Is the Synapptic TV box the future of accessible television?March 8, 2019 12:54 pm
Is the Synapptic TV box the future of accessible television?
Although many modern television sets have pre-installed accessibility tools and features, we often get asked to recommend products that make television viewing easier for our visually impaired clients.
Over recent years, devices like Apple TV and Amazon’s Fire TV range have made it easier for visually impaired people to view video on demand services and TV catch-up apps, however, improvements are still needed.
We have been waiting for a device dedicated to improving television accessibility for a long time and it seems that the wait may finally be over.
The ‘TV Box’ from Synapptic (known for their award-winning smartphone and tablet accessibility packages) was launched last September at an initial cost of £649.
The all-in-one entertainment and communication system plugs directly into any modern television set with an HDMI port.
The device has been designed for ease of use and is suitable for both experienced technology users and complete newbies. Menus are displayed with bright, bold icons and all screens have the same look and feel. The device settings are totally customisable and allow you to alter magnification levels, colour schemes, speech, voice speed and voice volume. All menus also have text to speech feedback with the choice of either a male or female voice.
The device can be operated with remote control, Bluetooth keyboard (both included) or with voice commands. Voice control is a feature that our clients are really excited about as they can now select menus, browse the internet, compose emails and much more simply by using voice commands!
As the name suggests, the main function of the TV Box is to access live television channels, however, it is capable of doing much, much more. The box allows you to search future television listings in super large print, watch your favourite live Freeview channels and access catch up services from BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4 and 5 On Demand. You also have the option to stream movies and music from Spotify, Netflix and YouTube (please note, a paid subscription for these services may be required). The ability to play, rent or stream talking books, magazines and newspapers from the RNIB, Calibre or Amazon’s Audible service is a great feature.
The TV box also enables you to browse the internet, access social media channels, make voice and video calls through Skype (microphone and web camera included), send and receive emails (with voice dictation if required) and view photos or videos stored on the device’s internal hard drive or an external USB stick.
TV Box users also benefit from regular software updates (free for the first 2 years) that modify, fix and alter your current software programme ensuring that the device continues to run smoothly.
Free demonstrations can also be booked at our Sight Centre in Truro (Cornwall) by calling us on 01872 261110.
Images and demonstration video courtesy of Synapptic: http://www.synapptic.com/