BURBANK, Calif. — Nov. 4, 2008 — Snell & Wilcox's Kahuna multiformat SD/HD production switcher is an essential component in the new high-definition newscast of CBS affiliate WOIO. Serving the Cleveland market, WOIO is owned by the Raycom Media Group, which has standardized on Snell & Wilcox Kahuna switchers to support its group-wide transition to HDTV operations.
WOIO initiated SD operations with the Kahuna four months prior to the launch of its HD operations, which enabled a smooth transition to full multiformat mode when the HD newscast went live. "Like most stations, we are going to be relying on SD sources for quite some time into the future. The Kahuna is ideal because it can integrate any SD material, such as camera feeds or archives, into HD productions seamlessly and without the need for upconversion,”" said Bob Maupin, WOIO's chief engineer. "It meant we were able to bring our HD newscast to the market that much faster, without having to go through an expensive refit or equipment purchase."
The Kahuna's distributed architecture and robust functionality have been well received by the WOIO operations staff. "The team appreciates the ability to build a wide variety of macros and assign them to different buttons with custom labels. Also, the modular, distributed nature of the Kahuna architecture means we can easily expand the switcher as we grow — and since the functionality is distributed across the entire mainframe, we aren't out of commission if we lose a single mix effects bank," said Maupin.
"Staying on top in highly competitive markets can be challenging for stations like WOIO, who must find cost-effective ways to deliver the high-definition programming their audiences are demanding," said Joe Zaller, vice president, corporate development at Snell & Wilcox. "The Kahuna is the most versatile and economical switcher on the market, enabling stations to manage the transition to HD without having to re-equip with all HD sources or put an upconverter on every SD input."
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.