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Topics - weatherfan_2013

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I found this interesting. As of June 20, 2018, VizRT has discontinued it's Viz Weather software.


Now they will continue product support until June 20, 2020, this means that the Viz Weather application will no longer receive critical updates or support after that date. As for The Weather Channel, this could be a major blow to their HD and SD DBS Forecast (National Local on the 8s) and possibly their Intellistar 2 and 2jr systems. This means they will be forced to use their MAX ecosystem or Viz Multi Channel for the National Local Forecast systems. We do know the Intellistar 2 uses the Viz Render Engine, so it may be as simple as sending new radar data from the Max system for it's radar segments, but for the HD and SD DBS, they will be forced to build a new platform and possible redesigns.

TWC Fan Art / Station ID Mocks
« on: April 21, 2018, 07:36:12 PM »
Here are a few station ID mocks I created. This mimics the launch of the "Live by it" era! I'd say it turned out pretty well!



Relationship Couples

Everything Else TWC / Classic TWC stock footage (1998-2010)
« on: February 11, 2018, 08:39:20 PM »
I have found several stock footages used on the weather channel during the 2000s era!

Here I have posted one. Tons more are on this site. I hope this is valuable to all you emulator graphic artists out there!

Here are links to more




Some stock footage used during YWT openers.



General Discussion / Broadcast Weather Software Programming
« on: January 30, 2018, 12:40:56 AM »
Hi All,
I've been wanting to take the endeavor of creating weather graphic software for several years now and I have now taken the steps to complete this mission. I know a little C and python and have created gui's in both. What I have posted below is the layout of my 3d weather graphics software which will generate weather imagery and data onto a 3d globe, 2d planar, or a 2d static map background generated by another software piece I will create that takes GEO data and Digital Elevation Models to generate base maps.

I intend to use Solaris 10 for my software suites to keep the feel of WSI's software suite throughout the 90s and 2000s. The coding will all be done in C (Hopefully).

I'm also asking anyone here who knows OpenGL, has intermediate level knowledge on C or C++, gcc .etc, or has knowledge on the equations to decode weather imagery and plot data on a geo grid, please let me know! Your help will be greatly appreciated.

TWC Fan Art / weatherfan_2013's Wx Graphics
« on: December 14, 2017, 11:08:14 PM »
This is where i'll post exported weather graphics that don't really relate to artwork or have really any meaning but represent a look that TWC has or had.

The image below will update every 10 minutes.

TWC Fan Art / Hurricane Irma Graphics
« on: September 09, 2017, 02:33:06 PM »
Here are some Irma graphics I created with my weather graphics software.

Local Forecast / Unavailable Local on the 8s music thread
« on: July 23, 2017, 12:10:40 AM »
I've found several unavailable music played on the local on the 8s from 2009-2012. So Far only I've only gone through Yvonne Ayers but several artists were there like CC Gilmore, Samual Lincoln, David Keen, Dan Marx, Patrick Yandall, Anthony Davilio, and Bryan Steele.

I've linked some songs by Yvonne Ayers but you'll need to create an account to view the website.

Blind Side https://premier.sourceaudio.com/#!explorer?s=Blind%20Side

Things to see https://premier.sourceaudio.com/#!explorer?s=Things%20to%20see

Empty Chairs https://premier.sourceaudio.com/#!explorer?s=Empty%20chairs

Try to imagine "In The House" https://premier.sourceaudio.com/#!explorer?s=Try%20to%20imagine

Direct Contact https://premier.sourceaudio.com/#!explorer?s=Direct%20Contact

Night After Night https://premier.sourceaudio.com/#!explorer?s=Night%20After%20Night

Ancillary (Best of Times) https://premier.sourceaudio.com/#!explorer?s=Best%20of%20times

Edit: Also you can find several Gooding songs from the APM Music library as well

Captain Captain https://www.apmmusic.com/search/%5B%7B%22field%22%3A%22track_title%22%2C%22value%22%3A%22Captain%20Captain-%20Underscore%22%2C%22operation%22%3A%22must%22%7D%5D

Winter In Chicago

No One Gets Out Alive

Winters Return

Station 6


Distance To The Sun



One Week

Local Forecast / How the DBS (Satellite) Local forecasts work
« on: June 04, 2017, 11:04:38 PM »
I posted a topic like this a while ago asking how the satellite local forecasts works but cannot find it. If you find it feel free to merge since this is the "official" answer

I did some "un-planned" digging and came across loads, and I mean Loads of technical documentation freely available on the internet in sporadic places. It comes from wxsys.weather.com, however is only active sporadically. So I did some google caching and found tons of technical documentation in powerpoint and doc formats. I will upload more as I find them.

