Martin Kantor is a Customer Engineer for Weatherscape XT and has been supporting MetraWeather clients for more than nine years. This interview explains how he has assisted two Thai broadcasters, Channel 3 and NOWTV, to onboard their Weatherscape XT (WXT) platforms.
Martin holds an MA and HDip in the Psychology of Colour in Art, Industrial Design and Technology. He is also a highly-accomplished musician, designer and photographer who studied at a music conservatory and is a qualified Microsoft engineer.
For six months, Martin has been residing in Bangkok assisting two Thai broadcasters, Channel 3 and NOWTV, to onboard their Weatherscape XT (WXT) platforms.
What data streams did you help integrate?
I helped integrate weather, flood, tsunami, traffic and stock exchange data by using EC global model data and spot data from MetService in Kelburn. Local data wasl also sourced from the Thai Meteorological Department are processed by Thai partner, Raydant International. I helped to test and integrate the data into Weatherscape. Optimize the ingest file size and expiration, display quality, test reliability and delivery. I run own virtual database to ingest regularly the data and compare with the source and result in Weatherscape. So non weather data like stock exchange needs to be thoroughly tested and converted via plugins. Working together with other CE is essential to produce dependable data.
What’s been your role in Thailand?
I’ve been helping Raydant International, MetraWeather’s Thai partner, and the designers at Channel 3 and NOWTV to build weather show terrain and integrate data streams into WXT. I’m also the point of contact and provide ongoing support to our clients across Asia.
I’ve been enjoying the amazing Thai architecture and art, a wonderful culture and, of course. great food.
Primarily I’ve been onsite to help the channels to create the best possible program content.
Together with creating the WXT database, new visual assets and backup solutions, I’ve been training the channels’ engineers, designers, presenters, news and art directors, and studio operators in WXT.
What data streams are being ingested into WXT?
I helped to integrate the EC global model data together with data sourced from the Thai Meteorological Department, which is processed by Raydant. We were also working with flood data as various regions of Thailand are prone to seasonal flash-flooding together with traffic and stock exchange data.
What did the timeline look like?
I was initially involved preparing customer demos before scoping, determining customer needs, and hardware assessments. I then helped outsource hardware and develop the database. I was involved with others creating the storyboard content and designing the show, before moving onto data testing, plugin implementation, and terrain development.
I also helped with in house hardware setup and testing, the onsite system install and cabling, connections and system checks leading up to launch. While this happening, the show design was being finalised and templates developed. So many things must come together concurrently.
I provided onsite support through the test broadcast and over the launch periods. The project implementation was probably slightly less than ten weeks which was very impressive as we were working with new data sources and the show’s presentation was a first for Thai broadcasters.
Three things about WXT you believe impressed Channel 3?
Channel 3 like the relative simplicity, but strong visual impact of WXT.
They value the successful integration of the locally sourced Thai data. I guess these things are a given.
I think what they’ve been most impressed by is the customer onboarding support from Raydant and MetraWeather. We were onsite at weekends; helped train staff then enabling them to be working during the week; and we had Customer Engineers onsite for three weeks leading up to the launch. This level of support really helped build confidence across the entire production team."
Channel 3’s Senior Vice President of Technology, Mr Ongart Phothivorn said, “We were very pleased to be the first to offer this form of innovative and enabling technology in Thailand. We are providing real-time information about events that have the potential to cause disruption so our viewers are better informed and prepared. The potential benefits are enormous and Channel 3 is proud to be a leader in introducing this technology."