Forum Thread

Best Monitor For Elderly Person With Poor Eyesight

PCs_R_Tools 77 14 November 21, 2010 at 09:40 AM
Need advice in this area. I am purchasing a new system for an elderly (70+) neighbor/friend that is also dealing with some macular degeneration (failing eyesight). Should I try to locate an old large (21 inch) CRT where you could enlarge the fonts and have them scale accordingly or would it be best to go with current technology? Are you aware of any software that you can load to make things easier to read? Don't get me wrong, they can see (and drive safely during the day) it's just when you put them in front of a display they really struggle with contrast issues and text size. Really appreciate any help you can provide. Thanks

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#2
LCDs kinda suck if you don't run at native resolution... maybe not so bad with even multiple between native and active resolution (e.g. 2560x1600 running at 1280x800), i dunno.. i don't have the cash to lay out for a 30in super high-res LCD to try that theory.

i have CRTs.. several, in fact, in case decent ones become even harder to find than they are now. i run 19in trinitron CRTs at 1024x768 (max resolution is 1600x1200), which is good enough for me, right now with about 15 inches between nose and screen. i am on the look out for larger ones but they're hard to find for the amount i'm willing to pay. i can tell you that 12-15 inches from a CRT is about it. i can get closer to an LCD, when needed, without it bothering me too much. either way, though, i do need to give the eyeballs frequent rest when i'm working on the computer.

windows has screen magnification applet for those who need it (i maybe load it up a couple times a year is all). there's also actual magnifiers you can get that go in front of the display. that's what an acquaintance uses who has very limited sight...


in your case, it might be best to get them in front of a few different sizes of monitors (both glossy and matte LCD and a large CRT) and see how they do with different display resolutions, font sizes, and OS theme colors, before buying one.
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Last edited by 2cheap4retail November 21, 2010 at 11:05 AM
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#3
Get a large LCD screen and run at lower than native res. Or run native res and use Windows Aero DPI settings to magnify the desktop and apps (this is better than running non-native res in newer, smart apps).

Or get a 720p TV to use as a monitor (turn the brightness down Big Grin), but it can be awkward to get a TV to work perfectly at it's native res, so it might not worth it.
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#4
I am not sure I would agree with your characterization of 70+ as necessarily elderly. However, back on topic, why not jump into the lion's den and ask the 55+ crowd who may have coped with the problem:
AARP Technology Discussion Group [aarp.org]
( I think the format of their groups is vastly inferior to the organization here, but you should be able to get some help. Just don't call us ... I mean them .... elderly!)
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#5
bigger is better they could also get pair reading glasses from any $1 store
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#6
My Grandma has macular degeneration. She was using a 19" CRT with the resolution set to 640x480 and certain programs and some websites simply don't work at that resolution. I bought a 20" 1440x900 LCD (slickdeal!) but everything was too small and non-native resolutions didn't look good. She is currently using a 26" LCD TV with a native resolution of 1024x768 and it has been working out fairly well.

TVs are a bit more clumsy to use as monitors though. She has to use the TV's remote to turn it on and off and she accidentally hit the Input button once and couldn't figure out how to switch it back to PC-In.
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#7
My oddball 1080p 42" LCD tv's maximum resolution for VGA is only 1024X768. So, you might want to check the native monitor resolution if you want to use a tv. Even 800X600 is not well suited for internet browsing. Thus, the minimun resolution in my opinion is 1024X768.
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#8
Wow! Every single reply has added so much to my decision making process and you have brought up things I would never thought of myself. I apologize also for the elderly classification and I'm not exactly a young buck myself. Keep the ideas coming. Again, I really appreciate it.
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#9
Quote from WackyP View Post :
My oddball 1080p 42" LCD tv's maximum resolution for VGA is only 1024X768. So, you might want to check the native monitor resolution if you want to use a tv. Even 800X600 is not well suited for internet browsing. Thus, the minimun resolution in my opinion is 1024X768.
Many TVs do a poor job of describing their capabilities via EDID [wikipedia.org]. So, the computer doesn't know what resolution the screen actually is supports.

What brand of graphics card do you have? My ATI card makes it easy to override a screen's EDID and add standard modes like 1080p60.

There also can be further problems using a TV as a monitor, but the EDID override is the first thing to do (if required).
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#10
At this point I don't have a video card so I can still look into video card features. I was hoping to pick up a rather standard, upper-end type system from Dell either with or without a monitor depending on what I learned from this thread.
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#11
you can scale the icons on the desktop by simply pressing control and + or - or using the scroll wheel on the mouse.
you can also set the text size to be much larger (even custom sizes).

these are all easy to do and well greatly help someone with vision problems.
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all tech support threads will now be answered with possibly random and false information.
This is due to the retardedness of posters and answering posters in general.
thank you, have a nice day.
#12
Not quite as old as your relative, but at almost 50 am having some eyesite issues myself. A couple of years ago I bought a 26" Vizio TV to use as a monitor. This has worked out well for me, because I can set it for a lower resolution without hurting it and I can use Word and Excel and see both apps clearly. However, I did add a video card to my mix, which helps tremendously to tweak the resolution settings.

I have another machine that I use with this same monitor via a KVM switch. This machine has onboard video, not an add in card, and on it, the display is somewhat burry.
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#13
if the computer has dvi or hdmi, i'd get a 26" lcd tv (720P). you shouldn't have blur issues or anything. with vga you can get noise but dvi/hdmi are digital and shouldn't be an issue.
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#14
What is your budget?

For good results stick with a brand name(Samsung) LCD HDTV 720p 32-40 inches for under 500.00.
If you have Windows 7, you can increase the font on Control Panel\Appearance and Personalization\Display. You can also change the font on Internet Explorer.

Its this or a DLP projector 80-120 inches for 500.00. Smilie
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#15
Every web browser has a hot key that enlarges the screen -- try it now -- it's usually Control- +
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