Here's how the SD dbs forecast worked in 2007, from Viz_WeatherLouthIntegrationRequirement_Ariela_edits.doc
dated 01/24/2007
TWC broadcasts to numerous ground based cable systems nationwide.  In addition to these systems, TWC also has a DBS (direct broadcast satellite) feed which is carried by a number of satellite delivered programming services and cable-less viewers.
A significant portion of TWC's hourly program wheel is dedicated to local weather generated -- in the case of the ground based systems -- by “STAR” units of various vintages.  To "cover" these gaps in the live video feed for DBS programs, TWC currently uses a WSI system playing pre-rendered graphics in the form of SGI movie files compiled into “shows”.  This system is controlled by the Louth Broadcast Automation controller.  The nature of this controller is to tell the system which of 10-12 "shows" to play, and to start and stop playback of these shows. This programming segment and functionality is often referred to as “DBS Locals”.
The Louth system supports a communications protocol called VDCP -- Video Disk Communications Protocol.  The basic protocol calls for an RS-422 serial connection between the Louth and the controlled system.

The HD satellite forecasts works the same way.

The technical jumbo of it is described below.
In addition to the above requirements, the requirement to support the VDCP protocol brings with it a series of requirements.  For details, see the VDCP Interface Specification section at the end of this document.  In general, the following VDCP Commands will be supported in the DBS Interface:
Port Status:  Return status message.  Clear error bits if error status was requested.
System Status:  Return status message.
ID List:  Return 1st 10 IDs and the remaining number of IDs to be sent.
ID Next:  Return next IDs, up to 10 more, and the remaining number of IDs to be sent.
ID Request:  Check for ID in translation table.  Return 1 for found and 0 for not found.
Stop:  Acknowledge the command.  Check the Play state bit.  If not set, set Port Not Active error bit (set the Idle state bit?) and return to command processing loop.  If set, send Stop command to show player and clear Play state bit and set the Idle state bit.
Stop also will need to clean the renderer.
Play:  Acknowledge the command.  Check the Cue/Init Done state bit.  If not set, set Cue Not Done error status bit and return to command processing loop.  If set, send Play command to show player. Set the Play status bit and clear the Cued/Init Done state bit.
Play Cue:  Acknowledge the command.  Check for the ID in the translation table (if using a 8-character ID to playlist name translation – see below).  If not found, set the ID Not Found error bit and return to the command processing loop.  If found, translate the ID into a playlist name.  Clear the Cue/Init Done state bit and set the Cue/Init status bit.  If cue/initialization (see below) successful, set the Cue/Init Done status bit and clear the Cue/Init status bit.  If cue/initialization not successful, clear the Cue/Init status bit and set the Cue Failed error bit. Return to the main command processing loop.

I always knew it used some sort of automation controller whether WSI or a 3rd party. Just didn't know how.

Feel free to view yourselves.

According to TWC_Viz_Weather_HDDBS_Ver1_2.pdf,
the HD satellite forecast utilized 4 computers to generate the HD local on the 8s. The computers used were named,
HDDBSE1 (HD Direct Broadcast Satellite Engine 1) and rendered the graphics.
HDDBSP1 (HD Direct Broadcast Satellite Playout 1) and organized graphical elements.
There is an auxiliary backup for each unit. Those have a 2 at the end.

