Software Information

Computer Requirements:

StudioPrompter PC

Use Multiple Monitors automatically. If you have a second monitor connected as a separate monitor, it can be used automatically as the Talent or Image display.  Use the Second Monitor Talk Back option to communicate with the Talent in real-time during the scrolling text. This option also provides the script and session elapsed reading time on the talent monitor.  The primary monitor shows the program controls on the primary monitor giving you complete control of the session from the operator monitor. The talent will not see the program interface just the controlled smooth reversible scrolling text. StudioPrompter uses variable RTF files for scripting.

Tutorial Manual

TeleScreen 32 Pro PC

Use Multiple Monitors automatically. If you have a second monitor connected as a separate monitor it will be used automatically for the Talent display. The second monitor displays a blank screen or scrolling text only, never showing the program interface. The are more operator monitor controls and a new quarter size scrolling display on primary monitor. TeleScreen uses standard text files and Dual Monitor is Standard. Your Mouse Wheel is the hand-controller.

Tutorial Manual

StudioPrompter Lite PC

Using two monitors, the operator can run the session without the talent knowing or seeing any of the behind the scenes teleprompter operations. The operator console provides all of the functionality of StudioPrompter Lite even while the talent is reading the teleprompter copy. The speed, colors, text files and scroll direction can be changed as the text being scrolled on the second monitor. StudioPrompter Lite also uses RTF (rich text files) for scrolling content. All color and formatting can be used to organize your teleprompting sessions. Dual Monitor Standard.

LitePrompter PC

Standard Window's Interface More features means more value for your money. Download your full version LitePrompter software today and see the difference. ' LitePrompter is designed specifically for the educational market and others on a restricted budget. Hardware teleprompters are expensive. Try using our software on your PC, place your camera either below or to the side of your monitor. The price may be low, but LitePrompter is big on smooth-scrolling text and is the easiest-to-use Windows-based TelePrompTer software on the market. LitePrompter uses standard text files for scripting.

User Manual

About Teleprompter Monitors

The word monitor means different things to different people and it is important for the teleprompter operator to be very clear about these differences to all parties involved. Many laptop computers have the capability of sending a signal to a large computer teleprompter monitor. The logic for this is that the screen of the laptop is small compared to the various sizes of computer teleprompter monitors that are available and the larger monitor is easier to read, and has more screen real estate. Not all laptops will drive all sizes of computer monitors. Computer teleprompter monitors are identified by various terms such as EGA, VGA, SVGA, or MultiSync. You must carefully check the laptop's capabilities with that of the larger computer monitor that is to be used.

A computer prompter monitor is not a TV set. However, you will see TV's advertised as also having video monitor capabilities. What this means is that the video and audio signals coming out of a VCR (video cassette recorder) can be plugged directly into the video and audio jacks of the TV and the signals do not have to got through the tuner section of the TV. Theoretically the output will appear a little sharper on the TV screen. Of course the VCR has a tuner which can be used to present broadcast information to the television set. The purpose of the VCR having a tuner is to permit you to select whatever channel you choose to record. All of the above was to get you mentally prepared to realize that if you are going to use NTSC, also known as composite video monitors, or a TV set called a monitor, you are going to have to use a converter that takes the computer signal and changes it so that the information can be viewed on the composite prompter video monitor.

The composite prompter video monitor is the type that is most frequently used as the remote monitor that the talent is reading. NTSC, National Television Standards Committee, is the television standard for North America and some other countries. A color teleprompting monitor is not required or necessary unless the teleprompter software has features that can be enhanced by color. A monochrome teleprompting monitor will generally be sufficient and will probably be less expensive. Two inexpensive sources of composite video monochrome teleprompting monitors in the used equipment market are the Apple //e and //c computer monitors of the size of 12" and 9" respectively. These are out of production but are readily available at used computer equipment stores. They have a green phosphor, which presents black alphanumeric on a green field, and this helps prevent secondary reflections from the camera lens which is behind the reflective surface of the teleprompter. Another source of monochrome composite video teleprompting monitors is from security surveillance equipment providers. These monitors will be black and white and they may have controls that permit moving the image around the screen.

If you are using a desktop computer instead of a laptop, the converter must be capable of also putting out the correct computer signal that will drive the computer teleprompting monitor that you normally use with your computer. For clarification let us follow the computer signal. The appropriate cables required are usually supplied with the converter. The signal comes out of the computer and into the converter. The signal is then sent out of the converter in two different forms. One is the computer signal for the computer monitor and one signal is the composite video signal for the talent monitor. Unfortunately all converters will NOT drive all the varieties of computer monitors, so careful checking of specifications for compatibility between the monitor and the converter is required before purchasing the converter.

There is one additional monitor feature that must be considered and that is the ability to reverse the image. Whenever an image is reflected, it is reversed. If the image from the teleprompter monitor were reflected twice, it would read right side up to the talent. There have been teleprompters in the past that used two reflective surfaces to present to the talent, a right side up reading image thus avoiding the problem of having the talent monitor reflecting a reversed image and avoiding the problem of providing a teleprompting monitor that has a switch on it that can reverse the image. If you are working in a broadcast studio environment, the monitors used will probably have a switch that permits you to toggle the image from right side up to reverse. If you are using a desk top computer, you will need this feature on the remote talent monitor to reverse the image to accommodate the fact that the reflective glass in the teleprompter reverses the image. Technically speaking, this changes the "fly back" of the electron beam that creates the image on the phosphor surface on the inside of the tube. The source of this switch able type of monitor would be a television industry supply firm.

