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Streaming Sacrament Meeting
Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:01 am
At one of the tech talk sessions this evening, someone asked about potential for streaming sacrament meetings for shut-ins. Not really "building to building", but is this something that we want to explore? What tools are available for doing this? Do we need high speed internet access at our ward buildings to support this?
Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 8:38 am
Our stake, like some others, has very remote units. We have two some 70 miles away across the sea. A solution to involve them in live stake leadership meetings, etc would be a great blessing to them. Despite best efforts from stake leaders to stay in touch there is always a feeling of remoteness for them as they cannot participate and conferences, etc are always viewed late via tape/DVD.
Any technological solution to assist in involving them more would be wonderful.
Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 9:22 am
BYUTV does have a sacrament meeting which is broadcast and is available over the internet. A problem with doing a sacrament meeting for a particular ward is how do you manage the content? Do these shut-ins or people far away have high speed internet? Do you want just audio or video also? Who and how do you do all of the recording? What is the cost of the equipment? One simple solution my ward does is tape record some of the meetings and then take the tapes to the shut-ins. I am not trying to be negative but these are real problems that need solutions to get this to work.
Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 11:50 am
mulhollandj wrote:One simple solution my ward does is tape record some of the meetings and then take the tapes to the shut-ins.
This is a good idea, but doesn't scale if you have more than just one or two who need to receive the meeting. Perhaps the Church could identify suitable software for producing recordings and provide infrastructure (via the ward web site, for example) to deliver the recorded sessions. I know we have several technically minded people who would be happy to bring a laptop to church and produce the recording, then take care of uploading it somewhere. This would also be advantageous to people who have to work on Sunday and can't attend their meetings.
Currently, our ward serves our shut-ins by having a couple of priests take the sacrament to them each Sunday. This is great and lets them receive the sacrament, but still leaves them without directed messages that our ward leaders feel are important for our ward members.
And I don't think you were being negative. I appreciate all suggestions, ideas, and concerns. Thanks for your comments.
Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:47 pm
Another solution is to use a digitial recorder and then burn it to a CD to take to people. CDs are now very cheap and the priests can take it over when they take the sacrament or a home teacher could deliver it. I think that you do want to maintain personal contact with people and that is an easy thing to lose when you use too much technology.
Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:52 pm
Before ANY recordings or transmissions of any kind are done, please check with your ecclesiastical leaders to ensure that what you are talking about conforms to Church policy.
Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 2:51 pm
I like the idea of taking something to the shut in members. Assuming we have permission from our leaders, I think mp3's might be the cheapest and easiest. One can buy a mp3 recording device for less than $20. It can then be e-mail to members if it is impossible to get out there. If they can be visited (and probably should) the mp3 can be put on their computer and reused at no additional cost. Just an idea...
Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 4:17 pm
I agree that streaming sacrament meetings over the Internet for shut-ins is a really nice way to use the technology investment every week instead of just twice a year for Stake Conferences. However, internally we need to address some aspects of current policy that would prohibit this use of the technology. Since this forum is for technology discussions I am going to side-step the policy issue and talk about some of the other issues surrounding streaming a sacrament meeting:
Is there a way to put the camera in the chapel such that it isn't a distraction for other members.
Some of the encoders we've looked at for Stake Conference produce moderate fan noise. It's just white noise but I wonder if it would be distracting.
Often ward meetings are more intimate than stake meetings - does streaming impact this? During our sacrament meeting last week we had a 30+ year old brother speak in front of a congregation for the first time in his life. I found myself wondering if I had placed a camera in the chapel whether he would have felt as comfortable speaking so personally. I realize that people can get used to the technology - but in some cases it may be an impact.
Regarding audio recording -- even though there are very few places in the chapel where you can get line-level output, there is usually tape recorder (often under the sacrament table) connected to the sound system for the express purpose of making recordings. Talk to your local priesthood leaders about the appropriate use of this device.
Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 4:50 pm
mulhollandj wrote:BYUTV does have a sacrament meeting which is broadcast and is available over the internet.
I've watched this a few times, but each time I was left feeling something was missing. It doesn't replace the need people have to be connected to their own ward. Seeing and hearing *your* bishop seems important.
A problem with doing a sacrament meeting for a particular ward is how do you manage the content? Do these shut-ins or people far away have high speed internet?
In many cases they will not. Technologies that also time shift the event (recordings) will have the upper leg here. I think it was Dennis Ritchie who said something to the effect of "never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of magnetic tapes rolling down the highway."
However, streaming has some advantages, as people feel more connected to the message when it is live. Otherwise we'd dump the satellite system and just send out the DVDs a few weeks later.
Do you want just audio or video also? Who and how do you do all of the recording?
Same questions regardless of if you are timeshifting or live, right?
What do they really need?
Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 5:13 pm
I think that we need to look at this from the perspective of two groups, shut-ins and people who have to travel too far to church. Both have different needs. These needs need to be determined on an individual basis by the local ecclesiastical leaders. I have two big non-technical concerns. The first is that people will have a better excuse to miss church services because they can just download them. The second is that they will lose personal interaction through a general email with the services attached.