Don’t let the name fool you, recent versions of Vista4Cast have added support for Windows 7 Media Center allowing you to get the local weather at a glance. For those looking for an extremely easy way to check the weather from inside Media Center or in need of replacing an old favorite that no longer works in RTM, Vista4Cast has got you covered. Vista4Cast includes options to enable a short three day forecast in your main start menu as well as an extended forecast plugin covering the full week ahead.
To get started you’ll need to register with the Vista4Cast forum to be able to login and view the download thread. Once registered and logged in you’ll find a forum for both 32 and 64-bit version of the program. Download and install the proper version for your system. For those looking for both the three day forecast and the extended forecast you’ll need to install both Vista4Cast and the Extended4Cast plugin.
Once installed configure your location and other settings by right-clicking the Vista4Cast icon located in your system tray or by launching the configuration from the programs menu.
Once inside search for your city by entering the name or zip code in the City input box. You’ll get a list of possible results on the right that you can add to the locations box by selecting the arrow to move the selected city to your locations. Under the setup section you’ll find options to customize the look of the weather forecast including the ability to show up to five days. Selecting the Image Builder button provides a large number of additional options as well.
Inside the image builder options you can set the temperature measurement settings, what information is displayed and even change the font and colors. The options provide you with the ability to customize the output to the extreme. Selecting from an option on the right of the image preview will even allow you to move the position of each item. Checking the Change Temp Colour option will even allow you to set custom colors depending on the temperature forecasted.
Once finished select the Run Now option from the system tray icon to generate the image. Next launch Media Center and check out your settings.
You’ll see the short forecast in the OEM logo section of the Windows 7 Media Center start menu. If you’ve installed the additional Extended4Cast plugin you can launch it from the Extra Programs menu by default and have an extremely detailed view of the weather forecasted for the next week.
That’s all there is to it! Don’t let the name fool you this Media Center plugin works great in Windows 7 and provides more weather features than any one could even wish for. Well, we’d still love to see a radar image option and maybe some emergency weather integration. That aside, Vista4Cast is an excellent plugin definitely worth checking out for anyone looking to add weather features to their Windows 7 Media Center.