Virtual Stake Conference with everyone at home

Virtual visits, Multi-Stake conferences, Priesthood Leadership Conferences, Church Leadership Conferences
sclements
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Virtual Stake Conference with everyone at home

#1

Post by sclements »

Our stake has requested to do a virtual stake conference with all participants joining from home. The plan as I understand it is to use an interactive session (Zoom, Teams, Meet, etc.) for those with a speaking part in the conference and then have a non-interactive link for those in listen-only mode. Has anyone set this up? I know a regional training was recently conducted this way that HQ ran. Is this something HQ supports? Has anyone done this? Any help/guidance is appreciated.
Thanks,
-Sam
marnofi
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Re: Virtual Stake Conference with everyone at home

#2

Post by marnofi »

Sounds cool, but I don't know the answer. What are the interactive features for, in this case? Is it for moderation?

If it's permissible for stake conference, you could optionally alternatively have all the speakers record their talks, and send them to you, and then you could review them and stream them (on YouTube, maybe) in the correct order for everyone to view at the appointed meeting time. This would have the added benefit of speakers being able to listen to the whole conference without their nerves being overwhelmed about their upcoming talks.

If streaming from YouTube is an issue, you can always just upload the video, and delete it after the meeting time is over.
russellhltn
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Re: Virtual Stake Conference with everyone at home

#3

Post by russellhltn »

It's been talked about. Essentially, you need a paid Zoom account and run an interactive meeting with all the participants. Zoom has a feature where you can output a RMTP stream to feed the Church Webcast or YouTube for the audience.

If you've got a visiting general authority, I think it's likely you'll hear from Church Headquarters to help set this up.
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sbradshaw
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Re: Virtual Stake Conference with everyone at home

#4

Post by sbradshaw »

You could get a photo of the chapel pulpit that the speakers could use as a virtual backdrop, and it would look like they're all speaking from the chapel. :)
Samuel Bradshaw • If you desire to serve God, you are called to the work.
sclements
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Re: Virtual Stake Conference with everyone at home

#5

Post by sclements »

russellhltn wrote:It's been talked about. Essentially, you need a paid Zoom account and run an interactive meeting with all the participants. Zoom has a feature where you can output a RMTP stream to feed the Church Webcast or YouTube for the audience.

If you've got a visiting general authority, I think it's likely you'll hear from Church Headquarters to help set this up.
I'll have to look at the advanced features of Zoom. Thanks for the pointer.
sclements
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Re: Virtual Stake Conference with everyone at home

#6

Post by sclements »

sbradshaw wrote:You could get a photo of the chapel pulpit that the speakers could use as a virtual backdrop, and it would look like they're all speaking from the chapel. :)
Great suggestion!
nrsoren1
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Re: Virtual Stake Conference with everyone at home

#7

Post by nrsoren1 »

I've been playing around with OBS software (open source, free to download and use). I use my computer (laptop) as the video encoder and can stream to the Webcast portal. I do have to use a different URL for each even, but the members always use the same link to view the webcast. The software allows me to include many different audio and video feeds. So I can take a pre-recorded talk and put it into the live stream. I can also use a DSLR camera or a camcorder to stream the event. it does require more hands-on than the standard webcast (using the Teradek) so I don't use it for sacrament meetings, but I think we'll use it for Stake Conference.
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jnpetersen
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Re: Virtual Stake Conference with everyone at home

#8

Post by jnpetersen »

Along with nrsoren1, I'm using OBS for our Virtual Stake Conference. Since limited use the building is acceptable we are only have the speakers in the building, along with the STS (me) to handle the stream. I agree, OBS does take a little more hands on, but once you get it setup, its not bad. For quality, I haven't found zoom to be the best in the building, and I did a small test today with Skype, which looked really good. Plus if you are more technical (like I am) you can use some software called NDI that works with OBS and Skype, and bring each participant in the meeting into their own feed so they can be treated as individual cameras... its basically the same way TV shows do it.
dave.swartz
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Re: Virtual Stake Conference with everyone at home

#9

Post by dave.swartz »

We just finished our stake conference and it went well. Let me map it out for you. OBS studio running on a computer is the core. It sends a RTMP stream to the church webcasting solution. With the NuTek NDI tools the OBS output can stream in real time to monitors in the chapel. This is for the local audience and SP to see the GA. In OBS studio you can define a virtual camera that can provide the broadcast feed to Zoom for the GA to view. When the GA goes live then I switch the zoom camera to the native camera feed (USB) from the video switcher. This is to prevent the hall of mirrors effect as he sees himself see himself. This let's him see the local audience instead of himself. With me so far... Ok now to the audio. There are fancy ways to do thing but for us in an effort to have very low latency I chose to have multiple sound cards all feeding a mixer I borrowed from the Stake Youth dance system. (I don't think we are going to have any dances any time soon.) The choir on the second screen using windows media player has it's audio output using one of the sound cards. This audio goes to tape input on the mixer. Zoom audio output from the PC (sound card 2) goes to one of the line inputs on the mixer. This let's me rapidly control the volume of the zoom, GA, session. The mixer has a monitor output. This goes to the PC/Zoom (sound card 2) input to provide the GA with audio of the program. This gives me hardware based full control of the audio into in out of zoom. Now getting program audio into OBS studio. In our case the mixer had a USB audio output. If we didn't have this we could have used a third sound card for the line output from the mixer. I know a bit over the top but linking sound cards to each other just adds latency. The computers built in sound card was used for the monitor from OBS studio to let me monitor the mix. For the program audio from the chapel we ran a wire from the podium mic and brought it all the way back to the mixer. The mixer generates the 48 volt phantom power to run the microphone. For this channel (1) we set the pan to fully left. This was for the English channel. Left master output fed a crab box that then sent audio back to the chapel for injection into the chapel sound system. For channel 2 I connected the wireless receiver for a wireless microphone and set the pan to fully right. The interpreter sat in the back of the chapel and translated into the right channel. The right master output from the mixer was then used to feed the mic input of a second computer running OBS Studio to provide the translated version of Stake Conference. The video feed for that computer was the NDI feed from the master computer. I hope this all makes sense. The key here is that much is possible with computers, software, and a few odd bits of hardware.
davidry
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Re: Virtual Stake Conference with everyone at home

#10

Post by davidry »

I did one a month or so ago here is a video of my setup. https://youtu.be/HZsjD1HypsQ
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