WeatherBug Upgrades View of the Elements

New Sony SNC-164 HD cameras replace lower-quality cams for local weather

Weather cams set up around a city have long been an important tool for local broadcast stations because they offer viewers a live look at breaking weather events. But as many local stations launch HD newscasts, the lower-quality video from these cameras can offer a jarring contrast to the high-quality images and graphics of their nightly newscasts.

In recent months, WeatherBug has been working to fi x that problem by deploying Sony SNC-164 HD cameras as part of its weather-monitoring network. The company, which supplies meteorological information, software, video from weather cams and other services to around 55 television clients in the U.S., is hoping to have 150 HD cameras installed around the country in late 2012.

These cameras will supplement “what is already the largest weather monitoring network in the country,” with more than 1,500 cameras throughout the U.S. supplying either live video or time lapse images, notes Michael Alberghini, senior program manager for WeatherBug Broadcast Services.

“More and more TV partners are looking to improve camera images, and as more stations go to HD, they are looking to improve the quality of images they can control and offer,” notes Alberghini.

The WeatherBug offers software that allows stations to control what those cameras are shooting and to collect live video or images for their newscasts.

These cameras can be used as a network of weather cameras to show different conditions in various parts of a city, or the stations can take feeds from WeatherBug’s nationwide network to show hurricanes, blizzards or other severe weather around the country.