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REVIEW Autocue SSP17 Starter Series by Jon Pratchett T he time has come. My home made “autocue”, although working well, needed to be upgraded. It had served me well for a couple of years, but I needed something a bit higher quality and slightly bigger. So Autocue kindly loaned me one of their SSP17 Starter Package prompters. Their Starter Series of prompters is exactly that, it’s their lower end prompter series, but this does not mean low quality. One of the features of this prompter was its ability to be configured into multiple solutions. Either on camera, straight read above camera, or floor mounted. ‘‘ Autocue are not getting it back and I am buying it off of them” 38 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE Compared to my home made prompter, the quality of the display is in a different league. I found the text to be strong and clear and being a 17” display is very easy to read from a distance. I have to say initial setup was a bit of a pain. The glass itself is adjustable both up and down and forwards and backwards. What let the system down for me was the quality of the nuts and bolts that hold them together. The design is fine, you simple remove a couple of bolts and position everything and then screw them in again. It was the low quality of the nut that was the problem. You felt as though you could strip the threads very easily and if you were having to adjust the system all the time I can see this happening. Simply a higher quality nut and bolt would solve this minor problem. The monitor itself is of great quality, although it has no flip function built in so you rely on the prompting software you use to flip the image for you - this is the Starter Series’ missing feature and is available on the higher end models. It is fully adjustable for just about any camera, and fairly easy to balance. The camera mounting plate has multiple holes and if you wish you could put something like a Manfrotto mount on this to make it a bit easier to attach the camera. After the initial setup the system is easy to pack away. Just a couple of bolts to remove and the glass folds down, leaving you with an easy to transport system. I believe Autocue can provide you with a nice bag for the system to go in if you use it on a mobile basis regularly. All in all I was very impressed with the system, my clients certainly noticed the difference from my previous prompter. In fact Autocue are not getting it back and I am buying it off of them. If you are looking for a cost effective large prompter solutions, I would recommend having a look at the SSP17 as for the money you get a great quality prompter (around £1295 ex VAT). I will be doing a short video review of the system, so keep an eye out for that on the broadcastshow. com website under the reviews menu.