New tech in for stake conference

Using the Church Webcasting System, YouTube, etc. Including cameras and mixers.
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jrwagz
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Re: New tech in for stake conference

Postby jrwagz » Sun Jun 29, 2014 5:59 pm

rl_albright wrote:JRwagz:

Well I am still in the process of the overhaul of the old Ham radio loft at the stake center, converting it over to a fully functional control center. I will post a few pictures to wet your palette. So how we are doing things is as follows:


Wow, what an AWESOME setup. Thanks for the pointers on how you are making this work.

I was thinking at first that you were sending the broadcast video stream directly from the Wirecast software, but I now see that you have the Wirecast software drive a dedicated monitor, and then you take that monitor feed and pass it along to the Meetinghouse Webcast Communicator. Is this correct? Or are you running the Meetinghouse Webcast Software on this same PC that you are running Wirecast?

I know the Church is working on a new and improved version of the Webcasting system (see http://bcove.me/ktx9rjws), and I'm personally looking at ways I can improve our current system in conjunction with the new Webcasting system that will be coming out (although it's probably still a year or so away). Specifically I'm hoping to come up with a system for getting HD video into our Broadcast feed, currently we use SD for everything, and it looks fairly poor at the remote buildings. This has certainly given me some ideas to think about.

Has anybody else had any experience in attempting to Webcast Stake Conference in anything other than SD? What was your setup, and what were your findings?

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rl_albright
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Re: New tech in for stake conference

Postby rl_albright » Sun Jun 29, 2014 6:49 pm

jrwagz wrote:Wow, what an AWESOME setup. Thanks for the pointers on how you are making this work.

I was thinking at first that you were sending the broadcast video stream directly from the Wirecast software, but I now see that you have the Wirecast software drive a dedicated monitor, and then you take that monitor feed and pass it along to the Meetinghouse Webcast Communicator. Is this correct? Or are you running the Meetinghouse Webcast Software on this same PC that you are running Wirecast?

I know the Church is working on a new and improved version of the Webcasting system (see http://bcove.me/ktx9rjws), and I'm personally looking at ways I can improve our current system in conjunction with the new Webcasting system that will be coming out (although it's probably still a year or so away). Specifically I'm hoping to come up with a system for getting HD video into our Broadcast feed, currently we use SD for everything, and it looks fairly poor at the remote buildings. This has certainly given me some ideas to think about.

Has anybody else had any experience in attempting to Webcast Stake Conference in anything other than SD? What was your setup, and what were your findings?


I am using the Webcast software, with Wirecast I output in 720p even though my input video is still SD from composite signal. It still looks really nice. And with inputting through a dedicated system that is designed for HD content (the ZVBox 180) it allows for text input to be transmitted and for it to remain clear at the other end.

It works for us, and that is what matters right? :) If you are going to do everything through a dedicated system, it is best to have as fast of a computer as possible. For example earlier this year when I used the setup that I showed off in the beginning of this thread, I used my home computer which was mid-high range at the beginning of 2012, it didn't handle both Webcasting and Wirecast very well (so we had to dump the broadcast option at that time.) This new system should be able to handle everything very smoothly. *crossing fingers*

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Re: New tech in for stake conference

Postby rl_albright » Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:13 pm

By the way jrwagz, the physical hand off as far as Wirecast to the web casting software is concerned is via the Virtual Camera Out (with virtual microphone). Then in the web casting software, I select the Wirecast Virtual Camera as my webcam, and the Wirecast virtual microphone as my microphone. The External Display (which I feed out to the 3rd monitor is for everything else in-house, which includes the 2 projectors, and the ZVBox 180, which feeds the TVs in the peripheral rooms).

Hope this helps.

harddrive
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Re: New tech in for stake conference

Postby harddrive » Sun Jul 06, 2014 7:17 pm

rl_albright, you have done a lot of work and I'm working towards what you got.

My plans at our stake center is to permanently mount the Sony D-70 camera, add extra microphone for choir and one for the pulpit. I plan to run it all into a Roland VR-3ex audio/video mixer and then over to PVC for broadcasting.

This last stake conference in June, was terrible. We didn't change anything over the last six months and so I thought things were ok, but the signals were bad and the video quality at the different buildings in my stake were bad. The problem that I'm currently facing is that when people see the video on the computer screens at the different building it looks fine, but when the signal is taking from the computer and put into the closed circuit TV system in the building that is when the picture seems to be not as bright and the picture is fuzzy.

I know that VGA to VGA on the up to 14 year old projectors, is great, but then we wouldn't be able to put a TV any where in the building, because of the VGA connector. So we use a converter to change the signal from VGA to RCA (yellow). I would love to push the signal out at 720p, but with the AV mixer that I just purchased, I won't be able to do that.

