Meetinghouse Webcast requirements
All content on this page is moving to LDS Help Center under the Meetinghouse Technology topic. This page was supposed to be deleted at the end of October 2012.
Several elements are required for the successful delivery of a meetinghouse webcast. Please review this document carefully to understand what is needed for a successful webcast. A stake technology specialist (or a delegate), who has a solid understanding of the Internet and basic computer technologies, should coordinate the preparation for and management of a webcast event. In addition, other people will be needed to assist both in the sending and receiving locations. The stake technology specialist should conduct a technical assessment of the buildings involved with the webcast to determine what additional equipment will be needed.
Both the sending and receiving locations need to have reliable Internet connections. Internet connection speeds must be sufficient to support the audio and video content streamed over them. The table below provides guidelines for the connection speeds needed. See also the Bandwidth Guidelines for Meetinghouse Internet.
|Webcast Quality||Sending||Receiving||Webcast Speeds|
|Low||400K upload||300K download||200K (low)|
|Medium||500K upload||375K download||250K (medium)|
|High||600K upload||450K download||300K (high)|
|Rule for calculation||2 X webcast speed||1.5 X webcast speed||150K to 750K|
- The sending location’s upload bandwidth must be at least twice the webcast’s transmission speed (for example, the “Better” option above specifies the sending bandwidth as 500kbps when the webcast is set to transmit at 250kbps)
- The receiving locations’ download bandwidth should be at least 1.5 times the webcast’s transmission speed (for example, the “Better” option above specifies the receiving bandwidth as 375kbps when the webcast is set to transmit at 250kbps). Because the media servers and the Windows Media Player have a built-in buffer, brief Internet congestion has a smaller impact on the receiving location.
Meetinghouse Firewall: Meetinghouses with broadband Internet must have the Meetinghouse Firewall properly installed and configured. See Meetinghouse Internet for more information about the Church-managed firewall. The Meetinghouse Webcast Software requires the following elements to successfully capture & send a webcast.
Computer (or laptop)
The system requirements for Meetinghouse Webcast are driven by the system requirements for Microsoft Expression Encoder. You will need a computer or laptop that meets the following system requirements:
Windows XP with Service Pack 3, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 1 GHz or higher processor (2 GHz or higher recommended) 1 GB of RAM or more 128 MB of graphics RAM or more
See Microsoft’s website for more specific requirements.
Video capture options
Standard cameras require a video capture device to convert the video to a digital format that can be encoded and sent over the internet. There are two types of devices: a video capture card and a USB video capture device.
Video capture card (recommended). A PCI or PCI Express card that can be inserted into a personal computer. There are multiple brands and models that you can use. Price ranges will vary. See Webcast Products and Components Availability for information on some of the video capture options that have been tested and which are available on the market. USB video capture device. USB video capture devices can be used for computers or laptops. Again there are multiple brands and models. The USB models are generally less expensive but not as robust as their video capture card counterparts. See Webcast Products and Components Availability for information on some of the video capture options that have been tested and which are available on the market. NOTE: Some camera types (such as webcams) do not require a video capture device but these cameras generally do not have the other features and capabilities required to successfully webcast. More on video & cameras.
It’s critical that you build time into your schedule to test out your meetinghouse webcast implementation before your actual event. Before your first event, build in time to validate that you have all the proper equipment including connecting cables and wires. Take time to validate that all your components work well together before each event.
Even with proper preparation and solid technology, unexpected issues can occur. For example, your Internet provider could make a change during your event that impacts the connectivity of meetinghouses participating in the webcast. Be sure to have a backup plan in place.
We strongly recommend setting up a phone connection or audio bridge as a backup solution in case you have any unexpected issue with your Internet connection. You will need to interface between the telephone and chapel audio in each building. If you are webcasting to multiple buildings, you will need an audio bridge.
How do I come up with an audio bridge? There are generally multiple options available to members. Most current VoIP phone systems have conference call capabilities, and someone in your stake may have access to a system you can use. There are also national providers of conference calling services that don't charge a fee; they make their money through a long-distance subsidy (the number they provide is not toll-free and is in a different area code). It shouldn't take much work to find a solution you can use as a backup to your webcast.
Audio and video requirements
Several audio and video components will be needed to deliver a successful webcast. Often successfully integrating these components presents the biggest webcast preparation challenge.
Audio levels will always need upfront adjustments to get them to the desired level at the receiving locations. You may be able to connect your audio directly into your computer or Webcast Communicator. We recommend, however, that you route your audio through an audio mixer before connecting it into your computer or Webcast Communicator. Learn more about setting up and managing the audio for your webcast.
Meetinghouse Webcasts require a high quality video camera. Key requirements include the following functionality:
- 10X optical zoom lens
- Auto focus
- Low light sensitivity
- Option to disable “auto shutoff” when not recording (allowing video to be streamed without recording)
- At least one composite video out (RCA) port or one S-video out port
- Ability to not display time stamp or other camera display information in video output
Several cameras available in the market will meet these requirements. Provided it meets these requirements, an existing camera can be used or a new camera can be purchased in your local area. Learn more about selecting a camera and setting up and managing video for your webcast.
You will also need a secure location (a tripod) on which to place your camera. Usually the back of the chapel or chapel overflow area will provide a good location for a tripod and camera.
Projectors and screens
At the receiving locations, you will need projectors and screens or televisions (or monitors) to view the webcast.
Adapters and cables
A variety of power, audio, and video cables and cords are needed to successfully produce a webcast event. You will need a different set of connecting cables and adapters at the sending location from those needed at receiving locations. Several of cables are available through the Church's Online Store. These can also be purchased through local electronics and hardware stores or through online retailers. What you need will depend on the audio/video configuration and the equipment already in place at your local buildings. Conducting an early assessment of each building involved with the webcast is essential to your event’s success.
Creating (or sending) a webcast
Meetinghouse Webcast provides two options for sending a webcast:
- Meetinghouse Webcast Communicator
- The Webcast Communicator is an integrated hardware and software solution designed to capture and send video and audio. The Meetinghouse Webcast Communicator User Guide provides more information on requirements for this solution.
- Meetinghouse Webcast Software
See Meetinghouse Webcast Sending Options for information on which option may be best for you.
Receiving (or viewing) a webcast
Meetinghouse Webcast provides two options for receiving a webcast.
- Meetinghouse Webcast Receiver
- The Meetinghouse Webcast Receiver is a thin client computer customized to make it easy for you to receive and view a webcast.
- Computer (or laptop) with Microsoft Windows Media Player
- This option provides you with the flexibility to watch the webcast on any computer using a Windows (XP, Vista, 7) operating system.
See Meetinghouse Webcast Viewing Options for information on which option may be best for you.