our stake center is relatively new (dedicated Jan 2020).
The design for the stake center is much smaller than previous stake centers - it's ~11 feet longer than our other building designs. We cannot fit even half of our stake into the stake center. FM told us that is the direction for buildings in the future - no more large stake centers. So we are an all broadcast stake for stake conferences. We can mostly fit all the adults in for adult session of conference, but the broadcast makes it comfortable rather than a tight fit (and parents with young children love the broadcast).
> the new building came with a built-in PTZ camera installed during construction. The camera included a remote control in the tech closet and a remote extension such that the camera can be moved via remote control from the tech closet. It also has some presets that can be configured (1=podium, 2=choir, 3=zoom out, etc).
> There is a TV screen in the tech closet that shows the video output.
> the stake purchased a SlingStudio device (https://www.myslingstudio.com
). This works very well and allows us to add additional wireless cameras using cell phones with an app installed. (during stake conference we place a camera at the organist, piano, musical numbers, congregation, etc. We can even carry a phone around or use another video camera and pipe in that video if needed for the meetings where the authority has lots of audience interaction). Some tech clerks use this during sacrament meetings also to make a better broadcast. others keep it simple and just use the one PTZ camera.
> the stake purchased a MacBook Air to run the SlingStudio software - this allows for replacing the video with the church symbol during the sacrament ordinance. (and during stake conference we can add overlays of the names of the speakers, pictures, etc similar to how General Conference is done)
> the stake purchased a small Yamaha mixer for audio (audio mixing includes, chapel mic, piano, organ for Sacrament meetings. For stake conf we add in choir and musical number mics). We have a bigger mixer for stake conferences so that we have enough inputs for wireless mics, lava mics, etc.
> We use the church system (https://mywebcast.churchofjesuschrist.org
) and have the SlingStudio configured for 3 different ward streams each Sunday. Each ward chooses a destination for their ward and it takes just a few minutes to start/stop the stream between wards.
> the stake purchased misc adapters and mic stands to make everything work. We keep a mic on the piano so that we can add piano music to the audio and we can mix organ audio also. We don't have built-in condenser mics for choir or congregation - that would be a nice addition to make the at-home broadcast sound better (it's all organ music because mics don't pick up the sound of any others singing)
With a little bit of training many people are able to operate the system (although troubleshooting still requires higher skill levels of our tech clerks).
> establish a stake tech budget - start out with all the necessary equipment and have money to expand each year. you'll need to spend about $4000 to get initial equipment for a good system and there will be ongoing improvements you'll want to make - mic stands, tripods, additional cameras, condenser mics, mixers, etc etc.
> work with your FM group as needed
> don't go cheap on equipment - get what works and can be operated by people who aren't pro audio/visual types. Sacrament meetings and Stake Conferences are important and it's worth spending money to make high quality streaming meetings
> we have duplicated some of this setup in another stake building. We will likely do the same for all other buildings so that each system has the same learning curve and any trained user can operate the system in any building.
> PTZ cameras make it look so much more professional - professional broadcasts help bring the spirit to the homes ... don't go cheap, go quality (think about how much was spent for general conference - they do that right)
> get good video and audio quality - remember that some people at home will have hearing challenges - you need good audio with no hum/buzz so that they can feel the spirit also
> multiple cameras (and training to use them) make for a great stake conference experience - especially given the capability of the SlingStudio to use many camera inputs wirelessly
> include the tech clerk early in stake conference planning - it takes time to generate the speaker overlays and photographs and other items that help add to the speaker experience. when you have sample agendas communicate so that they can improve the broadcast quality by putting in music overlay, speaker names, etc. There's no reason you can't make stake conf or ward conf more professional and add to the spirit through the use of good technology
> when you get the system set up and tested, pay to have professionals instal cables in your building. Make it easy to set up and operate. If your cables were installed by someone who is a hobbyist, get a professional to re-do the work. FM likely has contracts with people who manage all the building audio
> some of the audio mixers will need to be re-programmed - the FM group/Audio contractors can help with this
> get a PTZ controller like the one mentioned in the post above
> don't be afraid to spend $2000+ on a good primary camera (and if you have an established budget you might be able to get another one in the future)