If you’ve ever made a “talking head” video for anyone, you know how critical a teleprompter can be for a streamlined workflow. Almost any pro talent will know how to interact with a prompter, and even non pros may find it easier to read from a prompter than to memorize text. So, if you’re doing a commercial shoot with more than a few lines of text, a teleprompter can really save the day.

Before, you would have to hire big teleprompter devices and possibly an operator as well. They were not fun to use at all. Fortunately, that is no longer the case. If you are curious about using a teleprompter, see a couple available options below and learn a great hack from the DIYP team that will save you a significant amount of money and still get you the results you’re after.

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Option 1: IKAN PT4700

ikan PT4700

The pro setup above is still being used on bigger productions and it runs on the more expensive end at over $2,000. The benefit of using this option is that you have everything you need in a teleprompter in an easy-to-use format, ready to go. The downside is obviously the high cost.

Option 2: Datavideo TP-300

This represents a much cheaper teleprompter that only includes a couple mounts and the semi-transparent mirror mechanism. For the actual text scrolling, you’ll need to provide and use a tablet. This setup is not only more mobile, but also significantly cheaper at about $400.

Datavideo TP 300

Teleprompter Hack for the Cheaper Option

The only caveat of using a tablet-assisted setup (a term coined by the DIYP team) is that you have to touch it to operate the scrolling text. This can prove problematic, not to mention it is annoying. So, the folks from DIYP have shared a hack that adds a remote control to it. The best part is this hack will work with almost any teleprompter app.

To be clear, some teleprompters already have remotes, but this hack can add a remote to almost any prompter app. Specifically, the DIYP team looked at free Parrot Prompters (with limited support) and $3 Elegant Prompters (with full support), which are among the more popular prompter apps out there. Still, this hack will work with other teleprompter apps.

What You’ll Need:

This entire setup costs less than $20 (sans the tablet, which you probably already have).

Parrot Prompter

Once the OTG cable is connected to the tablet, and the keyboard is turned on, you can use the up and down arrows to move and the space bar to start and stop scrolling.

Elegant Teleprompter

This option allows you to do even more. You can assign shortcuts to the most common functions like speed change, scrolling, zooming, and even jumping paragraphs back and forward. To do this, click Settings>Remote Settings, and then assign each function a button by pressing that button. This process is similar to setting up a gamer’s mouse.

Now, you can stop touching the tablet and manage your talent instead. Let us know in the comments if you have more teleprompter hacks!