The Closed Circuit Television (CCTV), also known as a Video Magnifier, is a highly effective and versatile device that magnifies images onto a screen, enabling people with low vision to reclaim their independence.

CCTV in Olympia

How does CCTV help people with Low Vision?

The CCTV system is a highly adaptable and customizable technological device that can greatly enhance the quality of life for people with low vision. CCTV is an electronic magnification technology which projects images on a monitor, making it easier for people with low vision to read for extended periods of time. There is a range of different kinds of Video Magnifiers, but what they all have in common is that they contain a camera that magnifies and projects images onto a screen.

This device is made to be user-friendly for both those who are comfortable with technology and also for people who are less accustomed to using digital devices. If you find that your vision challenges are preventing you from living the life you want, you can speak to your low vision eye doctor about the CCTV which was created to help you and your personal vision needs.

American Family Vision Clinic

Who can benefit from using a CCTV?

Virtually anyone who finds that their vision is not up to par and is preventing them from accomplishing what they want to in their daily life, can benefit from the user-friendly magnification provided by the CCTV. Most people with low vision can find the CCTV to be very practical, making it one of the most commonly prescribed visual aids. It can benefit such a vast range of eye conditions which include, but are not limited to:

  • Cataract
  • Glaucoma
  • Age related macular degeneration
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Retinitis pigmentosa
  • Albinism 
  • Retinal detachment
  • Stargardt’s disease
  • Visual field loss

What features do the Video Magnifiers Offer?

These devices allow the user to completely control the display’s focus, magnification, and other settings so that the real-time image displayed on the monitor can help you perform activities without a delay, such as reading, writing and other hands-on activities.

There are so many different kinds of CCTV devices that each have their own features, some of which include:

  • Range of magnification settings, some as high as 100X
  • Contrast enhancement
  • Various illumination settings
  • Black and white or color options
  • Split-screen monitors
  • Auto-focus camera
  • Fixed focus camera
  • High-resolution
  • Ability to read the text out loud
  • Easy to use tactile buttons and turn dials 
What features do the Video Magnifiers Offer?
Types of Video Magnifiers

Types of Video Magnifiers

There is a wide range of CCTVs available, made by various companies. There are different types of Video Magnifiers, some are portable and others are stationary, as explained below.


Types of Video Magnifiers

Handheld CCTV Magnifiers

Handheld magnifiers are great for those who need vision assistance while on the move, whether it’s for activities around the house like reading recipes, playing cards, or looking at a computer screen. These smaller magnifiers tend to be somewhat cheaper than large desktop models. However, being handheld devices, you need steady and available hands to hold them and they need to be charged.

Stand Video Magnifiers

Some Video Magnifiers come with stands and there are different kinds available. Some CCTVs come with four legs so that it can be placed on a book without having to be held. There are other magnifiers that have a handle, but they don’t always need to be held as they can be placed on a page in order to support itself. When the CCTV has a stand, the stand is already set to be at the perfect working distance from the text which means that when you use it, you don’t have to adjust it. A Stand Video Magnifier is ideal for a person who does not have the stability of holding an object in a steady fashion due to limited motor skills which could be a result of a wide range of conditions, including Parkinsons.

What features do the Video Magnifiers Offer?
Types of Video Magnifiers

Desktop CCTV Magnifier

Desktop CCTV magnifiers have several advantages over portable magnifiers, for people who need them for reading and other tasks while at home. In addition to being hands-free and not requiring charging, they are more powerful and also larger. This means that they can also magnify more text at a time. They are also adjustable so that you can properly position the device over the text or other objects you need magnified. 

Dr. Zurcher cartoon


CCTV magnifiers are a very effective tool that can enable low vision patients to regain their independence and accomplish the tasks that have become a struggle. If you are experiencing low vision and you want to find out more about Video Magnifiers, please contact American Family Vision Clinic at (360) 491-2121 to schedule an appointment for a consultation, or click here Book an Appointment . Patients with low vision visit our clinic from all over Washington, and we are proud to be a leading provider of low vision services for patients from Olympia, Lakewood, Tacoma, and Lacey.


Such a nice optician. My grandson is only 4 and needs glasses. We were so sad, but he explained the issues, and we will follow up as he suggested.

Anna P.

I had such a good experience with the clinic. Very friendly staff and doctor, did not have to wait for long to be called, and was treated respectfully. Thanks, American Family.

June S.

Dr. Zurcher has gone above and beyond what any other eye doctor has ever done to figure out what is going on with my eyes. Very happy with American Family Vision.

Christine R.

Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.

Lars Wulff

Very professional, yet kind and helpful. They do what they can to make the appointment comfortable. I was running a bit late, I made sure ti call. They were able to switch me with a patient who was already there, they treated me with respect, and helped my son have confidence by getting him the eye care he needed that day. Thank you so much! Would recommend to anyone. It's a blessing that they care enough to work with people who have all different types of insurance from work to state coverage.

Justin E.

The staff is friendly. The Doc is very knowledgeable. The office is family friendly and everyone is so patient with the little ones.

Amy Fagerness
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