Journey from SD to HD Webcasting

Conversations around originating a webcast for conference, including cameras and mixers.
CalS201
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Journey from SD to HD Webcasting

Postby CalS201 » Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:16 pm

Back in the dark ages when webcasting began, we had one EVI-D70 camera. We quickly learned it was difficult to produce a pleasing stake conference with all the herky-jerky . camera movements. We got a lot of comments! So we added a video mixer and used a member’s camcorder as a second camera. Things were a little better but other issues cropped up - like communicating to the camcorder operator, color balance between cameras, video noise, etc. Wanting to make things better, we found we could buy used EVI-D30 cameras on ebay for <$75ea, so we bought three cameras. With 3 cameras we could now produce a stake conference with NO live camera movements, and a variety of camera angles just like general conference(left, center, and right views). The comments were now MUCH better. This setup served us well for a long time.

When FM gave us the VidiU encoder in 2015, the stake presy asked us to begin upgrading to HD cameras and equipment. However, buying several new HD PTZ cameras + HD Switcher at the same time was a problem for the stake budget, so we got creative. In late 2015 we researched and found a older model (Canon HF-M40) HD camcorder (with large noisefree 1/3” sensor) that still used an IR remote controller (for remote ‘zoom’ control) and purchased several used at $200each from ebay. Even today, excellent quality refurbished Canon camcorders (models HF- G30/G20/M50) are available on the canon website at low prices. We proceeded to mount the camcorders on top of our old EVI-D30 cameras to give us pan/tilt capability. It isn’t pretty to look at, but we have 4 HD camcorders with PTZ for <$1K – which can be used until prices are more reasonable on “real” HD PTZ cameras! In early 2016 we completed the rest of the system. To get the camera HDMI signals to the switcher, we opted to use robust RG59 coax and inexpensive HDMI/SDI converters (using long, amplified HDMI cables is not as reliable). The addition of the Roland V1-HD Switcher, a 1x4 HDMI Splitter, HDMItoAV Converter, 1X2 Video DA, and a LOT of wires made the system complete.

With this “all digital” HD video signal path, the encoded webcast has no visible noise, more dynamic range & contrast, better resolution, and more saturated color than before. The last step will be to replace the obsolete 800x600pixel, dim projectors in several bldgs. Attached is a schematic of the system.
Attachments
Webcast Equipment Layout with ROLAND SWITCHER-Aug2016.pdf
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DIY HD PTZ Camera.jpg
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sbradshaw
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Re: Journey from SD to HD Webcasting

Postby sbradshaw » Sun Oct 16, 2016 4:36 pm

Interesting idea to use your old cameras together with the new for pan/tilt.
Dual-camera setups are all the rage – maybe you can broadcast conference in 3D. :)
Samuel Bradshaw • Interested in church apps and sites, creative recordkeeping, clerk support, YSA wards and stakes, LDS music, Vineyard at BYU, and online service.

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Mikerowaved
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Re: Journey from SD to HD Webcasting

Postby Mikerowaved » Sun Oct 16, 2016 10:07 pm

I've been webcasting in HD off and on for quite some time now, the latest one being this morning. We used 2 Canon Vixia home video cameras mounted on tripods and operated by two brethren. One camera was centered and the other angled from the back-left of the chapel. The operators knew how tight to zoom in on the speaker and when to zoom out for the choir. (It's not rocket science.) I passed a few instructions to them via text message, but only a couple of times. The cameras were fed via active HDMI cables to an i7 PC with 2 Blackmagic Intensity Pro capture cards installed. Wirecast was used to pull it all together and add some titling and other niceties.
So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

CalS201
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Re: Journey from SD to HD Webcasting

Postby CalS201 » Mon Oct 17, 2016 10:15 am

Congrats on a successful webcast! Our August HD webcast was also successful, once we got past some very stressful startup problems.

Mikerowaved wrote:I've been webcasting in HD off and on for quite some time now............ Wirecast was used to pull it all together and add some titling and other niceties.


Do you have any TVs/projectors in your stake center that display the conference? Do you see any video/audio lipsync issues?

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Mikerowaved
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Re: Journey from SD to HD Webcasting

Postby Mikerowaved » Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:40 pm

CalS201 wrote:Do you have any TVs/projectors in your stake center that display the conference? Do you see any video/audio lipsync issues?

Yes, we had one projector in the cultural hall and one TV in the RS room. I cheated somewhat and took advantage of the HDMI pass-through feature of the Blackmagic card and sent the signal from Camera 1 (straight on shot) thru the card and to an HDMI / SD converter box. The composite video output from that was fed into the stake center's video distribution system. Those viewing it locally only saw the raw feed from Camera 1, but it eliminated the problem of not syncing with the building's audio system.
So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

craiggsmith
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Re: Journey from SD to HD Webcasting

Postby craiggsmith » Sun Oct 23, 2016 2:35 pm

Thanks to both of you for the tips. Hope to move to HD one of these days.
Craig
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South Jordan, UT


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