Saturday, February 11, 2012

Getting Close Enough

We have a problem that needs solving here. In order to get close enough to the screen to see it and enjoy it, Abi's head is blocking the picture for everyone else. Sometimes we banish Abi to the couch, which means she is reduced to only listening to the soundtrack; sometimes everyone crowds around the screen, which results in frustration and pushing one another out of the way.

Because her field of vision is so small, the kind of screen Abi can see best is an iPhone-sized screen held inches from her face. I can play Netflix movies on that device for her, but not the same movie as the other kids are watching as it won't let me play the same show on two devices.

The best solution I can think of is setting up a dual-screen monitor with a small screen that she can hold, and a long enough cable that she can sit on the couch with us. If we can somehow manage to get her own tiny, duplicate screen, we could all enjoy a show together. We're still brainstorming how to make it work.

7 comments:

  1. No experience with this product, but I wonder if it might fit the bill: http://www.mimomonitors.com/products/mimo-710-s

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    1. That looks like a very workable possibility, Miranda. Thanks!

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  2. What kind of outputs does your laptop have? That might help us form a solution. Does it have a composite output for instance (RCA TV-type)? S-Video? HDMI? VGA?, etc... Also, what other devices do you have? iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad, other.... ?

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    1. Jason, I think it is just a 15-pin VGA output. I keep meaning to have Matt look but life is just so busy! We have an iPod Touch but we'll probably need to buy something, since the 7" screen with the RCA inputs is already being used in the car, and the iPod is used for a lot of other stuff.

      I saw that you can get a VGA -> RCA converter for about $8 on Amazon, so another little screen like we have in the car is a possibility too. But a 7" screen is still a little big. Also, the micropixels

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    2. (oops) ...in the iPod Touch screen make the image much clearer when you hold it close than a standard screen. So I was wondering if there is a way to use that.

      Possibly two Netflix accounts...

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    3. Something like this might work: http://www.lightinthebox.com/Small-Portable-7inch-On-Camera-Field-HD-Monitor-with-VGA-and-Composite-AV-input_p194613.html
      and if you (or Matt) are into DIY:
      http://www.aeicomp.com/LCD_Modules.asp?MANUFACTURER=LCD%20Modules&CATEGORY=LCD%20Monitors

      Also, you may be able to get an app to stream your video signal to your iPod Touch. I've played with them (on an iPad), although video could be a bit choppy. Certainly worth testing though before shelling out dough on something else.

      Does she have to hold it close because of myopia? I understand she has a very small/narrow field of vision. But if she's not myopic, a 7" screen fills the same field of vision as a smaller one if held just a bit farther away (it's all about the angles).

      I'll keep thinking on this.

      One thing to test first though is to hook up a vga monitor (if that's in fact what output you have on the laptop) and make sure you can mirror Netflix. Sometimes when using video acceleration (or playing video with DRM) you can't get video on two displays at once, even with mirroring.

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    4. Odd that it got my name in my first post, and then suddenly I'm "Unknown".. heh... -Jason

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