Do you have a clue what you will do at the remote buildings or are doing at the remote buildings to make the picture on the screen bright and clear, but at the same time being able to use a TV in any room of the building. I can pull more wires, but at some point that will be a lot of wiring.

Thank you for letting me know.
Frustrated Terry

harddrive
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Re: New tech in for stake conference

Postby harddrive » Sun Jul 06, 2014 8:03 pm

I'm going to ask a few more questions.

1. What was the total cost of this project?
2. How much did the stake pay and how much did the FM Group pay?
3. I assume that you got the equipment at your price and I'm wondering what the street price is?

The reason I ask is because, I have been informed that we are not to make this into a production like it seems you have made it. I have also been informed that the FM Group and the stake president does not own the building or have the authority to make cehanges and that the presiding bishopric does and the have the final say as to what happens at the buildings.

I also only have a stake budget of $5,000 a year to do things. Also the FM Group has guidelines for what is standard equipment for webcasting.

I'm trying to leverage what I have and keep the cost down. And stay within the guidelines.

Terry

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Re: New tech in for stake conference

Postby michaelfish » Sun Jul 06, 2014 8:18 pm

Terry,

I have a couple of questions and would like to help you diagnose and fix your problem. Please let me know if any of these suggestions help...

The problem that I'm currently facing is that when people see the video on the computer screens at the different building it looks fine, but when the signal is taking from the computer and put into the closed circuit TV system in the building that is when the picture seems to be not as bright and the picture is fuzzy

Question: How is the picture out of the CCTV system if you were to test it with a different source - like from a DVD player (play a DVD through the CCTV system)? Or, if you were to play a video on the computer, how is that picture? Test also by connecting a regular TV monitor instead of the CCTV RF modulator and describe that picture. What kind of RF Modulator are you using? Are there any adjustments on it?

Do you have a clue what you will do at the remote buildings or are doing at the remote buildings to make the picture on the screen bright and clear, but at the same time being able to use a TV in any room of the building.

To run a projector and RF Modulator in our set ups, we take the VGA signal out of the computer and plug it directly to the projector's Computer Input. Since our projector has a VGA loop output, we connect it's output from the projector to the input of the VGA Scan Converter. That provides us with a composite video output (from the VGA Scan Converter).

If your projector does not have a VGA loop through, I would connect the computer to the VGA Scan Converter and connect that output to a video distribution amplifier (DA). One of the outputs of the DA could then feed the projector's composite (yellow) input and the other output could feed the CCTV RF modulator.

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Re: New tech in for stake conference

Postby rl_albright » Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:30 pm

harddrive wrote:I'm going to ask a few more questions.

1. What was the total cost of this project?
2. How much did the stake pay and how much did the FM Group pay?
3. I assume that you got the equipment at your price and I'm wondering what the street price is?

The reason I ask is because, I have been informed that we are not to make this into a production like it seems you have made it. I have also been informed that the FM Group and the stake president does not own the building or have the authority to make changes and that the presiding bishopric does and the have the final say as to what happens at the buildings.

I also only have a stake budget of $5,000 a year to do things. Also the FM Group has guidelines for what is standard equipment for webcasting.

I'm trying to leverage what I have and keep the cost down. And stay within the guidelines.

Terry


Terry:

I am seconding everything that Michaelfish has stated, he won't steer you wrong. As far as the total cost of this project. Well the initial upgrades to the digital modulators and such (as in my first post on this thread) was covered entirely from the FM group and done by myself through a company that I used to work for. They were the ones that spec'ed out the system, including the digital modulators (which I got for an INSANELY good price, basically got 5 for the price of 1!!), this also involved upgrades to the WiFi in the other buildings and other things that the FM group was needing to handle but didn't have the time to handle. The remaining portions of the upgrades came from our stake, but here is the thing, my stake president has refused to give me a budget, he keeps asking me what is needed to make this work. So the overall upgrades was a bit pricey but we won't have to invest much in technology for the next several years, effectively reducing the needed technology budget by maybe as much as 1/2 (if I were ever to get one).

I have stayed within the guidelines to some extent, but blurred the lines on some points. This is about as much of a production as other stakes that do webcasting are doing, the main difference is that the equipment is permanently secured in this building, versus having to rent/store and then spend the week or so setting up all of the equipment every 6 months prior to a stake conference.

The point is that all of these upgrades were done with the blessing of my local stake presidency and the FM group. I even have the blessing of multiple people at the HelpDesk on this endeavor.

We already had to move the equipment to a new area (as we outgrew the current AV closet, due to the fact of needing another Unity500 satellilte receiver [our stake center contains the designated deaf unit for an 11 stake region, so they would like to be able to receive satellite broadcasts in ASL], so we merely took it a few steps further.

If you would like more information on what we did, feel free to send me a private message.

