Reliable broadcasting for Stake Conference - how to

Discussions around receiving, originating, and holding Church broadcasts and conferences in meetinghouses including schedules, setup, equipment, and support.
bcourtenaya
New Member
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:13 pm

Reliable broadcasting for Stake Conference - how to

Postby bcourtenaya » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:03 pm

Attached is a 16-page white paper in which I discuss how to broadcast Stake Conference reliably. This does not include the use of the church video distribution system as that doesn't work reliably. It also discusses how to distribute HD video (720p or 1080p) inside older buildings for about $200 - $250 per building. Having broadcasted Stake Conferences for over 10 years and within 3 different stakes, I am hopeful that this document will be helpful to other stakes. In 2017, we broadcasted a multi-stake reorganization to 10 buildings and did not have any problem. This document discusses the basic recipe, hardware, software, best practices and advanced capabilities.
Attachments
Reliable Stake Conference Broadcasts.pdf
(2.33 MiB) Downloaded 254 times
-- Bruce Anderson

lajackson
Community Moderators
Posts: 8703
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:27 pm
Location: US

Re: Reliable broadcasting for Stake Conference - how to

Postby lajackson » Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:12 pm

bcourtenaya wrote:Attached is a 16-page white paper in which I discuss how to broadcast Stake Conference reliably. This does not include the use of the church video distribution system as that doesn't work reliably.

Your white paper is excellent and is certainly a viable way to do stake conference webcasts. I have only two comments.

YouTube normally is not available at receiving meetinghouses through the firewall. This would necessitate an alternate method of reception, such as a mobile phone hot spot, or the unauthorized bypassing of the church firewall.

I do not agree that the church webcast distribution system is not reliable. For certain, there have been problems, but we have streamed our stake conference using the system for over three years now with no problems at all.

With those two considerations, I believe your white paper contains excellent information that will be of benefit to stake technology specialists responsible for stake conference and other webcasts.

danpass
Member
Posts: 453
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 5:38 pm
Location: Oregon City, OR
Contact:

Re: Reliable broadcasting for Stake Conference - how to

Postby danpass » Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:34 pm

Thanks for posting this. Lots of great information!

On page 12, under Satellite with HDbitT, you might want to mention that in buildings with satellite receivers set up to receive 2 languages, the first language comes on the left channel and the second language on the right. So there is a need to isolate the left or right channel of the HDMI audio for each viewing location in the building, depending on which language is needed. See this topic for some discussion on the subject.

bcourtenaya
New Member
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:13 pm

Re: Reliable broadcasting for Stake Conference - how to

Postby bcourtenaya » Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:29 pm

Thanks for the comment on the dual language, I'll update the paper.

Youtube and firewalls can be an issue. I do bypass the firewall for a stake conference. I plan to look into the new firewall profiles and if they can be utilized to allow youtube. SL will allow youtube if requested but it seems more trouble than it is worth. I have found that when using Wirecast, the firewall doesn't block youtube at the stake center.

I do recognize that some stakes have been able to use the church distribution system but my experience was not so. I did extensive testing over about 5 weeks, I looked at building location, ISP, resolution, hardware ... every variable I could think of. SL also couldn't solve the problems. I tested Youtube and have never had a problem since. Speaking to some other stakes, their observations and results were the same as mine. Even beyond reliability, Youtubes solution is far better in my opinion.
-- Bruce Anderson

randysteck
New Member
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:45 am

Re: Reliable broadcasting for Stake Conference - how to

Postby randysteck » Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:34 pm

Great information! I think we've seen a lot of what you've seen also. I think that anything that gets rid of the laptop on the receive end greatly increases reliability and the youtube stream certainly allows dedicated video boxes, and at 1080P instead of the 720P limit.

An alternative to Youtube Live is Sunday Streams. Not an advertisement, but we're still a little leery of Youtube Live given one experience with a drop-out about 18 months ago. Other stakes report using it with no problems at all. I don't think you can secure the stream, can you? In that case you'd not be able to webcast a conference with a General Authority. Our other webcast provider gives the option of a password entry so we were okay the last time this happened.

Wirecast is certainly the gold standard. We've been using vMix ($350) for the last 3 years with excellent results, and OBS has been tested rigorously and it's free open source. Any of these are better, in our opinion, than the Vidiu box, with one of the main reasons being 1080P streaming. This make a TON of difference on the 10 foot screen on the receive end.

I second the use of the HDbitT sender/receiver pair. Sending HD over existing coax to satellite rooms in the stake center makes this a MUCH better experience.

One addition to consider (and I know I sound like a broken record on this): use an IP camera for the broadcast. These are inexpensive and give excellent quality images at 1080P with 25X zoom in our case. We use two and they connect directly with Wirecast, vMix, or OBS with about a 400msec delay. if you can tolerate the 300msec on the internal coax, you can tolerate the delay on the IP cameras. This then does not require an HDMI input on the PC, or an HDMI-over-Cat5 interface if the camera is separated from the PC by any distance.

