Simple Fully Automated worship webcast with Meetinghouse Webcast

Using the Church Webcasting System, YouTube, etc. Including cameras and mixers.
jeremywillden
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Re: Simple Fully Automated worship webcast with Meetinghouse Webcast

Post by jeremywillden »

This looks exciting - I'm looking forward to trying it out. For anyone looking for an even lower-cost solution (I spent about $50 per building by using older model iMac computers (reformatted and running Ubuntu) purchased from the school district surplus a few years back), refer to this thread for automating OBS Studio on an older computer to pull configuration from the Webcast XML file: viewtopic.php?f=27&t=37666 Rather than just pulling the plug on HDMI or the power to the encoder, scene controls in OBS Studio allow source selection. I haven't used them, but I believe there are mobile apps for remote controlling OBS if you don't want to sit near the machine.
bretep
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Re: Simple Fully Automated worship webcast with Meetinghouse Webcast

Post by bretep »

Thank you Jeremy, I look forward to any feedback you might have.


Because we are now on page 10 of this thread, I want to highlight that the J-Tech solution I have come up with focuses on the following:
- Reliability: Reduce as many points of failure as possible
- Repeatability: Can reliably be deployed across chapels with ease
- Low cost: No expensive web camera, computers, or software
- Stationary: The podium can move up and down
- No-fuss: Power on/off to start and stop the webcast
- Simple configuration using the Church provided Meetinghouse Webcast system
- Easy to train and delegate

The more equipment and moving pieces you add to your setup will incur a cost in time, frustration, stress, and have more points of failure. I want to stress, that while the solution I have here is low cost and 1/8th the cost of most solutions, that is not the primary focus. There is a lot of value in having a reliable, low touch, stress-free setup.

Some additional information about the decisions made:

I've been asked more than a dozen times about USB cameras. Here is my stance on USB cameras. While I use a USB camera for work and with my personal computer, it's not the ideal solution for this purpose. USB cameras each require their own drivers and are built to run on specific operating systems. While the J-Tech is running a tiny version of Linux, it only has a grand total of 24MB of disk space. USB Camera drivers are often times 1MB or more. Besides the driver compatibility problems, the USB cameras are expensive.

Analog cameras are extremely low cost ($14) and the converters to HDMI are also affordable ($17). No drivers or software involved. They are such low cost that I purchased an extra camera per building and one additional RCA to HDMI converter, just in case one fails.

As a Stake Technology Specialist, I was able to hold one training meeting with a representative from each of the 13 wards in my stake. They were able to learn and are at the chapel to help, if needed. I'm happy to report, only one of the representivives had to do any work, and that was because they had a Teredek.

The Teredek has the following issues:
1. Battery: You must manually flip the on/off switch, you cannot add a remote on/off switch to control the power to the device.
2. Red button/joy-stick: The helper thought he had turned off the broadcast by pushing the button, but instead it just activated the menu
3. Remote configuration is not predictable: 5 minutes before the meeting was to start, the broadcast had not yet begun, but the webcast dashboard showed it was waiting for the stream to come in. This required a manual fiip of the on/off switch.

Teredeks require too much involvement and babysitting, thus being less reliable.
dsbahr
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Re: Simple Fully Automated worship webcast with Meetinghouse Webcast

Post by dsbahr »

As the STS, and having worked with the Teradeks for a while, I will say I am very excited by this solution.

However, for some reason I am not able to make the magic happen. It seems like such a simple solution to configure I believe I am either missing something obvious, or that I perhaps have a quirky unit...???

The auto configuration is not working. When I get to the Auto Configuration page I enter the "REMOTE CONFIGURATION URL" from the Manage Teradeks screen and then press 'Save Configuration' (with the Auto Config Enabled button selected). However the top window that displays the "Configured RTMP" URL doesn't change - it stays at the same "rtmp://192.168.1.50/live/0" I have always seen there.

Needless to say, it wont automagically start the webcast either.
jtech-1.PNG
(114.93 KiB) Not downloaded yet
Has anyone else had an issue like this?
bretep
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Re: Simple Fully Automated worship webcast with Meetinghouse Webcast

Post by bretep »

dsbahr wrote:As the STS, and having worked with the Teradeks for a while, I will say I am very excited by this solution.

However, for some reason I am not able to make the magic happen. It seems like such a simple solution to configure I believe I am either missing something obvious, or that I perhaps have a quirky unit...???

The auto configuration is not working. When I get to the Auto Configuration page I enter the "REMOTE CONFIGURATION URL" from the Manage Teradeks screen and then press 'Save Configuration' (with the Auto Config Enabled button selected). However the top window that displays the "Configured RTMP" URL doesn't change - it stays at the same "rtmp://192.168.1.50/live/0" I have always seen there.

