|Weather Star 4000
||1990 (Canada 1992)
||Legacy - Used in few cable companies around the United States and Decommissioned in Canada (1997)
The Weather Star 4000 is the first graphic-capable model of the WeatherStar line manufactured for The Weather Channel. It was first introduced in December 1989 and was designed by Canadian electronics company Amirix (then the Applied Microelectronics Institute). The WeatherStar 4000 was manufactured by Northern Telecom. It had an improved display font over its predecessor, the Weather Star III, with mixed-case (though this didn't appear on launch). The first 4000s that were placed in service were programmed to operate in a text-only mode, like its predecessors (using its improved font instead). However, the 4000 used slightly different flavors (arrangements of information and forecast products)  that included, beginning in April 1990, a graphical radar page at the end of the local forecast. While widely used during most of the 1990s, many cable companies began to replace the 4000 with the newer Weather Star XL in 1998 and 1999 and - later - the IntelliStar in the next decade. The 4000 remains in use primarily in smaller and rural cable providers where upgrading to a more modern Weather Star would be a significant expense.
The Weather Star 4000 also was deployed in Canada by The Weather Network and its French-language sister MétéoMédia from 1992 to 1997, when owner Pelmorex replaced it with its proprietary PMX system. The Weather Star 4000 displayed various products in Canada that were never available in the U.S.
Standard features 
A Weather Star 4000 came with these features:
- Graphical weather products, such as icons and maps for regional products.
- An internal local radar product (the first on any STAR), in both time-lapse and static variants. (The time-lapse radar was added in a major late 1992 update. The previous Weather Stars had the capability to display radar, but had to be connected to a third-party source.)
- The ability to receive text-based local forecasts created by TWC meteorologists (and before that the National Weather Service).
- A lower display line (LDL), with forecast information in the top 50 US markets. While the IntelliStar LDL is cued to air all the time, the 4000, Junior, and XL LDLs are not cued to air anymore except with a cuing messup.
- The ability to crawl or scroll weather warnings from the National Weather Service.
- Specialty products for certain areas: the Air Quality Forecast for southern California (which would make its national debut on the IntelliStar), Tides for coastal areas, and the Marine Forecast.
Also, until the mid-1990s, The Weather Channel sold an optional sensor package that could be connected to a Weather Star to display weather conditions at the headend office on the LDL, including the current temperature, the highest and lowest temperatures recorded since midnight, relative humidity, wind speed, direction, and gusts, and current daily and monthly precipitation totals.
Radar products are/were not available on the Weather Star 4000 outside of the contiguous 48 states and Puerto Rico.
- In Alaska and (in one case) in New York City, the Latest Observations product was repeated.
- In Hawaii, the radar was centered in the state of Washington with a label permanently displaying "Radar Data Temporarily Unavailable".
Weather Star 4000 timeline in the U.S. 
The appearance of the text-based STAR 4000
- Early - In these early days, the 4000 was functionally a replica of the Weather Star III, only with a cleaner font.
- April - The "Current Radar" segment was added to the 4000, making it the first STAR with its own radar. At this time, the segment was called "Your Local Radar".
- July - WeatherStar 4000 gets new graphics featuring colorful orange and blue backgrounds matching TWC's national weather segments at the time. The Weather Channel's logo appears on the local forecast for the first time, and the "Regional Forecast" map debut with motionless weather icons. The time and date appear on the LDL (Lower Display Line).
The original graphical Weather Star 4000, November 1990
- Early - The 5 minute N flavor local forecast, which was shown when TWC rewound the tapes for its prerecorded overnight programming, is discontinued.
- February 14 - The L flavor local forecast is born, the graphical version of the "Extended Forecast" segment is created, replacing the former NWS text based version. "Almanac" (formerly "Regional Information") data is redesigned to show the moon phases. The E and K flavors' 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 and date are moved to the top right from the lower display line.
- April 17 - Weather icons make their way to the "Current Conditions" segment; however, they are very large and lack a nighttime set.
- May - The "Current Conditions" segment is finalized.
- July - Chandler re-records the narration for the Weather Star 4000; the E and 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 and the Extended Forecast pages make their way to the regional map products. The Current Radar map is updated to include county boundaries.
- Summer - The fade effect transitioning to and 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.
- August 9 - A new playlist debuts on The Weather Channel, with redone narration on all STARs (Dan Chandler's final set). The 36 Hour Forecast narration now mentions the National Weather Service.
- Fall - The Regional Forecast product icons return after a hiatus, during which they received a major revamp.
- November - A major change in flavors occurs. The "Local Radar" map is added, showing any precipitation in the area and its movement over 90 minutes. The "Travel Cities Forecast" segment becomes icon-based with a blue/aqua blue gradient background, and the NOAA logo is added to the "36 Hour Forecast" product.
- October - The Regional Conditions map replaces the "Regional Forecast" during the K Flavor and Dan Chandler updates the narration on the flavor.
- Early November - The date and time are nudged further downward to make better room for the local forecast screen segment titles.
- Second half - Observation site names nationwide are simplified (such as New Orleans Intl becoming New Orleans) and begin to appear in mixed case. The Latest Observations product receives the new observation site names and mixed-case weather descriptors. Some of these changes to observation site names appear on the ticker before the actual products. Other times, the Latest Observations product would have all uppercase text except for the observation sites.
