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What teleprompter to buy?


zerocool22
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Hello, 

 

Looking to get a telepromter but have no experience with them:

- I want to look straight into the lens and read out the lines. 
- I have a ipad(not sure if this comes in handy.
- It would be cool to remote control the teleprompter lines, like when I need to rewind because I want to do some part again.
- It would also be cool if I could still see myself in the teleprompter so I can read the lines, but also focus on my facial expressions at the same time.

Any recommendations? This will prolly only be used in my home studio(but in the future It might come in handy interviewing other people). 

 

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What is your budget? 

Free option: telepropmter app that uses your ipad, phone, or webcam. 

For teleprompters there are many designs that fit different sized display devices. Some only fit certain dimensions, so if you decide to use a larger screen one day you won't be able to use them anymore. This is dependent on the size of the beam splitter glass and the layout of the screen holder.

There are many cheap designs that work perfectly well with a phone as the screen for under $60USD on AE. Also the ones that clip onto the top of a laptop to use with the webcam.

For larger screens I suggest this one (planning on buying it, no experience with it yet):

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005002245363941.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.5dd65146zh21oo&algo_pvid=2600be7e-7c46-4087-8591-13af97eb5a15&algo_expid=2600be7e-7c46-4087-8591-13af97eb5a15-0&btsid=0bb0624716214288223917590e8833&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_,searchweb201603_

It fits larger screens, is cheap, and folds down. It's cheaper than the GlideGear TMP500 I bought, which only fits less than ipad pros and was more expensive, and at the time had worse build quality.

I also have the recently released Neewer 12 inch teleprompter. It really only fits 10'' screens because of the glass size, if you want to use larger screens you have to tilt it up more and get the star wars scrolling text effect.

If you want to see yourself you will need to use an external monitor, but to my knowledge there are no good programs that overlay the teleprompter on top of the video.  There is one app on PC that does it using the webcam, but the developer was quite rude so I don't recommend it (not only because of the rudeness, but because it's wonky for dual screens).

For the software, there are some good free options, but the best one's I've found are nanoteleprompter (android, paid), promptsmart pro (crossplatform, paid, demo available. really only good for voice recognition, for normal teleprompting it's very annoying to use). You can try https://telepromptermirror.com/voice-activated-teleprompter/ for free as well. Teleprompt.me is no longer free. Pixaero isn't bad either and it's free. On android, those all work with bluetooth controllers and have margin control.

For controllers, the black one that comes free with many cheap teleprompters works very well for scrolling because it's very quiet.  Some other controllers are very clicky and loud. If you are using a PC app, the paid joy2key program (only $7 or something) can remap controllers so you can use it with PC software.

 

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I constructed a holder for my iPad which sits above the lens (on 15mm rails). I use a Bluetooth controller but rather than using a teleprompt app I simply put my text into a Keynote (Apple’s PowerPoint) presentation, breaking it up nicely and click to advance to the next slide. This actually introduces a natural pause too. I’m not looking into the lens but at an “upper body” distance one wouldn’t notice.

The holder also supports a laptop (which sits on top of the cage) if required. All works well for my needs. Highly adaptable as I use it with the P4k, Aida HD100 (a super little camera) or A7Siii just by changing the height and position on the rods.

I did think about going down the angled glass route but decided that it was expensive diminishing returns.
 

 

3A481058-2F1B-48C2-AEAE-84CCF94E705E.jpeg

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31 minutes ago, Snowfun said:

I constructed a holder for my iPad which sits above the lens (on 15mm rails). I use a Bluetooth controller but rather than using a teleprompt app I simply put my text into a Keynote (Apple’s PowerPoint) presentation, breaking it up nicely and click to advance to the next slide. This actually introduces a natural pause too. I’m not looking into the lens but at an “upper body” distance one wouldn’t notice.

The holder also supports a laptop (which sits on top of the cage) if required. All works well for my needs. Highly adaptable as I use it with the P4k, Aida HD100 (a super little camera) or A7Siii just by changing the height and position on the rods.

I did think about going down the angled glass route but decided that it was expensive diminishing returns.
 

 

3A481058-2F1B-48C2-AEAE-84CCF94E705E.jpeg

Fun DIY, but this would make me look slightly above the lens, so not straight into the camera. So not something I am really looking for.

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Our old was teleprompter broken so we got Ikan one, really worth the price even though it is pricy. (Those cheap ones didn't really suit our need, too filmsy) 

But we have delicates teleprompter operator for the client, so probably different to your need.

