Stake Conference Broadcast Keeps Getting Better

Conversations around originating a webcast for conference, including cameras and mixers.
tleish-p40
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Stake Conference Broadcast Keeps Getting Better

Postby tleish-p40 » Sun Jan 13, 2008 2:38 pm

First we dropped the microwave dish to broadcast our Stake Conference and went with the Slingbox to broadcast over the internet
See: http://tech.lds.org/forum/showthread.php?t=45#post193

Then we did text/video overlay for Hymns
See: http://tech.lds.org/forum/showthread.php?t=61

This last conference we updated our really old and really big camera. We had several problems.

1. Picture Quality: Lenses have come a long way
2. Placement: people would bump the tripod. The camera and operator also blocked the view of a few people.
3. Height: if we put it on a box stand so as to see above the crowd when people stood it would jiggle every time the operator moved.
4. Pan/Tilt/Zoom: unless you have a professional operating it, you can get motion sick from watching them tweak it.
5. More people had to be involved to "run the show".

Our solution was to replace the old camera with a CCTV Camera. After some research we decided on Canon VC-C50i. The reasons are:

1. PC Controlled Pan/Tilt/Zoom using a serial cable
2. 26x Zoom (we needed at least 24x)
3. 9 Pan/Tilt/Zoom presets: I didn't need all 9 of them, but it was nice to zoom to Speaker, Choir or Conductor with the touch of a button. Great motion and precision. The speed of all 3 pan/tilt/zoom is easily controlled.
4. Price: lower than some

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/313548-REG/Canon_0667B001_VC_C50i_1_4_Inch_CCD_Communication.html
Image


We just had our conference today and I was setup in the library controlling the camera, the Slingbox transmission and the text overlay. The camera was mounted up on a ledge in the chapel where it was out of the way and no one could bump or block it. The image was fantastic.

Anyway, thought I'd share in case anyone else ever looks into the same thing.

rmrichesjr
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Postby rmrichesjr » Sun Jan 13, 2008 6:51 pm

That sounds like a great setup.

For anyone on a smaller budget, one thing that can be done for manual pan and maybe for tilt is to extend the arm/handle of the tripod's pan/tilt head with something flexible. I used an 18-inch piece of black poly tubing ("funny pipe" to lawn sprinkler installers) attached by duct tape. With some viscous damping in the tripod head, the funny pipe provided a very good mechanical low-pass filter for panning.

For zooming, I wired a 3-conductor jack in parallel with the zoom buttons on my camcorder, then put four pushbuttons in a small plastic utility/project box. That gave me zoom capability without touching the camera. I called the little box my "zoom box". :-)

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Sun Jan 13, 2008 7:44 pm

tleish wrote:The image was fantastic.


Even on the big screen?

tleish-p40
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Postby tleish-p40 » Sun Jan 13, 2008 10:24 pm

RussellHltn wrote:Even on the big screen?


I was referring to the image projected on the screens in the same building as the camera. The building receiving the broadcast over the internet doesn't get a perfect picture.

BTW, before we bought this canon another pan/tilt/zoom option we were looking at was products by Trackercam like the MotorPod which is a cheaper solution if you already have a handicam.

Image

http://www.trackercam.com/TCamWeb/motorpod.htm

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Sun Jan 13, 2008 10:45 pm

Oh man.... NOW you tell me. Why didn't you post this when we were working on the 2008 stake budgets? :D

eyoungberg-p40
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Line-Of-Sight system that works really well.

Postby eyoungberg-p40 » Thu Jan 31, 2008 4:24 pm

(I'm new to this so hopefully this posts OK). Just FYI ...

Our three buildings are in Utah County. Each of the ward buildings has line-of-sight to the stake center. Broadcast is done using an over-the-air ethernet system (802.11A) from Proxim. Backup uses a telephone conferencing center. The system has worked flawlessly now for 3 conferences and we are on target for another next week.

The key to the systems reliability and success is the right installer, as well as equipment.

Bandwidth of the system supports more than one HD video stream - more than sufficient for the conference. Stake-wide, church approved internet access is also possible. A small media server provides the encoding. We plan to use it at some point to provide shut-in support as well.