Thank you

harddrive
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Re: New tech in for stake conference

Postby harddrive » Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:50 am

Michael, thank you for the response.

michaelfish wrote:Terry,

Question: How is the picture out of the CCTV system if you were to test it with a different source - like from a DVD player (play a DVD through the CCTV system)? Or, if you were to play a video on the computer, how is that picture? Test also by connecting a regular TV monitor instead of the CCTV RF modulator and describe that picture. What kind of RF Modulator are you using? Are there any adjustments on it?


On Thursday night, the other STS and I will go to the building to hook up a straight VCR (RCA) at the projector, the switch at the satellite cabinet and then at the computer in the clerks' office and check the picture quality. As far as I can remember, we have our Satellite receiver coming out RCA and going into the CCTV system and directly to the podium for the projector. From what I remember the picture is fine, clear and looks good. But that is broadcast quality video over the satellite. The RF Modulator that we have in our buildings is the Pico Macom PCM55, but the connection to the podium does not go through one of the RF modulators.

I was using the video from General Conference on the computer and I have some pictures, but I can't upload them at this time. Any picture from the computer to the projector using RCA is fuzzy at best.

To run a projector and RF Modulator in our set ups, we take the VGA signal out of the computer and plug it directly to the projector's Computer Input. Since our projector has a VGA loop output, we connect it's output from the projector to the input of the VGA Scan Converter. That provides us with a composite video output (from the VGA Scan Converter).

If your projector does not have a VGA loop through, I would connect the computer to the VGA Scan Converter and connect that output to a video distribution amplifier (DA). One of the outputs of the DA could then feed the projector's composite (yellow) input and the other output could feed the CCTV RF modulator.


The projector we are using is a Sony VPL-CS2. The first year of manufacturing for this model was 2000. We have told that the FM group won't pay for an new model until this one dies. BTW, we are using the clerk's computers as our receivers. We take the video out and put it to this scan converter: http://www.ambery.com/expctotvvico1.html Then we put the output the video and audio to a balum and run the signal over Cat5e cable to the satellite cabinet. There is another balum and then we put the video and audio into a manual switch so that we can switch between satellite and computer. From there we then send the sound to the chapel amplifiers just like it would be coming off the satellite and the video onto a RG6 coaxial cable to the podium, to the RCA port on the projector. We have not amplified the signal anywhere. So for the chapel no RF modulator.

The run from the computer to the satellite cabinet is probably within 200 feet and from from the satellite cabinet to the podium is probably just over 100 feet. So I'm not pushing the signal a long distance.

As you probably know when you convert VGA to RCA, we lose the sharpness of the picture because we are "dumbing" it down. It works, but my stake president wants it to be a lot better and so do I. The other thing that I'm going to try is to use the display ports on the back of the Dell to a RCA connector and by-pass the scan converter.

Thanks again for the reply and helping me with this. I believe that I'm doing everything right, except for the amplification.
Terry

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Re: New tech in for stake conference

Postby russellhltn » Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:17 am

harddrive wrote:As far as I can remember, we have our Satellite receiver coming out RCA and going into the CCTV system and directly to the podium for the projector.

Odds are the satellite receive feeds a video distribution amp, which in turn feeds the modulator and the podium.

harddrive wrote:We take the video out and put it to this scan converter: http://www.ambery.com/expctotvvico1.html Then we put the output the video and audio to a balum and run the signal over Cat5e cable to the satellite cabinet. There is another balum and then we put the video and audio into a manual switch so that we can switch between satellite and computer. From there we then send the sound to the chapel amplifiers just like it would be coming off the satellite and the video onto a RG6 coaxial cable to the podium, to the RCA port on the projector. We have not amplified the signal anywhere. So for the chapel no RF modulator.

The run from the computer to the satellite cabinet is probably within 200 feet and from from the satellite cabinet to the podium is probably just over 100 feet. So I'm not pushing the signal a long distance.

It's still unclear to me just what is being driven in the satellite closet. If your feeding anything other than that distribution amp, I think you're going to have problems. I also wonder if the problem isn't that the scan converter "cheaped out" on the video output stage and it just doesn't have the power to drive the baluns and long coax feed. The manufacturer probably thought that the input would be just a 10-15' cable away. You might need to run it though something that has a better output stage.

If a RF signal gets weak, you can't see the effects until the noise starts to rise. But with baseband video, the picture will go dim. Baluns and long cable runs don't help.
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harddrive
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Re: New tech in for stake conference

Postby harddrive » Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:33 am

Russell, I will have to look in the satellite cabinet to see what is going on. I believe that there is an amplifier back there and the way that it should be hooked up is that anything coming out of the manual switch should go into that amplifier before heading to podium or the RF modulator.

I will tell you that I did use my workstation that has an S-Video out on the video card. I put that into the system and the picture seemed brighter, but when I went to the converter it was darker. I am trying to send myself the pictures and I will upload them as soon as I get them or I will have to wait till I get home.


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