Sample two-way, real-time meetinghouse broadcast setup

Conversations around originating a webcast for conference, including cameras and mixers.
rgme
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Sample two-way, real-time meetinghouse broadcast setup

Postby rgme » Thu Dec 15, 2011 11:14 am

So, I've been working to get my stake's options together for doing meeting broadcasts. We plan to have a system in place that allows two-way, real-time communication, so speakers can participate from either end. For this, video and audio from either place needs to be distributed across all areas of participating (local and satellite) meetinghouses. We also want a system that is expandable to include more than two meetinghouses.

I've been researching on this forum and elsewhere for a while, and I've diagrammed a setup that I think will meet our needs. I'm not addressing the specific wiring locations, since that is different across buildings, and it's something I'd work with FM to get done. At this point, it's still very theoretical, but almost every part of it can be referenced to someone reporting success in their own setup.

I'm going with Personal Video Conferencing instead of Meetinghouse Webcast because PVC offers real-time, bidirectional communication. It will allow multiple locations to be added in the future (simply add another satellite location setup). And it's already supported/approved from CHQ.

I'm including laptops instead of desktops because the Roxio USB Video Capture seems to work well, and the portability/convenience of laptops would be very helpful. Also, they could easily be used for PVC in smaller training meetings, too. The laptops could even be personal laptops on loan for the meeting if funds don't allow to purchase one.

I'm also including a simpler setup involving a tripod camera that avoids the expense for multiple mounted cameras, remote controls, and a video mixer. In that instance, a simple video switcher will suffice.

I'm including these here for the benefit of others and with the hope that others can comment on it. Is there a simpler method? Suggestions? Missing any essential components?
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russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:43 pm

I only took a quick glance at your setup, but something you need to keep in mind is that anytime you're dealing with digital video, there is some delay. If you're using the video locally, it may be enough to throw off the lip sync from the direct audio. Or be a distracting delay when you have viewers that can see the screens and live action at the same time.

At extreme levels, it can affect the transfer of action between sites.

You may want to do a "bare bones" test just to see how much of a problem it's going to be before investing in a lot of equipment.
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rgme
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Postby rgme » Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:04 pm

Thanks for that suggestion. Is the local path through a switcher and amplified distributor what you're talking about? I would receiving the broadcast would have a similar effect, since it's entry points into the setup are at the same level.

Ideally, the local system will use the switcher/mixer to choose their local video, instead of running through PVC back to their own meetinghouse. I hoped that would minimize any delay, but you're right, I ought to do a dry run first.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:14 pm

rgme wrote:Is the local path through a switcher and amplified distributor what you're talking about?


Yes. In my limited experience, anything digital has a slight delay. (One way to test a camera is to look though the electronic viewfinder and wag your finger back and forth. You'll quickly see if your eyes see something different then your body's own "position sensor" says.)

If you can keep everything in the analog domain as much as possible for the local stuff, I think you can minimize it.

From what I've seen watching conferences orientating at the Conference Center, I think they have the same problem. Their screens seem to show what I'm seeing, but there's a noticeable delay when switching.
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michaelfish
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Postby michaelfish » Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:02 pm

I've been woking on something similar for Stake Conference.

Instead of our remote buildings being disconnected physically and having to watch video only, broadcasting a talk from our 2 remote buildings and distributing to back is totally possible, with a couple of problems you may wish to consider.

1.) is the video quality of your PVC good enough to project on a 15' diagonal screen? Our stake uses Slingboxes, which have great picture quality (640 x 480 SD) on our closed LAN, but there is a 5 to 7 second delay. Not good enough for conversations but OK if switching to a talk emanating from the other building.

2.) you will have audio feedback problems e.g. laptop source mic to remote building, then the remote building amplifies sound back to the source of the video and into the laptop source mic. Unless you have control at both ends to cut sound coming back, this could be an issue. Our solution was to have our source in a different room and use controlled speakers or headphones.

Just some thoughts...


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