Our next projects are camera and projector installations, small (but needed) upgrades to the media encoder and telephone backup system. Farther down the road I would like to move to network appliances for the media stream encode/decode. Axis makes very good equipment, but newer, less-expensive Linux-based boxes are begining to surface.

We utilize the ERC organization (hams) on event day to help with logistics of telephone backup, reporting problems and headcounts.

KGBurton
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Stake Simulcast

Postby KGBurton » Fri Apr 04, 2008 2:26 pm

eyoungberg wrote:(I'm new to this so hopefully this posts OK). Just FYI ...

Our three buildings are in Utah County. Each of the ward buildings has line-of-sight to the stake center. Broadcast is done using an over-the-air ethernet system (802.11A) from Proxim. Backup uses a telephone conferencing center. The system has worked flawlessly now for 3 conferences and we are on target for another next week.

The key to the systems reliability and success is the right installer, as well as equipment.

Bandwidth of the system supports more than one HD video stream - more than sufficient for the conference. Stake-wide, church approved internet access is also possible. A small media server provides the encoding. We plan to use it at some point to provide shut-in support as well.

Our next projects are camera and projector installations, small (but needed) upgrades to the media encoder and telephone backup system. Farther down the road I would like to move to network appliances for the media stream encode/decode. Axis makes very good equipment, but newer, less-expensive Linux-based boxes are begining to surface.

We utilize the ERC organization (hams) on event day to help with logistics of telephone backup, reporting problems and headcounts.


I would like to know more about your setup. What do you use for the broadcast machine? for the receivers? what is the media server that you refer to? We tried high-speed radios for the network and it is just too expensive (although it worked very well).

When is the next time you will do this?

Thanks
Ken

eyoungberg-p40
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Postby eyoungberg-p40 » Fri Apr 04, 2008 3:09 pm

junkman1989 wrote:I would like to know more about your setup. What do you use for the broadcast machine? for the receivers? what is the media server that you refer to? We tried high-speed radios for the network and it is just too expensive (although it worked very well).

When is the next time you will do this?

Thanks
Ken


Hi Ken,

The Proxim radios are Tsunami MP-11a.

The A/V encoder is Windows Media Encoder running on a Win 2003 server, but I think we are soon going to change to a dedicated video server running on some sort of Linux appliance. You can find the latter for $100 - $600, depending upon features and manufacturer.

The A/V decoders are currently two laptops running Windows Media Player. The laptops are used for other functions thoughout the year. I believe we will be changing those soon for dedicated video decoders, which are a little more pricey than the dedicated video encoder.

In our stake we are serving upwards of 1500 people in a single session. We see the issue as needing high reliability at a reasonable cost. If the conference fails part way through, attandance goes down. If you have two sessions, there are other issues. Our stake presidency is committed to making this work, which is the key. We are in our third year of using the system, and our 5th year of trying various other methods for doing this. The dedicated radios are the only thing that has worked well.

Our next stake conference is sometime in August, I believe. You are welcome to come by and visit anytime.

Please feel free to call as well - 801-489-1121.

Eric

rknelson
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Phone Line Audio Backup Question

Postby rknelson » Fri Apr 04, 2008 4:18 pm

We are preparing for a stake conference "simulcast" to a second building in 3 weeks. This is our first attempt. I've really appreciated all the posts here and we have used many of the ideas over the past 3 months as we have implemented this. We are using a Slingbox to stream the video.

From the suggestions of others on this forum, we want to have an audio backup ready over a regular phone line -- just in case the video streaming runs into problems. I know how to receive phone audio using the crab-box to bridge between the phone line and sound system. I don’t know a simple way to send the audio over a phone line other than the obvious – using a muted speaker phone. Does anyone have a simple approach for an “off the shelf” or easy to build way to take a line level or mic level signal and “insert” that signal into a phone?

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Fri Apr 04, 2008 4:58 pm

The EJ-10 crab box has a mini phone jack on the side for anything you want played into the phone line. Since the EJ-8 doesn't have telephone capability, that's probably what you have.


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