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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good picture & easy to use
I noticed that some of the other reviews gave this product a low rating because of frustrations caused by ordering the unit during the holiday rush. If you ignore those complaints, the product seems to work very well.

The picture is sharp and the colors are good. The image is viewable at a fairly wide angle.

The manual is not that helpful, but the...
Published on January 13, 2007 by J. E. Mendelssohn

versus
23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Count on Perpetual Ceiva Service
This review is not about the product. We have two first generation Ceiva frames that still work. The technical model of managing pictures in a frame at a location that has power and telephone but no Internet connection is unique and works well.

This review is about Ceiva, the company.

We purchased these frames as charter subscribers from Ceiva when...
Published on November 1, 2007 by Ian A. Lumsden


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good picture & easy to use, January 13, 2007
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This review is from: CEIVA 8-inch Digital Photo Frame with Card Reader (Electronics)
I noticed that some of the other reviews gave this product a low rating because of frustrations caused by ordering the unit during the holiday rush. If you ignore those complaints, the product seems to work very well.

The picture is sharp and the colors are good. The image is viewable at a fairly wide angle.

The manual is not that helpful, but the screen menus are logical and simple to use.

I operated the unit from an SD memory card and had no trouble downloading the pictures into the card or getting the card to run on the unit. I did not use any of the on-line options so I have no opinion about them.

Minor complaints include:

1. Lack of on/off button

2. The scolling buttons to operate the screen menus are not in the most logical or convenient location.

3. The 8 inch description refers to the diagonal length of the screen and thus it is smaller than a normal 8x10 picture that you might think you are getting. (This way of measuring is standard will all the DPF manufacturers so everyone will be decieving you the same way.)

4. The unit displays the pictures in the same order that they are stored on the memory card. There is no way to display them in random order. What I did was to sort the pictures in size order before downloading them to the memory card. This was not truly random, but it resulted in at least an unpredictable arrangement.

Overall I would give this unit very high marks on what I consider the most important factors: quality of picture and ease of use.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for grandparents, December 28, 2006
This review is from: CEIVA 8-inch Digital Photo Frame with Card Reader (Electronics)
We bought this for our grandparents, and although they don't usually care for technology stuff, they keep telling us how great this is. We set it up to use the phone connection to dial up every night to the PicturePlan service.

It was relatively simple to set up, and it's very easy to upload pictures. Other family members can upload their pictures as well.

PRO:

* Great display resolution, color, contrast, brightness, etc

* Works well for the grandparents and us (the picture senders)

* Daily weather and news reports are cool

CON:

* It keeps undeleting the canned Ceiva pictures of people we don't know

* Price

* Can't turn the device off with a button (on/off timer set in the menu or online)

* Menu system difficult for the GP's to grasp (though they don't ever have to touch the device if they don't want to)

* Not clear how many pics the device holds, how many pics we can send per night, etc
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great product for the grandparents, August 3, 2007
This review is from: CEIVA 8-inch Digital Photo Frame with Card Reader (Electronics)
I bought the latest Ceiva for my mother to replace her old model 2 whose screen was starting to dim (on 24/7 for several years). Yes, there were shipping delays before the holidays but shame on these people for slamming the PRODUCT over delivery issues.

The Ceiva itself works as described. It is an excellent gift for those who are not tech savvy. We regularly send my mom pictures of the grandkids and she loves getting them. People who visit her house always look to see the latest photos. The subscription is pricey, but it is worth it for us.

The picture itself is MUCH better with the latest version. Very bright and easy to see from any angle. A huge improvement over the older versions. We have only used the dialup connection, as we have done without hassle for 5 years now. Haven't tried any of the new features.

What we like best is the ease of getting the photos to my mom. We rarely get prints and send digital photos to all our friends. Uploading using the website or their software is easy. We've also started using Photoshop Elements 5 which has send to Ceiva built right in. Love it!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Product (and I'm picky), March 22, 2007
By 
S. P. Jacobs "TechnoFiend" (Los Angeles, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: CEIVA 8-inch Digital Photo Frame with Card Reader (Electronics)
I just wanted to write this because there is a lot of trashing of this unit.

I bought it for my Dad and it works very well and as advertised.

Pictures look good and setting up the on-line automatic dial-in update service was easy and straight-forward.

I tried to buy one during the Christmas rush and I know they were having customer service issues. I didn't have any and it seems like they've got that resolved.

The product itself is decent and works as advertised.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great product--just don't wait until the last minute to order!, May 6, 2007
This review is from: CEIVA 8-inch Digital Photo Frame with Card Reader (Electronics)
Like other reviewers have said, this product is awesome for not-tech savvy family members. I don't know of any other digital frame that does what a ceiva can do--namely, that allows me to send pictures to it from across the country/globe.

But like any popular gift item, don't wait until December to order one if you need it for Christmas. And order directly from the website, not through Amazon, if you want up-to-date information on backordering, etc.

I've never had a problem with any of the 5 frames in my family--not with getting the frame, setting it up, or renewing the subscription.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Count on Perpetual Ceiva Service, November 1, 2007
By 
Ian A. Lumsden (West Bend, WI USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: CEIVA 8-inch Digital Photo Frame with Card Reader (Electronics)
This review is not about the product. We have two first generation Ceiva frames that still work. The technical model of managing pictures in a frame at a location that has power and telephone but no Internet connection is unique and works well.

This review is about Ceiva, the company.

We purchased these frames as charter subscribers from Ceiva when they were a fledgling company. As a promotion, we paid 3 times the annual rate for lifetime subscriptions. This was a good deal for us and good word of mouth advertising for Ceiva. The promotion was only offered for a few months, limiting Ceiva's financial liability.

In the intervening years, Ceiva posted a policy on their site defining "lifetime" as the life of the device or seven years. This limitation was not disclosed in the original offer and the only email I have received from them has been monthly newsletters: a marketing brochure.

When I noticed our lifetime subscriptions soon expire, I contacted their customer support. After working my way up to the manager of customer service, he denied my request to honor the original deal. He did offer me a discount on buying new, current product. In other words, he tried to turn a significant customer service incident into a sales opportunity.

The product provides a unique solution but considering the subscription cost, it is very expensive. Since it would have cost Ceiva so little to honor the few lifetime subscribers they have, I can only infer that their business model is not working and they are desperate for new revenue. Since the product relies on the services Ceiva provides later, my recommendation is to steer away from this company.

Instead, buy another product; spend a dollar a month and mail grandma an SD card. She can learn to change it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I love this frame!, December 17, 2007
This review is from: CEIVA 8-inch Digital Photo Frame with Card Reader (Electronics)
I love the concept of this frame and I am baffled that no other companies are offering something similar. This is the perfect gift for technically-challenged grandparents. We bought two frames - one for my parents who live 5 minutes away (but have another grandchild 5 hours away, and just want a constant slide show of all their grandchildren) and one for my in-laws who have grandchildren spread all over the place. I love the fact that myself and my sister (and siblings-in-law) can all upload our photos to one website (one site for each frame) and then the frame dials in and downloads the photos, delivering them directly to the grandparents' living room or wherever they put the frame (not necessarily just the den, where the computer is).

*The frame does have to be plugged into a phone line to download the photos each night, but it still works if the phone line is disconnected, it just won't go get new photos. My mom doesn't have a phone line in the living room but wanted to display the frame at a party they recently had. So she unplugged it from the phone line, and it just kept displaying the photos that it had downloaded the night before. It only needs to be plugged into the phone line to download new photos, and that can be as often/seldom as the user wants. (This may seem obvious but it certainly hadn't occurred to my tech-challenged mother. She thought it wouldn't work at all unless it was plugged into the phone line.)

I know that some of the negative reviews refer to shipping issues and Ceiva customer service. Well, anyone who waits until mid-December to buy electronics for Christmas should know better. I did actually have to call customer service when setting up our second frame (the first frame we got took all of 5 minutes to set up from the time we opened the box to the time we were looking at photos.) With the second frame, the website was not accepting the serial number when setting up the account. I called customer service, and within a couple minutes a very helpful man was able to fix something on their end and I was able to retry the registration successfully with him still on the line.

