Stake Conference Broadcast Keeps Getting Better

Conversations around originating a webcast for conference, including cameras and mixers.
eyoungberg-p40
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Phone line

Postby eyoungberg-p40 » Fri Jun 20, 2008 5:34 pm

Yes - it is from one of the clerks offices. It, along with the audio feed, is connecetd into the unit in the panel. Works great, and is a no-hassle, one-button operation (which is nice when the pressure is on).:)

randysteck-p40
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A cheaper hardware approach

Postby randysteck-p40 » Thu Nov 06, 2008 6:38 am

We had a similar desire to broadcast stake conference to avoid travel and multiple sessions, and were successful in doing so, but with less hardware cost than a Slingbox. The solution we finally settled on, after running down several blind alleys, was (surprisingly) using Windows Media Encoder as a front-end to encode and transmit video. This did not require a Slingbox or Hava, but rather an inexpensive USB hardware encoder. Windows Media Encoder is a free download and works amazingly well.

The computer used for the transmission was a borrowed laptop, and we had two PTZ (Pan/Tilt/Zoom) cameras set up for different angles on the speakers. The cameras were already in place for video transmission to other parts of the stake center, and we centralized them along with control cables in our high council room near the satellite controls.

Since this last conference was a regional broadcast, it gave a great test for the new system since we not only had live video but cross-linked video from the satellite being rebroadcast through the internet. This worked just fine through the church's firewall.

With Windows Media encoder, there are two choices: an external server or self-serving of multiple feeds. In testing, we tried video encoding at 250Kbps and connected up 4 sites served by WME directly. This required an aggregate bandwidth of around 800Kbps (real bandwidth) and had a good quality video presentation, and best of all did not suffer from any video/audio mis-sync.

For the conference, we used a video server service and encoded the video at 400Kbps. Since our total upload bandwidth is only 800Kbps, this was a better solution for 3 other sites. In fact, this worked so well that in 2 hours of transmission, we only dropped 6 video frames. And the quality was excellent. One of the sites we received it at was on a cruise ship in the middle of the Mediterranean. We were impressed with the quality as most solutions give a jerky output.

Playback is straightforward using Windows Media Player and a connection is made by doing File->open URL. Full screen video was excellent and was projected on 10 ft screens at two other chapels. The laptop used to receive had one input (the network) and two outputs (VGA to the projector and audio to PA system).

We were very happy with the ease with which the system came together.

I would love to see the church set up a Windows Media server capability inside their firewall so that we don't need to use an external provider.

In contrast, last week we had a multi-stake training session that attempted an internet uplink to SLC and retransmission via satellite to other chapels. The retransmission had quite a few problems on the receiving end, and the problems were reportedly due to the hardware encoder and connection box.

We were grateful to finally have found a simple solution to some gnarly problems we've struggled with in the past.

shinselvic-p40
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Postby shinselvic-p40 » Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:30 am

rknelson wrote:We are preparing for a stake conference "simulcast" to a second building in 3 weeks. This is our first attempt. I've really appreciated all the posts here and we have used many of the ideas over the past 3 months as we have implemented this. We are using a Slingbox to stream the video.

From the suggestions of others on this forum, we want to have an audio backup ready over a regular phone line -- just in case the video streaming runs into problems. I know how to receive phone audio using the crab-box to bridge between the phone line and sound system. I don’t know a simple way to send the audio over a phone line other than the obvious – using a muted speaker phone. Does anyone have a simple approach for an “off the shelf” or easy to build way to take a line level or mic level signal and “insert” that signal into a phone?

Regarding Telephone Audio back-up:

At our stake, we use a meeting house "pocket hearing impaired" receiver (with a fresh battery!) to provide a wireless audio feed to the "crab box" in the stake clerks office. The wireless audio service is already connected to the meeting house PA system, and the pocket units are always available on request for a hearing impaired member. These are existing church-provided materials.

The crab box connects easilly to the phone line in the clerks office with an RJ phone cord.

We use a single RCA female-to-female connector to join two of the crabs existing patch cords to form an adapter cable between the hearing aid jack and the crab's audio-in jack.
It works great and only takes a minute to set up.

At the remote ward, the audio link is provided by using a spread-spectrum wireless phone desk set in a clerks office. The roaming handset has an earphone jack which we can use for the house PA system if the computer or slingbox should fail. All we needed was a patch cord between telephone handset's mini-jack, and the ward's crab box to get into the house PA system.

We also have a jpeg folder of nice Temple Scenes ready to display from the laptop computer, if the slingbox path fails.
We actually used the phone backup for about 2 1/2 minutes last year when we experienced a brief sllingbox internet disconnect. Members could still participate in the sustainings, even though the video was briefly lost.
And they did !

Paulbb1
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Location: Saline, MI

Stake Conference Video Broadcasting Experience

Postby Paulbb1 » Sun Nov 09, 2008 2:29 pm

Our Stake conference in late Oct '08 was sent to three other distant buildings via the Internet. Each had a PIX firewall/router from the Church. The video stream was sent to the Church servers which broadcast the stream to anyone who had the address. At the buildings they simply connected Ethernet to the computer then to the projector and sound system. We had one building that connected into the coaxial cables of the building and then into the projector. Just like Gen Conference. All rooms with outlets then get the video.

We were loaned a Sony
DVID 70 remotely controlled camera by the support people. Beautiful camera. We used our own desktop PC and MS Windows Encoder. The support people help with a few settings and we were streaming. We had a video capture card that failed sporadically but only once during the conference. Test your system for hours before conference!

Our only issue was that our DSL upload was limited to 200 - 300 Kbps.

I know the there is a group at the Church developing this so it is a turn key process. Even a black box that the Stakes can buy.

I have probably said too much since this is still under development and we had the latest kit #7. This gives you an idea of how far along they are. It should be announced anytime now.


Put some money in the Stake budget for this. It will be between $1,000 to $2,500 depending on how you do the computer.

rickwhittaker@me.com-p40
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Postby rickwhittaker@me.com-p40 » Mon Dec 08, 2008 10:39 am

I live in the Utah County area (Lehi) and am just getting started with a similar project for our stake. I would like to draw from you successes and receive your advise. Would you mind contacting me at:
Rickwhittaker@me.com

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k0nod
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Contact:

Postby k0nod » Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:41 am


SheffieldTR
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Postby SheffieldTR » Thu Feb 19, 2009 8:57 am

You may want to check out these links as well.

Meetinghouse Webcast

and

Broadcast Distribution

Troy

pete_arnett-p40
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Location: Sunny South Florida, USA

Software to Capture Webcast

Postby pete_arnett-p40 » Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:48 am

Need software to capture webcast of NASE Stakes Auxiliary Training

"There may be some question concerning stakes that have either a stake conference or prior planned event, in these cases the meeting may be recorded for later use."

Please advise what would be the best software tool to capture the webcast?


NASE Stakes = North America South East stakes
Webcast date: 05Dec2009

Thanks
:cool: Your Fellow Servant,
Porter (Pete) Lee Arnett Jr.
USA

eyoungberg-p40
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capture the broadcast

Postby eyoungberg-p40 » Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:42 am

I'd suggest you think about capturing it at baseband - audio and video - rather than at the stream level. You will certainly have a better recording.

If you must do it at the stream level, I'd suggest trying RePlay (http://applian.com/avscs/). It seems to be pretty solid software, easy to use. They offer some capability even with the free download stuff that is pretty nice.


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