Sharing out experience with Virtual Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

Using the Church Webcasting System, YouTube, etc. Including cameras and mixers.
mrbitsch
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Re: Sharing out experience with Virtual Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

Postby mrbitsch » Mon Sep 14, 2020 12:07 am

I haven't seen anything from church headquarters on an ideal situation for doing sacrament meeting broadcasts. The information we got from out area presidency had left it open for the individual stakes and wards to find a solution that worked for them. (likely do to the differing levels of technology know-how, and internet access in the buildings, we have stakes around us who have buildings that are still on dial-up....) There's a lot of really good information that dbaresrc posted if you're looking at the Zoom/Church broadcast system.

We had originally looked at using the Teridek since that's one the Church's recommended hardware list, but needing to pick up 3 more, when we found they were getting kind of hard to come by, and rather expensive, we decided to go with Raspberry Pi's. They're inexpensive, have enough horsepower, and work well when paired with a USB webcam and USB sound card. They will work with both the Church's system and YouTube, looking into using them with Zoom some more, and while Zoom has a Linux client, it's x86 only so won't run on the Pi because of it's ARM architecture. I posted about our setup on github https://github.com/TechnoSwiss/broadcast_pi if you're interested in looking that. The setup process is a bit more involved than what dbaresrc has posted, but it runs mostly hands off once it has been setup.

drepouille
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Re: Sharing out experience with Virtual Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

Postby drepouille » Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:04 am

mrbitsch wrote:I haven't seen anything from church headquarters on an ideal situation for doing sacrament meeting broadcasts. The information we got from out area presidency had left it open for the individual stakes and wards to find a solution that worked for them. (likely do to the differing levels of technology know-how, and internet access in the buildings, we have stakes around us who have buildings that are still on dial-up....)


There is much wisdom in using that approach, as each unit and meetinghouse has unique requirements and resources. (I am extremely grateful that our stake presidency allowed us to upgrade from DSL to cable modem service a year ago. It has been a blessing.)

On the other hand, we always fall into the trap of inventing solutions that rely upon the skills, experience, and good health of a very small group of experts. Single points of failure are never desirable. Perhaps the best solution is for the STS to be aware of the solutions in place for each unit in his stake, and to be available to support them when they stumble. When things fail, they do so at the worst times, and need to be corrected quickly. If a recurring broadcast wholly depends upon a single person, a single device, a single network connection, or a single subscription, the ability of the STS to step in and assist is severely hampered.

I know I have fallen into this trap in my own ward, but I am working with my STS to develop a more standard broadcasting solution that does not depend totally on me.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

kreeve
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Re: Sharing out experience with Virtual Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

Postby kreeve » Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:04 am

I appreciate you posting this. It gives me a working model to go from.
I am familiar with the Zoom streaming option as my team does this at work. It is a great option. We also use a tool called Yardstream for live streaming events.
Where do you place the webcam for your broadcasts and where is the person running the laptop sitting?

In addition to Zoom connected to streaming, one could try OBS on a laptop for steaming. I do not know if it will work with the churches streaming service. I also wonder about the infrastructure of the church to be able to handle the increased streaming sessions. Again I know very little about the back-end streaming service being used by the church.


Our meeting house is a large double chapel building supporting 8 wards in it, for a YSA stake. Thus we have never done any stake conference streaming nor do we have cameras or audio equipment to do such. The laptop and webcam option is probably our best choice for now.

Appreciate your post.

Kevin

kreeve
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Re: Sharing out experience with Virtual Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

Postby kreeve » Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:05 am

I see pics of camera placement in the above post github. Thanks for sharing those.

Kevin

superdave98
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Re: Sharing out experience with Virtual Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

Postby superdave98 » Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:33 am

We did our first virtual sacrament meeting yesterday. I used OBS on my laptop, a Logitech BC950 webcam and streamed it to YouTube. Other than people sounding muffled because of their masks, it worked great. It didn't really provide the members the opportunity to see each other, so next week I'm going to do a Zoom meeting that I will also stream to YouTube for the Zoom impaired. We'll start the Zoom meeting 30 minutes early and let the members chat until 10 minutes before the meeting starts, at which point, we'll mute everyone and play the organ music in the chapel. After the meeting, we'll unmute the members and they can chat again. We did the sacrament to the few people in the building after the broadcast ended and that worked well, although I was setup to mute the audio and put up a graphic if we had done it during the meeting and just interrupted the broadcast for it.

studerje
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Re: Sharing out experience with Virtual Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

Postby studerje » Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:37 am

Attaching files that I recently sent to our stake presidency.
Assuming quality internet already exists in building with connection in chapel, and using standard technology, Cost per building would be ~$956.24 per building to use the church's webcast service.
I'm lucky that I only need to support 3 buildings and that we already have 2 Teradeks.

