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Discussion Starter #1

I figure I should make a master post about this.


Required weekly emergency alert system testing is done at lease once a week at random times on random days.


Required monthly emergency alert system testing is done the third Tuesday of every month, between 8:30 a.m. and local sunset during odd numbered months, and local sunset to 8:30AM for even months.

http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text...1.1.11&idno=47 rules

FCC enforcements http://www.fcc.gov/eb/broadcast/eas.html

Homeland security now handles the EAS http://www.fcc.gov/pshs/services/eas/

EAS handbooks http://www.fcc.gov/pshs/services/eas/handbooks.html


Basically there are three types of emergency alerts that are broadcast by your cable provider.


The first one is from your cable provider on digital cable http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vg17U61cXME


The next is a device specific EAS message. This one is from TiVo.

This last one is what's usually broadcast on forced tuned channel setups. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FY9-ioq96Q
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLxiQojHT6w


There is two types of emergency alerts that are broadcast by a tv station.


This one is the full screen notice.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFJ9a...eature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWdIK...eature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-1rgmmpv6g&NR=1


Then theres the ticker that would scroll across the top or bottom of the screen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfcBC1p0pZk


About a DVR or TiVo or Moxi being "taken over" during one of these tests, it depends on certain areas and your cable provider, some providers override your DVR or TiVo (if it has a cablecard which is an FCC requirement) while others just use a ticker or banner. Tickers from news stations will be recorded, full screen alerts from cable providers will be recorded, others will not. Some say the use of Motorola cablecards causes some issues, but that might be fixed by now.

If anyone has any questions about their EAS for their device feel free to post, or even if you just happen to want to post some screenshots, go for it too.
 

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Do you know which areas use the full screen video and which use banners? Every EAS alert (including tests) I've seen with Comcast uses the full screen video which interrupts recordings (as well as playback) on my TiVo (Motorola cards).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morac
Do you know which areas use the full screen video and which use banners? Every EAS alert (including tests) I've seen with Comcast uses the full screen video which interrupts recordings (as well as playback) on my TiVo (Motorola cards).
It's really up to how old the equipment is on any given area. The newer stuff allows to display a ticker over channels instead of the black screen with white text. I'm suprised that even with your TiVo and the fact that your using a cablecard that your not seeing the ticker across the top of the screen like in the picture I posted. TiVo's software is designed to stop playback of prerecorded shows, take control of one tuner to auto tune (cable system dependant) to a designated emergency channel with further instructions, and "lock" the device until a release signal is sent at the end of the message.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Wolf /forum/post/19266695


If anyone has any questions about their EAS for their device feel free to post, or even if you just happen to want to post some screenshots, go for it too.

Will an EAS turn on a cable STB? I have a sleepy memory of being woken up by one after I had my STB turned off but I had left the receiver turned on at high volume.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Wolf /forum/post/20259980


It's really up to how old the equipment is on any given area. The newer stuff allows to display a ticker over channels instead of the black screen with white text. I'm suprised that even with your TiVo and the fact that your using a cablecard that your not seeing the ticker across the top of the screen like in the picture I posted. TiVo's software is designed to stop playback of prerecorded shows, take control of one tuner to auto tune (cable system dependant) to a designated emergency channel with further instructions, and "lock" the device until a release signal is sent at the end of the message.

Sorry for the late response, but I forgot to subscribe to the thread.


The TiVo does change channels and "lock" the device, but instead of displaying a banner, the EAS looks like the old analog version you posted in the first post. This despite that the channels are digital and there are only a handful of analog channels left.


I think it actually changed both tuners, not just one of them, but I'm not 100% sure of that. I do know that the alerts show up in recordings (even if there's only one recording at the time).
 

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Where do the alerts actually originate from?


I live in Florida, and my weekly alerts on cable are for South Carolina, thus any warnings/messages would not seem to be relevant (?)


My cable co. is a local mom/pop operation and not a national provider (ie. Comcast, etc.), and AFAIK has no affiliation with any S. Carolina market.
 

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It's almost 2012, are weekly tests still needed?

Is digital equipment that unreliable?

I think that locally they do the test every other night, just to be sure.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedskater /forum/post/20960383


It's almost 2012, are weekly tests still needed?

Is digital equipment that unreliable?

I think that locally they do the test every other night, just to be sure.

Doesn't matter if they are needed or not. The FCC REQUIRES it. That is all that needs to be said.
 

