Ready to smash the Teradek Vidiu; alternatives?

Discussions around receiving, originating, and holding Church broadcasts and conferences in meetinghouses including schedules, setup, equipment, and support.
mawhiteley
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Ready to smash the Teradek Vidiu; alternatives?

Postby mawhiteley » Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:38 pm

For the last couple years of stake conference broadcasts, our Teradek Vidiu boxes (yes, we've tried plural) have been thorns in our sides. They are flakey and unreliable. I'm tired of constantly fighting them. In summary, I'm done with the Vidiu boxes. Can anyone recommend alternatives?


Some history:

We've tried firmware updates, not updating, and everything in between. We've tried dynamic and static IP assignments, no difference. On too many occasions we've left hundreds of members stranded in buildings without the broadcast (even though previous tests are successful).

All APs are disabled in both the transmitting and receiving locations, but inevitably the broadcast (1.1 Mbps) will drop right before conference starts, or shortly thereafter. We get it going early, but it won't last. Here is the problem (not an internet bandwidth issue):

Unable to load the user interface through a browser (we've tried Edge, IE, Firefox, and Chrome). This is on the LAN! It shows the Vidiu splash screen (so we have the correct local IP address, i.e. 192.168.109.31), but hangs indefinitely on "Loading...". Sometimes we get the message "Unable to load system settings. Teradek might need to reboot" (I paraphrased). The boxes apparently go brain dead. So we power off and completely remove all connections, wait, then reboot. Same problem, so we rinse and repeat. We can usually get the box sane within an hour after many, many reboots (which take forever).

On this link: https://support.teradek.com/hc/en-us/ar ... a-computer

We read the following: "NOTE: Some wireless networks isolate connections so that while you may receive Internet access, you can't connect to other local devices on the same network. This type of behavior -- called AP/access point isolation, client isolation, or wireless isolation -- is often seen at hotels, coffee shops, or the guest networks provided by businesses, or on mobile broadband wireless hotspots that provide a separate guest network."

I cannot find any settings on Technology Manager (tm.lds.org) regarding the blocking or access of clients on the LAN.

Thanks for any help and support.

russellhltn
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Re: Ready to smash the Teradek Vidiu; alternatives?

Postby russellhltn » Sun Jun 10, 2018 4:02 pm

mawhiteley wrote:We read the following: "NOTE: Some wireless networks isolate connections so that while you may receive Internet access, you can't connect to other local devices on the same network. This type of behavior -- called AP/access point isolation, client isolation, or wireless isolation -- is often seen at hotels, coffee shops, or the guest networks provided by businesses, or on mobile broadband wireless hotspots that provide a separate guest network."

If you've turned off all APs such that nothing is going through any kind of wireless, then that's not an issue.

If you're using wireless, then I'd suggest you go 100% wired before going further.

But frankly, it sounds like your unit is dying for some reason. Perhaps overheating.
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mawhiteley
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Re: Ready to smash the Teradek Vidiu; alternatives?

Postby mawhiteley » Sun Jun 10, 2018 4:59 pm

russellhltn wrote:If you're using wireless, then I'd suggest you go 100% wired before going further.
But frankly, it sounds like your unit is dying for some reason. Perhaps overheating.


We are hardwired for the Vidiu and the controlling laptop, all APs are disabled. We've tried multiple units, so I was questioning the building router, but I don't see any settings that could control/prevent access to the vidiu on the LAN.

Thanks.

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Re: Ready to smash the Teradek Vidiu; alternatives?

Postby russellhltn » Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:14 am

mawhiteley wrote:We are hardwired for the Vidiu and the controlling laptop, all APs are disabled. We've tried multiple units, so I was questioning the building router, but I don't see any settings that could control/prevent access to the vidiu on the LAN.

As long as both the laptop and the Vidiu are on the same subnet, the router is not part of the picture.

