Running multiple Sacrament Meetings from multiple buildings

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poznan23
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Running multiple Sacrament Meetings from multiple buildings

Postby poznan23 » Sun Jul 12, 2020 11:26 am

We have been broadcasting Sacrament meetings from our Stake Center that is set up for webcasting, but are looking for solutions to expand and broadcast from our other buildings leveraging the Webcasting Tech. We currently only have a single Vidiu unit and it appears that we would need more of them to leverage the Webcast tech and not revert to using a Zoom or Google Meet Application. Any ideas from this group?

russellhltn
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Re: Running multiple Sacrament Meetings from multiple buildings

Postby russellhltn » Sun Jul 12, 2020 12:19 pm

The Webcasting function was designed to serve stakes, not wards. Even if you work around the need for multiple Vidiu units, I'm not sure as you'd be able to have more than one meeting at the same time.

One idea you might explore - see if you can feed the Vidiu from the HDMI output of a computer. Use the church webcast to webcast the computer to the members and feed it with a private Zoom or Google Meet to get from the various chapels.
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Mikerowaved
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Re: Running multiple Sacrament Meetings from multiple buildings

Postby Mikerowaved » Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:04 am

russellhltn wrote:The Webcasting function was designed to serve stakes, not wards. Even if you work around the need for multiple Vidiu units, I'm not sure as you'd be able to have more than one meeting at the same time.

Just tried setting up overlapping events in MWC Event Manager and it had no problem with it, as long as you specify a different encoder than what any other event has already claimed. It didn't even mind using the same site. (Learned something myself :) .)

I would have your high counselor over physical facilities (PFR) contact the FM group to see if they have any extra VidiU devices that can be borrowed. It can be temporarily registered to your stake and will show up as an available device in the MWC Event Manager. Understand that these devices are in high demand during these unusual times.

An alternative (not for the timid) would be to use a fairly robust notebook (Windows, Mac, or Linux) running OBS Studio with a USB 3.0 (minimum) video capture device, such as this one* or this one* on Amazon. (Not recommendations, just examples.)

For webcasting, it's highly recommended to:
  1. Use a wired audio connection from the chapel soundsystem
  2. Always webcast over a wired Ethernet connection
  3. Turn off the WiFi in the building
  4. Your host building(s) would need sufficient upload bandwidth to support a webcast. Anything above 15 Mb/s is ideal. Less than that and you'll have to give up some video quality or webcast in SD.
Unlike running Zoom on a notebook with a built-in camera, webcasting a church meeting is not a trivial thing. It can quickly get complicated to duplicate what most stake centers are already wired for.

*Ignore their marketing's "4K" rating. Most can only do that at a low frame rate. The ability to capture up to 1080p/60 is more than enough for our needs.
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russellhltn
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Re: Running multiple Sacrament Meetings from multiple buildings

Postby russellhltn » Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:50 am

Note that the price of a VidiU in the Church store $632.80 USD - which is a very good price. And that's just the encoder. You still need the camera. And you need to find someone who can connect it all up and make it work.

By contrast, for Zoom and similar, you just need a computer with a webcam. Much simpler to operate. The results are going to be about the same unless you step up to a multi-camera setup, or text overlays. (Which will require more technical talent to operate.)

That's why I suggested front-ending the system with zoom and use the one stake VidiU to feed the church webcast for distribution.
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Re: Running multiple Sacrament Meetings from multiple buildings

Postby russellhltn » Sun Jul 26, 2020 8:16 pm

russellhltn wrote:That's why I suggested front-ending the system with zoom and use the one stake VidiU to feed the church webcast for distribution.

Since this thread started, the church has made some changes to the webcast system with an eye to allowing Zoom to feed the webcast. I think it requires a paid verson of zoom, but I'm sure that's a very small cost compared to all the equipment required.
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Re: Running multiple Sacrament Meetings from multiple buildings

Postby poznan23 » Tue Jul 28, 2020 9:06 am

After I posted this, we have deployed Zoom (purchased subscription) meetings using a high end PODcasting Microphone...we can't tap into our PA system in these buildings and a good Web Camera. We hardwired the internet to the PC and had a member of the ward sitting at the PC and monitor the Zoom meeting and make sure members didn't unmute or activate their devices. Last Sunday, we allowed over 300 families join our meeting via technology across 12 different Sacrament meetings. 2 Building using Zoom and Web Camera and one using our Stake Center's webcasting system. Equipment cost was around $200 per building.

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Re: Running multiple Sacrament Meetings from multiple buildings

Postby russellhltn » Tue Jul 28, 2020 10:06 am

poznan23 wrote:we can't tap into our PA system in these buildings and a good Web Camera.

What problem are you running into? If there's no jack, I'd consider using an assistive listening device.
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Re: Running multiple Sacrament Meetings from multiple buildings

Postby bartj » Fri Jul 31, 2020 6:52 am

A few additional things to consider:

- There are free software and app options available. One that I've used is OBS. This can be downloaded onto your computer and connects via RTMP to the Church's webcast services. There are also apps that can be downloaded on mobile devices. I am not as familiar with the mobile apps, but will be testing them more in the near future. Others I've talked to have had success with the Larix Broadcaster app.

- There are some additional "low cost" options. One I know of that has been tested quite a bit is the Mevo camera. This camera can broadcast directly to the Church's webcast services using RTMP, eliminating the need for the Teradek.

- Zoom integration - Zoom can be broadcast to the Church's webcast system as well using RTMP. To do this though you will need a paid Zoom account. In order for it to work you would need to enable the high bandwidth encode toggle button that was just added. Enabling this button will give you a warning that it is a beta feature. You should definitely test to make sure you are comfortable with the solution. The Church's support team has done quite a bit of testing on this and are confident it is working well. The advantages of taking Zoom into the Church's system are 1) the stream becomes view only so you don't have to monitor participants muting/unmuting, 2) the Church's system now offers a static viewing homepage URL for viewers so you don't need to send a new link out every week, 3) if desired, you can limit viewers by marking the event as private which will require them to login with their Church account and the event code.

I am not saying you have to use the Church's webcast service. I am just giving some options to consider as you decide what works best for you.

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Re: Running multiple Sacrament Meetings from multiple buildings

Postby danpass » Thu Aug 27, 2020 1:43 pm

russellhltn wrote:Note that the price of a VidiU in the Church store $632.80 USD - which is a very good price.


The Church store price is now $732.25. Still better than the $799 price on the Teradek site.

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Re: Running multiple Sacrament Meetings from multiple buildings

Postby lajackson » Fri Aug 28, 2020 3:42 pm

Again, though, now that there are several ways of feeding the Church webcasting system without using a Teradek VidiU encoder, our stake would prefer to pass on acquiring any additional encoders for the moment.


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