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CCTV handheld & other, reviews of products & companies

My 81-year-old mother suffers from advanced AMD. There is no accessibility to low vision services where she lives. I am planning to have a representative from Enhanced Vision visit her home to show her some of their products, especially the new DaVinci HD CCTV. I have been searching for reviews on
handheld magnifiers and CCTV's, especially the ease of use for seniors who are not tech-savvy. I have not been able to find very many reviews from actual users. I would also like feedback from customers as to their actual experiences
with companies such as Enhanced Vision, Freedom Scientific and Optelec. Thanks in advance to anyone who can help with this.

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Re: CCTV handheld & other, reviews of products & companies

Yes, I tried white on black, yellow on black, etc. My mother lives in Western Ky, but not anywhere a large city. I have talked to the low vision resources in her area.

Re: CCTV handheld & other, reviews of products & companies

On the hand held CCTVs, did you try white text on a black background? And where are you, please? Solutions are often local. ===gm===

Re: CCTV handheld & other, reviews of products & companies

My mother has a ring scotoma, and at present her best reading font is a bold 12-point type.(Under perfect lighting and with a regular magnifier.) Smaller or larger is a problem. Contrast is very important, which is what I was hoping the handheld magnifiers would provide. I was able to obtain a Pebble and a Ruby and put off having a salesman actually come to Mom's home for right now. The handheld CCTV's were not helpful for Mother. Also no help at all for photos. I have recently been able to put some photos on a CD which will work in a DVD player hooked up to a large screen television. This is the only way she can see photos now.

Re: CCTV handheld & other, reviews of products & companies

You might say more about your ma's sight. How much magnification is needed. Cotrast sensitivity OK? Use a computer? Visual field? Techno phile or phobe? Where live? (Some solutions are local.)

Re: CCTV handheld & other, reviews of products & companies

Thanks so much for your input. If anyone else has any thoughts I would love to hear from you. My mom's focusing ability is very narrow, she has trouble with very small print, or very large, so I am focusing my search on items which provide illumination and enhance contrast.

Re: CCTV handheld & other, reviews of products & companies

I don't use a CCTV or any other screen magnification device, as I only have light perception and have been a screen reader user for several years. But here are my thoughts. I was a JAWS user for awhile and had occasion to utilize their tech support a few times. Each time I was quite pleased by their responsiveness and knowledge, and it seemed as though they really cared about me as a customer. I've heard that in recent years, tech support at Freedom Scientific has gone downhill. However, don't quote me on this. I currently use System Access as one of my screen readers, and it doesn't appear they've gotten too much use by state agencies. I've had to call or email Serotek tech support a few times too, and they're always excellent. They even have a screen magnification feature built into their software. It is located right in Preferences. I showed it to a former roommate of mine who has had decreasing vision over the years, and I think he was able to see my computer screen okay.

Re: CCTV handheld & other, reviews of products & companies

Up here in Ontario (in Canada), Optelec makes up approximately 85% to 90% of the CCTVs that are sold through the ADP program (where the government covers 75% of the cost). They are pretty good and effective, while simple to use.

I'm not too familiar with Freedom Scientific's Topaz system, although their SARA system works well.

For Enhanced Vision, I've never seen the DaVinci system. However, the Merlin systems are great (as good as the Optelec ones, although a bit more buttons for the controls). Their Acrobat system is very good, but the design is different and the controls are much more complex. I believe their market for the Acrobat was for university students who may need to carry it around.

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