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Videoconferencing public events

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#1 GoldSpider

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Posted 28 June 2020 - 10:28 AM

Due to COVID-19 our astro club has cancelled all of this year's on-site public observing/outreach events.  I am working on a plan to maintain our connection to the public via online "virtual" public observing events using several EAA stations on the observatory grounds and a video conferencing solution like Zoom, Google Meet, etc. 

 

I would like to make a quality experience for our guests that is easy to enjoy, with an eye towards reasonable technical accommodations and security precautions.  A few ideas I'm considering:

 

-Guests must register and provide valid e-mail address

-Invitation/link to conference session e-mailed to guests

-"LivePD-like" setup where each scope station has its own account and connects to the session and shares screen when ready.  Guests can choose to view any active (shared screen) station

-Take questions via chat, members read aloud and respond in audio

 

I'm certain that we can pull this off with a little training on the software involved and some practice.  I'm wondering if anyone familiar with these video conference platforms can give me an idea how bandwidth intensive it is to have 5+ video/audio feeds uploading through the same pipe, and how we could adjust to accommodate that potential bottleneck.

 

Of course, any feedback from anyone who has participated in/facilitated a similar event would be very much appreciated!

 



#2 skymaps

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 02:39 AM

Hi Adam,

 

I have used StreamYard to successfully produce webinar presentations for The Astronomical Society of South Australia (http://www.assa.org.au/). You can learn more at StreamYard.com and view our most recent presentation "Apollo 13@50: Parkes Observatory’s support of NASA’s finest hour" on YouTube (starts at 27mins mark) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zK6E0IkpZwA/

 

Guests have found StreamYard quite easy to use with just a bit of training, but it does require at least one person to produce the show. Up to 10 guests can be "on stage" at any one time including feeds from various software programs (PowerPoint, sky simulation, or live telescope streams). The producer can easily add or remove various feeds to the live video stream. Viewers watch live on either YouTube or Facebook and can type comments and questions for all to see.

 

I hope this information is useful.

 

Cheers, Kym T. 


Edited by skymaps, 07 July 2020 - 02:45 AM.

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