IntelliStar

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IntelliStar
WATT Local on the 8s Intellistar.png
The Current Conditions screen, as of November 12, 2013
Manufacturer: Wind River (a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel Corporation)
Family: WeatherStar
Hardware: Intel x86
OS: FreeBSD[1]
Graphics: Vector/Raster
Release date: Beta: 3Q 2003
Final: 1Q 2004
Status: Retired - Decommissioned by The Weather Channel on November 16, 2015.
Succeeded by: IntelliStar 2 & IntelliStar 2 Jr.

The IntelliStar was the fifth-generation successor to the WeatherStar systems used by the American cable and satellite television channel The Weather Channel (TWC), that is used to insert local forecasts and current weather information (such as the "Local on the 8s" segments within its program schedule) into TWC's programming. Like the WeatherStar, it is installed at the cable provider's headend.

The IntelliStar has many enhanced features over its predecessor, the Weather Star XL. Like all other WeatherStar systems, the IntelliStar receives its data over a satellite connection and over the Internet. However, unlike the rest of the systems, it has the capability to receive more complex information in a more efficient manner. It also has a DualFeed feature, which allows a selection of two different video feeds. In the event of inclement weather, the DualFeed option would switch from the first (network) feed, to a second (localized) feed, providing weather information to a specific STAR or network of STARs. By doing this, the specified network of STARs could be addressed with weather updates, versus the entire national network of STARs (where such information would be irrelevant).

It also has an improved graphics display and dynamic radar capabilities. HiRAD (High Resolution Aggregated Data) technology – which was added to the IntelliStar in 2006 – allows The Weather Channel to choose any city, town or landmark as an observation or forecast site and provide data. Occasionally, the HiRAD function will fail, in which case the National Weather Service sites are used (only the current conditions – and previously, the eight-city product and regional/metro products – are affected significantly).

In May 2015, it was announced that all IntelliStar units would be replaced with either the IntelliStar 2 or the IntelliStar 2 Jr. by October 1, 2015. The IntelliStar was discontinued on November 16, 2015.[2] Many sources stated that the IntelliStar was officially decommissioned at 10:08 AM EST on November 16, 2015, and was replaced with a new system called the Intellistar 2 XD.

Design[edit]

The IntelliStar differs in design from previous WeatherStar units, as the system is basically a customized rack-mount Intel CPU-based personal computer (PC). It runs on the FreeBSD operating system, running specialized software written by The Weather Channel to make it function as an IntelliStar, but otherwise using commodity hardware of the PC platform. This was done to minimize maintenance costs, and to ease upgrading of the IntelliStar units. The previous WeatherStar units used a proprietary hardware design that hampered any hardware upgrades (the Weather Star XL, for comparison, uses proprietary SGI hardware, and runs IRIX). TWC has contributed code to the FreeBSD development community, and funded the initial development of Radeon 8500/R200 generation 3D graphics drivers used under both Linux and FreeBSD.[3]

IntelliStar History[edit]

Date Notes
February 28, 2003[4] The IntelliStar hardware platform makes its debut on Weatherscan, The Weather Channel's offshoot 24-hour local weather information service.
Late summer 2003 The TWC IntelliStar unit begins beta testing in select markets.
March 9, 2004
  • The IntelliStar ends beta testing and begins its rollout to select cable headends, including Comcast headends in markets such as Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
  • Vocal Local is active for the Regional and Local Radar screens and for during the "36 Hour Forecast" segment, although it did not read the wind information and Weather Bulletin data until three months later. There are multiple seven-day forecast narrations, including "The Week Ahead", "Here's your 7-day outlook", "Your 7-day outlook, and "Your Week Ahead", instead of just saying one's extended forecast, like on the XL.
  • The Regional Conditions map returns (it had been discontinued on the XL in June 2003 and was never reinstated, but is reintroduced to the IntelliStar).
July 2004
  • DirecTV debuts the "black bar" Lower Display Line, which displays the forecast and current conditions for major cities across the U.S., and major airport delays during national segments and special programming. This is operated from an IntelliStar that runs specialized versions of the TWC software.
  • The narration also updates to begin reading the wind information during the "36 Hour Forecast" segment and "Weather Bulletin" data from the National Weather Service.
  • The gray portion of the Lower Display Line becomes slightly brighter.
August 2004 Each cable company headend's STAR ID number, previously on the upper right hand corner of the screen in The Weather Channel's hourly identification, also began displaying under the heading "Local weather ID" on the Lower Display Line. It was criticized because it is displayed longer than the actual weather data on the LDL. At first, this is displayed only on the local forecast, but later that month, it started to be displayed during live national broadcasts as well. However, with the new Lower Display Line, as of June 2, 2008, the STAR ID only displays on the LDL during the local forecasts.
September 2004
  • The "Regional Forecast" map returns for STARs with the metro forecast.
  • "36 Hour Forecast" is renamed "Local Forecast" when it switches to a 48-hour Local Forecast product, and is increased to four screens.
  • The AM/PM Commute Metro Maps are introduced.
  • The "School Day Weather" and "Outdoor Activity Forecast" screens are added. The "School Day Weather" screen displays only during the school year, while in the summer, the "Outdoor Activity Forecast" displays for all days of the week, including holidays.
