Quite a Display: A Review of Two Video MagnifiersBy Gerritsen, Bryan; Access World, Vol. 5, No. 1
Publication Date: January 2004
Article reviews two video magnifiers: (1) the Merlin from Enhanced Vision Systems, and (2) the Prisma by Ash Technologies. Advantages and disadvantages of the devices are identified. The Merlin is a closed-circuit television (CCTV) that includes both a camera and a monitor. The degree of zoom magnification can be changed either with a large dial positioned in the center of the controls for continuous adjustment or with preset locks, allowing the user to set and select two main preferred specified sizes of magnification, depending on print size. The Merlin’s monitor comes in sizes of 14 or 20 inches, and has large, ergonomic, and easy to control buttons. The Merlin also features a large working space for reading and other tasks. Disadvantages include the relatively poor contrast of the control buttons, and problems with the locking and quick-release mechanism on the X-Y table. The Prisma is a fold-up, portable color CCTV, which has minimal control, is simple to operate, has fairly good color, and can be used with any size of monitor. The disadvantages include reduced resolution and image quality, manual focus, and the fact the arm that holds the camera is less sturdy and may be prone to loosening over time as the camera is moved and the height of the arm is adjusted. The X-Y table is not moveable, and the user has to physically move text or materials under the camera. The author concludes that each CCTV holds promise for the future of low vision technology, but that neither is without some need for improvement.
Assistive Products Discussed: PRISMA
Published by: AFB Press (Website:http://www.afb.org/Section.asp?SectionID=46)
American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) (Web Site: http://www.afb.org )
Link to text: http://www.afb.org/afbpress/pub.asp?DocID=aw050107