8 Best Teleprompters | June 2017

8 Best Teleprompters
Best Mid-Range
★★★★★
Best High-End
★★★★★
Best Inexpensive
★★★
We spent 39 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Do you ever get frustrated by the time and effort you spend memorizing speeches and lines for presentations, lectures, news summaries or infomercials? With one of these teleprompters, those struggles will be a thing of the past. We’ve included models that attach easily to tablets, tripods and a wide variety of cameras, with highly visible screens and adjustable font sizes and scrolling speeds. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best teleprompter on Amazon.
8
No one will mistake the Marketech CuePro for a professional teleprompter, but it’s a solid value option that gets the job done. It’s portable and easy to store, but you may need to invest in an extra cloth or cover to shield light from coming in the back.
  • highly affordable option
  • simple design and easy setup
  • smaller screen than most models
Brand MARKETECH
Model CPP001
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
7
Ideal for basic jobs and for use on the go, the Parrot Portable attaches to most camcorders in mere seconds. Once it’s mounted, you simply download the free app for managing and playing your scripts and connect your smartphone to begin using it.
  • app is very user-friendly
  • compact for easy portability
  • feels rather flimsy while in use
Brand Parrot
Model PT-ParrotV2
Weight 15.2 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0
6
Compatible with a wide variety of mobile devices, the InteractMedia Mini can be used with a small handheld camera, a DSLR, and some larger models. It’s not difficult to put together, either, as a screwdriver is the only tool required.
  • comes with a black background cloth
  • includes wing nuts and screws
  • too heavy for lightweight tripods
Brand InteractMedia
Model R810-10
Weight 5.8 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0
5
Designed with high-quality beam splitter glass that offers impressive visibility, you’ll feel confident using the Glide Gear TMP100 in a corporate setting or any other situation. The blackout cloth that comes with it is durable with strong stitching.
  • collapsible for portability
  • includes a protective case
  • easy to adjust image height
Brand Glide Gear
Model TMP100
Weight 6.1 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0
4
A fully adjustable model that mounts to a standard 15-millimeter rail system, the Caddie Buddy Professional utilizes a reliable hood to make text easily readable from up to 12 feet. The app allows you to customize the font to your liking.
  • scrolling speed is adjustable
  • folds flat for simple storage
  • works with cameras up to 9 pounds
Brand Caddie Buddy
Model teleprompter
Weight 6 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
3
The Telmax Pro-iP-Ex firmly holds a tablet in place with two corner pockets and a snap-in mount, and works with just about any type of camera as long as it’s mounted correctly. It is tailor-made for the iPad family of tablets.
  • professional look and performance
  • adjustable mirror height
  • manufactured in the usa
Brand TELMAX Teleprompters In
Model PROIP-EX
Weight 9.3 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0
2
You can easily set the text size and scrolling speed of the Prompt-it Maxi, which makes it a nice option for any reader in any situation, from a controlled studio to an outdoor setting. The large glass screen works with any professional or consumer camera.
  • includes sturdy carrying bag
  • comes with a cleaning kit
  • 2 glare cover positions
Brand Prompt-it
Model Maxi
Weight 4 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0
1
Since it adds only a small amount of weight, the Ikan PT-Elite mounts easily onto most modern video cameras, offering great balance for use with basic tripods or even for hand-held recording. It’s a reliable, sturdy option that’s easy to use.
  • variety of styles available
  • glass provides very clear reflection
  • prompter hood is thick and durable
Brand Ikan
Model PT-Elite
Weight 7.4 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

A Trick Of Mirrors

In the hierarchy of nightmares, a great many people rank public speaking toward the very top. In the context of evolution, this actually makes quite a lot of sense. Human beings are, after all, pack animals. Before establishing an agrarian society, we were nomadic hunters and gatherers surrounded by all sorts of predators; our association with a group was our primary source of protection against certain death.

