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LDSTech Broadcast: Getting Digital Media into Meetinghouses Through Mobile Devices Twitter Facebook Print E-mail
Written by Tom Johnson   
Wednesday, 02 January 2013

Date: Friday, January 4, 2013
Time: 12:00pm Mountain Time
Topic: Getting Digital Media into Meetinghouses

The Church produces an abundant amount of video content. For example, the new Youth curriculum, Come, Follow Me, has numerous videos as resource options for lessons; the Leadership Training Library, the Mormon Channel, the Video, Audio, and Images section of, and other sites all have abundant video resources as well.

However, getting video into meetinghouses poses a challenge. Many meetinghouses have wireless Internet, but the bandwidth is too low to support streams from multiple users, especially during peak hours. Teachers who rely on the Internet to stream videos during lessons will find that the videos pause, buffer, and stop — leading to a poor classroom experience.

In this LDSTech broadcast, John Edwards, portfolio director for the Church’s Emerging Technology group, will discuss ways to take media into meetinghouses through the many mobile devices that members already have.

Digital media in the classroom

For example, you can already download some video content through the Gospel Library iOS and Android apps. As the Youth videos are made available, you will see more opportunities to download videos with the apps. Both apps are moving forward with more robust video capabilities.

Downloading videos is just one step in the process. Displaying videos from mobile devices also poses challenges, whether you're showing videos directly from your device (with students huddled around), or connecting to a meetinghouse TV through HDMI or composite adapters.

We invite you to join us in this discussion and brainstorm about the best ways to bring video into the meetinghouse through mobile devices.

How to Attend the Broadcast

To attend the LDSTech broadcast, click the Watch Now link at the time of the broadcast. If you live or work near Riverton, Utah, you can also come to the Riverton Office Building (ground floor, Zion room) to watch the broadcast in person.

Each broadcast is recorded, so if you miss one, you can re-watch the recording at any time. In fact, if you arrive late to the broadcast, you can rewind the broadcast and play it from the beginning. See the Broadcast Archive to view previous broadcasts.

Asking Questions

Remote viewers can ask questions through Twitter during the broadcast. If you don’t already have a Twitter account, you can sign up for one at When you ask a question, include the hashtag #ldstech in your tweet. For more information, see Twitter and LDSTech.

Note that although we welcome all topics and questions about digital media in meetinghouses, the broadcast will specifically focus on mobile solutions to getting media into meetinghouses.



# James Sloan 2013-01-03 10:46
Many of the LDS message videos are made available on Youtube. However, Youtube is blocked in meeting houses. Our chapel is in an area where cell coverage is limited or nonexistent. Are there any plans increase bandwidth and open up YouTube access in meeting houses to enable access to the church content?
# Alan Miller 2013-01-03 11:37
I concur with the issue with YouTube. While there is software that will enable "downloads" of YouTube content, that won't work for tablets or smartphones.
# Tom Johnson 2013-01-04 23:11
Most of the videos should be downloadable now through the Gospel Library app. There are some videos that aren't downloadable due to copyright restrictions, but for these, you could always use a download manager app as a workaround. Also, a DVD will be available in February.
# Wade Egan 2013-01-24 09:36
There is a great little ap called tubebox which will download and store youtube videos on your IPad, thus eliminating the problem of having to stream the video at the meetinghouse.
# Tom Johnson 2013-01-04 23:09
James, unfortunately there are no plans to unblock Youtube, nor are there plans to increase bandwidth. This is why we are emphasizing downloading as a best practice for showing videos. Sorry that I don't have any more reasons for you here. This is all I know.
# Dammon Burden 2013-01-03 20:32
This is exciting!

I disagree with allowing youtube. We should be able to access what we need through (or from the sister sites) and the applications we have.
# Brad Hornbeck 2013-01-04 09:47
I agree with Dammon. YouTube should NOT be allowed. There is too much garbage that is "suggested" viewing on YouTube. Besides, the Mormon Channel app and LDS Youth app for tablets have all the videos needed. And, I think, the videos are easier to find in them. Also,in an email earlier this week, these apps will have a download option soon.
# Tom Johnson 2013-01-04 23:12
If you click on a video on, look for a Download link below it. This is about the only way to determine whether it's downloadable. Re Youtube, you bring up many of the reasons for which it is blocked in meetinghouses.
# JR 2013-01-04 11:01
I just downloaded all the videos for the new "Come Follow Me" January from Gospel Library. By doing this, there are no pauses when showing.
# Russell Houlton 2013-01-04 12:36
How can we give feedback WITHOUT Twitter? I tried to sign up but having problems - and I detest having to sign up for something I don't want just to give feedback.
# Tom Johnson 2013-01-04 12:38
Russell, you can post some questions in this comment form if you want and I will relay them. We tried using IRC for chat but it maxed out.
# Tom Johnson 2013-01-04 23:13
Russell, the forums may be a better medium for responding to broadcast Q&A. I'll propose that as a supplemental communication channel for broadcasts in an upcoming meeting.
# John M. Shaw 2013-01-04 15:09
This issue is much larger than the Come Follow Me videos, while they are driving the discussion, it is very limiting not to also be considering:

