Multiple broadcast methods for breakout sessions

Conversations around originating a webcast for conference, including cameras and mixers.
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Multiple broadcast methods for breakout sessions

Postby rgme » Sun Oct 14, 2012 2:34 pm

I'm helping organize the broadcast of a training meeting that will have breakout sessions for multiple groups of people (e.g., clerks, youth leaders, missionary leaders). There are four meetings going on, with attendees at both the local and remote site. The largest meeting will use the normal PVC broadcast between chapels that we use for stake conference.

The other three are more difficult to figure out. We thought using phone lines/cell phones would be best, but we're concerned about the quality of using a cell phone speakerphone for a large group. We have to use cell phones at the remote site because there is only one phone line going in, whereas we can use landline phones in the local site (stake center).

I don't think there is a viable local option for renting speakerphone equipment (like the Chat 50). I'm considering bluetooth speakerphones at the remote site, or somehow acquiring Chat 50's to connect to the cell phones.

Does anyone have ideas/suggestions how to connect multiple groups from local to remote sites? Are there recommendations for online rental options?

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Postby sammythesm » Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:22 am

We do such things at my work all the time, and we use WebEx for the remote participants. Once inside the WebEx you can VoIP from your laptop or have it call a cell phone or desk phone.

The voice quality on a cell phone is going to be abysmal, so prepare yourself to be disappointed. The voice quality over VoIP may also be compromised if the meeting is long and boring and a lot of people are on the WiFi. :) It would be best to use hard phone lines and a relatively nice speakerphone.

Depending on the number of breakout sessions, you could try to use PVC, even if it is just audio-only PVC. Clearly if you have 2 or 3 PVC sessions open at once in your building, you're going to saturate your WAN connection pretty quickly.

The alternative is to just acknowledge that the church really isn't well-set-up for this, and encourage your leaders to ask for in-person attendance, like in the old days. :)

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Postby harddrive » Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:15 am

rgme, why not use PVC for all the sessions? I'm assuming that you have a good infrastructure and that you have the bandwidth available. You could use different accounts and rooms at the same time. PVC will work over wireless, but it is not ideal. That is what my stake does to during stake conference.

So just a thought.

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Postby rgme » Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:20 pm

I can't use multiple PVC sessions at the stake center because we don't really have the bandwidth to support it. I shut off the wireless so I can use every "bit" of our ~700k upload speed. I wish we had faster service! I know audio doesn't take much bandwidth, but I don't want to turn on the wireless with everybody in the building.
You do bring up a point, though...we could have PVC at the remote site call a phone at the stake center, so at least one side of the communication can use a computer with better speakers.

I realize the quality of cell-phone conferencing is terrible. We found out that there might just be 2-3 people in each remote site meeting, so we're leaning more towards the speakerphone idea...I think we're able to acquire speakerphones for 3 of the 4 meetings (including our polycom soundstation). We're trying to avoid asking these people to make the four-hour round trip for a 45-minute training. :)

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Postby johnshaw » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:02 am


Might be an interesting time to provide a use-case justification to FM for more bandwidth in your stake center, realizing of course, that it is likely you are maxed out, which is the case in many of my buildings.
“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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