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Streaming Church Media - Part 1 Twitter Facebook Print E-mail
Written by Sharon Howell   
Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Many members stream LDS content to their mobile devices, laptops, and computers, but are at a loss when asked to use audio-visual equipment at Church or select add-on hardware to bring Church media to their HDTVs. If you need help, this begins a two-part article on media streaming. The first part will cover basic streaming options at home and in meetinghouses, and the second will focus on add-on products for Internet TV and how well they perform with LDS media.

Typical sources of Church content are, Mormon and other Church web sites, or public channels such as YouTube. LDS apps, such as Gospel Library, Mormon Channel, and BYUTV also offer streaming.

Basic Requirements

When you stream media, you need a receiving device connected to the Internet and a way to deliver the stream to the device’s display or to another digital display. When considering your streaming options, the stream may start as downloaded media from the Internet which you view at a later time with a media player. You are probably familiar with using your smart phone, tablet, PC, or Mac connected to the Internet for streaming through a web browser or from a mobile app. Another choice is a “smart TV” connected to a network with a built-in web browser.

When you add a second output device to view streamed content, the two must connect (wired or Wi-Fi) with some type of hardware and software. If your source is streamed from the Internet directly, where and how you connect can be crucial. An Internet browser will not stream from YouTube at the meetinghouse because it will be blocked at the firewall. The solution is to capture content at home and stream with a media player. Streaming from local sources in meetinghouses is preferred to avoid bandwidth issues.

Wired Connections

To connect source and destination with a wired cable, the source device has to be compatible with the destination and both share a supported screen resolution. You set a laptop to mirror to an attached projector. A wired connection between a tablet or smart phone and an HDTV requires an adapter specific for the device and a cable to connect the two. Samsung has an adapter for Samsung android mobile devices. Apple sells a Lightning digital TV adapter or older 30-pin VGA adapter, and Surface tablets have compatible Windows adapters. Purchasing numerous adapters for meetinghouses to accommodate member preferences may not be practical, but some members purchase adapters and cables for themselves and use them successfully with meetinghouse projectors and digital TVs.

Network Devices

Becoming more common is the use of Internet TV add-on products for Internet streaming. Such devices are marketed as set-top boxes (iSTB), dongles, or gaming consoles. They deliver streaming on channels, apps, or “mirroring” from mobile devices. Products and processes to support Internet TVs will be covered in the next article.



# zane parker 2015-03-04 22:29
What do the church think about google's chomecast on the HDTV
# Betsy Lovenia Crane 2015-03-05 05:54
I was wondering the exact same thing. We love the Chromecast at home.
# Rian Lyle Pine 2015-03-05 07:26
We have tried chromecast at our building, and the firewall blocks it. We set it up using a hotspot and worked perfect. I would love to see the firewall update to allow this!!
# Gwen Mangelson 2015-03-05 07:39
I would love to just be able to connect our media players TO internet in our building- the signal is so weak it wont reach from the clerks office to the RS, Primary or YW rooms at the other end of the building! It makes it impossible to show the videos that go along with the lessons. I realize we have the download option, but we should not have to strictly rely on that as a lot of the older people have no clue how to download at home and bring to church for their lesson but can ask one of the youth to set up the wifi/tv for them and then have it not work- no signal. Our Building is in Marshfield, MO. A Ward and a Branch share the building.
We also cannot get the wireless in the cultural hall for using videos during a Baptism. VERY frustrating ideed!
# Eldon Gibb 2015-03-08 20:35
We had the same issue. Depending on how Physical Facilities support works in your area... for us, the agent bishop requests from the local Facilities group to add "Access Points" or AP's to the existing network, thereby extending the range of the wifi to more areas of the building. We included the stake to help 'push' the request. AP's act like wifi signal boosters.
# Mark Fogg 2015-03-05 16:04
Gwen, It sounds like a common problem. The WiFi feed from ATT was better then we get from Comcast but not much. The WiFi is only good if you're within 30 feet of the transmitter. Can some booster antenna be added to get the signal to other parts of the building?
# Kenneth Lamar Densley 2015-03-05 18:08
Side topic: A lot of BSA related websites are blocked by the firewall too.

On subject: Even with that firewall issue fixed for Chromecast, you can't "cast" from a tablet or smart phone browser like you can with a laptop. The LDS Library App, Youth App, etc. would need to have the Chromecast option added.

I think it would be a great idea. Chromecast is less expensive than most hardwired adapters and the buildings could actually purchase one for every Monitor and number the connections TV 1, 2, etc. Then the Members could simply press the Chromecast button in the chosen video on their mobile, pick the correct TV number and instant big screen.

A less expensive solution that's easy to use and less likely to get damaged too.(My 85 year old father uses Chromecast without issues, but plugging in an MHL Adapter is much more challenging for him.)
# Tim Morris 2015-03-07 19:46
We love the Chromecast as well.

I can see some issues with Chromecast in a Church setting, however.

If Chromecast is on the WiFi, then anyone on the WiFi can send a cast to it. There is no authentication. So, your presentation could purposely or accidentally start showing something completely out of your control. The firewall would block streams, but content (photos, videos, audio) downloaded on a device could be cast directly from the device.

That could be trouble.
# Lucy Nisbet 2016-10-19 09:29
For my seminary lessons, I've been preparing using google slides at home on my computer. With the google slides app on my phone, all I have to do is use my adapter to plug my phone into the tv and show my presentations with pictures, quotes, etc. It's been working great all year, but since last week, I've been able to pull up the presentation, but then it will not load. The adapter is still working, I can show videos from the church website, play music, etc. Has google slides been added to the firewall? Why can I see the initial presentation, but then it won't load to play?

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