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The WeatherStar 4000 was the first graphic-capable model of the WeatherStar line from TWC. It's introduced around 1988 & was designed & manufactured by Canadian electronics company Amirix (then the Applied Microelectronics Institute). It had an improved display font over it's predecessor, the WeatherStar 3000. The first 4000s that were placed in service were programmed to operate text only like its predecessors (using its improved font instead). However, the 4000 used slightly different flavors (screen lineups) that included, beginning in April 1990, a graphical radar page @ the end of the local forecast. During most of the 90s, the 4000 was widely used, but many cable companies began to replace the 4000 with the newer WeatherStar XL in 1998 & 1999 & later the IntelliStar in the next decade. TWC has not discontinued the 4000 & it's still in use by some (mostly smaller) cable companies today.

Standard FeaturesEdit

When the WeatherStar 4000 was first introduced in 1990, it operated in a text-based, mixed-case format on a plain blue background similar to the WeatherStar 3000, but with a cleaner font & current radar image @ the end of each flavor. The WeatherStar 4000 later received its first facelifts in mid 1990, with the first additions being an orange & blue background with gradient, TWC's logo & icon-based Regional Forecast maps. In 1991, more changes were made, including the addition of a graphic-based Almanac segment featuring moon phases & the graphic-based Current Conditions & Extended Forecast segment which feature a set of medium-sized icons, which were pre-shrunk & later became part of the Regional Conditions & Regional Forecast which replaced & were replaced by more realistic icons featuring sun icons with ripples, as well as puffy white clouds with shades of gray. Rain storms were represented by slanted bars that have alternating shades of blue. The moon icons on the regional maps are represented as crescent moons on the Regional Conditions page. The text-based Regional Conditions list was replaced with the icon-based Regional Observations map in 1992. The radar segments are not available on the WeatherStar 4000 in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico or the United States Virgin Islands. In Alaska, a repeat of the Latest Observations segment is used in place of the radar segments. In Hawaii, there is a radar segment for Seattle, Washington displaying "Radar Data Temporarily Unavailable". The Extended Forecast displays the forecast for 3 days @ a time. Another standard feature that is exclusive to the WeatherStar 4000 systems in Southern California is the Air Quality data segment, which never received a full scale roll out outside of California until it was introduced nationwide on the Intellistar.

Segments found on the WeatherStar 4000Edit

  • Marine Forecast - found only in select coastal areas (mainly New Orleans & points west) & displays wind & wave conditions on a purple/black gradient background. Also had the ability to display one marine advisory, ranging from "Caution" to "Hurricane Warning" as well as Dense Fog Advisories (Thunderstorm or Tornado watches were not displayed). Data comes direct from TWC meteorologists. Discontinued in spring of 2002.
  • Air Quality ________ (Sunday through Saturday) - Found only in Southern California. Displayed the next day's air quality forecast, main pollutants & measurements. The PPM (parts per million) measurements for 3 locations were given as numbers on the left of the screen, with a bar graph on the right extending into 4 colored & labled background sections (yellow: good, orange: unhealthy, red: very unhealthy, dark red/maroon: hazardous), which gave the next day's air quaity level @ the 3 locations (for some reason, the 'moderate' level, between 'good' & 'unhealthy', was taken out). Data comes from an outside source (presumably either the US Environmental Protection Agency or California Environmental Protection Agency).
  • Current Radar (formerly "Your Local Radar") - An IATA radar map that displays the precipitation in your area.
  • Local Radar - An IATA radar map that shows movement of precipitation during the course of 90 minutes.
  • National Weather Service Local Update - Displayed weather updates during a rapid change in conditions or during severe weather. Discontinued in 2002 when TWC began using its own in-house forecasts.
  • Current Conditions - Displays the current weather, temperature, wind speed & direction, wind chill or heat index, visibility & ceiling, humidity, dew point & barometric pressure in your area.
  • Latest Observations - The current conditions for 7 different cities in your area. Text based.
  • Regional Conditions (Regional Observations) - A regional map displaying the current forecasts. First appeared as a list, similar to the Latest Observations & sometimes appears as a list when the icon-based maps fail to load. A topographical variant of this forecast was used in the state of Hawaii.
  • Regional Forecast - A regional map displaying the forecasts for the next day. Like the Regional Conditions before it, it started out as a list & sometimes reverts to a list when the icon-based map fails to upload. A topographical variant of this forecast was used in the state of Hawaii.
  • 36 Hour Forecast - Displays weather information for the next 36 hours. Data formerly came from the National Weather Service & as of 2002, the data now comes directly from TWC.
  • Outlook - A forecast of temparatures & precipitation for your area (above average, normal, or below average). Discontinued in 1995.
  • Travel Cities Forecast/Travel Forecast for ________ (Sunday through Saturday) - A scrolling display of the forecasts for the next day for top 50 U.S. cities. Text-based, but later icon-based. The satellite version of this forecast segment was used in the mid to late 1990s & had a similar appearance to the cable TV local foreast version sans the time on the upper right-hand side & lower display line on the lower third of the screen. It's specifically designed to loop continuously until the local forecast was over. The satellite version often appeared when the WeatherStar @ the cable headend failed to operate & was sometimes accidentally shown instead of the newer map-based satellite forecasts from 1998 to 2000. Discontinued on WeatherStar 4000 in 1997.
  • Regional Information - Special information for your area.
  • Tides - Tidal conditions for 2 tidal areas plus Sunrise & Sunset data.
  • Almanac - Displays moon phase data, sunrise & sunset data.
  • Extended Forecast - Weather for 3 days following the next. Example: If shown on Friday, it displays data for Sunday through Tuesday.

