How to pick the best teleprompter for more professional videos

How to pick the best teleprompter for more professional videos

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If you shoot videos with a script, I’m sure you have run into the issue of trying to read that script off of a laptop, phone, or printed notes.  You may have realized that it’s pretty much the exact opposite of a fluid process. There’s a better way to go about this, and despite everyone knowing what a teleprompter is, very few people think of implementing one. Making more professional videos with the use of a prompter is much easier–and cheaper–than you may think!

What is a teleprompter?

While most people know what a teleprompter does in a broad sense, the actual “how it works” may not be too clear to some. Basically, it’s a method of allowing on-camera talent to read a script while maintaining eye contact with the audience (the camera).

The short, short version is this: There’s a display facing upward toward a piece of beam splitting glass mounted at about a 45 degree angle. The glass reflects the display out toward the talent, showing them the script. Behind that piece of glass is the camera, filming through the glass. Because the glass is beam splitting glass, the reflection does not appear on the glass and the camera doesn’t see anything other than the set in front of it.  It’s essentially a one-way mirror, basically.

This allows the camera to an unimpeded view of the set, while still allowing the talent to keep looking right at the camera, instead of needing to glance off-axis at cue cards or a separate display.

Why should I use a teleprompter?

Whether you have your laptop set up below the camera, on the desk in frame, or phone in hand, it’s going to involve some clear visual cues that you’re trying to read your script. While it’s not a deal breaker, you’ll definitely find yourself making quite a bit more jump cuts in the edit process. Ultimately, this will lead to more time spent filming and editing. Time that you could be using for, well, literally anything else.

Using a teleprompter for YouTube may seem overkill at first, but think about it. Your script will be immediately in front of you, allowing you to still read all of your well-written dialogue and not needing to break eye contact with your camera. Faster filming sessions, faster editing, faster turnaround time on videos. Adding to those, you will find that you have a much better connection with your audience because you won’t be constantly looking away or jump cutting as much.

So maybe a better question would be “Why shouldn’t I use a prompter?” If you just can’t do the scripted thing, or your content isn’t necessarily conducive to everything being scripted out, you probably don’t need one. If you only vlog, then yeah, probably not needed at all.

But if you put out educational/informational content, especially on the tech side of things, having a teleprompter and the teleprompter app of your choice can definitely save a lot of time, effort, and possible frustration during video production.

So with that said, let’s get on with the show and take a look at a handful of teleprompters that you could use in your video production.

Tips for picking out a teleprompter

There are a lot of variables that could possibly involved when you start looking into buying a teleprompter. Budget, gear, and space all play a part in your decision making, but here’s some basic starting points to keep in mind.

  • What camera do you currently have? Are you shooting with DSLRs or mirrorless cameras, or currently smartphone-only? Depending on the camera size, you may need a smaller or less expensive teleprompter than if you are shooting with a RED or C300.  Lens choice is also a factor to consider, as mounting space may come into play.
  • How big is your planned shooting space? How far away will your camera and teleprompter going to be? Teleprompters usually have a listed maximum readability range, so keep that in mind.
  • What do you intend to use as the source for the teleprompter? Do you have a smartphone you plan on using, or are you going to set up an iPad teleprompter (or other tablet)? A larger source means you can have it further away and still read the copy, but also means you’ll need a larger teleprompter.
  • After looking at what you have now, what camera and space are you planning on upgrading to in the near future? If you have no intentions of moving away to a larger camera or a bigger shooting space, you don’t necessarily have to look into future-proofing and buying for later. You can save some cash this way, but if you end up upgrading anyway, you may have to buy twice.

Teleprompters with built-in displays

Traditionally, teleprompters have been large bulky devices attached to studio cameras, where the built-in display is mounted to the frame containing the beam splitting glass with both covered by a hood to block light from the reflected image. This is still the design of the majority of prompters today, whether looking at professional studio-level prompters or small DSLR teleprompters.

Today, these displays are flat panel displays connected to a PC or Mac. A screen-reversing app would then be used on the computer, along with the actual functionality of scrolling the prompter copy. These are great if you have a dedicated set and are using larger cameras in a more permanent setup, as they run on AC power and need to be tethered to the machine providing the copy.

