How to use the Blackmagic Hyperdeck Shuttle as a Teleprompter
This video shows how to use the Blackmagic Hyperdeck Shuttle as a teleprompter for small video productions. Horacio Jones of CinemaViva illustrates how he connects the hyperdeck shuttle to a teleprompter. He has been a teleprompter operator in San Diego for over 10 years.
Amazon affiliate links to products in this Video:
Blackmagic Hyperdeck Shuttle – https://amzn.to/3bTXVVh
Lilliput 8.9 inch monitor – https://amzn.to/3QMkwBU
4K Touchscreen Monitor 15.6″ – https://amzn.to/3phDNzE
Apple MacBook Air 2020 – https://amzn.to/3C59mUX
16″ Teleprompter with 70/30 Beam Splitter Glass – https://amzn.to/3QrXikZ
I’m often called upon to be a one man video band and this includes being a teleprompter operator at times too. In addition to operating the camera, sound and lights, teleprompter operation is an increasingly asked for skill set. This is why when Blackmagic came out with the hyperdeck shuttle with a teleprompter feature, I was very intrigued.
Normally I setup a laptop connected to a monitor or an iPad and use the space bar and arrow keys to control the scrolling, but the hyperdeck shuttle has a terrific jog wheel that’s very tactile. It makes matching the talents speed and cadence very easy. Let’s explore how I was set it up for my Teleprompting gigs using existing gear that I had laying around.
First off, let’s take a look at the actual device. (Show cool b-roll)
Here are the main features.
HDMI in and Out
SD card slot
USB-C connection for storage or updates
Various traditional broadcast deck controls
I’m not going to spend any time on the recording or playback features because there are plenty of videos out there already on that subject, plus the user interface is very similar to existing hyperdeck models. Instead I’m going to focus on how the teleprompter function works and how I rig it up for my shoots.
I connect the teleprompter to a Lilliput 8.9” monitor using the HDMI out. I’ll call this monitor 1. I chose this monitor because it has HDMI in and out as well as the ability to flip the image horizontally and vertically. More on why this important in a bit..
Next I connect the HDMI out to the mini HDMI in of this thin touchscreen monitor which is placed on the teleprompter. I’ll call this monitor 2.
I bought this 16” iPad teleprompter rig off amazon for $189 and the 15.6 “ touchscreen monitor cost $436 but you can probably get a similar size monitor for $250 now a days.
You can set the hyperdeck shuttle to output a flipped signal which is great for the monitor on the teleprompter (monitor 2), but not so good for the first monitor in line. That’s why you need a monitor like this Lilliput that can horizontally flip the signal.
(Show how to do this)
It’s not a big deal though, you just go through the menu like this. (Show steps)
I just wish the monitor would remember the setting every time so I don’t have to change it back every time I fire up the monitor.
So there’s how you hook everything up. Now let’s look at the teleprompter function in more detail. This device is able to read an RTF (rich text file) document which you can easily create in Word.
(Show script in word)
Once you are happy with the script simply save it as an RTF file on an SD card or hard drive and connect it to the hyperdeck shuttle. Or you can also FTP it.
Next, you have to go into the hyperdeck menu. Under record, find the codec option and scroll down until you get to teleprompter. Choose that and it goes into prompting mode.
If you go back and choose the monitor menu option, then you have access to adjust the font size, line spacing, size margin, flip horizontally or flip vertically. (Show b-roll)
You will want to choose flip horizontally and adjust the rest of the functions as you see fit.
Monitor #2 is longer that the teleprompter glass, so I add a 10% margin on each side to compensate.
Now you are ready to prompt!
These are the main hyperdeck shuttle controls you will need.
1. Jog wheel
2. Press left or right arrow to select from different rtf files on the card
3. Press JOG to manually scroll through the script, just like you would when editing a video.
4. Press SCROLL key to scroll through the script quickly
5. Press both SCROLL and JOG at the same time to enable full teleprompter mode. And here’s where you have to get used to this jog wheel. It doesn’t take long. Once you’re used to it, the action is really smooth. In this mode it will automatically scroll forward and backward according to how you turn the jog wheel. This is perfect for being able to follow the talent at his or her speed.
That’s pretty much the basics. But there are some interesting situations that can come up when you’re doing this for real. Of course the most common thing is last minute script changes. If a client (or a member of their entourage) notices something is wrong they need it change right away and quickly. There are a couple of ways to do this quickly.
Option 1. – Work with 2 SD Cards. Card 1 is loaded into the hyperdeck while Card 2 is on standby connected to the laptop. The master script is on the laptop so you just simply save the new version to Card 2 and switch the cards. Then you will have to find the new version of the script on the hyperdeck shuttle
Works like a champ! Except that they hyperdeck doesn’t show the file name of the script, so you will have put in the new version number at the top of each script like this to not get confused. (Show on screen)
Now put card 1 into the card reader of the laptop and your’e good to go. You get the idea, you can do this process each time changes occur. Let’s see how long it take angel to do this.
I would always add a number to each version to keep things straight. We will call this v2.
The other option is to connect the hyperdeck to the network so you can FTP the new script onto the hyperdeck SD card.
You can easily do this by connecting a USB-C to Ethernet adapter to your laptop and then run a short Ethernet cable to the hyperdeck. You will have to adjust the Network settings in system preferences and then you use an FTP client like cyberduck to login to the folder. Then you simply drag and drop the revised version from your laptop to the FTP client. Now just press the right arrow on the hyperdeck to locate the new file.
Alright, I’m going to keep this video short compared to the starlink one. I think I’m going to use this as my main teleprompter setup. It’s pretty quick and easy to operate. Eventually, I’ll put all this in a hard case for even easier set up. The only downside, I would say is the process for updating revisions. It would be great if the hyperdeck showed up as a network disk so you could save directly to it from word. I also wish that you could add cue markers at certain points, especially for longer scripts. Overall though I think the Hyperdeck shuttle is a solid product at a good price point of $495. You can also use it to record or playback video which is a super handy option.
Thanks again for watching! I would love to know your questions. And SPECIAL extra Thanks to Angel for doing the Teleprompting!
As always I’m Horacio Jones of CinemaViva and our team wishes you mucho successo in your video ventures!