CBS affiliate WOIO switches to Snell & Wilcox’s Kahuna for HD newscasts

WOIO-TV, the CBS affiliate serving Cleveland and Akron, OH, has installed a Kahuna multiformat production switcher from Snell & Wilcox for its local newscasts in HD. The station is owned by Raycom Media Group, which has standardized on Snell & Wilcox Kahuna switchers to support its group-wide transition to HD operations.

WOIO used the Kahuna in SD mode 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.

Bob Maupin, chief engineer at WOIO, said his station will use the Kahuna to handle SD content and intermix it with HD for the foreseeable 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. He said it meant launching an HD newscast in the market much faster, without having to go through an expensive refit or additional equipment purchase.

With the Kahuna switcher, WOIO operations staff can build a wide variety of macros and assign them to different buttons with custom labels. In addition, the modular architecture of the Kahuna will allow the station to expand the switcher as necessary. Also, since the switcher’s functionality is distributed across the entire mainframe, the station won’t be out of commission if it loses a single mix effects bank.

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