Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Friday, March 30, 2001

KGMB and Oceanic
work to solve problem

In Wednesday's Kokua Line, someone complained about their TV screen "freezing" for a couple of seconds, with a line going across the screen, and asked if Oceanic Cable's digital system might have something to do with it. An Oceanic spokesman advised people with similar problems to call Oceanic's repair line.

However, several people called to inform us that Oceanic was aware of the problem and was advising people to call the local CBS affiliate, KGMB-TV, which has been having problems with its digital satellite feed from CBS.

We got a complete explanation from KGMB's chief engineer, Rodney Shimabukuro, who said the TV interference problem is "more general than just KGMB," but definitely involved the station.

The problem surfaced soon after the digital satellite feed was installed about a year ago. "We found it highly susceptible to local interference," including cellular phones, automobile ignition noise, weed whackers and basically "any normal terrestrial interference," Shimabukuro said.

Once it was determined that the station couldn't continue to operate its facilities in an urban area, "we embarked on a long-term mission to acquire land and build an earth station out of the city" -- especially away from Honolulu Airport and any military base, he said.

Short-term solutions to pick up signals from nearby stations did not work, Shimabukuro said, so, at a cost of $250,000, KGMB is building a new earth station on land leased from Campbell Estate in Kunia. Construction is expected to be completed by June.

It turns out the problem is being experienced by CBS affiliates nationally because the network converted all its satellite delivery systems from the analog C-band to a digital C-band, Shimabukuro said.

The C-band is one group of frequencies, while the Ku-band is another set. "Some networks have chosen the Ku-band and others, the C-band," Shimabukuro said. "All the stations that went with the C-band are experiencing the same problem."

Locally, "we have been in contact with Oceanic to solve the problem together," Shimabukuro said. "They have digital service on cable and some areas have the same kind of interference problems."

Q: I recently saw the TV show, "Who Wants to be a Millionaire,"that featured Adam West, the actor who portrayed Batman in the television series. I recall seeing Adam West on a TV program many years ago in Honolulu called the Kini Popo Show. Kini Popo and Adam West are stage names. What are their real names?

A: Kini Popo is Carl Hebenstreit, who is credited with introducing television programming to Hawaii on Dec. 1, 1952, with a live 25-minute show on KGMB-TV.

His real identity was fairly easy to discover, since Hebenstreit is still a Hawaii resident and chairman of Trade Publishing.

We had to ask Dave Donnelly, the Star-Bulletin's "man about town," for help on West's real name. Donnelly said West was known as Bill Anderson when he was a disc jockey in Honolulu, before he headed off to Hollywood, where he became a cult figure for the two years (1966-68) that he starred as the Caped Crusader.

Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line,
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210,
Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered.
Email to

E-mail to City Desk

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2001 Honolulu Star-Bulletin