Telmax G2 17″ Teleprompter

Telmax’s G2-17 is a self-contained setup that works with most cameras and tripods, and includes a sled system that allows for precise positioning of the camera lens behind the beamsplitter glass. It is a bit heavy at around 20 pounds, but that does include a plastic shroud instead of a fabric one found on most lower cost units. The mirror angle is adjustable, and Telmax states that the effective viewing range is between a few inches and 22 feet. They also include their ZaPrompt Pro software for Mac and PC to handle the dual-screen reversing tasks.

Buy the Telmax G2 17″ Teleprompter here

I’m only including this one built-in display model in this post. There are a lot of them out there, most way more expensive than this one. But, to be honest, the majority of people reading this will not be looking for something like this, due to an increased cost and the pure physical space required for a larger unit and dedicated PC to run it. So with that, we move on to the next–and most recent–type of teleprompter.

Smartphone or tablet teleprompters

Yes, yes, the smartphone has yet another category of equipment designed for it. But this is actually really useful for a lot of video creators. There are multitude of options out there for small prompter setups that use your smartphone or a tablet instead of the built-in display of the expensive professional teleprompters.

Smartphone teleprompters are built around the same physical concept as the built-in display units, with a beam splitter reflecting the image while the camera shoots through it. Usually, in this case, that camera is a DSLR, small cine video recorder, or other sort of camcorder-ish device. There’s a hood, sometimes a rail mount, and everything you’d need to attach your existing camera to the prompter. Sometimes even they come with a mount for another smartphone as the recording device instead of a normal video camera.

So basically, you have yourself a full-fledged teleprompter for a fraction of what you’d pay for a fully integrated setup. But these are typically smaller devices than the built-in display models, and the copy being read is often smaller as well. Those of us with vision issues will need to get these closer than we’d probably want to admit. But you can get some larger units that support large tablets, or you could always use a small flat panel display with some instead.

Glide Gear TMP 50 Adjustable Smartphone Mini Teleprompter

This is probably one of the more popular smartphone teleprompters floating around out there. Glide Gear makes some pretty great photo and video equipment at some decent prices (I personally own the Glide Gear DNA 1000 video stabilizer and–while it’s not the easiest to balance–the build quality is definitely decent at the price).

The TMP 50 will support smartphones or mini tablets up to 7 x 6 inches, and mounts on pretty much any tripod. This unit does come with the shroud and a carrying bag, and you can use either a DSLR, camcorder, or another smartphone as your recording device without any issues. You will want to be careful of sticking longer lenses on DSLRs with this system though, as you may run out of room on the built-in camera “rail”, which may necessitate a second tripod.

Buy the Glide Gear TMP 50 Adjustable Smartphone Mini Teleprompter here

CuePro Prompter Teleprompter

As of when I was initially researching this post, this prompter was among the cheapest available. At the time of writing this, however, it seems to be currently out of stock. Whether this is due to constantly selling out or otherwise due to build reasons in a few of the reviews, well, who knows.

But if it does come back in stock, check it out. If you absolutely need a near-DIY quality/cost device and are just too lazy to build one yourself (like myself!), this one’s the prompter for you. It claims to support phones and tablets up to 10″, and they vehemently describe it as not being made with cardboard or paper. So, there’s that! Honestly, I don’t remember what it was selling for at this point, but if you need it on the ultra cheap, it actually didn’t seem too terrible of an option.

Buy the CuePro Prompter Teleprompter here

Parrot Teleprompter Version 2 Bundle w/Parrot PT Teleprompter Remote

Here’s a device with the exact opposite approach as the CuePro. The Parrot V2 teleprompter is smaller (only smartphones), more rugged, and more expensive. But the V2 has made some pretty important improvements over the initial version, such as switching from glue to physical clips for the mirror glass, being made out of a tougher material to reduce scratches to the device, and changing up the phone grip and mounting system.

And the bundle comes with the Parrot PT Teleprompter Remote as well, so you won’t have to look for one separately. All for a pretty attractive bundle price. Can’t go wrong here for a smartphone tablet.

Buy the Parrot Teleprompter Version 2 Bundle here

Glide Gear TMP100 Adjustable iPad/Tablet/Smartphone Teleprompter Beam Splitter Glass with Carry Case

The TMP 100 is Glide Gear’s next size up, offering both a better camera mounting solution and larger tablet capacity. It can hold up to a 10.5 by 9.5 inch tablet, and again is a collapsible device that mounts onto any tripod. This is definitely a better option than the TMP 50 if you need a larger tablet and bigger camera, but isn’t too much larger to carry around.

