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Webcast Communicator vs PC and software

Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:33 pm
by sphester
Hi All

Anyone got any advise idea on weather to use the webcast communicator or a PC with the software. Is one better than the other.

Our stake currently has no equipment and i'm supposed to be getting a list of what to buy. But no real world experience of any broadcast services like this or the equipment needed.

I posted on another thread about using the MLS PC's as it seem we wil have to use these or find a wiling volunteer to bring a full desktop down. I'd rather use the MLS PC but it is 5 years old and running windows XP and i think only 1 gig of ram.

Anyway any comment would be great.

Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:34 pm
by Mikerowaved
I've found they both can do a good job, when configured correctly and given ample bandwidth. At this point, however, I would opt for using a PC with the Meetinghouse Webcast software. The Webcast Communicator box was designed with an early version of the software, and as far as I know, won't be updated anymore than it is. In fact, I think they have stopped producing them altogether (although I may be wrong about that). The main push for product development is in the Meetinghouse Webcast software, so unless you are using a PC, you will not be able to take advantage of the newer releases that have and will come out.

That's my take on it, although Kurt Olsen may have more to add regarding the direction of product development.

Posted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:47 am
by ksolsen
The Communicator is still very much alive and well - rumors of its death seem to persist! I just placed an order for 100 more units, which are now in process of being built and delivered to our warehouse. In a recent week, 11 units were shipped out, which I believe is our highest volume ever. So it is definitely still available and will continue to be available for some time to come.

It is true that the Communicator has older software with fewer features. Meetinghouse Webcast Software version 3.0 (the current version) offers features that you can't get on the Communicator, such as the ability to easily switch from one video source to another quickly and easily within the software (including the ability to share your PC's screen), the ability to webcast images or videos stored on your PC, and more flexibility in terms of bandwidth and resolution choices.

As such, the software version is somewhat more involved, and some people prefer the simplicity of the Communicator. Plug in video and audio, enter your event ID, push a button, and you're off and running - so easy, a caveman could do it! (I don't think Geico trademarked that phrase...)

Our next-gen strategy project, which won't start until later this year, will examine all aspects of our webcasting product and we will look to offer an upgraded experience all the way through the process. That being said, we definitely will not abandon users of the current technology - it will be supported for years to come, so any investment you make now will not be cut short.

Posted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:13 am
by sphester
Can I ask is there a website I can use to view test video streams. I want to get an idea of the quality and real world bandwidth requirements without actually doing a test broadcast first. Once I have the receiving side of things covered I can then move onto doing a full test broadcast and buy the camera.

Also in terms of plug and play I'm assuming the webcast box is going to be my best option as I've read a few posts about capture cards just not working as they should even those from the approved list.

I guess overall just very concious i do not go spending church funds of stuff that ultimately never works and we have to go and buy something else.

Posted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 6:20 am
by aebrown
sphester wrote:Can I ask is there a website I can use to view test video streams. I want to get an idea of the quality and real world bandwidth requirements without actually doing a test broadcast first.

See this post.

Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:31 am
by sphester
Hi

Just completed my first webcast tests using the communicator device.

I plugged my monitor into the VGA port thinking I'd get the live stream on the screen I noticed the device uses windows XP can you install the webcast software onto the machine and us it that way.

Also is it possible to use more than 1 video feed along with the software and phase/mix between the 2 video feeds from within the software.

Thanks

Simon

Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 7:28 am
by sphester
sphester wrote:Hi

Also is it possible to use more than 1 video feed along with the software and phase/mix between the 2 video feeds from within the software.

Thanks

Simon

Think I've answered this some further searching around said the software does not allow video mixing.

But why has the communicator got more than 1 video in socket well it looks like that.

Also still interested to known if the webcast software could go on the communicator box to increase the functionality by being able to show power point slide through it for example.

Webcast Communicator -- Most Recent Version

Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:21 pm
by gusto
Bro. Olsen, can you tell me what the most recent version of the software for Webcast Communicator is? I'm assuming there is no way to run an update on the box via a USB stick, etc.?? I'm not expecting all the features of the software version -- just wanted to make sure our unit was as up to date as possible. Thanks!

Rod.

Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:30 pm
by ksolsen
We've never released new or updated software for the Communicators. You are right - they weren't necessarily designed for field updates.

Later versions of the box did have some slight updates, but those only involved different drivers to match small changes in the hardware.

So your system, by default, would have the latest software because we've never done any updates for units that already shipped.

When would I pick the Communicator over the PC or visa versa?

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:18 pm
by rmajors
What makes best choice for the Stake that has the techologiests and the dollars to support either purchase. We are not interested in the newest product, nor are we afraid of it, what we want is the best product for the members of our wide geographically distributed stake.