The HD DBS Forecast units at the time (2007) were running,

Windows XP SP2, 4 GB RAM, Intel Xeon 3.0ghz processor with a Nvidia Quadro FX 4600 GPU with the driver update, housed in a HP xw4400 server rack. Video output used the HD 1080i SMPTE274
59.94Hz format with SDI output from a Matrox card slaved from the Quadro. The desktop output (VGA) was 1280x1024

They were ran into the Harris Automation control system which would control HDDBSP1 (HDDBSP2 in case of downtime of the main unit) in TWC Master Control then sent to the Main automation computer that controls Ads, Shows, Control room feeds .etc).

I bet all this is very confusing. Here is the document,


General Discussion / I've met Dr. Heidi Cullen
« on: September 15, 2016, 10:23:33 PM »
This still shocks me but I was at Whole Foods Market in Lawrenceville NJ and I ran into Dr. Heidi Cullen! I knew she looked familiar and couldn't believe that it was her! I ended up talking to her and she now works in the Princeton area in her field and of all places she could move to, she ended in my area.  I found out that after NBC took over her show was cancelled and told her all about the current state of TWC and we both agree it's not good. What I didn't know is that she worked from at TWC from 2003-2008. I didn't hear of her until 2006. When I was in 3rd grade I remember her show promo's and the lo8s opener for her show. It's still mind boggling for me  :wacko:

Local Forecast / Intellistar Renderer?
« on: August 21, 2016, 06:08:09 PM »
I seem to have trouble finding how the Intellistar 1 (2004-2015) rendered it's graphics? I am confident the IS2 and IS2jr use Viz Engine integrated with the custom TWC STAR software that was written in house. My guess is the IS2 hd and jr use the custom STAR software to collect data and playlist templates probably in xml format and the viz engine software is what overlays graphical elements, slides, transitions .etc. So the STAR software would collect data for the assigned locations by Satellite and would talk to the Viz Engine software as to what graphical or text elements would be displayed. Which is probably why it required two mother boards. Viz Engine needs a lot of computing power for the type of graphics TWC displays. Hence the $8000+ unit. Viz Engine and the motherboard were probably the majority of the cost. If I'm wrong about that please let me know.

Now as far as the IS1 is concerned, does anyone know what video/graphic renderer that was used to display graphics and text elements? Was that also written in house or bought by a 3rd party?

OCMs & Personalities / Kyla Grogan on The Onion
« on: August 09, 2016, 04:51:36 PM »
Here's one of her funny videos when she worked for The Onion


Everything Else TWC / WeatherStar XL Release Notes
« on: August 02, 2016, 06:50:47 AM »
I figured I'd re post these here since they were widely available on Wikipedia.

General Discussion / Missing file Help!
« on: July 31, 2016, 02:54:41 AM »
I wonder if there is a chance anyone could help me here. I am searching for two files that I came across online a few years back but can't seem to find them.

The first is the Intellistar base map that I found on a web server directory about 2 years ago. I think it was titled XL basemap and along with that there was a WeatherStar 4000 radar basemap. Plus the directory had a huge list of the WUWA Intellistar narrations.

Secondly, there was a file posted on here by Robert https://twctodayforums.com/forums/twc-fan-art/my-drawings/90/ which included all the XL animated icons. The download link was http://www.megaupload.com/?d=K1EM0QJ4 but the US Government shut down the Megaupload site around 5 years ago. Does anyone know where I can find those icons, or do I have to recreate them myself?

Thirdly for those with a WeatherStar XL emulator's (TWCZach, toxictwister00, Intelliguy (Mike) .etc) where did you get the cloud background from? The ones online are fuzzy and have a strange blue gradient on the left, where as your emulations don't?

Thanks for any help you may provide.

General Discussion / NOAA Weather Radio Emulation
« on: July 23, 2016, 10:05:26 PM »
My re-creation of NOAA Weather Radio. Sounds really realistic!

! No longer available

Sadly Tom is no longer used and was replaced with Paul.  :cry3:  :furious:

TWC Fan Art / weatherfan_2013's TWC Fan Art
« on: August 30, 2015, 02:47:00 AM »
A Concept I designed utilizing weatherscan and the pre watt IS2 graphics

Still tweaking but this is the general idea

Updated Videos

SD Concept
! No longer available

HD Concept
! No longer available

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