Raycom-Owned NBC Affiliate Transitions to HD Operations With Snell & Wilcox Kahuna Switcher and IQ Modular Infrastructure
BURBANK, Calif. — Aug. 5, 2008 — Driven by Snell & Wilcox's Kahuna multiformat SD/HD production switcher, WAVE 3 has become the first television station in the Louisville, Ky., market to launch an HD newscast. WAVE 3, Louisville's NBC affiliate, is owned by Raycom Media, which has standardized on Snell & Wilcox production switchers in infrastructure for their group-wide transition to HDTV operations.
"In our highly competitive market, time is of the essence with new product offerings. We had a 30-day window in which to roll out our new HD newscast — and we needed a medium that could seamlessly handle both SD and HD signals. The Kahuna made it possible by allowing us to go live in HD without having to convert SD content from our archive," said Daniel Foos, WAVE 3's operations manager. "And thanks to the excellent training and support we received from Snell & Wilcox, our directors were able to get up to speed very quickly on the new system."
The Kahuna's rich functionality has added a new creative dimension to the WAVE 3 news production team's work. "The key today when introducing any new technology is to make sure you leave plenty of room for people to be creative. With the Kahuna, our directors are thinking outside the box and doing things that simply weren't possible before, such as animated effects on transitions," said Foos.
"As pressures accelerate for broadcasters such as WAVE 3 to make the transition to HD, the Kahuna is becoming a powerful ally by enabling them to repurpose their archival SD footage," said Joe Zaller, vice president, corporate development at Snell & Wilcox. "Also, as WAVE 3 has acknowledged, the Kahuna adds value right away without requiring an extensive learning curve or specialized staff. The result is faster time-to-broadcast and a true competitive edge."
Kahuna from Snell & Wilcox is the world's first and only true multiformat SD/HD production switcher. Thanks to a Snell & Wilcox technology called FormatFusion, Kahuna enables simultaneous SD and HD operations in the same mainframe and on the same control panel. This vastly simplifies the HDTV transition for broadcasters by eliminating the need for external HDTV up/down/crossconverters in the live production environment, as well as the cost and the signal path delay associated with these products. Kahuna has the smallest size mainframe, lowest weight, and lowest power consumption when compared with other large switchers, and it has been integrated with dozens of third-party products including routers, servers, automation systems, and controllers.