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The Weather Channel (TWC) is an American pay-per-view television that broadcasts weather forecasts and weather related news and analysis, together with documentaries and entertainment programming related to weather.
Although its primary role is information, the Weather Channel is also seen as an entertainment broadcaster whose audience trusts it to tell them stories where weather, science, and life connect. The award-winning editorial team creates video content that engages the audience with sight, sound, and motion across the channel’s properties and beyond.
To maintain the high standard of presentation, the Weather Channel upgraded the primary studio set at its Atlanta headquarters with a new video wall provided by Electrosonic. The videowall is used as a backdrop for on-air talent and a vehicle for live video and map presentations.
The Weather Channel has seen a gradual transition towards a mix of weather forecast programming and weather-related entertainment programming. At the same time its content has been upgraded to HD standard broadcasting.
Electrosonic is a long-time partner of the Weather Channel and supplied an earlier rear-screen projection edge-blended system with projectors. Although this solution was state-of-the-art at the time, display technology has moved on.
As part of the ongoing relationship, Electrosonic worked with the Weather Channel to understand their updated requirements and propose alternatives. Our recommendation was a video wall using LED-illuminated DLP cubes, which offer extremely long lamp life, rich color and easy maintenance.
LED-illuminated cubes have now reached a point of maturity in the market, making it the preferred choice for applications where image quality is critical. The technology utilizes solid state illumination and features vivid, wide color gamut performance with no lamps to replace, no moving parts, and no consumables.
Electrosonic installed the pedestal and cubes for the new videowall, which is 26.9 feet by 6.8 feet, adjusted the geometry and color balanced the screens to match the studio lighting.
The Weather Channel wanted to upgrade its existing rear screen projection system to take advantage of the latest technology. The goal was to optimize image quality across a variety of different types of content, reduce maintenance requirements and ensure availability in an environment where broadcasting continuity is mission critical.
The videowall had to be installed and color adjusted to local conditions with minimal disruption while existing broadcasting continued in the same studio.
The new videowall is designed in a 2x6 configuration. A three output image processor drives a trio of 1-in/4-out distribution amps, each of which drives one of three 2x2 sections of the wall. The videowall does its own processing of each section, creating one large dynamic image.
Careful planning and fast installation enabled a smooth deployment even though the studio was in use at the time. The Electrosonic team was able to build the wall and make the initial tweaks without disrupting on-air production.
The Weather Channel recognized that the highest quality display technology was essential to presenting its content in HD to a demanding audience. The flexible format supports standalone content and acts as a background to a live presenter.
The advanced, low-maintenance video wall technology ensures consistent reliable presentation of high-quality imagery and provides a sustainable solution with minimal risk of program downtime.