  • As a result of the addition of these screens, additional screens are used in each flavor, making the duration for each screen shorter.
  • The 90-second flavor is discontinued.
  • The hour-by-hour forecast, referred to as "Daily Planner" is now renamed the "Daypart Forecast".
  • The IntelliStar begins its rollout to Time Warner Cable headends.
October 2004 National sponsors are added during the local forecast, such as Intel Centrino mobile technology, America Online and Dell. These are shown on the upper right hand corner from after the ad crawl finishes displaying through the end of the local forecast. In summer 2006, an animated sponsor tag is added. In February 2011, sponsor tags began to also be featured on one-minute local forecasts during long-form programming.
November 2004 Buzzing audio interference is widely reported at the beginning of the Local Forecast during the "Current Conditions" and "School Day Weather"/"Outdoor Activity Forecast" products.
December 2004 The "Local Forecast" segment sometimes is reduced to three pages, because the Vocal Local outlasts the available time for the screen.
January 2005 More cities are introduced to the Metro Forecast maps such as Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska.
May 3, 2005 Vocal Local narration is changed from "Your" to "Our" in all cases.
Mid-May 2005
(April 2005 in Atlanta (beta))
Traffic conditions from Traffic Pulse debuted in major media markets, including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Detroit. The "Traffic Pulse" logo is also displayed on the bottom left hand corner during the "Local on the 8s" intro.
August 15, 2005 The IntelliStar received minor graphical changes, including a sunny background to replace the cloud background, and addition of The Weather Channel's new logo. This change was also made on Weather Star XL systems.
Late August 2005 Many cities are added and removed on the metro and regional forecast maps.
Fall 2005
  • The Air Quality Forecast no longer shows the data for two or three cities in the forecast area. Instead, it shows the air quality for only one city. This change does not occur in Southern California.
  • The IntelliStar begins its rollout to several Adelphia headends prior to Time Warner Cable and Comcast headends being prepared to take over. Previously, Adelphia headends featured a mix of Weather Star 4000 and XL units.
December 15, 2005
  • The "L-Bar" (which is similar to the one used by Weatherscan and NBC Weather Plus) is introduced. It displays current weather conditions and forecasts on-screen during long-form programming, such as Forecast Earth, Storm Stories and It Could Happen Tomorrow. Products incorporated into the bar include a daypart forecast, text-based forecast and an extended forecast. A national L-bar also debuted for satellite providers carrying the raw national feed and features current conditions and forecast information for major U.S. cities.
  • A "Traffic Overview" map similar to one seen on Weatherscan is added. The narration for the "Traffic Overview" map randomly alternates between "Traffic Conditions around our area" and "Traffic Congestion for our area".
  • From this date through January 2, 2006, Vocal Local narration for the Regional/Local Doppler Radar segment is removed.
  • A bug occurs during the three-day extended forecast in which the narration reads only the temperatures on the first day and not the rest of the forecast.
  • The morning and afternoon commute maps are discontinued.
  • The Almanac and Getaway Forecast products are discontinued for many IntelliStar units with traffic products.
  • The School Day Weather and Outdoor Activity Forecast products are discontinued for many IntelliStar units with traffic products.
December 29, 2005
  • From this date until January 19, 2006, the narration says simply "Our extended forecast" over the three-day "Extended Forecast" segment, perhaps in response to the bug in which temperatures would not be read. This was reported as an error.
  • The narration for the "Traffic Incident" and "Traffic Flow" segments is removed, leaving only one remaining narration for the "Traffic Overview" map.
February 21, 2006
  • The 90-second forecast is brought back, which causes the regional forecast to be discontinued for IntelliStar units with traffic products. This also causes the text-based forecast to sometimes show only two pages instead of three or four.
  • The almanac returns to IntelliStar units with traffic products.
  • The morning and afternoon commute maps return after a hiatus.
March 31, 2006
  • HiRAD (High Resolution Aggregated Data) technology makes its debut on the IntelliStar and weather.com. This allows TWC to choose almost any location, landmark, or neighborhood as a weather reporting station and to augment current conditions data. Only certain IntelliStars received this update during this time; however, by summer 2006, all IntelliStar units had HiRAD technology installed on them.
  • If HiRAD fails, the original observation sites are used. Widespread HiRAD outages are rare, and are usually related to TWC outages (localized HiRAD outages can occasionally occur to individual STARs if they are rebooted).
June 26, 2006 The 90-second forecast is once again discontinued. As a result, the regional forecast map is restored.
August 8, 2006 A metro conditions map is added. This causes some changes made to the lineups on the local forecast.
Fall 2006 Dish Network receives the satellite IntelliStar. It is identical to the one used by DirecTV.
December 12, 2006 Weather icons that were used on The Weather Channel since 1998 are replaced by a new set of icons. The changes were also made on DirecTV/Dish Network satellite, weather.com, national broadcast, and Weatherscan. Some IntelliStar units did not receive this update until a month or two later. Note: The "Fog" and "Windy" are only worded in the regional/metro maps.
