Sharing out experience with Virtual Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

Using the Church Webcasting System, YouTube, etc. Including cameras and mixers.
enelson5
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Re: Sharing out experience with Virtual Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

Postby enelson5 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:23 am

bsillito wrote:
dbaresrc wrote: For two of the buildings, we use a Zoom meeting (one for each building) linked into the Church webcast system via the High Bandwidth Encode option.
@dbaresrc - can you send me the link on how to set this up? Apparently I don't participate in these forums enough to PM you. :(
@dbaresrc - Me too please! For some reason my PM to you just sits in the Outbox and won't send.

[Moderator note: A PM stays in the Outbox until the recipient opens it to read.]

dbaresrc
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Re: Sharing out experience with Virtual Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

Postby dbaresrc » Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:45 am

I got a notification of your email and responded. Let me know if you didn't get it.

Thanks Carlton

rmrichesjr
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Re: Sharing out experience with Virtual Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

Postby rmrichesjr » Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:30 pm

enelson5 wrote:...

Have you found that the "Record Out" level is high enough? I've got a couple of buildings with older sound systems in them, and the "Record Out" levels aren't adjustable and possibly too low. I'd rather not have to add an amplifier into the audio path, so I'm wondering if there's any broadcast volume adjustability in your solution? I see an ffmpeg switch in your example that says, "volume=20dB", so it seems possible.
If you have an audio mixer, you could use that to control and monitor the audio level from the 'Record Out' connector. Otherwise, an old home-stereo-type cassette deck can be used as a decent mixer. If you don't have one collecting dust, at least last time I was in a thrift store they could still be found there for less than a couple dozen dollars. Most of the decks I have seen give you the option of line-level and microphone input. Use the line output to feed the encoder. Many decks also have a headphone output. The VU meters will show you real-time levels, but depending on your setup, 0 VU on the decks meters may _not_ be the level you want.

Getting a deck into record mode can sometimes take a little creativity. There's a record-protect tab in the upper left-hand corner of a cassette, and most decks have a microswitch to detect the tab. With many decks, you can open the cassette door, use a finger to push on the microswitch, activate record mode, and if necessary activate the machine.

drepouille
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Re: Sharing out experience with Virtual Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

Postby drepouille » Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:04 pm

So I could use the cassette recorder under the Sacrament table to attenuate the line level output of the Record Out jack to the microphone input of my laptop?
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

russellhltn
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Re: Sharing out experience with Virtual Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

Postby russellhltn » Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:13 pm

drepouille wrote:So I could use the cassette recorder under the Sacrament table to attenuate the line level output of the Record Out jack to the microphone input of my laptop?
You can try, but I'm not hopeful. I don't remember seeing any consumer electronics with "mic out" levels. Trying to tie the cassette deck "line out" to laptop's "mic in" is likely to result in a lot of noise even if the input levels are turned down. But if you use a "USB soundcard" with line in, then you're good. (But then, you can skip the cassette deck.)
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.

rmrichesjr
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Re: Sharing out experience with Virtual Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

Postby rmrichesjr » Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:52 pm

drepouille wrote:So I could use the cassette recorder under the Sacrament table to attenuate the line level output of the Record Out jack to the microphone input of my laptop?
That's not what I suggested. I suggested a home-stereo-type _deck_ (usually with a big input level control and either VU meters or LED or fluorescent level display. That would give you a display of real-time signal levels and manual control of the gain.

If all you need is to reduce the level from line-level to mic-level, there are prebuilt attenuators available, or you could have someone solder together a couple of resistors to do that. With that, you may not need the mixer or cassette deck if you don't want it.

mrbitsch
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Re: Sharing out experience with Virtual Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