Animated Scripture Stories
Bible Videos
CES Devotionals
Children Messages
Homefronts (Mormon Commercials through the years)
I Am a Mormon
Leadership Training Library
Mormon Messages
World Wide Leadership Training
Youth Messages

All will provide value along the way, once the Come Follow Me excitement wears off leaders, teachers, primary workers are going to be wondering why they can't use much of the above as well.

Wards and Stakes, consider wisely your decisions, you may be spending money again due to the limited scope of the Come Follow Me approach.
# Tom Johnson 2013-01-04 23:14
John, excellent points. This is why I wanted to create an online help file for downloading media. I see a huge need for more detailed, step-by-step information for showing media from all kinds of media and devices.
# Jeff T 2013-01-10 11:57
Tom, I'm sorry but your "box of soluions" misses the point. You are thinking of this not as a teacher or those that support teachers but as a technologist. As John mentioned "Come Follow Me" is driving the discussion but is not the end of the discussion. We need to support ALL teachers, ALL devices, ALL ages of technology, ALL platforms. We are not supporting one teacher but potentially 50+ in a ward, 100's in a building. Downloading is a partial solution (particularly when we enter into a bigger discussion), USB is a curious choice for a number of reasons (and is not supported by sound educational practice - - frankly is a band-aid end users developed waiting for technologists to catch-up), and supporting all of the cables, adaptors, etc. suggests we are supporting a small number of individuals (again your focus is too narrow). I understand that you are trying to solve todays' problem, but I am concerned you are missing the point.
# Tom Johnson 2013-01-10 13:51
Jeff, thanks for your comments. I agree with you that we need a better solution. I believe the planned solution was to provide the videos on a DVD, but that process was delayed until February. That solution should work pretty well. The mobile downloading is an interim workaround.

Beyond the DVD, though, I do think the WD TV media player is the best solution, simply because it's very easy to put videos on a USB drive and bring it to the chapel.

Obviously this is a hot issue that has a lot of people spinning their wheels trying to find a solution.

Also, please keep in mind that I am only the technical writer here. I did not develop any of the videos or curriculum or policies.
# Ken S 2013-01-04 19:46
I think I have latest version of the Gospel Library for Android on my tablet, but I don't have the video option available. Is there a beta version I need to look for, or is there something else I ened to be doing to get the videos?
# Ken S 2013-01-04 20:23
To clarify, the new Youth Come Follow Me option does not show on my catalog either.
# Ken S 2013-01-04 20:43
I'm running Jelly Bean on an Asus Transformer tablet. Gospel Library version is I've refreshed the catalog several times, but no Youth option appears....
# Tom Johnson 2013-01-04 23:15
Ken, see the screencast I posted just now at I think you need to tap Lessons before you'll see the 2013 Youth video content.
# Ken J 2013-01-05 09:05
Like others, I, too, don't see the "Youth: Come, Follow Me" under "Manuals." Running Gospel Library version on Jelly Bean. I did refresh the catalog.
# WL-Z 2013-01-05 11:32
Check to make sure your "Manage Content> Hide Items Not Installed" is not selected.
# Steve Gallafent 2013-01-05 13:24
The "Come, Follow Me" curriculum was added to the content catalog later in the day on Friday. Android users got the software update a little before the content was ready, but it should be available now.
# Tom Johnson 2013-01-05 17:26
Thanks Steve. I don't think I had the latest version of the app installed (so I updated it). If anyone else has trouble finding the Youth option under Manuals, make sure you have the latest version of the app. I'm glad to see the lesson material there.
# Ken S 2013-01-05 21:34
I just got the new curriculum after refreshing my catalog several times today, even in the past hour. Does the app need to be connected to the internet a certain amount of time before it can "see" the updates?
# Jon Thomas 2013-01-05 21:02
Though fascinating, this video was painful -- no download option -- 13-second pauses after every 19 seconds of playing. Even at home with high-speed 20Mb Comcast cable line. I can't follow your advice to download it first if you don't provide the option. Is it cuz you copyrighted your own broadcast?
# Tom Johnson 2013-01-05 22:50
Jon, we had some technical issues during the broadcast. I didn't know the whole video was problematic. I'll ping someone on Monday to investigate. If you just need info on how to download video via the Gospel Library app, see the screencasts here:
# Jason Kentner 2013-01-08 08:27
I think the biggest challenge is the dated CRT screens in the buildings. You cannot connect up any devices to them. In one building, our Stake Presidency has purchased TVs and we will be downloading content to USB thumb drives for checkout in the Library. We will have instructions for playback. If this works well, we will see if the Stake can purchase for other units since FM does not ever have budget for this.
# Chris Vacanti 2013-01-09 15:43
The issue I raise with this...maybe a little late to the that in our building we have three wards. If you are not the first ward all IP's are used up before arriving to Church and you cannot access any content. Is there a plan to remedy this?
# Jason Kentner 2013-01-10 09:49
You can call the GSC to have them increase your DHCP pool. That may help you.
# John P Jones 2013-01-20 15:53
Quoting Jason Kentner:
You can call the GSC to have them increase your DHCP pool. That may help you.

