At Tompter, we provide hardware solutions for all facets of the video industry. At the present time, there are several vendors that provide both free and paid software solutions. Here is a brief explanation of the differences in software and understanding why some might be better than others for you.
The most challenging part of a teleprompter is getting the image to be reflected horizontally on the monitor. This is so that when it’s reflected off of the glass, it is then read normal for the talent. This proves to be much trickier than one might think. In the early days of broadcast, you could switch polarities, but with modern technology, it’s not that simple.
From a hardware standpoint, Tompter monitors have an additional circuit board, not found in normal home monitors or tv’s. This additional circuitry acts like a water pitcher. Imagine pouring the image, one pixel at a time, into a pitcher, then pouring it back out, in reverse, one pixel at a time. Imagine doing this thousands of times a second. That’s what has to happen. The reason why a hardware solution is necessary is for multiple monitors or ‘feeds’. Let’s say you are in a big church, and you want all the monitors to read normally, and one teleprompter monitor to be in reverse for the Priest. Maybe you are in a large corporate presentation, and there is a PowerPoint on the screen, with multiple feeds. Having built-in H-FLIP means you never have to worry what software you are pushing through your monitors.
From a software standpoint, your software has to accomplish two very specific objectives. It needs a control window on the main computer, and a horizontally flipped window on the secondary monitor. Every software I list has the ability to do just that, however some handle it slightly differently. Please watch the video to further your understanding.
In the case of mobile apps, the app has voice active software for native English speakers, and can listen and advance the script automatically, allowing for an easy inexpensive way to record your video.
PROMPTSMART is the number one software for mobile Apple Devices. It is the recommended software for our Laptop Tompter 850, and costs less than $15.
PROMPT DOG is a paid software for desktop/laptops that allows for better color and text editing than other similar computer programs. It can be unintuitive in terms of the process of opening and closing the talent window, however once you learn the system, it’s a good paid solution. Costs about $80.
MIRRORSCRIPT PRO is a free software solution by my friends at Teleprompter Mirror, the US leader in prompter glass. It provides some great tools and, it’s free!
PROMPT! Is a nice freeware that runs very smooth when scrolling. The free version supports up to 2000 characters.
There are several varieties of software out there, and really it’s a matter of preference. I happen to like all of them for different reasons, and I think that the voice recognition that Smart Prompt offers is going to lead the industry.