Television & Low Vision
We often get asked about how we can help those with Low Vision to see the television better.
There are many options available today that can help but the solution is dependent on your vision. There can be some challenges with finding what works for you.
> Initial Television Setup
A good place to start is to consider your current setup. Today’s modern, large televisions are available with accessibility options built in. Some have a “Voice” option to read out the system menu within the unit.
You may want to consider turning on the ‘Audio Description’ option to help describe the screen in some television shows and movies presented.
Go through the brightness and contrast settings to make improvements with those levels. Some ocular conditions may favour a less bright setup to enable better use of peripheral vision. Others prefer a brighter setup to take advantage of their central vision.
Often an adjustment to the colour saturation can also help. Most newer televisions have the ability to change the screen ratio. This can create an artificial “zoom” effect with the sacrifice of some screen edge details being cut off. Consider the position of the television to avoid confusing reflections on the screen from other light sources like from windows or lamps.
> Size Does Matter
Magnification, by definition, is to enlarge the image in comparison to the original size.
There are two ways of doing this that can work without any other device by either getting a larger TV or just sit closer. Often, it is not practical to just move in closer or nor do we have the space for a massive television. Those we live with may not enjoy sitting up close to the screen also.
Assistive technology to enlarge the screen is in the form of a head worn unit. It should be noted that you cannot walk around with these on due to the safety risks caused by the loss of field. Those with early stages of Low Vision may benefit from the MaxTV Glasses.
These low-cost telescopic glasses will magnify by 2.1X. There is an adjustment for each eye to find the best focus for a distance of 3m or more.
The changes in technology today have now allowed for the creation of electronic versions with simple to use controls and added features to get the best out of your vision. These headsets can produce a larger and adjustable range of magnification.
Other features include built-in image stability to help reduce any associated “giddy” feelings resulting from the magnification and movement. Colour and contrast options are adjustable and unlike the MaxTV optical glasses, the electronic versions can be used for both distance and near tasks and all hands free.
The AceSight VR Wearable Magnifier is one of the newer versions available. They have a forward-facing video camera and internal screens for viewing. These amazing magnifiers also come with a small, handheld remote to control the device and magnify up to 16X.
These can be also used to help with reading, and hobbies like knitting, model making and reading music.
Our low vision consultants can work with you, one on one to find the best option for you to watch television with your specific vision capacity. Phone for an appointment on 1300 883 853.