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AV and Multimedia Related Thread, Visualisers in Technical; So, I have been tasked with buying some visualisers to go with our existing interactive whiteboard setups. It would seem ...
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    Nexarius's Avatar
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    Visualisers

    So, I have been tasked with buying some visualisers to go with our existing interactive whiteboard setups. It would seem they are "The New Shiny Thing(tm)".

    I've seen a lot about the AverMedia range and very little about anything else. Searching this forum reveals not a lot in the last few months.

    Does anybody have any advice as to what to get? I am looking at spending as little money as possible and therefore only really interested in the lower end.

    Thanks!

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    mb2k01's Avatar
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    It might be worth going back to whoever asked and asking what requirements they have (e.g. is it the Science Dept who would want the possibility of high optical zoom and/or microscope adapters, maybe video recording etc.... or is it just the Geography teacher wanting to show maps?)

    Some of the cheaper ones with digital zoom will definitely do for simple low-end use, but anything higher might require a bit more investment.
    Promeathean do a reasonable range which might be worth a look.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nexarius View Post
    I am looking at spending as little money as possible and therefore only really interested in the lower end.
    The TTS Easi-View:

    TTS: Easi-View

    You could also search Google for "gooseneck webcam" to get an idea of what's available for around £20.

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    Nexarius's Avatar
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    To clarify, it's for a primary school. I'm not sure they know what they want them for, but more that they should probably get some because they're The Shiny New Thing and other people said we should.

    The Easi-View looks impressive, do you have experience of using them?

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    CPLTD's Avatar
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    AverVision produce superb quality visualisers, the V355AF packs a 5M Pixels...packs a huge wallop in the budget too, so for a primary environment I'd definitely take dhicks suggestion.Looks as if you can buy direct from TTS too

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    SYSMAN_MK's Avatar
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    If you go for a proper visualiser the AverVision CP155 hits the best features / price point sweet spot. Main ones being remote + auto focus.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nexarius View Post
    The Easi-View looks impressive, do you have experience of using them?
    I had a quick go with one on TTS' stand at BETT this year. It's pretty much what you'd expect from a webcam-ona-stick, although nicely finished off and packaged. I still can't help thinking that the average teacher would get more use from a point-and-shoot camera, webcam, or even a camcorder for less than you pay for the average visualiser, but the TTS ones seem pretty good value.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Go as cheap as you can. It REALLY gets on my goat to see, as described above, £5 webcams on a stick being sold for between £80 and £800. One school, after I'd told them this actually went as far as buying an Asda Value webcam for £3, an Asda Value Lamp for £4 and making themselves a DIY visualiser, which is every bit as good as the purpose made items for well under a tenner. Absolutely no reason to spend 3 figures and I still wince at the 80 quid ones (the TTS EasiViews f.ex)

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    eean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    The TTS Easi-View:

    TTS: Easi-View
    We tried these. Like everything from TTS it costs 80quid and like everything from TTS you wish they had just spent 20 pounds more and made it good!
    It's crap. Difficult to position (very difficult to get it straight), screen resolution is poor. Our basic test was "Can it display a page of A4 with size 12 font on screen". And it can't, really.

    We also did a direct comparison with the Promethean (Avervision?) goosneck visualiser and were disappointed to find that it wasn't much better and 4x the price.

    In the end we forked out and went for Elmo visualisers. Proper multi-directional arm makes it very easy to position. Proper 5x optical autofocus zoom and, proper expensive! (400 quid). Very easy to use and staff are using them.

    You might have some luck going down the 'HD' webcam route (e.g.) and trying to botch something up. I felt the Gooseneck on the TTS and AverVision was partly what let it down. You need a proper arm - like a desk lamps (that would get round the lighting problem too). Even then, you've still got to get some software.

    I too don't see why they are so expensive - it's not a webcam on a stick but it is a sub $150 digital camera, on a stick. It's a shame that most digital cameras can't feed live images to the computer any more.

  10. 4 Thanks to eean:

    AngryTechnician (15th June 2010), dhicks (15th June 2010), john (15th June 2010), Nexarius (16th June 2010)

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    Interesting to see that some see the visulaiser as a web cam?

    A visualiser will do soooo much more that a webcam and now they are wireless they be used in so many more ways.

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    3s-gtech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SYSMAN_MK View Post
    If you go for a proper visualiser the AverVision CP155 hits the best features / price point sweet spot. Main ones being remote + auto focus.
    Echo this. We have a couple in regular use, Science and Dyslexia Support. The ability to link up with USB, record an action on the PC, take snapshots, and use it as a document camera all make them superb. Anything they do can be done with other equipment, but rarely as well. The zoom function is immense too.

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    jamesfed's Avatar
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    Sorry but as others have said they are just webcams on sticks - my geog dept at my last school got a cheap Microsoft Lifecam and got DT to make a simple stand for it and worked the treat.
    Personaly they are one of those things which just chews through the IT/department budgets that could be used so much better.

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    SYSMAN_MK's Avatar
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    Remember, visualisers can be used as standalone units without the need of a laptop.

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    witch's Avatar
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    I saw the avervision ones at an exhibition and I was very impressed - they are definitely much more than just a webcam

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    Having looked at the market a while back and tested a few, the school went against my recommendations and got TTS ones as they were cheapest...not best practice...avervision are good quality, but the best to get are elmo visualisers....but all depends on budget and what they'll be used for.

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