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Re: More Permanent Setup for Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

Posted: Tue Jul 13, 2021 1:10 pm
by CalS201
Oh how I wish I could find an IP driven PTZ camera that isn't $1800...
Here's a few more inexpensive streaming cameras with audio input. ... 2596047469

If you watch ebay you can pickup used PTZOptics 12X and 20X cameras as low as $600 ! Just check the completed sales on ebay. It seems that with covid winding down (fingers crossed) there are more organizations selling off their cameras.

Re: More Permanent Setup for Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

Posted: Tue Jul 13, 2021 3:48 pm
by swigginton wrote:Oh how I wish I could find an IP driven PTZ camera that isn't $1800...
We're using 2 of these in our stake center. They support NDI so can be fully operated over a single Cat6 cable (PoE, streaming and IP VISCA control). They seem to be compatible with the PTZOptics tools. We're using the 30x zoom model. Their 20x model is $100 less.
We're controlling with this IP controller:

Re: More Permanent Setup for Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

Posted: Tue Jul 13, 2021 4:17 pm
These are fascinating. Are there any ways to easily attach these to PC or even program it so you can do all the PTZ controller functions and selecting presets? My dream is that someone like a bishopric or a ward member could sit next to a touch screen, and we let them jump to camera presets or to PTZ positions. Then I could hook that feed into a second program (like OBS), which gives us the ability to switch mics and use OBS scenes.

The Ogden Tabernacle has a touch screen interface for PTZ/preset control. But it's only for camera. But if I had access to the camera feed, which these PTZ camers seem to do, then I could easily go one step futher, mix in audio and text, and send it out to another RTMP feed of my choice.

Re: More Permanent Setup for Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

Posted: Sun Jul 18, 2021 8:11 pm
by skiddlyarcus
our stake center is relatively new (dedicated Jan 2020).
The design for the stake center is much smaller than previous stake centers - it's ~11 feet longer than our other building designs. We cannot fit even half of our stake into the stake center. FM told us that is the direction for buildings in the future - no more large stake centers. So we are an all broadcast stake for stake conferences. We can mostly fit all the adults in for adult session of conference, but the broadcast makes it comfortable rather than a tight fit (and parents with young children love the broadcast).

> the new building came with a built-in PTZ camera installed during construction. The camera included a remote control in the tech closet and a remote extension such that the camera can be moved via remote control from the tech closet. It also has some presets that can be configured (1=podium, 2=choir, 3=zoom out, etc).
> There is a TV screen in the tech closet that shows the video output.
> the stake purchased a SlingStudio device ( This works very well and allows us to add additional wireless cameras using cell phones with an app installed. (during stake conference we place a camera at the organist, piano, musical numbers, congregation, etc. We can even carry a phone around or use another video camera and pipe in that video if needed for the meetings where the authority has lots of audience interaction). Some tech clerks use this during sacrament meetings also to make a better broadcast. others keep it simple and just use the one PTZ camera.
> the stake purchased a MacBook Air to run the SlingStudio software - this allows for replacing the video with the church symbol during the sacrament ordinance. (and during stake conference we can add overlays of the names of the speakers, pictures, etc similar to how General Conference is done)
> the stake purchased a small Yamaha mixer for audio (audio mixing includes, chapel mic, piano, organ for Sacrament meetings. For stake conf we add in choir and musical number mics). We have a bigger mixer for stake conferences so that we have enough inputs for wireless mics, lava mics, etc.
> We use the church system ( and have the SlingStudio configured for 3 different ward streams each Sunday. Each ward chooses a destination for their ward and it takes just a few minutes to start/stop the stream between wards.
> the stake purchased misc adapters and mic stands to make everything work. We keep a mic on the piano so that we can add piano music to the audio and we can mix organ audio also. We don't have built-in condenser mics for choir or congregation - that would be a nice addition to make the at-home broadcast sound better (it's all organ music because mics don't pick up the sound of any others singing)

With a little bit of training many people are able to operate the system (although troubleshooting still requires higher skill levels of our tech clerks).

