Global TV Purchases Four Kahuna Switchers for HD Launch

Global TV, has implemented
four Kahuna SD/HD multiformat
production switchers for the rollout of high-definition (HD) news broadcasts at
ten of the network’s local affiliates throughout Canada. The Kahuna switchers are
playing a unique and critical role in the digital/HDTV launch by enabling
Global TV to implement a “virtual set” strategy that utilizes local
talent, and yet centralizes production of the news shows at three of its four
regional broadcasting centers.

Global TV has implemented
a Kahuna switcher at each of its broadcasting centers in Vancouver,
Calgary, and Edmonton, where virtual sets have been
established for all of the affiliates serviced by these centers. Local news
stories are transmitted to the centers via FTP prior to each broadcast, and
will be upconverted to HD by the Kahunas in the future for playout during the
broadcast. At air time for each program, telemetric HD cameras remotely controlled
by the centers transmit the image of the local anchor, sitting in front of a
green screen, via fiber. Orad’s ProSet virtual studio system provides virtual
studio backgrounds and, combined with Kahuna effects and transitions, produces
images appropriate to the program’s location and transmits the broadcast back
to viewers in the local market. (Note: High definition not available in all
markets yet.)

“Our local news
directors and producers remain in complete control of their programs, but the
Kahunas enable us to give each show its own unique, updated look, as well as
operate more efficiently by repurposing common content across multiple
broadcasts and time zones,” said Glenn Elliott, technical producer for
Global TV. “And the stations in our smaller markets, where it’s not
cost-effective to install expensive HD equipment, get the full benefit of
leading edge technologies, thus producing highly polished news productions for
each local market.”

The Kahuna switchers
control a continuous stream of local news broadcasts, interlaced with a
national news show, that air at multiple times throughout the day to
accommodate local time zones. “With this strategy, we have effectively
tripled the workload of our regional control centers, but the Kahunas have enabled
us to handle the volume smoothly and efficiently,” said Elliott.
“With other switchers, you need outboard equipment to handle the kind of SD-to-HD conversion that
Kahuna does automatically, which makes the systems a very important part of our
migration to digital technologies.”

“With this novel
approach to delivering HDTV broadcasts over a large viewing area, Global TV is
achieving the best of all worlds. By concentrating its HD investment in the
regional centers, the network can make the migration as cost-effectively as
possible while ensuring that all viewers enjoy HDTV programming,” said Joe
Zaller, vice president, corporate development at Snell & Wilcox. “In
making such a large commitment to Kahuna, Global TV has endorsed our leadership
in the market for cost-effective and powerful conversion and switching

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