Webcast Movement Problem

Conversations around originating a webcast for conference, including cameras and mixers.
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Webcast Movement Problem

Postby azcooks » Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:17 am

We have had problems with our broadcasts. When ever there is movement on the camera we lose the video. We have tried different cameras, different quality settings on the webcaster. Nothing seems to help. For example, when the choir stands up, when someone walks in front of the camera, or when the congregation stood for the rest hymn.

We tested this last stake conference. We broadcast the adult session on Saturday night with some problems but it was ok. Sunday morning was the worst, this one session alone will keep us from doing it in the future. Sunday afternoon was the best. I am not sure if the problem exists on the server side or on our side.

Our buildings are pretty old, but we do have wireless access points, which I unplugged to limit the number of people using the internet during conference.

Here is our setup.

Stake Center:
Cisco 881W firewall
12mb connection
Wired network connection
2 canon cameras
Roland V-4 video switcher

Ward buildings:
Cisco 881W firewalls
7mb connection
Wired network connection

We tried several different laptops.
Windows 7 laptop i5 proc 8gb ram
MacBook Air i5 proc 4gb ram

We have been told that we will have one of the general authorities at our next stake conference and that he may want to do only one session webcast to the other buildings. I need to figure this out before then. Any help you can give would be appreciated.


Mesa Arizona

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Re: Webcast Movement Problem

Postby russellhltn » Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:25 am

Have you determined if the problem is on the upload or download side?
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: Webcast Movement Problem

Postby johnshaw » Sun Apr 07, 2013 5:49 pm

In your stake Center you say a 12/D connection, however, what is the relevant Upload speeds, that is the critical speed for the webcast from the stake center.

What setting do you have the webcaster set to? Upload is Low/Med/High quality which setting do you use.

I can only tell you that your setup is nearly exactly the same as mine... 2 cameras, webcaster unit -- Roland Video Mixer All Wired Connections.... Big difference is this:

I have a 1.5M D and a .384 U speed. I have successfully uploaded webcasts approximately 10 times at that speed in 2 different meetinghouses (same internet speeds)... It seems strange.

Have you tried different cameras?

What do you mean by 'lose picture' the screen goes to blue?
“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: Webcast Movement Problem

Postby rogerscr » Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:26 pm

It seems to be an encode issue, but we could be fooled, those mixers also do an encode/decode to deal with frame syncing. I just got back from testing our new Webcast Communicator and hooked a DVD player up directly for test purposes. Have you tried that? I used the Restoration DVD which has a complex background and frequent pans and scene cuts which bring out some blocky encoding with the unit. Make sure the Webcaster is in the same setup as stake conference as far as ventilation and heat. Give that a try and if it works then you know it isn't the Webcast unit, maybe it is the Roland mixer.

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Re: Webcast Movement Problem

Postby richielloydbrown » Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:09 am

Here are a couple of questions I have:
· What are the model numbers of the cameras?
· How are you controlling the cameras?
· Is the webcaster you refer to the Hardware Communicator that the Church sells?
· How far are the camera video runs?
· Are you utilizing the S-video or Composite connections? Anything over 100’ can be questionable. If you have adapters or questionable connectors the effective distance will shrink.
· Is the image disappearing locally (hopefully you have a preview monitor connected to the VR) or is only on the receiving sites that lose video?

My theory is we are losing sync or the signal isn’t strong enough and any change in the picture and you lose video momentarily.
Richard L. Brown
Meetinghouse Technology Coordination Specialist

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Re: Webcast Movement Problem

Postby rogerscr » Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:01 am

Ooh, I like that suggestion. With weak signal and a horizontal dark surface at the bottom of the frame it would be easy to loose sync.

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Re: Webcast Movement Problem

Postby ghilton001 » Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:48 pm

Ryan, can I just say, "I feel your pain". I am the Stake Technology Specialist over A/V in the Mesa Boulder Creek Stake (Guadalupe and Hwy 202). Prior to this calling our stake suffered for over 3 years without a single successful webcast for stake conferences. Attendance in the other ward buildings had all but flat lined because our members had learned that typically after about 15 or 20 minutes into the conference either the video or audio would fail. There were no audio bridges in place to provide backup via land-line or mobile phone conference call fail safes, nothing. Our stake presidency cringed at the start of each conference because they knew that shortly after it would begin all 3 presidents could expect an influx of text messages reporting "dead air" in all of the buildings. Did I say this went on for over three years?

