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Re: SLC shut our Webcasting session down for Regional Conference

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 8:50 am
by rannthal
Aczlan wrote:Might I suggest a nightly email be sent to whoever is on call with the number of webcasts scheduled per region?

Like I said before, we check on the weekdays to see how many events are scheduled. On the weekends, this would not help as the vendor does not respond in that fashion.

Aczlan wrote:Also, in the case of such a widespread catastrophic failure, PLEASE COMMUNICATE as things are happening.
You (or someone on the team) has the ability to put up the messages on the top of the webcast portal. If something breaks like that again, a message saying "hey things are broken here in SLC, its not just you, please switch to your backup plan" would save a LOT of hair from being torn out.

Agreed, I was surprised that there wasn't something put up.

Aczlan wrote:After the fact, (since you have the email address of each person who setup the webcast), an email sent to all of them saying "we are sorry things broke, here is what broke and what we have done to fix it" (ie: we are sorry for the issues you had this weekend, we ran out of licenses but we have since purchased more and this shouldn't happen again) would help to resolve the doubts of those who got burned trying to use the system this time (especially those who don't frequent this board and might think that they were at fault for it not working).

Our product manager is already in the process of doing this.

This is also the reason why I'm getting on the boards. I understand how it feels to not know what is going on. I hope to be able to relieve some of that frustration where I can. No one has asked me to do this. I'm doing it of my own accord, because I am also one of you, an STS. I eat my own work.

Re: SLC shut our Webcasting session down for Regional Conference

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:45 am
by michaelfish

Thank you for your participation and feedback. It's really nice to be able to have a response from someone actually involved in the project.

It's like our voices are finally being heard. I answered the questionnaire but like so many other questionnaires, I felt that nothing would come of it.

I appreciate someone on the inside, who is involved, keeping us in the loop...Mike

Re: SLC shut our Webcasting session down for Regional Conference

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 10:09 am
by rannthal
harddrive wrote:However, with that said, the feedback I have been reading on this leaves me questioning if the system is really good.

As with anything out there, something new that we are not familiar with always gets punched up because it is new. After the newness has worn off, it will seem like "how did we ever function before this". Also, if you ever have used the old will know this is magnitudes better.

harddrive wrote: I understand about licensing and other items that you can't forecast, but as mentioned there should be some safe guards put in place for this to not happen again.

Already putting in place.

harddrive wrote:It is like here is the equipment and now you go make it work. Based on what I'm reading, everyone in the church is doing things their own way. Some are using YouTube, Sling box and so forth because the system seems to be unreliable. Each of us are using different machines for receiving the broadcast. To me there isn't a set standard for everyone.

Being an STS is a very daunting task. A lot of it is "do your own thing" because every stake and district is different and every STS has their own preferences and experiences. The main point is to be able to deliver the messages to the members that aren't at the stake center.
Of course, "doing your own thing" does have problems in itself. For example, if an STS setup a custom system that works because he knows the ins and outs of it, what happens when he gets released and the new STS takes over that does not have any experience with the system?
Also, if something does go wrong, they are on their own with trying to figure out what is going on.

The church has created webcast to allow those who do not want to "do their own thing" a system to be able to broadcast to outlining meetinghouses and be able to have some support while doing it. It is not required that stakes and districts use the system. It is there for the members to use if it works for them. If it doesn't they can "do their own thing." The most important thing is to be able to get the conference to the members.

The church, as far as webcasting goes, does have some recommendations. They can be found here: Webcast Requirements.
There is also a products page found here: Purchasing Webcast Products.
All this can be found on the webcast support pages found by clicking on the Need Help link on the portal.

I hope this helps. If I wasn't on the team, I would be as lost as many of you. That's why I'm doing this. I'll post some recommendations on my other post Webcast Help Offered.

Re: SLC shut our Webcasting session down for Regional Conference

Posted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 5:29 pm
by michaelfish
They've since obtained additional licenses, so according to them, "it shouldn't happen again".

Deja failed again for the February 14th NW Regional Conference.

Fear = the church's new webcasting portal

Faith = use Ustream

Re: SLC shut our Webcasting session down for Regional Conference

Posted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:33 pm
by rannthal
If one is prepared, there is no fear.

Sorry, this was not Deja was an entirely different reason some could not view events. The event could not be viewed due to some not following the instructions given or the portal being slow.
We are looking into why the Portal was slow.

With a little pre-prep, if the portal being slow or down is easily over come....please see What to do when the Portal is down.

Re: SLC shut our Webcasting session down for Regional Conference

Posted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:51 am
by chris.bennett
I finally decided to use the church's webcast system. All the testing we did was perfect, so we felt confident in attempting to use the Teradek ldswebcast system. I am in the Salt Lake valley using the West servers.

For the first Stake conference, even though there is supposed to be a 2 hour buffer, the media server was not ready. GSC said to cancel the event and create a new one. Everything worked great after that.

The next Stake Conference, which took place a few days ago, was a disaster. Even though there is a two hour buffer, I scheduled the event start time for an hour earlier. That was fine, but there was no audio. At the receive sites, the supposed that I had muted the audio, which I would never do.

I created a new event, but it took a very long time to get the media servers ready. The receive site missed the first 40 minutes of the meeting. They did have speakers there who were ready, and Elder Satati went down in person to run the first part of the meeting down there, so the congregation was doing something during that time. Elder L Whitney Clayton was the presiding general authority.

This was an embarrassment to me and to our Stake.

I guess here's what I could have done better:

1) Have someone local to our building monitor the transmission (including sound) in our building.
2) Having read this message, definitely keep the slingbox as a backup. If I didn't have that the first time I used ldbwecast, the transmission would have completely failed. Slingbox has also stopped being reliable lately.
3) I'm going to do some more youtube testing. If it works more reliably, maybe I'll just do that from now on still using the Teradek. Maybe 10 am on a Sunday morning is the busiest time.

Even though one meeting was a disaster, I still don't want to give up entirely on ldswebcast. They have improved things so much, but I'm also tired of sweating bullets.

Re: SLC shut our Webcasting session down for Regional Conference

Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:33 am
by Mikerowaved
For our last stake conference (a few weeks ago) I setup a simple VPN* between the sending and receiving PC's that navigated through the firewalls at each end, so there was no need to bypass them, like when using YouTube. Once that was in place, I configured Wirecast as a Windows Media Streaming server on the sending side, and on the receive side, entered the URL for the streaming server into Windows Media Player.

It worked like a champ at 720p/60 (approx 5 Mbps), except for an unfortunate update from Panda antivirus that went full-screen on the receive PC right near the beginning of conference. The guys there had to force a reboot to finally clear it. I felt bad because that was MY notebook PC. Needless to say, Panda antivirus is now on my blacklist.

The reason I chose the above method was to have much greater control of the webcast from end-to-end (and to also stream without a bitrate cap). I think the church's portal system is getting there, but it seems there are still a few too many issues that crop up almost weekly in the forum for me to have total faith in it. I'm sure that will come, knowing how much effort the church employees are putting into it.

* For those interested, I used the open source SoftEther for the VPN. Much simpler to configure than OpenVPN.