In Broadcast - February 2013 - 56


I N T E R N A T I O N A L

WWW.INBROADCAST.COM | ISSUE 16 - FEBRUARY 2013

N E W S

InGEAR

Prompting And The Television Studio
The technique of prompting has come a long way since prompt cards – users now demand technical
flexibility and powerful features from smaller format packages…

By Kieron Seth
Contributing Editor

A

56

t the dire risk of offending an
entire industry, in many ways
teleprompting is an off-shoot of
the computer word processor:
scripts scrolled at a certain
speed onto monitors. As such, it
was one of the first elements of
the broadcast industry to benefit
from computerisation, with the
introduction of the first PC system
in 1985.
The early examples enabled a
script to be output from a desktop
machine via a dedicated graphics
card onto a monitor for a smooth
scroll. Has much else changed in
the intervening years? What’s next
on the agenda? With the rise of the
all-powerful tablet computer, can the
dedicated prompter survive at all?

New Wave
DV and the digital wave smashed
through the cost/performance
ratio at the end of the 1990s, overshadowing just about any other
major advance in the industry.
Beyond image sensors and signal
processors, other equally important
changes were taking place, such
as the development of new
professional types of monitor. With
the arrival of LCD, teleprompting
companies also moved fast.
Richard Satchell, Commercial
Director of Autocue, explains:
“Historically the real step changes
in teleprompter functionality and
design have been driven by changes
in flat panel and monitor technology.
The move from CRT to LCD and
now LED backlit technology within
teleprompting has simply mimicked
panel production trends and
The Ikan iPad prompter
with handheld remote
controller

technology globally, and this will
no doubt continue going forward as
OLED and other similar technologies
become more prevalent.”
One could go further and
state that as camera types and
producer demands have changed,
teleprompter companies have been
able to support these new needs,
often at lower price points.
Indeed, Satchell continues by
examining how users and suppliers
have worked very much in tandem:
“With similar panels available to
all the prompting manufacturers,
broadcasters’ purchasing decisions
are less and less about the
specific technical specification of
a teleprompter monitor, and more
and more about how that technology
is incorporated in to the monitor
and the design of the teleprompter
system as a whole.
“For example, Autocue’s move
to adopt LED backlit for its Master
Series range allowed it to completely
redesign the monitor footprint
and reduce the weight versus its
previous LCD model as well as
the LED-backlit equivalent of its
closest competition by over 25%.
The weight and design of the monitor
then also allows the whole system
to be lighter and often balanced
without the need for counterbalance
weights, which in turn can result in a
huge cost saving on the fluid head
for our customers.”
Screen technology is clearly a
major driver in the development of
new scripting devices. At NAB 2012
Autoscript, part of the Vitec Group,
launched what they called their
“next generation” system. Tellingly,

in this world
of cloud
computing,
app-based
d e v i c e s
and wireless
t e c h n o l o g y,
what Autoscript
meant by ‘next
generation’ was
a new solution
(E.P.I.C.) which
combined
a
prompter display
with an on-air
talent monitor
with the flexibility
for
studio
and field use.
Autoscript
Product Manager
Robin
Brown
says: “The E.P.I.C.
(integrated prompter
and talent monitor
in one) has been a
game changer for
Autoscript as for
some markets the
price of the individual
components makes
buying separate broadcast quality
monitors and related hardware a
tough sell against pro-sumer quality
products at a fraction of the cost, but
with the associated drop in quality.
“The E.P.I.C. monitor is priced to
allow for all broadcast studios to
have state-of-the-art cutting edge
broadcast prompter and talent
monitors. The cost savings for this
product are also generated by the
reduced weight of the integrated
product and therefore the need
for counterbalance weights and
ultimately the capacity of the head/
support is also reduced.”
So, beyond the smaller, lighter and
brighter have there been other, more
significant advances in prompting
kit? It would be easy to seize upon
the surge of interest in Android and
Apple-based tablet prompters as
a big breakthrough, but are they
simply a new type of screen and
graphics controller in a single unit?
The Elite iPad Teleprompter
Kit from Ikan claims to be an
“inexpensive way to integrate your
iPad into your everyday video
production workflow.” The package
includes a portable through the
glass system, base plate rods
and a hood. Intriguingly, it is not
supplied with any scripting software
application – users can purchase
Ikan’s ELITE Prompter App or use
any other available app (of which
there are many, some at no cost).