After our stake updated building wireless to.much better coverage and signal it was very interesting to learn that several teachers of youth couldn't access the web based content they were so anxious to start using. Then to learn that our assigned 50 connections had probably been quickly taken by members simply entering the building with smart phones, the dilemma became curiouser and curiouser. This reminds me of stories about almost immediate overload of the "new" web based family history resources a couple years? ago. Under-planning can be more devastating than over-planning, simply because more users will become painfully aware essentially instantaneously .

Moral of the story ? -- Let's count on members to jump into technology advances with both feet and both arms, and just hope that very few start flailing around.
# Michael Schmauch 2013-01-11 11:28
I liked your idea of using the WD TV device and thought I saw both a HDMI cable coming out if it for newer TV's and a set of Component RCA cables coming out for older TV's, but after I got one, I see there are no RCA outputs. Did I mis-understand the device shown during the presentation or did you use an HDMI to RCA adapter and if so what model or what specs. A plain adapter cable usually will not do any conversion of HDMI signal to Component signal without an additional converter box.
# Kurt Olsen 2013-01-11 12:34
The Western Digital WD TV Live Media Player comes with a cable that is 3.5mm on one end, and has 3 RCA connectors on the other end - audio left/right, and video. See "Kit Contents" at the bottom of this page (click on the Specifications tab on top):
So you can send your content out either through the HDMI port (HDMI cable is not included in the box), or through the composite A/V port, using the included cable.
# Marvin 2013-01-13 20:51
Im glad that LDS Tech is focusing creating app, that we don't need to carry 10 LB of stuff every sunday church. Most people in the church has Mobile Scriptures & iPad's
# I Am Logged In! 2013-01-23 17:22
Quoting Marvin Perez Soto:
Im glad that LDS Tech is focusing creating app, that we don't need to carry 10 LB of stuff every sunday church. Most people in the church has Mobile Scriptures & iPad's

That is a very big generalization - I guess you live in a very wealthy area if "most" have mobile devices and iPads. I find it interesting that we can't ask our members to bring food or provide money for an activity, but to be Sunday School teachers they better have an $800 iPad or a laptop to bring to church.
# Kurt Olsen - HQ 2013-01-23 17:30 be Sunday School teachers they better have an $800 iPad or a laptop to bring to church.

We certainly do not want to create the perception that members have to own iPads or laptops in order to be Sunday School teachers. For the price of a USB flash drive (usually less than $15 USD) and the ~$100 USD Western Digital WD TV Live media player (which stakes may choose to purchase - teachers wouldn't be expected to buy), you have a solution that can work on any TV without a big expense involved.

No, that's not the only solution - we are looking at other ways to deliver content to the meetinghouses, but it is one that works very easily today for a small cost.
# Daniel Kowallis 2013-02-25 23:01
Our Bishop had the same concern, not all of our youth teachers can afford tablets or laptops, or want one for that matter. Our ward luckily had a small surplus at the end of last year and we purchased a few inexpensive LCD TVs (22" - 24") and three Vizio Co-Stars (aka Google TV) to go with the TVs. Now we have three TVs with the capability to web browse and stream video directly from Of course our problem now is bandwidth. We are looking at purchasing some inexpensive flash drives for all our teachers and then train them on how download and play the videos through the TVs.
# Richard Giles 2013-02-26 01:54
Maybe it is my version of Android gospel Library not updating but at present I can only access Come Follow Me material for February even though today is the 26th February. It would help in preparation if we could have a month in advance.
# Richard Giles 2013-03-05 08:51
Is there a plan to add the 2013 world wide training to the gospel library app? It would certainly help make it available to more families.

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