Webcast Communicator vs PC and software

Using the Church Webcasting System, YouTube, etc. Including cameras and mixers.
natet
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#11

Post by natet »

While the Communicator is still around, I would probably opt for the PC instead. The stakes around here haven't had a great experience with it. The main problem I've had is that it isn't very robust. If it loses its stream, you have to fully reboot the communicator before you can restart the stream. The last 2 conferences we've had, there have either been problems with the internet at the Stake Center, or a glitch at the servers in Salt Lake that have caused brief outages. With the first one, we had the communicator, and were down for several minutes each time. Additionally, we had very few indications that there were problems, and had I not been staring at it, there's a good chance that I would have missed that we were down. With the PC, restarting the stream was painless and quick, and it was obvious when the stream cut out.
Gary_Miller
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#12

Post by Gary_Miller »

rmajors wrote:What makes best choice for the Stake that has the techologiests and the dollars to support either purchase. We are not interested in the newest product, nor are we afraid of it, what we want is the best product for the members of our wide geographically distributed stake.
Since Handbook 1 does not allow for computers to be purchase using Local Unit Budget Allowance your choices are limited to purchasing the Communicator or using existing PCs that are already in the stake.
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aebrown
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#13

Post by aebrown »

Gary_Miller wrote:Since Handbook 1 does not allow for computers to be purchase using Local Unit Budget Allowance your choices are limited to purchasing the Communicator or using existing PCs that are already in the stake.
I don't want to get into a policy debate, but please note that you are making an interpretation of Handbook 1. There are very reasonable interpretations of the section you are alluding to that would still allow a purchase of a computer for use in webcasting. It's great to point people to the policy, but let's leave the interpretation to those who have the keys in their respective areas.

Note also the receiving end of a webcast is another issue that must be handled, but the Communicator cannot possibly help with that end, and the Receiver is no longer available. So you have to use a computer of some sort.
Questions that can benefit the larger community should be asked in a public forum, not a private message.
Gary_Miller
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#14

Post by Gary_Miller »

aebrown wrote:I don't want to get into a policy debate, but please note that you are making an interpretation of Handbook 1. There are very reasonable interpretations of the section you are alluding to that would still allow a purchase of a computer for use in webcasting. It's great to point people to the policy, but let's leave the interpretation to those who have the keys in their respective areas.
There is nothing to debate any reasonable person wanting to follow the instructions as intended would not be able to interpret the section any other way the langue is very plan and straight foreword. Having keys to a position does not justify ignoring the principles, guidelines and policy of written my those who have the authority to receive revelation for the whole church, and where there are some areas where adaption is allowed this is not one of them discussed in the handbook.
aebrown wrote:Note also the receiving end of a webcast is another issue that must be handled, but the Communicator cannot possibly help with that end, and the Receiver is no longer available. So you have to use a computer of some sort.
So you telling me that no where on earth is the receiver manufacture anymore?

On the other hand the instructions on webcasting on the tech site is straight forward use existing computers. And the clerk computers allow for this with just a few changes on how the data is stored and handled.
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Mikerowaved
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#15

Post by Mikerowaved »

Gary_Miller wrote:There is nothing to debate any reasonable person wanting to follow the instructions as intended would not be able to interpret the section any other way the langue is very plan and straight foreword. Having keys to a position does not justify ignoring the principles, guidelines and policy of written my those who have the authority to receive revelation for the whole church, and where there are some areas where adaption is allowed this is not one of them discussed in the handbook.
Gary, I think you are missing the point that others are delicately trying to make. It's simply not our position to dictate to any stake president what they can and can't do. Period. The Area Seventies are called and set apart to handle that. Under the direction of the First Presidency and/or the Quorum of the Twelve, Area Seventies have the authority to do what ever is required to organize and administer the church. This may include allowing a stake president to use allotted budget funds in a manner not previously spelled out. While my pay grade does not make me privy to the details of any such direction, I strongly believe it happens from time to time as a direct result of ongoing revelation.

Bottom line. Has any stake president been given the OK to purchase a PC for webcasting? I can't say for sure. Do I have any problem with the fact that this MIGHT happen or maybe has already happened in the past? Absolutely not.
Gary_Miller wrote:So you telling me that no where on earth is the receiver manufacture anymore?
That's correct.
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Gary_Miller
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#16

Post by Gary_Miller »

Mikerowaved wrote:Gary, I think you are missing the point that others are delicately trying to make. It's simply not our position to dictate to any stake president what they can and can't do. Period.
I'm not missing the point at all. I'm also not dictating to any stake president or bishop on what they can and can't do. All I'm simply stating is what the instructions in the Handbooks are, as well as the importance of following the book. All the training I have had on using the handbooks says that they are to be followed. Its not OK to just follow them until they don't fit what YOU want to do, its follow them to the letter wither or not you agree with what is written. There are times when leaders have swayed off the path in relation to following the handbooks. In most instances its not because they want to but because they have not taken the time to see what the handbook says on the subject. Many times when this has happened I have been able to redirect the leaders back on the path by gently showing them what the handbook says to do.

