Weather Authority Adds Sound Capabilities, Easy Record/Edit/Posting, Mobile/Social Network Distribution and More
Andover, MA April 6, 2010 – Responding to industry demand and viewer research, WSI (Weather Services International) Corporation, the leading provider of superior weather data and graphics systems for the majority of US broadcast and cable networks, today announced a new, cutting-edge version of its TruVu Max system, delivering sound capabilities and easy creation/distribution features, all within a 3D environment in the only 100% real-time rendering system available anywhere.
“Because 82% of our test audiences have HD screens with external sound systems, they want jaw-dropping realism and entertainment in everything they watch, including weathercasts,” said Bill Dow, WSI Vice President and General Manager, Media Division. “In 2010, WSI is responding to that demand by adding another dimension to TruVu Max, the dimension of sound. Now viewers can not only see the pictures in a 3D environment, they can also hear the wind blow, listen to the thunder crash and experience the rain as it hits the water. Our Skycast 4D will bring 3D cityscapes and sound together for a forecast so realistic, it will be like seeing and hearing tomorrow’s weather today.”
The TruVu Max Audio feature is a first in the industry. It allows the user to combine identifiable audio clips with on-air graphics, such as a sound chime with an extended forecast, to create a more compelling weathercast or alert viewers when potential life-saving information is being shown. TruVu Max’s new audio feature comes standard with the enhanced TruVu Max system.
For their part, broadcasters and cable networks told WSI they worry about the cost, time, necessary staffing and methods of extending their brand presence into the Web and mobile worlds. WSI responded to their pleas with TruVu’s Max One and Max Prism.
The Max One module, a free add-on to the TruVu system, enables one person to record, edit and post a video weathercast to the Web without tying up Master Control, the studio or the engineering team. It saves staff time and resources. It also allows the quick posting of branded weather content across multiple platforms, like Mobile.
MAX Prism, which is standard in the enhanced system, automatically re-formats and distributes content for the web or mobile based on content a station’s weathercasters produce for on-air. Max Prism enables weather staff to enter data once and create content for multiple platforms, providing viewers the same forecast no matter how they digest it. With Max Prism, the content retains a consistent look across all platforms without any additional work.
“Simply put, our enhanced TruVu Max system will create a truly realistic weather show, do it more quickly and at the same time, keep web and mobile production costs lower than ever before,” said Dow. “For broadcasters, the new Max gets the most out of their talent and their HD investment. This is the production system that will set the standard for years to come.”
The market agrees. Comments from the field include:
• “From my News Director chair, I would tell you that Max has provided us with the best graphics and weather display in the market," said Michelle Butt, WBAL, Baltimore
• “I would estimate that Max saves us at least an hour producing graphics every day,” said Terry Eliason, WBZ, Boston
• “Coolest weather technology I have ever touched,”said Adam Frederick, KIMT, Northern Iowa & Southern Minnesota.
Additional TruVu Max features include:
• Live video can be added into your shows either as full screen elements or as objects in any scene including on the earth. Up to four simultaneous live video feeds can be used. With the auto-switching capability one can manage many more live feeds; stations are only limited by their switchers’ capacity. Also, live video can be applied to 3D-objects offering new, innovative visualization opportunities.
• Highest resolution data available on the market enables TruVu Max users to create realistic images and animations for forecasts and live reports at the neighborhood level.
• 3D real-time rendering delivers the most realistic and natural lighting, shadowing, reflections and effects. Max’s real-time rendering enables users to follow weather more locally without sacrificing quality.
• Early SPC information Plotting & Presentation With the capability to incorporate Storm Prediction Center (SPC) Convective Outlooks and Watch Boxes, as well as include National Weather Service Watches/Warnings (US and Canada, including offshore zones), broadcasters can tell the severe storm story days in advance with TruVu Max by plotting it from the outlook stage through the warning issuance from their local forecast offices as the event unfolds.
About WSI Corporation
WSI is the most trusted source of weather information across the globe. WSI is recognized as the world's leading source of professional on-air weather systems and forecasting tools for television. More of America’s leading broadcasting and cable companies choose WSI than any other weather provider. WSI is a member of The Weather Channel Companies and is headquartered in Andover, Massachusetts with offices in Birmingham, England. The Weather Channel Companies are owned by a consortium made up of NBC Universal and the private equity firms The Blackstone Group and Bain Capital.
Contacts: Editorial Contact:
Linda Maynard Barbara Rudolph
Weather Services International Rudolph Communications, LLC