Stake Conference broadcast upgrades

Conversations around originating a webcast for conference, including cameras and mixers.
harddrive
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Stake Conference broadcast upgrades

Postby harddrive » Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:45 am

Over the last 3 years, I have been working with my stake presidency to broadcast stake conference. Things have gone very well up to this last month. The one big thing that needs to happen as you probably know is to SHUT DOWN WIRELESS.

We purchased a Sony EVI-D70 camera and using the RCA out to an Osprey 260e capture card. We then are using personal video conferencing (PVC) as our transport mechanism. We went to this because we discovered that the webcasting software wasn't great and the workstations at the buildings would freeze and there were too many potential problem. We found other problems such as sync issue and just unstable. The cable run from the camera to the computer right now is on RG-6 cable.

At our last stake conference the video resolution through PVC dropped to a low setting and the picture quality wasn't that great. My team had a meeting with the stake presidency about what happened and what we need to make things better. The big item that he wants us to focus on is to make the sound of the choir over the broadcast much better. We are working with a sound engineer to be able to mount ceiling microphones over the choir and then run those to a mixer for controlling. I'm waiting on him to get back to me on this.

We are also looking to set up everything permanently so that we don't have to set up each time and someone else can run it when necessary. So the cable runs from the chapel to the room we are going to use is going to be under 200 feet at maximum.

So with the choir microphones being the priority, the next part we are looking at is a good mixer and then adding a second camera so that we can zoom in and out without the members seeing it.

We have a couple of idea on mixers that I think would be terrific. They are from Roland and one is the VR-3 and the other is VR-50HD. I like the VR-50HD, but the going street price is $7,500. Both of these are audio/video mixers and both has USB out so that we can stream to our computer for webcasting.

Now my stake presidency is willing to go to HD, but the price, the way that I'm looking at is very expensive. I would be looking at a PTZ camera doing HD-SDI connection and they start at $4,000, so for an investment of about $12,000, I can go full broadcast quality HD.

I reread some of the feedback I got from my users helping us out at other building and he was thinking that an HD camcorder would do just as well. Those can be picked up for about $1,000. The question then becomes how to get the video off the camera to the computer to be able to broadcast it out. Also need to control it.

So the question is what camera are you using and how is the picture? Also, would a camcorder picture be as good as a HD-SDI broadcast quality camera? I don't think so but it could.

I'm looking at the camera that we should perhaps go with. The reason that I ask this is because I have new cables to run. I want to be able to pull the right cable so that I don't have to pull out the wrong cable and replace it with the right cable.

So I'm looking at a camera recommendation and perhaps wiring. I can use ethernet, coaxial, HD-SDI coax or what ever to make the connection. So any help and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I want to make this better for my stake and I need some help.

Terry

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johnshaw
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Re: Stake Conference broadcast upgrades

Postby johnshaw » Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:02 am

Might be good to include your bandwidth for all meetinghouses involved... that will help determine whether HD is of true value or not.
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russellhltn
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Re: Stake Conference broadcast upgrades

Postby russellhltn » Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:08 am

JohnShaw wrote:Might be good to include your bandwidth for all meetinghouses involved... that will help determine whether HD is of true value or not.

Because of the way that the church servers work, all buildings must be able to receive whatever is transmitted. They will not downgrade a stream to fit the receiver's bandwidth.

So if just one building doesn't have the bandwidth for HD, you can't do HD.

And just because an ISP advertises a given bandwidth, it doesn't mean you can get it for 2 hours on a Sunday. I'd run mock tests before going "all in".
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harddrive
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Re: Stake Conference broadcast upgrades

Postby harddrive » Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:53 am

Thanks for letting me know. All my buildings in my stake currently have cable Internet from either Comcast or Metrocast.

