Stake Conference Broadcast and Internet Speeds

Conversations around originating a webcast for conference, including cameras and mixers.
lajackson
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Stake Conference Broadcast and Internet Speeds

Postby lajackson » Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:04 pm

I just watched the latest tech broadcast and was struck by a comment concerning broadcasting stake conferences between meetinghouses.

I believe I saw a slide that said there was good success with uplinking from the stake center to the server, but much trouble downloading the stream at the receiving ward. Did I understand correctly the concept that the uplink from the stake center needs to be geared to the receiving capability of the meetinghouse with the slowest Internet connection?

In other words, if all of the buildings have a superb (haha) 2.4 meg download capacity, but one of the buildings has a puny 728 k capacity, the broadcast needs to be originated from the stake center at the capability of the 728 k building, and not the other 2.4 M buildings?

Otherwise, the broadcast will overrun the slow building and fail there?

This is a sickening concept for me. But if it is true, it would explain the majority of the problems we have had with our two stake conference broadcasts so far. And as I listened to the Tech broadcast Friday, I got the distinct impression that this is the case.

russellhltn
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Re: Stake Conference Broadcast and Internet Speeds

Postby russellhltn » Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:56 pm

lajackson wrote:Did I understand correctly the concept that the uplink from the stake center needs to be geared to the receiving capability of the meetinghouse with the slowest Internet connection?


That's right. It appears that the server can copy the streams so that one upstream can be sent to multiple sites, but it can't adapt/down-sample for a meetinghouse with a lower-grade connection.
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Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

harddrive
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Re: Stake Conference Broadcast and Internet Speeds

Postby harddrive » Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:05 am

LaJackson, I can feel your pain. This is one of the reasons why I gave up on meetinghouse webcasting was because the slowest link that I had in my stake was a 3 megabits/sec down. That link has been upgraded this week. So now, perhaps, meetinghouse webcasting would work better. Also the workstations at the end of the circuit would freeze and other issues.

The other reason that I gave up on it was the lag time and also my stake president wants to do multi-building broadcasting. So in our stake we switched over to using Personal Video Conferencing (PVC). It has worked very well. We did have a bit of a problem this past time and are currently in the process of trying to upgrade and improve things.

With the lag time there was no real way of having a good backup plan of voice only.

Hope this helps.
Terry

lajackson
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Re: Stake Conference Broadcast and Internet Speeds

Postby lajackson » Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:09 am

harddrive wrote:So in our stake we switched over to using Personal Video Conferencing (PVC). It has worked very well. We did have a bit of a problem this past time and are currently in the process of trying to upgrade and improve things.

But doesn't that require some pretty hefty Internet speeds, as well?

harddrive
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Re: Stake Conference Broadcast and Internet Speeds

Postby harddrive » Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:18 am

It can. When you are using HD video it can take as much as 2 megabits/sec. However, the cool part about PVC is that it is consistently monitoring the network and will adjust picture quality to maintain continuity.

It also has a setting for video so that you can use it over limited bandwidth links. Now the thing is this, the computers that I'm using at the buildings are the clerk computers, which have no camera connected to them. So they are receivers only.

the other thing you want to do for the next broadcast is shut off access to all wireless in the building. This was one of our biggest problems for our last stake conference. We had 2 routers reboot on us and one of them was at the stake center. Fortunately it was on Saturday night during a test. That is when we discovered that we have 100 devices on the network. So we shut down wireless and things improved. The next day we had another unit that had to shut its wireless off to get better quality.

PVC can handle network fluctuation better than meetinghouse webcasting. It can be set up for limited bandwidth.

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richielloydbrown
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Re: Stake Conference Broadcast and Internet Speeds

Postby richielloydbrown » Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:00 pm

I saw this discussion and thought I would add a confirmation on the things you've mentioned. Unfortunately, Webcast does not yet include a variable or multi-bit rate feature. So it is recommended that you select a bit rate that can be supported by all the internet connections in the stake. This typically means settling for a lower picture quality in order to have a successful broadcast.

I acknowledge this is a big draw-back, and we are working to address it. This is top priority for us and, thankfully we now have many options for multi/variable-bit rate solutions available. As was mentioned in the broadcast, we are beginning our solution selection phase and will be examing all those options during 4th quarter 2013.

I apologize that we cannot offer a more immediate solution in the mean-time.
Sincerely,

Richard Brown
Richard L. Brown
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mht@ldschurch.org

lajackson
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Re: Stake Conference Broadcast and Internet Speeds

Postby lajackson » Wed Aug 07, 2013 1:30 pm

richielloydbrown wrote:I saw this discussion and thought I would add a confirmation on the things you've mentioned. Unfortunately, Webcast does not yet include a variable or multi-bit rate feature. So it is recommended that you select a bit rate that can be supported by all the internet connections in the stake. This typically means settling for a lower picture quality in order to have a successful broadcast.

Thank you for chiming in. We will try our third broadcast two months from now, with two challenges, one old and one new.

The old challenge is that the slow building is rated at 728 k down. This would be (barely) sufficient according to Church standards, except on the Sunday of stake conference when it drops to 125 k and we are out of options. Yes, we remove the antennas and shut down the wireless and all of that. The Internet vendor has the privilege of not being required to provide the rated service, they don't, and no one else wants to, either.

The new challenge is that we will not know from which building we will originate stake conference until less than a week before stake conference Sunday.

So, either way, I need to plan to be out of town. [grin]

(But I won't be.)

lajackson
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Re: Stake Conference Broadcast and Internet Speeds

Postby lajackson » Wed Aug 07, 2013 1:40 pm

harddrive wrote:Now the thing is this, the computers that I'm using at the buildings are the clerk computers, which have no camera connected to them. So they are receivers only.

Wow. I missed this the first time I read it.

Are you saying you originate the PVC at the stake center, then at the receiving end use the admin computer to pick it up without any intent to be able to camera a picture back?

And also I have to ask this terrible question. How slow of a download speed have you been able to adequately make it work?

harddrive
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Re: Stake Conference Broadcast and Internet Speeds

Postby harddrive » Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:34 pm

Yes, PVC is originated at the stake center. I send out my room link and then the clerk computer join my room. So no, I don't see anything back from the ward buildings.

We have had successful test on a DSL link with a maximum of 3 megabits/second down. Now there were problems when the wireless was activated, but it was ok. Now, I would say to test PVC at the building that you have a slow connection at. I would try to tell the software that you have limited bandwidth and see what happens.

Hope this helps.


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