My thoughts/recommendations:
> establish a stake tech budget - start out with all the necessary equipment and have money to expand each year. you'll need to spend about $4000 to get initial equipment for a good system and there will be ongoing improvements you'll want to make - mic stands, tripods, additional cameras, condenser mics, mixers, etc etc.
> work with your FM group as needed
> don't go cheap on equipment - get what works and can be operated by people who aren't pro audio/visual types. Sacrament meetings and Stake Conferences are important and it's worth spending money to make high quality streaming meetings
> we have duplicated some of this setup in another stake building. We will likely do the same for all other buildings so that each system has the same learning curve and any trained user can operate the system in any building.
> PTZ cameras make it look so much more professional - professional broadcasts help bring the spirit to the homes ... don't go cheap, go quality (think about how much was spent for general conference - they do that right)
> get good video and audio quality - remember that some people at home will have hearing challenges - you need good audio with no hum/buzz so that they can feel the spirit also
> multiple cameras (and training to use them) make for a great stake conference experience - especially given the capability of the SlingStudio to use many camera inputs wirelessly
> include the tech clerk early in stake conference planning - it takes time to generate the speaker overlays and photographs and other items that help add to the speaker experience. when you have sample agendas communicate so that they can improve the broadcast quality by putting in music overlay, speaker names, etc. There's no reason you can't make stake conf or ward conf more professional and add to the spirit through the use of good technology
> when you get the system set up and tested, pay to have professionals instal cables in your building. Make it easy to set up and operate. If your cables were installed by someone who is a hobbyist, get a professional to re-do the work. FM likely has contracts with people who manage all the building audio
> some of the audio mixers will need to be re-programmed - the FM group/Audio contractors can help with this
> get a PTZ controller like the one mentioned in the post above
> don't be afraid to spend $2000+ on a good primary camera (and if you have an established budget you might be able to get another one in the future)

Re: More Permanent Setup for Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

Posted: Thu Jul 22, 2021 4:19 pm
by mgthatch
We're using the AViPAS-1081 ($620 We have it set up so a member of the bishopric can control the camera presets and video overlays from their cell phone.

We have a computer running OBS that stays in an unoccupied clerk's office, but could just as easily sit in the library, or next to the audio box in the chapel. OBS has a browser source (pointing to our website) that we use to overlay speaker chyrons and hymn lyrics. A member of the bishopric then controls the overlays through the browser on their cell phone. We also have buttons on that webpage that move the camera to presets*, specifically:
  • Speaker
    Short Speaker
    Tall Speaker
    Piano & Instruments
    Piano & Vocal
Then during the sacrament ordinance the bishopric member pushes the sacrament button on their cell phone which causes OBS to mute the microphone, play the sacrament hymn music, and display pictures of the Savior with a message saying the service will resume in approximately 10 minutes (counts down).
Image of overlay controller
(37.3 KiB) Not downloaded yet
Happy to let anybody piggyback off of what we've made, just send me a PM with your email (I can't respond to PMs yet)

*The PZT stuff currently only works with the AViPAS camera, but it probably wouldn't be too much effort to get it working with another camera if you have a programmer / tech guy who's comfortable with Postman.

Re: More Permanent Setup for Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

Posted: Mon Aug 02, 2021 12:36 pm

I'm liking the direction you are going. I've racked my head all month trying to find a good solution, and yours is very close to what I want. Something that can be managed by a simple touch interface, and doesn't require setting up or tearing down cords.

Two questions for you:

1) Does the AViPAS-1081 give you options so you can write your own interface to target presets? Or must you use their software?
2) How did you feed a signal from a phone app to select a source on OBS?

Re: More Permanent Setup for Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

Posted: Mon Aug 02, 2021 5:21 pm
by mgthatch
Hey Brad,
I've attached a PDF showing the software and hardware connections of our permanent setup.
Sacrament Stream Diagram.pdf
(136 KiB) Downloaded 73 times
You'll notice we communicate with the camera using normal http requests. AViPAS doesn't have a published API, so we've just written code that replicates the requests that the camera's onboard webserver makes.

Our overlay display webpage communicates with OBS using the obs-websocket plugin. This makes it so the person controlling it doesn't need to have any special software, they just open a webpage in their preferred browser.

I'm happy to help however I can and/or let you or anybody piggyback off of the webserver we already have set up for this. Just let me know.


p.s. I'm still too new to reply to private messages.

Re: More Permanent Setup for Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

Posted: Mon Aug 02, 2021 9:20 pm
AViPAS doesn't have a published API, so we've just written code that replicates the requests that the camera's onboard webserver makes
Interesting. So you pulled up AViPAS's interface web page, then watched the URL address bar or used some kind of transmission sniffer, then duplicated that? So for example, if you use AViPAS software to tell the camera to go to say, preset camera position #3, you would see something like a request to ... position=3, and then you just duplicated that in your own implementation?

If that's roughly the case, then that answers a big need for me. Are you comfortable sharing any relevant bits of code you used in this implementation?

As I said, I'd love to get it down to a single touch screen interface. I've found that OBS scenes + ffmpeg + Linux + other apps give me most of what I need for the encoding and audio side. I definitely don't want to abandon that for a Teredek or a Teredek-like solution. My biggest remaining problem now is manual control over the camera. What I need is some way to make the equivalent of an OBS scene change audio, video, and camera presets. Your solution does exactly that.

