The art of E.P.I.C innovation


Robin Brown TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
by Robin Brown
Issue 81 - September 2013
Autoscript has a history of innovation, technological development and investment that push the boundaries of the prompting discipline not just for the sake of selling more stuff but to solve our customers real-world problems or challenges. All of our innovations are derived from intimate customer knowledge, and when customers give us a good idea we can react to it quicker than anyone else because we design, develop, build and support everything ourselves. As well as the prompting units themselves, we have also developed some great accessories such as the hugely popular ClockPlus tally and timecode display accessory that integrates with all our LED monitors and displays studio time and camera status at a glance, which is a really valuable production aide for talent; and the award-winning voice activated VoicePlus controller which dispenses with hand or foot controls.

The original concept for the E.P.I.C. (Enhanced Prompting Information Centre) an all-in-one prompter and talent monitor came about through the combination of customer requirement and our desire to offer a better talent monitor solution than the one we had introduced around eight years ago, to enable presenters to see the programme feed. While the concept was popular, our custom-built monitors were relatively expensive; we found that a proportion of broadcasters were buying their own monitors but still using our mountings, so it was turning into a workaround rather than an ideal solution.
We decided to create a combined, integrated system with a prompter and talent monitor running off the same rig. Once we started the design process, a whole host of additional benefits became evident. By integrating the two systems we had less hardware, which in turn meant less weight and a greater tilt range; power consumption was greatly reduced; and the set-up and break-down was much easier and quicker.

While the initial design concept was sound, we then spent time tweaking things like the screen size and the depth of the talent monitor in order for it to fit and balance correctly on the rig, and the way in which the monitor latched when it was pushed back and folded down.

We launched the E.P.I.C. at NAB 2012 and received overwhelmingly positive feedback it was something everyone wanted but no-one had thought of. Customers liked the speed of set-up, the simplicity of it and the clarity of the image on the talent monitor.

Since the launch, the E.P.I.C. has continued to evolve with new customer requirements. The talent monitor can now swing freely so that when the camera tilts, the talent monitor remains at 90 degrees. We have also developed a model with a second SDI input, in response to requests from customers that want to flip the talent monitor and prompter - for instance, on home shopping shows the presenters can look into the lens to see the programme feed, which allows them to see how the product looks and where their hands are. For the future were looking at producing different screen sizes for the E.P.I.C., and are also considering different ways in which the talent screen output can be controlled.

Were also seeing the E.P.I.C. used in ways we didnt expect, such as taking it into the field. The talent monitor can fold up flat, so its relatively small and compact and the reduced weight means the unit can be moved around easily. SWR, the German broadcaster, has a unit on an OB truck, and a major American broadcaster took several on the road for its US election night coverage.

The E.P.I.C. remains a unique product in the prompting market, providing an elegant solution to a practical problem. This is borne out by the sales figures - while its our most expensive single product, its becoming our biggest seller in the higher end of the market.

Autoscript has always been seen as an innovator and we will always work hard to stay ahead of the game, developing new ideas to keep up with the rapid changes in broadcasting - but always focusing on customer needs.


Tags: iss081 | robin brown | autoscript | E.P.I.C | prompter | information centre | programme feed | talent monitor | Robin Brown
Contributing Author Robin Brown

