Get rid of those cue cards and make a low-cost teleprompter for pro results
Thanks go to Brian Lawler for the original article in MAKE, Volume 02.
To download The DIY Teleprompter MP4 click here or subscribe in iTunes.

Check out the complete DIY Teleprompter article in
MAKE, Volume 02 “No More Cue Cards” and you can see that in our Digital Edition.

16 thoughts on “Weekend Project: DIY Teleprompter

  1. Great project Kip.

    I might suggest putting some plastic edging and corners on that piece of glass though, and maybe make the glass mounts a swivel so that you can adjust the perceived height of the script for different speakers.

  2. I should point out that “actual” teleprompters for broadcast use have very high-quality optical glass.

    I heard a story yesterday about someone complaining about the look of a broadcast television show. An engineer started looking at the cameras, and noticed that the side cameras looked better than the main camera. The main camera had a teleprompter. He asked the production folks about the teleprompter, and was told that someone broke the glass on it, so they went down to Home Depot and got some new glass for it…which explained why the color was off on just that camera.

    Of course at home, you might not notice this, nor are “real” teleprompters available under $1000.

  3. I’ve built a handfull of these, as well as a couple intellitrons. The simplest way to improve this design is to add Mirrored window tint to the glass. It will improve reflectivity greatly, at the cost of some light getting to the camera.

  4. How about using scanner glass for the teleprompter? Unwanted scanners are fairly easy to find, either from FreeCycle or by asking around. Parallel port interfaced scanners, for instance, are no longer supported by Windows and hence get discarded. The glass sheet must surely be fairly good optically, although you’d be limited to approx A4 in size and shape.

    Scanner glass is, incidentally, surprisingly strong and well attached to the scanner case! I have stood on a scanner glass (carefully) in an attempt to un-stick it, without the glass either breaking or coming unstuck.

    1. I believe scanner glass and copier platterns have to be made from safety glass just in case someone decides to sit on it.

  5. Nowadays setting up a laptop-based teleprompter is not a difficult task. You simply set up the notebook screen approximately eight feet in front of you and at the approximate eye level of your audience.

    Next, if you wish to tape your performance for review -or even to dub it on to DVDs and sell it! -set up your camcorder so the lens is just above your notebook screen. Now, position yourself in front of the camera so that while you read from the text that appears on your laptop screen, your eyes appear to look directly into the lens.

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