- Early - The Weather Channel begins broadcasting regional commercials that can be blocked out by local forecasts generated by a Weather Star. Local Forecasts with lengths of 1:30 and 2:30 do the blocking of these 30-second commercials. STARs using non-narration audio would play this commercial audio. This was used in the summer of 1994 to advertise a TWC telephone survey about the satellite forecast for satellite customers.
- 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 its underlying weather graphic.
- August 4 - "Travel Cities Forecast" background gradient is removed, and the Radar map screen becomes eight colors from its previous six-color graphics.
- Early - Some of the icons on the Regional Icon set are changed, such as "Snow" and others are added, such as "Sunny and Windy."
- April 2 - Flavor line-ups are changed once again as the "30 Day Outlook" is discontinued by the National Weather Service (and thus TWC) and the "Local Update" segment is introduced from the National Weather Service as generated by the WeatherStar, which took more than one screen. It gave a summary of what was occurring and what would occur over the next few hours. Dan Chandler's narration is discontinued. A Severe Weather Mode is also added to the 4000. If a severe weather warning crawl is present, a special playlist would play consisting of only current and local area conditions and an extended local radar.
- Early - The J flavor is discontinued when the Travel Cities Forecast is dropped and only appears when The Weather Channel is experiencing some minor or major technical difficulties (the Travel Cities Forecast was not dropped on the Weather Star III and is still used in the Weather Star 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. These problems are attributed to the age of the graphics rendering hardware, as well as integrity issues with the on-board EEPROM's.
The appearance of the 4000 at the moment (less than 1 second) it gets cued
- December - By this time, most cable headends have upgraded to the Weather Star XL, however some companies still use the 4000.
- December - The Weather Channel logo is modernized, and the point size of the fonts in the Local and Current Radar screens become smaller. The font in the titles of the radar segments were changed from Helvetica to Arial.
- November - The 36 Hour Forecast begins to come directly from The Weather Channel and appears in mixed case. The Local Update is discontinued, stabilizing each flavor. The Marine Forecast is also discontinued.
- Early - Text used on the Station ID became bolder and larger. Some of the old text is still in use up through August 2005.
Most STAR 4000 units currently operating have been in use for multiple years and have been prone to various glitches, including these common occurrences:
- The STAR will not generate any text or very little text, but will draw graphics and pass on the TWC video feed.
- The STAR will loop its products, especially if the TWC feed is lost or the flavor has glitches, especially the overnight J flavor in 1997.
- The STAR will "repaint" (redraw) the graphical elements it displays.
- The contents of the Current Conditions will be incomplete.
- The STAR has problems drawing the icons.
- The radar screens display in the wrong color scheme. This is related to a palette swap that occurs when changing from the normal screens to radar.
- "Degradation": The STAR will have problems with the background graphics or Almanac moon phases.
- The wrong narration would be used for the STAR (a III with narration for the 4000 or 4000 with III narration). This was the cable operator's error in hooking up the STAR.
Weather Star 4000 and The Weather Network/MétéoMedia 
A version of the Weather Star 4000 was first deployed by Canada's The Weather Network and its French-language sister station MétéoMedia in 1992. It has its own distinctive history.
The original look of the Weather Star 4000 in Canada
Timeline for the Canadian Weather Star 4000 
- 1992: The Star 4000 debuts in Canada, replacing most Weather Star III units nationwide - some of these III units were experiencing severe degradation.
- Mornings used a blue wood grain background, while all other time periods used a green wood grain background.
- Specialty forecasts are introduced and air at :10 and :40 minutes after the hour. Marine Conditions features forecast winds in knots, wave height, and advisories (small craft, gale, or storm). The Agricultural Forecast features temperature, the probability of precipitation, hours of sunshine, and the drying index.
- December 1993: A new background is introduced for local forecasts. Narration is not as long and the longer forecast flavours are removed. The Highway Conditions segment no longer uses the same background as the local forecast and still features snow, ice, and visibility conditions for local highways as reported by provincial transport. ministries.
- September 1994: New weather icons are added to the Weather Star 4000.
- Spring 1995: Narration is removed. The Weather Network begins broadcasting the backgrounds in an implementation similar to The Weather Channel's national backgrounds for the Weather Star III. For the spring 1995 season, the 4000 still draws portions of the background, but that is dropped by the start of the fall.
- 1996: Radar makes its debut to select local forecasts.
- Second half 1996: A box is positioned in the lower right corner of the screen, featuring the time, current conditions, and forecast for an upcoming time period.
- 1997: All Weather Star 4000s are replaced with PMX systems.
Canadian-only segments 
- Satellite Image: A satellite image showing the area for which the forecast was intended. Originally part of a special Regional Forecast before being moved to the local forecasts.
- UV Report: UV forecasts and readings.
- Air Quality: Air quality information for Canadian cities as provided by the provincial air quality monitoring office. A similar segment was on The Weather Channel at this time, but exclusive to southern California until 2004.
- Ski Conditions: Provided by MRG Network Limited. Displayed trails open, snow conditions, and new snow accumulations. Extremely similar to the U.S. segment.
- Recreation Forecast: A segment with several pages over which information for local events (name, date, and a phone number) was shown.
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