When you get up in front of an audience to speak, you find yourself separated from the pack in a way that, only a few dozen millennia ago, would have seen you eaten by wolves or starving to death. It makes sense then that our bodies would guard against this kind of willful ostracization.

It behooves you to employ every trick in the book to maintain the most professional, confident exterior when speaking, and nothing looks so pathetic and unprofessional as forgetting your speech. What's more, in today's context, public speaking rarely exists without the presence of a camera. I don't want to delve too deeply into what the presence of that camera can do you your nerves, but not only will these teleprompters feed you the precious lines you need so desperately to remember, they'll also conceal the eye of the camera lens from your view, which could make speaking into it much easier.

Teleprompters work by situating themselves between you and the camera, just in front of the lens. A timed, computerized feed of your speech's text flows along a screen that faces the ceiling. From there, it's all in a reflection.

The text coming out of your teleprompter screen is upside down and reversed, but when it hits a piece of beam splitting glass held at roughly a 45˚ angle off of the screen, the text appears as normal to whomever stands in front of the lens. The angle of the glass prevents the light of the screen from entering the camera, while also allowing the light you're reflecting to make its way to the camera's sensors, where it belongs.

Splitting Hairs Or Splitting Beams?

I'm extremely grateful for the fact that, just as I found out I needed them, glasses became cool again. As all things go in fashion, trends tend to ebb and flow, and glasses had ridden a long uncool streak before I hit my teenaged years. It's entirely possible, though, that they'll slip back out of style sooner than later.

Teleprompter glass has beam splitting capabilities, which do a great amount of the work keeping the light from your screen from ever reaching your camera lens, but that may render your text display too dim. However brightly you can display the text on your teleprompter could mean the difference between you and your hosts straining your eyes to the point of damage and you all appearing relaxed and confident on screen.

You'll see the value of teleprompter glass expressed as a ratio, most commonly 70/30, 60/40, or some such iteration. The first number represents the reflective value of the glass, while the second conveys its transmission value. Glass rated at 70/30 will reflect 70% of the light from the upside-down text coming off the teleprompter screen, while letting 30% of the light from the scene through to the camera.

That means that the more brightly you can get your teleprompter text to reflect, the less your camera can capture the image of you speaking. The light loss here is great. There is, of course, 60/40 and 50/50 glass, which will let more of your light through, but you have to turn down the brightness on your screen lest you also convey its light into your lens.

This comes down to a question of the camera and your lighting. If your camera and its lenses are capable of capturing the scene with only 30% of its light getting through, then you can get away with a more intensely reflective beam splitter. If you have weak lights and a lesser camera, you'd do better to look for a more balanced beam split, even if it dooms you to a life lived in spectacles.

Promptly Historical

Until this recent golden age in television, most people dismissed television actors as second rate, if that. The real actors worked on the big screen. Well, television has always been a faster-moving medium. Film actors often relish in weeks or months spent working on a script and a character, where TV stars would usually have a very short amount of time with recently written pages. They'd be lucky to memorize them, let alone make something spectacular out of them.

Which is why Fred Barton Jr. and a few of his pals invented the teleprompter in 1950 with the specific intent to help TV actors with their lines. Up until this point, TV producers relied on cue cards to perform a similar service, and if you've watched any SNL in the past 15 years, you've seen how awkward heavily relying on cue cards can make a performance.

These early prompters were mechanical, operated by a technician who stood below or beside the camera. Herbert Hoover used one in 1952 at the Republican National Convention, and Dwight Eisenhower broke new ground in the Chambers of Congress by being the first president to use one during the State Of The Union Address. Now that they've become computerized, you'd be hard-pressed to find a politician, news anchor, or host of any kind speaking without one.



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Last updated on June 15, 2017 by Sam Kraft

Sam is a marketing/communications professional and freelance writer who resides in Chicago, IL and is perpetually celebrating the Cubs’ 2016 World Series victory.


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