This may come as a surprise, but the first teleprompter system dates back nearly 70 years when it was used for the 1952 Republican and Democratic National Conventions. In this early system, a script was printed in 1-inch-high letters by a special electric typewriter on a paper scroll that was advanced as the speaker read from it.
The technology has come a long way and the teleprompter itself has remained a valuable production tool that creates the illusion that a performer has memorized an entire speech, or is speaking spontaneously, while looking directly at the camera lens.
Tekskil Industries was founded in 1981 by a group of engineers who weren’t satisfied with early teleprompter systems. They’ve gone on to develop over two dozen innovative prompting products, including the 909C, the first integrated computer prompter.
With the rise of high-quality PTZ cameras in network studios, as well as for remote production, a dependable prompting solution was needed. Panasonic has collaborated with Tekskil Industries to deliver a unique studio camera platform solution for the flagship AW-UE150 4K/HD PTZ camera. By combining the compact, yet high performance of the UE150 with Tekskil’s integrated prompter system, productions can capture exceptional speaker presentations for news broadcasts, remote production, House of Worship, corporate presentations, and more.
What makes the Tekskil system unique is the UE150’s small size and great image quality, compared with a large studio camera and an even larger broadcast lens. The UE150 contains a large 1-inch MOS sensor and can output 4K/UHD 60p video. With a wide 75.1-degree viewing angle and 20x optical zoom lens, as well as outputs like 12G-SDI, HDMI, optical fiber and IP, the UE150 can become a versatile studio camera in a smaller package. It’s also more cost-effective than a traditional studio set-up.
"The Tekskil and Panasonic’s partnership has created the next generation of robotic studio cameras," explained Panasonic Solutions Sales Manager James Long. "Since all the equipment is IP controlled, the production team has shot presets and full paint control. With all teleprompter features sets and the AW-UE150 camera, a producer has the ability to have two camera shots from one teleprompter location."
According to Panasonic Sr. Solutions Development Manager Jason Shelton, the Tekskil shares the same principle as a traditional teleprompter system, but due to the smaller size of the UE150 and how the lens is situated, the system has been rebuilt for PTZs in a smaller form factor. “There's horizontal rotation of up to 370-degrees and vertical adjustment for up to 19-inches of elevation positioning,” explained Shelton, “providing pan, tilt, zoom, and horizontal/vertical adjustments through the motorized column of the Tekskil integrated prompter system.”
The UE150 is housed inside Tekskil’s PTZ26 Prompter Capsule (Q30), which is a 70:30 panoramic beam splitter. The Prompter Capsule has a 24-foot field of view at a 10-foot distance. Below the Capsule, the 19P-T Prompter Monitor is a 19” (14.8” x 11.9”) premium display (1280 x 1024 resolution) with custom heat and power control, composite video input, 3G/HD/SDI video input and an optional Network interface for IP feeds.
Mounted below the Prompter Monitor is the Floor Manager (TA40) display, which features a 3-stage Tally (Preview/Program/Special), Selectable Camera ID, Clock, Count Down and Count Up timer.
Supporting the Tekskil is the Power Pan (Q40), which has a 90-pound payload with 370-degree of rotation range. It also has local control with 3-position memory and optional tethered control. As an option, the Power Pan provides Network Control with expanded functions and 97 additional memory presets.
Finally, the Power Pedestal (Q50) contains 19” elevation range for a rising shot, local control with 3-position memory, and built-in power distribution (AC & DC). Like the Power Pan, it contains a 90-pound payload.
“At its core, Tekskil is a solid and cost-effective robotic column with a prompting unit and glass housing,” said Shelton. “The accessories include options like Tally/Tally Plus, Floor Manager, and Talent Assist Aux Panels.”
If you want more information on the Tekskil system with the AW-UE150, email us at PIVS.Solutions@us.panasonic.com.