When I posted about my video studio I mentioned that I had been trying to work out a Teleprompter. I initially bought something from a guy that sold via EBay and wasn’t really happy with the results. I bought acrylic instead of a glass mirror which didn’t really work that well. It was dark on the mirror side and didn’t look very good. the software that was included in the package would do standard teleprompting (by inverting some text) but I really wanted to be able to use my PPT slides.
With the help of my friend, I was able to finally get the right result. It’s a design that utilizes a regular mirror on the bottom and a one-way mirror on the top that the camera sits behind. This periscope like design means that I don’t have to try to electronically transform the video signal at all. The video signal is straight up like normal, and the mirrors take care of everything.
Ultimately, I can use the solution (which I’m calling a Tele-Prompter-Scope for lack of a better term) with any software on the computer, and can even use it with the output of the camera as a preview monitor. We initially used the acrylic that came with the teleprompter I bought, but subsequently have swapped it out for real glass. The real glass one-way mirror that we used does have a neutral density pull down on the light coming through the glass, however, I’ve got plenty of light so this hasn’t been a problem for the camera.
I bought a LCD monitor that drives the rig with both VGA and DVI inputs — which is why I can send the camera’s HDMI output directly to the monitor. (via a $10 adapter) I can’t tell you how well it’s worked out. My initial studio tests had me looking off to the side at my notes which just looked like I was lying to people because I was constantly breaking “eye contact” with them (in this case the camera). My tests post teleprompter make it look like I’m always looking at the listener — it’s been a semi-long road to get there but the solution is perfect.
If you want one for yourself send an email to my buddy and he can quote you what it would take to make you one. Here’s what the end result looks like (the cloth keeps stray light out):