Dedicated laptops for receiving webcasts in all buildings

Conversations around originating a webcast for conference, including cameras and mixers.
justincy
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Dedicated laptops for receiving webcasts in all buildings

Postby justincy » Tue Jan 27, 2015 8:29 am

We have heard that a common problem with webcasts in receiving buildings is that a ward member's laptop is used and each one ends up being different and requires different setup instructions and runs into different problems. Have you guys experienced this?

It was recommended to us by another STS that we buy a dedicated webcasting laptop for each building so that the setup instructions are the same for each building. Do you think this is necessary?

lchoyt
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Re: Dedicated laptops for receiving webcasts in all building

Postby lchoyt » Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:13 pm

We have found that this is the best way to handle the broadcasts. This way if you run into a problem with one computer you can correct it on all of the computers. Also over the years different members have helped with the broadcasts and it's easier have the same setup and plan every time.

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Re: Dedicated laptops for receiving webcasts in all building

Postby russellhltn » Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:34 pm

Out of curiosity, how many broadcasts do you folks do? If limited to stake conferences, that would be twice a year. So given a 5-7 year lifetime for a computer, that's 10-14 broadcasts.

What about using the clerk machines? Yes, it's a hassle to move them and set them up with a keyboard and mouse. But it's only twice a year.

Or is there a lower-cost alternative? Can a Raspberry Pi do this?
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Mikerowaved
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Re: Dedicated laptops for receiving webcasts in all building

Postby Mikerowaved » Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:53 pm

I've never had a problem of not getting the same one or two notebooks each time to receive a broadcast. The members that help me setup the receive end of things are really good about bringing their own.
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mwgbell
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Re: Dedicated laptops for receiving webcasts in all building

Postby mwgbell » Tue Jan 27, 2015 10:53 pm

We always use the Clerk computers. Drag one out of the clerk's office and plug it into the Ethernet jack at the podium. It sends VGA to the projector (we don't bother bringing out the clerk monitor; just use the projector instead of the monitor). And audio output through the crab box to the building sound system. Seems to work fine, and takes about 15 minutes.

It doesn't give HDMI quality, but since the FM group will not provision anything more than about 1MB (if we are lucky, late at night) upload speed from the Stake Center (more typically in the 500-750K range according to the firewall speed test), there isn't enough quality for anything more than VGA in any case.

justincy
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Re: Dedicated laptops for receiving webcasts in all building

Postby justincy » Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:14 am

Thanks for the sound advice. I'll probably recommend against getting a laptop for each receiving location since they've all received broadcasts before and we haven't heard of it being a problem. We will have Assistant STSs at each location; they'll be able to take care of it well.

drepouille
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Re: Dedicated laptops for receiving webcasts in all building

Postby drepouille » Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:25 am

I would love to have an Ethernet jack at the podium. For that matter, I would love to have an Ethernet jack in the stake clerk's office!
Years ago, when the FM hosted a regional conference, he needed an Ethernet jack in the cultural hall, so he installed one, very quickly I might add.
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mwgbell
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Re: Dedicated laptops for receiving webcasts in all building

Postby mwgbell » Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:45 am

You might try Powerline networking. We needed an Access Point in the "Seminary wing" of one of our buildings, and the FM group was unwilling to provision a drop. We purchased ZyXEL 600 Mbps Mini Powerline AV2 Gigabit Adapter with AC Pass Through http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EPGHHSS/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 for about $100. Works great, and seems to be fast enough to not bottleneck (the bottleneck is the Internet download).

The nice thing is that you can move the "remote" unit should you need a temporary drop somewhere.

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Re: Dedicated laptops for receiving webcasts in all building

Postby lajackson » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:00 pm

drepouille wrote:Years ago, when the FM hosted a regional conference, he needed an Ethernet jack in the cultural hall, so he installed one, very quickly I might add.

Ask him to give a fireside in the chapel, next time. [grin]

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Re: Dedicated laptops for receiving webcasts in all building

Postby aclawson » Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:06 pm

mwgbell wrote:You might try Powerline networking. We needed an Access Point in the "Seminary wing" of one of our buildings, and the FM group was unwilling to provision a drop. We purchased ZyXEL 600 Mbps Mini Powerline AV2 Gigabit Adapter with AC Pass Through http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EPGHHSS/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 for about $100. Works great, and seems to be fast enough to not bottleneck (the bottleneck is the Internet download).


These "solutions" are notorious for causing interference to amateur radio operations as the Powerline adapters are invariably poorly designed and rely on people not caring that they routinely violate the law in terms of harmful emissions. If an amateur radio operator in the neighborhood identifies interference that is coming from your building and requests that you turn it off - even during the middle of a webcast - then you are morally and legally obligated to do so, with hefty fines potentially in the works if you ignore the Part 15 rules.


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