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Hardware for laptop to support webcasts

Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:40 pm
by kurtzachary
I have read the Receiving Site Requirements on the Webcast Requirements page and have found that our stakes current laptop (which is many years old) is well under the recommendation of having a 4-core processor. I think it is time to upgrade but I'd like to avoid spending more money than is needed. I am wondering if the 4 cores need to be physical cores or does that include virtual cores. I'm also wondering if it would be OK to get Intel i5 cores (less expensive than i7 cores) and still have it be useful for several years. Does anyone have examples of what hardware you have that works well? Any recommendations would also be much appreciated.

Re: Hardware for laptop to support webcasts

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:56 pm
by Mikerowaved
If your laptop can stream HD videos from lds,org, then it should support the lower bandwidth streams sent via webcast.

Re: Hardware for laptop to support webcasts

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 8:49 am
by kurtzachary
thanks for responding, what you're saying makes sense but it leaves me wondering why the suggestion is for a 4 core processor. That seems like overkill and extra expense.

Re: Hardware for laptop to support webcasts

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 12:09 pm
by njgpeck
I also wondered why the suggestion of the 4 core processor.

I figured I'd test it with my laptop and see if it works. But I need to see if my "assistants" have laptops and test theirs as well.

Re: Hardware for laptop to support webcasts

Posted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 2:51 am
by Mikerowaved
kurtzachary wrote:...but it leaves me wondering why the suggestion is for a 4 core processor. That seems like overkill and extra expense.

The bullet that says, "4-core processor recommended" is (IMO) completely meaningless. A $35 Raspberry Pi has a quad-core CPU and meets all their other requirements - does it qualify? (Some would arguably say, "yes", but I haven't personally tried it.) On the flip side, there are 7th Generation i7 processors with only 2 physical cores that are WAY over-qualified for the job.

The best answer is to try it. Go to https://conference.lds.org and playback a talk at full-screen and look for any stuttering or video lag. Check that the CPU utilization is well under 80%. If it can do that, I'm sure it could playback the lower bandwidth streams we are limited to for webcasting. I'm tempted to drag out my old Core-2-Duo notebook and give it a go at playing back a webcast. I'd be surprised if it didn't hold up.

Re: Hardware for laptop to support webcasts

Posted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 12:14 pm
by russellhltn
And when the subject of receive hardware comes up, I keep remembering this post.

Re: Hardware for laptop to support webcasts

Posted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 2:21 pm
by kurtzachary
thanks for your responses, they are very helpful!

Re: Hardware for laptop to support webcasts

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 6:40 pm
by randysteck
Given our experience from the last 10 years, I would strongly recommend you NOT use a laptop on the receive end at all. We made a major decision 2.5 years ago to move away from them simply due to the fact that over 2/3 of all our streaming problems implicated the laptop in one way or another. The reason a laptop is recommended is that the Church techs are required to show connection "health" to their management as an indicator of their job performance. This is also the reason a dedicated video box is not supported. I note that russellhitn refers to the thread of a prolonged conversation on the topic.

I would strongly recommend you buy a ROKU, AppleTV, or similar and use an external streaming service for connection. We've been very happy with Sunday Streams and in 5 conference broadcasts have had ZERO transmission problems all while enjoying a 1080P picture at the remote locations.

It's really time to get out of Low Bandwidth Hades. I note that some are still even transmitting SD. See previous posts to see cheap alternatives that give much higher quality. We're not the only ones doing this, but perhaps more vocal that others. It's not as hard as we're making it to get excellent results with low overhead.

Best of luck.

Re: Hardware for laptop to support webcasts

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:45 am
by njgpeck
Which roku model supports a wired connection? The only ones I've seen are wireless but maybe I've missed a model somewhere. I did see that you can get a wired adapter for the amazon fire tv stick. Is something like that available for wirless only roku devices?

Re: Hardware for laptop to support webcasts

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:02 am
by Biggles
We have a Roku3 that is wired to the internet, as a backup for the satellite system.