guide to ensure you are getting the brightest LCD prompter
for your outdoor production
May 29, 2005
does Bright mean, when we are speaking about an LCD
Teleprompter? Bright is a relative term, but I think
everyone will agree that all we really care about is
if the talent can read the Teleprompter outdoors in
bright sunlight conditions without much effort. Thatís
all that matters. Really.
it has come to my attention in the 8 years that there
is a huge misunderstanding! There are vendors out there
making claims that their prompter is Bright. Hey, if
you canít see the words outside Ė itís not bright!
as the owner of PC Prompting, I would like to detach
myself from any bias so that you can take me seriously
and allow me to impart some vital information to you.
So Iíll make this disclaimer before you read the rest
of this article.
duty to the Entertainment Production Industry as a Teleprompting
Service Provider for over 13 years, first and foremost,
is to provide the best solution possible to the end
user, you, the producer. My second obligation after
offering you the best solution is to shut up and give
you what you want.
on my 15 years of practical working experience in the
Teleprompting field, itís my hope that you would trust
us enough to handle what we do best. While I know there
are several competitive Teleprompting Service companies
in Los Angeles, and across the U.S., the purpose of
this article does not lie in shameless self promotion
or even hint at casting a bad light on my competitors.
However, Hollywood, being a severely competitive town,
is not without its ďplayersĒ who are capable of delivering
information that is downright misleading, if not malicious,
all in the name of being hired on a production over
a competitor. Trust me, this happens frequently.
information I am about to share is for YOUR benefit.
Itís meant to protect you and the integrity of your
production. Remember, if any prospective service
company passes misleading information to you as truth
in order to get hired, and you buy it, ultimately, you
become the victim. That being said, letís gain some
insight so that you can be more knowledgeable in making
the right choice for your production.
are several factors that enable an LCD teleprompter
to be readable in high ambient light conditions outdoors,
but the one basic truth is - if the LCD is not bright
enough, nothing else is going to matter.
have nit ratings, which are brightness ratings equivilent
to foot candles. The starting point is a nit rating
of atleast 1,000 or above in order for the words on
the LCD to be visible in bright sunlight conditions.
coating on the teleprompter mirror also aids in the
visibility of the reflected LCD image. Most teleprompter
mirrors are optically coated, including our outdoor
mirrors which produce a higher reflectance than the
standard teleprompter mirror, and still maintain only
a 1/2 stop loss through the glass. Mirrors should also
be neutral in their transmission but their reflectance
qualities should produce a specific shift for a brighter
interior of the mirror hood should also have a coating
or backing that absorbs 97% or more of the ambient light.
Since the LCD is so bright, it's imperative that there
are no reflective qualities inside the mirror hood that
might fog the recorded image in the camera.
requirements for the LCD also come into play. Off the
shelf LCD manufacturers supply a standard power inverter
for nominal performance. When you are outdoors competing
with the sun, you want peak performance from your LCD
prompter. Maximum power should be delivered to the LCD
without burning out the components. There is a fine
balance in acheiving maximum brightness as all cable
lengths of any gage wire experience voltage drop-off
when under a load.
we are talking about readability outdoors, we are not
only speaking of brightness, but of equal importance,
contrast. Glare off of the the LCD surface also presents
problems in delivering a high contrast image, so special
coatings certainly help with image contrast.
of PC Prompting's LCD Teleprompters have all of these
qualities and ratings that exceed the specs mentioned
above, plus a few other secrets.
burning question remains: How will I know whether or
not my Teleprompting Service provider has the right
stuff? After all, they could have read this article
that you are reading now, and feed you the information
contained here, even if they don't have the proper equipment
for outdoor production.
is one fail-safe way to find out: ASK THEM FOR A DEMO.
If they shy away from a demo or put you off, chances
are pretty good they can't produce the goods.
PC Prompting, we never shy away from a demo. In fact,
we are glad to do it provided the equipment is available
at a time that is convenient to both of us.
to give you an idea of how rare and exclusive our Bright
LCD Teleprompters are, an employee of mine was at the
recent NAB convention in Las Vegas this past April.
He saw several Teleprompting Manufacturers on the convention
floor touting their bright LCD prompters, so he decided
to approach a salesman whose company claimed to have
the "brightest" prompter. He asked the salesman
a few generic questions and then invited the salesman
to bring the prompter outdoors to see just how bright
their prompter was. The saleman was very hesitant and
came up with a number of excuses why he could not take
it outdoors. Finally, the salesman gave in and brought
the unit outside. Needless to say, it was an embarassing
discovery amongst a crowd of onlookers who also could
not see the words on the prompter.
received a call the other day from a company in Florida
who was looking to purchase one of our bright LCD prompters
to mount on a handheld camera. He stated that he was
at NAB this year and mentioned that he only saw one
Handheld camera prompter by a well known teleprompter
manufacturer, but that it had not been released for
sale due to technical problems.
we do not sell or rent our exclusive gear, we'd love
to work with you on your next production. We've worked
out all of the kinks, so give yourself one less thing
to worry about. You'll be in good hands.
can reach Steve Graham at (818) 831-6554.