Simulcast of stake conference

Using the Church Webcasting System, YouTube, etc. Including cameras and mixers.
cnielson-p40
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Slingbox?

#11

Post by cnielson-p40 »

The Slingbox meets a specific need of one source to one destination. Currently the Slingbox has two negatives; it requires the configuration of port forwards or the use of UPnP to configure incoming ports (if two NAT devices are used it gets more complicated), and it is limited to a single destination. If you are located in a Church facility with a Family History Center then the Internet connection was installed with a Cisco PIX firewall which is does not support UPnP and is not configurable by the members of the stake or ward. In speaking with Sling Media it would be very surprising if the Slingbox were changed to allow multiple destinations, this is not a technical problem but a legal issue.

If the Slingbox could "push" content to a reflector it would be an almost ideal solution.
Pete
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#12

Post by Pete »

RussellHltn wrote:Just as a thought, what about placing the device outside of the firewall?

a reasonable suggestion. Some sites get one IP address on the back side of the modem - currently this goes to the PIX who NATs for everyone else. Other sites received a NATed address from the modem (the modem is often more than a modem in these cases) and port forwarding needs to be configured on the modem/router.

We have done as you suggested in several sites when they had this need - however pushing content has generally resulted in fewer support problems.
aclawson
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#13

Post by aclawson »

pwhiting wrote:The challenge we face is coming up with a "one size fits all" recommendation that we can centrally support.
This is indeed the fatal flaw in the planning. You should not even try to find a "one size fits all" solution because there will always be exceptions.
Such a solution may not exist so the new problem may become: how best do we then manage a disparate set of solutions?
By limiting the set. Come up with two or three solutions and let the stake presidents - who understand local situations much better than SLC, and/or have technology clerks who do - decide what is best for their particular situations
russellhltn
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#14

Post by russellhltn »

aclawson wrote:This is indeed the fatal flaw in the planning. You should not even try to find a "one size fits all" solution because there will always be exceptions. ... Come up with two or three solutions and let the stake presidents - who understand local situations much better than SLC, and/or have technology clerks who do - decide what is best for their particular situations
I'd like to second the idea. Different stakes are going to have different needs and may find that they have different broadband capabilities available to them. Some of my biggest frustrations with the church's technology has been the "one size fits all". For example, when the satellite system was installed, they put one of the foreign languages on CH 9. Only problem is we're 3 blocks away from THE CH 9 transmitter for the state. Oops. There's more, but I'll leave that rant for another time.

While I can appreciate the need for standardization, I'd like to see some flexibility to meet the local situation.
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thedqs
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#15

Post by thedqs »

Returning to the topic of streaming stake conference. My old stake building was too small, and for some of the wards too far, to hold everyone that would come for stake conference. There solution was to use an outlining building, which a member who had DSL lived right next to, as a second meeting place for stake conference. The stake audio/visual specialist would bring his computer which had MS Media Encoder on it and connect a camera and the PA system to it. He then would have at the other building another computer (which would use MS Media Player) which would go through the member's DSL connection to the Stake's Family History uplink and connect to the Stream.

This has worked for the past 4 conferences very well and more people have been able to attend.

The aditional cost for transmitting in this case is $0. Though this does require a few people to volunteer their services or equipment. (2 computers (one with MS Media Encoder) and DSL connection).
- David
reachtheworld-p40
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#16

Post by reachtheworld-p40 »

I was kind of wondering what was happening on this front. In my stake, the guys from Church Headquarters came out and did the simulcast thing about a year ago. We were told we were kind of a test-bed. I was one of the tech guys that helped out. It's a pretty cool setup they put together -- multiple cameras, communicating on cell-phones walkie-talkie style ("OK, go to camera 3....now."). It was fun. The Church's sytem used H.264 (the HD codec used on iPods), and very high-end equipment, so it was reasonably good video quality. There were a couple glitches where the feed dropped. So yeah, a backup audio feed via regular phone is a good idea.

