Weath SystemsBaron Services (C4434): Weather Systems In An HD World

Now that high definition television is finding its legs in the consumer electronics market, the time has come for broadcasters to examine its potential in presenting local weather coverage. Since 1989, Baron Services has been on the cutting edge of new developments, with a suite of weather analysis and storm-tracking products. We’re the innovators of the industry, with standard FasTrac and VIPIR storm tracking systems reaching more than 150 million viewers in the U.S. And now that the country is rapidly advancing toward full digital transmissions, we have made sure that our weather technologies possess the visual punch that’s necessary to shine in the digital age.

The features we already offer for analog and digital broadcasts include high-resolution radar data, high-resolution mapping and topography, and high-resolution satellite data display.
These display features take advantage of the brightness and clarity of digital transmissions. High-resolution mapping, in particular, reveals topographical features in any DMA down to resolutions as detailed as 30 meters. Baron has also incorporated satellite mapping with resolution as fine as 1 meter. We feel that by providing a data source so rich in visual quality we are adding a solid asset to HDTV’s appeal.

Supplementing Baron’s high-resolution mapping and topography is a new generation of radar display technology. Through a partnership with the University of Oklahoma, we’re providing NEXRAD data in spatial resolutions four times greater, with 16 times greater color depth, than conventional NEXRAD. This lets television meteorologists view areas of a storm not much larger than a football field, offering a tremendous level of detail previously unavailable.
Finally, one of Baron’s latest developments is a high-resolution visible and infrared satellite display feature that can be added to our storm tracking system. We’ve developed a unique method of capturing visual data from the orbiting GOES satellites, and it has resulted in an update rate that’s much faster than other systems on the market. Additionally, meteorologists can now pan and zoom around satellite data on the fly, while having full control over cloud brightness and opacity.

Since weather coverage has been such a powerful source of viewership for television stations, particularly during times of extreme weather, we feel that it’s important for digital television to embrace accurate weather coverage as well. HDTV will supply our broadcast customers with a sharp, high-resolution forum in which to illustrate approaching weather events to viewers already making the digital transition.

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