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Incorporating web videos into service

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  • Incorporating web videos into service

    I searched the forum, and did not find a similar situation, so here goes:

    Our spiritual community is relatively new to the whole AV thing.

    Our minister is all about doing things professionally, and he is not about spending lots of money to get those results.

    Currently, our video portion consists of a projector and a single screen on our platform, all powered by a Windows laptop with the usual VGA output.

    We are using OpenOffice to do our slides, and I have the desktop extended so that the presentations show up on the projector only. Our current presentation setup is one set of pre-service presentations that that loop until we are ready to switch to the during-service ones. Then, after service, we switch to a third set of slides that loop for about an hour after service during fellowship time.

    For the service slides, we do use song lyric slides, and occasionally other "still" content during the minister's talk. He also likes occasionally to use videos from YouTube, KarmaTube, or other such sites. He wants us to be able to switch from the during-service presentation to the video at full-size and start play with no screen blanking, mouse cursors showing up, or anything that would distract.

    I know enough about AV and presentation stuff to be slightly dangerous, and I need some help here. How do I make this happen, and even more importantly, how do I make it happen without spending hundreds of dollars?

    Thanks in advance, and blessings,

    David Byrd

  • #2
    I guess it's going to depend on your setup. I'm going to assume it's Windows 7. I would use Chrome, which has a true full-screen setting.

    Start the video in full screen on you main monitor, then quickly use the "Windows-P" hotkey to switch to "Duplicate."

    You could also tell the minister that there is nothing "unprofessional" about blacking out the screen. It exists for a reason.

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    • #3
      Our needs seems to be very similar to yours, have looping slides before and after, songs and videos. We use online videos quite a lot during services but we download the videos beforehand and play them back using presentation software. This is really straight forward after you've done it a couple of times but takes a little bit of trying to setup the first time.

      Downloading: In terms of actually downloading the video you can either use a video stream recorder (I'll try and find out what the software is we use if your interested, i believe it's free) or I personally use a chrome plugin (link) which gives a easy download button under youtube videos. A downloaded video is usually in .flv or .mp4 format which doesn't play on all players however we know it definitely works well VLC.
      Playback: VLC can be setup to show on second monitor full screen when it is opened but this is pretty complicated to setup (we used to do this but it wasn't very reliable and we dont always use the same laptop so took ages to setup). We use presentation software to manage everything, there are loads of free ones available such as OpenLP, OpenSong etc. I would really recommend FreeWorship though which is what we use (and I wrote it but ill try to be unbiased) it's also totally free. It is very simple to use and looks professional to the audience even if some of the backend is not quite finished yet as it is still developing. I know that it definitely displays these downloaded videos as it uses VLC. Videos can be transitioned the same as any other content; faded, zoom-in/out, fly in. You can also fade the presentation window itself so that it fades to an OpenOffice presentation, which I personally think looks awesome. FreeWorship can emulate looping slides if they are exported to images (just Save As in OpenOffice). Images can also be used to display a normal presentation but the animation options are more limited than OpenOffice. FreeWorship also manages lyrics just as well if not better than other free presentation software as well.

      Play From Web:
      Option A
      Play from browser as mikeymo suggested. You can also use Windows + Arrows to move window around between monitors quickly but this doesn't look great. We try and avoid it at all costs.

      Option B
      VLC also allows you to play a video from a URL such as YouTube, this sometimes has buffering issues though and so is not always reliable. "Media" > "Open Network Stream" then paste URL, simple as.

      Option C
      Wait for a few months! I don't know of any free presentation software that can play online videos directly yet (correct me if I'm wrong) BUT we are developing it for FreeWorship at the moment - the eta of which is 1-2 months to release. Also look out for Zionworx 2012 (renamed 2013) is due to be released sometime in the early part of 2013 when it is ready. This also says it will allow playing online videos and looks like it will be a nice piece of software for a small cost.


      I would recommend the best solution is using presentation software to manage content and transitioning items smoothly. Keep slides in OpenOffice will make the transition to new software easier though. If you don't already worship software for lyrics I would really recommend this even if you don't use it for anything else and even if you don't use FreeWorship.

      For more information on FreeWorship or it features see www.freeworship.org.uk

      I realize this is now pretty long but kept thinking of more things that may be useful to you while I was writing it. Hope something here is useful!

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