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Television technology - help

shermans
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Registered: 07-09-2007

Television technology - help

Can anyone give technical advice on television technology ?

My 91 year old father has just had a simple operation to remove a cataract, but it went disastrously wrong and he has lost all vision in that eye. That means that they do not dare to operate on the other eye, which also has a cataract and has onset macular degeneration.

I urgently want to get him a new television with a larger screen - I have been advised that it should not be larger than 23 inch because he will be using peripheral vision and if it is too wide, he will not be able to see the whole screen.

I am not a tv addict and know nothing about the various types of technology - LCD - HD - Plasma - CRT etc.
Can anyone who understands this technology recommend the best variety for someone with low vision ? I imagine that brightness will be the most important feature. I also do not know whether high density would help, but I suspect in the case of low vision, a lot of detail would in any case be missed.

Any suggestions or comments would be most appreciated.
7 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Television technology - help

Surely a blanket statement of "it should not be larger than 23 inch because he will be using peripheral vision" can't be right as it would depend on how far he sits from the screen.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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sinewave
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Registered: 17-08-2007

Television technology - help

Go for LCD I'd say. The range of CRT's (cathode-ray tube - the heavy traditional types) are very limited now - if you can find one! Plasma screens are very expensive and the improved picture quality would go unnoticed by your father.

You'd probably be fine with a cheaper LCD as picture quality is less important to you but cheap sets can also mean poor sound or difficult to use (like fiddley remote controls etc). I suggest you check usability and sound quality carefully in the shop - it'll be no good if he can't hear it properly or find his fave channel!

On that note I know you can get special remote controls for people with poor vision - ones with big textured buttons etc. I'm not sure where you get them but I bet there'll be advice on this from disability organisations etc.
shermans
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Television technology - help

Thanks. But will an LCD TV gives as bright a picture as his old (CRT) TV ?

I am judging by my laptop which has a nice display but it is not that bright and there is not alot of contrast. However, it may not be fair to compare it with a TV and of course the screen is only 15".
Community Veteran
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Television technology - help

Have you tried the RNIB - I'd be stunned if they didn't offer advice in this area - you never know he may be entitled to some sort of help.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Community Veteran
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Television technology - help

Is he well enough for you to take him to a TV shop where they have lots of teles on display?
Thats what I did with my 90 year old Mother and she could then decide which one she could see the best.
sinewave
Grafter
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Registered: 17-08-2007

Television technology - help

Quote
Thanks. But will an LCD TV gives as bright a picture as his old (CRT) TV ?


I doubt that will be a problem. To my eyes many LCD's are too bright! Currently, many folk are buying these things thinking they are getting a good picture with bright vivid colours. the truth is the colours and contrast are just exaggerated and not lifelike at all (which is what most folk are really looking for). Its a bit like thinking you have a great hi-fi because it goes loud. Screens do vary though - particularly at the cheaper end of the market. Just make sure you get good demos in shops before you buy. get the assistant to put contrast/brightness up on a few screens and compare them.

Also note that how your father sees the screen will also be affected by the ambient light. I guess its likely his living room will be brightly lit to help him see but this wont help him see the tv.

perhaps you need a James Bond style remote control that automatically dims the lights when he turns on the telly ;-)
shermans
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Television technology - help

Thanks to one and all for the advice. We will go to Currys tomorrow to try to compare and see what suits him best.