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Encyclopedia > WeatherSTAR

WeatherStar refers to the technology used by The Weather Channel (TWC) to generate their Local Forecast segments (currently known as Local on the 8s) on cable TV systems nationwide. The hardware takes the form of a computerized unit installed at the headend of a cable TV company which receives, generates, and inserts local forecast and other weather information, including weather advisories and warnings, into TWC's national programming. The Weather Channel (TWC) is a cable and satellite television network that broadcasts weather and weather-related news 24 hours a day. ... Cable television headend is a master facility for receiving television signals for processing and distribution over a cable television system. ... Cable television or Community Antenna Television (CATV) (and often shortened to cable) is a system of providing television, FM radio programming and other services to consumers via radio waves transmitted directly to people’s televisions through fixed coaxial cables as opposed to the over-the-air method used in traditional...

Contents

History

Since its introduction at TWC's launch in 1982, several generations of the WeatherStar have been used: Year 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday (link displays the 1982 Gregorian calendar). ...


Discontinued systems

  • The original WeatherStar (WeatherStar I), like subsequent WeatherStar units, would receive local weather data from TWC and the National Weather Service via data encoded in the VBI of TWC's video, as well as receiving extra data from an extra subcarrier transmitted above TWC's video and audio signals on its transponder on satellite. The WeatherStar I was manufactured and developed for TWC by Compuvid, based in Salt Lake City, Utah. A couple of years before the founding of TWC, Compuvid had already made a similar product which was installed at cable TV systems owned by Landmark Communications, TWC's corporate parent. This system displayed weather conditions, forecasts, and announcements on viewers' TV screens via a set of locally-installed weather sensors at the cable headend. The WeatherStar I was an updated version of this unit, receiving data from both TWC and the National Weather Service. The WeatherStar I lacked graphics and was only capable of displaying white text on various backgrounds: dark blue for normal Local Forecast pages (WeatherStar I units used by The Weather Network in Canada used sky blue for local forecasts), grey for the scrolling "Travel Cities Forecast" page, brown for scrolling weather advisories, and red for scrolling weather warnings. As with all future WeatherStar models, the WeatherStar I could key its text over TWC's national video feed, most often to display the current conditions at the bottom of the screen. Even though the WeatherStar I met the Federal Communications Commission's Part 15 regulations for emanated RF interference (RFI), it still radiated enough to interfere with broadcast channel 2, resulting in problems at the cable TV's headend where the WeatherStar I unit was installed. This problem was temporarily solved by having ferrite chokes attached to all cables and wires attached to the WeatherStar.
  • The WeatherStar II, which had improved RF shielding and an improved overall hardware design. Otherwise, it was similar in features to the WeatherStar I.
  • The WeatherStar III, subsequently referred to as the WeatherStar 3000, was another text-only unit essentially identical to the WeatherStars I and II, though with additional internal improvements. It was completely retired in December 2004 before the start of 2005 to comply with FCC alert regulations requiring an audible tone to sound at the start of every display of a weather warning. The WeatherStar 3000 and previous units were capable of generating an audio alert tone only during the first display of a weather warning.

The National Weather Service (NWS) is one of the six scientific agencies that make up the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the United States government. ... The vertical blanking interval (VBI) is an interval in a television or VDU signal that temporarily suspends transmission of the signal for the electron gun to move back up to the first line of the television screen to trace the next screen field. ... A subcarrier is a separate analog or digital signal carried on a main radio transmission, which carries extra information such as voice or data. ... An Ontario Highway 407 toll transponder In telecommunication, the term transponder (short-for Transmitter-responder and sometimes abbreviated to XPDR, XPNDR or TPDR) has the following meanings: An automatic device that receives, amplifies, and retransmits a signal on a different frequency (see also broadcast translator). ... The Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Salt Lake Citys top tourist draw. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... Landmark Communications is a privately-held media company specializing in cable television, broadcast television, print publishing, and internet publishing. ... The Weather Network (TWN) is a Canadian English language cable television specialty channel that provides weather information 24 hours a day. ... In graphics and visual effects, keying is an informal term for compositing two full frame images together, by discriminating the visual information into values of color and light. ... FCC redirects here. ... In the U.S., Part 15 is an often-quoted section of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules and regulations, regarding unlicensed transmissions. ... Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) is electromagnetic radiation which is emitted by electrical circuits carrying rapidly changing signals, as a by-product of their normal operation, and which causes unwanted signals (interference or noise) to be induced in other circuits. ... Ferrite may refer to: Ferrite (magnet)s (e. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... FCC redirects here. ...