Weather Star 4000 timelineEdit

1990Edit

  • Early - In these early days the 4000 was a replica of the WeatherStar 3000, only with a cleaner font.
  • April - The "Current Radar" segment was added to the 4000, making it the first Star with its own radar.
  • July - WeatherStar 4000 gets new graphics featuring colorful orange & blue backgrounds matching TWC's national weather segments @ the time. TWC's logo appears on the local forecast for the first time & the "Regional Forecast" map debut with motionless weather icons. The time & date appear on the LDL (Lower Display Line).

1991Edit

  • February 14 - The L Flavor local forecast is born (Current Conditions, Local Observations, Regional Conditions, 36 Hour Forecast, Extended Forecast, Regional Forecast, Current Radar), the graphical version of "Extended Forecast" segment is created, replacing from the former NWS text based version & "Almanac" (formerly "Regional Information") data is redesigned to show the moon phases. The E (36 Hour Forecast, Extended Forecast, Current Radar) & K flavors' (Current Condditions, Almanac, Regional Forecast, 36 Hour Forecast, Extended Forecast, Current Radar) screen line-ups are re-timed now that the "Extended Forecast" segment is 1 graphical page instead of 2 text-based pages. Because of this, the narration of TWC staff announcer Dan Chandler is discontinued on these two flavors. The regional weather icons became animated. The current radar is updated to include major roads. The time & date are moved to the top right from the LDL.
  • April 17 - Weather icons make the way to the "Current Conditions" segment, however, they are very large.
  • May - The "Current Conditions" segment is finalized.
  • July - Chandler re-records the narration for the WeatherStar 4000; the E & K flavors' narration is once again restored.
  • Late - The Regional Conditions map was created replacing the text-based page of the same name. The "Regional Forecast" map is cleaned up so that no city's information runs off screen. The icons used on the Regional Conditions & the Extended Forecast pages make their way to the regional map products. The Current Radar map is updated to include county boundaries.

1992Edit

  • Summer - The fade effect transitioning to & from the Regional Forecast product is removed. A second, more opaque dark blue to orange gradient background begins to appear layered over the existing dark blue to orange gradient background to smooth out the color transitions.
  • Fall - The icons originally used on the regional maps returns, fully revamped & Dan Chandler does 1 last set of narration for the WeatherStar 4000. The "36 Hour Forecast" segment is now narrated to say the forecast comes from NWS.
  • November - All local forecast flavors' screen line-ups are revamped. The "Local Radar" map is added, showing any precipitation in the area & it's movement over 90 minutes. The "Travel Cities Forecast" segment becomes icon-based with a blue to grayish blue gradient background & NOAA logo is added to the "36 Hour Forecast" product.