January 23, 2007 The radar now includes indicators for wintry precipitation. The former "light/heavy" precipitation key is changed to "rain." Entries for "mix/ice" and "snow" are added, replacing the previous time lapse bar.
April 2007
  • The Getaway Forecast is brought back on a regular basis to select IntelliStars with traffic products. It also causes the traffic overview map not to show for some IntelliStars with traffic products.
  • The 90-second forecast is brought back, which causes the regional conditions and regional forecast to be discontinued for IntelliStars with traffic products and once again it also causes the text-based forecast to sometimes show only two pages instead of three or four.
May 2007 Select traffic maps were disabled due to insufficient coverage of the viewing area, including Indianapolis, Fort Worth and Orlando.
May 7, 2007 The Vocal Local narration is discontinued for all local forecast segments during the channel's designated prime time hours (8:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. Eastern Time).
May 9, 2007 The narration for the "Traffic Report" segment is restored for certain areas only where the overview map was removed.
Mid-May 2007 The feature turning the upper text on the black bar to yellow while a severe thunderstorm or tornado watch was effective is restored after being inactive for several months.
May 22, 2007
  • The green "CLEAR" box on the traffic flow segment has been replaced with the text "NO INCIDENTS REPORTED."
  • The radar legend becomes interactive with the precipitation. The snow and mix indicators now only display if frozen precipitation is detected.
  • From this date through October 23, Vocal Local narration does not read the sky conditions (even if there's no sky condition reported as in the early years); this is reported as an error.
June 4, 2007 The narration for the "Traffic Flow" segment was restored for certain areas only where the overview map was removed.
Late September 2007 Some Getaway Forecast locales change. It was later confirmed that the IntelliStar would have sponsors for Getaway locations and the Getaway product will receive a facelift, likely in late 2007 or early 2008.
October 1, 2007
  • The Vocal Local narration returns after a six-month hiatus during prime time from 8:00 p.m.–1:00 a.m. Eastern Time.
  • TWC begins using the sponsor ad inserts for its own programs. By mid-September 2008, it appears twice in a row. Until September 2010, the sponsor ad insert for its own programs simply fades out in the middle of the local forecast segment. As of September 2010, the sponsor ad remains in place (like the regular sponsor ad) after the second screen appears through to the end of the local forecast.
October 23, 2007
(October 9 for Comcast's Penn Hills, Pennsylvania; South Bend, Indiana; and Lincoln, Nebraska headends (beta): December 21, 2007 for Verizon FiOS headends)
  • The IntelliStar receives its first major graphical facelift with new title bars and a new cloud background, which was implemented around 3:18 a.m. Eastern Time.
  • Once again, The Vocal Local narration reads the full current conditions.
  • The Current Conditions product has been renamed "Now", a title scheme which also encompasses the Latest Observations, Regional Conditions and Metro Conditions products.
  • The Regional Radar and Local Radar products are respectively renamed "Regional Doppler" and "Local Doppler".
  • The images on the School Day Forecast and Outdoor Activity Forecast are changed.
  • Graphics were added to the 24–48 hour "Local Forecast" on the right hand side of the screen, and sound effects were added to correspond with the forecasts.
  • The sliding transition was replaced with a fading transition.
  • The "L-bar" Local Forecast during special programming was revamped. On the bottom right hand corner, the Weather Channel bug is replaced by the "Local on the 8s" logo.
  • The sun in the background moved to the right corner.
February 7, 2008 Any prevailing blue text on the IntelliStar was changed to black.
February 26, 2008 On the two-minute :08 and :38 flavor, the Getaway Forecast was moved between the 36/48-Hour "Local Forecast" and the "Week Ahead" on some IntelliStars (beta stage) (later for Verizon FiOS headends).
March 20, 2008
  • The 3-Day Extended Forecast was discontinued.
  • Some STARs testing the beta Getaway-product location were switched back to the normal flavor mode.
  • STARs in the Pittsburgh and Atlanta areas begin testing new Getaway and traffic product locations. The Getaway Forecast was moved to the very end of the local forecast, and the traffic products were moved to directly after the current conditions products. As a result, the current conditions metro map was replaced by the local observation pages at :08/:38.
Late March 2008 The same STARs that received the traffic-placement beta on March 20, 2008 (in Pittsburgh and Atlanta) begin showing the regional forecast once again, which had not been seen on some IntelliStars in nearly a year. However, it was shown at this point after the metro maps (example sequence: Today metro > Tonight metro > Today regional). It was suspected that this is an error in the flavor.
May 2008 The "Incidents and construction impacting our area" narration returns to some IntelliStars listing the Traffic Incidents.
June 2, 2008
(May 30 in Atlanta and Pittsburgh, June 12 for satellite IntelliStars)
The Lower Display Line (LDL) was changed. The following changes have occurred:
  • The background changed to blue, and tabs and appearing effects were added.
  • The font changed from Interstate Regular to Helvetica Neue.
  • Icons appear smaller and a scroll-down effect was implemented.
  • The Time and Temperature appear together instead of rotating between the two items in the LDL bug (however, the severe weather crawls remain the same).
  • The Monthly Precip item was moved from the local forecast LDL to a new Almanac tab during national programming. Also under this tab are the day's average temperatures (new), as well as sunrise and sunset times.
