How would you change the Meetinghouse Webcast software?

Conversations around originating a webcast for conference, including cameras and mixers.
jbrown561
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Postby jbrown561 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:36 pm

The two most reasonable things I would like to see in the software are:
1. The ability to inject a video into the stream directly (for preshow, post-show videos). Currently we hook a DVD player to our video switcher and play a DVD for pre/post-show. I would like to eliminate this hardware.
2. The ability to do text and/or graphic overlays on the video (speaker names, words to hymns, etc.). We currently do this in our video switcher via lumakey and powerpoint.

- James

starkjs
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Postby starkjs » Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:22 am

jbrown561 wrote:1. The ability to inject a video into the stream directly (for preshow, post-show videos). Currently we hook a DVD player to our video switcher and play a DVD for pre/post-show. I would like to eliminate this hardware.


Have you tried the new 3.0 beta? It has the ability to add audio or video files as well as broadcast whatever you are showing on your desktop.

harddrive
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Postby harddrive » Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:54 am

I was also think about another change. I will probably use a mixer to get the amount of sound correct before it goes to the sound card. It would be great to be able to adjust that in the software on the fly while I'm encoding the stream. So I will be working on this to make sound be the best part.

Aczlan
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Postby Aczlan » Thu Apr 14, 2011 6:49 pm

harddrive wrote:I was also think about another change. I will probably use a mixer to get the amount of sound correct before it goes to the sound card. It would be great to be able to adjust that in the software on the fly while I'm encoding the stream. So I will be working on this to make sound be the best part.

Having a working sound level meter would be nice as well. On Win 7 you can get around it somewhat by using system software mixer, but that is not an option in XP.

Aaron Z

tubaloth
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Postby tubaloth » Mon May 02, 2011 7:54 am

We just had stake Conference over the weekend. This was our Stake's first time trying to broadcast over the internet. Looking at a couple of the posts on here maybe we didn't understand the software good enough. Here is some ways I would suggest to improve the program.

1. Receiving Machine. The computer that is getting the Web Cast -- If there was a way to test which web casting speed that machine/Internet could handle. In the end the problem was really with the machine in one of our ward buildings (in Layton, UT). The DSL there for what ever reason was all over. Jumping from 400kps down to 100kps. When we tested it the Thursday before we didn't see any lag or problems. I'm guessing they never fully tested the internet in that building (I tested the internet in the stake center, and it was getting 8mps upload and 5mps download). If there was a way for the streaming to computer to in a way run some test... the program come back and say. "You should stream at 100k" or "Streaming from this location seems to be unlikely, either find a different internet access point" something along those line. Meaning this computer would be able to do an independent stream test. Just stream some file that is on the church's streaming computer. This would help us narrow down problems.

2. Test from the Streaming computer. When we did our test from the stake center to ward building we never saw any problems. But then again we didn't do that long of test. Because of the delay (around a 1min 30 seconds) we just had some guy in the stake center read scriptures for around 5 mins. The problem we had is with the slow DSL in the ward building, 5 mins was about as much as the internet could handle before it would have to re-buffer again. Really we didn't test it long enough. What I wish we could have done is I guess send some video file over as our test Stream. I don't know how long such a video needs to be, but even having the option to loop the video would help. It wasn't until the Saturday evening season when we tested it at the other building did we realize how bad things were. If I did this in the future I would almost have to do a Test of Sacrament meeting. Something longer then 5-10 mins. I do see from looking in this thread that I guess there is a way to send a video over? I did not see that option, and will have to look for it in the future.

3. Audio streaming never worked for us. After the lowest streaming video setting (51kps) but sending it at like 28kps didn't work. I tried to switch to just audio. I stopped the streaming, I went into the settings and switched it to like 60? kps when I clicked Okay, I got an error had occurred. I had to close the program down. When I logged back in it also gave me an error. But I was able to go into the settings and change it.

4. We did our tests on the Event as "Stake Test", But when it came time to stream we changed it to "Stake Conference". The problem is we didn't know if that was part of our problem. That list seems bigger then it needs to be. I'm not sure why you need all those options or how that effects the streaming video? Can't you just have it be Streaming what: Stake/District, Ward/Branch, General Conference. Fireside

5. One last thing about Sound. in windows 7 when I would start the Streaming broadcast for some reason the program would Jump the Mic volume to 80. That sounded fine on the computer (probably because of the volume) but when we looked at the streaming it showed it was jumping off the bar into the "to loud" section. I would then go back into the recording sound settings and change the Mic volume down to like 15. even that seemed kind of loud (from the bar). we were going from the video out on the back of the VCR to the a mic port on the front of the laptop.



Another part the church needs to address is about the Video in the Stake Centers. We learned that the satellite is on Channel 3, to use local video we had to change the channel to 6. Video out (which is what we should be using) has no channels. The guy in charge called some support guy and he said you need a VCR to change the channel. That means we go from the video camera over video out. To Coax cable to VCR (to Channel 6) to Video out to Projector. Some TV's just took the Coax cable. (even that didn't look that great on an HDTV) Yes this works while we still have VCR's in the building but VCR's are dieing off. Has the church looked into solving this problem? (Install some switch in the satellite box to switch the signal either local or satellite.) There has to be an easier way of doing this.

tubaloth
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Postby tubaloth » Mon May 02, 2011 8:08 am

Also do we keep a list of Camera that work the best for Streaming? We were going to buy a camera but two weeks really wasn't enough time to find the right camera. we considered just buying the Sony camera that was listed in the wiki, but that has to be ordered online. Is there other a way we can keep a list of Camera's that are on the market that would work?

