TeleScreen-32 Pro PC TelePrompter Software

The word monitor means different things to different people and it is important for the teleprompter operator to be very clear about these differences to all parties involved. Many laptop computers have the capability of sending a signal to a large computer teleprompter monitor. The logic for this is that the screen of the laptop is small compared to the various sizes of computer teleprompter monitors that are available and the larger monitor is easier to read, and has more screen real estate. Not all laptops will drive all sizes of computer monitors. Computer teleprompter monitors are identified by various terms such as EGA, VGA, SVGA, or MultiSync. You must carefully check the laptop's capabilities with that of the larger computer monitor that is to be used.

 A computer prompter monitor is not a TV set. However, you will see TV's advertised as also having video monitor capabilities. What this means is that the video and audio signals coming out of a VCR (video cassette recorder) can be plugged directly into the video and audio jacks of the TV and the signals do not have to got through the tuner section of the TV.  Theoretically the output will appear a little sharper on the TV screen. Of course the VCR has a tuner which can be used to present broadcast information to the television set. The purpose of the VCR having a tuner is to permit you to select whatever channel you choose to record.

All of the above was to get you mentally prepared to realize that if you are going to use NTSC, also known as  composite video  monitors, or a TV set called a monitor, you are going to have to use a converter that takes the computer signal and changes it so that the information can be viewed on the composite prompter video monitor. The composite prompter video monitor is the type that is most frequently used as the remote monitor that the talent is reading. NTSC, National Television Standards Committee, is the television standard for North America and some other countries.

A color teleprompting monitor is not required or necessary unless the teleprompter software has features that can be  enhanced by color. A monochrome teleprompting monitor will generally be sufficient and will probably be less expensive. Two inexpensive sources of composite video monochrome teleprompting monitors in the used equipment market are the Apple //e  and //c computer monitors of the size of 12" and 9" respectively. These are out of production but are readily available at used computer equipment stores. They have a green phosphor, which presents black alphanumerics on a green field, and this helps prevent secondary reflections from the camera lens which is behind the reflective surface of the teleprompter. Another source of monochrome composite video teleprompting monitors is from security surveillance equipment providers. These monitors will be black and white and they may have controls that permit moving the image around the screen.

If you are using a desktop computer instead of a laptop, the converter must be capable of also putting out the correct computer signal that will drive the computer teleprompting monitor that you normally use with your computer. For clarification let us follow the computer signal. The appropriate cables required are usually supplied with the converter. The signal comes out of the computer and into the converter. The signal is then sent out of the converter in two different forms. One is the computer signal for the computer monitor and one signal is the  composite video signal for the talent monitor. Unfortunately all converters will NOT drive all the varieties of computer monitors, so careful checking of specifications for compatibility between the monitor and the converter is required before purchasing the converter. There is one additional monitor feature that must be considered and that is the ability to reverse the image.

Whenever an image is reflected, it is reversed. If the image from the teleprompter monitor were reflected twice, it would read right side up to the talent. There have been teleprompters in the past that used two reflective surfaces to present to the talent, a right side up reading image thus avoiding the problem of having the talent monitor reflecting a reversed image and avoiding the problem of providing a teleprompting monitor that has a switch on it that can reverse the image. If you are working in a broadcast studio environment, the monitors used will probably have a switch that permits you to toggle the image from right side up to reverse. If you are using a desk top computer, you will need this feature on the remote talent monitor to reverse the image to accommodate the fact that the reflective glass in the teleprompter reverses the image. Technically speaking, this changes the "fly back" of the electron beam that creates the image on the phosphor surface on the inside of the tube. The source of this switch able type of monitor would be a television industry supply firm. Finally, you may find a television technician who understands the problem and who can rewire a monitor and install the switch.

As this is being written in 1997, we are now starting to see flat panel displays appear as monitors in teleprompter hardware. The more common flat panel displays use active matrix, passive matrix, liquid crystal display or electroluminescent technologies. The advantage of these displays is a great reduction in weight compared to the glass tubes used in current monitors.

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