Personal Video Conferencing (PVC) is a telecommunication technology that allows for two-way video and audio transmissions. The Church provides this technology to leaders worldwide for face-to-face communications in meetings, interviews, training, and so forth without needing to travel long distances. It is especially valuable in units that are spread out over large geographic areas.
Who is authorized to use PVC?
Those authorized to use PVC include bishops, branch presidents, ward and stake executive secretaries, stake and branch clerks, stake technology specialists, stake and district presidencies, stake high councilors, mission presidencies, MTC presidencies, temple presidencies, Area Presidencies, Seventies, and LDS Church employees (see a complete list on the PVC wiki page).
Stake and ward leaders in Utah, however, are not authorized to use PVC. Because Utah-based leaders generally live close to their ward and stake members, they have less need to communicate over long distances via PVC. If Utah-based leaders feel that they have a legitimate need for PVC, they may contact the Global Service Center to request an account on an exception to this policy.
Authorized individuals who wish to use PVC can go to the PVC login page, click Request an Account, sign in using their LDS Account user name and password, and begin using the system without any additional authorization. Your current calling or Church employment status information is stored in your LDS Account, and the system automatically authorizes approved users.
When should I use PVC?
PVC is especially valuable for leaders of Church units that are spread across large geographic areas. They can meet with others over long distances and still have face-to-face interaction. This can save travel costs and reduce the amount of time away from home.
Leaders should use PVC to conduct interactive, personal meetings, such as presidency meetings, council meetings, training sessions, and personal priesthood interviews. For example, a member of the Sixth Quorum of the Seventy recently held several meetings with stake presidents in his area using PVC. They were all located some distance from each other, but were able to have a face-to-face experience without the travel.
In some cases, you may want to include someone on a PVC call who is not on the authorized leaders list. For example, a bishop may wish to hold a ward council meeting using PVC. He can invite the participants as guests even though they do not have PVC accounts. PVC does allow you to invite people that are not authorized PVC users to your PVC meeting; however, there is a charge every time the PVC software is downloaded, so this feature should be used with discretion. For instructions on how to invite participants without PVC accounts, see How to Invite a Guest on the LDSTech wiki.
PVC is not meant to replace personal contact. If all of your leaders and meeting participants can easily travel to your local meetinghouse, you should continue to meet there.
Note that PVC is for Church use only.
What are the system requirements and tools?
To use PVC, you will need six things:
- Be in one of the authorized leadership positions or be a Church employee.
- LDS Account. You sign up for PVC using your LDS Account. If you don’t have an LDS Account, you can sign up for one by going to ldsaccount.lds.org. For more information on LDS Account, visit the LDS Account wiki page.
- Broadband Internet connection. Your broadband Internet should have minimum download and upload speeds of 500 kbps (1 Mbps or higher is preferred). It’s also better to use a wired Internet connection (instead of wireless) while making PVC calls.
- PC or Mac computer. Make sure your PC is plugged into AC power when using PVC. CPU performance is usually lower when on battery, which will negatively affect PVC performance.
- Camera. Built-in cameras on laptops are adequate. However, USB webcams (Logitech webcams work well) give a much higher quality picture and have better lighting auto-adjustments.
- Audio equipment. Using the built-in microphone and the built-in speakers on a laptop is not recommended. Built-in mics are generally poor quality, and using the mic and speakers together will create an echo for everyone else on your PVC call. Instead, try using a USB headset or USB speakerphone, or use earphones and the webcam microphone (if available).
For more information about recommended PVC equipment (including specific webcams, audio solutions, and headsets, see Get started with Personal Video Conferencing and Personal Video Conferencing requirements.
Where can I go for more information and training on PVC?
Most of your questions about PVC can be answered through the PVC page on the wiki, where there are articles, tutorials, and links to instructional screencasts about PVC. You can also ask your stake technology specialist for help.
You can also attend a webinar about PVC on December 15. See this post for information on webinar registration and times.
Since the Global Service Center (GSC) serves a large volume of users, you should contact the GSC only after seeking help from other resources.