Ideas for a stake-wide webcast

Using the Church Webcasting System, YouTube, etc. Including cameras and mixers.
ebb9
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Ideas for a stake-wide webcast

Postby ebb9 » Sun Jun 14, 2020 1:31 pm

My stake president asked me what options there might be for doing a webcast/webinar that would be able to reach all stake members in their homes. Using the Church's webcast setup hits limits of 200 (or 400 for large meeting) viewers, which is obviously too low; even https://tech.churchofjesuschrist.org/fo ... 27&t=36927 mentioning an upcoming upgrade to the webcast system in July to allow up to 1000 viewers may still be on the low side. A bit of research shows that the Zoom platform offers webinar solutions for up to 1000 clients for $340/mo or up to 3000 clients for $990/mo, but it is not obvious whether that requires a multi-month contract or how one-off event pricing changes, or even whether the Church as a whole already has such contracts in place.

I am also aware that the First Presidency has cancelled all stake conferences until further notice, so the need to hold a broadcast to the entire stake is not a pressing issue, so much as something that I can give more informed answers as stake tech specialist back to my stake president, which he can in turn use to discuss back up the leadership chain in determining when the next stake-wide meetings will be feasible.

I will also note that our stake is participating in a multi-stake leadership training session with our Area Presidency this week, split over several sessions of 3 stakes each, which included a Zoom link of "https://churchofjesuschrist.zoom.us/..." (here I'm intentionally obscuring the actual meeting id), which I estimate will be around the level of 100 participants. Given the personalized URL, I suspect that the Church does have some sort of contract for Zoom meetings, although without official word through https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/hel ... t?lang=eng, I suspect it is something that individual stakes are not yet allowed to use, nor do I know what its actual capacity limits would be.

lajackson
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Re: Ideas for a stake-wide webcast

Postby lajackson » Sun Jun 14, 2020 2:50 pm

ebb9 wrote:My stake president asked me what options there might be for doing a webcast/webinar that would be able to reach all stake members in their homes.

For a one-way webcast I think your best method would be to send the webcast out on a YouTube broadcast. That could range from a one-camera stake center webcast to a Zoom call involving a few speakers/moderators that can be distributed via YouTube.

Or if you have a paying level Zoom account, you can recover the meeting and make it available to anyone who received the link.

You might also check out Google Meet limits now available at no charge.

The new Church solution of up to 1,000 connections will also have a replay capability after the webcast via Internet URL. But that is probably not until August, although testing is going on right now.

drepouille
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Re: Ideas for a stake-wide webcast

Postby drepouille » Sun Jun 14, 2020 3:53 pm

My stake does a 20-30 minute live stream on YouTube every Sunday from the stake center. The video remains on YouTube for just a few days, which gives us time to decide when we want to view it.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

winjesluck
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Re: Ideas for a stake-wide webcast

Postby winjesluck » Mon Jun 15, 2020 6:27 am

I'm not sure how large your Stake is, but for 3 stakes I assist with Stake Conferences I wouldn't see us going over 400 connections for a webcast as not every person will be connected, it would only be at least one connection per household.
In saying that, it's always best to cater for the maximum amount of households that would connect to the webcast. I recently used the church webcast for our Regional YSA Devotional and I managed to borrow a backup Teradek from our Regional Tech Specialist, had a laptop running Google Meet that only had the leaders that normally sit on the stand and I used a 4 port HDMI splitter to split the same feed into 2 Teradeks that had different webcast links with the "Large Event" option ticked to cater up to 800 connections. I used a 4 port HDMI splitter so I could plug a TV in to make sure the video was working.
We had half of the Stakes connect to one webcast link and the other half connect to the second link which ended up being a success and balanced the load.

I have seen that personalised Zoom link link somewhere before, but it looks like it's only authorised for the Church workforce.

I've been using Google Meet ever since I received an email about Google Meet for Virtual Meetings that was sent out to Stake Clerks and Technology Specialists on the 17 April (Australian EST) that asked to forward to our Ward and Stake Leaders. The email encouraged local leaders to use a free, reputable solution that works best in their area. If other free options are still insufficient, local leaders can request access through the Church to a free Google G Suite account that will allow them to host meetings with the Google Meet conferencing tool. The email included a link to a website were ward and Stake leaders could create a Google G Suite account that would be connected to our Church Account (aka. LDS Account).
The Google Meet Account only allows up to 250 people (till Sept 2020), but it's enough for my Stake and Ward leadership meetings.

