Most new desktop video magnifier models boast that they offer high-definition (HD) quality. This can refer to the resolution of either the camera or the display, but both elements must support HD for this feature to be beneficial to a viewer. HD itself is an elusive term. HD specs are expressed in several ways, and there is no hard and fast rule for what constitutes HD. You will most often see HD resolution expressed in terms of video mode, as in 720p, 1080p, or higher. Full HD usually translates to 1080p. There are multiple ultra-HD video modes, too, with even greater video resolution. Vendors often adopt terminology that differentiates their own HD products from the competition, or even from other models in their own lineup. Low Vision International (LVI), for example, sells its MagniLink Zip magnifiers with either a 720p (HD) or 1080p (full HD) camera. All HD modes put more pixels on screen than does standard definition, allowing the camera to capture a sharper image, and the monitor to display one, too. This comes in handy at high magnification levels, when text or small objects under your camera could otherwise look fuzzy. Crisp text is also very important when you use custom color modes to enhance the contrast of the screen image. We'll have more to say about color modes later.
As we discussed in the first article in this series, electronic magnification devices are expensive, especially if you evaluate prices based solely on the hardware components that make them up. It's worth pointing out again that these products' hardware and software have been customized for users with low vision, including accessible hardware and software controls, speech and voices, fast OCR, and, in some cases, integration with tablet devices. Having said all that, you will pay between $2,000 and $3,500 for a large electronic magnifier, depending on the options you choose. You can control the price to some extent by choosing a manufacturer that offers choices of monitor size and/or camera quality. If you don't need a distance camera or speech capability (options on some products), you can purchase a device that offers these features optionally. Same goes for x-y tables and carrying bags, which are optional purchases in most instances. Finally, you might choose to buy a used magnifier to save money. Several websites feature classified ads for assistive technology products. The disadvantage is that you are unlikely to have access to the latest technology when you purchase a used system, and you probably won't get a warranty with your purchase. 2b1af7f3a8