Changes to Webcast buffering times

Using the Church Webcasting System, YouTube, etc. Including cameras and mixers.
bretbassett
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Changes to Webcast buffering times

Post by bretbassett »

As of today (1/26/2021) buffering times are changing and will impact your future webcasts. Please review the attached PDF for more information.
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Meetinghouse Webcast - 1-26-2021 Release Notes.pdf
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russellhltn
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Re: Changes to Webcast buffering times

Post by russellhltn »

Only a 5 minutes post-buffer. That will keep them from going long. <grin>

Not a problem for us currently, but as things creep back to normal, I can see that happening.
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Jacobdaviddean
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Re: Changes to Webcast buffering times

Post by Jacobdaviddean »

With these changes, I think the scheduled length should be broken into 15-minute increments. This will allow us to schedule more important meetings closer to their expected run time, rather than being stuck to 1-hour increments.

For example, a meeting that is expected to run for 1 hour and 15 minutes or even 1-hour and 30 minutes. Currently, our only option is to schedule it for a 2-hour window. With the previous post-buffers, this wouldn't have been much of an issue.

My other concern is with Stake Conferences. A 5-minute post-buffer creates another thing to be aware of and pay very close attention to. If the meeting was not expected to go over but does, that's 1 more thing to have to manage, when I have several other things I'm already managing, by logging into the Webcast dashboard and extending the meeting. That seems to be a bit of a poor decision since I now need to schedule the meeting for a 2-hour window, rather than the usual 1-hour with the 30-minute post-buffer, just because I need an extra 10-15 minutes.
nesnahjm
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Re: Changes to Webcast buffering times

Post by nesnahjm »

I agree with the idea that the meeting scheduled time should be broken down to 15 minute increments as well. Most every meeting scheduled in our stake has been extended to 75 to 90 minutes because of late starts and long talkers. As it stands we are okay without any overlaps and I think the shorter buffer times will actually help in the long run. It would be nice if it showed the buffer times on the scheduled event maybe in red or something.

There is another problem that we have run into a couple of times and once during our last Stake Conference. The server that was building for the meeting crashed or locked up after it started building and locked up the teradek so that we could not reschedule a new meeting and get it going on time even though we had plenty of time to do so because we were not allowed to end the meeting or disconnect the teradek from the stalled meeting until the time for the meeting was over. We should be allowed to end any meeting any time we want especially in this situation. Just put in 2 or 3 verification windows to be sure it isn't a mistake. Have you ever tried to tell your Stake President just before an all online meeting that he can't have Stake Conference today? It is not a good thing. We finally ran to another building and borrowed their teradek, registered it and scheduled a test meeting as a Backup Stake conference and got started about 15 minutes late and because of that we lost over half of those that tried to log in and couldn't go to the meeting.
russellhltn
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Re: Changes to Webcast buffering times

Post by russellhltn »

nesnahjm wrote:The server that was building for the meeting crashed or locked up after it started building and locked up the teradek so that we could not reschedule a new meeting and get it going on time even though we had plenty of time to do so because we were not allowed to end the meeting or disconnect the teradek from the stalled meeting until the time for the meeting was over.
Unless I'm missing something, I'd think you should be able to reconfigure the Teradek for manually inputting the link and get around the automatic system being locked up.

But I can understand how in the heat of the moment that solution could be overlooked.
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KentAnderson
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Re: Changes to Webcast buffering times

Post by KentAnderson »

In case it helps anyone, I just sent the following message to all of the bishops in our stake...

Bishops,

We received word today that the Church webcasting system has been updated and one of the changes has a direct impact to the Sacrament meeting webcasts in your wards.

The buffer time before and after the event has been dramatically reduced:
  • The pre-buffer time (before the meeting) will now be 20 minutes (was 60 minutes)
    The post-buffer time (after the meeting) will now be 5 minutes (was 10 minutes)
Please forward this information to the individuals in your wards who are responsible for the webcasting each week so they are aware.

The biggest thing for you to note is that your webcast will be cut off 5 minutes after your scheduled ending time. If your ward administers the Sacrament at the end of your meeting, this is unlikely be much of a problem for you. However, if your meeting has talks, song and prayer right up to the ending time, there is a greater chance of cutting off the end of the meeting for your remote viewers.

We are only able to schedule events in 1 hour increments, so increasing your event to two hours would be expensive for the Church (the computing resources involved in webcasting are billed by the time in use).

What are your options?

1. Please do all you can to ensure your meetings end on time.

2. If your Sacrament is done first in your meeting, I can schedule your event to start 15 minutes later, which will give you additional time after your meeting's normal ending time.

If you have questions or concerns about this change, please feel free to reach out to me and we can see how we can help you.
lajackson
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Re: Changes to Webcast buffering times

Post by lajackson »

I understand why they did it, but I now have two new problems. I have to delete and reschedule every meeting for this coming Sunday. And my typical Sabbath Day just went to ... well, I won't say it here.

For stake conferences, I would like to have an hour pre-buffer and at least 10 minutes post-buffer.

For sacrament meetings, I have not yet been able to map out a schedule that will work without a ton of manual intervention every week. I do not believe my going in position should be to tell the stake presidency that they need to reschedule every sacrament meeting in our stake.
russellhltn
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Re: Changes to Webcast buffering times

Post by russellhltn »

lajackson wrote:For stake conferences, I would like to have an hour pre-buffer and at least 10 minutes post-buffer.
Unless a different stake is sharing the building (and equipment), I'm not sure why such a short post-buffer is being used for stake conference. I know the event can be extended, and at least for stake conference, you're going to have your "A" team in action.
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jmalyn
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Re: Changes to Webcast buffering times

Post by jmalyn »

Something to consider for buildings with tight schedules and using a single Teradek, just schedule one long meeting for the building for the day. (i.e. 'Stake Center Wards Sacrament Meeting' instead of '1st Ward Sacrament Meeting' followed by '2nd Ward Sacrament Meeting')

Since the broadcast switches to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir video while the encoder is disconnected, the wards can start/stop the encoder when passing the Sacrament and between meetings, and restart the encoder. Members just need to remember the time their particular ward meets and tune in near that time, and they will see their ward at that time.

Not the most ideal as anyone who forgets their weekly meeting time and just checks the Stake portal will see the single event with a long time window, but it fixes needing two encoders for a single building due to the overlap limits, and allows multiple wards in the same building with tight meeting schedules. Right now our wards are staying under 45 minutes with Sacrament at the end (stake rules currently allow one speaker each Sunday except for testimony meeting), but as restrictions ease I can see the 3 wards sharing the Stake building running closer to overrunning each other relative to broadcast buffer time, and needing to convert the Stake Center to a single long event so that the Wards can still be flexible with end times.
jonesrk
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Re: Changes to Webcast buffering times

Post by jonesrk »

jmalyn wrote:Something to consider for buildings with tight schedules and using a single Teradek, just schedule one long meeting for the building for the day. (i.e. 'Stake Center Wards Sacrament Meeting' instead of '1st Ward Sacrament Meeting' followed by '2nd Ward Sacrament Meeting')
The other issue is that it makes it harder for the wards to see who attended their ward online. With separate meetings those stats are split out.
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