WAFF launches local HD newscasts

WAFF, the Raycom Media-owned NBC affiliate serving the Huntsville, AL, market has launched its local newscasts in HD using Snell's Kahuna multiformat HD/SD production switcher.

The Kahuna switcher is the centerpiece in a major HD upgrade for the WAFF broadcasting facility, which includes a state-of-the-art news studio and set, control room and edit bays.

"Thanks to Kahuna, we were able to make a quantum leap in technology, moving from full-analog standard definition to completely digital high definition," said WAFF chief engineer J.T. Harriman.

WAFF produces more than seven hours of live, multi-element newscasts every weekday from its new production control room, in addition to weekend programs and pre- and post-production activities. WAFF news directors take advantage of the switcher's multiple-user capabilities and panel configurations, which they can easily navigate and modify on-the-fly to change users and configurations quickly.

Different operators are able to save their own personal settings for each individual newscast, and they can load their preferences and presets without jeopardizing the next newscast.

Kahuna's multiformat capabilities also are important to the WAFF operation, as the station is continuing to rely on SD sources for some aspects of its HD broadcasts, including all ENG and satellite live shots. The switcher can automatically convert these SD streams to 16:9 widescreen format to provide consistency with the HD content.

WAFF is the nineteenth Raycom station to select Kahuna.