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 (Hi
ata) 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.
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.An article on FreeBSD's role in the operation of the IntelliStar
* The Weather Channel
* Weather Star 4000
* Weather Star XL
Category:The Weather Channel