After receiving the calling of STS, I stripped everything down to brass tax to better understand how to pinpoint the problems and provide a resolve. I understand all of the elements and complexities of broadcasting video/audio streams over the internet. Earlier in my career I helped develop software with a local Gilbert vendor that was used by the O.J Simpson defense team to present evidence in the courtroom as well as stream video onto the internet to be received by CourtTV for their reporting purposes. And that was 20 years ago! In fact, if you Google "Gary Hilton CBS News" you can watch an interview I gave on CBS This Morning and the Today Show demonstrating the use of my software in his trial.

That said, I want you to know that I really am a very humble soul but sometimes I come across blogs like yours and I feel empathetic for what you are faced with and I understand the problems and frustrations you are dealing with of which most are probably not even staring you in the face and I want to help.

It took me roughly 8 months to iron out all of the issues that prevented our stake from having success broadcasting our web casts but also receiving the program in our 3 other ward buildings. You cannot just look at the problem and speculate an answer. If you truly want to figure out why you are experiencing these issues than you have to attack it very systematically. The last thing you want to do is try random changes to your software configurations or different wiring methods, etc. etc. I take my hat off to others making suggestions to you. They are all sound and certainly may work ... as long as all of the other variables in their setup is exactly the same as yours. And I am willing to bet that they are probably not.

I began my trek to resolving my stake's A/V Web-casting problems which plagued them for over 3 years by first sketching a schematic of all of the wires withing each of the buildings in an effort to discover if they were still in place as originally designed and installed. They were not. I worked closely with our FM group and their original drawings. I found wires that were "spliced" or "redirected" by past STS persons either to band-aid a problem at the time or to implement a new "pet project" that more than likely was out-of-spec of the church's design and support capabilities. This led to signal loss in my video distribution in some cases and made it impossible to get an audio signal into my communicator without a horrific buzzing in others. Needless to say, It was a real mess. The head of our FM Group, Allen Woodruff, employed a sound engineer to assist me to test ground fault and dB levels for every wire in all 4 buildings. We ended up replacing several pieces of equipment and some of the wire runs just to get our units back into "spec" with the church's original plans and specifications. And guess what? Our audio and video including HQ broadcasts and Stake Conference webcasts are sharper, clearer, and sound better than most stereo stores demo rooms. I am serious.

As a result of spending the time to understand all of the technology and elements that the church has obviously researched long and hard to "get it right" I had learned enough about the inner workings of the sound system and switching devices that I wrote a free Android App that help me to better understand how the microphones and folding partitions reacted when different scenarios had them open or closed to combine to rooms, etc. This very confusing to me and not well documented. The app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and is called LDS A/V Assistant. It graphically shows which microphones can be heard in different parts of the building depending on which folding partitions in the chapel / cultural hall/ overflow areas are opened or closed.

Ryan, we both live in Mesa. I am willing to spend time with you to put you on the right track to resolve the issue(s) you are currently experiencing with your web casting. I can at least come out to your Stake and assess what is happening with you and help you to make a proper diagnosis as to what is causing you issues. If this is something you would like me to help you with, please contact me either by email or calling me directly on my cell phone. I can be reached at (602) 882-5932.

The Boulder creek stake center and the 3 other ward buildings have not experienced any audio or video problems in almost a year now. Our next stake conference is June 1st. It will be the 4th webcast that will hopefully prove "fault free".

We are back to full attendance in all of our buildings now that our members have their confidence restored that they can be blessed by hearing the entire message of our stake and regional leaders.

Feel free to call on me anytime.

Gary Hilton
Monterey Ward
Mesa, AZ

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Re: Webcast Movement Problem

Postby azcooks » Sun Mar 02, 2014 7:02 pm

Thank you for all of the replies!

After working with Salt Lake and several contractors and our local FM Group we were able to fix our problem. In an attempt to move the cameras above the motion, we put them up high on a ladder. By moving them up high we were able to keep any motion as far away from the camera as possible. We then had the cameras mounted to the ceiling and we had a very successful stake conference. Hopefully we will continue to be successful in this endeavor. Again, thank you for all of your input and I apologize for not responding to this sooner, I forgot that I had posted this.

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