  • Traffic Incidents were added to the LDL, directly following the Traffic Flow crawl under the Traffic tab.
  • The current date was missing from the LDL. This was reported as an error.
  • Visibility and Ceiling readings were set to appear only during the Local on the 8s.
  • The Local Weather ID was set to appear only on the "Local On The 8s" segments. However, they appear twice in a row. This was reported as an error.
  • The DirecTV/Dish Network Lower Display Line (LDL) Satellite display was missing. This was also reported as an error.
  • The current Local Forecast design of that period remained the same at this time.
  • The Weather Bulletins background page was changed back to the darker sky blue.
  • The Regional Conditions and Regional Forecast segments return once again with traffic products and were only used during 90-second flavors, except for Verizon FiOS headends, and Pacific areas, which still use the Metro Conditions, and Metro Forecast.
  • The LDL for weather advisories and statements remained unmodified at that time and have the same warning tone.
  • The "L-Bar" forecast was discontinued. This was reported as an error.
  • The drop shadow was removed from The Weather Channel logo.
  • Satellite units only: The time bar still switched between the current time in the Eastern, Central, Mountain and Pacific Time Zones.
  • The Front Page Current Conditions product began to start at the beginning of the "Local on the 8s" only at :08 and :38 each hour and :18 and :48 each hour for Verizon FiOS headends, marking the first such occurrence since the 1990s. The eight-city product started the flavor at the beginning of "Local on the 8s" at :28 and :58 each hour instead.
  • The Weather Bulletins page became the first screen when active at :28 and :58 each hour for Verizon FiOS headends. This later appears in all domestic IntelliStars on May 18, 2009.
  • The Local Radar screen does not appear for Verizon FiOS headends and only appears during the short one-minute flavors. However, this made occasional appearances on all IntelliStar units during March 2009. This was reported as an error.
  • The "Marine Forecast and Tides" segments stopped appearing on Verizon FiOS headends in coastal areas leaving only the Marine Forecast segments at :08 and :38 each hour. This was reported as an error.
  • The Traffic Report and Traffic Flow segments stopped appearing on Verizon FiOS headends and only appeared during the national segments on the LDL.
  • More Getaway Forecast screens are featured for Verizon FiOS headends.
Late June 2008 The beta flavor lineup (which switched the placement of the traffic screens) added to IntelliStars in the Pittsburgh and Atlanta markets on March 20, 2008, is removed.
July 1, 2008 (July 24, 2008 for satellite IntelliStars)
  • The temperature font on the LDL was increased.
  • The upper part of the LDL was changed from a light-dark gray gradient to a light-dark blue gradient.
August 22, 2008 The "Local on the 8's" bug always appears on the upper right hand corner on the DirecTV/Dish Network Satellite during "Local on the 8s" if there is no national sponsor appearing. This is related to the launch of DirecTV's "Local on the 8s" system one month later, which places a hole in the graphics display for sponsorships.
September 3, 2008
(August 27, 2008 for IntelliStars operated by FiOS's Pittsburgh and Comcast's Atlanta system (beta); September 9, 2008 for satellite IntelliStars)
  • More changes to the lower display line: The Local Ad Crawl and Traffic crawl text area (dark blue background) is extended to the right edge of the screen, covering up the "weather.com" text under the "The Weather Channel" logo.
  • The spacing of the characters is expanded on the Local Ad Traffic Crawls to make the text more readable, as well as the font size being increased and widened.
  • The font size of the clock on the LDL is enlarged to make it more readable (and to match the size of the temperature).
  • All of the traffic ‘dots’ are now the same size (in the traffic crawl).
  • The drop shadow is added back on The Weather Channel logo as before.
September 25, 2008 The LDL on DirecTV is discontinued during the "Local On The 8s" segments to make way for local forecasts by ZIP code fed through DirecTV receivers.
Late 2008 The IntelliStar 2 is released for the HD version of The Weather Channel.
November 16-November 23, 2008 The coloring of The Weather Channel logo on the LDL becomes green as NBC Universal begins its second "Green Week" as part of its "Green Is Universal" initiative; the same alteration occurred on all NBC-owned networks including TWC sister network Weatherscan, as well as weather.com. The green logo would also be used for TWC's existing "Earth Week" and for future "Green is Universal" weeks.
December 12, 2008 The "L-Bar" forecast was restored for all domestic IntelliStars; however, its appearance is more coordinated with the 2006–2007 appearance than that introduced in October 2007.
January 2009 The "Incidents and construction impacting our area" narration is once again discontinued.
March 12, 2009 The sound effects on the text-based Local Forecast product were disabled on all domestic (TWC) IntelliStars.
April 2009 A few cities on DirecTV and Dish Network's IntelliStar LDL have been removed.
April 6, 2009
  • The monthly precipitation counter on the LDL now uses the HiRAD sites.
  • The monthly precip counter was added to the local forecast again, now part of the "now tab" on the LDL. It continues to be shown under the "almanac" tab during national broadcasts.
  • The "Local on the 8s" bug for DirecTV/Dish Network was made transparent.
April 13, 2009 The "Local on the 8s" bug for DirecTV/Dish Network was updated with a white background and blue-colored font.
