To the editors:

Thank you for your very comprehensive report on our Q-TV prompting system (The Straight Dope — March 6). Even after so many years in service, we are still impressed by the attention it attracts when its operation is viewed by nonprofessionals and professionals alike.

To update your story, the system is now computerized. The text or “copy” is prepared by a word processor and stored on a floppy disc. At performance time, the text then is fed into a computer, which in turn transmits it to the beam-splitter glasses mounted at the speaker’s podium or in front of the camera lens. Flow of the text is regulated by the technician via a variable speed hand control, to keep it synchronized with the speaker’s delivery. Use of the computer results in a text image brighter and more sharply defined than in earlier generations of the system. More importantly, it greatly facilitates copy revisions. Now, instead of retyping or hand lettering copy changes, the technician is able to make instantaneous revisions via the computer keyboard. Thank you again for your report.

John King


Hollywood, California