Strategy for playing "Come, Follow me"

Discussions on how emerging technology can assist the distribution of media content through mobile, kiosks, Internet, social networks, etc.
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JonesRC
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Postby JonesRC » Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:48 am

We are not currently planning on adding the "Come Follow Me" videos to the Mormon Channel, at least in an organized fashion. We are working to organize the videos in the Media Library on LDS.org. There is a lot of discussion around how to make the videos more accessible in the meetinghouse for use.

bates68
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Postby bates68 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:56 am

JonesRC wrote:We are not currently planning on adding the "Come Follow Me" videos to the Mormon Channel, at least in an organized fashion. We are working to organize the videos in the Media Library on LDS.org. There is a lot of discussion around how to make the videos more accessible in the meetinghouse for use.


Is there a resource that we can follow or read as new updates come out about this? We are working to decide what solution to implement in our stake and I would hate to go with a solution like ROKU or Google TV and come to find that things change in a few months and realize we have wasted money. Any links or forward looking information you may be able to provide would be appreciated.

Thanks

rknelson
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Postby rknelson » Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:57 am

JonesRC wrote:We are not currently planning on adding the "Come Follow Me" videos to the Mormon Channel, at least in an organized fashion. We are working to organize the videos in the Media Library on LDS.org. There is a lot of discussion around how to make the videos more accessible in the meetinghouse for use.


Unfortunately the lds.org media library on lds.org is not accessible from a Roku. Assuming you are talking about a discussion around lds.org, mormon channel... It would really be nice to have some guidance on what is happening - January is coming fast. We are implementing now to be ready for January. Our stake has just purchased (using stake funds) two 19" LCD TV's with built in DVD players for each building in the stake. We have also purchased Roku players, and fastened them with velcro on the back of the TV. This supports DVD, USB thumb drives (through Roku), and streaming from mormon channel. The Roku and TV are both plugged into an extension cord so it's easy to carry (no cart) and one cord to plug in. Cost per unit: $159 for TV/DVD, $75 for Roku XS (on sale) $5 for extension cord, zip ties and velcro - total of $239 each. Two per building x 5 buildings = $2390 - not a trival amount of budget money. Yes, I realize this could be done through FM Group providing TV's, but we felt we needed to be ready in January.

It would be nice to consider providing DVD ISO images of the videos (one for Sunday School, another for YW, and one for YM) available online for download. We are going to burn DVD's for teachers, but it would be efficient to have them done once per language church wide with an organized DVD menu so it could just be downloaded and burned. It would be a large download, but would not involve SLC distributing the DVD's, and we can easily reproduce them in stakes and wards. Updates could also be handled quickly. (It appears the YM videos will require 2 DVD's.)

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Postby Gary_Miller » Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:45 am

rknelson wrote:Unfortunately the lds.org media library on lds.org is not accessible from a Roku. Assuming you are talking about a discussion around lds.org, mormon channel... It would really be nice to have some guidance on what is happening - January is coming fast. We are implementing now to be ready for January. Our stake has just purchased (using stake funds) two 19" LCD TV's with built in DVD players for each building in the stake. We have also purchased Roku players, and fastened them with velcro on the back of the TV. This supports DVD, USB thumb drives (through Roku), and streaming from mormon channel. The Roku and TV are both plugged into an extension cord so it's easy to carry (no cart) and one cord to plug in. Cost per unit: $159 for TV/DVD, $75 for Roku XS (on sale) $5 for extension cord, zip ties and velcro - total of $239 each. Two per building x 5 buildings = $2390 - not a trival amount of budget money. Yes, I realize this could be done through FM Group providing TV's, but we felt we needed to be ready in January.


FMs funding up by $2390, Youth activity program funding short by $2390.

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johnshaw
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Postby johnshaw » Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:25 pm

:)

Knowing this would be hitting this coming year around February/March of 2012 (and if you didn't know there were signs everywhere, you just had to pick up on it) we worked with FMG to budget for next year a similar arrangement that rknelson has posted. It was a very long, grueling fight because it was a strategic ask. FMG does not do strategic well (in my suburb of Zion). It will be a bit delayed, but Roku's will connect to the older tv's as well as an LCD, we figured it wouldn't be much time difference where our Unit Conferences make up most of the bulk of January anyway....

I'll keep everyone posted on whether FMG comes through.
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”
― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

bates68
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Postby bates68 » Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:16 pm

rknelson wrote:Unfortunately the lds.org media library on lds.org is not accessible from a Roku. Assuming you are talking about a discussion around lds.org, mormon channel... It would really be nice to have some guidance on what is happening - January is coming fast. We are implementing now to be ready for January. Our stake has just purchased (using stake funds) two 19" LCD TV's with built in DVD players for each building in the stake. We have also purchased Roku players, and fastened them with velcro on the back of the TV. This supports DVD, USB thumb drives (through Roku), and streaming from mormon channel. The Roku and TV are both plugged into an extension cord so it's easy to carry (no cart) and one cord to plug in. Cost per unit: $159 for TV/DVD, $75 for Roku XS (on sale) $5 for extension cord, zip ties and velcro - total of $239 each. Two per building x 5 buildings = $2390 - not a trival amount of budget money. Yes, I realize this could be done through FM Group providing TV's, but we felt we needed to be ready in January.

It would be nice to consider providing DVD ISO images of the videos (one for Sunday School, another for YW, and one for YM) available online for download. We are going to burn DVD's for teachers, but it would be efficient to have them done once per language church wide with an organized DVD menu so it could just be downloaded and burned. It would be a large download, but would not involve SLC distributing the DVD's, and we can easily reproduce them in stakes and wards. Updates could also be handled quickly. (It appears the YM videos will require 2 DVD's.)


Some guidance, recommendations or direction for the plan of the church would be helpful would lead to money savings I am sure.

