rannthal wrote:1. I find it interesting that one feels that the weak link is the PC on the receiving end. In all my time here working with the system and being a STS myself for a rural stake, the PC has never been a problem.....ever. The Internet has been a problem several times, but never the PC. If taken care of and properly managed, they are rock solid, even from using members laptops. I'd like to hear more on why this is thought.
Granted, Internet speed and quality is an important issue. Thank you for the button that allows the stake to originate SD only to a receiving location. This has already made the difference for us.
As for that pesky laptop, I suppose the key here is "If taken care of and properly managed" when it comes to the laptop used to receive the broadcast. And I am not sure how I would do that myself.
I occasionally stream television shows. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. In each case, I have done nothing different than I did the previous time I streamed a show. It is the same way with the webcasting system and other Church videos.
I sometimes open my laptop and Windows 10 decides it is time to upgrade. I have no control over that. Those updates come when they come. I have gained a sense over the last year of when they will hit. But when they do, they do. At home, I can disconnect from the Internet. But you can't run a broadcast that way.
When I stream Church videos, sometimes they show up in Windows Media Player. Sometimes they show up in VLC. Sometimes they show up in whatever new-fangled video player Windows 10 uses. And sometimes they even come over YouTube with commercials. I do not know how to control that, and quite honestly I am grateful to be receiving the broadcast stream at all.
Every player has its own quirks, personalities, and settings to present a reliable broadcast picture and sound. Just recently I was unable to hide the task bar on my laptop during a broadcast because something had changed. After an evening Internet search I found that it was a bug in the latest update, and I have used the workaround several times since. At least the workaround has proven to be quick and reliable. Most are not.
As important as is stake conference, our small stake with no budget has not felt it worth the investment to purchase and maintain laptops for several buildings for only two events a year. So we rely on member laptops, usually one belonging to the technology specialist trying to receive the broadcast at the meetinghouse. They have the same challenges I have.
One poor and faithful bishop sat at his laptop during an entire conference to move the mouse every few minutes to keep the screensaver from kicking in because the webcast did not keep his laptop active as other streaming events did.
Now maybe I could figure out what is wrong and what the variables are on my laptop that cause these variances to occur. But I still work for a living, have other Church callings besides stake STS, and can only be in one place at a time. So I rely on our other STSs to do the best they can and we test a lot. But each time I reboot my laptop, I have a new adventure.
Oh, and be sure you take the laptop that can plug directly into the Ethernet port. You know, the one that hasn't been updated since you used it for the last broadcast. [grin]
Please understand that I have had one successful stake conference webcast and am looking forward to having another one next month. I love that the technology is available. But it takes a lot of work to make it happen and it is not simple. I do not have the experience, skills, or blood pressure to deal with more than small, minor surprises.
Nothing is the same two times in a row. And it starts with the IP address the VidiU picks up on the meetinghouse network. If that is the only variable, you are having a wonderful webcast on your wonderful Sabbath day.