NBC Outlets in Honolulu, Austin Jump to Local HD

President-elect Barack Obama and his entourage were not the only ones turning heads on the Hawaiian island of Oahu over the holidays.
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President-elect Barack Obama and his entourage were not the only ones turning heads on the Hawaiian island of Oahu over the holidays. KHNL-TV, the NBC affiliate in Honolulu (DMA no. 72), expanded the boundaries of local HD news about 3,000 miles west of the continental U.S. overnight as the NBC affiliate began transmitting local news, sports and weather in 1080i.

According to the broadcaster's Web site, KHNL-TV became the first local station in Hawaii to go local HD—a move it made just prior to Christmas.

According to Assistant News Director Rich Meiers, "As producers we're really excited about our new toy. If you look at all the monitors, we can put any satellite in these boxes on these screens and any point during these live newscasts we can bring breaking news to our viewers as soon as it happens."

Besides the daily activities of the president-elect, the station also had at least one other major news story to follow in its first week of local HD: a major power blackout throughout the island on Dec. 26 that lasted for several hours.

Also, another NBC affiliate—KXAN-TV in Austin, Texas (DMA no. 49)—began local HD newscasts last week, becoming at least the third station in the market to make the leap.