Missouri Church Site Adds Panasonic Camcorders to HD Broadcasts

James River Assembly, a diverse, two-campus church site in Springfield, Missouri, recently completed an installation of six Panasonic AG-HPX600 P2 HD shoulder-mount camcorders as the key component in its upgrade to live high-definition broadcast of weekly worship services.

Currently, the six HPX600s reside in James River’s South Campus in Ozark. Four of the camcorders are outfitted with Panasonic’s 300Studio Systems and BT-LH910 nine-inch LCD production monitors, utilized on-camera as electronic viewfinders. The HPX600s in studio configuration are used throughout the auditorium, with the remaining two camcorders deployed handheld on the stage.

Panasonic’s latest P2 HD camcorder, the 6.2 pound, 2/3-inch HPX600 features native 10-bit 4:2:2 AVC-Intra recording and its future-proof options include an upgrade to AVC-ULTRA recording.

Each week, two Sunday morning services are simulcast live from the South Campus to the West Campus in Southwest Springfield. Services are streamed on their online campus at www.jamesriver.tv  and they have a weekly TV show that airs on the local NBC affiliate, KYTV, and the local Fox affiliate, KRBK. In both the South and West Campuses, services are projected onto three large screens. The simulcast at the West Campus has two individual feeds that are synced together to provide a center screen shot and then a normal IMAG shot on the side screens.

“The HPX600 was our optimal choice for migration to the HD world,” said Tim Laffoon, James River’s Live Production Video Director. “We wanted the quality of a 2/3-inch chip and the versatility of variable frame rates for potential field operation. With a full feature suite and various options to build-out the camera, the HPX600 gives us long-term flexibility: this is a camera we can grow with.”

“While the HPX600 is one of Panasonic’s top production cameras, with very little training it’s quite intuitive to use,” he added. “Easy operation is a crucial consideration as many of our operators are volunteers.”

Laffoon said he generally shoots services at 24fps, with sermons shot at 60fps. His video production plans encompass taking HPX600s out in the field for pre-recorded segments, and potentially upgrading their existing cameras at the West Campus with the HPX600.