AI in weather forecasting, prediction and communication
As the national broadcaster of Hungary, MTVA wanted to set itself above commercial competitors by delivering world class weather presentations that would engage audiences and keep them informed of the forecast.
But the existing resources didn’t support their bold vision. MTVA meteorologists had to build forecasts by using a spreadsheet populated solely with numbers that had to be converted and copy/pasted into the right places. Certain data sets came only once a day, which meant the information was frequently outdated by the time the weather presentation went to air.
Graphics were also a struggle. Backgrounds were limited to basic stock animations to display conditions such as clouds or oncoming storms. Trying to do anything creative or exciting was a painful, cumbersome process.
To reach their goals of delivering a superior viewer experience, MTVA needed something better.
Taking forecasts to the next generation
Working with their production partner, ERLA Technopro, MTVA deployed a Max solution that combines data, software and hardware from The Weather Company with Aximmetry 3D virtual studio software to create cutting-edge weather graphics with speed, accuracy and efficiency that were previously not possible.
Because MTVA is the national broadcaster from Hungary, the data from which meteorologists work must be certified and valid. This new solution enables MTVA meteorologists to view data from various sources and forecast models and choose what best suits their needs. Data is also updated much more frequently to support an accurate and timely forecast.
But even the most accurate forecast is only effective if it holds the audience’s attention. MTVA’s new video production solution uses Aximmetry 3D virtual software powered by Unreal Engine to feature custom augmented reality graphics that can create a virtual studio with interactive elements or place the meteorologist in different 3D environments.
The new implementation is also designed for efficiency. A robotic arm functions as an automated camera operator inside MTVA’s green screen studio. This robotic arm can be preprogrammed ahead of time to move between certain fixed positions during a weathercast. Once the presentation is programmed, the meteorologist can begin the weathercast with the push of a button. Software from The Weather Company controls the movements of the robotic arm to support a seamless and interesting on-air presentation.
Increasing production without adding resources
The new video production system has elevated MTVA’s weather forecasts to a level above the competition. Meteorologists now have timely, accurate forecasts and immersive 3D animations that demonstrate what is happening with the weather rather than merely saying it. On-air presentations are not only entertaining and engaging; they are far more informative and help viewers understand how the weather is actually developing.
The solution has significantly streamlined content production workflows. MTVA is now producing about 30 weather forecasts per day with only two technicians, one supervisor and the on-air talent, all during a standard eight-hour shift. The team also produces “extra” content related to local holidays, folklore and other seasonal events.
MTVA is now exploring ways to expand their production using these new capabilities, such as creating an educational program intended to teach children about science. “We are delighted with the outcome,” says Erno Urban, CEO and leading producer at ERLA Technopro. “The Weather Company supported us throughout the technical integration, on-site training and rehearsal to pull it all together.”
“There are endless possibilities here,” says Zoltan Peto, MTVA’s Programme Director. “We are only limited by our imagination. The audience loves the informative but easy to understand programmes. We look forward to doing much more with this.”
“MTVA weather forecast is now at a whole new level,” says Adam Eros. “Nobody else in their market can compete with this level of quality.”
Established in 2011, Médiaszolgáltatás-támogató és Vagyonkezelő Alap (MTVA) is a Hungarian fund company owned and financed by the Hungarian state, through the National Media and Infocommunications Authority. Since July 2015, the company’s main task has been to finance and operate Duna Média, Hungary’s state public company. It is an active member of the European Broadcasting Union.
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