Monday, March 19, 2012

KTRK 13 adopts AccuWeather's StoryTeller interactive monitor

KTRK 13 has had what it brands a SmartBoard for a while. Basically one of those CNN-like interactive boards reporters can touch and make graphics appear and move around.

Recently AccuWeather announced KTRK and other ABC owned and operated stations are getting AccuWeather's StoryTeller which sounds similar to what the station already has. Not sure if this means the station is formally adopting the SmartBoard or going with a brand new system:

AccuWeather today announced the placement of StoryTeller™, an Interactive Touchscreen System which brings any story to life, in the top 4 television markets. The ABC Owned Stations, WABC-TV New York City (Market 1), KABC-TV Los Angeles (Market 2), WLS-TV Chicago (Market 3), and WPVI-TV Philadelphia (Market 4), as well as KTRK-TV Houston (Market 10), will be able to engage viewers with an interactive suite of touch-screen software that puts all the elements of breaking news, sports, traffic and weather literally at the presenter's fingertips.

"WABC and our other stations have pioneered the use of large screen interactive monitors to better illustrate stories for our viewers," said Dave Davis, President and General Manager at WABC-TV in New York. "This cutting edge AccuWeather technology really brings these screens to life."

StoryTeller creates fresh, lively, personalized presentations that speak directly to audiences because it allows on-air talent to present information in a highly visual, highly advanced way. It makes it easy to incorporate live HD and SD video, graphic images, movies, and web and social media content into the presentation, especially for stories that are unfolding in real time.

"StoryTeller uniquely allows news teams to present segments with leading-edge technology," said Ryan Ayers, Vice President, Display Systems and Services at AccuWeather. "The many different applications provide stations with everything they need to help them tell the story and ultimately attract and engage viewers."

Much more than just an advanced piece of touchscreen hardware, StoryTeller includes specialized applications for news, sports, elections, traffic, and weather presentations. The applications offer ready-for-air visuals such as sports brackets, detailed 3D cityscapes, tools for in-depth analysis and video control (often used for sports) and interactive graphics and maps. Also available are rich and varied ESRI® map data to support news stories of all types. StoryTeller includes a library of informational videos and graphics for tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters, making it easy to be first on the air with the story behind the headlines.

The proprietary interface includes special features to easily move story elements within the display and to quickly swipe from one full-screen scene to the next. StoryTeller has full telestration capabilities to explain the story in a clear and conversational style. With its full internet connectivity, the presenter can invite viewer commentary or highlight further coverage on the station website or through social media. The system also includes detailed 3-D maps to help illustrate locations of breaking news.

The StoryTeller touch surface is available in multiple sizes to support a variety of interactive presentation techniques. For example, the 82" wall-mounted screen accommodates two presenters - one on each side - in a highly conversational format. Another powerful configuration is a large screen on a special set - sports, elections, or the like - paired with a smaller screen at the anchor desk for interaction amongst the news team.

Watch the board in action here.


  1. I think Smartboards are bad television.

  2. 13's Smartboard stuff already looks cool...This 'new' stuff sounds like what they're already doing?!

  3. I love "smartboards" when they're actually used to tell a story. I dislike when they're just an excuse to move the anchor and show off the latest hype-able gizmo.