Buy the Glide Gear TMP 100 Adjustable iPad/Tablet/Smartphone Teleprompter Beam Splitter Glass with Carry Case here

Glide Gear TMP 500 Universal Video Camera Tripod / Shoulder Rig Teleprompter 15mm Rails w/ Carry Case

The TMP 500 is Glide Gear’s biggest prompter, and also the most complicated. Despite being the “big boy” in their lineup, it actually holds tablets up to 10.5 by 8.5 inches. This change is primarily due to the fact that this model is on a 15mm rail system, and space is limited with the provided rails.

Because it’s on a rail system, however, you actually have a lot of control over the positioning of the camera, mirror mount, and overall balance on the tripod. You can also extend the rails or replace them with your own 15mm rails if you need different ones. One of the other advertised features is that you can put the rails on a shoulder mount and be able to carry around your teleprompter rig. You know, if you had that need for whatever reason.

Buy the Glide Gear TMP 500 Universal Video Camera Tripod / Shoulder Rig Teleprompter 15mm Rails w/ Carry Case here

Telmax PROIPEX iPad / Android / Smartphone Universal Teleprompter

Here’s another entry from Telmax, but a tablet version. Just like the G2-17, the build quality is pretty great, and the shroud is plastic. Because of the these features the PRO-IP-EX is a bit heavier and a good chunk more expensive, but if you need something that can take a bit more abuse it’s a great option.

Buy the Telmax PROIPEX iPad / Android / Smartphone Universal Teleprompter here

Glide Gear TMP-WB Solo Tablet iPad Laptop Desktop Tripod Teleprompter

This one is a bit odd, but hear me out. This is a teleprompter for use with an iPad. Or a laptop. Or even a desktop, maybe, depending on how your webcam is positioned. Basically, this is meant to hang on your iPad or laptop, and has a gap between the beamsplitter up top and the phone tray at the bottom, letting you see your video chat window between the two. Wild, right??

Seriously, I just had to include this because of how random and unique it is. If you do a lot of livestreams and the like, but yet still need to read a script, you shouldn’t have to look off of your monitor or phone like a pleb just because you’re using a webcam and not a dedicated camera.

Really though, admittedly the use case for this is somewhat niche, but you never know when someone might need exactly this for whatever random setup they have going on.

And frankly, just the concept of a teleprompter for your iPad is hilarious. So amazing.

Buy the Glide Gear TMP-WB Solo Tablet iPad Laptop Desktop Tripod Teleprompter here

Prompt-it Maxi Teleprompter with Beamsplitter Glass

The Prompt-it Maxi is a slightly different animal compared to the rest of these. This unit does not have a camera mount–it’s solely a teleprompter. It’s also designed for the tablet to be in portrait mode, not landscape like most of the rest. This will give more room for copy to be on screen at once, allowing you to read a bit easier.

The Maxi will support tablets up to 192mm by 260mm, with a max recommended thickness of 20mm. So this is definitely not for phones, but for people who need a larger prompter. And while there is no camera mount, it does include the glare shroud, so at least there’s that.

Honestly, this is actually a pretty decent prompter, albeit for a more specific audience; one that needs a tablet, wants it in portrait, and doesn’t mind having two tripods (or one large tripod on a rail system).

Buy the Prompt-it Maxi Teleprompter with Beamsplitter Glass here

Ikan PT-ELITE-V2 Universal Tablet Teleprompter

I initially wanted to shy away from some of the more expensive units, but I suppose in the grand scheme of things this isn’t terrible compared to the actual expensive ones. Plus, I did want to show that there’s some more rugged stuff with a rail mount than the Glide Gear.

Ikan makes a ton of prompters, including some very expensive models. But this is actually a pretty affordable, high quality tablet-based unit with a great build quality. Really, the only real issue with this one is that it’s easy to install the glass backwards by accident. But aside from that one quirk, there’s really not much to compain about with this tablet–just make sure your tablet is compatible with the bracket.

But if you need a fairly heavy duty rail-mounted teleprompter rig at a relatively affordable cost, the PT-ELITE-V2 is your choice.

Buy the Ikan PT-ELITE-V2 Universal Tablet Teleprompter here

Cue card style prompters

This isn’t a “real” category, but it’s what I’m calling off-axis prompter devices. Or in other words, the script copy is not directly in front of the camera lens, but either above, below, or off to the side somehow.

