DTB Hardware Reading Systems

Last updated: February 27, 2014


The table below describes whether a DTB hardware reading system…

  • conveys image descriptions through assistive technology (such as a screen reader) or some other TTS method;
  • provides support for Scalable Vector Graphics (SVGs) and MathML, and descriptions of SVGs and MathML.

Unless stated otherwise, all of the reading systems below support the display of images. A field containing a dash does not necessarily indicate that a feature is unsupported, but that more research is required to make a determination.

For more information about metadata and image descriptions, read DIAGRAM’s Potential Use of Image Description Metadata for Accessibility and the follow-up addendum, Alternatives, Content Model, New Tools, Dependencies and Updates. Also, read the results of the 2012 DIAGRAM Reading Technology Survey to learn how people who are blind and visually impaired obtain and access reading material.

Name Cost DTB sources Visual display Display images Convey short image descriptions Convey long image descriptions Display or read MathML Display or describe SVG Misc.
Book Port Plus $ DAISY 2.02, 3; NLS, Learning Ally, Bookshare No No No
  • Comments based on documentation only
  • Can turn a recording into a DTB.
Booksense $ NLS, Learning Ally, Bookshare No No No No No No
Olympus DM-4 $ DAISY 2.0 and 2.02 Yes
  • Comments based on documentation only.
  • Plays only DAISY audio.
  • Has 2.2″ color display.
  • Records and plays mp3, wma, wav; also plays audible.com.
HumanWare ClassMate Reader $ DAISY 2.02; DAISY 3; NIMAS; Bookshare; others No
  • Comments based on documentation only
  • Has TTS and text highlighting.
  • Has color display; can configure display (text size, color, spacing, etc.).
Intel Reader $ DAISY 2.02, 3, ; Learning Ally Yes No No No No No
  • Has 4.3″ color display; takes pictures of printed text; will convert to audio and read.
  • Does not recognize images in print source material.
  • Can toggle between picture of print source (i.e., text/images) or OCR-converted text.
  • Has fully configurable voice navigation.
  • Can configure display (text size, color, etc.).
  • Will not display in-line images in DAISY books.
Milestone 312 $ DAISY 2.02; NLS; others No No No No No No
Plextalk PTN2 $ DAISY 2.02, 3; NLS; Learning Ally; BARD No No Yes, via alt No No No
  • Reads alt in HTML but does not identify the image.
  • Does not read alt in DTB.
Plextalk Pocket PTP1 $ DAISY 2.02, 3; NLS; Learning Ally; Bookshare No No Yes, via alt No No No
  • Has voice recorder; records to DAISY 2.02.
  • Reads alt in HTML but does not identify the image
  • Does not read alt in DTB
Plextalk PTR2 $ NLS, Learning Ally No No No No No No
  • Plays 2.0 and 2.02 DAISY audio books
  • Comes with PRS software to produce type 1 and type 2 DAISY 2.02 books
  • Also plays mp3, wav, ogg audio files
Victor Reader Classic X $ DAISY 1.x, 2.x, 3; No No No No No No
Victor Reader Stratus12 M $ DAISY 2.0, 2.02, 3; MP3 No
  • Plays books and audio on CDs, SD cards or USB drives
Victor Reader Stream (New Generation) $ DAISY 2.0, 2.02, 3; MP4; others No No Yes, via alt Yes, via prodnote No No

Ideas that work.The DIAGRAM Center is a Benetech initiative supported by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (Cooperative Agreement #H327B100001). Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the position of the U.S. Department of Education.


  Copyright 2019 I Benetech

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?