Multiformat SD/HD Switchers Give WBNS and Ohio News Network Quick and Cost-Effective Path to HD Broadcasting
BURBANK, Calif. — Jan. 12, 2010 — Snell today announced that the Dispatch Broadcast Group's CBS affiliate, WBNS-TV, has rolled out central Ohio's first HD newscast thanks to the company's Kahuna multiformat SD/HD production switcher. In addition, the Dispatch Broadcast Group has deployed a second Kahuna to power the recent HD upgrade for its 10TV Productions division and the Ohio News Network (ONN), a 24-hour news channel co-located at the WBNS studios in Columbus. By seamlessly incorporating SD sources into HD transmissions, the two Kahuna systems have given Dispatch a smooth and cost-effective path to native HD broadcasting.
"Our broadcast market is one of the most competitive in the country, and the only way to stay number one in this economy is to continually embrace state-of-the-art, top-drawer technologies that enable us to operate as efficiently as possible," said Pat Ingram, director of engineering for WBNS TV Inc. and the Dispatch Broadcast Group. "The Kahuna switchers are a very important part of this strategy because they enable us to deliver our HD broadcasts without having to purchase expensive upconversion systems or adopt a more complex workflow."
At WBNS, Kahuna is used for live HD news broadcasts and other live-to-server productions, including coverage of local events such as food parades and telethons. Although primarily based on HD-originated content, WBNS still relies on Kahuna's multiformat capabilities to incorporate SD sources.
"The transition to HD news requires a significant investment for local broadcasters," said Jonathan Goldstein, president of Snell, Inc. "Kahuna has been a lifesaver for Dispatch and dozens of other broadcasters because it let them reduce their up-front investment and get to market sooner with a competitive HD news product."
Kahuna from Snell is the world's first and only true multiformat SD/HD production switcher. Thanks to a Snell 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 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.