The same concept as having someone holding cue cards, this usually involves some sort of cage or mount that will hold your smartphone or tablet above the camera lens. These are typically cheaper and smaller, but you’ll still have some degree of eye shift from the copy to the lens. This degree with increase as the distance between talent and camera decreases, but it will definitely get the job done if you need a super small, portable rig–or just don’t need a prompter very often.

iShot G10 Pro Large Universal 360° Adjustable iPad Pro Surface Tablet Premium Teleprompter Camera Cage Kit

 

This is actually more than just a teleprompter that mounts above your camera, but is a full kit for mounting your camera, a tablet, and other things atop a tripod. I’m including it because it’s actually a really useful setup.

The tablet mount will hold a tablet between 8 and 13 inches, so no smartphone capacity. But the really nice part about this kit is that it’s built upon a camera cage. While the cage lets you mount other things up top (such as a video light and microphone), the main benefit is that it will help steady out your handheld footage on the cheap. It’s not the best video stabilizer out there, but it’s way cheaper than a gimbal for sure.

So, really, you’re getting a pretty versatile setup here. Super-compact teleprompter-ish device along with a useful camera cage and stabilizer. For the money, if it fits your needs, you seriously can’t go wrong with this setup.

Buy the iShot G10 Pro Large Universal 360° Adjustable iPad Pro Surface Tablet Premium Teleprompter Camera Cage Kit here

Powermounts Premium Smartphone/Action Camera Teleprompter Kit with 6000mAh Powerbank

Here we have one of the more low-cost and low-tech options available. This is designed to hold one phone as the prompter, and a second phone as the camera (or a GoPro or other action camera if that’s your jam) and mount it atop your laptop screen. Well, technically it mounts behind and peeks up above it, but it will also allow for a mount on, as they mention, a stack of books. Yeah. Because why not?

The downsides to this one are a few, though. First, the phone orientation is in portrait. I guess that’s fine for Instagram Live or Snapchat or Facebook Live video, but otherwise, a bit less than desirable. You could mount a regular phone mount to the GoPro mount, but that’s just getting cumbersome. Second is the fact that you most likely need to slap something onto your laptop for a good suction mount. They do include these, but still, not necessarily a fan of sticking something so random on my laptop lid.

But it does some with a 6000mAh powerbank to make sure your phone is topped off during recording, so that’s a nice bonus. And you don’t have to mount it on your laptop, so why not just slap it on that stack of books for some impromptu IG live videos, right? Seriously though, this is definitely a bit of a niche item for a few people who don’t mind defacing their laptop or need something ultra portable (and fairly inexpensive).

Buy the Powermounts Premium Smartphone/Action Camera Teleprompter Kit with 6000mAh Powerbank here

Presidental Teleprompters

Initially I wasn’t going to include these, as they’re somewhat outside the target demographic I have in mind. But after researching these, I think they’re worth at least covering a little bit so we’ll look at some examples.

They get their name from–quite obviously–the fact that they’re used by the President and other public speakers in order to give their address and be engaging with the audience instead of maintaining eye contact with the camera in the case of a conventional teleprompter. One prompter is placed on each side of the stage in the line of sight of the speaker, and provides freedom of movement to the speaker.

There’s not much special about presidential prompters, except that difference in positioning as well as being as unobtrusive as possible. They’re really pretty simple, but ridiculously expensive just because of who the usual buyers of these devices are.

Glide Gear STG 100 Speech / Presentation / Presidential Tablet Stage Prompter

Yet another Glide Gear product, this presidential teleprompter will hold tablets ranging form 7″ to 15″. The glass is also 15″, so while it’s not listed in the specs, the readable range is probably up to around 15′ to 18′ in best conditions.

Build-wise, it’s not really anything more than a mic stand with a tablet mount and a glass mount up top instead of a mic clip. You could probably source the parts and make one yourself for way less money, so that’s an option if you need this style of teleprompter on a budget.

Buy the Glide Gear STG 100 Speech / Presentation / Presidential Tablet Stage Prompter here

Prompter People FLEX-iPAD-PRES FLEX Presidential Teleprompter

Prompter People make a lot of different higher end teleprompters, and this is their tablet version of a presidential teleprompter. Again, it’s pretty pricey, and not anything more than a mic stand with some special mounts affixed to it.

Buy the Prompter People FLEX-iPAD-PRES FLEX Presidential Teleprompter here

Telmax Presidential Teleprompter Bundles

You’ll notice that the tablet versions usually are sold invididually, while the built-in display versions are available in pairs. This is primarily because it’s way easier to set up and sync two of the display versions as opposed to two separate tablets.

