are channels that can allow for customization and are called "Create a Channels".

    Create a Calendar is a channel that allows frame owners to create a calendar featuring their own photos to be displayed daily on their frames. All that is necessary is to designate which photos to use, choosing from photo albums stored on the CEIVA website.

    Holiday Countdown is a really fun channel that can be customized to countdown to any of life's celebrations.



Powerful New Frame Function Now Available for CEIVA Members!

Reorder Your Photos

The "Reorder Your Photos" feature is the latest option to be released by CEIVA for its PicturePlan members. This is something that CEIVA owners have been asking for and it is definitely one of my favorites!

This feature will enable CEIVA members to drag and drop incoming photos into place to show up in a particular order. Now members can actually tell a story with pictures placed in chronological order in an album. And it is incredibly simple to do. Of course, if you decide you would prefer to shuffle the pictures, a press of the shuffle button will accomplish that task also.

Now You Can Import Photos from Other Photo Sharing Websites directly to CEIVA!

A new and very exciting feature for CEIVA PicturePlan Members is now available. If you have photos on Facebook, Flickr, Photobucket, Picasa, Shutterfly or Smugmug, you can now select photos, customize them if you desire, and send copies directly to your designated CEIVA frames.

A member can go to the Upload Photos section of the CEIVA website, click on Import Photos and then click on a website logo for any of the above sites. That's all there is to it --another example of CEIVA's commitment to its PicturePlan Subscriber membership.

Don't Forget--You Can Order A Holiday Skin for Your CEIVA Gift-Giving!

You can choose from a large number of available skins for the perfect fit for an extra-special gift for your friend or family member.

Ceiva frame with Christmas skin


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