There are many kinds of teleprompter equipment in the market today. Learn some of the most important considerations to ensure that you purchase the best film teleprompter equipment.

There is a lot of teleprompter equipment to choose from

Here’s several key questions you have to think about when buying a teleprompter, regardless of your preferred manufacturer, existing equipment, budget or prompting requirements. The first thing you need to consider is the distance of your presenter from the teleprompter to help determine the size of the teleprompter you need. There are a wide range of monitor sizes on the market, so that you can find a teleprompter that’s just right for your requirements. But note that whatever size and manufacturer you choose, you have to check that the television teleprompter equipment is compatible with your camera, tripod, and lens.

The main question around teleprompter equipment compatibility is weight

See if your tripod has sufficient payload capacity for the weight of your lens and camera, and the chosen teleprompter. There are so many first-time buyers who work with small cameras and tripod heads and don’t have anything appropriate for the weight of a teleprompter. The second question is if you can position your camera and lens in the back of the teleprompter glass to hood so that the eye line of the presenter is directly looking at the camera. This depends on the specific camera and lens you’re using, and the flexibility of the mounting system in your chosen teleprompter.

For the most flexible camera mounting systems and advanced cameras or lens, get a flexible teleprompter mounting system, which there are many in the market. Because of the increased flexibility in the mounting system, all lens and camera types can remain flush against the tripod head while still remaining centered on the glass. For example, if you are doing lots of pan and tilt work, the weight of the camera remains as close as possible to the tripod head, avoiding a pendulum effect and decreasing control of your tilt and pan. If you’re not sure if your camera, lens or tripod is appropriate for your choice of teleprompter, ask an expert salesperson.

For many teleprompter applications, there’s a simple script that’s prepared in advance, with one presenter and the script just has to scroll from start to finish at a speed that’s adjusted to keep pace with the presenter. Teleprompter software gives this functionality and more, like dual-screen functionality to reverse the script for the teleprompter monitor and simultaneously show it the right way up for the computer operator, plus the ability to import word documents, the ability to insert markers, and the ability to change the font, size, color and format of the script text. Different teleprompter software works on different kinds of computers and is included free with most teleprompter purchases.

If you need any more advanced functionality like run order management (for long scripts with various sections that you want to navigate to and edit easily and quickly), live edits (for last minute script changes while in prompt mode), or newsroom interfaces (for integration into an electric newsroom system to get live updates from the newsroom system via the teleprompter), you’ll have to purchase a quality software program. See if the speed can be controlled by a dedicated operator or the presenter themselves. There is a wide range of controller options, along with wired and wireless, hand and foot controls to cover whatever is needed.

Consider these main considerations and you’ll have a good idea of the product you need

There is a wide range of film teleprompter equipment in the world with various designs and specifications. If you’re still unsure about what you want and need after reading this teleprompter blog, call a teleprompter seller or teleprompter rental company in your area and they should be happy to serve you. They should be able to clearly explain the best available solution and price, regardless of your requirements and budget. And of course, at Neil Tanner Inc., we’re always ready to assist you.

Learn how our friendly team of skilled teleprompter operators can save you time and money.


The teleprompter equipment has come a long way since it was first used in classic Greek theater. Discover the History of Teleprompters.

Television teleprompter equipment has a long history

Using television teleprompter equipment may not be the centenarian profession there is, but it has been around for quite a while now. It is believed that some were even used in classic Greek theater in the form of people whispering lines to actors who had a short lapse of memory. Amid the early days of theater in ancient Green up to Shakespeare’s plays at The Globe Theater today, one of the constant elements has consistently been the prompter or prompt corner.

There is a whole genre of single-game print cartoons that portray guys in the prompting booth making cracks on the Wagnerian soprano in her Viking helmet. Study has found that the original ‘prompt box’ is theater was located stage left, and it varied from a small table on the wings to a total installation of a booth. In today’s times, it often comes with a communications intercom, green and red signal lights for the actors, controls for safety curtain and other emergency equipment, or telephone transmission to the front of the house.

The inspiration behind the electronic teleprompter came in during the 1940s from Broadway actor Fred Barton who desired a device that can help him remember his lines. He pitched this idea to 20th Century Fox VP for radio and TV, Irvin Kahn. In turn, Kahn sought the expertise of Hubery Schlafly, a broadcast engineer and director of television study at Fox, who then developed the first paper scroll prompter. It started in the year 1950 on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Tonight Show, and the soap opera The First Hundred Years.

Schlafly, Kahn and Barton were persuaded that there is a potential market for their invention, so they started a new company, naming it TelePrompTer Corp. The initial big break of the company outside the studio came when former president Herbert Hoover presented the TelePrompTer as a political speaker tool in a speech before the 1952 Republican National Convention.

Previously, I Love Lucy producer Jess Oppenheimer made claims crediting the invention of the teleprompter

He applied and was granted a US patent for the device. His version of the teleprompter was used for the commercial productions of Lucille Ball’s. Apart from this dispute, President Dwight D. Eisenhower was the first president to use a teleprompter for his State of the Union address.

In the year 1954 as well, Eisenhower wanted to give a television version of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Fireside Cats. The two Teleprompters were used to give the living room television audiences the impression that he was looking intently at them, talking informally. A few years later in 1975, the Chicago Tribune promoted an article about the preparations of Gerald Ford for his State of the Union address. The article noted that an aid recommended he use the old teleprompter system from the White House basement, unused since the days of Lyndon Johnson.

There were speculations that Ford, who was nearsighted, had a hard time reading the dated teleprompter equipment, so he ended up buying new ones. As stated in this article, the staffers of the White House tried to control the delivery of Ford’s speech by making the technician slow down the speed of the scroll so Ford can speak more slowly. This is a practice frowned upon by numerous professional teleprompter equipment operators practice because it puts additional stress on the speaker.

Many presidents have utilized teleprompter equipment as a tool for speech delivery from the days of Eisenhower to Clinton to Obama

One exclusion to this is former president Nixon, who always opens to use note cards as an alternative of a teleprompter. Outside the political circle, television shows, corporate events and news networks, today, Teleprompters are even utilized in live concerts, assisting performers with their lyrics. Notable artists who frequently used Teleprompters include Frank Sinatra, Elton John, Liza Minnelli and more.

From ancient Greek Theater to today’s modern times, the responsibility of teleprompter equipment will remain listening in the wings of the stage. Anyone can acquire a teleprompter these days, which have since them become available in varying sizes, uses, and features. Teleprompter rentals are also in demand these days; you just have to make sure that you hire equipment and pay for the services of an operator from a highly regarded business. Contact one in your area now and learn their added services and rates.

Learn how our friendly team of skilled teleprompter operators can save you time and money.