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KEYC-TV Purchases Snell & Wilcox Kahuna SD/HD Switcher

Takes control of transition to high definition broadcasting (September 19, 2005)

Looking to take control of its transition to high definition broadcasting, CBS affiliate KEYC-TV 12 of Mankato, Minn., is the latest U.S. call letter station to purchase the Snell & Wilcox Kahuna SD/HD production switcher.

KEYC-TV, which serves Mankato and surrounding areas in southern Minnesota, plans to make the Kahuna switcher the centerpiece of its transition to HD broadcasting. It will use the Kahuna initially for SD-based local news, sports, and entertainment productions. As it transitions to high definition broadcasting, KEYC can then switch to the system's multiformat SD/HD mode, which will enable the station to immediately broadcast in HD while extending the useful life of installed equipment. Kahuna can be field-upgraded instantly via software, with no disruption to the facility and no new learning curve for operational staff.

"Like many other television stations, we've been converting our facility to digital operations through an ongoing upgrade process. We chose to integrate the Kahuna production switcher because it's a flexible and very competitively priced system that requires only a simple software upgrade to bring us into the HD realm," said Terry Rudenick, chief engineer at KEYC-TV. "From my point of view, it was the best switcher we could buy for the money because it combines the best technical solution available with a straightforward and cost-effective migration path to HD. It was also highly recommended by one of our trusted vendors, Heartland Video."

The world's first production switcher to offer simultaneous HD and SD operations in the same mainframe with the same control panel, Kahuna is also the first switcher to enable the seamless integration of SD sources into HD productions without outboard upconversion. As KEYC-TV upgrades to HD-capable equipment, including new studio cameras and server systems, the Kahuna switcher will allow the station to make an easy and seamless transition from SD to HD broadcasting.

Kahuna's extraordinary flexibility enables users to work initially in SD-only or HD-only mode, and then to upgrade to multiformat SD/HD operation whenever they choose. In multiformat SD/HD mode, Kahuna users can mix existing SD camera feeds, graphics, handheld shots, and archive footage directly into an HD production with no need to purchase expensive HD upgrades or extra HD upconversion equipment.

"The Kahuna is a state-of-the-art broadcast system and we're very proud to have it at our station," said KEYC-TV General Manager Dennis Wahlstrom. "We're not a very big market, but nevertheless we have been an early adopter of promising new broadcast solutions. Deploying the Snell & Wilcox Kahuna technology within our facility enables KEYC-TV to provide our viewers with very high-quality localized content that competes with that of the larger broadcast facilities in the Twin Cities."

KEYC-TV installed the Kahuna with assistance from systems integrator Heartland Video, which has acted as a consultant throughout the station's transition to digital. KEYC-TV plans to take its new Kahuna switcher live in October.

About KEYC Television
KEYC Television is a CBS affiliate station that offers Mankato, Minn., and surrounding areas news, weather, sports, and local information, as well as popular network programming.

More information about the station, owned by United Communications Corp., and its programming is available online at

About Snell & Wilcox
Snell & Wilcox, the leader in its field, delivers technologies and products that enable television and satellite broadcasters, post-production facilities, filmmakers, and communications professionals to move content seamlessly between analog, digital, high definition, and file-based systems and to bridge the world's multiplicity of line/field and color standards. The company provides switchers and keyers, standards conversion systems, networked infrastructure components, and products for noise reduction, image enhancement, and restoration. In business since 1973, Snell & Wilcox maintains its U.S. headquarters in Burbank, Calif., and European headquarters in Hampshire, U.K. Additional offices are located in New York, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Lebanon, Malaysia, and Russia.

Visit for more information.


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Related Keywords:Snell & Wilcox, KEYC-TV, Kahuna, Switcher, high definition, production switcher, Heartland Video,

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