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What a Teleprompter Does

A teleprompter , sometimes called an autocue or a prompter Autocue is a device that allows a speaker to read out a script while maintaining an eye contact with his audience. Since the presenter does not have to glance down to read notes on paper the speaker appears to be able to recall the words, or to be speaking naturally.

Teleprompters are typically utilized in two situations – by TV presenters who wish to stare straight into the camera while they read the script as well as by presidents, politicians , and public speakers who wish to keep a the natural gaze contact with audiences, rather than glancing down to their notepads. In the last few years the usage of teleprompters has expanded to include any scripted production such as powerpoint and video bloggers and performers on stage in order to make sure they keep track of their lines.

The basic principles of a teleprompter are the same since they were first developed by a patent and later licensed by two businessmen in the early 1950s: Autocue within the UK and QTV in the US frequently called the first Prompter People. The principle behind it of a teleprompter is to have the script displayed on a display that is positioned under a piece of reflective glass, also known as beamsplitter. The glass is translucent in one direction, which allows the camera to shoot straight across the back, or appear to be invisible to the viewer, but reflective on the otherside, to let the person reading the script be able to see reflections of the text. The image needs to be reversed on the monitor to ensure that, when it is reflected by the glass that it’s to be the correct way for viewers to see.

Before the advent of computers, scripts were handwritten or typed on sheets of paper. This paper would then be read through a teleprompter operator in an extremely small CCTV type camera, which sent the images of the script to the teleprompter’s monitor. Teleprompter monitors, as TV monitors of the past, were large and bulky.

The script is uploaded electronically the computer that runs special teleprompter software , such as Autocue’s QMaster/QBox QPro or QStart programs. The computer then creates an output video of the script, and then sends it over the composite format, SDI as well as VGA to the teleprompter’s monitor. For more advanced devices, the PC transmits the script via IP to a different scrolling device known as the QBox which creates the video output for the display. This means you can transmit and control the script from a computer located in New York, over the internet and to a teleprompter found in Tokyo!

It is the speed of speech and its direction that are or is operated by a teleprompter crew or the presenter. The operator listens carefully to the presenter in order to ensure that they are speaking the same pace the presenter speaks instead of forcing on the person speaking to follow a specific speed. The presenter can also scroll on their own using the use of a hand-held remote or foot pedal.

The majority of teleprompters in TV studios will display the same script. All presenters will see the same information on each camera. But, now there’s the possibility for each presenter’s teleprompter to be controlled by their own teleprompter independently and scroll through a different part of the script, while another presenter is on air.

In recent times, due to the introduction of the iPad and other tablets, iPad teleprompters have become very popular as inexpensive portable prompters. The script is downloaded or typed in to a teleprompting application on the iPad such as iAutocue The iPad is then placed under the glass teleprompter in lieu of the display. Since the script already appears displayed on the teleprompter screen and is therefore not required for a separate computer or laptop with the teleprompting software, and all of it is inside the iPad itself. If you are shooting on location or simply simple parts to camera, this significantly simplifies the use and cost of the equipment. This makes it very convenient and cost-effective for students and video bloggers.