A teleprompter is a display device that prompts the person speaking with an electronic visual text of a speech or script. Using a teleprompter is similar to using cue cards. The screen is in front of, and usually below, the lens of a professional video camera, and the words on the screen are reflected to the eyes of the presenter using a sheet of clear glass or a specially prepared beam splitter. Light from the performer passes through the front side of the glass into the lens, while a shroud surrounding the lens and the back side of the glass prevents unwanted light from entering the lens.
That being said. In this Blog entry I will explain how I managed to create a DiY teleprompter using the following items listed below:
1. iOS Device (iPhone or iPad) any iOS that can use APPLE KEYNOTE iOS APP is fine. 2. KEYNOTE iOS APP 3. Router (Any router that provides wi-fi reception will do) 4. Computer Monitor 5. HDMI to VGA Adapter (if your monitor does not have an hdmi connection) 6. 3 foot VGA or HDMI cable depending on your monitor input connection. 7. Apple TV with it’s Factory Remote 8. CAT5 Cable (Length will depend on desired run) 9. Power Strip
If you are a band, worship team or an instructor of any sort, this simple teleprompter set up will work for you. What you need to determine first is where your teleprompter will be situated and provide power to it. You will need a power strip close to the monitor to connect at least three devices. The size and version of monitor depends on your budget.
You will need to secure a wireless router. If you are on a tight budget and do not have one laying around unused, you can buy a used one at your local Goodwill, Salvation, Army or even a Habitat for Humanity Restore. If you are part of a band and own a digital mixer that is being controlled by an iPad, you can use that existing router without disrupting anything. Otherwise, any wi-fi router other will do. Once you have the router you will need to gain access to it. At least know the wi-fi name and password. In my case I was using a Netgear Router that I was already using to allow musicians access to our digital console. I keep our router in the dog house of our Mixer, you will have to know where yours is located for the next step. Once you have access to the wi-fi your router connect to it with your iOS Device. Please be sure that you are connected to your Routers Wi-Fi before proceeding. Follow the next steps.
Step 1. If your MONITOR requires a VGA connection, connect the HDMI to VGA adapter to the VGA input of your Monitor. It is typically located on the back side of the Monitor.
Step 2. Connect the HDMI end of your HDMI to VGA adapter to your APPLE TV HDMI Input.
Step 3. Connect the power cords from your MONITOR and APPLE TV to your POWER STRIP and power up the POWER STRIP.
Step 4. Connect one end of your CAT5 Cable to the APPLE TV Ethernet Connection.
Step 5. Run the remaining of the CAT5 Cable to your router and plug it in any of the available ports.
Step 6. Once you have everything connected together and powered up walk back to your MONITOR and make sure everything is on and running by adjusting your Monitor INPUT SETTINGS to have the APPLE TV INPUT. At this point you should see the APPLE TV Home Screen on your Monitor if you have the correct INPUT SELECTED for the APPLE TV on the computer Monitor.
Step 7. Using your APPLE TV Remote, go to the SETTINGS area and verify that the APPLE TV Wi-Fi NETWORK CONNECTION is set up to ETHERNET CABLE and not Wi-Fi. The APPLE TV typically detects a hard line connection from a CAT5 Ethernet Cable but it is good practice to check anyway.
Step 8. Using your iOS Device, Scroll up the CONTROL CENTER and Click on the SCREEN MIRRORING option.
Step 9. Click on your APPLE TV in your list of available devices to connect to.
With your APPLE TV Selected you should now be able to see your iOS screen being Mirrored on your MONITOR.
Step 10. Open your KEYNOTE iOS APP on your iOS Device and launch a file.
Step 11. Click on the PLAY option of the KEYNOTE APP and both your iOS Device and MONITOR Screen should change to where your KEYNOTE Slideshow should fill the entire screen.
You can now tap or swipe the iOS screen to jump from one page to another or rewind.
The reason why I looked into creating this was because my brothers band need to add songs to their bands set list. The songs were not new songs but old ones they hadn’t played in a long time and the bandmates needed reference to the song lyrics and other info. What this set up allowed me to do was to add any info to the title page that musicians needed before the song started. Key, Tempo, Style etc… Using a hard line connection provided connection stability to the APPLE TV. I tried having the APPLE TV access the ROUTER Wi-FI wirelessly but we always encountered interference issues. The method I provided was and is stable to this day. As an added note, I have saved the KEYNOTE FILES to the FILES APP on my iOS Device so the I know that my slideshows are stored locally on my Device.
If you need additional TELEPROMPTERs you can Purchase a VGA or HDMI SPLITTER that has as the number of VGA Outputs that you need for the number of TELEPROMPTER you will have.
If you have any questions, suggestions or any cool comments feel free to comment to this BLOG ENTRY.
Food for Thought
If you would like to jazz up your TELEPROMPTER, check out Dave Rat's video on how he built his awesome version of a Teleprompter Wedge. (Published on Aug 11, 2015) Permission granted by Dave Rat for sharing video Feb 05, 2018.