Video conferencing (meetinghouse)
All content on this page is moving to clerksupport.lds.org under the Meetinghouse Technology topic. This page will be deleted at the end of October.
A variety of technologies can replace travel for meetings. Video conferencing allows virtual interactive meetings. If you do not need video interaction, you might be interested in the Web conferencing or audio conferencing as a travel alternative. Webcasting or streaming is the best choice for broadcast communications (for example, sending a meeting to another site).
Please check with your local area office or service centre to find out which video conferencing options are approved for use in your area.
Video conferencing is a service that allows many people from different locations to hold a virtual meeting. They connect to a video conference bridge using special video conferencing equipment when there are more than two parties in the conference. A video conference allows the participants to see the other members of the meeting as if they were present in the same location. Quality of service varies depending on the quality and speed of the Internet connection.
The video conferencing is designed for Church headquarters to use with area presidencies, mission presidencies, and stake presidencies and for use within these areas. The current solution offers a variety of hardware that can be installed in the meetinghouse. Meetinghouse Internet must be installed in the meetinghouse for video conference equipment to work properly. Please see the product comparison chart to determine which option best meets your needs.
Our goal is to find a low-cost solution that will work with both Windows-based and Macintosh computers for personal video conferencing. Until a suitable alternative is found, consider using some consumer video chat solutions that are highly effective and work through the church meetinghouse firewall. Skype, Google Talk video chat, and MSN Live Messenger allow two-way video chat. Oovoo allows two-way video chat with its free service and includes options for three-way, four-way and six-way chat by paying a low monthly subscription fee (or free using ooVoo's Try service). The quality of these small video conferences can be good if you have a good web cam and a broadband Internet connection. These services are not supported by the Global Service Center (GSC).
Using video conferencing equipment
When you receive your video conference equipment, you must configure it before using it. Getting Started guides are available for the:
The guides will help you configure and use your new video conferencing equipment.
The How to Call document is a step-by-step guide for placing and receiving video conference calls. Please print it and keep it with your equipment for reference.
The local unit using the service pays for all equipment through the local unit budget at the time of purchase. The local unit also pays for the meetinghouse Internet service from that same local unit budget on a monthly basis.
In North America, you can order the equipment through store.lds.org under Administrative Materials. If you are in an international area, your area office can order the equipment for you.
Usage tips and guidelines
Holding virtual meetings in place of face-to-face meetings is a new concept for many leaders of the Church. While such meetings can significantly reduce the need for travel, the change can be an awkward transition. Virtual Meeting Tips and Guidelines is designed to help you make the change to this new way of holding a meeting. These guidelines are for all kinds of virtual meetings. Please e-mail your feedback about the tips and guidelines to video conferencing support.
If you are unsure how to take advantage of this service in your local units, please review the usage models document for suggestions. If you encounter other situations where video conferencing is useful for your units, please e-mail your comments about your meeting. Your information will be used to update the usage models document so other units can benefit from your experience.