What is your upload speed, and what will your ISP support? The only speed I see mentioned is 1.1Mbps which is quite slow. You'll probably need to stay well under what the speed tests indicate the ISP supports to make sure you don't run into a upload bottleneck.

While a few people have had problems with the Vidiu, by far, the biggest complaints have been the bandwidth problems and the church servers.
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mawhiteley
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Re: Ready to smash the Teradek Vidiu; alternatives?

Postby mawhiteley » Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:55 am

russellhltn wrote:As long as both the laptop and the Vidiu are on the same subnet, the router is not part of the picture.

What is your upload speed, and what will your ISP support? The only speed I see mentioned is 1.1Mbps which is quite slow. You'll probably need to stay well under what the speed tests indicate the ISP supports to make sure you don't run into a upload bottleneck.

While a few people have had problems with the Vidiu, by far, the biggest complaints have been the bandwidth problems and the church servers.


Our biggest problem is getting the Vidiu sane where we can command/control it from the web interface, on the same hardwired subnet. They hang 90% of the time while attempting to connect. I don't know what the problem would be. I'm looking for alternative hardware.

The 1.1 Mbps is our encoder upload speed when the Vidiu does work (rare miracle, until it drops and goes brain dead for 45 minutes of power cycles). I have not run a speed test, but the cable-based high speed internet should handle that uplink to the church servers. I'll double-check next time I'm at the stake center.

Are there alternative hardware encoders supported by the church?

Thank you.

russellhltn
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Re: Ready to smash the Teradek Vidiu; alternatives?

Postby russellhltn » Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:00 am

mawhiteley wrote:Are there alternative hardware encoders supported by the church?

None that I've heard of.

The fact it takes 45 minutes to get it going again suggests either that the unit overheated or that the ISP is choking your uplink and the device is going nuts trying push packets though a reluctant ISP. I don't know what your ISP offers, but around my area, it's not usual to have 11Mbit download/1Mbit upload.

Note that some ISPs will allow "bursts" at higher speed but will start throttling you on a sustained speed. Also, the actual speed the Vidiu is sending will depend on the picture. A static picture takes less bandwidth than one with motion. More motion, more bandwidth. Depending on how you have things set up, that could explain why it dies at the start of the conference.
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CalS201
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Re: Ready to smash the Teradek Vidiu; alternatives?

Postby CalS201 » Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:02 pm

mawhiteley wrote:
On too many occasions we've left hundreds of members stranded in buildings without the broadcast (even though previous tests are successful).

All APs are disabled in both the transmitting and receiving locations, but inevitably the broadcast (1.1 Mbps) will drop right before conference starts, or shortly thereafter. We get it going early, but it won't last.


If your statements in "green" are accurate then you probably DO have a bandwidth/connection problem, not a VidiU problem! If you can run a successful "test webcast" when the bldg is empty then the VidiU is OK.

Consider checking the following with emphasis on underlined items:
1. After you turn off all the APs - go stand under each one and see if you can still connect via wifi.
1a. Use a WiFi scanner app to look for active rogue APs in the bldg.
2. On the VidiU setup, make sure it's own internal wireless AP is turned off otherwise members devices may be attempting to connect to it when they enter the bldg.
3. On the VidiU setup, make sure the "wired" connection is the only one activated.
4. On the VidiU setup, turn off adaptive bitrate. Also turn off auto-reconnect.
5. Check any printers/copiers in the bldg to see if they have the same static IP address as the VidiU.
6. Consider the possibility that someone is plugging their laptop into a wired connection in the overflow area or other room and consuming bandwidth.
7. Make sure all other wired computers (clerk, library, FHC, etc) in the bldg are disconnected from the LAN.
8. Consider the remote possibility someone in the bldg doesn't want you to be successful. Try physically disconnecting ALL LAN cables, except the VidiU, from the main switch.
9. After checking items 1-8, test the system reliability by doing a test webcast on a Sunday during SacMtg. Don't wait for stake conference!!!!

russellhltn
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Re: Ready to smash the Teradek Vidiu; alternatives?