Looking at these Telmax Presidential Teleprompter bundles you can see why, too. These are available with different size displays/glass to suit different size/distance applications, I’ve listed the 15″ and 19″ versions below (there is also a 17″ version).

But the nice part of these types of prompters is the fact that the displays both get connected to a four port VGA splitter, which feeds the second display output from the computer running the included ZaPrompt Pro software to both prompter displays at the same time. If you need a teleprompter setup for public speaking, these bundles will definitely do the job.

Buy the Telmax TSP2-15 Teleprompter Bundle here Buy the Telmax TSP2-19 Teleprompter Bundle here

Controllers

With traditional teleprompters, they’re usually controlled by someone on set, who will pause when necessary, roll it back for another take, and maybe edit the copy on the fly as needed. That’s usually not the way most video creators would be using a teleprompter, so we need a way to control the prompter from in front of the camera.

If you are using your own display attached to a computer, you could do what Paul from Paul’s Hardware does, and throw a keyboard on the floor under his desk, allowing him to hit the space bar like a footswitch. You could also do this with a Bluetooth keyboard paired to a smartphone.

But if you’re not using a PC to power a prompter and are instead running a tablet or smartphone, a Bluetooth controller is the way to go. Most are just handheld remotes, or you could use game controllers also. There are a small number of suitable Bluetooth foot pedals out there, but most seem to be geared towards transcription or sheet music control. They may still work, but not the way you’d like.

IK Multimedia iRig Blueboard wireless floor controller

IK Multimedia is a well-known player in the music industry, and over the past handful of years have been focusing on iPhone and iPad music creation. Their iRig Blueboard floor pedal is designed to work with a multitude of iOS apps, such as guitar effects or recording apps, as well as sheet music apps. The pedal connects via Bluetooth and communicates with MIDI over that Bluetooth connection.

Because the pedal is standard MIDI communication, developers have started building in support for this pedal into their teleprompter applications. Thankfully this means you have several iOS teleprompter apps to choose from, and you can configure the pedal to do just what you need with your teleprompter app of choice.

The down side is that based on everything I’ve found, it’s not compatible with Android despite using plain ol’ Bluetooth. It requires a companion app on the iOS device, which clearly can’t be installed on an Android.

Buy the IK Multimedia iRig Blueboard wireless floor controller here

AirTurn Stomp 6

Fear not, Android users, for AirTurn has got your back. While the Stomp 6 may not look as cool as the Blueboard and costs a bit more, it’s got it where it counts. Aside from backlighting, that is.

What the Stomp 6 does offer is six momentary foot switches, hence the name. Heavy duty industrial footswitches in an all metal enclosure is what you get here, which is definitely a contrast from the Blueboard and its somewhat squishy (albeit backlit) buttons. It does require a 9v battery, but it will also run on a 9v power supply like most any other guitar effects pedal, so you musicians should be good there.

AirTurn’s website has a ton of compatible apps listed, and I’m sure there’s others that haven’t been added. And yes, there are definitely Android apps available that are on the compatibility list. Again, this pedal is just using standard MIDI protocol, so nothing crazy here. That said, I think it’s important to note that none of the listed teleprompter apps on their list are marked as compatible with the Stomp 6, or even the Quad. Unsure if this is because they aren’t compatible yet, or documentation is just way behind.

Either way, this is definitely a high quality pedal and if the app is compatible, this will give you way more functionality than you’d need for a teleprompter, while still being able to work with any other app on your compatible devices, including computers with compatible Bluetooth versions.

Buy the AirTurn Stomp 6 here Buy the AirTurn QUAD here

Parrot PT-Remote Teleprompter Remote for Smartphones and Tablets with Bluetooth Wireless

We’ve discussed the Parrot teleprompter up above, but they also have a fully featured remote available as well. According to Parrot, they only guarantee compatibility with their app, but it may work with others as well. You should do your research to see if it works with your teleprompter app, but if it does, this is a pretty great little remote.

Buy the Parrot PT-Remote Teleprompter Remote for Smartphones and Tablets with Bluetooth Wireless here

8Bitdo Zero Mini Gamepad, Bluetooth Wireless Game Controller for Android/iOS/Windows

And now for something completely different. Again, app compatibility may be hit or miss, but the 8Bitdo mini game pad is actually a pretty good choice as a teleprompter remote. If you want something that will pull double duty as a remote and for gaming and looks pretty great, it’s going to fit the bill for sure. Again, just research app compatibility.

