IntelliStar 2 HD

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IntelliStar 2 HD
I2 HD Logo.png
IS2 WATT CC.jpg
The IntelliStar 2's Current Conditions Screen as of February 11, 2015
Intellistar 2.jpg
The IntelliStar 2's current conditions screen, seen from 2010 to 2013.
Manufacturer:The Weather Channel (Internally Custom Built)
Software:Internally built high-level C# / F# software
Family:WeatherStar
OS:Windows XP Embedded Standard
Render Engine:Vizrt Engine
Release Date:July 2010
Status:Unknown - Official data on decommission status unavailable due to no confirmed sources
Format:1080i High Definition
Succeeded By:IntelliStar 2 XD & IntelliStar 2 Jr.

The IntelliStar 2 HD (Known internally as "I2 HD" or colloquially just referred to as the "I2") was the high-definition successor to the IntelliStar. Like previous iterations of the WeatherStar system, the unit is installed at each cable provider's headend. This system was the first one to output in 1080i high-definition.

In November 2015, it was rumored that IntelliStar 2 HD units would be phased out and replaced with the IntelliStar 2 XD during quarter one of 2016.[1] As the graphics on the IntelliStar 2 HD are the same as the IntelliStar 2 XD, it is impossible to determine a final decommission date.

Design

The custom rack mount case of the IntelliStar 2 HD (the TWC logo typically found above the "IntelliStar 2 HD" text to the right is missing here).

The IntelliStar 2 HD follows the design of the IntelliStar, as the system is custom designed and built rack-mount PC. The I2 HD runs on Windows XP Embedded Standard[2], and the software running the back end operation of the unit is a combination of high level software written in C# / F# by The Weather Channel. Graphical creation and rendering was created using software from Vizrt, mainly Viz Artist for design and Viz Engine for rendering. Attempts were originally made to outsource hardware creation for the unit, but was moved internal after the outsourcing company failed to produce results.[3]

Hardware used in the IntelliStar 2 HD[4]

  • Intel Core i7-930 Processor
  • CORSAIR DOMINATOR 3GB DDR3 SDRAM
  • EVGA E758-A ATX Motherboard
  • EVGA GTX 470 GPU
  • Cooler Master 850W SilentPro Modular PSU
  • In-house created Thunderstorm and Mistral cards, and the Micro-burst daughter board for digital video processing

Graphics

The IntelliStar 2 HD's graphical layout for the "Local on the 8s" segments features the product that is being shown at that time (see Current Products) in a main window on the left two-thirds of the screen, with The Weather Channel and "Local on the 8s" logos above it, attached to a box showing the name of the city and the current time. Below the main window and ad crawl is a small, rundown-like list of products currently being shown and expected to be shown (up to four products are listed); this list includes a progress bar that represents the length of the segment, filling the longer a product has been displayed. Next to the list is an icon related to the product being shown in the main window (for example, a thermometer for current conditions or a radarscope for radar loops).

The Lower Display Line displays the current weather conditions and the forecast for the next five days for up to four cities in the area (including the local observation site) on the LDL; the accompanying sidebar shows additional products displayed within a "dial" at the center right, with a similar rundown list appearing below it (the rundown appearing on the top right of the sidebar is available to all providers and is not covered by the IntelliStar 2-generated sidebar). Since The Weather Channel began displaying weather data full-time on November 12, 2013, the Lower Display Line appears throughout during all programming (having been removed during commercials and long-form programming on all STARs previously; it continues to disappear entirely during local advertising breaks on many cable systems), while the sidebar is removed during commercial breaks.

Timeline

July 2010 The IntelliStar 2 HD exits beta stage and debuts its first two units in Murfreesboro and Nashville, Tennessee.
August 2010 Vocal Local is activated, featuring an audio track narrated by TWC meteorologist/storm tracker Jim Cantore.
Fall 2011
  • Corner "mini" radars are updated on some IntelliStar 2 HD systems to include more than one city on the map.
  • The Climate Data screen is added to regular usage on two minute forecasts.
November 12, 2013
  • The I2 receives its first major graphics revision. The changes include new flatter icons (akin to those found on certain mobile weather apps), new backgrounds, and the introduction of a time bar on the "Local on the 8s" segments to display the length of each product and up to three segments that follow the one being shown (placed where the LDL would be) as well as the introduction of a summary product showing the current observations and a daypart forecast. The Lower Display Line is also overhauled, and is now displayed constantly, even during commercial breaks (however, it no longer appears during the "Local on the 8s" segments); the warning crawls, now displaying a smaller font, is now placed above the national newsfeed crawl (a new element of the LDL that is seen on both the national feed as well as on systems using the IntelliStar and IntelliStar 2). All changes conform to The Weather Channel's "Weather All The Time" campaign.
  • The basemaps receive an overhaul to a more flat design than the previous topographic layout.
  • National sponsors no longer appear during the local forecast segment.
April 1, 2014 The time and temperature begins to rotate on the LDL.
July 24, 2014 Traffic returns to the LDL for many major cities after nearly a three-year hiatus.
October 21, 2014
  • Summary and analog clock removed during Local on the 8s with some graphical changes.
  • The 36-hour detailed forecast returns after nearly a year of absence.
  • At the end of the local forecast, the hashtag "It's Amazing Out There" is displayed. If a severe weather product or statement is in effect, "For more information, stay on The Weather Channel" is displayed instead
November 6, 2014 National sponsors reappear on the Local Forecast segment after almost a year of absence. Unlike the original sponsors, each sponsor gets its own unique background with the sponsor logo in the lower-right corner.
January 10, 2015 The radar segment receives an update making the names of cities have white boxes around them.
Q1 2016 Apparent time period that the IntelliStar 2 HD was possibly decommissioned. Little is actually known about the current state of the HD, however, since it is impossible to graphically differentiate between the HD and the IntelliStar 2 xD.
April 3, 2018
  • The Weather Channel begins a new initiative to bring more live programming, also bringing changes to the Local on the 8s segments. Full screen Local on the 8s segments are now only shown at :18 and :48 past each hour, all other Local on the 8s segments happen on the L-bar during live programming
  • The logo for The Weather Channel on the LDL is completely replaced with a Local on the 8s logo during live programming
  • The local sidebar no longer appears and is replaced by the national sidebar, except during the L-bar version of the Local on the 8s
  • The ad crawl from the full screen presentation is now overlaid in the news ticker area during the L-bar version of the forecast
September 11, 2019 The Up Next bar at the bottom of the Local on the 8s is removed to accommodate the alert crawls at the bottom of the screen

References