1993Edit

  • August - Reporting stations in most locales nationwide are simplified. For example, "N Orleans Int'l" became "New Orleans" & "M'napolis-St. Paul" became "Minneapolis Metro".
  • October - The Regional Conditions map replaces the "Regional Forecast" during the K Flavor & Dan Chandler updates the narration on the flavor.
  • Early November - The date & time are nudged further downward to make better room for the local forecast screen segment titles.
  • Late - The reporting station titles nationwide & the "Latest Observations" segment began appearing in mixed case letters (it previously used all caps).

1994Edit

  • Spring - The regional icons are updated so that the multi-layered icons are smaller in size; the upper layer cloud moved almost directly on top of it's underlying weather graphic.
  • August 4 - "Travel Cities Forecast" background gradient is removed & the Radar map screen becomes 8 colors from it's previous 6-color graphics.

1995Edit

  • Early - Some of the icons on the Regional Icon set are changed, such as "Snow" & others are added, such as "Sunny and Windy."
  • April 1 - Flavor line-ups are changed once again as the 30 Day Outlook is dropped & the Local Update segment is introduced from NWS as generated by WeatherStar, which took more than one screen. It gave a summary of what was occurring & what would occur over the next few hours. Dan Chandler's narration is discontinued.

1998Edit

  • Early - The J Flavor (Current Conditions, Local Observations, Regional Conditions, 36 Hour Forecast, Extended Forecast, Almanac, Travel Cities Forecast, Regional Forecast, Local Radar) is discontinued when the Travel Cities Forecast is dropped (the Travel Cities Forecast is still seen on the WeatherStar 3000 & WeatherStar Jr's M flavor).
  • September - The first signs of graphical system degradation are reported, with patchy reports from as early as 1997. Later signs of degradation reported consist of bit rot, including problems, such as the new moon graphic on the Almanac changing colors or the Local Radar's background becoming inverted, most signs of degradation appear to be some form of glitch.

1999Edit

  • December - By this time, most cable headends have upgraded to the WeatherStar XL, however some companies still use the 4000.
  • December - TWC's logo is modernized & the point size of the fonts in the Local & Current Radar screens become smaller.

2002Edit

  • November - The NOAA logo is removed from the "36 Hour Forecast" segment & NWS "Local Update" segment is discontinued, stabilizing the randomness of each flavor's screen line-ups. The "36 Hour Forecast" segment began appearing in mixed case letters & originate directly from TWC.

2005Edit

  • Early - Text used on the Station ID became bolder & larger. Some of the old 4000 text are still in use up through August 2005.

Flavor Lineups on the 4000 Edit

The radar's positions in the local forecast flavors are shown in bold text.

1990-1991Edit

Flavor Added Length

(Minutes and Seconds)

Segments Featured

(Original Version)

Modified? Discontinued
D 1990 1:00 Latest Observations, Regional Forecast, 36 Hour Forecast & Current Radar 1995 1999
E 1990 1:00 36 Hour Forecast, Extended Forecast & Current Radar 1995 1999
F 1990 1:00 Current Conditions, Regional Conditions, 36 Hour Forecast & Current Radar Never 1992
H 1990 1:00 36 Hour Forecast, Regional Forecast, Regional Information & Current Radar Never 1995
I 1990 0:30 Current Conditions, Current Radar & Regional Forecast Never 1992
J/LL 1990 3:00 Current Conditions, Latest Observations, Regional Conditions, 36 Hour Forecast, Regional Information, Regional Forecast, Travel Cities Forecast, Extended Forecast, Outlook & Current Radar 1995 1998
K 1990 1:30 Current Conditions, Regional Information, Regional Forecast, 36 Hour Forecast, Extended Forecast & Current Radar 1993, 1995 Never
L 1991 2:00 Current Conditions, Latest Observations, Regional Conditions, 36 Hour Forecast, Extended Forecast, Regional Forecast & Current Radar 1993 1998
M 1990 2:00 36 Hour Forecast, Regional Forecast, Regional Information, Travel Cities Forecast & Current Radar 1991, 1993 1998
N 1990 5:00 Current Conditions, Latest Observations, Regional Conditions, 36 Hour Forecast, Regional Information, Regional Forecast, Travel Cities Forecast, Extended Forecast, Outlook, Regional Conditions, 36 Hour Forecast & Current Radar Never 1991