We still have the DSL connection, firewall, etc., left over from that experience. But we don't use it. I was told we could hook up the clerk computers to it later, to transmit MLS stuff faster. Does anyone know if that would be kosher with policy? Would we have to get any special permission, or could we just run the ethernet cable?
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WelchTC
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#17

Post by WelchTC »

reachtheworld wrote:We still have the DSL connection, firewall, etc., left over from that experience. But we don't use it. I was told we could hook up the clerk computers to it later, to transmit MLS stuff faster. Does anyone know if that would be kosher with policy? Would we have to get any special permission, or could we just run the ethernet cable?
Go through your regular priesthood channels to get special permission or approval.

Tom
jepeneter-p40
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When at first you don't succeed.....

#18

Post by jepeneter-p40 »

This last weekend was our stake conference and the second that we used the slingbox scenario discussed here.

Six months ago our first attempt was marginal at best. We had too many variables that were changing too much and not enough resources (audio specialists, in particular) to properly isolate the issues. In the end, we got 95% of the content to the other building but several slingplayer feed glitches and even 2 computer lockups caused some to criticize. We compiled a report for our stake president with all the results. While it was difficult to swallow, we had to admit that we had failed. And our members suffered as a result.

Fast forward to this last month/weekend. Our stake president exercised his keys and his faith and said we would try again. We found a member in our stake who owns an audio services company, and he was instrumental in fixing many of the audio issues in both the originating stake center and the receiving ward building. We found that the modulator(s) in the stake center were inappropriately over modulating the audio portion of the signal going into the slingbox. We found that the EJ-10 converter boxes in our stake (the boxes convert different media like the headphone jack on the laptop to the 3-prong plugs in ward PA system) were also old and antiquated. We found an EJ-8 box that both allowed modulation as well as the elimination of the hum we were hearing. We also found that other computers connected to the originating network and on the receiving network would occasionally disrupt the internet transmission so we just turned them all off. And we used a much newer and more AV friendly laptop at the receiving ward. The end result was a much improved broadcast and a much more favorable response from the remote members (and less criticism for us we hope). The attendance at the remote ward was lower than before (by almost 50%) so we wonder if the rumors of the previous failures proved to be a rationalization by members to stay home.

The lesson for us was to be more humble, submissive, believing, and repentant. What I would share with all y'all is the following: 1) start early, at least several months ahead; 2) enlist the help of experts; 3) plan several (dozen) tests such as youth firesides, stake primary baptisms, etc. broadcasting them; 4) scrutinize each element in the chain from originating PA system and camera through to the receiving laptop, PA system, and projector; 5) document all the changes you make and why you made them, keep a journal! 6) more humble, submissive, believing, and repentant, 7) seek the revelation of the Lord - if he tells you to do something, do it, if not, DON'T.

-John-
russellhltn
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#19

Post by russellhltn »

jepeneter wrote:We found that the EJ-10 converter boxes in our stake (the boxes convert different media like the headphone jack on the laptop to the 3-prong plugs in ward PA system) were also old and antiquated. We found an EJ-8 box that both allowed modulation as well as the elimination of the hum we were hearing.
What's wrong with the EJ-10? The only thing I've noticed is that it doesn't have enough gain for some applications. The EJ-8 allows you to get the volume higher. Both have hum switches. The EJ-10 also interfaces with the phone line. I don't think the EJ-8 does.
russellhltn
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#20

Post by russellhltn »

reachtheworld wrote:We still have the DSL connection, firewall, etc., left over from that experience. But we don't use it. I was told we could hook up the clerk computers to it later, to transmit MLS stuff faster. Does anyone know if that would be kosher with policy? Would we have to get any special permission, or could we just run the ethernet cable?
At minimum you need to have loaded Desktop 5.5 on the machine. If you haven't received the CDs yet, you probably will - soon. That is required before being permitted to connect.

Second, you'll need to have a PIX box for a firewall. That's to assure that everything is in line with policy.

Beyond that you should be good to go, but I would ask for permission first.
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