And you can't see urself from the reflective glass, you will need a monitor to see yourself.

20210510_154212.jpg

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5 minutes ago, ntblowz said:

Our old was teleprompter broken so we got Ikan one, really worth the price even though it is pricy. (Those cheap ones didn't really suit our need, too filmsy) 

But we have delicates teleprompter operator for the client, so probably different to your need.

And you can't see urself from the reflective glass, you will need a monitor to see yourself.

20210510_154212.jpg

Oh I got exited, until I saw the price +2000$ is a bit much for my needs. I think 300$ is my max budget, so I might go with the alixpress one.

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I was just about to chime in with another ikan teleprompter recommendation. I recently picked up the Elite V2 Universal, which you can get with a remote that works with both iPad and Android-based teleprompters and probably some other tablet operating system. It is about $700, so way les than the $2K version but still out of your price range. If you could squeeze some more cash out of the budget, the Elite V2 does seem to be a nicely built unit.

You do have to pay a couple bucks more for an prompter app for your tablet of choice that is compatible with remote. I think it's worth it. I used this on a shoot recently with talent that had never presented to camera before. Once she got the hang of using the remote, it was super helpful for her to control the speed of the prompter and rewind the script to the proper mark when redoing a take. I could stay behind the camera, so the shoot went pretty smooth.

I like the image quality I got from the ikan. It matched up very well with my b-cam that wasn't using a prompter, so I don't think the glass degrades the image quality in any appreciable way. I only wish I'd gotten this thing sooner. I don't do a lot of stuff with direct-to-camera shots, but I can think of some I've recently done what would have turned out miles better with this thing. 

Whichever way you go with your prompter decision, good luck. 

1188460495_CarlyPresenting.thumb.jpg.a167d059dd33ffbcd4bffc0fac6be13d.jpg

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Someone should compare the cheapies to the expensive units   It's literally a piece of glass and a shroud, so if the glass is the same... Should get same results.

I don't mind paying more for better quality, but for teleprompters it's hard for me to justify over $500, what else am I getting...

I just "hacked" my cheap tmp500 into a poor man's eye direct, those are crazy prices!

 

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2 hours ago, EphraimP said:

I was just about to chime in with another ikan teleprompter recommendation. I recently picked up the Elite V2 Universal, which you can get with a remote that works with both iPad and Android-based teleprompters and probably some other tablet operating system. It is about $700, so way les than the $2K version but still out of your price range. If you could squeeze some more cash out of the budget, the Elite V2 does seem to be a nicely built unit.

You do have to pay a couple bucks more for an prompter app for your tablet of choice that is compatible with remote. I think it's worth it. I used this on a shoot recently with talent that had never presented to camera before. Once she got the hang of using the remote, it was super helpful for her to control the speed of the prompter and rewind the script to the proper mark when redoing a take. I could stay behind the camera, so the shoot went pretty smooth.

I like the image quality I got from the ikan. It matched up very well with my b-cam that wasn't using a prompter, so I don't think the glass degrades the image quality in any appreciable way. I only wish I'd gotten this thing sooner. I don't do a lot of stuff with direct-to-camera shots, but I can think of some I've recently done what would have turned out miles better with this thing. 

Whichever way you go with your prompter decision, good luck. 

1188460495_CarlyPresenting.thumb.jpg.a167d059dd33ffbcd4bffc0fac6be13d.jpg

Do you remember which app you guys used? I am looking for a decent android app. Ability to rewind would be nice.

I had one app that would "listen" to what you said and would scroll automatically along with you. But they weren't perfect and they switched over from a flat initial price of like $20 to a subscription price with various levels, so I stopped using it.

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3 minutes ago, scotchtape said:

Someone should compare the cheapies to the expensive units   It's literally a piece of glass and a shroud, so if the glass is the same... Should get same results.

I don't mind paying more for better quality, but for teleprompters it's hard for me to justify over $500, what else am I getting...

I just "hacked" my cheap tmp500 into a poor man's eye direct, those are crazy prices!

 

Whether or not the glass is the same IS a question. I also think the build quality of the whole unit is part of it. Beyond the glass and shroud, there the mount for the tablet/screen, rod system and mounting system for the camera. The Ali one looks less flexible/adjustable than say the unit I bought, which uses a more convention 15mm rods like any other camera rig.

Actually, I was thinking about buying longer rails for a rig, so it's nice that I can just use the ones from my prompter if necessary. Not that the rods alone justify the cost difference. 

I can see glass and build quality, plus the addition of a remote, differentiating a ~$300 and a ~$700 system. What's the selling point/justification for a ~$2,000 teleprompter rig? I have no idea.

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I got my Teleprompter from Caddie Buddie (coincidentally, my lightstand bag is the Caddy Daddy, a travel case for golf club bags, even though I can't play golf to save my life).

https://caddiebuddy.com/teleprompter-for-ipads-androids-and-phones/

It works pretty well. It might not be the most durable though. I didn't buy a case, but I think I probably should have splurged and got the case.

On the other hand, I will probably head over to Harbor Freight and see if they might have a case I can adapt for less than the $55 plus shipping that they want for the official case from Caddie Buddie.

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1 minute ago, Mark Romero 2 said:

Do you remember which app you guys used? I am looking for a decent android app. Ability to rewind would be nice.

I had one app that would "listen" to what you said and would scroll automatically along with you. But they weren't perfect and they switched over from a flat initial price of like $20 to a subscription price with various levels, so I stopped using it.

Yeah, I am using the Teleprompter Pro. $6.49 one-time fee. It works with either the remote that Ikan supplies or a Bluetooth keyboard. It's not voice activated. For the older Samsung tablet I've been using, I have to copy and paste the script I want to use, because I can't change the directory the app looks in for a Word or Text doc. I don't think that's an issue for all OS systems. Other than that, it's met my needs.

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24 minutes ago, scotchtape said:

Someone should compare the cheapies to the expensive units   It's literally a piece of glass and a shroud, so if the glass is the same... Should get same results.

I don't mind paying more for better quality, but for teleprompters it's hard for me to justify over $500, what else am I getting...

I just "hacked" my cheap tmp500 into a poor man's eye direct, those are crazy prices!

 

Oh, and the other thing to think about is rental. Is the unit you're considering high enough quality/from a known name brand that you can make money renting it?

I already have a commitment from another shooter I work with to rent Ikan from me the 4-5 times a year he needs one. I'll charge him $50, which is about $20 less than it rents for commercially. Saves him money on a unit he was already renting and helps pay me back for the price difference of a cheaper unit.

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Just now, EphraimP said:

Yeah, I am using the Teleprompter Pro. $6.49 one-time fee. It works with either the remote that Ikan supplies or a Bluetooth keyboard. It's not voice activated. For the older Samsung tablet I've been using, I have to copy and paste the script I want to use, because I can't change the directory the app looks in for a Word or Text doc. I don't think that's an issue for all OS systems. Other than that, it's met my needs.

Thank you. I will look into it. 

The voice activated ones are great... when they work. I remember that in some scripts I would write in the word [PAUSE]  to get the talent to pause for effect. So... sometimes the app wouldn't scroll anymore unless the talent actually said the word "pause."

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How bad is the picture quality of a telepromter? Doing teams-calls all day I've been looking into getting a telepromter-style monitor for presentations, but I would like to know whether they are:

1) Good enough to read text

2) Good enough to do powerpoint-presentations

3) Good enough to do write documents and do normal work without feeling handicaped(like a monitor)

I am sure they are good enough for 1), but I doubt they are good enough for 3)

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I've used this one for a lot of talking head stuff with one of the ipad prompter apps. Its a little clunky to setup and you need a sturdy tripod as its kind of heavy and the size makes it awkward, but it works great.

https://www.amazon.com/Glide-Gear-TMP100-Adjustable-Teleprompter/dp/B019AJOLEM/ref=asc_df_B019AJOLEM/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312066954908&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=9592358752520061344&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9012073&hvtargid=pla-524458036017&psc=1

Chris

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On 5/20/2021 at 6:59 AM, zerocool22 said:

I am thinking about getting this one, its only 120€ ==> 

While I don't have any experience with it, It could work out fine for a talking head. As the reviewer said, it is good for 6 or 7 feet away (two meters).

I wanted a bigger one since I usually shoot half body and I like to get back and zoom in a bit. 

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On 5/20/2021 at 9:59 AM, zerocool22 said:

I am thinking about getting this one, its only 120€ ==> 

 

 

I like Scott's videos but he's one of those YouTubers that pretty much only reviews things sent to him for free, so it might be worth looking for other reviews. It does look like a pretty good option, but I'm just always skeptical until I see more reviews from people that don't have an incentive to give more favorable reviews. 

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