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Choosing a teleprompter


How do I choose a teleprompter?

There are a number of key questions you need to think about when purchasing a teleprompter, regardless of your preferred manufacturer, budget, existing equipment or prompting requirements. At Autocue, we have been leading the design of teleprompters and advising our customers since the 1950’s – so if you are still unsure about what you want or need after reading this, please call one of sales team who will be happy to advise you, and explain very clearly why Autocue can offer you the best available solution and price, regardless of your requirements and budget.

What reading range do you require?

The first thing you should consider is the distance of your presenter from the teleprompter to help determine what size teleprompter you will need e.g. 17” monitor = up to 6m, 10” = up to 4m etc etc. At Autocue, we provide you with the widest range of monitor sizes on the market, so that you can find a teleprompter that is just right for your requirements. However, please note that whatever size and manufacturer you select, you need to check that the unit will be compatible with your camera, lens and tripod.

Will your desired size of teleprompter work with your camera, lens and tripod combination?

The main question around compatibility of equipment is one of weight – does your tripod head have sufficient payload capacity for the weight of your camera and lens, and the selected teleprompter? There are many first time buyers who work with small cameras and tripod heads and don’t have anything appropriate for the weight of a teleprompter. For this reason, we added our own range of cost-effective tripods, that are specified to give you sufficient payload capacity for each of our units.

The second question is around whether you can position your camera and lens in the back of the teleprompter glass/ hood so that the eye line of the presenter is looking directly in to the camera. This will depend on the specific camera and lens you are using, and also the flexibility of the mounting system in your chosen teleprompter. Generally speaking, your camera, lens, tripod and teleprompter should all be of a similar proportion to work well together.

As experts in teleprompting, we design our teleprompters to cater for the widest possible range of camera/lens combinations. Our Starter teleprompters, have camera mounting plates that can move your camera/lens towards and away from the teleprompter hood, to cater for different lengths of camera/lens. These mounting plates can also be raised upwards in case you need extra vertical height to centre you lens on the glass. And finally, we give you the ability to change the height of the teleprompter hood, so that it fits perfectly on the camera lens.

For the most flexible camera mounting systems and advanced Broadcast cameras/lenses, we would strongly recommend you look at our Master and Professional teleprompters which are the most flexible teleprompter mounting systems on the market. Due to the increased flexibility in the mounting system, all camera and lens types can remain flush against the tripod head whilst still remaining centred on the glass i.e if you are doing lots of pan and tilt work, the weight of the camera remains as close as possible to the tripod head, avoiding an pendulum effect and reducing control of your pan/ tilt.

If you are unsure whether your camera/lens/ tripod will be appropriate for your choice of teleprompter, simply call our expert sales team today who will be happy to help.

Do you need to be able to read your teleprompter outdoors/ in bright lighting conditions?

Our Starter teleprompters are appropriate for most studio lighting and indoor conditions. If you need to use your teleprompter outside in bright sunlight, you will require sufficient brightness in your teleprompter monitor in order to be able to read it (we recommend greater than 1000 nits). In order to get this level of brightness, you will need to purchase one of our Master teleprompters.

What software and scripting requirements do you have?

For most teleprompter applications, there is a simple script that is prepared in advance, with a single presenter and the script simply needs to scroll from start to finish at a speed that is adjusted to keep pace with the presenter. Our Starter software provides this functionality and more e.g. dual-screen functionality to reverse the script for the teleprompter monitor and simultaneously show it the right way up for the operator on the computer, the ability to import word documents, the ability to insert markers, and the ability to change the font/ size/ colour/ format of the script text. It will also run on PC and Mac (which isn’t offered by many other manufacturers) and is included free with any Starter teleprompter – either from the full range or the Lite range (many other manufacturers will charge extra for the full software with their “Lite” range equivalent).

If you require any more advanced functionality such as runorder management (for long scripts with different sections that you want to navigate to and edit quickly and easily), live edits (to make last minute script changes whilst in prompt mode), or newsroom interfaces (to integrate to an electronic newsroom system, such as Autocue’s, to get live updates from the newsroom system through to the teleprompter), then you will need to consider our Master and Professional software and hardware ranges. Again, at Autocue, we are unique in being able to offer you the best solution, whatever the requirement or budget.

What control options do you need?

Will the speed of the script be controlled by a separate operator or the presenter themselves? We have the widest range of controller options, including wired and wireless, hand and foot controls to cover whatever you need.

Asking yourself these key questions, will give you a very good idea of what product you need, however, if you are still unsure at any stage, simply call one of our sales team. We have the widest range and knowledge of teleprompters in the world, with over 100,000 users of our systems worldwide – give us a call and we’ll give you a product and price that is guaranteed to exceed your expectations and beat anything else in the market.