Buy the 8Bitdo Zero Mini Gamepad, Bluetooth Wireless Game Controller for Android/iOS/Windows here

AirTurn DIGIT Bluetooth Multi-Function Remote

Back with AirTurn here for a handheld remote. With foot pedal compatibility. Wait, what? Yep, the original AirTurn DIGIT is not only a handheld app controller, but it actually has 3.5mm jacks that break out into 6.3mm jacks to connect expression pedals or other footswitches to. Really unique, not sure how useful to how many people it would be, but I can definitely see this actually being a really powerful remote system.

Powered by an internal rechargable battery with mini USB charging, users should expect up to 100 hours of standby time, which isn’t terrible at all. Just like the footswitches, it pairs with iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS, so it’s a pretty versatile setup. And with the ability to add foot pedals if you need them, it should have all your needs covered.

Buy the AirTurn DIGIT Bluetooth Multi-Function Remote here

AirTurn DIGIT III Bluetooth Multi-Function Remote

The DIGIT III is AirTurn’s latest remote control available, and runs on Bluetooth 4.0, unlike the original DIGIT. This means that your phone, tablet, PC/Mac, etc, needs to support Bluetooth 4.0. Most major flagship phones of the past few years support this protocol, however if you have an older iPad 1 or 2, you should stick with the DIGIT.

The DIGIT III is a different design than the first, however. Instead of a larger, expandable remote, this new iteration shrinks down in size. Retaining only the face buttons and USB charging port, it’s definitely easier to hold and hide. If you don’t need the pedal ability from the original DIGIT and have a modern device to use with it, save some money and pick this one up.

Buy the AirTurn DIGIT III Bluetooth Multi-Function Remote here

ACGAM R1 Bluetooth 4.0 Wireless Gamepad VR Remote

One of the last remotes we’ll cover here is definitely one of the more strange entries in the list. Again, this is a Bluetooth 4.0 remote, so do that research on your device compatibility up front. But really, the unique form factor and control features are why it’s making the list.

First of all, this is definitely a VR controller, meant to be used in one hand, or maybe paired with another off-hand controller as well. There’s a thumbstick, face buttons, side buttons, trigger buttons, and all on a little device that slips over your finger like a ring. And it’s that form factor that makes it a great potential wireless teleprompter remote.

My thought here is that it’s unobtrusive enough to keep in your hand as you’re doing your video and it won’t look terribly awkward. Yes, people will definitely ask what it is and what it’s for, but hey, just one more question for one of your FAQ videos, right?

In all seriousness though, if you don’t care about going the route of hiding a footswitch out of frame, this could be a really great alternative that you can hide in you palm and still have instant control of your teleprompter app. And I hate repeating this, but definitely do your compatibility research of your teleprompter app to see if it will work with game pads.

Buy the ACGAM R1 Bluetooth 4.0 Wireless Gamepad VR Remote here

Bluetooth keyboards

Last, but not least, are just Bluetooth keyboards in general. If you already have one lying around for any of your devices, this is an easy choice. If you have somewhere to hide it out of frame (or don’t care if it’s in the shot), it’s an easy and very compatible method that almost all of the teleprompter apps can support. Seeing as they’re available in a ton of different form factors, you can definitely find one that will work for your needs.

Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard

Anker Bluetooth Ultra-Slim Keyboard

Jelly Comb Handheld Remote Control Wireless Mini Keyboard with Touchpad Mouse

Logitech K810 Wireless Bluetooth Illuminated Multi-Device Keyboard for PC, Tablets and Smartphones

Rii FMKBTL1-IV1 i8+ BT Mini Wireless Bluetooth Backlight Touchpad Keyboard with Mouse

Teleprompter apps

The final piece of the puzzle here are, of course, apps. There are several teleprompter apps available for Android, iOS, PC and Mac. No matter whether you’re going for a smartphone teleprompter or a full, more professional teleprompter, you will be able to find an app for your needs.

Some apps are compatible with more remotes than others, some only work with that brand’s own hardware. You’ll most likely have to play around with the apps and find the ones that work with your prompter remote the best, but there’s definitely several choices out there.

