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Teleprompter Shopping

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DavidWaxmanKRCB
Teleprompter Shopping
on Nov 2, 2007 at 8:44:27 pm


Hi,

Has anyone here been in the market for a teleprompter recently?

There are plenty of options out there, but I was wondering if someone had a recommendation for a vendor or specific product.

Ideally, we're looking for something on the low end of the market, to be primarily used in a studio environment. The flexibility to use on small pro DV cameras on location (portability, etc.) is a plus.

Thanks!

David.



David Levitt Waxman
Producer, KRCB Public Television


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Todd at Fantastic Plastic
Re: Teleprompter Shopping
on Nov 3, 2007 at 7:33:47 pm

We use the smallest unit from prompterpeople.com.

It is relatively well made, works good, and is quite inexpensive.

We did however end up making four different custom aluminum "sleds" for it so we could instantly swap it out with four different cameras... so we weren't constantly reconfiguring the rig to fit on different-sized cams.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Mark Suszko
Re: Teleprompter Shopping
on Nov 5, 2007 at 8:55:51 pm

Todd and I went around and around about this in another forum recently, but I'll just say that I adore the software from DRS-Digitrax for prompting. Todd did not like his, but I got a CRT-based head from Stewart Instruments that I like very much, and it was very inexpensive. I looked at it again recently and I think I could convert it to an LCD model myself with little effort and an aftermarket screen from TigerDirect, but I kind of like it the way it is right now.


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DavidWaxmanKRCB
Re: Teleprompter Shopping
on Nov 6, 2007 at 12:24:48 am

Thanks, Todd and Mark.

Those are two of the three products I found in our "price range."

The third was: http://www.bodelin.com/proprompter/lcd.html which seems like a bad idea for the poor camcorder lens (if I understood the concept correctly).

I like the PrompterPeople "Broadcast 15" with the acrylic reflector option, the hard case option, and the appropriate riser for the PDX10.
http://www.prompterpeople.com/b15config.htm
The two cameras (for now, at least) that it would be used with is a stationary studio camera (primarily) and a little PDX10, but it would also need to be stored someplace safe when not in use.

Todd, was this the version you use (smallest broadcast), or was it the smallest DV-sized model? If you have the DV model, do you find its size to be adequate (letters sizable so they can be read, but not so large that words take up entire lines)?

And I guess the question is, what I am missing that would come with a prompter that is sold for 2x - 3x the price?


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Todd at Fantastic Plastic
Re: Teleprompter Shopping
on Nov 6, 2007 at 2:20:30 pm

[DavidWaxmanKRCB] "Todd, was this the version you use (smallest broadcast), or was it the smallest DV-sized model?"

Hi David...

The one we use I believe is their very smallest one... their designs have changed just a little bit since we bought ours. Ours has a 16x9 ratio LCD screen that is about 7" diagonal.

Yes, that is pretty small, but still quite readable. We usually use Arial Black font, bold, at 72 and get a readable image. We used it yesterday outdoors and talent was about 8' from it, I think, and he was able to read it fine. It's NOT a big studio-sized prompter by any means... but that's not what we were looking for. We wanted something as small as possible (yet still readable) that was good for run-and-gun type usage, and that could pack up as small as a laptop case. We used it yesterday on a jib (it's light enough to do that). It's also light enough to use handheld, but I can't recall if I have ever actually done that.

The one we got actually uses a little TV monitor like you see in car headrests... and it's QUITE a good monitor... we have even used it without the prompter when we needed an extra on-camera monior for focus puller. I believe their larger monitors are actually computer screens, but this one is an NTSC TV.

At any rate, I would NEVER suggest using one that attaches directly to and is supported by the lens (the one that you linked SEEMS to work that way, but I can't really tell from their photos). That's just not good for anybody.



T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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epontius
Re: Teleprompter Shopping
on Nov 6, 2007 at 9:17:32 pm

We got a Mirror Image prompter a while back. Has worked for what we need. They have a variety of models.
http://www.teleprompters.com/default.html
We have their normal "scissor-lift" kind of mount that is adjustable for smaller DV cameras and a rigid mount for our ENG cameras. We also bought the EZPrompt prompter software...which is fine for the majority of simple shoots.

Erik


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Todd at Fantastic Plastic
Re: Teleprompter Shopping
on Nov 9, 2007 at 3:32:48 pm

Those look pretty darn nice.

They are however, about three times the price or more of some of the less expensive ones mentioned in this thread. You probably get what you pay for... that would probably be the way to go for daily or heavy use. For a very occasional user one of the other units might be the best choice, depending on how budget conscious one is.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Ken Seaverns
Re: Teleprompter Shopping
on Apr 7, 2008 at 9:42:04 pm

Sorry but I must disagree with the choice of PrompterPeople's software, Flip-Q. We have an LCD with a silvered mirror and Run Flip-Q from a laptop, the software has a lot of nice features but one very annoying flaw - every few lines (no pattern I can discern) the last word in a line is repeated as the first word on the next line. Taking the script back into Flip-Q's word processing app, the script is perfect, only when you send the full script to the LCD does this happen. I have tried changing font sizes, margin sizes, line spacing, even diferent fonts without any success. My calls to PrompterPeople resulted with the blame being placed on opperator error - it seems that we are the only Flip-Q customers to ever encounter this problem - BEWARE!

I did find a very inexpensive teleprompter software from Canada, it's pretty bare bones as far as colors and complex word processing but it does the job. It's called PROMPT! and they are on version 7. Made by DataWay Multimedia Canada. Inc. System requirements; Apple PowerMac or compatible with G3 processor or better, running Mac OSX - Windows 95, 98, 2000, XP.

Ken Seaverns


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