Teleprompting has come a long way since the half silvered mirror allowed scripts to be scrolled in front of the camera lens, unseen by the viewers at home. Today, the influx of mobile devices connected via IP has greatly expanded options and capabilities for any newscaster (or politician).
Robin Brown, product manager for prompters at Autoscript and Autocue with The Vitec Group, agrees that not everybody needs to go full-tilt into IP prompting. “Customers or users who are a little bit apprehensive about going all IP can still use exactly the same workflow that they did before,” he said.
But they want to be ready when a customer wants to deploy IP. Brown said the company began redeveloping its Autoscript products “from soup to nuts” approximately two and a half years ago.
“We’ve completely redeveloped the application, the connection and the mode of data transport,” he said. “So basically, all of the devices now have IP connectivity.”
Brown emphasizes that the new IP based prompters send data, not video over IP.
“When the script comes in from the newsroom, when we send it to our device which is either in Seattle, or in L.A. or it’s in San Francisco or in London, it gets sent as small data packets,” he said. “The rendering is done in the device itself. So the monitor which the talent is sitting, reading from, we’re not streaming video.
“So you can send very small data packets very quickly, very easily, very simple to configure, and it means you can do prompting anywhere,” Brown added. “And we also do it on an iPad. So rather than just a big studio teleprompter, we can send exactly the same data to an iPad. If you have breaking news and you need a prompter, you can take your iPad with you, stick it on your Wi-Fi network, and the scripts are then scrolled from the main newsroom studio.”
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