May 11, 2009
(May 18 on most domestic IntelliStars)
  • New flavors begin internal testing on the units in Comcast's Atlanta and Penn Hills/suburban Pittsburgh service areas.
  • The Front Page Current Conditions product starts off the "Local on the 8s" segment only at :28 and :58 minutes past the hour during regular programming, marking the first occurrence of such since the 1990s, although it is still in use at :08 and :38 each hour during regular programming and again at :28 minutes past each hour during Day Planner from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Eastern Time and Weekend Now from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Eastern Time until September 2009 (this was extended until 3 p.m. Eastern Time if there was special coverage) only if no other screens are available. This was extended until 5 p.m. Eastern Time (6 p.m. Eastern until November 19, 2010, through its current 7 p.m. Eastern beginning November 22, 2010 if there is special coverage) only during Day Planner beginning on September 27, 2010. At :08/:38, the eight-city current conditions starts off the local forecast instead on STARs that have traffic products (even with Marine Forecast and Tides products in coastal areas without traffic products). The eight-city product will also start off the "Local on the 8s" at 08/:38 each hour elsewhere if there is precipitation in the area on STARs without traffic products.
  • The Weather Bulletins page became the first screen when active, preempting the entire local forecast, instead of displaying after the front page current conditions product as before.
  • More Getaway Forecast, Almanac, Radar Satellite, and Air Quality screens are featured. The Almanac and Radar/Satellite products display on every two-minute local forecast for non-traffic viewers.
  • The "Local Forecast" segment is sometimes reduced to two pages at :08/:38 each hour rather than :18/:48 each hour. This segment no longer contained more than three periods or "screens" at :08, :18, :38, and :48 past each hour for areas in the Central, Eastern and Mountain Time Zones except for Verizon FiOS headends and areas in the Pacific Time Zone, which still uses four periods at :08 and :38 each hour. This segment also no longer contained more than three periods or "screens" at :28 past each hour during Day Planner weekdays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Eastern Time (10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Eastern if there is special coverage until September 2009) and during Weekend Now weekends from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Eastern Time (11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Eastern if there is special coverage until September 2009), or until 3 p.m. Eastern during Day Planner if there is special coverage. This segment was extended until 5 p.m. Eastern Time (6 p.m. Eastern until November 19, 2010, through its current 7 p.m. Eastern Time beginning November 22, 2010 if there is special coverage) beginning September 27, 2010. Four periods are only seen (when a fourth daypart is available) at :28 and :58 past the hour during regular programming.
  • From 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Eastern Time (10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Eastern Time if there is special coverage), a one-minute flavor plays at :08/:38 each hour and :18/48 each hour. At :08/:38 each hour, there is no text-based "Local Forecast". On weekends, it's 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Eastern Time (11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Eastern Time if there is special coverage). The eight-city current conditions also start off the local forecast at :28 past the hour during Day Planner for weekdays until 2 p.m. Eastern Time (4 p.m. Eastern if there is special coverage) and Weekend Now during weekends until 2 p.m. Eastern Time (5 p.m. Eastern if there is special coverage) only until September 2009.
  • The Front Page Current Conditions product used for Verizon FiOS headends is discontinued at :08 and :38 each hour and :18 and :48 each hour and only appears during the short one-minute flavors, although it is still in use in some areas during the two-minute flavors. The Eight-city product will also start off the Local on the 8s at :08 and :38 each hour, rather than :28 and :58 each hour.
July 20, 2009
  • At :18 and :48 past the hour, the traffic products page (where available) became the first screen before the Current Conditions product, appearing from 6 to 10 a.m. Eastern Time during Wake Up With Al and Your Weather Today (later this was used only at 8:18 a.m. and 8:48 a.m. Eastern beginning in late August 2009), and a 90-second flavor airs at :08/:38 during Wake Up With Al. Later on in September 2009, this was used every week at :48 past the hour during regular programming from 11 a.m. v 2 p.m. Eastern Time (11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Eastern if there is special coverage). This was extended until 5 p.m. Eastern Time (6 p.m. Eastern until November 19, 2010, through 7 p.m. Eastern beginning on November 22, 2010 if there is special coverage) beginning on September 27, 2010 only during Day Planner.
  • For the local forecasts seen at :18/:48 minutes past the hour, the front page Current Conditions screen, eight-city currents screen, and Radar/Satellite products are added.
  • The Weather Bulletins page is moved to just after the traffic products page (where available) on the 90-second flavors at :18/:48 after the hour. This was dropped on March 11, 2010, when the Weather Bulletins page was moved back to its normal placement.
  • The Air Quality screen is moved to just after the eight-city currents before the radar on the :18/:48 90-second flavors. This was dropped in mid-August, when the Air Quality screen was moved back to its normal placement.