Current systems

  • The WeatherStar 4000 was the first WeatherStar model capable of displaying graphics. First conceived in 1988, it was designed and manufactured by the Canadian electronics company Amirix (then the Applied Microelectronics Institute). The WeatherStar 4000 is still in use in some smaller communities. The first WeatherStar 4000s were programmed to operate in a text-only mode, similar to the WeatherStar 3000, but with two improvements: an improved font was introduced, as was a graphical current radar page at the end of the Local Forecast, showing precipitation in the viewer's local geographic area. Within a brief period of time, the WeatherStar 4000 began to produce graphically-based Local Forecasts. A customized version of the WeatherStar 4000 was used by The Weather Network in Canada until 1997.
  • The WeatherStar Jr. is a budget model manufactured by Wegener Communications for cable TV headends in smaller communities. It has the same improved font as the WeatherStar 4000, but has a text-only output, similar to the WeatherStar 3000 and previous units. When the change in FCC regulations forced the retirement of the WeatherStar 3000, cable TV headends using that unit upgraded to the WeatherStar Jr. or more advanced units. Since it is capable of producing an alert tone at the start of every weather warning, it is still in use today, but because of its limited capabilities, it is found only in small communities where the cable TV headend is unable or unwilling to pay for a more expensive WeatherStar.
  • The WeatherStar XL is manufactured by SGI and introduced around late 1998- early 1999. The WeatherStar XL has a much-improved graphics capability over the WeatherStar 4000, and its on-screen appearance closely resembles the WeatherStar's successor, the IntelliStar. The WeatherStar XL was also the first platform of WeatherStar to be adapted and modified by The Weather Channel for their WeatherScan service, a 24-hour local weather channel carried on some select cable TV systems nationwide. Today, the number of XL's in use continues to dwindle.
  • The IntelliStar was introduced into The Weather Channel's top markets, including Dallas, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh, in early to mid 2004. While its graphics are essentially the same as those seen on the WeatherStar XL (though with a more contemporary font), the amount of information provided is dramatically increased: schoolday/weekday forecasts are provided, more local maps are used, UV and other health information is shown, and traffic information for certain markets, provided by Traffic Pulse, are also shown.
  • An as-of-yet unnamed system is currently in development and is being tested in some cities. It is the first system to feature a high-definition 1080i 16:9 output. It is expected to be fully launched later on in 2008. [1]

The Weather STAR 4000 was the first graphics-capable model of the WeatherStar line from The Weather Channel. ... Year 1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Friday (link displays 1988 Gregorian calendar). ... The Weather Network (TWN) is a Canadian English language cable television specialty channel that provides weather information 24 hours a day. ... For the band, see 1997 (band). ... The Weather STAR Jr is one of many versions of the Weather STAR technology developed for The Weather Channel by Wegener Communications in Duluth, GA. (Above) Picture of a WeatherSTAR Jr Unit // The Jrs Concept The Weather Star Jr is based on Wegeners Series 2450 Graphics Display Unit... The WeatherSTAR XL (commonly referred to as simply the XL) is the fourth system designed for The Weather Channels local forecast. ... Silicon Graphics, Inc. ... Year 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar). ... Events of 2008: (EMILY) Me Lesley and MIley are going to China! This article is about the year. ... IntelliStar is the fifth generation successor to the WeatherStar systems used by the American cable TV and satellite TV channel The Weather Channel (TWC), for inserting local forecasts and current weather information (such as the Local on the 8s portion of their program schedule) into TWCs programming. ... The Weather Channel (TWC) is a cable and satellite television network that broadcasts weather and weather-related news 24 hours a day. ... Weatherscans look from late 2000 until September 2003 Weatherscans look from September 2003 until September 2005 Weatherscan (originally called Weatherscan Local) is a digital TV channel offered by The Weather Channel. ... IntelliStar is the fifth generation successor to the WeatherStar systems used by the American cable TV and satellite TV channel The Weather Channel (TWC), for inserting local forecasts and current weather information (such as the Local on the 8s portion of their program schedule) into TWCs programming. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The WeatherSTAR XL (commonly referred to as simply the XL) is the fourth system designed for The Weather Channels local forecast. ... Traffic Pulse, also known as and Mobility Technologies, is a nationwide provider of traffic information via a number of mediums, including the Internet, cell phones, radio, satellite radio and television. ... 1080i is a shorthand name for a category of video modes. ...

