Teleprompter

This document contains information about the Teleprompter we use here at CEOEL.

The Hardware

We use iPad based Teleprompter hardware that mounts to a tripod. The camera is then mounted onto this hardware behind the beam-splitter glass. The iPad is placed in the tray, and it runs our Teleprompting software to reflect the text to the reader.

The Software

We currently use Teleprompt+ 3. It is an iOS Teleprompting app from Booming Brain Interactive.

Terminology

  • Teleprompter: The device in front of the camera that the talent will read from. In our case it is a piece of hardware that mounts an iPad with a reflective surface in front of our camera.
  • Controlling Device: The iPad or iPhone that is controlling what displays on the Teleprompter in front of the camera.
  • Display Device: The iPad that is part of the Teleprompter in front of the camera.
  • Reader: The person in front of the camera that is reading from the Teleprompter.
  • Latency: The delay between performing an action and having it reflected elsewhere.
  • Prompting: This is what the Display Device/Teleprompter is doing when it is scrolling through the text for the reader to read from. Pausing prompting passes the scroll. You can also speed up or slow down the prompting.

Advice for Teleprompter Use

Script Formatting

  • Teleprompter scripts should be in a plain text format. This means no bold, italics, page-breaks, lists, indentation or other document formatting.
  • Use white text on a black background. This is configured in the Teleprompt+ software, not in your source document.
  • To indicate emphasis on a word or phrase, surround it with asterisks or underscores.
    For example: I would like to use an *emphasized* word. or She used an awesome _emphasized turn of phrase_ in a longer sentence.
  • Bulleted Lists should be converted to comma separated lists. Bulleted lists that are stacked in their usual manner can throw off the pacing of a script Especially when there is a single word after each describing each item in the list.
    For example: “Item 1, Item 2, Item 3”
  • To indicate to the reader that they should pause, use something like a double dash -- or ellipsis . Do not use multiple line breaks (hard returns) as they will take up lots of room on the prompter. This extra vertical space will delay when the reader will see more text on the screen. We want the reader to know to pause, but we don’t want them to pause because they can’t see the next line of text they should read. Be sure to tell the reader about the pause indicators, they won’t work if they don’t know they should pause when they see them.
  • Do not adjust the text size in the editing interface, instead use the size buttons (A^ A-) within the prompting interface to adjust size. Editing the text size in the script editor can make it unwieldy and hard to navigate.

Device Settings

  • Disable WIFI while prompting. The prompter syncs best when using Bluetooth to communicate between the devices.
  • Max out the display brightness. This helps with readability of the display by the reader. We have not had any issues with the text being visible in recordings when at max display brightness.

Prompting Technique

Latency is an important factor when using a Teleprompting setup that has a wireless Display Device and Controlling Device. You should always operate with latency in mind.

  • There is some latency between the time you perform an action on the controlling device, and when it shows up in the teleprompter display for the reader. This latency is usually about a second or less.
  • When doing any action to control the prompting, the action is sent to the displaying device after your finger is raised from the controlling device.
    Examples Situations:
    • I tap the speed increase button (The Rabbit) and a split second later, the display device reflects that speed increase.
    • I tap, hold and drag on the main text area to change it’s position. I then raise my finger from the device. The scrolling action I just performed is now performed a split second later on the display device.
    • I tap and hold on the speed decrease button (The Turtle). Nothing happens on the display device because I have not released the button yet.
    • I scroll and hold the position of the script in place with my finger. Nothing happens on the display device because I have not raised my finger from the screen.
    • I tap the speed increase button 3 times in a row, raising my finger each time. The display device increases in speed in the same three increments after three small delays.
  • Pause the prompting before manually scrolling. This means, always pause the auto-scrolling before you manually scroll to a different point in the script. This will help the iPads stay in sync, and hopefully avoid running into any issues.

Additional Support
More information and support can be found on the Teleprompt+ 3 support page.

Further Reading

Published on August 15, 2016 at 3:43:42 pm CDT. Last modified on June 06, 2018 at 2:36:14 pm CDT.