Finally, you may find a television technician who understands the problem and who can rewire a monitor and install the switch. As this is being written in 1997, we are now starting to see flat panel displays appear as monitors in teleprompter hardware. The more common flat panel displays use active matrix, passive matrix, liquid crystal display or electroluminescent technologies. The advantage of these displays is a great reduction in weight compared to the glass tubes used in current monitors.

About Teleprompting

Teleprompting sessions are generally very intense and usually plagued with good-hearted intentions that may go wrong. Prompter operator assumptions are a natural trait that sometimes leads to unfortunate session failures. We truly hope this doesn't happen to you, so let's explore a few common mistakes that have caused real teleprompter sessions to end in a teleprompting disaster.

The following are actual situations that have been recorded in our customer logs, many times over. Software License Issues After loading the corrected script, the lighting and sound are good, the talent is ready and your producer says "action". The well-composed talent starts reading the script until the fourth or fifth line scrolls on the talent's screen. The talent then says, "What is a 'StudioPrompter', that wasn't in my copy?" After a few minutes the teleprompter operator explains to the talent, "I'm not sure what is wrong but we will fix it... wait a few minutes or we'll call you back for a re-shoot." Solution: Recently the operators PC's hard drive had to be reformatted due to a virus infection. The operator reinstalled the downloaded StudioPrompter software from the DRS-Digitrax's web site. The operator assumed all was okay for the upcoming shoot. Our operator had not tested the re-installation of StudioPrompter. In particular, the binary license file was not copied to the new installation folder and StudioPrompter ran in the "demo mode" during their failed shoot. Had the operator tested the reinstalled StudioPrompter program, they would have noticed the "demo mode" active then applied the license. This shoot could have finished flawlessly with piles of smiles. Operator Issues Another day, another session...

The talent, teleprompter operator and director are ready. After a few sentences that talent said "Can you backup a few lines and let me try again?" The teleprompter operator explains, "okay... let me backup a bit" as he nervously hits the down arrow key. As the talent was waiting, she noticed the script was slowing down, but not reversing to the requested re-start position in the script. The teleprompter operator nervously explained to the director, "The program is not responding correctly." The operator out of frustration hits the [Esc] key and returns to the editor and explains to the talent, "TeleScreen is not working right but we can start the script again." After starting from the beginning of the script the talent asked "Can you slow it down a bit?" The operator nodded his head and said "Sure" as he hits the [<] key to slow the scrolling down.

After a moment or two the operator explains again to the director, "The TeleScreen program is not working at all and I don't know what's wrong with the %^$#^3^# thing...." After 30 minutes plus, the talent unhappily explained she had to leave; she thought the session would only last 10 or 15 minutes max as the director had told her. End of a bad session; at $220 an hour the talent was upset and may not come back... Solution: Being familiar with your teleprompter program is an absolute requirement. In this case, the operator had used XYZ prompter for a hundred years and was very knowledgeable about XYZ's teleprompter program and interface. The eager operator assumed that all prompting programs were created the equal and that the functionality of a newly purchased TeleScreen-32 Pro, was that same as XYZ prompter. This assumption maybe a problem for a few overly confident teleprompter operators, mostly veterans. The teleprompter operator should have taken a few minutes to review the differences listed in the TeleScreen-32's tutorial or it's help system and the shoot would have finished flawlessly. Here are the keyboard short-cuts from TeleScreen-32's Help system: [Alt][P] To start scrolling from the main menu. [PgUp-Dn] Increase or decrease the speed delay in large amounts. [Up-Dn] Increase or decrease the speed delay in small amounts. [Esc] Most of the time you can use [Esc] to close the play or align screen, or cancel an operation. [R] When scrolling text use Rkey to reverse the scroll until R is released. [P] When scrolling text press P to resume forward scroll after reverse scroll. [Left Arrow] When scrolling text use Left Arrow to reverse the scroll until Left Arrow is released. [Right Arrow] When scrolling text press Right Arrow to resume forward scroll after using reverse scroll with Left Arrow . [Spacebar] When scrolling text, use the Spacebar to toggle Pause on and off. [Ctrl] [0-99] When scrolling text, use this two key combination to hyper jump to a jump marker in your text, while scrolling. Problem Hardware Issues: The director says lights, camera, and action! The script starts rolling and all seems well. The director explains, "Can you speed it up, this is a 60 second spot"... The teleprompter operator taps the up arrow in an attempt to speed the scrolling up. After a few seconds the teleprompter operator states, "it's going as fast as possible". The upset director shouts "CUT" then turns to the operator and asks; "please, what's it going to take to make this work? can't you control the speed?" The nervous operator replies "give me a second, I can speed it up." After a few minutes the embarrassed operator explains, "This is as fast as I can make it". The scrolling was still slow and too slow to be usable for the segment. The quick thinking director made up a story about the bad defective teleprompting software and then explained the dilemma to the talent. He assured the talent that a re-shoot tomorrow would go much smoother and the job would get done. The talent stated that she would not be town tomorrow. She would go to another video production company to get the project's talking head segments done. Solution: The PC was in the 32-bit color display mode with very little video memory (laptop - 4 megs video ram) on the video card. The PC's display resolution was set to 2048 x 1572. The operator assumed the hardware capabilities and settings of the PC he was using were satisfactory and should work. When there is not enough video ram the teleprompter program will use conventional ram or swap disk for video ram. This will overwork the PC trying to push the graphic scrolling screen and result in a very sluggish PC performance. Had the teleprompter operator made the proper adjustment to the PC's color depth (setting to 16-bit color) or a smaller screen resolution (800x600), this session would have been saved and everyone would have gone home happy. So please... If you are a teleprompter operator, please do not assume anything. Practice and understand your prompter software and hardware, then practice some more. Do this BEFORE your next teleprompting session and you too will be a guaranteed success!