Postby russellhltn » Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:12 pm

CalS201 wrote:Consider checking the following with emphasis on underlined items:
1. After you turn off all the APs - go stand under each one and see if you can still connect via wifi.
1a. Use a WiFi scanner app to look for active rogue APs in the bldg.
2. On the VidiU setup, make sure it's own internal wireless AP is turned off otherwise members devices may be attempting to connect to it when they enter the bldg.

Good point. While TM is supposed to control all church APs, sometimes, it doesn't work. Plus, someone may have connected a rogue AP to give better coverage in a certain area.
Have you searched the Help Center? Try doing a Google search and adding "site:churchofjesuschrist.org/help" to the search criteria.

So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

mawhiteley
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Re: Ready to smash the Teradek Vidiu; alternatives?

Postby mawhiteley » Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:54 pm

CalS201 wrote:If your statements in "green" are accurate then you probably DO have a bandwidth/connection problem, not a VidiU problem! If you can run a successful "test webcast" when the bldg is empty then the VidiU is OK.

I understand the confusion. When the vidiu drops, there may be a bandwidth problem. However, our issue is we cannot get into the web interface to initially start or restart the broadcast. It takes 45 min. of rebooting to get into the interface. The vidiu goes brain dead a lot, nothing to do with internet bandwidth. It's on our LAN, plugged into the same switch as the computer trying to command/control it.

CalS201 wrote:Consider checking the following with emphasis on underlined items:
1. After you turn off all the APs - go stand under each one and see if you can still connect via wifi.
1a. Use a WiFi scanner app to look for active rogue APs in the bldg.
2. On the VidiU setup, make sure it's own internal wireless AP is turned off otherwise members devices may be attempting to connect to it when they enter the bldg.
3. On the VidiU setup, make sure the "wired" connection is the only one activated.
4. On the VidiU setup, turn off adaptive bitrate. Also turn off auto-reconnect.
5. Check any printers/copiers in the bldg to see if they have the same static IP address as the VidiU.
6. Consider the possibility that someone is plugging their laptop into a wired connection in the overflow area or other room and consuming bandwidth.
7. Make sure all other wired computers (clerk, library, FHC, etc) in the bldg are disconnected from the LAN.
8. Consider the remote possibility someone in the bldg doesn't want you to be successful. Try physically disconnecting ALL LAN cables, except the VidiU, from the main switch.
9. After checking items 1-8, test the system reliability by doing a test webcast on a Sunday during SacMtg. Don't wait for stake conference!!!!

Thanks for the suggestions. Sounds like we need to sweep the entire building. For example, we broadcast successfully (after an hour trying to get into the vidiu) the entire sat. evening adult session. The next morning we started the broadcast around 8:30am (conf starts at 10 am). Worked well up until 10 min. before conference started. At that point, the vidiu dropped the broadcast and the user interface hung. We couldn't restart the broadcast for another 45 min. Hundreds of members in another building were stranded. :oops: We disconnected and power cycled the vidiu many times, same with the computer and the network switch. As far as I can tell, the vidiu units are the problem child.

mawhiteley
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Re: Ready to smash the Teradek Vidiu; alternatives?

Postby mawhiteley » Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:00 pm

russellhltn wrote:The fact it takes 45 minutes to get it going again suggests either that the unit overheated or that the ISP is choking your uplink and the device is going nuts trying push packets though a reluctant ISP.


Thermal could be a factor, however, when we start our testing in the weeks leading up to conference, the vidius have not been on for months. Upon first power on, when they are still cold, it's a crapshoot whether we can get into the web user interface. No encoding has been commanded (since we can't get into the interface), so the ISP is not a factor initially. This brain dead behavior doesn't seem to change whether the units are cold or hot.

Thanks again for your suggestions.


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