The Weather Channel adds storm tracker vehicle with latest in mobile connectivity

The Weather Channel has bolstered its storm-tracking capabilities with a new vehicle from Accelerated Media Technologies.

The vehicle is built using a Chevy Tahoe from the Special Service platform, which is designed for law enforcement and emergency vehicles, and is part of the new AMT Vision Series.

The vehicle will be based in New Jersey outside of New York City, which has grown as a weather hotspot with recent hurricanes working their way up the coast and impacting the region.

The Tahoe includes bonded cellular connectivity from a LiveU LU610 encoder with eight Verizon cellular connections, providing a fully redundant, dual path system.

The Weather Channel noted to NewscastStudio that the adoption of bonded cellular technology eliminates the need to search for parking spaces and navigate other access restrictions typically associated with broadcasting in urban locations such as New York City, while allowing the vehicle to remain mobile.

The roof-mounted PTZ camera, for example, can be utilized to show current driving conditions while the vehicle is en route to a particular location.

With the dual path connectivity, return video is also sent to the field. This allows talent to see a clean feed from the network which enables them to talk over video, see weather graphics or know when they’re live on camera. The vehicles can also send IFB Mix-Minus to the talent, producer and or photog all through the Studio Technologies IFB Plus system and 742A audio mixer.


While current LiveU hardware supports two separate paths, the vehicle is pre-wired to support four paths of video from one unit in the future.

On board, Marshall Electronics provides audio monitoring and Blackmagic Design’s Smart Videohub CleanSwitch provides video routing and monitoring.

The vehicle also includes the Crushing MVP-E power system that eliminates idling while allowing for power to the various broadcast equipment.

For reporting outside of the vehicle, a kit including Panasonic AJ-PX5000G camera, Stella Lights and Lectrosonic wireless microphones is included.

Branding-wise, the Tahoe is wrapped in a bold, circular blue graphic similar to The Weather Channel’s other vehicles, with dual branding for the English and Spanish networks.