GWKB1073 : Understanding Window-Eyes Video Support

Product: Window-Eyes
Author: Jeremy Curry
Date Added: 05/07/2007
Last Modified: 05/30/2007

To enable Window-Eyes to read information from the screen, Window-Eyes video support must be installed.

Understanding Video Support in Adaptive Software

Whether you are installing Window-Eyes or any other type of adaptive software that either reads or magnifies the screen, video support must always be installed. Without this video support installed, it is impossible for the screen reader or magnifier to read or magnify the screen.

The video support intercepts communications between the operating system (OS) and the display driver. While the system's display adapter and display driver are still responsible for the information displayed on the screen, Window-Eyes video support intercepts pertinent information between the display driver and the OS. From the information gathered, Window-Eyes video support is able to translate the information into understandable speech.

How Does Window-Eyes Video Support Affect Your Computer?

With this information in mind, many questions may arise from IT professionals, such as, "Will this affect my display?" or "Will my system be affected negatively?" The answer to both of these questions is "no." Video support is installed using an executable file called wevideo61.exe. After the successful installation, you will see no differences in the way the screen visually appears. At any time, Window-Eyes Video Support can be uninstalled using the standard Add/Remove Programs (Programs and Features in Vista) Control Panel included with all Windows platforms. When Window-Eyes is launched on a system, it communicates with Window-Eyes video support to deliver speech to the user. When Window-Eyes is not running on a system, Window-Eyes video support simply passes on all information from the display driver to the OS. Since no information is required to be intercepted by video support, a sighted user will see no adverse affects to their system, assuming the latest video drivers have been installed, and the system is free of any errors inside the video chain (see Driver Chain Information later in this document). Software that does not conform to Microsoft accessibility standards, such as DCM or Mirror technology, may cause issues. If this type of software is installed, it should be removed before installing any type of adaptive software.

How Does Window-Eyes Video Support Interact With Windows?

Window-Eyes video support conforms to all Microsoft standards. In fact, GW Micro spear-headed the initial movement to create these standards, so that all adaptive software could live happily together on the same computer system.

Windows 2000/2003/XP (all 32-bit versions)

While using any of these operating systems, Window-Eyes video support conforms to the Microsoft standard: Driver Chain Manager (DCM). For a detailed explanation of DCM, please visit www.gwmicro.com/kb1016. The essential function of DCM is to reduce the number of conflicts or errors that can occur with multiple adaptive products installed on one computer. The DCM standard was formed to resolve compatibility issues between various AT products. Window-Eyes video support is 100% Microsoft DCM compliant, and exhibits no negative effects in these operating systems.

Windows Vista (all 32-bit versions)

In Windows Vista, Microsoft created a much more robust version of Mirror driver technology, which replaces DCM. Prior to Vista, Mirror drivers did not have the required functionality to facilitate the needs of adaptive software. While DCM required display adapters to communicate in a chain (series), each driver passed on the information down the line to the next driver. In Vista, Mirror technology allows each driver to communicate with one another at the same time. Yet another advantage of Mirror drivers is that they are only loaded as needed, which can help improve system performance. Window-Eyes video support is 100% Microsoft Mirror driver compliant, and exhibits no negative effects in these operating systems.

Window-Eyes video support Installation

Regardless of which supported Windows operating system you use, Window-Eyes video support can be installed quickly and easily. Simply insert your Window-Eyes CD into the CD-ROM drive on the computer to which you want to install the driver. Then, do the following:
  1. First, make sure that you have administrative rights to the computer. If not, contact your network administrator for assistance.
  2. Assuming you have auto-run enabled, the Window-Eyes installation dialog will appear.
  3. Press A to activate the Advanced Options button.
  4. Press V to activate the Install Video Support button
  5. Follow the prompts
If you prefer to install Window-Eyes video support manually, do the following after inserting the CD in the CD-ROM (assuming that you have administrative rights):
  1. Press Windows Key-R to open the Run dialog.
  2. Type "d:\wevideo\wevideo61.exe." If d is not the letter of the drive where your Window-Eyes CD-ROM is inserted, substitute the appropriate drive letter.
  3. Press Enter.
  4. Follow the prompts.
Wevideo61.exe can be downloaded from www.gwmicro.com/support. It is also possible to copy the wevideo61.exe file to any type of portable media, such as a USB flash drive, CF card, SD card, etc. You can then install the file directly off of the media of your choosing. Installing the file via portable media can allow for quick installation on multiple systems. If Window-Eyes has been installed on the drive, it is also possible to run a mobile copy of Window-Eyes from the portable media. For more information on using Window-Eyes mobile, and for more information on how to install Window-Eyes video support, read www.gwmicro.com/kb1067.

Window-Eyes Mobile and Windows Vista Caveats

When running Window-Eyes from a removable drive under Windows Vista, with User Account Control enabled, there are a couple of restrictions due to the Windows Vista security model:

  1. If you need access to high integrity applications (such as regedit), you will need to run your mobile copy of Window-Eyes as administrator. Otherwise, much of the text in the application will not be accessible.
  2. You may encounter some secure areas of the operating system that do not speak, such as the text that appears when selecting the details button in a UAC dialog.
Once again, these issues only arise when running Window-Eyes from a removable drive, and are due to security restrictions in Windows Vista.

Conclusion

Window-Eyes video support conforms to the specific Microsoft standards to help eliminate any conflicts with other installed applications on the system. The driver is perfectly safe to install, and the user will see no adverse effects to their system. Installing Window-Eyes video support will enable a system to support Window-Eyes, thus making the system more accessible to blind consumers. For more information, or for technical assistance, please contact the GW Micro technical support staff at (260) 489-3671, or via email at support@gwmicro.com.