Learn Everything You Need to Know About How Teleprompters Work in Five Minutes or Less

We all know that teleprompters can be incredibly helpful, but how do they actually work? 

The way teleprompters work depends on the type of prompter you use, as well as the software and hardware that you use to operate it. We’ll focus (pun intended) on the types of cameras and teleprompters first, and then help you understand your options. 

First, let’s talk about the 3 types of teleprompters.

There are three main types of teleprompters: camera-mounted, floor or standing, and “presidential” or podium. Camera-mounted teleprompters are incredibly popular because they mount directly to the camera, so the speaker is looking through the text right at the camera lens, and thus their audience. Alternatively, floor or standing teleprompters are set on an angle on the floor, meaning the speaker might end up looking down too much instead of at their audience. Lastly, a “presidential” teleprompter isn’t made for on-camera speaking at all. Instead, it’s designed for in-person events where the speaker is at a podium looking out at the audience. 

Our advice: If you want to engage your audience while speaking into a camera, “camera-mounted teleprompters” are your best bet.  

The secret to camera-mounted teleprompters is “beam splitter glass”. This special glass is placed at an angle over the lens, while some sort of computer screen or monitor is placed perpendicular to the camera lens. The text is displayed, typically scrolling, on the monitor or screen and the mirror reflects this text, so that it scrolls right over the lens. 

Padcaster’s teleprompter is an affordable, high-quality alternative to expensive camera-mounted teleprompters. 

So it’s safe to say teleprompter technology seems intuitive and reliable. In fact, teleprompters have been around since the 1950s. The only problem? Traditional teleprompters can cost upwards of $2,000. Padcaster decided that this doesn’t need to be the case. The Padcaster Parrot Teleprompter is a mobile teleprompter that makes the simple yet elegant on-camera teleprompter technology accessible and portable. 

The Parrot Teleprompter is a camera-mounted teleprompter, as it slides directly over the camera’s lens. What’s unique about the Padcaster Parrot Teleprompter is that instead of relying on an expensive screen or monitor, the script is running off a free app on your phone. 

So what does the Parrot Teleprompter App actually do? 

The Parrot Teleprompter relies on the free Parrot Teleprompter App. Remember what happens when you’re wearing a t-shirt with text on it and you look in the mirror? It’s hard to read because all of the letters are backward. The Parrot app has a mirror setting that inverts the text, so when it hits the mirror, it flips the image (text), and displays it the proper way. In addition to this mirroring effect, the app also allows you to control the speed and size of the scrolling text. The Parrot Teleprompter Kit includes a Bluetooth remote control, so you can pause, play, rewind and change the speed while you’re talking. 

If you’re interested in using teleprompter technology but don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a full-size teleprompter, the Parrot Teleprompter Kit is the tool for you. 

Is there a good alternative to using a teleprompter? 

Without a teleprompter, there are a few distinct issues people run into given the alternatives. One alternative is to memorize your lines, which has obvious negative consequences. Not only do you waste time memorizing lines, but you’ll also likely have to do numerous takes, wasting even more time. 

Another method is cue cards. While this solves the memorization problem, cue cards are never going to appear directly in front of the camera lens, because they would be blocking the camera. As a result, the on-camera talent will constantly be looking off to the side, instead of at their audience. 

It’s safe to say a teleprompter truly is the only way to engage directly with your audience without memorizing your lines. Regardless of the types of videos you want to make, a teleprompter can vastly improve the quality and professionalism of your content. 

Padcaster transforms your iPad or smartphone into an all-in-one mobile production studio so you can create professional-quality videos from or anywhere. Whether it’s for telecommuting, remote broadcasting or livestreaming -- Padcaster will help you produce high-quality content wherever you are. Fill out the form below to get in touch with one of our sales consultants!

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