September 17, 2009 Normal local forecast lengths have resumed during the 10 a.m. Eastern Time to 2 p.m. Eastern Time time period weekdays, meaning all local forecasts at :18/:48 are once again 90-second flavors, and all local forecasts at :08/:38 are once again two minute flavors. This was only a one-day change. However, it returned for good on September 28, 2009. This has resumed during the 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern Time period as well during the weekends. The eight-city current conditions also starts off the local forecast at :28 past the hour only during weekdays until 2 p.m. Eastern during Day Planner (or until 3 p.m. Eastern if there is special coverage). This was extended until 5 p.m. Eastern Time (6 p.m. Eastern until November 19, 2010, through 7 p.m. Eastern beginning on November 22, 2010 if there is special coverage) beginning on September 27, 2010.
March 11, 2010
  • New icons which are featured or based on the weather.com website are debuted on all domestic IntelliStars, and are used during both "Local on the 8s" and on the LDL. The new icons resemble the original 2006 design though are now animated on the LDL and feature a modified sun design and altered precipitation animations, though the modified sun design and cloud texture is partially similar to the icons used on the Weather Star 4000. The "Fog" icon became worded in the entire local forecast. The "Windy" icon is not worded in any of the Current Conditions products, but it is worded in the Forecast Map products.
  • The Lower Display Line (LDL) was changed, though the previous LDL design with modified icons and with the Star ID number remains in use during "Local on the 8s". Two versions of the LDL are used that alternate every three hours during programming. The following changes have occurred:
    • The first new LDL debuted which displays local data during national programming, displaying the current temperature and sky conditions, and two-day forecast for 50 U.S. cities. A second, larger version of the redesigned LDL debuted during Day Planner which takes up the bottom third of the screen, the largest of the LDLs used by any WeatherStar system, and displays the current temperature and sky conditions, and five-day forecast for 50 U.S. cities over the national feed, and current conditions and forecasts for three cities on the local feed. Both use a blue background with shaded yellow tabs, and a hole for insertion of program information or sponsor tags; the left third of the LDLs are left blank and a scroll-up effect started to be used.
    • Similarly-designed LDLs also debut for local feeds that removes the tab functions on the smaller LDL, though a tab function is used on the smaller LDL aired on the national feed.
    • The tab function remains on the larger version of the LDL.
    • The travel forecasts, almanac, air quality and traffic information are dropped (with traffic information being relegated to the "Local on the 8s" segment, and for all products mentioned marking the first time none of these products are on the LDL since they were originally added; for the monthly precipitation, it marks the first time that it has not been included on the LDL as that field has been used on all LDLs since the original Weather Star system).
    • The redesigned LDL aggregates the forecast information for the main reporting station and areas nearby to being displayed along with the current conditions for those areas.
    • The current temperature at the top right of the bar, which on the 1/3-height LDL's time tab overhangs the tab due to the font size being bigger on the larger LDL, now changes for each city displayed instead of showing the current temperature for the main reporting station throughout.
    • A descriptive 36-hour forecast similar to that seen on "Local on the 8s" but with the specific forecast sky condition in a larger Helvetica Condensed font above the description, graphical six-hour and five-day forecasts, a three-hour local radar loop and a five-hour regional radar/satellite loop (for the Eastern and Central U.S., or a satellite loop in the Western U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) are added.
    • A descriptive Weather Bulletin also similar to that seen on "Local on the 8s" when issued is introduced.
    • Slide-down effects are used on both versions of the LDLs to cue commercial breaks and segment starts on the local feeds.
    • The time tab or Star ID number on this version of the LDL is absent on both versions, and the fonts are different on the local and national versions of the LDL, Helvetica Regular and Helvetica Condensed for the local LDL and Helvetica Regular and DIN 1454 for the national LDL.
    • National Sponsors have been added during national programming on the LDL before the commercial breaks, though these are sparingly used.
    • The old warning crawls remained in use, much like with the previous LDL update in June 2008. However, they are overlaid on the LDL, as evidenced when the warning crawl and the 1/3-length LDL are shown on the screen simultaneously.
  • The L-Bar is once again discontinued.
March 13–15, 2010 During primetime programming, the local LDL appeared without overlaying the national LDL, revealing that the local LDLs actually take up only 3/4s length. When the national LDL was cued, the local LDLs did not appear at all at times. The national LDL did not appear at times during the presentation of Surviving the Elements: Tornado on March 13. During the weekend edition of PM Edition, the ¼-screen height local LDLs were displayed while the small 1/3 national LDLs were cued at times. These were all reported as errors.
March 16, 2010 A time clock has been added on the LDL for all cable and satellite headends, and is located on the bottom left hand corner during national programming, and switches between Eastern, Central, Mountain and Pacific times, instead of the local LDL displaying the local time (this has been identified as an error on the local IntelliStars). Unlike the previous version of the LDL, the time and temperature are now in different positions on the LDL, with the current temperature on the top right portion. The time clock displayed on the national LDL is incorrect however, with the displayed time being one minute ahead (this was reported as an error and later corrected).
March 27, 2010 Due to issues on the part of Traffic Pulse, all traffic overview maps in all markets have been removed.
April 14, 2010
  • The IntelliStar's local time is once again next to the temperature on the LDL, however, the time is displayed in a smaller font than that of the temperature. The current temperature on the yellow bar on the ¼-height LDL is also decreased in size to fit the area of the LDL it is on.
  • In some areas, some cities shown in the Getaway Forecast were changed.
May 19, 2010 All traffic products were removed from the IntelliStar for unknown reasons.
