Show me your A/V rack setup

Discussions around receiving, originating, and holding Church broadcasts and conferences in meetinghouses including schedules, setup, equipment, and support.
peterson.josh
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Show me your A/V rack setup

Postby peterson.josh » Fri Nov 04, 2016 3:53 pm

I've been cleaning up the mess that is my stake's A/V rack, and am curious to see what setups other stakes have.
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Re: Show me your A/V rack setup

Postby lajackson » Sun Nov 06, 2016 12:26 pm

Ours is seven feet tall, and includes all video, audio, local program distribution, and white noise for the meetinghouse. It has outputs for webcasting and inputs for various types of audiovisual media finery, a video switcher, and a camera controller. It also has power supplies and amplifiers for chapel and cultural hall sound and feeds to all of the other speakers in the building.

There are quite a number of Ethernet connections going to various places, one of which is to a separate closet in another part of the building where all of the Internet access points and telephone lines are patched and switched, along with the firewall and incoming Internet service.

I think it does other stuff, also. But, sadly, it did not come with any instructions.

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Re: Show me your A/V rack setup

Postby StevePoulsen » Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:14 pm

lajackson wrote:Ours is seven feet tall, and includes all video, audio, local program distribution, and white noise for the meetinghouse. It has outputs for webcasting and inputs for various types of audiovisual media finery, a video switcher, and a camera controller. It also has power supplies and amplifiers for chapel and cultural hall sound and feeds to all of the other speakers in the building.

There are quite a number of Ethernet connections going to various places, one of which is to a separate closet in another part of the building where all of the Internet access points and telephone lines are patched and switched, along with the firewall and incoming Internet service.

I think it does other stuff, also. But, sadly, it did not come with any instructions.


Assuming this is a standard system (which it sounds like it is) instructions are working their way through the approval process. Yes, it's quite delayed, some of that is my fault, and some of it is just the nature of the approvals process. When ready, these will be made available to the FM managers, and likely other sources for most common, and standard systems types in the US and Canada.
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Re: Show me your A/V rack setup

Postby johnshaw » Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:29 pm

I remember wanting instructions with a Brand New Meetinghouse built 6 years ago. That is a lengthy approval process. I was fine being 1) curious, 2) a person who doesn't wait for the decade long process for church instructions, and 3) being an audiophile/IT engineer - I made it through, but I was told for years about some kind of instructions that would be coming... and it's on it's way!
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Re: Show me your A/V rack setup

Postby StevePoulsen » Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:58 pm

johnshaw wrote:I remember wanting instructions with a Brand New Meetinghouse built 6 years ago. That is a lengthy approval process. I was fine being 1) curious, 2) a person who doesn't wait for the decade long process for church instructions, and 3) being an audiophile/IT engineer - I made it through, but I was told for years about some kind of instructions that would be coming... and it's on it's way!


If its been 6 plus years, those were before my time, So I can't comment on that one, But newer ones than that are more likely my fault than anyone else.
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Re: Show me your A/V rack setup

Postby lajackson » Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:31 pm

StevePoulsen wrote:Assuming this is a standard system (which it sounds like it is) instructions are working their way through the approval process.

Ours is a year newer. (Hi, johnshaw, you were first.) New meetinghouse, second of its kind built, and I get to stand behind the choir to run the webcast. Great location. I can sing with them.

As for instructions when it was built, the installer told us he would leave all of the manuals in the rack for us (not). I inherited the webcast project a few years later after my predecessor moved and went incommunicado. I went online and got everything I could for the black boxes, and then spent three nights tracing the video signal through the rack. It was enough for me to wire the connections back properly (don't ask) and make my first webcast work last year. (I still can't figure out the audio but it works.)

Other than the complexity of the monster and that you need a flashlight to see and do anything, my only real problem is that there is only one Ethernet jack in the front to connect the encoder. I have to open the rack and dig way down inside to get to a jack for the laptop.

Oh, wait. One other thing. For all the high horsepower of the video processing box, it sure would be nice to get HDMI out of it, instead of having to convert the video from the little yellow RCA plug. One less box for the shelf on broadcast day.

I had no idea instructions were coming. I'll compare them with my notes.

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Re: Show me your A/V rack setup

Postby johnshaw » Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:26 pm

That's right I remember, my setup was accessable from either the hallway, or the young women's room (that is always setup to watch stake conference) so we stood in the hallway talking to every person that happened by, eventually we ran a bunch of wires into the library to avoid the issue.

Mine was left like yours, no labels on anything, complex to the max yet so very limited, so I had to trace every location out. It was nice for multiple cameras, but pulling the system apart to accommodate it was always hard. Eventually an engineer who's company had A/V contracts with the church moved in and we did some permanent tweaking which was nice.

Of course, now I'm back in a 20 year old stake center, and that fancy stuff is a thing of the past, probably a good thing too, our stake ain't much into that fancy tech stuff, we did our first webcast last fall. I think we'll be using fax machines in another year or two.
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”

― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

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Re: Show me your A/V rack setup

Postby studerje » Wed May 03, 2017 10:35 am

Our stake center has very old equipment and the A/V rack in the library looks like things have been bolted on using various converters and adapters. Is there any process to modernize a stake center's a/v setup? Especially curious as we are just starting to do stake conference broadcasts to our other buildings.

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Re: Show me your A/V rack setup

Postby russellhltn » Wed May 03, 2017 12:17 pm

studerje wrote:Is there any process to modernize a stake center's a/v setup?

For the A/V system, you have to wait for the church to get around to modernizing your system. I think it's something like a 12 year cycle. But even then it may not be as modern as you'd like it.

I'm not sure as there is any procedure to update the library equipment. That likely depends on the FM group. Now would be a good time for the stake to talk to the FM about next year's budget.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

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Re: Show me your A/V rack setup

Postby johnshaw » Wed May 03, 2017 12:25 pm

studerje wrote:Our stake center has very old equipment and the A/V rack in the library looks like things have been bolted on using various converters and adapters. Is there any process to modernize a stake center's a/v setup? Especially curious as we are just starting to do stake conference broadcasts to our other buildings.


Russel gives a pretty positive number for a complete tech revamp, I was thinking it was more like 17 years last time I tried. BUT.... I was in the same situation you were in, my stake closet was pretty ugly just like yours probably is, and when we went to do the webcasts (just had a first one last fall) found a problem with the sound that was intermittent. We were able to get FM to contract out a 'clean-up' of the satellite box in the library, but even after it can be a pretty large challenge if you don't dare start pulling wires off, etc...

I was able to tone out the connections (sent a signal to it and had TV's in the rooms to know when it 'turned off' as I unplugged cables on at a time) to 1) Chapel, 2) RS, 3) P and 4) Cult Hall - that was my camera/text overlay can be pushed to the internal CCTV area as well as the broadcast. I've labeled all these cables for the future.

In a former stake (very old building) my FM wouldn't even do that much - he wouldn't even 'fix' the two RCA connections in the rack labeled video and audio that I later found were just wires hanging down and not plugged in. I put in some permanent cabling so I didn't have to pull open the back after I'd figured everything out. Just crack the back, and start tracing wires...

IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT THAT IF YOU DO ANY OF THIS YOU ONLY UNDO 1 CABLE AT A TIME
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”

― Thomas Paine, Common Sense


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