Suggested Preset for MeetingHouse Broadcast

Conversations around originating a webcast for conference, including cameras and mixers.
tubaloth
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Suggested Preset for MeetingHouse Broadcast

Postby tubaloth » Thu Aug 09, 2012 7:15 am

Here is our problem. I have a digital Canon Camera. Our Stake ended up also buying a Canon Camera (I think a different model). I think both are built for HD. All new Canon Cameras are made to record only in 16x9 (I think more and more cameras on the market are going to be this way).

As much as I think we all wish we could broadcast in HD, that doesn't work, so it leaves us broadcasting in 16x9. (Meaning the raw feed is always 16x9, if I was playing back a recorded video I could change it to 4x3).

But the output on the other end is to a 4x3 screen in the chapel, and to a bunch of old 4x3 TVs. I don't think 16x9 would look that bad on a screen, just have to play around with how close I am.
But the 4x3 tvs seem to get a smaller picture because you get black bars on top and bottom.

The only options in MeetingHouse is to use 16x9 and get smaller picture (on 4x3 tvs), or use a 4x3 and get the picture squished. We even tried to use some other software to convert the 16x9 image down before we sent it to MeetingHouse Broadcast, but we could never get it looking right.

What I suggest is have a 16x9 preset that crops the image (cuts off the sides or something) to a 4x3. I guess it could just be an option that you enable. We also thought it would be good to crop it before you sent it out over the internet. I would think in theory this would keep the size of the stream down. We all know how important bandwidth is.

In the end we just ended up using an older camera that does 4x3 to give the rest of the rooms a better picture (and to save on bandwidth) even though the stake has a better camera.

Not sure what other people have done when they have a camera that only does 16x9?

We probably are going to do more tests in 16x9 to see if we can find a sweet spot.
Thanks

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Postby sammythesm » Fri Aug 10, 2012 5:12 am

I agree this is a problem. Not just for webcasting, though, but for all elements of the meetinghouse planning and purchasing.

Even though CHQ and the conference center represents the newest in technology, no one seems to have notified anyone in the meetinghouse construction dept. New buildings are still being fitted with 4:3 projectors, 4:3 screens (esp the big expensive ones for the chapels), 4:3 TVs - all analog, all composite.

I've noticed that our satellite receivers all have HDMI outputs on them - it's just that no meetinghouse is equipped with the right modulators to send that HD signal through the building, and no HDMI/component cable from the satellite room.

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Postby johnshaw » Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:32 am

Sammythesm,

I've spoken at great length with the meetinghouse architects as our newest stake center was a first-of-a-kind with all the latest technologies that were chosen. We discussed HDMI at length and the issue stated was the distance that HDMI can travel is very limited, and repeater equipment to get back to a technology closet would be cost prohibitive. I'm not saying that a more creative way couldn't be thought of, but when designing a cookie-cutter like model, that must be implemented in so many different cities with unique zoning laws, etc... means they must be extremely conservative in their default footprint. That is the message from the team.

Every new TV we get is 16x9 Flatscreen, HDMI, VGA, RCA, the works... I'm not sure about your FM, but I'd put ours up against anyone about the primitive nature of what we do, and as the least progressive of any group out there. you may want to check into that. Also, you left it off the list, but Pull-down screens for the projectors are also 4x3

Personally, I need more bandwidth, I need upgraded TV's in my meetinghouses, I need wired ethernet ports all providing a better technology experience for the members of our stake, we put out a great 4x3 picture with multiple cameras, text overlay, etc... but our picture comes through the webcast with minimal quality over cheap our DSL line and I worry the entire broadcast that the slightest glitch will sink us. There is no margin for error even though FM assures me we are well within our ability to do the webcasts and no upgrades are needed. I feel like the 1200 members of our stake we ask specifically NOT to come to stake conference in person deserve to view the conference with the quality they deserve, the technology should not detract from the spirit.

I am so far from having an issue between 4x3 and 16x9 I wonder if many others out there are in similar circumstances, which is why the concern really isn't there. Just my take on the matter. I can't wait until my complaint is the 4x3 aspect ratio.

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Postby ksolsen » Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:41 am

Guys - the feedback and discussion is much appreciated. Please know that all of the issues you are discussing are under active consideration by the teams that work on meetinghouse technology. Things don't always move as quickly as we would like, but it is somewhat the nature of things since we are dealing with a large number of meetinghouses worldwide. Just wanted to encourage the continued feedback and know that we are not sitting still!
Kurt Olsen - Product Manager at Church HQ for Digital Presentation (Personal Video Conferencing, Meetinghouse Webcast, Conference Rooms, Video Conference Endpoints, Meetinghouse Digital Content)

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johnshaw
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a request just for a trickle

Postby johnshaw » Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:05 pm

ksolsen wrote:Guys - the feedback and discussion is much appreciated. Please know that all of the issues you are discussing are under active consideration by the teams that work on meetinghouse technology. Things don't always move as quickly as we would like, but it is somewhat the nature of things since we are dealing with a large number of meetinghouses worldwide. Just wanted to encourage the continued feedback and know that we are not sitting still!