Re: More Permanent Setup for Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

Posted: Mon Aug 02, 2021 11:58 pm
by mgthatch
Our webpage (which again, anybody is welcome to use) makes it so you only need to set up a single OBS scene, which remains unchanged after the initial setup. Then instead of adding different scenes for your different overlays or hymns, you just use the page to configure and select the speaker overlays (styled the same as general conference), the hymns (currently has all of the English hymns), the sustainings, the sacrament interlude, etc...

We have different camera preset buttons (like you can see in the screenshot from my post above), but we've also set it up so it can be single touch like you mentioned. When you click on a speaker overlay the camera automatically moves to the podium then shows their name and calling. When you click on a hymn, it automatically moves to the chorister preset and lets you queue the lyrics, then zooms out to the rostrum preset when the hymn finishes. When you click on a sustaining it automatically moves to the sustaining preset (with the podium on the right side of the screen so there's room for the member pictures, names, and callings), then moves back to the normal speaker preset when it finishes.


That being said, even though you don't need more than one OBS scene, it's also set up to change your OBS scenes from the webpage if you need to do that too.


What you said about figuring out how to control the camera is basically right. In the easiest scenario you open the dev tools in chrome (push F12) and go to the network tab. Check the "Preserve log" option toward the top of the dev tool. Then you navigate to the camera's webpage, log in, then tell it to go to all your presets. Each of the web requests likely shows as a new line in the dev tools. If you're lucky you can get all the info you need from there. If that's not the case then hopefully the camera has a couple js files you can get from that network tab that will have the relevant requests in there somewhere.

If anybody has a camera that can be controlled from a built-in webpage I'd be more than happy to look at the network traffic and see if there's a way to control it. It'd be really easy to add your camera to our webpage so you can control it without having to worry about any of the coding.

In the case of the AViPAS 1081 camera at IP address the login requires a GET request to

Code: Select all
Then you change presets by making a POST request to

Code: Select all
with a post body of

Code: Select all

substituting 999 for the preset you want to move to.

Re: More Permanent Setup for Sacrament Meeting Broadcasts

Posted: Mon Aug 09, 2021 2:20 pm
mgthatch, thanks for that info. I've since learned many PTZ manufacturers use that same HTTP API interface, I just don't know what the standard is named...

We're almost ready to purchase and implement our permanent solution. Here are things I've learned in case it helps others:
  • The church recommended non-PTZ camcorder is starting to have problems because of the HDMI slot. We've plugged things in and out and let cords "hang" from it so often that cords are starting to naturally slip out. One building gets periodic black screens, and another gets long disconnections of up to 15 minute downtimes due to it. Camera assistants don't know what to look for as the cable doesn't fully fall out. These camcorders are not good for permanent use anyway due to so many cords required on setup.
  • For wall mounted PTZ cameras, the church uses A51S Lumens cameras in supported stake centers only. They're a bit of a mess because they have no IP interface at all, and only supply HDMI video out only where the media rack is located. Our FM rep put in a request for that camera in our stake center, and we were denied that camera for at least the next 4 years.
  • I went to another stake center than has a Lumens A51S camera. At about 45 feet back, they broadcast and like a preset 8x zoom. The camera goes up to 20x zoom, and that would literally show only part of a person's face. So 10x zoom should be sufficient for most back of chapels.
  • My stake president is on board to buy 3 AV-1081 AViPass PTZ cameras for our three buildings.
  • Our FM manager said the stake can reimburse for these camera purchases, but we aren't allowed to mount any of them on walls, including the stake center. So our permanent solution will require someone setting up a camera with a tripod each week. Bleh.
  • Our FM manager is fully supportive of approving requests for 2 ethernet jacks in the back of all our chapels, one for a PTZ camera, and another for a laptop to manage broadcasts.
  • I've tested a $60 5.8 GHz wireless audio transmitter/receiver, they work amazing. Even when the transmitter is under countertop and fully out of line of sight, the receiver in the back of the chapel picks it up and I can't tell from the audio that it's wireless. That's my last step to all remove all cords or cameras near the pulpit.
  • We don't have any kind of Vidiu Teredeks. FMs won't buy any. So we need a long term decoder/encoder/streamer solution. I've looked at numerous options, including a fully optimized Raspberry Pi 4, Intel NUC gen 11s, Ryzen mini CPUs, and laptops. At the moment, laptops appear to win. Early chatter seems to suggest that all our buildings need dedicated laptops anyway (they're all very old and are breaking down), so we could use the laptops for multi-use. Dual boot the laptop, one into a broadcasting setup that makes starting/stopping/scenes/camera presets super easy, and another boot into general ward usage. Broadcasting would also require using a USB to 3 USB/ethernet dongle (I've had 3 of these die in the last year during broadcasted meetings...)
  • OBS apparently has a plugin that lets you run commands on scene selection. I could program OBS to also change a camera preset with a scene selection, if I choose to go down that route.