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The Visual-Tech Connection

- Your Source For

Eschenbach, Enhanced Vision, Optelec

Low Vision Aids -

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Tips on Buying CCTVs

First evaluate how the person will use it.

What do they need to accomplish with the use of a CCTV?

When should you buy black & white versus color?

Obviously the first issue is what can the person afford. But money aside, if the person will be using the machine almost exclusively to read text, then buy a black & white unit. Reading material is generally a black and white image anyway. Consider color select or multi-color text options for high contrast needs and comfort reading needs. A full color systems is great for looking at photos, maps, recipes, magazines, and working with crafts. A caveat; Many people who purchase a black & white unit eventually regret not having purchased the full color unit instead. Full Color CCTV systems are rapidly becoming the standard.

What monitor size should a person use?

The smaller the monitor is, the higher the resolution will be. However, if a person is needing letters more than 1/2" tall, this higher resolution will not be of any benefit. If a person requires a letter size on the monitor screen of 1" or more, we would recommend a 17" screen. If a person requires a letter size on the monitor screen that is more than 2" tall, we would recommend a 19" or 20" screen. However, even for persons requiring letter sizes on the monitor screen of 1/2" to 2" a larger monitor screen may actually be preferred. Keep in mind that such individuals when using a larger monitor screen will have a greater field of view than they would have with a smaller monitor screen.

Two-piece units should be used when an eye condition (such as significant "tunnel vision" with minimal central vision loss) needs greater separation between monitor and camera. This allows them access to the X/Y table while the screen is a short distance away.

Flat Panel screens should be considered a necessity for persons of short stature because these screens can be pulled down to eye level. A user should never be required to look up at the screen. The fact is Flat Panel monitor screens can be easily tilted and positioned for maximum viewing comfort for any user, whether they be short or tall in stature.

When should options be used?

The Color Select/Select-A-Color/Alternate Color option is used by people who are light sensitive. Many people with low vision especially those with macular degeneration, are light sensitive. This is one of the reasons we have the negative option on all our CCTVs. When put into the negative text mode the text is white and the back ground is black. This reduces the over all brightness of the monitor and may make reading more comfortable for the light sensitive person. If the person has an aversion to bright white light, then the option to select text and background color is necessary because the white light may be replaced with an alternative color, say yellow, which is easier on the eyes while at the same time gives a high contrast image that is easier to read. With this options it is also possible to change the background colors giving the user greater control over how they display the reading material.

Line markers and windowing is ideal when a person needs to isolate text. The Lines with Windows or Shadow Masking option is used by people who need an extra level of control over the display. With the Lines feature the user is able to place guide lines on the monitor that aid the user by giving themselves markers that partition the monitor in a variety of ways to make reading easier. The Windows option is used by those people who may have a pre-disposition to motion sickness. Those who experience dizziness as a result of reading with a CCTV magnifier will benefit from the Windows option because with this option the user has greater control over how much text is displayed, at a time on the monitor. By reducing the amount of stimulation to a level which is below a level that causes the user discomfort, the user is more able to use the CCTV magnifier for greater periods of time. Both the Lines and Windows options may be set to either horizontal or vertical orientation. These visual aids positions are user definable, so that one may place them anywhere on the display, giving the user a greater level of control and productivity, over the way they display the text that they are reading. Line markers and windowing is ideal when a person needs to isolate text.

Computer options are ideal when a person needs to work with a computer and a CCTV for extended periods of time.

Split screen computer systems are ideal when a person needs to transpose material.

Automatic Focus (autofocus) is ideal when a person needs to keep it as simple as possible. In fact, most of our video magnifiers are available as autofocus cameras. This means the camera automatically focuses on all your reading material. Phone books are usually tough for a CCTV to magnify, but not with autofocus video magnifiers. They read into the curved binding with ease. Want to read a prescription off an Rx? That too, is much easier with an autofocus magnifier. Just put the bottle under the camera and the camera automatically focuses on the bottle. Reading and writing have never been easier. Manual focus override on an autofocus system allows for maximum versatility and allows complete control over unique viewing situations. Actually, autofocus is now the standard. There are very few CCTV systems with only manual focus.

The Visual-Tech Connection, P.O. Box 1996, Westerville, OH 43086
Phone: 614-899-9989 (Toll-Free: 800-589-8835) Fax: 614-899-7553

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Last Updated 08/01/06

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