Sharing our experience with Virtual Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

Using the Church Webcasting System, YouTube, etc. Including cameras and mixers.
davesudweeks
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Re: Sharing our experience with Virtual Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

#121

Post by davesudweeks »

Mikerowaved wrote: Mon Sep 13, 2021 10:47 amWe're not there yet, but my stake president has made it clear that sometime in the future, he would like all sacrament meeting webcasts to only be available to those who really need it. This means the bishops will be in charge of emailing the links to those in need each week. This is easily done in YT Live with an "unlisted" live event, putting it on par with an unpublished Zoom Webinar.
We have been "there" for about a month in our stake. The bishop gives out the link and password on a case-by-case basis for those who are unable to attend in person. I think we are using Zoom.
bradpeterson@gmail.com
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Re: Sharing our experience with Virtual Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

#122

Post by bradpeterson@gmail.com »

We've discussed post-COVID too.

Our stake president seems primarily motivated by the sick and the elderly who just can't make it to church. He knows these folks are also the most unlikely to be able to check email for updated links. They would also struggle to be supplied an unlocking password. So he is hesitant to put any kind of extra step preventing them from accessing the broadcast. I bet in early 2022 when COVID is finally over our policy will be to have bishops call those who should be at church but watch online to tell them broadcasts are authorized only for the sick and the infirm only.

They are also the reason why we are so invested into having crystal clear audio and clean video, so that those who are the most disabled can access it. We aren't going to do Mevo cameras and echoing mics 10 feet away.
rmrichesjr
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Re: Sharing our experience with Virtual Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

#123

Post by rmrichesjr »

bradpeterson@gmail.com wrote: Sun Sep 12, 2021 8:43 pm ...

Zoom Webinar
...
Viewer ease - 3. Most configure for Zoom on client end, so client must install an app first. (Many members and investigators don't know how to do that.) URL may stay the same if scheduled correctly.
...
People at home can view a Zoom webinar in a web browser. There is no need to install any client software.
bradpeterson@gmail.com
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Re: Sharing our experience with Virtual Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

#124

Post by bradpeterson@gmail.com »

Huh, I didn't know that:

From https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articl ... web-client
The Zoom web client allows joining a Zoom meeting or webinar without downloading any plugins or software.


That can be very helpful for many of our situations where people want to broadcast small meetings but don't want to set up full equipment.
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sbradshaw
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Re: Sharing our experience with Virtual Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

#125

Post by sbradshaw »

rmrichesjr wrote: Mon Sep 13, 2021 6:41 pm People at home can view a Zoom webinar in a web browser. There is no need to install any client software.
Though, unless things have changed recently, if I remember correctly, Zoom "hides" that option by using a small link under the large section of the page that tells you to download the client app, if you're on a computer that supports the client app. The option is there, but it's not obvious if you're not looking for it.
Samuel Bradshaw • If you desire to serve God, you are called to the work.
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Re: Sharing our experience with Virtual Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

#126

Post by bradpeterson@gmail.com »

sbradshaw, I double checked, you are correct. Unfortunately, it's not a simple step.

When you click on the Zoom link, it wants you to download the zoom app. If you cancel that, then there is a big Launch Meeting button. But the web link is NOT found. Only after you click on the button do you see one small line at the bottom of the page: "Having issues with Zoom Client? Join from Your Browser". (See attachment)

Then if you click on that link, you get the https address. If you use that https address is any browser, you are requested to enter your name and click "Join Meeting". Then you must enter the passcode and an email address and click another button. Then you can view the meeting via the web. If you turn off the passcode, you still have to enter an email address on a second screen. It's definitely not click and view.

I'll clean up my subjective list for fairness. I had two mistakes in the prior post (I said Zoom had big problems early, and that Zoom doesn't support a web interface).

Webcast
Reliability - 4. We experienced BIG problems early on. Since it's been better.
Tech ease - 4. It's just an RTMP stream.
Viewer ease - 4. The URL to get to the broadcast is long and cumbersome and isn't easily memorized. Broadcast URL changes every week.
Stopping/starting - 2. That 15 minute delay can cause big problems if something dies (I spoke with a stake conference broadcaster today whose broadcast stopped 15 minutes mid meeting due to it)
Audio/video mixing - N/A. It's up to you and your tool (Teredek, OBS, phone...)
Quality/latency - 3. Noticeable artifacts. 30 second delay is longer.

Zoom Webinar
Reliability - 5. Never had a problem.
Tech ease - 5. As easy as can be. Zoom Webinar's best selling point.
Viewer ease - 3. Zoom strongly pushes the app which some tech challenged people can't install. A skilled end user or a good tech specialist can find the https link and spread that around. But even with the web link, the process at a minimum is click link + enter name on the screen and click on a join button + enter an email address and click a join button again.
Stopping/starting - 5. Works with ease.
Audio/video mixing - 2. Very limited mixing. Harder to support other tools.
Quality/latency - 4. Quality is great, paid plans from the church can support HD mode. Latency is great.

YouTube
Reliability - 5. Extremely reliable.
Tech ease - 4. Just needs an RTMP
Viewer ease - 4. Short URLs, but need some way to send out the URLs each week.
Stopping/starting - 5. Easy to restart, forgiving on disconnects.
Audio/video mixing - N/A. It's up to you and your tool (Teredek, OBS, phone...)
Quality/latency - 5. Quality seamlessly matches your bitrate. Three latency options.
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mrbitsch
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Re: Sharing our experience with Virtual Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

#127

Post by mrbitsch »

byrnesasylum wrote: Sat Sep 11, 2021 10:23 pm Seems its just not possible to email anyone on the tech side of the church webcast platform directly to answer my questions, and trying led me here, so following is my experience (and frustration)...
Your problem is you're using the church's webcast system, it's never had great quality on the streams (up until just before the pandemic they didn't even offer 1080p steaming). I'm not sure what the reason for the poor quality was/is, but it's been there for year, and is the reason that several years ago our Stake switched to using other streaming options for stake conferences.

Fast forward to the pandemic, and virtual Sacrament meetings happening all over the world and I think the strain really took its toll on the system. If you go back to the announcement they sent out about the church providing Zoom accounts for all the wards and stakes, they mentioned they wanted to encourage STSs to move away from the church webcast system and use Zoom or YouTube instead, so I'm guessing support for the webcast system is even worse now that it was in the past because it would appear they're moving away from the system. (or at least trying to make sure of larger scale commercial systems until the need goes back to just stake conferences)

You mentioned having Zoom, it has a broadcast mode that works well for streaming sacrament meetings, however I've found the video and even audio quality to still be inferior (even if just slightly so) to my preferred solution, which is to broadcast the meetings using YouTube.

YouTube is easy to setup and broadcast to from the sender side, you just send the highest quality stream you can, and YouTube handles all the transcoding on their end, and they're really, really good at doing it to a large variety of devices. Bonus that there's a client that's available on everything from mobile phones, to TVs, to Roku boxes, and everything in between. So people have plenty of options for watching the stream, which is a huge benefit over the church system which basically is only browser based, or Zoom which is basically only mobile or PC/Mac/Linux.
Last edited by lajackson on Fri Oct 22, 2021 12:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Corrected typo in Subject line. Yep, all 120+ of 'em. OCD therapy,
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