Russ, I agree with you on the mock test. to do the testing, I need to get the equipment to do it. I guess that I could test with my webcam that can do 720p to all the buildings. I'm still looking for information on camera so that we can improve the picture quality. Also TM now shows me bandwidth usage for each location. Also PVC sending out HD video, sends like 2 meg a second and all my building has that much bandwidth available to them.

Thanks for the feedback.

russellhltn
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Re: Stake Conference broadcast upgrades

Postby russellhltn » Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:37 pm

Right - by mock test I mean setting up the broadcast end before buying all the camera equipment, mixers, etc. So all you need for the test is one source and a capture card. There even may be ways of skimping on that since you don't have to have a live camera. A recorded source would probably do. Like a playback of GC.
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sammythesm
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Re: Stake Conference broadcast upgrades

Postby sammythesm » Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:25 am

I've also been looking into this.

Couple of inputs I have:
- I've found the least expensive solution for video mixing in HD is Blackmagic Design's ATEM unit at $999. It can handle HD-SDI, but you have to be careful on mixing types of inputs. Not everything is supported. Michaelfish did a great analysis here: (viewtopic.php?f=27&t=16112&p=111050)
- I'm having a really hard time finding camera control solutions for the HD PTZ cameras that are out there. It was easier with Sony's EV-D70 - seems like there is more support/solutions out there, especially inexpensive ones. I'm still using Louis' D70 Commander. (viewtopic.php?f=27&t=5785&p=49042)
- You could use PVC instead of the Webcast software for a more adaptive HD video stream for the other buildings. You do need to have solid upstream bandwidth, though, so it's worth testing for sure.

harddrive
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Re: Stake Conference broadcast upgrades

Postby harddrive » Fri Aug 02, 2013 12:43 pm

Thank you for all the feedback. We have decided to stay with SD for now. We will make sure that we put in cable that is capable of doing SD, but also HD-SDI so that when we go to that, we don't have to worry about upgrading cabling.

As of right now, our setup will be

2 - Sony EVI-D70 cameras with camera controls
1 - Roland VR-3 mixer
1 - Computer
2 or more choir microphones. Still needs to be worked out

Broadcast software will be Vidyo that is used for personal video conferencing. We can get all of this for about $4,000. Some of this is already in house, like one of the cameras and the computers.

The key to this is audio and video comes second.

macdaddy153
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Re: Stake Conference broadcast upgrades

Postby macdaddy153 » Sun Aug 11, 2013 3:53 pm

A couple of comments. PTZ controller. we are using PTZController software and a usb/rs422 adapter utilizing cat6 ethernet cable to our sony hd100s HD camera. It took some fiddling but has been solid. The PTZControler software supports game controllers(ps3 and many others), joysticks and keyboard and is very programmable. we are using a Logitech Extreme 3d pro gaming joystick to control the camera. The ptz sw was $30 somthing and the usb/rs422 adapter was about $20-ish. the Joystick <$30. Broadcasts- Brainstorm last conference. we will generate 2 streams on 2 different computers for broadcast. One stream at HD and one at SD. Units can choose which stream works best for them. Poor bandwidth at one site will not degrade HD capability elsewhere in the stake.

russellhltn
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Re: Stake Conference broadcast upgrades

Postby russellhltn » Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:59 pm

macdaddy153 wrote:we will generate 2 streams on 2 different computers for broadcast. One stream at HD and one at SD. Units can choose which stream works best for them. Poor bandwidth at one site will not degrade HD capability elsewhere in the stake.

If the upload will support both, and you have the equipment for both, that should work.
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hshthe7th
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Re: Stake Conference broadcast upgrades

Postby hshthe7th » Sun Oct 27, 2013 7:48 am

What about just having Stake Conference the old fashoned way with everybody there and no broadcast. I'm am slightly confused about where we are going with this impersonal, non face-to-face tech stuff. Save the Lord's money and feed a family or save a home for someone with those funds? Can we now Skype priesthood ordinances...? Not wanting to be over critical but can someone help me out here?


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