President Monson's counsel to leaders is to read, understand and follow the handbooks. This counsel was due to leaders swaying from the correct path and causing problems that could be avoided if they had just consulted the handbooks on the proper way to proceed. Opening Remarks", 2010 Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting,
Mikerowaved wrote:Bottom line. Has any stake president been given the OK to purchase a PC for webcasting? I can't say for sure. Do I have any problem with the fact that this MIGHT happen or maybe has already happened in the past? Absolutely not.
I also don't have a problem if the stake president has asked for guidance and been given permission to go outside the guidance of the handbook on purchasing a computer using the LUBA. If and when this happens I as a finance clerk will (and have) cut, signed and mail the check, knowing that I have done all that was required of me.
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#17

Post by lajackson »

Mikerowaved wrote:While my pay grade does not make me privy to the details of any such direction, I strongly believe it happens from time to time as a direct result of ongoing revelation.
You are correct.
Gary_Miller wrote:All the training I have had on using the handbooks says that they are to be followed.
You are absolutely correct. As long as the Handbook is the highest guiding authority, it should be followed. In my opinion, anyone who does not follow the Handbook should have two things, (1) an exact knowledge and understanding of what the Handbook says and what the proposed deviation will be, and (2) a higher authority that allows an exception.
Gary_Miller wrote:I also don't have a problem if the stake president has asked for guidance and been given permission to go outside the guidance of the handbook on purchasing a computer using the LUBA.

My feeling as well.
rmajors
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#18

Post by rmajors »

I do know that the FM Group for MLS and the Family History provides equipment for the FH Library. However, the Church is encouraging the use of Webcasts and VideoConferencing. It would be in serious violation of security rules for units to use "EXISTING" MLS system or FH Computers for Webcasts and/or VideoConferencing. Funding and approval of computer equipment comes from General Church funds ( HB1: 14.7.2 ending paragraph). These funds are obtained following appropriate guidelines. Though I do not have a copy of that I would assume that the process includes the Stake President's recommendation and Area Seventy approval.

That being settled: My interpretation from the discussion is that a robust Desktop machine (not laptop) will provide the best quality for WebCasts and probably primary VideoConferencing machines. We have also discovered the hardway that the internet and the sound system sourcing/receiving cause us the most problems.
gyoungberg
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#19

Post by gyoungberg »

Very nice summary, rmajors. And I agree with your conclusions.
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Mikerowaved
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#20

Post by Mikerowaved »

rmajors wrote:It would be in serious violation of security rules for units to use "EXISTING" MLS system or FH Computers for Webcasts and/or VideoConferencing.
I'm not following you here. We often use an existing MLS computer as a webcast receiver that outputs to a projector and the chapel sound system. Under the direction of the STS, the PC is entrusted to a priesthood holder to setup for the webcast and return it to the clerk's office immediately following. I might be a bit obtuse, but I'm not seeing a violation here.
rmajors wrote:Funding and approval of computer equipment comes from General Church funds ( HB1: 14.7.2 ending paragraph). These funds are obtained following appropriate guidelines. Though I do not have a copy of that I would assume that the process includes the Stake President's recommendation and Area Seventy approval.
I knew I had read about this before in the Wiki, but it wasn't until I reread it more closely that I put it all together. Under Meetinghouse Webcast policies and guidelines / Roles and responsibilities I found the question of funding and responsibility was clearly spelled out for us. There it states...

Under the role of Stake or Area President, it lists the following 3 items:
  • Approve use of meetinghouse webcast for the stake (US and Canada) or area (outside US and Canada)
  • Provide approval and budget for purchase of meetinghouse webcast components
  • Ensure meetinghouse webcast technologies are used for appropriate purposes according to the direction sent out by the Presiding Bishop’s Office
Assuming a Stake or Area President has approved webcasting, the link in the 2nd bullet (above) lists various components that are available to put together a webcast. (This is by no means an exhaustive list, but are items the webcast development team have tested and approved.)

Drawing your attention to the "Availability" header, it lists three different sources (besides downloading free software) to obtain the various components, which are:
  • store.lds.org
  • Local vendor, or online
  • Through local Facilities Manager
Funding for components from the first two sources listed above come out of stake or area budgets, while components from the Facilities Manager will be funded through FM budgets. (This is NOT to imply that either of the above budgets will be prepared to immediately support such purchases. I'm certain in most cases, purchases will have to be carefully planned and may have to be postponed until such time funds are available.)

Finally [whew], the 3rd item in the List of Webcast products and components that the Stake or Area President has responsibility to "Provide approval and budget for purchase of", is (yes) a computer. If purchased, it is clearly not listed as an item the FM group would be responsible for, but rather the stake or area would purchase it using their budgets though a "local vendor, or online".
rmajors wrote:That being settled: My interpretation from the discussion is that a robust Desktop machine (not laptop) will provide the best quality for WebCasts and probably primary VideoConferencing machines. We have also discovered the hardway that the internet and the sound system sourcing/receiving cause us the most problems.

Yes, I've found while laptops are very convenient for hauling around and setting up, the biggest problem is getting the live A/V feed into it. While some folks have used various USB2 A/V capture devices with some success, I was never happy with the results. Maybe a USB3 A/V device with a newer notebook equipped with such a port would perform better.
So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.
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