Postby mrbitsch » Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:16 pm

enelson5 wrote: 1) Is there some reason you decided to compile ffmpeg rather than point to a repository and download a precompiled binary?
When I started testing this the version of ffmpeg in the repo for Rasbian didn't include the x264 encoder that's required to send a stream to YouTube. I haven't checked to see if that's changed, but it's only been a couple of months.
enelson5 wrote: 2) I like your approach except for the Youtube part of it. I think I'd be more comfortable pointing an RTMP stream to the church's broadcast service. I'm assuming that the Raspberry Pi + ffmpeg solulution can be used to push an RTMP stream to a church-scheduled broadcast URL instead of flv stream to a YouTube URL, correct? Since the zillion ffmpeg command line options can be a bit intimidating, I'm wondering if you could break down what they all do and maybe include the option syntax for an RTMP stream URL?
One of the reasons I went with YouTube was because I had a hard time with the church's system always complaining about me not sending data fast enough (I was testing from home, on a quad-core i7 and a gig fiber internet connection...), however this was before they added the high bandwidth switch, so maybe that will make a difference. You should be able to take the same command just replace <server URL>/<Stream Key> with the string provided by the church broadcast system.

I can try and breakdown the command line options from my github post, but I'll post it over there.
enelson5 wrote: Have you found that the "Record Out" level is high enough? I've got a couple of buildings with older sound systems in them, and the "Record Out" levels aren't adjustable and possibly too low. I'd rather not have to add an amplifier into the audio path, so I'm wondering if there's any broadcast volume adjustability in your solution? I see an ffmpeg switch in your example that says, "volume=20dB", so it seems possible.
The "Record Out" is a live level output, it should be able to drive a line level input. Most of your broadcast software, or your OS should have the ability to gain the line level input if you need to "turn up" the volume on it a little bit. In the case of ffmpef yes "volume=20dB" accomplishes that.

dbaresrc
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Re: Sharing out experience with Virtual Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

Postby dbaresrc » Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:07 am

If I may, I strongly suggest using the Church webcast system for non-Vidiu environments. As soon as they released the HBE option, we starting broadcasting sacrament services from several of our buildings using basic Zoom personal accounts. This is in addition to our StkCtr broadcasts (Vidiu) which have been happening since March.

The Zoom / HBE combination works flawlessly even from a building with only 3 mbps upload speed. We have not had to disable Wifi either for throughput. As a side note - you MUST use a wired vs Wifi for a Zoom / HBE meeting. Wifi is too slow and glitchy. Continuing . . . . the other nice thing about using the Church system is there is a single place for our members to attend meetings, sacrament or any other kind. We've had funerals through it as well. They go to our stake webcast portal and all meetings are there. If they want to "attend" their sacrament meeting they connect to their building at the correct time. If they want to see their friend or a returned missionary in another ward, they connect to the correct building at the correct time. It's all in one place and can be managed through one interface.

As I describe in my documentation (ask if you want it), it's trivial to use Zoom and the Church system.
webcast_1.jpg
(205.63 KiB) Not downloaded yet
Thanks

Carlton

lajackson
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Re: Sharing out experience with Virtual Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

Postby lajackson » Fri Sep 18, 2020 8:39 am

dbaresrc wrote:... we starting broadcasting sacrament services from several of our buildings using basic Zoom personal accounts.
These are paid accounts, though, correct? It is my understanding that the free Zoom accounts are not able to interface with the webcast system.

retiredtech
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Re: Sharing out experience with Virtual Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

Postby retiredtech » Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:02 am

As we progress into a new world of Sacrament meeting distribution I find our stake president and bishops are still confused on how exactly we are to get the meetings out to the homes. As I read down through our forums I discover a multitude of suggestions how best to accomplish these tasks. Unfortunately many turn out to be a kludge of equipment for each ward or building. I am hoping in the near future a more direct instruction from the church technical group on the recommended and tested procedures.

In the meantime I am most impressed with the use of the Raspberry Pi's option. I currently have a Pi-4 with 4GB and am attempting to duplicate the procedure already in place. Unfortunately I am not experienced enough in Linux to make this happen and find it difficult to find that experience in the stake. The operating system is now Pi OS and came down as debian buster module. I am finding it already contains modules like ffmpeg, git and the audio libraries. Trying to follow the written procedures is a daunting task at the moment as your written procedures don't apply or not work. Perhaps you have a revised written edition based on the new Pi OS system that I might try.


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