Teleprompters are specialized devices to aid a speaker to read a script prepared beforehand with the
help of an electronic screen and reflecting mirror arrangement. This arrangement of the screen and
reflecting mirror helps the speaker to look confident and natural as if one has learned the script. The
script reflecting from the mirror remains hidden from the audience or a recording camera. Such devices
are used in television production, video hobbyists, public speakers, on-air news reading, etc.
Types of Teleprompters
Teleprompters are available in the following variants:
A.) Studio Teleprompter
Such teleprompters are mainly used by broadcasting studios and news channels to produce presentation and news videos. Such teleprompters are equipped with a single screen and reflecting mirror arrangement and are intended to use by one person at a time. It also provides the convenience to mount a video recording camera on the system itself and can be maneuvered easily to shift the focus of the camera. Such teleprompters are priced in a range of approximately 80K for a smaller 19” screen to as high as a few lakhs for up to 32” screen.
B.) Presidential Teleprompters
Such teleprompters are intended to use in public speaking in front of a live audience. These teleprompters feature two or more reading mirrors mounted over electronic screens with the help of telescopic stands. It can be placed around a podium or an open stage area where the speaker can see the same script on all the mirrors simultaneously in different directions. This makes the public speaking more natural and at the same also helps the speakers to have eye contact with the entire audience in an auditorium or an open space. Such a system costs a few lakhs and is built for super reliability and portability.
Connectivity – HDMI vs VGA
Earlier models of teleprompters used normal CRT screens which were replaced afterward with highly
sophisticated LCD and LED screens. This LED screen apart from being economic and lightweight also
gives crystal clear and brighter display enabling the system to used in almost any type of environment.
Modern LCD and LED screens to come in HDMI and VGA connectivity variants. As evident the HDMI
interfaces are preferred for more reliable and high definition script reproduction. Hence, it is
recommended to opt for an LED screen with HDMI connectivity as the video quality attained with a VGA
cable is noticeably worse when compared to that of HDMI. Further, HDMI is slowly replacing the older
VGA in most of the latest models of PCs and Laptops. An HDMI screen is slightly higher priced as
compared to VGA screen. An HDMI enabled teleprompters system is highly priced up to 25% than the
The system can be upgraded by adding several accessories to enhance the performance and portability.
A separate carry case may cost between 20 – 30 k which can enable you to carry the entire system from
one place to another. A USB controller to easily control the script without even looking at it may cost
you between 20k – 30k. The similar controller is also available to be operated through your feet when
you don’t want to engage your hand while speaking.
Being a customized solution, it is necessary for it to be packed in sturdy and well-managed packaging. This not only protects the device from wear and tear in transit but some such packaging can be reused for future transports of the system. This packaging adds to the cost of some thousand rupees.
The system generically needs only a screen and reflecting mirror to function. Modern designs accompany several protective structures attached to the system to protect the delicate subcomponents such as the display screen or the glass. A metallic or plastic casing for these subcomponents may add up to the cost by 50k to 1 lakh in plastic to a few lakhs in the metallic structure.
Presidential teleprompters which are used outdoors by highly positioned dignitaries, it is essential for the system to be sleek and stylish. Such teleprompters are meant to remain invisible and unpredictable for the audiences, hence they are required to be designed in a way to be least visible on the stage. Such designs require a robust and super performer at the same time. Cost also add up for a more detailed and easier to use systems.
Prompting software is required to handle the display and management of the script data. Software compatible with a large number of data formats may cost you more than basic ones. A software version which can be duplicated on another PC with a separate license also adds to the cost when using the teleprompter at different locations. Severable portable versions of software are too available which can be used on different PCs with the help of a preinstalled software on a USB pen drive or memory card. This portable version helps curtail the cost of separate software licenses for different PCs.
As a matter of fact, the cost depends on the level of customization desired in the basic model. For example, a presenter may use a presidential teleprompter with more than two display to easily roam around the stage and keep an eye at the same script running on different screens at different angles. Such a system is a number of display costlier as compared to the basic model. Similar other customization raises the price of the system with the addition of more and more subcomponents.