Member wants to donate flat screens...

Discussions about using TVs, projectors, laptops, tablets, smartphones, DVD Players and other media players in meetinghouses including standards, management, how to connect to them, proper use, and support.
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gregwanderson
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Re: Member wants to donate flat screens...

Postby gregwanderson » Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:10 pm

TinMan wrote:Why? Because as per your calculations: If there are two units in a building, they should have 3 flat screen monitors, right?

You make a fair point. But is that the reason (i.e. not enough monitors in the guidelines) why someone in mprusse's ward wants to donate more monitors or have they not even reached the number of monitors in the guidelines yet? And if the guidelines aren't adequate for the needs of the average building then, by all means, let's send a clear message back "through the appropriate channels" to get the guidelines changed! It's not as if the scriptures dictate the size and number of TVs in the building. So I have no problem questioning this particular guideline and suggesting changes if necessary.

Earlier this year, on these very forums, we were arguing about how, according to the policy which was on lds.org at the time, we weren't allowed to have TVs larger than 25 inches. I made a somewhat blunt demand (using the feedback link on the page at lds.org) that the web page be scrapped immediately because it was so out-of-date. I didn't pay close attention to the follow-up but, within a few weeks, I happened to notice the updated page (for which I provided a link in my earlier post) which said that the smallest monitors should be 26 inches and that 47-inch monitors were okay. So please provide feedback (through your ward and stake leaders) if A) You haven't yet received the gear you should have and B) if having that gear still isn't enough. They need to know what's working and what isn't.

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Re: Member wants to donate flat screens...

Postby TinMan » Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:32 pm

Oh, it is working just fine for us, because we had a member get tired of waiting and donated 4 26 inch monitors he found on sale at Costco in February. With the three issued to us by the FM group in July, six months after the new curriculum came out, we now have seven monitors.

I am sure someone will find a link to a thread where we talked about this at the first of the year and went on for about 10 pages.

Something about the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing: That is, getting this wonderful new teaching system geared to the media savvy youth tossed out to us and in the library sits standard televisions with VCR's hooked up to them.

I am sure the church will catch up eventually, but in the mean time...

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Re: Member wants to donate flat screens...

Postby gregwanderson » Fri Nov 01, 2013 8:01 pm

McCuneLR wrote:Discussions are being conducted by departments and committees under the direction of the Presiding Bishopric, and as the Bishopric makes decisions regarding A/V and other technological equipment local leaders and Church employees will be so advised.

I'm curious if this includes the equipment used for the webcasting of Stake Conference to buildings within the stake. I see discussions on these forums about acquiring various types of gear, including multiple cameras, video switchers, character generators (for on-screen text of hymns) and audio mixing equipment. The discussions seem to indicate that there's not really a standard set of equipment and, depending on who's making the decisions, these webcasts can be very simple or very sophisticated productions. And it kinda sounds like people are using Stake budget funds to buy and/or rent this stuff and adding all kinds of broadcast-style enhancements (if they know how to use the gear that makes that stuff happen) which only add to the cost.

I find it a little discouraging to think that you can spend that kind of money just for two stake conference webcasts per year but we're prohibited from buying a couple of extra TV monitors that could be used every week.

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Re: Member wants to donate flat screens...

Postby gregwanderson » Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:27 pm

Any answers? Anyone?

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Re: Member wants to donate flat screens...

Postby russellhltn » Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:56 pm

mrrad wrote:Any answers? Anyone?

The person with answers would be McCuneLR, but he's made just that one appearance.
Have you searched the Help Center? Try doing a Google search and adding "site:churchofjesuschrist.org/help" to the search criteria.

So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

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gregwanderson
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Re: Member wants to donate flat screens...

Postby gregwanderson » Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:31 pm

...or maybe someone who has been involved in making these purchases in their stake could tell us whether money came from budget, from a donor, from the FM Group or some other source (...or maybe they'd rather not say because the statement about A/V purchases was so strong).

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Re: Member wants to donate flat screens...

Postby eblood66 » Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:01 pm

mrrad wrote:...or maybe someone who has been involved in making these purchases in their stake could tell us whether money came from budget, from a donor, from the FM Group or some other source (...or maybe they'd rather not say because the statement about A/V purchases was so strong).

There is considerable information on webcasting including information on purchasing equipment on the RKATS site: https://www.lds.org/callings/melchizede ... t?lang=eng

It's pretty clear that most of the equipment is purchased with budget funds. A lot of it can be purchased from store.lds.org. I would assume that any unit following the guidelines and policies outlined there is staying within policy.

As for why several hundred dollars can be spent on webcasting but we aren't authorized to purchase a few flat screen displays--well, that kind of thing seems to be a feature of any large organization from my experience. I'm frequently frustrated at work that is so hard to get a $150 piece of software that will provide productivity gains for years but $400 for plane tickets for a meeting that could probably be done by phone or video conference happens without anyone really thinking about it. Different budgets get different scrutiny independent of the amount of money involved.

In this case, my guess is that policies and guidelines have been worked out for webcast but they're still figuring out what to do about instructional A/V needs.

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Re: Member wants to donate flat screens...

Postby aebrown » Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:02 pm

mrrad wrote:...or maybe someone who has been involved in making these purchases in their stake could tell us whether money came from budget, from a donor, from the FM Group or some other source (...or maybe they'd rather not say because the statement about A/V purchases was so strong).

Just from my observations on this forum, it's quite clear that there have been plenty of purchases using budget funds, a few from the FM group, some from donors (just in this topic alone you can see references to all three options). Since we've seen all three of those options (plus the 4th option -- don't upgrade A/V equipment at all at this point), I don't think anecdotal evidence is all that helpful.

That statement from McCuneLR was certainly very clear, but although a post on this forum is helpful to those of us who happen to read it, it clearly is not a message that got out to all the stake presidents.

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Re: Member wants to donate flat screens...

Postby aebrown » Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:10 pm

mrrad wrote:
McCuneLR wrote:Discussions are being conducted by departments and committees under the direction of the Presiding Bishopric, and as the Bishopric makes decisions regarding A/V and other technological equipment local leaders and Church employees will be so advised.

I'm curious if this includes the equipment used for the webcasting of Stake Conference to buildings within the stake.

McCuneLR's message referenced only "unauthorized A/V or other technology"; for webcasting, we have explicitly been told that stakes are authorized to purchase that equipment (see Purchasing Webcast Products on RKATS). So the way I see it, we have already been advised regarding that particular subset of A/V technology.

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Re: Member wants to donate flat screens...

Postby johnshaw » Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:42 am

I was speaking to my FM yesterday about some of the difficulties surrounding policies that are published out there, I used the computer policy (which states that in the 4th a stake/fm should budget to replace a computer in the 5th year) and the Printer/Copier FAQ also published through the forums, available in RKATS and if you call the printer people in SLC.

The FM told me that these are only guidelines, this is the third unique FM that has told me the same thing. If the FMG is free to ignore/redefine policies published by the Church and act differently, why aren't we able to treat the published information as guidelines and act in the best way we see fit. It always comes down to how the Stake President interprets the information under his stewardship.

Something is going to have to come to a head. Either policy is policy or guidelines are guidelines. The information published in this thread by the FM holds no weight in my book unless it comes out as a policy available in an officially published place (RKATS, OCL) and even then, it appears, that FMG will act as if these are guidelines.
“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.”
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