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    Portable Teleprompter reviews?
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    I'm looking for reviews and suggestions regarding the Autoscript TFT On-camera portable teleprompter units.

    The 8" TFT unit vs. the 12" TFT on-camera unit.

    The 8" appears to be ideal for location shoots mounted on the DVX100.... On the other hand, the 12" looks like it might be easier for the talent to see because it lists twice the brightness level in the brochure... Unfortunately, I'm not anywhere near a place where I can give these units a test run before purchase...

    I'd like to know if the 8" TFT unit is as easy to view as the 12"... What are the pros and cons?

    Thanks in advance.

    Jeff


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    Steadi-Guru mikkowilson's Avatar
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    A big factor in teleprompter selection is the reading distance.
    A 12" prompter is designed to be read from furthur away than a 8" prompter, so it needs to be brighter.

    How far away will your talent be?

    - Mikko
    Mikko Wilson
    Steadicam Owner / Operator - Juneau, Alaska, USA
    +1 (907) 321-8387 - mikkowilson@hotmail.com - www.mikkowilson.com


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    I've been happy with the PrompterPeople DV-9; it's very good for the money. Point is, it's very little money... don't know how the Autoscript compares in quality or price.


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    Quote Originally Posted by mikkowilson View Post
    A big factor in teleprompter selection is the reading distance.
    A 12" prompter is designed to be read from furthur away than a 8" prompter, so it needs to be brighter.

    How far away will your talent be?

    - Mikko
    I expect to shoot mostly indoor with talent seated within 6' to 9' of the camera.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry_Green View Post
    I've been happy with the PrompterPeople DV-9; it's very good for the money. Point is, it's very little money... don't know how the Autoscript compares in quality or price.
    Barry,

    Thanks for the tip.
    Do you hook up an additional monitor in order to see what's in the prompter for a crew person to operate the prompter while the talent is speaking?


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    The prompter monitor is driven by your computer, and the computer displays the text while simultaneously sending a feed out to the prompter.

    I've done many prompter gigs in my day, and I'm not saying this is on par with the best of the prompters out there of course, but then again it's not $2,500 to $5,000 either. For the type of usage you're talking about, and especially for handheld capability, I think the DV-9 might be the right product. It's certainly far less expensive than anything else out there when I was shopping for one (I think I got it when it was $700 or so, and there wasn't *anything* else on the market for less than $2500 at the time).

    6', it should be okay. 9' might be pressing it a little depending on your actor's eyesight. 12', with my contacts I could just barely do, but I don't remember if I had the enlarging fresnel in or not. I'd say 12' is probably a reasonable maximum distance, and 6' should be just fine, 9' should be okay.

    Check it out, you may love it or you may hate it. I think it is a great deal for the money, but I've been out of the market for a few years too so there may be better competitors out there now.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry_Green View Post
    The prompter monitor is driven by your computer, and the computer displays the text while simultaneously sending a feed out to the prompter.
    Good catch... I didn't realize that I would need to have a computer on-site. I was hoping to find a self-contained unit that would allow me to enter the text from my desktop computer.... I don't know if a self-contained portable unit exists -- the brochure for the Autoscript prompter says the following, and I'm wondering if this means I would need a computer on-site to drive it:

    "The prompter operates in conjunction with a PCI Card and Winplus software running on a PC platform. Prompt scripts can be entered manually by typing or by importing from a word processor file. Scrolling speed can be controlled by a hand or foot control that plugs into the PCI card or an X-box. Operation of the prompter can also be synchronized with station equipment if required.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...FT_Studio.html


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    Steadi-Guru mikkowilson's Avatar
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    Just about *all* prompters are controlled by a computer/laptop.

    When you buy the actual prompter, make sure that it has at least a Composite Video input, and VGA as well is usefull. - some of the cheap larger ones are VGA only, which can be limeting.


    If you have a locked in stone script to scroll in the field, you can roll it out to a tape / DVD beforehand (at the right speed!) and then play it back with a portable DV or DVD deck into the video input of the prompter on location. This is highly restricting thorugh, because you can't controll the scroll speed during the actual reading.

    The good news is that just about ANY computer or laptop can run prompter software - making it low cost to even buy a dedicated unit if necesarry.

    I have some custom written (very basic) prompter software you can use to test with if you like...
    http://www.mikkowilson.com/files/PlanePrompter.exe


    The window is scalable, so you can try it at differnet sizes to simulate different monitor sizes to test readability at various distances.

    - Mikko
    Mikko Wilson
    Steadicam Owner / Operator - Juneau, Alaska, USA
    +1 (907) 321-8387 - mikkowilson@hotmail.com - www.mikkowilson.com


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    Quote Originally Posted by mikkowilson View Post
    Just about *all* prompters are controlled by a computer/laptop.

    When you buy the actual prompter, make sure that it has at least a Composite Video input, and VGA as well is usefull. - some of the cheap larger ones are VGA only, which can be limeting.

    - Mikko
    Mikko --

    Thank you for the info. I thought it might be the case that I would need to have a laptop or computer onsite to drive the prompter. Appreciate you confirming this.

    I'm probably going to go with a turnkey system that has the prompter and software offered as a package.

    Now, I just need to get the bosses to shell out the extra $$$ to purchase a laptop. I'm sure they'll find the $$$ since they want a prompter for their speeches.


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    Steadi-Guru mikkowilson's Avatar
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    Bosses always have $$$
    Just make sure the laptop has both DVI/VGA and an S-video (which you convert to composite) output.

    Also normally a hardware controller is really nice to have if the software you hae supports one (most do nowadays)

    - Mikko
    Mikko Wilson
    Steadicam Owner / Operator - Juneau, Alaska, USA
    +1 (907) 321-8387 - mikkowilson@hotmail.com - www.mikkowilson.com


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