Needless to say, it wont automagically start the webcast either.

jtech-1.PNG

Has anyone else had an issue like this?
Your device is not connected to the internet, so it cannot get the remote configuration.

I've added logging to a new version of the firmware, I'm about to post about it now.
bretep
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Re: Simple Fully Automated worship webcast with Meetinghouse Webcast

Post by bretep »

New firmware release v1.0.4 -- Added logs to the user interface!

Hi everyone! I've been supporting dozens of people around the world! It's wonderful that so many people are using this solution. I've concluded that I needed to add logs to the user interface to see what is happening on the device. This will empower the user to debug their own issues very quickly!

Some of you were notified when this release happened; for the other who have not subscribed to the updates on Github, you can find the release here:
https://github.com/bretep/webcast-auto-conf/releases
screencapture-192-168-7-188-auto-index-html-2020-10-14-17_34_10.png
Screenshot of the logging added to the firmware
(71.37 KiB) Not downloaded yet
trentj2009
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Re: Simple Fully Automated worship webcast with Meetinghouse Webcast

Post by trentj2009 »

Do you happen to have pictures of the setup and connections?
kassah
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Re: Simple Fully Automated worship webcast with Meetinghouse Webcast

Post by kassah »

Hi @bretep,
I'm able to get our solution up and running. We used it as part of a recent stake conference, and will be using it for a trial sacrament next sunday. I have been able to compile a fresh copy (not just the release) and push it to my encoder. But I'm running into a confidence issue before I start working on code for it. Is there any tips you can provide on how to go about coding for this in a safe way?

I haven't yet been able to access the serial console. So I'm guessing that's a good first step.

I unfortunately cannot direct message you (it won't let me, as this is my first post).

Thanks,
William Lightning
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Mikerowaved
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Re: Simple Fully Automated worship webcast with Meetinghouse Webcast

Post by Mikerowaved »

kassah wrote:I unfortunately cannot direct message you (it won't let me, as this is my first post).
You have the capability to send a PM now.
So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.
kassah
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Re: Simple Fully Automated worship webcast with Meetinghouse Webcast

Post by kassah »

Mikerowaved wrote:You have the capability to send a PM now.
Thank you!
sjstringham
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Re: Simple Fully Automated worship webcast with Meetinghouse Webcast

Post by sjstringham »

As the STS for our stake, thank you so much for this project, and the time spent on it. With teredeks effectively gone, I needed another good solution for our stake.

This provides an easy to use, effective solution in its place. I have purchased two, and tested one. The J-Tech is about 1/5 the cost of a teredek. So, that is awesome too.

We are going to be doing stake conference with both local and remote users here soon. But, this also includes two languages (English and Spanish). Thus the need for two units.

The auto configuration is great! It makes it real easy. Interesting that the unit has to reboot between configuration changes. But, it does boot fast.

I do like having the OSD in the lower right corner setup for the local clock, so I can know where we are in the broadcast remotely. Because I am going to be having two going at the same time, I added a second OCD in the lower left with the Stake name, and # (Phx Stake #2 - for example). This way I can know which unit I am on as well.

I also like the ability to get a multicast connection to it so I can see the content locally before it goes out to the webcast system. If you have multiple units, make sure to change the associated port#. I find it is about 3-5 seconds behind live viewing.

With the multiple releases, is there any way to see in the web screens what revision I am currently running? I just downloaded1.0.4. It still says it is using 2.89 on the upgrade screen. Never mind, I see it in the lower right corner of the auto-configuration screen.

I did take a few minutes, once I figured the MAC address on these guys, to label this on the bottom of the units. This makes finding it in the DHCP system (or a ping sweep) much easier.

The logging in 1.0.4 is a nice addition.

In testing with no input to the church webcast system, I am finding that I am getting the church generated content (Mormon Tab for example - with "broadcast disconnected" on screen.) interspersed with LDS logo screen, back and forth, back and forth. It is a bit annoying. Anything that can be done about that?

Some suggestions for an improved interface:
1) Can you change the logging so there are levels, so the auto-configuration queries do not overwhelm the logs? It is still checking auto-configs during a webcast, so I cannot see any new updates on that in a concise manner. Maybe just a check box to turn that query on/off in the logs. This could also be put in the bottom update window - last time an auto-configuration query was run? And a countdown timer for the next one.

2) Leading off from that, anyway to modify the configuration to change the query interval from the current 10 seconds to 30, or whatever I would like (10-120 seconds, say)?

3) In the auto-configuration screen - in the stats on the bottom, could you add a current date/time entry as well? This is auto-updating anyways, so having the time there would be nice.

Again - thank you so much. This is good work.
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