May 25, 2010 The Traffic Flow and Traffic Report pages return to the STAR after a six-day hiatus.
September 2010
  • The "Not Available" icon is added only when sky conditions are not reported in the entire local forecast.
  • The 1/3 length LDL was removed for unknown reasons. However, as of October 3, 2010, it was restored as part of its new "Local on the 8s" L-bar for long-form programming such as "Storm Stories".
December 8, 2010
  • New flavor lineups debut on all domestic STARs.
  • After TWC was unable to renew the content agreement with Traffic Pulse, all traffic products were removed from STAR systems that utilized them.
  • The Front Page Current Conditions segment once again starts all flavors.
  • More Regional Conditions and Regional Forecast maps featured on the two-minute flavors.
  • More eight-city Current Conditions featured at every hour during the two-minute flavors.
  • The Weather Bulletins page remained the first screen, when active preempting the entire local forecast instead of after seeing the Front Page Current Conditions product as before.
  • The School Day Weather and Outdoor Activity Forecast products were discontinued on most IntelliStars, however, it remained in use at :08/:38 each hour only on STARs without the Marine Forecast and Tides products in coastal areas, and even elsewhere if no other screens are available.
  • The Daypart Forecast was discontinued on most IntelliStars that have Marine Forecast and Tides products in coastal areas, however, it is still in use elsewhere only if no other screens are available.
  • The Metro Conditions and Metro Forecast maps only appear during the 90-second flavors, with the exception of Metro Conditions map at :18/:48 each hour during normal programming and can only appear during Wake Up With Al at :18/:48 each hour, Your Weather Today at 8:18 a.m. Eastern Time and 8:48 a.m. Eastern Time, :48 each hour during Day Planner until 5 p.m. Eastern Time (7 p.m. Eastern, if there is special weather coverage), during Weekend Now until 2 p.m. Eastern (3 p.m. Eastern, if there is special weather coverage), :18/:48 each hour during Weather Center beginning on January 31, 2011, and :18/:48 each hour during normal programming beginning on March 14, 2011. Although, the Metro Forecast map still appears at :08/:38, only on STARs without the Marine Forecast and Tides products in coastal areas, as well as in the Pacific areas at :28/:58 each hour, and even elsewhere if no other screens are available.
  • The "Local Forecast" segment with four periods once again return on the two-minute flavors, along with the 90-second flavors.
February 5, 2011 The squeezeback that displays local information returns. The classic "4-note" signature chime also returned at the premiere of a beta test to the national version, which appeared during the regular long-form programming block from 5 to 7 p.m. Eastern, but was preempted a week prior to the proposed "Prime for Excitement" launch. However, during the beta test, the local LDLs still shut off.
May 25, 2011 The blue LDL for Dish Network is discontinued during the "Local on the 8s" segment due to the update of the new satellite local forecast maps and graphics, which uses a built-in LDL.
July 21, 2011
(July 25 on some IntelliStars)
  • New flavor lineups debut on some IntelliStars.
  • The eight-city Current Conditions segment, Regional Conditions and Regional Forecast maps, which as featured on the two-minute flavors were removed on some IntelliStars and were replaced with Metro Conditions and Metro Forecast maps on all flavors.
  • The Getaway Forecast segment only appears at :28 each hour, except from 4–6 a.m. Eastern Time on weekdays and 4 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 4–5 p.m. Eastern on weekends (4 a.m. – 7 p.m. Eastern on weekends, if there is special weather coverage).
  • Almanac only appears at :18 and :48 each hour.
  • Tides and Marine Forecast (in coastal areas) were moved to :28 and :58 each hour.
  • More Daypart Forecast segment is featured on the two-minute flavors.
July 26, 2011 Text messages were added at the bottom of the 7-Day Forecast. The text cycles between "In-depth analysis and detailed local forecasts are available now at weather.com", "For all of your outdoor activity conditions and forecasts, visit weather.com for details", "Have a question or comment regarding the Local On The 8's? Go to weather.com/local", and "Detailed travel weather forecasts and conditions available now at weather.com". For severe weather alerts in certain areas, the box is shaded in red for any certain day, and the text cycle is "Potential for severe thunderstorms/heavy rainfall/flooding rains (name of the day). Additional details available now on weather.com" from the red box at the bottom. For any Hurricane or Tropical Storm system that threatens a given area, the text cycle is "Tropical Storm/Hurricane conditions possible (name of the day). Additional details available now on weather.com", and "Watching the Tropics (name of the day). Additional details available now on weather.com". For winter weather alerts in certain areas, the text cycle is "Potential for up to (X) inches of snow (name of the day). Additional details available now on weather.com", "Potential for significant/heavy snowfall (name of the day). Additional details available now on weather.com", and "Blizzard conditions possible (name of the day). Additional details available now on weather.com". Some IntelliStars, however, did not have an update feature.
August 1, 2011 The specialized "L" bar previously seen during long-form programming and special extended weather coverage in specialized "Local on the 8s" forecasts at or around :08/:38 and :18/:48 minutes past the hour was removed; the Lower Display Line is no longer cued at the start of each segment during long-form shows and extended weather coverage as well, and was limited to the specialized "Local on the 8s" forecasts (a translucent Weather Channel logo bug, previously seen only during airings of From the Edge with Peter Lik, is instead displayed at other times during such programs).
