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Honolulu, Hawaii
United States
ChannelsDigital: 27 (UHF)
Virtual: 26 (PSIP)
Affiliations26.1: TBN (O&O)
26.2: Hillsong Channel
26.3: Smile
26.4: Enlace
26.5: Positiv
OwnerTrinity Broadcasting Network, Inc.
First air dateDecember 23, 1982 (37 years ago) (1982-12-23)
Call sign meaningAll American TV Honolulu
(former owners 1996–2003)
Former call signsKSHO-TV (1982–1986)
KMGT (1986–1992)
KOBN (1992–1996)
KAAH (1996–2003)
Former channel number(s)Analog:
26 (UHF, 1982–2009)
Former affiliationsIndependent (1982–1990)
HSN (1990–1996)
Transmitter power262 kW
Height580 m (1,903 ft)
Facility ID3246
Transmitter coordinates21°23′33.6″N 158°5′48.1″W / 21.392667°N 158.096694°W / 21.392667; -158.096694
Licensing authorityFCC
Public license informationProfile

KAAH-TV, virtual channel 26 (UHF digital channel 27), is a TBN owned-and-operated television station licensed to Honolulu, Hawaii, United States. The station is owned by the Trinity Broadcasting Network. KAAH's studios are located on Smith Street in downtown Honolulu, and its transmitter is located on Palehua Ridge, north of Makakilo. On cable, the station is available on Oceanic Spectrum channel 26 throughout most of the state, with the exception of the island of Hawai'i (the "Big Island"), where KAAH is not carried at all.


Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters applied for the channel 26 allocation in 1978 under the umbrella name Mauna Kea Broadcasting Company.[1] KSHO signed on the air December 23, 1982 as Hawaii's first television station operating on the UHF band. Originally operating as a general entertainment independent station, the station offered a lineup of cartoons, sitcoms, drama series and movies during its early years. The station also aired Asian programming, primarily on weekends. In its early days, it carried business news programming from the Financial News Network, ethnic programming from the International Television Network, and carried ABC, CBS, and NBC programs that KITV (channel 4), KGMB (then on channel 9, now on channel 5) and KHON-TV (channel 2, now a Fox affiliate) chose to decline; programming from ABC's daytime lineup that was preempted by KITV was the most visible on KSHO's schedule.

At the same time that channel 26 launched, the station would get more competition when KIKU (channel 13, now KHNL), which had a part-English/part-Japanese programming schedule up until 1980 when it reverted to an English-language general entertainment format but retained some Asian language programs airing during the day, began adding more English-language programming and moved most of its Japanese programming to Sundays in an effort to be more competitive with KSHO. That would later be followed by the debuts of four additional stations that also added English-language first-run programming at the time: KHAI-TV (channel 20, now KIKU, no relation to the present-day KHNL that once bore those call letters) in 1983, KWHE (channel 14) and KBFD (channel 32) in 1986, and KFVE (then on channel 5, now on channel 9) in 1987. In between that period, channel 26 changed its call letters to KMGT in 1986. From 1986 to 1990, the station was branded as "K-Magic"—and even carried Los Angeles Lakers basketball games featuring Magic Johnson (who, in one promo for "K-Magic", said, "What a great name for a TV station!").

By 1989, KHNL and KFVE had taken the first- and second-tier syndicated movies and reruns meant for broadcast by independent stations, and KMGT was running a schedule of lower-budget programs. Knowing the station was a money-losing proposition, Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters sold KMGT to Oceania Broadcasting Network for $4.3 million.[2] By 1990, KMGT began phasing out general entertainment programming in favor of carrying Home Shopping Network and religious programming from TBN as a dual affiliate; the station eventually changed its call letters to KOBN in 1992. The following year, the station was sold to All American Broadcasting (a company with no relationship whatsoever with the syndicator known as All American Television). In 1996, the station would switch call letters again to KAAH; it dropped HSN programming that year and began carrying TBN programming full-time. The Trinity Broadcasting Network would later buy the station outright in 2003; however, although it is owned by a nonprofit broadcaster that operates mainly non-commercial stations, KAAH-TV continues to be licensed by the Federal Communications Commission as a commercial outlet (three other religious stations in the market—KKAI (channel 14), KWHE-TV (channel 14) and KUPU (channel 15)—are also licensed as commercial stations, although only the latter two carry secular programming).

KAAH operated KLEI in Kailua-Kona as a satellite station during the 1990s; that station is now a full-power standalone outlet serving as an affiliate of Telemundo. KAAH formerly operated a low-power repeater station, K34HC in Hilo. TBN took K34HC off-the-air on April 13, 2010 due to declining financial support, which has been attributed to the digital transition.[3]

Digital television[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming
26.1 720p 16:9 TBN HD Main TBN programming
26.2 Hillsng Hillsong Channel
26.3 480i 4:3 SMILE Smile
26.4 Enlace Enlace
26.5 16:9 Positiv Positiv

TBN-owned full-power stations permanently ceased analog transmissions on April 16, 2009.[4]

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

In February 2006, K34HC was granted a construction permit to begin converting operations to digital television prior to being taken off the air. Had it been completed, the station would have broadcast at an effective radiated power of 15 kW.

KAAH-TV discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over UHF channel 26, on January 15, 2009, the date in which full-power television stations in Hawaii transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts (six months earlier than the June 12 transition date for stations on the U.S. mainland). The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 27,[5] using PSIP to display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 26.


  1. ^ "For The Record" (PDF). Broadcasting Magazine. americanradiohistory.com. April 10, 1978. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  2. ^ "Changing Hands" (PDF). Broadcasting Magazine. americanradiohistory.com. August 7, 1989. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  3. ^ "Notification of Suspension of Operations / Request for Silent STA". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. May 13, 2010. Retrieved May 14, 2010.
  4. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KAAH
  5. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2012-03-24.

External links[edit]