Running multiple Sacrament Meetings from multiple buildings

Virtual visits, Multi-Stake conferences, Priesthood Leadership Conferences, Church Leadership Conferences
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jnpetersen
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Re: Running multiple Sacrament Meetings from multiple buildings

Post by jnpetersen »

Yeah, our stake has been very open in letting Wards decide how they want to do it (some use a mix of Zoom and Youtube, some just 1 or the other), but I think it would be best to bring them all together into the same platform. The reason I want this is because we aren't sure that Wards are truly deleting their Youtube Live Streams after, and using the webcasting platform, they aren't saved, so thats a plus.

I hope with the device I'm prototyping, that once I can show its use case to the Stake Presidency, they will see the benefit. I've designed the code to look for the live stream link, just like the teradek, and will keep an eye to see when its supposed to disconnect based on the event time, so that if it's not disconnected right away, it won't try to keep streaming.

Plus with having the price tag so low and having the 3d design, I could potentially build these things at a large scale.
idahojoe
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Re: Running multiple Sacrament Meetings from multiple buildings

Post by idahojoe »

Any updates @jnpetersen? I'm curious what your solution was.

Our stake originally worked toward a solution originally proposed by @technoSwiss, with some modifications...
(1) We setup 1 youtube channel for each building in our stake, plus the default channel for our stake gmail account. So our one gmail account has 5 youtube channels that cover our Stake + 4 buildings.
(2) We simplified the process by making our videos public and sent a link to the channel for the building. When live, the video shows up there. We delete them later. This means we didn't need to automate updating links on a webpage, we only needed a single link for each building. Wards would simply watch the channel during their regular meeting time. We also didn't need the code for sending SMS messages
(3) We worked toward a 'control' box that had a button (for soft power on/off of Pi), a couple switches (one for start/stop broadcast, and one for live-video/static-pic+no-sound for sacrament) and LED indicators for each control.

We wound up bailing on the Pi's due to poor internet in two of our buildings, and only one person capable of modifying the code for all of it. (If he were "hit by a bus", or moved out of the stake, the support model falls apart)

We wound up standardized on using OBS with laptops. We used the webcams and USB audio capture devices that we originally purchased for the Pis, which work great with the laptops. We leave the webcams, and audio capture devices setup all the time, and simply plugin the laptops prior to streaming. The plus side is that each ward in our stake has provided an assistant stake tech clerk, and they're each now trained how to use OBS to run a webcast, which will come in really handy to assist the STS during stake conferences.

For those wondering what hardware we wound up using... each building has:
(1) A laptop/computer capable of running OBS (OBS is free, laptops can be borrowed from members, or if purchased are ~$400-$500 each)
(a) A USB3 hub with ethernet adapter - new laptops don't have an rj45 connector anymore (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0178HOTOU ~$16)
(b) A 20ft Ethernet cable - you may need longer/shorter (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GBBSTEG ~$14)
(2) A 1080p USB webcam with h.264 (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B088TT8HVY ~$48)
(a) A Microphone stand - in case you don't have a spare one laying around. (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002PAW6AU ~$26)
(b) Microphone stand to webcam adapter - allows you to mount your webcam on a mic stand (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07RGJFR85 ~$11)
(3) A USB digital audio capture card (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B019T9KS04 ~$20)
(a) A 25ft Audio extension cable to pull audio from Chapel out jack - I suggest getting longer than you need, ours are shorter than I'd like (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01CNAV2YW ~$13)
(4) A Power Cord - recommend a windup variety like this one (https://www.walmart.com/ip/16489602 ~$17)

Chances are you already have some of that equipment already. But, if you have to buy everything, it's around ~$162 per building plus the cost of your computer/laptop. Meaning you should be able to purchase everything including the laptop for less than the cost of a single Teradyk Vidiu device.
Thyratronman
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Re: Running multiple Sacrament Meetings from multiple buildings

Post by Thyratronman »

Greetings everyone...this has probably already been mentioned but the cheapest and easiest way to broadcast Sacrament meetings is using your phones...We broadcast 10 sacrament meetings every sunday using the churches webcast system. I built 4 streamer kits, one for each building. Each building except 1 had three wards in the building so I had the stake purchase 4 tripods and phone tripod mounts, one for each building. I built 4 interface cables and use 4 hearing impaired receivers that feeds the chapel sound system into the phones. The interface cable has one RTS connector that plugs into the Comtek receiver, and goes to two RTTS connectors on the other end, one for Android phones, and one for Iphones. In the middle, I build a resistive attenuator that drops the Line level audio to Mic level for the mic input to the phone. Each ward has a person assigned to set up the tripod and camera 45 minutes before time to start the Service. I put velcro on one leg of the tripod and on the Comtek receiver so it simply sticks to the leg. If you have an iphone that doesn't have an RTTS jack, I purchased the Lightning connector to 1/8 " RTTS adapter, don't buy the cheap ones because the cheap ones do not pass the Mic jack feed , Purchase the Belkin adapter and you will have no problems. It passes the mic as well as the speaker connections which you don't use. I have loaded the Larix software on the main streaming phones, and the Manycam app on my phone for stake conference type broadcasts. The manycam app is $59 normally $79 for one device and 4 video sources on one phone. You can even use video files on the phone to play videos and two more phones that use WIFI and show up as sources on your main phone. Works very well. The Larix software if free, that's why I use it for the wards. Just load it on the phone and Input the RTMP URL into the software and press the button and go. The larix software has a visual VU meter to set the volume using the knob on the receiver. Peak it into the yellow and your good to go. I also have a way to include headsets so that you can monitor the audio from the receiver as well. Don't have enough space to tell it all, but if your interested in more information please drop me a line and I would be happy to help out ...my email address is georgia.radio@gmail.com. The total cost for each kit was about $65.00 and the phones were provided by the operator... We stream from 9 am to 4:30 pm continuously at each building except at the Branch that only has one ward in that building. There is more to this story, if your interested, will look forward to talking to you, 73, Bro Rogers...
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jnpetersen
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Re: Running multiple Sacrament Meetings from multiple buildings

Post by jnpetersen »

With a recent email I received which asked us to only use the Church Webcasting platform for meetings with 500+ attendees, with the provided Zoom Accounts the church supplied, we have moved over to using Zoom Webinars which have worked well. With setting them up as recurring meetings, it makes it simple to just give people 1 url they can save in their calendar to be able to load up each week.

I tried working with my Stake Presidency to purchase equipment but then we went back into Stay at Home and so the need for equipment in the building was back to not needed. Now we are returning and so far we've only had the opportunity to have people use their own computers. I would love to tie the sound system in directly, but I think I'm going to find the best way to handle this using the comtek receiver, as the plug on the wall is all the way towards the back of the room. It would be nice to see about having our building updated to HDMI, even if it is just HDMI extenders over Ethernet, as we could then have a camera in the corner on the wall that feeds back to our satellite closet (which those are being removed soon) and I can get a nice setup for the 2 chapels in 1 room, and provide the streams from there.

There was a recent communication as well about recommending to turn off the Wifi during church to provide a better experience for those not in the building, which we are doing as I noticed last week, people joined the Zoom Webinar, even when they were in the building (for what reason, I have no idea).

I'm still planning on trying to set something up to make things easier and dedicated to each chapel, but for now, this is my plan.

@idahojoe Can you provide any pictures of how you have setup the devices? Are they mounted to the pulpit or somewhere else?
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