The only reason I can't give the frame 5 stars is because I don't love the idea of having to pay a monthly (or annual) fee for the storage/download. It does seem kind of silly when you can store photos at Shutterfly, Snapfish, etc. for free. But then again, those sites don't offer a product that automatically downloads the photos to a frame, so I pay the $99/year to Ceiva. I figure I probably spent at least that much each year, making prints and shipping them to the grandparents every time there was some photo-worthy event (since they would only check their email about once a year!)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Upgraded to the Ceiva 3 -- Very Pleased, July 28, 2008
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This review is from: CEIVA 8-inch Digital Photo Frame with Card Reader (Electronics)
I've been delighted with the Ceiva 3. My mother has had a Ceiva receiver for many years, starting with their first receivers. She loves to show her pictures to visitors and is always excited to see new postings. It took me a bit to figure out how to get out of demo mode, but part of that was simply learning how the new menus work. The picture is awesome, it reads my memory cards well, and the photo service continues to function very well.

I purchased a Ceiva 2 for my inlaws a few years ago -- will have to upgrade them at the next opportunity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Product - Unique Service, November 8, 2008
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This review is from: CEIVA 8-inch Digital Photo Frame with Card Reader (Electronics)
I have been a Ceiva owner for many years starting with the original Ceiva 1 frame. I now own this model as well as a CeivaShare frame that I use at work.

The image quality is excellent and the PicturePlan subscription is optional although you will be missing the best features of a Ceiva frame if you don't subscribe. I would at least try the free trial they offer. The PicturePlan subscription allows you to send pictures to anyone anywhere in the world via the internet or cellphone. You can send pictures to other Ceiva frames or to computers via email. The ability to share photos amongst other Ceiva frames owned by friends and family is what makes the service unique. Most competing digital picture frames just use card readers or require you to upload to a web site with limited sharing functionality. Ceiva offers unlimited storage and frame management on their web site but you can just as easily send a picture directly to the designated frame you have in mind bypassing the web site. You can also subscribe to free "channels" for other content delivered daily to your frame. Ceiva warrants the frame indefinitely with an active subscription. A prepaid subscription runs $6.95 per month.

As other reviewers have mentioned, this is a great gift for older relatives that are not computer savvy but would enjoy receiving new family photos without any effort on their part. They can even press a button and easily order a print copy of any photo on their frame.

The frame will automatically connect to a local or toll free number nightly to download new pictures or, with an optional adapter, it can connect wirelessly. Depending on the model, the capacity is 40 or 50 photos with display intervals of your choosing.

Overall, I highly recommend this product. In addition to our two frames we have friends and relatives that own a total of eight more so our "Ceiva Family" keeps growing. I have found their U.S based customer service to be very helpful although I doubt you will need to call them as the product is very simple to operate. I own a non-Ceiva frame as well that I received as a gift and there is no comparison in terms of image quality and ease of use.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent product for the non-tech savvy, May 11, 2008
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This review is from: CEIVA 8-inch Digital Photo Frame with Card Reader (Electronics)
I bought Ceiva frames for my parents and grandparents when they first came out, and everybody was delighted with them. The only problem back then was the smallish, rather dim screen and the fact that my parents didn't have a phone jack near where the frame should go, so I had to add a wireless phone jack from Radio Shack. That jack was the only source of problems for that frame (it went out once and had to be replaced), and that original frame still works today, years later.

I've just purchased the new, 8-inch Ceiva frame to replace my parents' old frame, and the improvements are very noticeable. The screen is bigger and brighter, and the viewing angle is dramatically improved. The cosmetics of the frame are sleeker, and the front-panel buttons are a good addition for people who are comfortable with on-screen menus (helpful for me during setup). The front-panel buttons also make it much easier to navigate within the slideshow, which is a nice improvement.

If I had any complaint, it would be that the classic Ceiva black and white buttons are still there on the back of the new unit (which is probably good for non-techie folks who are used to them), but the functions that they perform -- like initiating a phone connection -- are not duplicated in the on-screen menus. I think it would be a little less confusing if those functions also appeared on the on-screen menus.

Lastly, I would ding Ceiva for documentation. I didn't get a user's manual, just a quick-start guide, and some features are not clearly explained. For example, there's a one-button print feature you can use, but I haven't found any information on the details of how it works.

These criticisms are all minor, though, compared to the pleasure of being able to email a digital photo (including from a camera phone) directly to an elderly relative who knows nothing about computers. The fact that this frame works with an ordinary phone line is a wonderful feature, and one that nobody else duplicates.
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