Basic Breakdown
$732.25 - 1x Teradek Streamer - https://store.churchofjesuschrist.org/u ... 85050952-1
$198.00 - 1x Sony HDRCX405 Meetinghouse Webcast Camera - https://www.amazon.com/Sony-HDRCX405-Re ... B00R5LH9HO
$25.99 - 1x AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod with Bag - https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-60- ... B005KP473Q

Possible additional needs depending on positioning of camera:
$17.81 - Gaffer Tape - https://www.amazon.com/Professional-Gaf ... 00GZE3UJ8/
$49.99 - 1x HDMI Extender kit - https://www.amazon.com/Expert-Connect-3 ... B07QRYP45Q
$44.99 - Shielded Ethernet Cable in Black 200 ft - https://www.amazon.com/Cable-Matters-Sn ... B00HEM6C7C
$8.89 - Micro HDMI to HDMI Adapter - https://www.amazon.com/GANA-Adapter-Fem ... 07K21HSQX/
$39.49 - 50 Feet HDMI Cable - https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-Hig ... B01JH7156E

We happen to already have HDMI extenders, Shielded patch cables, and gaffer tape on-hand.
I prefer to use shielded Ethernet patch cables as they are a bit thicker and more resilient to being walked on if they need to be taped down somewhere.

Just some food for thought that might help others.
Attachments
Streaming_Ward_Meetings.docx
(17.99 KiB) Downloaded 28 times
Streaming_Ward_Meetings.pdf
(168.42 KiB) Downloaded 47 times
Last edited by studerje on Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

russellhltn
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Re: Sharing out experience with Virtual Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

Postby russellhltn » Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:55 am

I was able to do a successful broadcast over the church webcast system using my old cell phone (Pixel 1) and the Larix Broadcaster app. That's right, just a cell phone on a tripod. It doesn't get much simpler then that. I parked the tripod a little off to the side in the second row. That put me close enough to get a head-and-shoulders close-up and the full stand at zoom out. It was also far enough away to avoid a too awkward up angle of the speaker. (We have a fairly high pulpit). You're mileage may vary as the amount of zoom depends on the phone.

I did find the audio using the built-in mic to be really bad - as in not even in the same room bad. (Again, your mileage may vary). So, I ended up making my own cable for excellent sound. (I suspect the app has a built-in compressor.)

The app does have the ability to mute just the audio or both audio and video right from the home screen.

So far, the ONLY complaint I've had is that the sacrament wasn't moved from it's normal place in the agenda, and viewers got confused when everything was blanked out for the 12 minutes it took to pass the sacrament, even though it was announced ahead of time. Next time, if we don't move it, I'll just put a small sign at the bottom of the stand where I can point the camera during that portion.
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drepouille
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Re: Sharing our experience with Virtual Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

Postby drepouille » Mon Sep 14, 2020 11:16 am

When I mute the mic during the ordinance, I "present" a browser tab of the Sacrament hymn, so families at home can read or sing the words.
For example:
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/music/library/hymns/o-god-the-eternal-father
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

russellhltn
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Re: Sharing our experience with Virtual Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

Postby russellhltn » Mon Sep 14, 2020 12:18 pm

drepouille wrote:When I mute the mic during the ordinance, I "present" a browser tab of the Sacrament hymn, so families at home can read or sing the words.

That depends on the capability of what you're using. I was using a cell phone app. I'd need to point it to something in the chapel.
Have you searched the Help Center? Try doing a Google search and adding "site:churchofjesuschrist.org/help" to the search criteria.

So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

drepouille
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Re: Sharing out experience with Virtual Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

Postby drepouille » Mon Sep 14, 2020 2:06 pm

For a short time, I considered putting an old cell phone on the end of a goose-neck stand, and attaching the stand to the pulpit. However, I would have no control over the phone during the meeting, so I gave up that idea.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska


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