Whether it's family movie night at home, time to read a bedtime story, or you need something to keep kids occupied during long travel, you can do it all with the CINEMOOD Portable Movie Theatre. This ultra-lightweight cube that measures about three inches by three inches comes packed with $450 worth of preloaded kids content that it will project up to 12-feet wide on any surface. That's more than 200 free cartoons, videos, ebooks, lullabies, and shadow hand puppets.
You do have to connect CINEMOOD to your home wifi to get started, but the majority of content is built-in so you won't need an internet connection to play it. Free built-in videos from kids' YouTube channels, such as HooplaKidz and Doctor MacWheelie, and animated children's series, including Kit'n'Kate and KikiOriki, join other free videos from Disney and app game characters, such as Om Nom from Cut the Rope.
If you want more videos to watch, CINEMOOD allows you to access YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video. You'll need an internet connection to watch YouTube and Amazon Prime Video content, but with Netflix, you're given the option to download content that you can watch through the CINEMOOD even when offline.
And there are a variety of book options that project illustrated picture book images with the text underneath. You'll find classic stories such as Bambi and Winnie-the-Pooh along with Disney storybooks featuring characters from Frozen, Aladdin, and Pixar movies. Not all of the books offer narration, so kids will either need to be old enough to read on their own or they'll need a parent or older sibling to read to them. (At the time of this review, there was a section for "Voiced" books but no options.) Under the "Listen" app, you'll find audio books.
Music options give kids a variety of songs to listen to, from classical pieces to lullabies that help them fall asleep at night.
Kids can also learn how to make shadow puppets, and then practice their skills using the projector light.
You can also download your own videos, photos, and presentations directly to the CINEMOOD. Just connect the CINEMOOD to a computer and copy your files.
By purchasing a Smart Cover for your CINEMOOD (sold separately), you're adding extra protection to your device and unlocking extra content. The Smart Covers feature the characters KikOriki, Om Nom, Kit'n'Kate, HooplaKidz, and Be-Be-Bears, and each cover provides more character-specific content.
And if you download the free CINEMOOD app, you'll be able to remotely control the features of the CINEMOOD. In fact, some of the apps, such as Netflix, require that you download the CINEMOOD app to use it.
This product would be good for travel. Kids still get to watch movies and TV shows, listen to music, or read books but they're not looking at a screen (or wasting your phone's battery or using up all your data). The screen can go very large with good picture quality. We did think the sound quality on a smartphone was a little better than on the CINEMOOD.
The company really plays up the Disney connection, and I was a little disappointed with the included Disney content. If you're expecting there to be Disney movies and TV shows (like your own portable Disney Channel), then you'll be disappointed, too. The book content offered more familiar characters, but there was no option for narration to read to the youngest kids.
Using the app as a remote for the Netflix app, for instance, was confusing to learn, not very receptive, and overall frustrating.
It's nice that you can use this to stream your favorite content, and we can see adults using this for their own movie nights or even to project a downloaded presentation at work. This has a high price point, but if your family travels a lot and you need a way to keep kids busy and engaged while on the go, or if you're tired of your kid hogging the TV and your phone to watch YouTube at home, then you might find that the cost of CINEMOOD is worth it.
CINEMOOD is recommended for all ages, but a parent will need to download additional content and get everything set up for kids.
The CINEMOOD comes with a base, a USB power adapter, and a USB cable.
Covers for the CINEMOOD can be purchased separately for $49, and each one will unlock extra content based on the character it represents. Characters include KikOriki, Om Nom, Kit'n'Kate, HooplaKidz, and Be-Be-Bears.
You will need to enter a cell phone number and receive a text message during set-up of your CINEMOOD.
Some of the content will need to be downloaded before you can watch, listen, or read, and some of the content does require a separate purchase.
We frequently had issues watching downloaded content from Netflix, but we don't know if that was a Netflix app issue or a CINEMOOD issue.
Transferring files from computer to CINEMOOD via USB cable works for PCs only. If you're trying to download files from a Mac, you'll need to use the program Android File Transfer. There is a link on the CINEMOOD website.
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