1992-1995Edit

Flavor Length

(Minutes and Seconds)

Segments Featured With "Air Quality" With "Marine Forecast"
D 1:00 Latest Observations, Regional Forecast, 36 Hour Forecast & Current Radar
E 1:00 36 Hour Forecast, Extended Forecast & Current Radar 36 Hour Forecast, Extended Forecast, Air Quality & Current Radar 36 Hour Forecast, Extended Forecast, Marine Forecast & Current Radar
H 1:00 36 Hour Forecast, Almanac or Tides, Regional Forecast & Current Radar
J/LL 3:00 Current Conditions, Latest Observations, Regional Conditions, 36 Hour Forecast, Extended Forecast, Almanac or Tides, Travel Cities Forecast, Regional Forecast & Local Radar Current Conditions, Regional Conditions, 36 Hour Forecast, Extended Forecast, Air Quality, Almanac or Tides, Travel Cities Forecast, Regional Forecast & Local Radar Current Conditions, Regional Conditions, 36 Hour Forecast, Extended Forecast, Marine Forecast, Tides, Travel Cities Forecast, Regional Forecast & Local Radar
K 1:30 Current Conditions, Regional Forecast, 36 Hour Forecast, Extended Forecast & Local Radar
L 2:00 Current Conditions, 36 Hour Forecast, Travel Cities Forecast, Regional Forecast & Current Radar
M 2:00 Regional Conditions, Almanac or Tides, 36 Hour Forecast, Outlook, Regional Forecast, Extended Forecast & Local Radar

1995-1999Edit

Flavor Length

(Minutes and Seconds)

Segments Featured With "Air Quality" With "Marine Forecast"
D* 1:00 Latest Observations, Local Update, 36 Hour Forecast & Current Radar
E* 1:00 Local Update, 36 Hour Forecast, Extended Forecast & Current Radar
J/LL 3:00 Current Conditions, Latest Observations, Regional Conditions, 36 Hour Forecast, Extended Forecast, Almanac or Tides, Travel Cities Forecast, Regional Forecast & Local Radar Current Conditions, Regional Conditions, 36 Hour Forecast, Extended Forecast, Air Quality, Almanac or Tides, Travel Cities Forecast, Regional Forecast & Local Radar Current Conditions, Regional Conditions, 36 Hour Forecast, Extended Forecast, Marine Forecast, Tides, Travel Cities Forecast, Regional Forecast & Local Radar
K* 1:30 Current Conditions, Regional Conditions, Local Radar, Local Update, 36 Hour Forecast & Extended Forecast
K 1:30 Current Conditions, Latest Observations, 36 Hour Forecast, Extended Forecast & Local Radar
LM* 2:00 Current Conditions, Latest Observations, Regional Conditions, Regional Forecast, Local Update, Local Radar, 36 Hour Forecast, Extended Forecast & Almanac or Tides
LM 2:00 Current Conditions, Latest Observations, Regional Forecast, Regional Conditions, 36 Hour Forecast, Extended Forecast, Almanac or Tides & Local Radar

(flavors marked with * features "Local Update")

Current LineupEdit

Flavor Added Length

(Minutes and Seconds)

Segments Featured Notes
DE 1999 1:00 Current Conditions, 36-hour Forecast, Extended Forecast & Current Radar. Used at :28 and :58 during special programs.
K 1990 1:30 Current Conditions, Latest Observations, 36-hour Forecast, Extended Forecast & Local Radar. Used at :18 and :48 during normal programs.
LM 1998 2:00 Current Conditions, Latest Observations, Regional Forecast, Regional Conditions, 36 Hour Forecast, Extended Forecast, Almanac or Tides & Local Radar. Used at :08, :28, :38, and :58 during normal programs.

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