KITV picks weather for state's first local multicast
is the first Hawaii television station to create a local multicast stream.
Multicasting refers to the multiple streams of programming that radio and television broadcasters can transmit digitally, versus the single stream possible via traditional analog signals.
"Island Weather Now," providing 24 hours of weather forecasts, conditions, and if need be, warnings and advisories, is now in testing, and will officially launch May 1 over the air on digital channel 4.2 and on Oceanic Time Warner Cable channel 126.
DISH Network and DirecTV satellite TV subscribers will receive the channel by June 9.
"Island Weather Now is an example of KITV 4 -- Island Television's commitment to use our new digital spectrum to provide Hawaii residents with the most accurate weather forecast anytime, on demand," said Mike Rosenberg, president and general manager.
Rosenberg cited research by WeatherRate, which has rated KITV's weather forecasts as Hawaii's most accurate for the past three years.
Weather anchors Justin Fujioka and Ben Gutierrez will record updates so that in each 15-minute interval, there will be "two different local weather hits of video," Rosenberg said.
Video will fill part of the screen, the rest will show text and graphics providing current conditions, five-day forecasts and radar images from selected local towns. "Then for fun we added Las Vegas," he said.
KHNL is believed to be the first Hawaii station to multicast, offering NBC Weather Plus in the fall of 2005. KHNL may add local weather content, said John Fink, vice president and general manager. "We are looking at other digital opportunities in the coming years," such as a UH classic sports channel, a la ESPN Classic.
The expansion of digital and high-definition TV offerings is a prelude to the elimination of analog TV broadcasts in February 2009.
Nationally, broadcasters and the government are working on plans to educate the public about the transition that will make over-the-air-viewing of analog TV sets impossible.
However, most Hawaii viewers won't need to buy a new TV, since most subscribe to cable or satellite service.
"Whatever they have today will be fine," said Mike Goodish, vice president of engineering for Oceanic Time Warner Cable.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: email@example.com