Teleprompters: a staple of broadcast news, TED talks, and presidential addresses. For all their convenience, they can also be quite the headache when you have to choose which one is right for your video production. It can be a lot to consider.
It is, however, an important decision for several reasons. Video production setups vary greatly in terms of camera quality, size, and weight — as well as what your production budget can afford. (Teleprompters run the gamut in price.)
To help you with your decision, here are four professional options that range from cheap and easy to high-end and heavy-duty. Let’s dive in.
We start at the most affordable end of the spectrum with the Parrot Teleprompter (V2). Originally a Kickstarter project (as you can see in the video), Parrot’s teleprompter is an accessible and affordable option that works with a wide range of handheld devices, like your iPhone or Android.
The Parrot has many movable parts (both a good and bad thing) to help you work with different size phones and camera lens setups. It also includes a remote and connecting app for ease of use when you’re doing one-man productions.
Here are some more reviews on the Parrot Teleprompter:
A good step up from the Parrot Teleprompter (and at almost $200 more, it better be), is One Take Only’s Pad Prompter. Similar to Parrot’s handheld offering, as its name suggests, the Pad Prompter works with your pads or tablets to provide smooth teleprompter service.
The Pad Prompter’s rod system is sturdy yet flexible to allow you to fold and move easily. The pad program can also sync to allow you to control the flow with your phone instead of a remote, which can be handy (but at times a little laggy).
More reviews on the Pad Prompter below:
While comparable to the Pad Prompter, Prompter People’s Ultralight iPad/Tablet Teleprompter is a slightly more versatile (and slightly more expensive) option. Due to its minimal weight, the UltraLight allows a lot of flexibility for tripods setups, but it may seem a little overworked when handling bigger cameras.
The UltraLight compares well against the more affordable options for its ability to house handheld phone screens, tablets, or other screens — along with its Bluetooth connectivity. It’s one of the best options for its price.
Other reviews on the Prompter People UltraLight:
ikan’s PT1200 12″ Portable Teleprompter is certainly an expensive jump from its handheld phone and tablet counterparts. However, its built-in screen offers convenience as well as crisper image quality, greater reading range, and more seamless control not dictated by connectivity.
While the ikan website lists it at $949, you can find it cheaper at B&H (link here), but even this price tag means it’s an investment ideally suited for a production workflow that often needs a teleprompter.
Check out these other resources on ikan’s offerings as well:
Cover image via onetakeonly.