Elevation Church Chooses Snell Kahuna for Simulcast of Services to Four Campuses

Snell’s Kahuna multi-format HD/SD production switcher is playing an instrumental role at Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC. The switcher is at the center of a point-to-point operation and enables the pastor’s sermon to be simulcast to all four of the church’s satellite locations. Services at Elevation Church are attended by nearly 9,000 individuals each weekend.

“Kahuna delivers all of the advanced functionality of a broadcast-quality switcher in a highly flexible and extremely easy-to-use system that is far superior to the other production switchers we evaluated,” said Brian Poole, technical director, Elevation Church.  “Features such as the graphical user interface and the ability to record and re-use macros mean we can utilize our volunteer staff much more effectively, since many of them don’t have technical backgrounds. Kahuna is a very important part of our ministry because it enables all four of our campuses to receive the same powerful message from our pastor simultaneously, while allowing us to expand our reach and serve an ever-growing congregation.”

Led by Pastor Steven Furtick, Elevation Church chose Kahuna for its new state-of-the-art digital production facility housed at the main campus on Blakeney Professional Drive in Charlotte. During a typical Sunday service, worship leaders and musicians at each of the four church campuses begin the service with songs and prayer. With all four bands kept in sync using a click track system, the pastor’s message is automatically simulcast to all four locations over a fiber IP link at the precise instant that the final lead-in song is completed.

The Kahuna is used in three ways at Elevation Church: to switch the main camera output to the encoding and master control equipment for the point-to-point broadcast, to feed the IMAG system for projection to large screens at the Blakeney campus, and to provide a clean video feed to tape for editing into programs for later broadcast and also streaming to the Elevation Church website. Production engineers also use Kahuna for keying of graphics overlays including lower thirds, presenters’ names, scripture references, and song lyrics that are projected over the IMAG system. In addition, engineers have programmed Kahuna to provide live feeds of the service to perimeter displays throughout the building.

“Kahuna brings a great deal of flexibility to our system by enabling us to map specific keyers to specific M/E outputs as we see fit,” said Poole. “On one occasion, we had a projector go out during a Saturday night service — and I was able to use Kahuna to switch to another output and re-size the screen without affecting any other outputs on the switcher. In that case, the output flexibility was a lifesaver. Although we’re a 100% HD operation, Kahuna’s multi-format capabilities are still very useful for converting 720p to 1080i video to ensure the highest-quality, consistent output.”

“Elevation Church is a great example of the many large houses of worship across the United States that are investing in extremely sophisticated production facilities in order to deliver their message to the widest-possible audience,” said Jonathan Goldstein, president, Americas at Snell. “The church’s innovative use of Kahuna demonstrates the system’s great versatility and flexibility in video productions of all sizes.”

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