Broadcasting from the

Installing and Configuring OBS

Sacrament Meetings

  • Sacrament meetings utilize the church Meetinghouse Webcast system, the OBS broadcasting software, and a laptop and camera in the chapel. Only a stake technology specialist can create, schedule, and modify events for the Meetinghouse Webcast system. The stake technology specialist provides RTMP link and stream key through an unlisted website.

  • Arrive 20-30 minutes early to set up to both give you time to prepare and so that members at home can listen to an early prelude. (The church webcasting system can receive and start broadcasting 1 hour prior to the official start time, and extends the broadcast an additional 15 minutes after the official end time.)

  • These instructions assume that cords have already been laid down and OBS has been installed and configured. Do not proceed until those steps are complete.

  • If you are the first ward meeting in the building this day, obtain the box containing the laptop, camera, cords, and any other necessary items. Then follow the steps "Prepare the laptop" "Prepare the camera", and "Connect Audio".

  • If a ward met previously and left the setup in place, skip to "Configure Laptop"

Prepare the laptop

    • Turn on the power strip.

    • Plug the laptop's AC adapter both into the power strip and into the laptop.

    • Locate the USB hub/ethernet combo. It should already have the audio cable and the ethernet cable plugged in. Just plug that USB end into the laptop.

    • Turn on the laptop and let it boot.

Prepare the camera

    • Securely connect the camcorder to the tripod and extend the tripod.

    • Open the camcorder's lens protector (our lens protectors are manual, not automatic).

    • Connect the camera the laptop.

      • Connect the USB cord with one end in the camcorder (on the handle) and the other end into the plug that goes into the power strip.

      • Open the camcorder's viewfinder door. Then open the little door to reveal the HDMI connection. Connect the camera's HDMI connector wire on in.

      • Connect the camera's HDMI cable into the HDMI-to-USB web cam converter (may already be connected to the HDMI cable). Then plug the USB end into the USB hub/ethernet converter.

Connect audio

    • The audio cable should alreayd be plugged into the USB hub/ethernet combo. If not..

    • For the 4/5 building with a working 3.5mm audio output jack:

      • Ensure the 3.5mm audio cable is connected into a TRS-to-TRRS adapter (small gray 3 inch cord). This adapter is likely already be on the audio cable.

      • Connect the TRS-to-TRRS adapter into the 3.5mm jack on the USB hub/ethernet combo

    • For the 1/2/3 and 6/7 buildings:

      • Just plug the USB cable for the mic into the USB hub/ethernet combo.

Configure laptop

  • Ensure the laptop is using a network connection and not the wifi connection. For Windows 10, down by the time in the system tray in the bottom right corner, you should see a computer with a network cable icon, and not a wifi icon. (You do not want to broadcast over wifi, problems will occur as dozens of devices in the room will cause contention on one access point. If possible, just disable the laptop's wifi connection entirely.)

  • Open OBS on the laptop.

    • You should see the video working.

      • If video is not working, try restarting OBS. If that still doesn't work, you may need to remove and re-add the video source.

    • Ensure the audio is working. On the bottom left corner in "Sources", click on "Audio on".

      • You should see audio movement in the audio mixer. Have someone scratch the correct mic on the stand to see if it hits yellow or red in the audio mixer. Also ensure it's not using a local laptop mic by rubbing the frame near the laptop webcam in the top frame.

  • Click on File->Settings.

  • Click on Stream. Service is "Custom...".

  • Open up a web browser. Go to the unlisted website containing the feeds.

  • On the unlisted feeds page, use the "Copy to Clipboard" button copy the RTMP link. Paste it into OBS (Ctrl+V). Likewise copy and paste the stream key. (Note, OBS also doesn't trim off extra spaces prepended or appended on these.)

  • Click "OK"

  • Click "Start Streaming" near the bottom right. You should see in the bottom line a live time, a bitrate, and a green square if streaming is running correctly.

Verify streaming

  • Watch the data in the bottom right to ensure there are no dropped frames. The square should stay green.

  • If the kb/s struggles to keep near 1500, and instead has wild variation, you need to reconfigure OBS for a lower video bitrate (File->Settings->Output, Video Bitrate).

  • Adjust the camera to zoom in on the pulpit, similar to General Conference. Zoom and pan as needed for events that are not centered on the pulpit.

  • Once complete, your setup should appear like the following image on the right:

  • Open up a browser and ensure the broadcast is live. Note that the church webcast system can be delayed by a few minutes. In the bottom right, you can shorten the amount of seconds to get a feed sooner.

Important: do not broadcast the sacrament ordinance

  • Our stake's model is to first end the sacrament meeting with a closing prayer. Afterward, the sacrament ordinance commences.

  • Before the sacrament ordinance, click on Stop Streaming.

After the meeting

  • Close OBS.

If you are not the last ward, you may leave the laptop and camcorder on for the next ward. Do not unplug or put away any cords or equipment.

If you are the last ward to use the building:

    • Put the camcorder's HDMI cable + HDMI to USB converter in the box. Close the camcorder's HDMI door and the viewfinder door.

    • Put the camcorder's USB power cable in the box.

    • Close camcorder lens. Unhook the tripod base still attached to the camera. The tripod has a small top base lever underneath the camcorder lens. Leave the tripod top base still attached to the camcorder, and put the camcorder in the box.

    • Unplug the USB hub/ethernet. Let it just sit on the floor.

    • Leave the tripod, power strip, and other taped down cords as they are.

    • Store the box in a secure location.

Additional notes:

In addition to those guidelines, below are recommendations for our stake:

  1. Do not use an old, slow laptop. Initial testing indicated preferred minimum specs of: Intel i5 processor at 1.6 GHz, 8 GB of RAM, and Windows 10. This laptop managed to encode at 1500 kbps but struggled at 2000 kbps. Some wards have old Windows 7 laptops which will not suffice. (Mac and Linux laptops may work depending on their ability to recognize the USB devices plugged in.)

  2. Ensure the laptop is plugged in with power and process all laptop Windows updates well prior to the meeting. (Some updates can take hours, depending on the speed of the laptop).

  3. Wait until simple broadcasts become routine before adding more features to the broadcast. For example, wards may wish to have microphones for special musical numbers and would desire feeding that audio right into the broadcast. Unfortunately merging audio like this likely requires an audio mixer, of which the stake has only one.

  4. Be aware that problems can and will occur. Some of them may be easy to overcome. Others may prevent the meeting from being broadcast as planned. The more you prepare, the fewer problems you will encounter.

For additional questions, contact the stake technology specialist.