I like all these alternatives as they give higher reliability (without the receive laptop in particular) at lower cost and much better quality on the receive side.

Excellent work!

randysteck
New Member
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:45 am

Re: Reliable broadcasting for Stake Conference - how to

Postby randysteck » Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:43 pm

One more note: we tried several ways to get a DSLR to stream stake conference. We found that we could not sustain the HDMI output for longer than about 45 minutes. The claim is that this is due to the sensor heating up, but my research indicated that this is also due to import quotas on video cameras. It turns out that if a DSLR can stream video continuously then it can be considered a video camera, which falls into a different import category and increases the costs for the company shipping them. Plus, it cannibalizes the camcorder market from these same companies... Weird, but a real effect.

A camcorder works great if all you want is one static image. We prefer to be able to move the camera view to the full choir, the chorister and proper framing of different height speakers. Thus, we went with 2 inexpensive IP cameras and vMix/OBS.

I fully agree that the audio is the most important. We used a digital snake from the sound cabinet to take a Y from the pulpit, ambient, organ, and wireless mics.

Also, we use two people at the stake center and one person at each remote location. At the stake center one person runs the camera views while the other activates the view for the webcast, monitors the stream and adjusts mic volumes as needed.

bcourtenaya
New Member
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:13 pm

Re: Reliable broadcasting for Stake Conference - how to

Postby bcourtenaya » Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:22 am

Thank you for the feedback. I must admit I have not personally used the DSLR approach but I know of people who shot a lot of video with it. I have had the good fortune of having high-quality video cameras. I have been able to tap the resources of professional videographers in my last three stakes. These good brethren have brought their personal equipment to the equation as needed.

The newer version of Wirecast does allow for IP cameras. Latency does become an issue for some people. Some people complain about a 300 ms latency, it is like fingernails on a chalkboard.

Another option for cameras is NDI. This is a Network Digital Input similar to SDI but instead of being coax based, it is IP network based.

I would also love to see the church purchase some high-end cameras ($3k - $5k) and make them a regional asset for multiple stakes to use.

For the microphones, In our stake center which is the Legacy floor plan, I ran 4 XLR cables from the sound cabinet to the back of the chapel and installed permanent wall plates. In this way, I get quality audio inputs. I also purchased a Focusrite Scarlet Studio 18i8 audio box for which I capture my 4 microphone inputs and then via USB plug it directly into Wirecast.

Concerning Youtube, the feed can be secured (to a point) by changing the broadcast audience to private/ invitation only. Thus in order to view the feed, you have to log into youtube and have an invite tied to your personal google user id.
-- Bruce Anderson

randysteck
New Member
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:45 am

Re: Reliable broadcasting for Stake Conference - how to

Postby randysteck » Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:44 am

I would not try to do live video reinforcement with an IP camera just because of the 300msec latency. But, routing this to a satellite room in the same stake center with that delay is very reasonable, but you have to use the signal from the HDMI stream and not the building system. We've been doing this and it works well. We also stopped doing large monitors i in the cultural hall for stake conference because they were not helping. When we stopped nobody complained....

I will have to differ with you on the high end cameras. They are clearly great for broadcast and have great optics, but we have found that select IP cameras normally used for surveillance give excellent quality at 3Mb bandwidth which we stream out. Comparisons with a pro quality Sony showed a difference in contrasts, but not nearly as much as we had expected and blind tests with several others showed almost an even split in who preferred each image.

We should talk more...:)

User avatar
johnshaw
Senior Member
Posts: 2121
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:55 pm
Location: Syracuse, UT

Re: Reliable broadcasting for Stake Conference - how to

Postby johnshaw » Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:29 pm

Your white paper should not include the cost of the vidiu since that is now provided by FM - There is no cost to the Stake for it.... that might just be old from the paper.

I've never had an issue with stake conference webcasting, the old system, the new system. I just don't get all the fuss.
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”
― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

bcourtenaya
New Member
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:13 pm

Re: Reliable broadcasting for Stake Conference - how to

Postby bcourtenaya » Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:28 pm

The Vidiu box has been provided to many stakes but I don't believe that all stakes have been provided with this equipment (but I could be wrong). In any event, I list the cost of the equipment for comparison purposes only. I believe WireCast is the best solution followed OBS ( $free.99).

Another question that has been raised about DSLR cameras and how long they can be used during a broadcast. I asked the question to our stake videographer, he said that it really depends on the camera. A $700 - $1,000 camera may stop after 30 minutes but a quick cycle of the camera will re-engage it. While not optimum, one could schedule a cycle during hymns or other breaks. He said his DSLR cameras don't suffer from 30-minute interval issue.
-- Bruce Anderson


Return to “Broadcasts and Conferences”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest