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Advances in Teleprompting Technology: Increased Portability, Greater Compatibility

Productions want prompters that can run on lower-cost platforms like tablets, yet can stand up to use in bright sunlight.

Judging by the products teleprompters manufacturers have recently introduced, productions want prompters that can run on lower-cost platforms like tablets, yet can stand up to use in bright sunlight.

Designed for the Larger iPad

Autocue has updated its line of prompting solutions designed for Apple’s iPad Pro. The company, a Vitec Videocom brand, is pitching its existing Starter Series iPad Teleprompter for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, while the latest update to the Starter Series is being targeted to users of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Both come with camera hood mounts and angled glass that allow either unit to reflect its text directly in front of the camera lens, allowing talent to read while looking into the camera.

The larger size of the 12.9-inch iPad model introduced earlier this year makes it more versatile for broadcast operations, according to Robin Brown, product manager for Autocue/Autoscript. “For the talent to use [the 9.7-inch iPad Pro] as a prompter, the equipment has to be 6 feet or closer,” he says. “When you use the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, its larger screen allows the camera to be as far as 15 feet away from the talent, while the text remains readable. This makes the 12.9-inch version practical for most production studios.”

Text speed and direction can be controlled on the 12.9-inch model of Autocue’s Starter Series iPad Teleprompter by an iPad/iTouch device, or by an optional wired remote.

Ikan’s PT-Elite-V2-RC iPad teleprompter

Autocue has adopted NewTek’s Network Device Interface (NDI), an open standard for IP-based production workflows, in its QStart teleprompter software. “With NDI enabled, Autocue’s QStart is recognized as a source by other NDI-enabled devices and systems connected to a standard Ethernet local area network,” says Brown. “This exponentially increases the number of video sources available for live production without the need for a physical input or output.”

Performance Across Multiple Platforms

The latest version of Ikan’s iPad teleprompter, the PT-Elite-V2-RC, supports tablets that range from 5 x 7.5 inches to 8 x 10.5 inches, including Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy tablets, Microsoft Surface and Amazon Kindle Fire. This universal tablet teleprompter has been designed to be lighter, faster and easier to use.

“I’m very excited about our latest tablet teleprompter line,” says Dariel Resendez, Ikan product manager. “We’ve incorporated all the feedback from our popular PT Elite such as foldable glass frames, universal tablet adapters and a quick-release baseplate into these new products.”

In the Newsroom

Autoscript’s WinPlus NX Ultra Newsroom Prompting Software System

Autoscript, also a Vitec Videocom company, has created an “original automated newsroom workflow” in partnership with Sony. The system merges Autoscript’s WinPlus teleprompting software and Sony’s ELC (Enhanced Live Control) system. ELC is a live production system that manages all newscast functions—cameras, graphics, playout servers and other sources—from a single operator position. With the integration of Autoscript’s WinPlus Newsroom Prompting software, ELC is able to add control of the script and the prompter rundown to that list.

“Putting WinPlus teleprompting together with Sony’s ELC makes it possible for one person to live-produce a newscast that is professional, polished and flexible,” says Brown.

Ribbon-Style Menu

CueScript’s CueiT prompting software

CueScript recently debuted two products: the CueiT line of prompting software for video producers and broadcasters, and the CSF10 prompter system, designed for use with jibs, cranes and mobile broadcast applications.

CueiT software employs a “ribbon-style menu,” so that the system’s on-screen features are viewable at all times without blocking the script and run order. It uses commands and features that can be accessed from multiple sources during live broadcasts, and markers to let the prompting operator set up his own “sub-run order and pinpoint positions,” allowing him to move through the script in ways that make sense to him. CueiT comes with multi-language and full bi-directional ability within a script, and is available in CueiT Premier for the entry-level market, CueiT Production and CueiT News.

CueScript’s CSP10S prompter system

The CSF10 prompting system can be used with a collapsible hood and prompter glass or as a straight reading system without additional hardware. It features a screen with 2,000 nit brightness that is easy to read even in bright daylight. The system features intelligent cue lights that are automatically switched to either direction by a built-in motion sensor (accelerometer).

Defeating the Glare

Field teleprompters are becoming increasingly popular with TV station managers who want their reporters to be as poised speaking to camera in the middle of nowhere as they are in the studio. The only downside is that field prompters have to stand up against the glare of the sun, which can wash out the prompter’s reflective glass and leave the talent ad-libbing.

Mirror Image’s LC-160 teleprompter

Mirror Image Teleprompters has addressed this problem with the release of LC-120 (12-inch LCD) and LC-170 (17-inch LCD) field prompters. Both portable units feature 1,000 nits of screen brightness, allowing them to blaze their text through the sun’s glare, and both can accept composite, HDMI, SDI and VGA inputs.

“We have had several customers who purchased an iPad teleprompter with the intent of using it in the field, only to find that the sun washes out the tablet’s screen,” says Mike Burdick, sales manager for Mirror Image. “We have been relaying this observation to all new iPad teleprompter customers as well, just in case they planned to use the prompter in the same way.”

Burdick notes that Mirror Image has updated its product line to accept both HDMI and SDI signals, which “are being utilized so much more in the industry. In changing our LCD monitors to accept these inputs, we also made them easily three times as bright as they were before.”