A confidence monitor is a downstage video screen that faces musicians, entertainers or speakers who are performing on stage. Unlike a teleprompter, a confidence monitor typically does not scroll, but rather serves as a point of reference for songs, recitals or presentations that have been previously rehearsed.
It’s a term heard more frequently these days in Houses of Worship, corporate events, and even rock concerts. You may have even seen them used during standup comedy routines. There are different types, but the confidence monitor benefit is to provide a visual cue to the person on stage when they need help knowing to do or say next. Here is a list of some popular types of confidence monitors.
iPad – Many performers will use an iPad to assist with lyrics or prompts while on stage. They’re popular for a lot of reasons. Most people have access to one, there are lots of apps that support lyric prompting on stage, and they’re relatively inexpensive. While iPads are very convenient, they also have several drawbacks. Because the interface on an iPad is small, they must be positioned close to the user’s face, which puts the tablet directly between the user and the audience. They’re also multitasking devices, which can sometimes be interrupted by another app or pop up which can often happen at inopportune moments.
Back of Auditorium Video Screen – These Confidence Monitors are typically very large (at least 50”), and are positioned behind the audience, usually on the front of a balcony. Also known as “Comfort Monitors”, these setups are straightforward, as only one monitor is needed. Often found in churches, they are mounted much like a home television, using available brackets. The input is through an HDMI cable to a mixing booth, where a computer is located. Despite the ease of installation, this setup can be a distraction to the audience if the auditorium has a wide-angle seating format. Anyone sitting in the lateral sections will inevitably see the prompts, lyrics and timing cues, which can keep them from focusing on the stage.
Stage Projection Referencing – Often, there are screens on either side of the stage or behind the presenter that are there to allow the audience to follow along. Some presenters will use these screens as their reference to help them stay on track. While this method may seem very minimal, it does have some benefits. Besides the cost of not having a facing monitor, it ensures that those on stage are in sync with what the audience is seeing. Because of the positioning to the side or behind, this style is mostly limited to corporate presentations where the presenter points or interacts with the images on the screen.
Downstage Monitor – This confidence monitor setup is to put large computer monitors along the front of the stage. This is another easy and relatively inexpensive way to display information to those that need it on stage. The screens are usually fed using long cables from the mixing booth and utilize powered HDMI splitters. However, HDMI transmission can be spotty and vulnerable to signal interference when run long distances and splitting the feed can aggravate this. The biggest drawback however is the view of the back of the computer monitors. Most people sitting in the seats know what these are and why they’re on stage.
Stageprompter Confidence Monitors – Staffords on Stage produces a full line of wedge monitors that display lyrics and are specifically designed to be used on stage. The Wedge03 and Wedge04 models are stand alone models that allow the user to control the images using a foot switch. Newly introduced this year is the Stageprompter Pro Series, which is a centrally controlled, networked solution that will facilitate multiple monitors on a stage at one time. The Pro Series Controller can be located side of stage or in a mixing booth and can handle any presenter software run from a computer. It also supports a CAT6 signal transmission that is more stable and reliable than an HDMI of a similar length. The monitors are built into sturdy, uniquely shaped cabinets that can be oriented in either landscape or portrait format. The cabinets appear to the audience much like audio monitor speakers that are commonly found on stage.
Since 2008, Staffords on Stage, a Cambridge, UK based technology company has been designing and manufacturing covert lyric-prompting solutions. They provide a complete range of solutions and accessories including flight cases and other complimentary products. With manufacturing, service and support in both the UK and the USA, Staffords On Stage and the Stageprompter brand of products have everything you need to outfit your stage, corporate event or house of worship.
If you would like more information about the Stageprompter or Staffords on Stage, please contact us at:
Comments will be approved before showing up.