The Fabled Cable – Our AV Story
Talk about opposition to the Divine Mother!
Many weeks before our seminar, Master the Secret Science of the Divine Mother, as any good AV technician would do, our streaming equipment was tested multiple times during live broadcast services from our Amethyst Chapel. ✔ Everything checked out fine.
We were confident that the viewing experience for our participants would be pleasurable. All they would have to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy the seminar. We thought!
Thursday, November 8
There was a hiccup that caused the problem that we experienced throughout the seminar…but none of us made that connection until after the seminar.
The day before the seminar, one of our AV techs talked to our ISP (internet service provider) and the advice was given to remove the cable connected to the router and connect it directly to the modem. (That was okay advice; it’s sometimes done that way.)
However, in this case, it was probably not wise to take this action, especially considering that we had already tested our equipment with the cable connected the other way.
Friday, November 9
As you well know, from the moment our seminar started, the stream buffered (too much data tried to load causing nothing to be seen) and cut out. We were baffled. In all of our testing, nothing like this had occurred.
What was going on?
Immediately, our techs were on the phone talking to Sunday Streams. They set our equipment at the lowest settings possible to try to prevent the buffering, but the nightmare continued.
Fortunately, they correctly advised us to record the seminar to our hard drive so that we would have replays for you.
Then we talked to Spectrum and we were assured that our download and upload speeds were excellent. So what was still the problem?
Saturday and Sunday, November 10-11
Our conversations with Spectrum and Sunday Streams continued throughout the two remaining days of the seminar. Nothing changed. We were all stressed to the max.
As they were filming and running our AV equipment, our techs were also continually trying to figure how to fix the problem. And our seminar coordinators were continuously reading and answering tons of emails that came in steadily throughout the three days.
Meanwhile, the in-person participants were happily enjoying the seminar, pretty much oblivious to the online experience.
Talk about initiation!
Monday through Friday, November 12-16
After the seminar had ended, the in-person evaluations we received were exceptionally complimentary. But the experience for our online participants was anything but exceptional, though most people were very kind, comforting, and understanding. The flame of the Divine Mother shone through. 🙂
For our techs and seminar coordinators…the work was still ongoing. We had to figure out what went wrong…how to fix it…and how to process the replays for our paid participants.
The TC Board of Trustees authorized us to hire an IT (information technology) professional to figure out what had happened. We decided to call a long-time KOF and staffer who currently works professionally as an IT pro. Selflessly, this professional donated his time to solving our problem. (He really, really LOVES…challenges.)
Working with us remotely, the IT professional narrowed the problem down to that cable that Spectrum had had us transfer from the router directly to the modem. Remember that cable?
That particular cable ‘should have’ been able to deliver 1 Gigabyte of data per second. Instead, it was delivering 100 Megabytes per second. Yikes! It’s a wonder that our seminar broadcasted at all.
Saturday, November 17 – Monday, November 26
After the IT professional had narrowed down the problem to a faulty cable, he also adjusted a few settings. Then we tested our equipment during a live Saint Germain broadcast service from Bozeman on November 17. Yay! The broadcast was excellent – no interruptions, buffering, nor video cutouts.
Over the following days, we continued to test settings, and we updated our video encoder to give us better screen resolution and viewing experience.
Now…with our new Cat-6 cable, everything is working fine and dandy.
Gratefully, at the suggestion of Sunday Streams, we had managed to capture Saturday and Sunday’s seminar offerings by recording them to the hard drive. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that our captured videos were recorded using a seldom-used codec. But, we didn’t realize that at the time.
The broadcasts were recorded as .avi files. We needed mp4 files for our purposes. Two members of our seminar team spent a week (at lunchtime and in the evenings) trying to figure out how to convert those files. No matter what software program was tried, the .avi files would not convert…and error messages kept appearing.
Ever heard of the MAGY codec? No, we hadn’t either.
It turns out the seminar content was recorded in that codec, and most converting programs can’t convert it. Our genius technician discovered a software program that could change the files and he converted them for us.
Now all that was left to do was to figure out how to capture Friday’s seminar offerings because Friday had NOT been recorded to the hard drive. Enter another helper, a video editor.
Capturing Friday’s Content
All we had from Friday’s seminar were a lot of unconnected video recordings, 87 of them to be exact. This happened because the data we were sending to Sunday Streams was coming in very inconsistently, dropping and restarting every two minutes or less. We did not have one consistent stream.
Rev. Carla Healy provided her slides with their embedded videos, and we took some of the 87 different video segments and turned them over to our video editor.
The video editor had graciously offered to edit together some of the 87 video segments along with Carla’s PowerPoint slides. With the content provided him, our editor managed to save the day…literally! He saved Friday for us.
The video editor did a fantastic job of editing together Friday’s material to provide a valuable seminar experience. Praise God!
Thanks to the IT, the video editor, the seminar team…and, of course, the Ascended Masters, we finally solved our problems. We now can provide the seminar replays for our participants…and in the future, our live broadcasts from Bozeman’s Amethyst Chapel will offer quality viewing experiences.
Oh — and that fabled faulty cable? It found a new home in File 13.
The End. 🙂