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Autoscript at BVE 2012

    Autoscript at BVE 2012

  • Autoscript at BVE North 2011

    Autoscript at BVE North 2011

  • Autoscript at IBC2011

    Autoscript at IBC2011

  • Autoscript at IBC 2012

    Autoscript at IBC 2012

  • Autocue at BVE 2015

    Autocue at BVE 2015

  • CueScript EMC prompter and control surface at IBC 2014

    CueScript EMC prompter and control surface at IBC 2014

  • CueScript Prompters at NAB 2014

    CueScript Prompters at NAB 2014

  • Autocue DSLR Prompter using iPad at IBC 2013

    Autocue DSLR Prompter using iPad at IBC 2013

  • CueiT Software from CueScript at NAB 2018

    CueiT Software from CueScript at NAB 2018

  • Portaprompt at BVE 2017

    Portaprompt at BVE 2017

  • Portaprompt at IBC 2016

    Portaprompt at IBC 2016

  • CueScript at IBC 2015

    CueScript at IBC 2015

  • Portaprompt at IBC 2015

    Portaprompt at IBC 2015

  • Portaprompt at BVE 2015

    Portaprompt at BVE 2015

  • Autocue at NAB 2013

    Autocue at NAB 2013

  • Autocue at NAB 2012

    Autocue at NAB 2012

  • Datavision at BVE 2012

    Datavision at BVE 2012

  • Autocue at BVE 2012

    Autocue at BVE 2012

  • Datavideo at IBC2011

    Datavideo at IBC2011

  • Autocue at IBC2011

    Autocue at IBC2011


Related Shows
  • BroadcastShow Christmas Special

    BroadcastShow Christmas Special


Articles
Using Wireless Transmission
Jeremy Benning Wireless acquisition is a staple of live sports, entertainment and reality shows where cable free capture permits shots not previously possible, for health and safety reasons, and gives the camera-operator greater artistic licence to roam. The same is increasingly true of narrative drama where cinematographers are keen to work handheld or Steadicam where that helps tell the story. Any equipment which frees their movement and time by being lighter, easier to use and reliable in performance is going to tick a lot of boxes.
Tags: iss134 | wireless | 4k | transmission | Jeremy Benning
Contributing Author Jeremy Benning Click to read or download PDF
An Epiphany Moment
Peter Savage 2 I had been negotiating the sale of my company and had reached the really hard end of the bargain. We were close to agreeing the final sum after a lot of too-much-give-and-not-enough-take negotiation. The solicitors were calling me, keen for a deal. It had come down to one sticking point and, in my hard ball “I am the Wolf of Wall Street” guise, I wasn’t going to let it go. It would make a value difference of 1.5% on the total outcome. Not much, you might think, but I had already nearly fallen out with the solicitors over their fees and I was giving my advisors an extremely hard time because the corporate adviser couldn’t see how I had already given more than an inch and the buyers were taking more than a mile. I was not going to let them win.
Tags: iss134 | azule | finance | Peter Savage 2
Contributing Author Peter Savage 2 Click to read or download PDF
Accelerated Workflows with eGPU
Mike Griggs From the UK’s National Trust to magazine publishers to manufacturers, digital content creator Mike Griggs has a wide and varied portfolio of clients for whom he creates 3D art, motion graphics and multimedia exhibits. A typical day might involve sampling birdsong near Virginia Woolf’s country estate or creating 3D animations for VR. To keep on top of these demands, Griggs wanted to take the full power of the GPU computing revolution on the road.
Tags: iss134 | sonnet | egpu | amd | post production | editing | Mike Griggs
Contributing Author Mike Griggs Click to read or download PDF
University and Mental Health
Rhiannon Jenkins University study and mental health has been in the media quite a bit over the last year, and I’m sure there are many people wondering what is going on? The issues are complex, and I suppose the focus of employability off the back of a degree course has raised the stress stakes for a lot of young people. I’m only qualified to talk about this from my perspective, and my story began when I joined a course not knowing I had a mental health condition.
Tags: iss134 | portsmouth uni | mental health | student | tvfutures | Rhiannon Jenkins
Contributing Author Rhiannon Jenkins Click to read or download PDF
Protecting the continuity of transmission
Lorna Garrett Your viewers love you. You consistently bring them their preferred channels 24/7. They’ve come to rely on you for their viewing pleasure. They never miss cheering on their beloved sports teams. They’re the envy of their friends as they watch live concerts of their favourite bands. They gather the family around and catch up on their must-see shows. They don’t have a bad word to say about you.
Tags: iss134 | garland | gpl | streaming | artel | disaster recovery | Lorna Garrett
Contributing Author Lorna Garrett Click to read or download PDF