Aczlan
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Postby Aczlan » Mon May 02, 2011 9:51 am

tubaloth wrote:Also do we keep a list of Camera that work the best for Streaming? We were going to buy a camera but two weeks really wasn't enough time to find the right camera. we considered just buying the Sony camera that was listed in the wiki, but that has to be ordered online. Is there other a way we can keep a list of Camera's that are on the market that would work?

Any camera that meets the requirements should work. The camera listed is available on Ebay and Amazon.
One that looks like it should work is the Sony DCR-SX44. It lists for $180 at B&H
If you order from a reputable supply house, 2 weeks should be plenty of time.

Aaron Z

Aczlan
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Postby Aczlan » Mon May 02, 2011 9:59 am

tubaloth wrote:5. One last thing about Sound. in windows 7 when I would start the Streaming broadcast for some reason the program would Jump the Mic volume to 80. That sounded fine on the computer (probably because of the volume) but when we looked at the streaming it showed it was jumping off the bar into the "to loud" section. I would then go back into the recording sound settings and change the Mic volume down to like 15. even that seemed kind of loud (from the bar). we were going from the video out on the back of the VCR to the a mic port on the front of the laptop.

This was probably because the computer was expecting Mic level audio (-56 to -40 dbm), not line level audio (-10 to 4 dbm).

Another part the church needs to address is about the Video in the Stake Centers. We learned that the satellite is on Channel 3, to use local video we had to change the channel to 6. Video out (which is what we should be using) has no channels. The guy in charge called some support guy and he said you need a VCR to change the channel. That means we go from the video camera over video out. To Coax cable to VCR (to Channel 6) to Video out to Projector. Some TV's just took the Coax cable. (even that didn't look that great on an HDTV) Yes this works while we still have VCR's in the building but VCR's are dieing off. Has the church looked into solving this problem? (Install some switch in the satellite box to switch the signal either local or satellite.) There has to be an easier way of doing this.

The problem with sending audio/video as anything but coax is that then you have to have 3 feeds that you have to choose from on the satellite cabinet end:
1. English Satellite
2. Spanish Satellite
3. CCTV from the camera
Whereas the way they do it, you just choose a channel at the receiving end and off you go.

Aaron Z

tubaloth
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Postby tubaloth » Mon May 02, 2011 10:33 am

Aczlan wrote:This was probably because the computer was expecting Mic level audio (-56 to -40 dbm), not line level audio (-10 to 4 dbm).


The problem with sending audio/video as anything but coax is that then you have to have 3 feeds that you have to choose from on the satellite cabinet end:
1. English Satellite
2. Spanish Satellite
3. CCTV from the camera
Whereas the way they do it, you just choose a channel at the receiving end and off you go.

Aaron Z


I agree they still need to split the signal. I'm saying either we need to invent something that doesn't go through a VCR. Either have some switch inside the Satellite box that allows you to switch the signal locally. Or something that replaced the VCR all together.


HAs the Church looked into either Renting or Borrowing some of this equipment. I assume the Web Cast thing you buy has to be installed in the stake center (and ward buildings). But if they had some Kit with the camera and cables, that the church ships to a stake (or can be picked up in SLC). Would be nice. We used a members camera but ended up buying a bunch of cables (which aren't that much money). But I'm sure we would be happy to let other Stakes use some of all we bought. Like even the little adapter to go from the VCR to the Computer to Stream was over $60. I'm not sure if they needed the pre-built software. We used it, but I uninstalled it, to reinstall it again but never did. I'm sure a lot of Ogden/Layton Stakes are trying to figure out what to do for Stake Conference now that the Tabernacle is closed. Their is no reason for all of these stakes to buy all the same equipment.

harddrive
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Postby harddrive » Tue May 03, 2011 5:52 am

tubaloth wrote:I agree they still need to split the signal. I'm saying either we need to invent something that doesn't go through a VCR. Either have some switch inside the Satellite box that allows you to switch the signal locally. Or something that replaced the VCR all together.



Tubaloth, I have read this and to me it sounds way to complicated. I have been working for the last 6 months to 9 months on getting my stake ready for webcasting.

In our stake center, we have been using the closed circuit TV system for a long time. The camera output goes into a video modulator (channel 3) and the audio from the chapel systems goes in there as well. It has worked great.

I tested webcasting from my stake center this past Thursday and discovered a few things that I need to change to get my to work. I, like you, had to go through the VCR or TV with video out to get the picture to my capture card. I think I tried the coax directly off the modulator, but it didn't work. Gave me a null error.

So I opened up the satellite cabinet and looked at what I needed to do. I realized that I had to pickup a few pieces to make the connection into the system much easier.

What I'm going to do is to take the video from the camera and use a "Y" cable to go to the modulator and one to a throughput RCA connection. I will do the same one the sound side. So basically I'm taking the feed right off the camera and sound amplifier.

The whole cost to do this is about $15. But a cable that cost $60 is way TOO expensive. You should be able to find something cheaper.

If I was you, I would take a a good look at your CCTV system and understand how things are set up. Then once you understand that, then you can determine what it will take to do what you want to do and do it for the cheapest cost.


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