August 17, 2011 The Getaway Forecast, which as featured at :28 each hour during Wake Up with Al, Your Weather Today, Day Planner and Weather Center Live, and :58 minutes past each hour during long-form programming is discontinued.
September 5, 2011 The eight-city Local Observations, Getaway Forecast, Regional Conditions and Regional Forecast are restored.
December 19, 2011 60-second local forecasts start airing at :18 and :48 past the hour during Day Planner and Weather Center Live.
March 3, 2012
  • The squeezeback that displays local L-bar returns again, and only appears at :08/:38 each hour during Day Planner (until March 26, 2012), Weather Center Live, and every 30 minutes each hour with a Live Weather Update during long-form programming. The following changes were made:
    • The ad-crawl, which as seen during "Local on the 8s" is shown at the bottom of the screen, when active.
    • The Hour-by-Hour Forecast was discontinued.
    • The Local Forecast was reduced from three screens to two.
    • The 7-Day Forecast was changed to a 5-Day Forecast.
May 2, 2012 The text cycle at the bottom of the Extended Forecast is updated as "Get your personalized weather at the new weather.com; now more local, social, and relevant!" This text is only shown at the bottom instead of the other four text cycles as before due to the new weather.com website. Severe weather text pages (with specific name of the day) remains shown at the bottom as before.
May 22, 2012 90-second local forecast flavors are now featured during :28/:58 minutes past each hour during Day Planner and Weather Center Live. 60-second flavors also now appear at :18/:48 after the hour during both shows, while Day Planner also uses the 60-second flavor during :08/:38 past each hour (Weather Center Live still uses the L-shaped squeezeback local forecasts featured at :08/:38 minutes past each hour). 90-second local forecast flavors also display in all flavors weekdays from 4:00 to 6:00 a.m. Eastern Time during First Outlook, and weekends from 4:30 to 11:00 a.m. Eastern during Weekend View. Though, the two-minute flavors still air weekdays from 6:00 to 11:00 a.m. Eastern at :28/:58 (until November 9, 2012), and at 4:28 a.m. Eastern after The Weather Classroom.
November 12, 2012 The 60-second flavor now appears in all cases weekdays from 4:00 to 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time (as well as Weather Center Live beginning February 18, 2013, and then later during Day Planner beginning April 1, 2013) due to the new weekday programming lineup.
November 20, 2012 The "weather.com" text which had been used underneath The Weather Channel logo is discontinued in all instances.
January 27, 2013 The station ID segment seen at :57 past the hour, during which identifies the cable provider, channel number, and ID number (all of which were generated by the IntelliStar) is discontinued for unknown reasons. This change also affected the IntelliStar 2 as well as all of the legacy STAR units (Weather Star XL, 4000 and Jr.).
April 6, 2013 The last two remaining two-minute LFs that appear following "The Weather Classroom" as well as the 90-second LF flavors are discontinued in all cases. The 60-second LF flavors that are shown all day weekdays are now shown on the weekends, which causes many products to be discontinued.
September 8, 2013 The Weather Channel logo color on the LDL becomes orange as part of being a supporter of Share Our Strength's "No Kid Hungry" campaign, for which many cable networks turned their logos orange in support of September being Hunger Awareness Month.
November 12, 2013
  • The IntelliStar receives its third 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 after more than nine years of use, to a more flat design than the previous topographic layout.
  • The "Haze" icon becomes fully worded again after not being worded since the icon update in December 2006. "Windy" reappears on all icons again, but is shown as a symbol, and not worded.
  • Vocal Local is disabled.
  • National sponsors no longer appear during the local forecast segment.
December 17, 2013
  • Allen Jackson's Vocal Local narration returns to the IntelliStar after a near-month-long hiatus.
  • The sound effects during the text-based local forecast have also returned after a 3 ½-year hiatus.
  • The Vocal Local narration will sometimes be interrupted while reading the continuous text-based local forecasts as the page turns to the next page. This was reported as an error.
Late January 2014 The forecast sound effects are once again disabled after two months of activation.
Late February 2014 The vocal local narration interruption error is fixed.
April 1, 2014 The time and temperature rotates once again 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, this also happened on the Intellistar 2 and 2 Jr.
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.
Early 2015 The alert tone for the warning crawl has been changed to match the IntelliStar 2 and IntelliStar 2 Jr. Also the radar received an update making the names of cities have white boxes around them.
November 16, 2015 The Intellistar is officially retired by The Weather Channel after 11 years, and the IntelliStar 2 XD or IntelliStar 2 Jr. has replaced most IntelliStar units.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1.2. Welcome to FreeBSD!". freebsd.org. Retrieved September 22, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-09-08. Retrieved 2016-01-15. 
  3. ^ An article on FreeBSD's role in the operation of the IntelliStar
  4. ^ "The Weather Channel - Current Conditions". The Weather Channel. Archived from the original on 2003-06-22. In February of 2003, The Weather Channel successfully re-launched Weatherscan, it’s all local digital tier product, on the new IntelliStar platform.