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Topaz Portable CCTVs: FAQ

What is a Topaz PHD Portable CCTV?

The Topaz PHD (the PHD stands for Portable High Definition) is an intuitive and fully-featured video magnifier that folds like a laptop or netbook, provides brilliant image quality in a compact and portable design! Visually impaired users can discover the freedom of independently reading and viewing the details that matter...
in the home, office, classroom, or on the go.Topaz PhD Portable Video Magnifier





Watch a short video on the benefits of the very portable Topaz PHD created by Freedom Scientific. You can watch Brent Frueauf, sales rep from Freedom Scientific, demonstrate the Topaz PHD at INDATA Project, Easter Seals Crossroads location in Indiana. Both videos are Closed Captioned (CC).

Where are the Topaz Phds located? Availability?

You can find out where the Topaz PHDs are located and their availability by going to Check Availability Here

What is the procedure for checking out the Topaz PHD?

Check the Guidelines page on the home page of this Lib Guide.

What if I need a CCTV, but don't want to checkout the Topaz PHD?

Most HCC Libraries have a Desktop Video Magnifier in the library area. Ask your friendly library staff where the CCTV is located.

Note: These Desktop Video Magnifiers are NOT for checkout. They are to be used in the library areas.

Desktop Video Magnifier


Topaz PHD Specifications

12-in monitor: 1.7x to 24x 13.5 in / 12.5 in / 2.4 in 8.4 lbs / 3.8 kg w/o battery
34.3 cm / 31.7 cm / 6.1 cm 9.4 lbs / 4.3 kg w/battery


  • True full color
  • High-contrast full color
  • Black on white
  • Yellow on blue
  • White on black
  • Yellow on black


  • Lithium-ion battery pack, lasts up to 4 hrs before needing to be recharged
  • Input voltage 100-240V AC
  • Frequency 50-60 Hz
  • Single wall plug

14 MP Sensor

9.75 in / 24.8 cm


  • PC connectivity
  • Self-view camera
  • SD card slot
  • Carrying case

How long does the battery last?

The Li-ion battery will last for up to 4 hrs without needing a charge. Your checkout will include the power cord/plug that allows you to recharge the Li-ion battery so you'll be ready to go! It takes approximately 3.5 hours to fully charge. The unit automatically powers on when you open it and move the monitor from its closed position. The unit powers off when you collapse and close it.

Battery Status
The POWER button is a multi-color LED (green/red) that indicates battery status when an optional battery is installed in the unit. The button is located next to the power jack on the left side of the unit.

  • Green – Solid: Battery charged – power adapter connected.
  • Green – Flashing: Battery charging – power adapter connected.
  • Red – Flashing: Battery low – less than 10 percent remaining.
  • Red – Solid: Error – if a power adapter is connected, unplug it, wait a few
  • seconds, and plug it in again. If this condition persists, change the battery
  • or contact Technical Support.
  • No LED: Battery charge ok, power adapter not connected; or unit is off.

Note: To save battery life, the unit powers off automatically if it is idle for 30 minutes. If the unit is connected to AC power, it will continue to run and not power off after 30 minutes.

What do I do if the battery isn't holding a charge?

Return the unit to the closest HCC Library for tech support. If another unit is readily available, you will be able to check out another unit if you meet the requirements.

What's in the Case?

When you checkout a Topaz PHD, these items are included:

  • Topaz PHD portable video magnifier with 12-inch flat-panel monitor with Li-on battery
  • Power adaptor and cord
  • User documentation
  • Carrying case

What is included in your checkout

Does it come with an SD Card?

No. HCC does not provide SD Cards. You will need to purchase your own SD Card to utilize that feature on the Topaz PHD. Make sure that you keep your SD Card in a safe place, and take it out of the case/unit when returning the unit to the library.

Does the Topaz PHD require software to use?

No. To use the Topaz PHD, there is no software involved. It is a stand-alone unit; however, there is a USB port for connectivity to computer using GEM® software installed on your personal computer or laptop.

Note 1: HCC does not provide the GEM® software, nor does HCC install software on personal computers.

Note 2: HCC does not provide the USB cable to connect the Topaz PHD to your personal computer.

Note 3: For more information regarding the GEM® software, and installation guides, and system requirements, please visit Freedom Scientific.

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