WeatherStar content

Many of the segments displayed by all WeatherStars have gone through several changes throughout the history of The Weather Channel:

  • The narration of TWC staff announcer Dan Chandler is added to the local forecasts starting in 1987. Previously, only music was played during the forecasts.
  • In September 1992, the narration of TWC staff announcer Dan Chandler has one final set for WeatherStar 4000, 3000, and Jr., The "36 Hour Forecast" segment has narrated to have come from The National Weather Service.
  • A graphic of the NOAA emblem was added on-screen during the "36 Hour Forecast" segment generated by the WeatherStar 4000 from 1992-2002. The "Local Radar", which displays the precipitation in the area and its movement over the course of the last 90 minutes, was added to the 4000 in November 1992. Additionally, the "Travel Cities Forecast" background gradient was blue and grayish blue, the text was replaced with the regional weather icons, and the name was changed to "Travel Forecast for ________".
  • In the early November 1993, the date and time nudged further downward to make more room for the local forecast screen segment titles.
  • In Spring 1994, the Regional icons were updated so that the multi-layered icons are smaller in size. the upper layer cloud moved almost directly on top of its underlying weather graphic.
  • On August 4, 1994, Travel Cities Forecast was removed the background gradient from blue and grayish blue to dark blue. The radar screen becomes 8 color dimensional graphics from the previous 6.
  • From April 1995 to the summer of 2002, many maps and weather products were randomly selected for the "Local Update" segment generated by the WeatherStar, which took more than one screen.
  • In 1995, Dan Chandler's narration was discontinued, leaving the WeatherStar local forecasts with just music being played (as was the case before 1987) until around 1998-99, with the introduction of the "Vocal Local" feature starting with the introduction of the WeatherStar XL.
  • In 2002, the "36 Hour Forecast" was displayed on-screen using lowercase letters (previously all caps) for all STARs. Along with this, the NOAA logo displayed on-screen was discontinued, and The Weather Channel logo was modernized.
  • In addition to the introduction of the WeatherStar XL, narration voiced by TWC staff announcer Allen Jackson was added during the local forecast since March of 2000. The "Current Conditions" and "Extended Forecast" segments are now automatically narrated to the viewer using Jackson's voice, a feature called "Vocal Local" (as mentioned above) that has been present starting with the WeatherStar XL and continuing with the later Intellistar systems. In September 2001, weather.com is added underneath The Weather Channel logo, the cloud background was changed to a lighter blue cloud scheme (with the later IntelliStar), and the local forecast title bars were redesigned repositioning the date and time. In March 2002, the nighttime weather icons were removed, such as "Partly Cloudy", "Clear", "Mostly Cloudy" and others. Later in April 2002, "Daypart Forecast" and "The Week Ahead" segments have been added to the XL. "Weather Bulletins" is also added and will only appear during the severe weather alert. In January 2003, a "24 Hour Local Forecast" segment was added.
  • The 75-100 mile "Metro Area Forecast" map made its debut in late July of 2002, replacing the "Regional Forecast" in the top 50 markets.
  • As of August 15, 2005, the WeatherStar XL gets its second major facelift, while the IntelliStar gets minor changes. On both systems, the cloud background was changed to a bright sunny background and The Weather Channel logo was updated. On the WeatherStar XL, the local forecast title bars were redesigned and new slide transitions were introduced.
  • As of December 12, 2006, weather icons on the IntelliStar were replaced with more realistic icons. This change also applies to IntelliStars on DirecTV & Dish Network, Weatherscan, as well as weather.com. In some cases rare cases, not every IntelliStar or Weatherscan system may get this kind of update. [2]
  • As of October 23, 2007, the IntelliStar gets its first major facelift in graphics (not counting the minor changes in 2005). The new background is a light blue sky background with a bright sun in the upper right corner. The on-screen text (except on the title bars) is changed from white to a dark blue color to have better contrast with the new background. The title bars are also redesigned, and new weather animations with sound effects are introduced on the right of the screen during the 36-Hour Forecast.
  • As of February 7, 2008, the blue text introduced in the IntelliStar's previous update is changed to black for greater readability.
  • As of March 20, 2008, the IntelliStar no longer features the 3-day Extended Forecast.

