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Webcast to Zoom Transition

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>> Meetinghouse Technology >> Virtual Meeting FAQ

Transitioning from Webcasting to Zoom

The following statement has been sent to all church leadership worldwide:

Over the past year the Church has adopted virtual meeting technologies which have allowed members to participate in worship and gospel learning from their homes. As part of the Church’s ongoing effort to improve member experiences while carefully managing limited resources, we encourage units to use Zoom Webinars for meetings that are currently using the Church’s webcast system. The Church’s webcast system will be discontinued in July of 2022. Answers to technical questions regarding this transition can be found on the Church’s technology forum at Broadcasts and Conferences Forum

The following FAQ will answer many of the questions that Technology Specialists have on how to transition from Webcasting to Zoom. If you continue to have questions, please post your questions on the Tech Forum in the Virtual Meetings section  or review the new content placed on MHTech in the Virtual Meetings section.

FAQs

Q. How can I transition from Church Webcast to Zoom webinar without substantial cost or effort?   

A. Units currently broadcasting with hardware supported by Zoom such as cell phones (Larix Broadcaster) or laptops (OBS) should be able to transition to Zoom webinar easily without additional cost. Simply make sure the Zoom app is installed on the device and select the correct audio and video source.    


Other units that may be able to transition to Zoom webinar with minimal cost and effort include those with a dedicated encoder like the Teradek or J-Tech. These systems typically have an HDMI cable that delivers chapel audio and video to the encoder. To transition these systems to Zoom webinar, local units will need an HDMI to USB video capture device and laptop as shown below.   

HDMI to USB.jpg

HDMI to USB video capture devices can be purchased for under $50.00. It is recommended that local units use an existing laptop if available. If not available, units should purchase a low-cost laptop or use a member-provided laptop. 

Units using the Mevo all-in-one camera or similar device may setup the device as a wired webcam.   

Q. When should I make the transition to Zoom?

A. You should begin moving all webcast events to Zoom as soon as you are able to. Currently the backend cost of operating the webcast portal is significant, and the quicker we can reduce those costs the better. However, in July of 2022 the portal will be taken down, and you should be totally transitioned by then.

Q. How do I request a Church-provided Zoom account?  

A. Stake, mission, or district Technology Specialists can acquire licenses for units at meet.churchofjesuschrist.org. Access to this website requires the Technology Specialist calling be recorded in Leader and Clerk Resources (LCR). Organizations that don’t have a Technology Specialist will need to fill that calling prior to requesting Zoom licenses. 

After completing the acquisition steps on meet.churchofjesuchrist.org, Zoom will send an activation email to the email address(es) provided. Follow the steps in the email to complete the activation process. 

Q. What email address should be provided for Zoom accounts? 

A. A unique email address is required for each Zoom license requested. Technology Specialists are encouraged to use email addresses they manage and can transfer access to if released from their calling. An option to consider is to use a stake Gmail account to create task-specific sub-accounts, one for each ward or branch. Click here for more information. 

Q. What features can my church Zoom account enable that free accounts do not?  

A. A local unit Zoom account would enable: 

  • Multiple Sunday School classes to be held simultaneously using the breakout room feature. 
  • Relief Society and Elder’s Quorum Meetings to be held simultaneously. 
  • Bishopric Meetings and Presidency Meetings to be held simultaneously. 
  • A running stream used by multiple wards throughout the day for Sacrament Meetings. 
  • One ward can hold a sacrament meeting while other wards using the same building can hold  Bishopric Meetings or other leadership meetings. 

Click here for more information on Zoom Features

Q. What should I do if we have already purchased Zoom licenses? 

A. Local units that have already purchased an account directly from Zoom can either keep it or transfer it to a Church account. To transfer the account to the Church, the Technology Specialist will enter the email address associated with the existing Zoom account during the account creation process on meet.churchofjesuschrist.org. 


Requesting a Church Zoom account with an email address already associated with a prepaid Zoom license will cancel the existing license and future charges. If applicable, Zoom will offer a prorated refund of prepaid fees. 


If you follow the account registration process in meet.churchofjesuschrist.org and complete the activation email sent by Zoom, but still have a basic account, submit feedback through the feedback button in the meet.churchofjesuschrist.org portal. 

Q. What support will be provided for Zoom meetings? 

A. Local units are encouraged to use online resources provided by Zoom for training and troubleshooting.  

Technology specialists who have problems with the license portal (meet.churchofjesuschrist.org) Should contact the Global Service Department (GSD), email mht@churchofjesuschrist.org, or submit feedback using the ‘Feedback’ button on the meet-portal.  

Q. What is the suggested platform for events requiring over 500 connections, such as Stake Conference, Regional Conference, Firesides, etc.?  

A. If more than 500 participants are expected for a webinar, Zoom can be configured to redirect overflow participants to a live streaming service. YouTube Live is the suggested platform for larger events like stake or regional conferences.  

Click here for the “Zoom for Stake Conference” article.

Click here for the “YouTube-Live stream setup” article. 

Q. I have some questions about how to use the new church issued Zoom license. Where can I learn how to use the new features that this tool provides? 

A. Please use the following resources for help with any of the specific questions or issues:  

Zoom Help Center.

“Zoom General FAQ” article.  

“Zoom Overview” article.  

“Zoom setup for Sacrament” article  

“Zoom Hardware Guidelines” article

Q. What can replace the webcast webpage that hosts the links?

Currently we do not have another webpage that will host the links. However, this capability is in development and should be available prior to July 2022.  In the meantime, there are several alternatives to posting links.  Some Tech Specialists use a Google Form or Google doc that is accessible to members of the stake with a URL.  Others use an alternative called linktree. Link Tree is a simple landing page that hosts multiple sites or links. It is free and wards and stakes can set up an account that can host their ward meetings with static links which would not change. Linktree cannot provide nonpublic link lists. By setting zoom’s privacy you can prevent unauthorized persons from bombarding your zoom meeting.