Weatherscan - August 26, 2015

Recorded August 26, 2015; 6:34 p.m. from Weatherscan


This is the first of six Weatherscan recordings that have survived from my previous DVR / cable box. I had made this recording shortly after receiving my first HD capture card, an Elgato HD60.

Weatherscan launched on March 31, 1999 as Weatherscan Local and was designed to provide a 24/7 uninterrupted local (or in some markets, national) weather feed. Weatherscan Local was built on the same WeatherStar XL hardware that The Weather Channel used for their local forecasts. The local feed received its first graphical overhaul sometime in mid-to-late 2000 and remained that way until February 2003 when select markets began transitioning over to units built upon TWC's newer IntelliStar hardware. By September of that year, a majority of units had switched to the new design simply titled "Weatherscan". Some providers may have kept the XL-based platform into 2004 as TWC decommissioned them sometime later in the year, though no footage has ever surfaced of it.

On September 27, 2005, Weatherscan received another massive graphical upgrade which would end up being its last. In the fifteen and a half years since this update, the network has been slowly bleeding out - as The Weather Channel's other aging hardware has been seen to do in the past - though not nearly anywhere as badly. Many features such as the traffic report, the Weather Channel logo and the narration among other things have all been removed over the last decade leaving Weatherscan feeling a lot more hollow than it did back in the 2000s. As of May 2021, only a handful of Weatherscan units are still known to be in operation... including my local one! I'm hoping to digitize the recordings I have made from it very soon and get them uploaded, even if they won't be incredibly exciting to most.

We originally only received Weatherscan from Comcast until we decided to upgrade to Mediacom's digital package in early 2008. I'm not sure when our Mediacom office started carrying it, we could have been one of the originals for all I know. As hundreds of other Weatherscan units began dropping like flies around the country, ours has (somehow) stayed in operation. What a trooper. I started watching and recording Weatherscan sometime in the mid-2000s and have continued to the present day. Why? I don't know. There must be some useless, primal instinct in my brain that makes me so fascinated with this station. Maybe I'm retarded. Regardless, Weatherscan has definitely played a big role in my hobby of television preservation. I was always fascinated in documenting what providers around the country carried it and reaching out to the folks in that area to see if they were as interested in the network as I was. I loved when thunderstorms and blizzards would pass through because it meant I would get to see graphics and icons that would rarely be used. If I didn't upload shaky, miserable-looking camcorder recordings of a local weather feed 13 years ago, I might not be doing what I'm doing today. It's a shame that its terribly difficult (bordering on impossible) to come across pre-recorded tapes of it because I would surely love to document recordings that haven't been seen yet from units around the country. All that I can do for now is continue to record our local unit back at home.

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Page created: May 25, 2021 | Last updated: August 24, 2021