A teleprompter rig needs be set up just right for maximum effect when a presenter is reading from it. All teleprompters use specially prepared beam splitter glass, but despite the common component, each different brand has its own optimal setting. The one common principle when setting up a TP is that the camera lens should be centered on the back of the glass, and as close as possible without touching it.
Vertical centering can be achieved by raising or lowering the hood. There are some teleprompter systems which let you make adjustments to the height of the camera mounting plate. But this isn’t a good way to go. This is because when you raise the camera away from the fluid head, you lose control of the on-camera weight, meaning it could tilt. Moving the hood is always a better choice.
Adjusting Lens Position
To make sure the lens is as close as possible without actually touching the glass, move the mounting plate. Some systems allow making these adjustments without the use of tools, and in a single continuous plane of movement. There are systems that let you shift only to preset positions so you can optimize the position of the camera.
Adjusting Monitor Position
You also need to make sure the monitor is centered on the glass so that the whole image is reflected directly into the presenter’s line of sight. After this, the TP and camera should be centered over the fluid head to ensure a balanced system.
The bulk of the weight form the front should then be moved towards the fluid head, and everything should be placed close to the pivot point of the fluid head. The weight of the camera acts as a natural counterbalance to that of the TP. If your equipment lets you achieve this without the use of tools, or choppy movements, then it’s all the better.
The efficiency of a teleprompter design is about as important as the beam splitter glass it uses. Each element should have a favorable range of movement, and you should be able to make adjustments without the need for tools. Your positions options shouldn’t be limited to preset ones. The camera should not have to be raised each time to centre the lens on the glass. The teleprompter should also accommodate different cameras and lenses.