WLOS-TV switches HD newscast with Snell’s Kahuna

WLOS-TV, the ABC affiliate in Asheville, NC, is using a Snell Kahuna production switcher for its local HD news.

Owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group and serving the western Carolinas, WLOS began its HD news broadcasts in September 2008 and is now airing 30.5 hours of HD news every week. The station purchased the Kahuna as a result of parent company Sinclair’s decision to standardize all of its news operations on the multiformat switcher.

In preparation for the HD news shows, WLOS upgraded its control room equipment to include new graphics and clip playout systems, as well as Panasonic HD cameras, but has continued to rely on SD equipment for outside content. The Kahuna enables the station to mix content from its SD sources into the HD broadcast without having to purchase expensive upconversion equipment or adopt a more complex system design.

Kahuna is a multiformat SD/HD production switcher that uses FormatFusion for simultaneous SD and HD operations in the same mainframe and on the same control panel. The switcher, Snell said, has the smallest size mainframe, lowest weight and least 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.