Autoscript E.P.I.C. offers complete
presenter communication

As part of the Starter Series range,
Autocue has also introduced two
iPad solutions. They share the
benefits of other tablet prompters,
being very affordable, portable
and lightweight – ideal for pieces
to a single camera conducted
by field teams, videographers,
independent cameramen, schools,
and corporates.
On the impact of very low cost
iPad systems Autoscript’s Brown
says: “Autoscript has partnered with
Telepromting Techniques to produce
an iPad based system which will
allow the user to send scripts
directly from their newsroom system
to an iPad anywhere in the world.
“Although this is an area of growing
interest an iPad is not teleprompter.
It’s fine for certain last minute news
gathering operations or for general
bulletpoint text but for real-time, live
news production a full purpose built
teleprompting solution will always
be the most reliable system.”
So, while these systems
have generated significant new
interest in prompting, Satchell
is similarly cautious about their
use in professional broadcast
environments: “There is a definite
limit to their applications and how
CONTINUED ON PAGE 58


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - February 2013

In Broadcast - February 2013
Contents
InNews: Sony's F65 Shoots First UK 4K Feature
InNews: Channel 5 Russia Modernises with Orad Solutions
InSound:: Cobalt Digital's Loudness Solutions
InView: Agile IP Video Delivery: STB Software Architectur
InView: Boxx TV Squares Up to HD Video
InFocus: Real-Time Motion Graphics Workflows
InFocus: Meduza Set to Ship Titan 3D Camera System
InForm: Sintecmedia Acquires US-Based Storer TV
InPlay: Christie Shows Entero HB Displays Cubes
InTech: The Power Overheard of More Pixels
In Broadcast - February 2013 - Intro
In Broadcast - February 2013 - In Broadcast - February 2013
In Broadcast - February 2013 - Cover2
In Broadcast - February 2013 - Contents
In Broadcast - February 2013 - InNews: Sony's F65 Shoots First UK 4K Feature
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 5
In Broadcast - February 2013 - InNews: Channel 5 Russia Modernises with Orad Solutions
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 7
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 8
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 9
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 10
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 11
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 12
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 13
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 14
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 15
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 16
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 17
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 18
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 19
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 20
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 21
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 22
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 23
In Broadcast - February 2013 - InSound:: Cobalt Digital's Loudness Solutions
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 25
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 26
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 27
In Broadcast - February 2013 - InView: Agile IP Video Delivery: STB Software Architectur
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 29
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 30
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 31
In Broadcast - February 2013 - InView: Boxx TV Squares Up to HD Video
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 33
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 34
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 35
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 36
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 37
In Broadcast - February 2013 - InFocus: Real-Time Motion Graphics Workflows
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 39
In Broadcast - February 2013 - InFocus: Meduza Set to Ship Titan 3D Camera System
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 41
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 42
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 43
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 44
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 45
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 46
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 47
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 48
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 49
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 50
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 51
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 52
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 53
In Broadcast - February 2013 - InForm: Sintecmedia Acquires US-Based Storer TV
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 55
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 56
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 57
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 58
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 59
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 60
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 61
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 62
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 63
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 64
In Broadcast - February 2013 - InPlay: Christie Shows Entero HB Displays Cubes
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 66
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 67
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 68
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 69
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 70
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 71
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 72
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 73
In Broadcast - February 2013 - InTech: The Power Overheard of More Pixels
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 75
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 76
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 77
In Broadcast - February 2013 - S1
In Broadcast - February 2013 - S2
In Broadcast - February 2013 - S3
In Broadcast - February 2013 - S4
In Broadcast - February 2013 - S5
In Broadcast - February 2013 - S6
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