In addition to remote compatibility, you’ll want to make sure that any teleprompter app you work with has adjustable text size and speed, as well as mirror text. The size and speed of course so that you can read the prompter copy without issues, and the mirror text because that’s how the whole teleprompter thing works: It’s a piece of glass that is a essentially a one-way mirror. The copy on the device needs to be reversed in order to actually read it at all.

There are a lot of teleprompter apps for Android and iOS out there, and covering even just the top players would be difficult, so I’ve compiled a list of the ones I like or have heard good things about, including the app cost, any in-app purchases (IAPs), presence of ads, and on iOS, what devices they support. Take a look through them and find the one that works best for your devices and workflow.

Android teleprompter apps

Simple Teleprompter – Free, no IAPs
Teleprompter Pro LITE – Free, no IAPs
Teleprompter Pro – $4.99, no IAPs
Parrot Teleprompter – Free, no IAPs
A Prompter For Android – Free, IAPs
Autocue – Free, contains ads, no IAPs
Remote Prompter – Free, no IAPs
PromptWare Plus – Free, no IAPs

iOS teleprompter apps (iPhone/iPad)

Teleprompter Lite – iPhone/iPad – Free – No IAP
Teleprompter Premium – iPhone/iPad/Apple Watch – $11.99 – IAP
PromptSmart Lite – iPhone/iPad – Free – IAP
PromptSmart Pro – iPhone/iPad – $19.99 – IAP
Parrot Teleprompter – iPhone/iPad – Free – No IAP
Promptster – iPhone/iPad – Free – IAP
Promptster Pro – iPhone/iPad – $9.99 – IAP
iCue – iPhone/iPad – $7.99 – No IAP
iAutocue – iPhone/iPad/Apple Watch – $12.99 – No IAP

Desktop and online teleprompters

There are other options available out there, primarily for those of you who have a teleprompter with a built-in display, or have built your own DIY teleprompter and have set up either your own display or using a laptop.

You can find plenty of free online teleprompters out there, and some great premium ones such as EasyPrompter (They also have a free EasyPrompter Basic available as well). As for desktop apps, most of the manufacturers that sell the built-in models do bundle their own teleprompter software, and there are a lot of other desktop apps for Mac and PC available.

Tips on shooting with your new teleprompter

Okay, so now you’ve bought your teleprompter, got it set up and are ready to shoot your next video. You may find that there’s a learning curve if you aren’t used to reading off of a prompter. Some people take to it faster than others, but here’s some quick tips for getting up and running as quick as possible.

  • When you’re setting things up, make sure you can read the copy without squinting, or doing anything unnatural. You want to read the script and not necessarily make it super clear that you’re reading.
  • If you’re putting together your teleprompter and need to install the glass, make sure the glass is installed facing the right way. Teleprompter glass is essentially a one-way mirror.
  • Once you have your teleprompter set up, practice. Practice, practice, practice. You may have to spend some time getting used to reading off of a prompter and keeping your cadence natural and conversational, but practicing before jumping into your first video with the teleprompter is a good idea. Even if you don’t have anything to write, just grab any script similar to what you’ll be doing and load it into your app. Shoot some test video and watch it back to fix what needs fixing.
  • Learn your teleprompter app. Learn your remote control. Get the operation down to a thoughtless process. Find a font size that works for you at a speed that you’re comfortable with based on your natural cadence. This may take some testing, which plays into the previous tip.
  • Along the lines of practicing, practice your script writing. Seeing as you’re speaking to your audience, you’ll want your script to be fluid, or as I mentioned before, natural and conversational. While you’re essentially delivering a monologue, you still want your audience to be engaged. You want to talk with your audience, not at them.
  • Yet more practice, but if you shoot at different places often, make sure you know how to set up and break down your teleprompter quickly. Thankfully most are pretty easy to set up, but still a good idea to know your gear inside and out.

Final thoughts

Phew! This definitely ended up a bit more involved than I initially intended, but through the research (and even writing) of this post it seemed like there were a lot of things that I felt would be helpful to a lot of people looking to get started with finding the best teleprompter for their needs.

Thankfully there are a lot of different variations out there, allowing you to get exactly what you need and can afford. Whether you’re a small bedroom operation or have some dedicated studio space, finding a suitable teleprompter for for your YouTube broadcast, educational videos, or livestream seminars is definitely a viable option.

If you have any questions about getting started with a teleprompter, be sure to leave a comment below. And if you have had any interesting experiences with any of these or other similar teleprompters, be sure to let us know!

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