PBS Hawaii helps beef up Oceanic’s HD cable lineup
PBS Hawaii (KHET-TV) has been added to the high-definition tier of service from Oceanic Time Warner Cable
, on Channel 1010.
The Golf Channel HD has also been added, and will split time on Channel 1216 with Versus, formerly the Outdoor Channel.
The additions plump Oceanic's HD channel count to 19.
PBS shows that will be seen in the sharper-picture format on HDTVs include Nature, Nova and American Masters.
"Not all PBS Hawaii programming is available in high-definition yet," said Leslie Wilcox, president and chief executive officer, in a statement. "When an HD version is unavailable, we will convert the standard definition programs to better fit wide-screen HD televisions."
Wilcox predecessor Mike McCartney reached an HD deal with Oceanic in January, Oceanic President Nate Smith said at the time. McCartney had previously left PBS Hawaii to lead the State Democratic Party, but shepherded the HD agreement as a consultant at the request of station officials.
The time since then has been taken up in what PBS Hawaii Chief Financial Officer and interim CEO Karen Yamamoto described as "the technical side, putting it in writing."
The HD signals of KHET and Create, a companion channel of do-it-yourself shows, have been available over the air for some time, but the Oceanic deal applies only to KHET.
Oceanic expanded its channel capacity earlier this year. "We're committed to ramping up our offerings for the HD customer," Smith said.
Could that soon include KGMB-TV, the only old-line network affiliate whose HD signal is not available on Oceanic?
"We haven't made any progress on our positions," said Rick Blangiardi, KGMB president and general manager, though he predicted he and Smith would soon sit down to discuss the issue again.
The two were able to convince their respective parent companies to agree to the HD cablecast of the Super Bowl and a KGMB special about UH Warrior football in February.
Long-term agreements have proven elusive for many in the industry, as the higher cost of producing shows in HD has program providers such as networks, insisting on financial consideration from cable and satellite companies that retransmit the programming to paying subscribers.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org