This article is about the year 1987. ... Year 1992 (MCMXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1992 Gregorian calendar). ... The National Weather Service (NWS) is one of the six scientific agencies that make up the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the United States government. ... The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a scientific agency of the United States Department of Commerce focused on the conditions of the oceans and the atmosphere. ... The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a scientific agency of the United States Department of Commerce focused on the conditions of the oceans and the atmosphere. ... IntelliStar is the fifth generation successor to the WeatherStar systems used by the American cable TV and satellite TV channel The Weather Channel (TWC), for inserting local forecasts and current weather information (such as the Local on the 8s portion of their program schedule) into TWCs programming. ... IntelliStar is the fifth generation successor to the WeatherStar systems used by the American cable TV and satellite TV channel The Weather Channel (TWC), for inserting local forecasts and current weather information (such as the Local on the 8s portion of their program schedule) into TWCs programming. ... A standard DirecTV satellite dish with 1 LNB on a roof DirecTV (trademarked as DIRECTV) is a direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service based in El Segundo, California, USA, that was founded in 1994. ... DISH Network is a direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service that provides satellite television, audio programming, and interactive television services to households and businesses in the United States, owned by parent company DISH Network Corporation. ... Weatherscans look from late 2000 until September 2003 Weatherscans look from September 2003 until September 2005 Weatherscan (originally called Weatherscan Local) is a digital TV channel offered by The Weather Channel. ...

See also

IntelliStar is the fifth generation successor to the WeatherStar systems used by the American cable TV and satellite TV channel The Weather Channel (TWC), for inserting local forecasts and current weather information (such as the Local on the 8s portion of their program schedule) into TWCs programming. ... The Weather Channel (TWC) is a cable and satellite television network that broadcasts weather and weather-related news 24 hours a day. ... The WeatherSTAR XL was the fourth system designed for The Weather Channels Local Forecast. ... The Weather STAR 4000 was the first graphics-capable model of the WeatherStar line from The Weather Channel. ...

External links

The WeatherStar 4000 was the first graphic-capable model of the WeatherStar line from The Weather Channel. ... The WeatherSTAR XL (commonly referred to as simply the XL) is the fourth system designed for The Weather Channels local forecast. ... IntelliStar is the fifth generation successor to the WeatherStar systems used by the American cable TV and satellite TV channel The Weather Channel (TWC), for inserting local forecasts and current weather information (such as the Local on the 8s portion of their program schedule) into TWCs programming. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
WeatherStar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (752 words)
WeatherStar is the name of the technology used by The Weather Channel (TWC) to generate their local forecast segments (such as "Local on the 8s") on cable TV systems nationwide.
Even though the WeatherStar I had met the FCC's Part 15 regulations for emanated RF interference (RFI), it still radiated a lot of it, noted by the WeatherStar I interfering with TV channel 2 (which was a problem, considering it was installed in a cable tv headend).
The WeatherStar XL was also the first platform of WeatherStar to be adapted and modified by The Weather Channel for their WeatherScan service, a 24-hour local weather channel carried on some select cable tv systems nationwide.
TWC Classics Forums -> Weatherstar 4000 In Canada (2899 words)
From 1990 through 1998, WeatherStar 4000's were the backbone of The Weather Network, Canada's equivalent of The Weather Channel in the U.S. I won't bore everyone with too much detail, but will let some pictures from July 27, 1993 speak for themselves.
WeatherStar text was used to report local Recreational Events during the summer.
From 1990 through 1998, WeatherStar 4000's were the backbone of The Weather Network, Canada's equivalent of The Weather Channel in the U.S. I won't bore everyone with too much detail, yes you will but will let some pictures from July 27, 1993 speak for themselves.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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