A few months ago in preparation for the lock downs, I started testing YouTube Live with unlisted links (which can't be search for on YouTube) and only people with the link could connect to the broadcast.
I found it was quite good, but then got the word that all meetings were being suspended, so haven't had to use it yet.
When I started testing I found it's not a quick setup if it's your first time. If you do go with YouTube Live, you have to create a YouTube Channel, you will have to Verify your channel, Enable Longer videos option so you can upload videos longer than 15 minutes (which takes up to 24 hours for Google to process). I had a spare faulty Teradek (half dead) which I use for testing and this can also be the device that uploads to YouTube Live, but I wouldn't recommend it if's not a spare device as I would find it annoying having to always double check all the settings with switch it back to the Church webcast system if I only had the one device.

edhammond
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Re: Ideas for a stake-wide webcast

Postby edhammond » Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:50 pm

My stake is going to have a conference in August due to the President moving. (potentially 1200 households). Also need to support a temple devotional in August. (potentially 500 households)

An STS in another stake suggests Zoom connected to Youtube streaming.

Anyone done that successfully?

lajackson
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Re: Ideas for a stake-wide webcast

Postby lajackson » Sat Jul 04, 2020 5:26 pm

edhammond wrote:An STS in another stake suggests Zoom connected to Youtube streaming.

I have not done it but have seen it successfully done many times. That said, the updated Church webcast servers support more than 1000 connections, should be online this month, and have successfully tested at 3,000 connections. You may be able just to run a normal webcast from your stake center, even if the stake center is virtually empty.

scgallafent
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Re: Ideas for a stake-wide webcast

Postby scgallafent » Sat Jul 04, 2020 6:49 pm

edhammond wrote:My stake is going to have a conference in August due to the President moving. (potentially 1200 households).

Before you get too far down the road, I would verify that is going to work from an ecclesiastical standpoint. I have a friend in another stake where a bishop needed to be replaced. They were given very specific instructions that they needed to have a meeting with members there to sustain the new bishop and that it couldn't be done virtually. I think their solution was to hold a series of small meetings once that was an option so that the entire ward had the opportunity to be in one of several meetings and sustain the new bishop.

lajackson
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Re: Ideas for a stake-wide webcast

Postby lajackson » Sat Jul 04, 2020 8:52 pm

scgallafent wrote:Before you get too far down the road, I would verify that is going to work from an ecclesiastical standpoint.

The Quorum of the Twelve letter of June 12 says they are supposed to do this stake conference with technology, if possible. The only reason they are even having the conference is because of the change. (I would run afoul of the Code of Conduct if I quoted the letter, since it only went to stake presidents, and then they might have to let me go as moderator.)

You are correct that the instructions are different for changing a bishop.

lajackson
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Re: Ideas for a stake-wide webcast

Postby lajackson » Sat Jul 04, 2020 9:35 pm

edhammond wrote:My stake is going to have a conference in August due to the President moving.

If you have webcast stake conferences before, I would make the broadcast reservation on one of the upgraded server regions and give the meeting URL to everyone in the stake. You have the option whether or not to require members to use their Church Account to access the webcast. And even if you do not require them to use their Church Account, they still have to have the correct URL and specific event code to view the conference.

I have had good success with the Church webcast solution in the past, and this is how I would do it if I were in your shoes. This assumes that the conference will originate from the stake center, of course, even if it is mostly empty.

scgallafent
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Re: Ideas for a stake-wide webcast

Postby scgallafent » Wed Jul 08, 2020 6:50 pm

lajackson wrote:The Quorum of the Twelve letter of June 12 says they are supposed to do this stake conference with technology, if possible. The only reason they are even having the conference is because of the change.

You are correct that the instructions are different for changing a bishop.

I went back and reread the letter and lajackson is correct. It appears that they expect to change stake presidents in a virtual meeting. From my understanding, that is not the case with bishops.


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