Snell & Wilcox Kahuna SD/HD Multiformat Production Switcher Simplifies HD Transition for Market-Leading News Operations
BURBANK, Calif. — June 10, 2008 — Snell & Wilcox today announced that WBFF FOX45, the flagship station of the Sinclair Broadcast Group, has launched Baltimore's first HD newscast with the Kahuna SD/HD multiformat production switcher as the centerpiece of its new HD production control room. With its unique internal conversion capability, intuitive layout, and powerful feature set, the Snell & Wilcox Kahuna has enabled the award-winning newsroom to make a cost-effective transition to efficient HD news production.
"Kahuna's switching and DVE power, features, layout, and networkability — along with its internal conversion capability — separate it from the competition and, in turn, allow our news-producing stations to take their broadcasts to a new level," said Mark Nadeau, senior director, Sinclair Broadcast Group. "WBFF already was a very efficient SD news operation, and the Kahuna has helped the station maintain this efficiency in the HD world by providing format flexibility without the complexity of external conversion systems. As a result, the station has realized significant cost savings while achieving outstanding HD image quality."
Kahuna's FormatFusion technology has made it easy for WBFF to incorporate its SD content seamlessly into HD newscasts, simplifying production of broadcasts that leverage valuable archival and field-captured SD content, along with shots from a new HD satellite truck, new HD graphics, and images from five HD studio cameras. WBFF's state-of-the-art HD set is complete with DMX addressable lighting, a 143-inch rear-projection screen, and a rotating anchor desk that allows the production team to showcase its new weather center.
"WBFF FOX45 News has always been a market leader with its quality photography and newscast style, and now thanks to the Kahuna, the station's smooth transition to high-impact HD broadcasts gives it an even further advantage over other Baltimore-area stations," said Joe Zaller, vice president of corporate development at Snell & Wilcox. "We look forward to seeing the standard for HD news rise across the country as Sinclair continues to roll out Kahuna systems at its news-producing stations."
Sinclair Broadcast Group took Columbus, Ohio, station WSYX ABC 6 newscasts to air in HD earlier this year using the same Kahuna-based HD production model. Sinclair stations WLOS ABC 13 in Asheville, N.C., and WEAR ABC 3 in Pensacola, Fla., are scheduled to launch their HD newscasts in August.
The Snell & Wilcox Kahuna 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.