Kurt, I'd love to follow along with the progress you're making. I'm totally invested in this process, I put my heart and soul into technology in our stake. I seek to improve and progress. BUT, I feel totally exposed, on an island to myself. What I need, and what many of us only wished is that we could share in the journey. For instance, in your signature, an interesting item poppoed up. What is Meetinghouse Digital Content?

Is there any chance that at your level a blog post or two each month might be written up sharing a little of what your groups are currently looking at? Here might be a suggested entry:

Meetinghouse Technologies Corner
Hey, we realize that many of you don't have the opportunity to have high speed Internet in your Meetinghouses but still want the opportunity to use Mormon Messages, Messages for Youth, General Conference Addresses, in your teaching and training meetings. We here at Meetinghouse Technologies are currently pursing some Proofs of Concepts from vendors to provide a local copy of this digital content in each meetinghouse. A media server will be placed in each meetinghouse to provide local playback of media content available to others with higher amounts of bandwidth. This would be something like having Netflix but running on a computer in your home. Here are the vendors we are looking at... While we are at best a year from a pilot, I just wanted to share a little with you who support all of our solution out in the field. If you are interested, here is some information about media server....

Anyone like RaspberryPI? Well, we do, what a fantastic little device this is... Meetinghouse technologies is currently looking at a variety of 'receiver' units for meetinghouse webcasts. Small linux distro's running on RaspberryPI are a consideration, as are the plethora of $50-$100 android devices coming to market. With these fairly lower priced units we hope to eliminate the variables of using individuals laptops where issues crop up from time to time that disrupts a broadcast.

If you have any experinece will large enterprise media content distribution and stream, or if you're a RaspberryPI hacker, let us know, we would like to pick your brains a little about your own experiences.

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Postby sammythesm » Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:08 am

ksolsen wrote:Guys - the feedback and discussion is much appreciated. Please know that all of the issues you are discussing are under active consideration by the teams that work on meetinghouse technology. Things don't always move as quickly as we would like, but it is somewhat the nature of things since we are dealing with a large number of meetinghouses worldwide. Just wanted to encourage the continued feedback and know that we are not sitting still!


Thanks, Kurt. I'm glad you're on the job!

How about moving to ALL IP video in the building??? CAT5/6 is super cheap, can be run long distances, and can be used for other things that video (doesn't have to be single-purpose). I'm not sure what exists and how expensive it would be to convert satellite feeds into IP video streams (cable tv modulator replacements), but I have a HDHomeRun at home that converts ATSC antenna (HD) to mpeg-2 IP video stream, and it works fantastically for under $200.

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Postby russellhltn » Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:11 am

The problem with IP is delay. Different screens would likely be at different parts of the broadcast. And that's not including the problem of synching the audio.
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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Postby ksolsen » Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:55 pm

JohnShaw wrote:Kurt, I'd love to follow along with the progress you're making. I'm totally invested in this process, I put my heart and soul into technology in our stake. I seek to improve and progress. BUT, I feel totally exposed, on an island to myself. What I need, and what many of us only wished is that we could share in the journey. For instance, in your signature, an interesting item popped up. What is Meetinghouse Digital Content?

Is there any chance that at your level a blog post or two each month might be written up sharing a little of what your groups are currently looking at?


My job did change somewhat recently. I am now the product manager for Digital Presentation - my responsibilities include Meetinghouse Webcast, Church HQ conference rooms, and the overall strategy for displaying digital content in the meetinghouses (yeah, that's pretty huge). I don't mind sharing some progress, but we're not far enough along for me to write a blog post mentioning any specific products or solutions. It's not that I'm trying to be secretive; I just don't want to post things too early on in the process that then could change. Please know that this is a very strategic area (the group I am in was formed to focus specifically on the digital meetinghouse effort), and we have a team of very sharp people working on this. Certainly, as we go along, I will be asking the community at large for their feedback and experience - we won't be doing this in a vacuum.
Kurt Olsen - Product Manager at Church HQ for Digital Presentation (Personal Video Conferencing, Meetinghouse Webcast, Conference Rooms, Video Conference Endpoints, Meetinghouse Digital Content)

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Postby harddrive » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:04 am

ksolsen wrote:My job did change somewhat recently. I am now the product manager for Digital Presentation - my responsibilities include Meetinghouse Webcast, Church HQ conference rooms, and the overall strategy for displaying digital content in the meetinghouses (yeah, that's pretty huge). I don't mind sharing some progress, but we're not far enough along for me to write a blog post mentioning any specific products or solutions. It's not that I'm trying to be secretive; I just don't want to post things too early on in the process that then could change. Please know that this is a very strategic area (the group I am in was formed to focus specifically on the digital meetinghouse effort), and we have a team of very sharp people working on this. Certainly, as we go along, I will be asking the community at large for their feedback and experience - we won't be doing this in a vacuum.


Kurt this sounds terrific. I look forward to seeing what you all produce and how it will affect the meeting house setup ups with specific on satellite and closed circuit TV systems.

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Postby sammythesm » Thu Aug 16, 2012 5:17 am

harddrive wrote:...and closed circuit TV systems.


Oh gosh, yes. Can't tell you how many times I've been wandering the halls during sacrament meeting with a 11-18 month old wishing there was a way I could both see and hear what was going on in the room. Since we are already putting in the cameras now (for webcast), seems like a logical next step to have a closed circuit monitor for the foyers.


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