A Better Way to Connect

4 min read

Panasonic Connect's KAIROS live production platform makes it quick and easy for AV staff to put on high-quality events for in-person and remote viewers. Check out how one church leveraged Panasonic Connect's ecosystem of products to bring their productions to new heights.

With its congregation expanding rapidly over its 30 years of service, Cottonwood Creek Church, located in Allen, TX, was looking for a more comprehensive approach to connecting with its worshipers, guaranteeing the same experience for both in-person and remote engagement.

"Our Blackmagic switchers were great, but we were looking for something next-generation," said Will Chapman, online minister for Cottonwood Creek Church. 

While attending InfoComm, the church was introduced to Panasonic's KAIROS ST 2110 live production platform. After Panasonic demoed the platform in January 2023, the church quickly committed to Panasonic Connect's ecosystem of products.

And we mean committed. Cottonwood Creek Church has more than a dozen Panasonic PTZ cameras (a mix of HD and 4K models) and multiple PTZ controllers, plus two studio cameras, a 4K camcorder, CCUs and remote operation panels, switcher, and more. Within the integration, two Panasonic KAIROS servers were installed to support iMac and broadcast feeds, and a third was recently installed to support a new youth building currently under construction.

"It's an incredible piece of technology," added Chapman. "At the same time, we can create macros and stuff on the system so that an everyday volunteer can walk up to the control panel and make massive changes with a simple button push. That's powerful for us, so we don't necessarily have to have staff or trained volunteers to operate the system."

Less Complicated Process

Cottonwood Creek Church Control Room

Cottonwood Creek Church has adopted the Panasonic KAIROS ST 2110 live production platform. (Image credit: Cottonwood Creek Church)

The church said it only uses about 12% of the platform's capabilities, which have probably tripled its prior capabilities before the transition. For example, when hosting their most recent Christmas concerts, the church was able to produce a split-screen layout that allowed them to showcase a karaoke game, something they had been able to program earlier that afternoon. The platform allowed the church to switch between screens easily and with no latency, expanding its content capabilities during the concerts.

"Before, that would have been a much more complicated process," said Dave Evans, executive production director for Cottonwood Creek Church. "We probably could have done it, but I'm not sure we could have. But with the KAIROS system, we could do it within 10 minutes of realizing we wanted to do that."

KAIROS has also allowed the church to approach broadcasting differently. It provides its engineers and directors with the tools for quality and creative broadcasting capabilities, including value-added features when broadcasting through its website. Plus, it can broadcast directly through Facebook and YouTube, increasing its awareness and introducing its services to potential new audiences.

This change in quality has not gone unnoticed – and the church has noticed that tech support emails and complaints have virtually disappeared from its congregation. "Now, all I'm hearing from people is that they're hearing the message, seeing what's going on in the room, and connecting with it in a way that we haven't had before," said Chapman. 

Church members were introduced to the platform during the demo last year, and its ability to address an issue that cropped up in real time became a strong selling point for the church. They realized they needed to create high-quality, in-house overflow rooms for a sold-out conference, with many people still looking to purchase tickets and participate in some fashion. They set up two new LED screens within the rooms to accommodate additional attendees – and using a high-quality NDI stream from KAIROS, they delivered a wow factor that blew attendees away, providing seamless content integration from the conference in the main room.

"Since fully transitioning to KAIROS, when we say we're doing an overflow room, we're able to deliver that high-quality type of experience where it's even better than what you would have at home, even though it's not in the main room," added Chapman.

New Production Heights

KAIROS has also allowed them to deliver a level of professionalism for critical functions, including a recent remembrance service for a mass shooting that impacted their community. Local, state, and national media members were in attendance. The platform allowed the church to broadcast the service seamlessly, which would have been difficult with its previous configuration and allowed the focus to stay on those grieving and praying for their injured or lost loved ones.

Plus, the new platform has also expanded the church's rental business, allowing them to support everything from a Christian band shooting their music video onsite to conferences, taking advantage of the platform's support of multiple rooms. This puts rental clients at ease because of the technology at their fingertips and the professionalism of the church's technicians and operators. "What's so cool is that when people come in and see what we have, they leave all their gear in the truck," said Chapman.

Panasonic highlighted the versatility of the KAIROS platform, which allows churches to deliver high-quality content through an intuitive, familiar interface. The platform's simple controls, which can be set to enable various functions with a single button, make it easy to operate efficiently without a steep learning curve for staff, volunteers, or contract technicians. "It's a lot simpler of a system to use but has much more power and flexibility behind it," said Peyton Thomas, solutions engineer with Panasonic Connect North America.

The church viewed its technological transition as a strong partnership with Panasonic, and when any issues come up, they are immediately addressed. For example, during the installation process, when one of the servers was not receiving video correctly, Panasonic responded immediately, sending someone to the church the next day to find a solution. "If they don't answer the phone right away, it's an email, or they'll call me back as soon as they can, and that's everyone we've worked with at Panasonic," said Brycen Welborn, AVL systems director with Cottonwood Creek Church.

With the other 88% of the platform’s capabilities yet to be unlocked, the church is excited to explore how it can expand its offerings, including being able to broadcast remotely from various locations and establishing a studio segment during their broadcasts. "Honestly, it inspires our creativity to think of ways to connect with our people better," added Chapman.


This article was written by Jennifer Guhl from AV Network and was legally licensed through the DiveMarketplace by Industry Dive. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@industrydive.com.

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Jennifer Guhl