KHNL and K5: a new home and a milestone in Hawaii television - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

KHNL and K5: a new home and a milestone in Hawaii television

Dan Devlin Dan Devlin
George Gutierrez George Gutierrez
Dan Dennison Dan Dennison
Set construction underway at the KHNL/K5 New Media Center Set construction underway at the KHNL/K5 New Media Center

By Howard Dashefsky - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - As you probably know, the entire country is making "The Big Switch" in January, when all TV stations here in Hawaii are required to transmit digital signals.

All of us here at KHNL News 8 and K5 News are counting down the days to our move into Hawaii's first high definition local newsroom.

In just 19 days, local viewers of KHNL News 8 and K5 News will be treated to an early Christmas gift. And so will we.

The curtain will be raised at our new state-of-the-art media center.

Just two days after being delivered, the newsroom based set is taking shape.

And with the exception of a few minor tweaks.

"Cut that away a little bit, and unscrew it," said set designer Dan Devlin.

It's nearly ready to go.

"This is state-of-the-art, it's high def, everything we've done has been planned and executed for the purpose of broadcasting in high definition," said Devlin. "The space, right down to the materials that we used, the finishes that we used.

But for all the glitz and glamour this set offers, its what you won't see that will change the way we present, and you view television news.

This is the nerve center of our new media center. A state of the art control room with all the latest technology. And at the center of it all is this: the switching board that will delivers Hawaii's first and only true high definition newscasts. And it even comes with a little local flavor. It's called "The Kahuna."

"This is probably the greatest transition since we went to black and white to color," said KHNL/K-5 News Director Dan Dennison. "It's a huge technological step forward and I think other people will follow for sure and it really establishes a leadership position for our news department and our television station".

But before that first broadcast can hit the airwaves, every connection must be made perfectly.

And for anyone who has purchased a new television, with DVD player, DVR and surround sound, who know what a pain it can be to hook it all up, and get it all working.

So imagine wiring up an entire television station from scratch.

"It's like spaghetti and trying to find uh..yeah, it's hard," said equipment integrator George Gutierrez.

George Gutierrez and his team of integrators have been working 12 plus hours days, 7 days a week since October.

"We've got about 5,000 wires in here, about 10,000 different connectors, and there's a lot to keep track of, lets just out it that way," said Gutierrez. "This is the real deal. When you guys are ready to go HD, this is what's going to do it."

"I think it says a lot about the commitment that it has, in addition to what we do there is so much behind the scenes technology that is so cutting edge," said Devlin. "So going to HD is not something you get into lightly, there's got to be a big commitment to that."

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