Autoscript, part of Vitec Videocom, a Vitec Group company, has announced the launch of WinPlus Remote, an iOS-based teleprompting system that delivers up-to-date scripts to users in the field, anywhere in the world. The technology is also suited to remote news bureaus and smaller newsroom operations.
When WinPlus Remote is installed on a networked PC in the production facility, the latest version of the script can be seen by journalists on location, as well as in the studio. The software enables the script to be automatically uploaded to an FTP site where it can be downloaded onto an iPad by talent in the field and kept constantly updated. WinPlus Remote, developed by market leader Autoscript, works in conjunction with the iOS app, picoPrompt, and is supplied with a hand control.
There have been iPad prompting apps on the market for some time, says Robin Brown, product manager, Autoscript. However, the link to the newsroom has been missing, which effectively means that there is no access to live updated scripts on location. Now, with WinPlus Remote, field talent can quickly and easily download the latest script from the FTP site by simply connecting their iPads to the network.
This brings both speed and efficiency to remote staff, as well as increased accuracy. Instead of having the director conveying the script changes via an ear piece and a journalist having to manually make the changes, this system allows them to refresh the script with the click of a button. In this way they will always have the latest version of the script on their iPad, allowing them to focus on the task at hand, such as reporting on breaking news.
Martin Collett, senior programme director, Channel 4 News says: We have found WinPlus Remote to be an invaluable tool when more conventional prompting is either logistically or technically impractical. We worked with Autoscript and picoPrompt to integrate iPad prompting into our workflow. Previously we might have relied on presenters or reporters learning scripts and delivering from memory. Now we can deploy an iPad and simple prompting hardware and get a reliable prompter where otherwise wed be struggling. There are some clever tricks in the setup that minimise the amount of data transferred during each update, so even on a low bandwidth connection we can still see script updates. Weve used WinPlus Remote on numerous tricky live assignments with great success.
The WinPlus Remote system is ideal for use in applications where news is being updated constantly, such as sports reporting. It is also suited for use in locations where a prompting system with full camera unit and software products isnt available or practical. In addition, WinPlus Remote can be used as an add-on in facilities where other prompting software systems already exist.
You dont need to be a current WinPlus user to benefit from WinPlus Remote. If a newsroom is running other prompting software, WinPlus Remote can be used in parallel. It effectively runs in the background and enables technicians to take the same script as their current prompting solution and upload it to the FTP site where the field talent can access it, concludes Brown.
The system is therefore also ideal for smaller news operations with limited budgets as it is a cost-effective alternative to a full software system.
WinPlus Remote is available now and will be demonstrated at IBC in September. WinPlus Remote is available from Autoscript, while picoPrompt can be downloaded via the Apple App Store.