I picked up a ROKU today and although it is a cool device I am not sure it really gains me anything to show videos. Really all it gives me is an interface to play usb movies on the tv. I could not find the 2 "come follow me" videos I looked for on the mormon channel. Also searching through the mormon channel would take way to long to be useful in a classroom. I am hoping to be able to try a google tv setup out as that is looking like a better option. Also the idea of a 50 dollar dvd player with a usb option is looking pretty good as well. At this point the streaming content of the ROKU seems to be of little or no value for the curriculum we are trying to present.

I would love to hear if anybody else has any other thoughts or comments about the ROKU and how it can add value over the cheaper dvd player with usb option.

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johnshaw
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Postby johnshaw » Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:11 am

You can search the forums for comments and values of the Roku... The High-end Roku does provide a great USB option and has the Mormon Channel and BYUTV. The lds.org media library mentions using Roku devices, as well as, the broadcast information coming from SLC these days. The live broadcasts over the Roku from Mormon Channel save having to hook up a computer to view conference and other live events in chapels.

In our stake we've found a much more creative way to use the Roku from a local streaming server, because our bandwidth is so bad across all our meetinghouses there is no way we can support any kind of streaming, and asking people to download videos and bring them into the Church pre-supposed that they have that capability and the exclusiveness that entails. Then there is the issue of hooking up a device to a TV. Have you ever had to support and iPad connecting to a TV or Projector? What a nightmare, which version is it, do you have the right cord or adapter... People show up 5 minutes before a meeting and expect a STS to have everything they need.

It is likely that Stakes all across the Country will be spending LUBA because of the obvious, and immediate demand that will come from the Youth Curriculum, and the growing desire to incorporate multiple teaching methods including the online media (images, audio, video, etc... ) - Did everyone hear the announcement that the Church is discontinuing the printing of display-sized pictures, opting for digital usage? - It saddens me that we have coordinated this so poorly. In my stake we've been told there is a 20% cut in FMG funds at precisely the time that most stakes are looking to FMG to provide better options to display visual resources.

PFR's and FMG's likely across the country saw this coming, those who thought strategically and magnified the office they were called or paid for were trying over the years to bring their meetinghouses up to current levels or standards. Unfortunately, I'm confident that this was the exception to the rule. In 2 separate FMG in my area our buildings have such aged equipment that the costs are prohibitive for whole-scale change-out. The Practice of FMG that eliminated FMAT suggested replacement of Audio/Video equipment is going to Bite us in the end and take already limited LUBA funds from members of the church, in order to supplement funds in another department that should be used. If FMG can ELIMINATE a FMAT suggested replacement based on some kind of business rule before they bring that to the attention of the PFR and Stake President, they have created the situation we are in.

How can we call for the FMG to allocate $2K per stake to do something like MOST stakes will do anyway.
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”

― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

ksolsen
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Postby ksolsen » Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:34 am

All - good discussion. Please be aware that a number of teams here at Church HQ, including the team I am on (Digital Presentation) are putting considerable effort behind making the process of showing youth curriculum videos in class easier to do.

One of the first deliverables is a Q&A document that I wrote to address the immediate need to support video playback. That document will be linked to the December Meetinghouse Technology newsletter that goes to stake technology specialists. I can also post a link to it in this forum as well as soon as it gets final approval.

Some key points:

- Encourage youth leaders and teachers to download videos that they wish to play in class. Do not rely on the meetinghouse Internet for live streaming of videos (despite what the paragraph on the youth curriculum site says right now - we're working on getting that updated). There will be too much competition at the same time, and most meetinghouses don't have sufficient bandwidth to provide a satisfactory live streaming playback experience.

- Where to download and how to play back:

- If you have a personal device, such as a laptop or tablet, download the video to that device. Play it directly from the device only for small classes (1-4 people), or connect to a display device (TV or projector) for larger classes.

- If you don't have a personal device, we recommend downloading videos to a USB flash drive, and then connecting the drive to a USB player, such as the Western Digital WD TV Live, which has HDMI and composite video connectors, allowing it to connect to almost any TV or projector currently in meetinghouses. The Roku 2 XS also has a USB port (the other current models do not), and it can play .mp4 files only, so it would also work as a USB player, although the Western Digital product is less expensive and supports more video file formats.

Other larger efforts are underway to explore a larger process of upgrading meetinghouse audio/visual equipment, but there are no details on those efforts just yet.
Kurt Olsen - Product Manager at Church HQ for Digital Presentation (Personal Video Conferencing, Meetinghouse Webcast, Conference Rooms, Video Conference Endpoints, Meetinghouse Digital Content)

TinMan
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Postby TinMan » Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:24 pm

Great. I have 6 YM/YW classes going at the same time and as many youth sunday school classes the second hour. All of them with 6-12 students. Plus the usual needs of the other adult classes going on at the same time including a Family History Sunday school class where all the class members are connected to the internet. They are working on the new "Family Tree" program that just obsoleted the "New Family Search" which is now the "Old New Family Search."

Are you going to have 6 projectors or 6 Western Digital WD plus TV's in each building? When can we expect delivery?

Because right now I have 3 TV's in the library that if I opened them up probably have tubes in them. Good thing the VCR players hooked to them still work. Now if you can just tell me how I can plug a USB drive into a VCR, we would be in business. At least for 3 of the classes.

jimhyer
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Postby jimhyer » Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:37 pm

The links from meeting house technology for the Roku and the Western digital media player (links to Amazon) currently show the Roku for just under $100 and the WD at $169 so the Roku is currently cheaper, not the other way around.
In any case, THANKS for the info. My suggestion is to coordinate a link to all videos on the Mormon channel as that will make them much easier to link to (via Roku or Downloads) rather than scattered all over the web site.


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