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I am on charter cable in connecticut. I have a few weeks old new model Panasonic Plasma that this week shows the EAS scrolling message almost constantly....for hours even with cable box off. I can the power the TV off and comes back. I have two other new sets that never show this message with identical type of cable box. A LG LED and a Samsung LCD. The only thing different is the Panasonic plasma has the Viera Wi-Fi link so I guess this is coming from Panasonic through the web. Sounds like a glitch not an FCC mandate to only one manufacturer.


Anyone have more info for a fix?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Wow I completely forgot to check for replies.


Morac it depends on a few things

I work with the emergency alert system and cable companies and generally it depends on two things to change which EAS flavor you see such as the cable company hardware and the hardware you use. For example the TiVo I use broadcasts a blue banner across the top of the screen with red scrolling text Attachment 225350 , my DTA device displays a black screen with white text in a red border Attachment 225351 , and my Moxi displays a red banner across the top of the screen with white text Attachment 225353 . Both the Moxi and TiVo use a cablecard and I have Comcast.


Motorola and Cisco/Scientific Atlanta are the two brands that are largely used in cable systems and both brands handle anddisplay the EAS signals slightly different. Cable set top boxes (and devices that use a cablecard) can force tune to a designated channel (sometimes known as the black screen with white text) or they could simply display a banner as I mentioned above. This is generally determined by the age of the software that receives and broadcasts the EAS message at the cable company's engineering location. I found that Motorola can cause the EAS signal to be embedded into recordings when received where as Cisco/Scientific Atlanta generally doesn't.


 

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Discussion Starter #12

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axatax /forum/post/20960075


Where do the alerts actually originate from?


I live in Florida, and my weekly alerts on cable are for South Carolina, thus any warnings/messages would not seem to be relevant (?)


My cable co. is a local mom/pop operation and not a national provider (ie. Comcast, etc.), and AFAIK has no affiliation with any S. Carolina market.


Thats a delicate question because the emergency alert system is quite complicated due to the multipoints that can originate it from. It could come from your state police if they are issuing an amber alert or it could originate from NOAA and be simlucasted by your cable provider (for tornados and hurricanes and severe thunderstorms for example). I'm going to guess that because your mom and pop provider generally doesn't have the required number of subscribers they don't have to handle the EAS broadcast themselves and are probably delegating it (acting as a relay) to a cable provider in South Carolina. http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_publi...C-278628A2.pdf

Most likely if a localized alert occurs by you a cable provider in your general area in your state will pass it on to your area. This should be changing to a more simplified method in the coming years.
 

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Discussion Starter #13

Quote:
Originally Posted by scowl /forum/post/20261364


Will an EAS turn on a cable STB? I have a sleepy memory of being woken up by one after I had my STB turned off but I had left the receiver turned on at high volume.

It's possible that you might have forgotten to turn it off or rolled on the remote and turned it on? I've just never heard of a box turning on by itself then again I don't think it's ever been intentionally tested so I could be wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #14

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morac /forum/post/20946871


Sorry for the late response, but I forgot to subscribe to the thread.


The TiVo does change channels and "lock" the device, but instead of displaying a banner, the EAS looks like the old analog version you posted in the first post. This despite that the channels are digital and there are only a handful of analog channels left.


I think it actually changed both tuners, not just one of them, but I'm not 100% sure of that. I do know that the alerts show up in recordings (even if there's only one recording at the time).

Well according to TiVo's own documentations http://support.tivo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/364

only one tuner is affected.


Also we're actively looking for a better way of displaying the emergency information and possibly one analog channel may be kept around just for displaying it but I'm not sure. I know that when the EAS was activated in my area during the hurricane in August the DTA tuner switched to channel 3 QVC then the box itself displayed the alert. Attachment 225348 This picture is what we saw at the state emergency response center.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Axatax /forum/post/20960075


Where do the alerts actually originate from?


I live in Florida, and my weekly alerts on cable are for South Carolina, thus any warnings/messages would not seem to be relevant (?)


My cable co. is a local mom/pop operation and not a national provider (ie. Comcast, etc.), and AFAIK has no affiliation with any S. Carolina market.

Are they weather warnings or amber alerts? South Carolina is very proactive about getting their amber alerts (child abduction emergencies) out to the public. If they feel I-95 South to GA and FL is a possible route, they will request that those states approve an EAS activation.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Axatax /forum/post/20960075


Where do the alerts actually originate from?


I live in Florida, and my weekly alerts on cable are for South Carolina, thus any warnings/messages would not seem to be relevant (?)


My cable co. is a local mom/pop operation and not a national provider (ie. Comcast, etc.), and AFAIK has no affiliation with any S. Carolina market.

Sounds like their box is set up wrong, or got glitched, somehow. Your avatar says you live in south Florida, so I see no way that they would need to pass alerts for SC. Are those just the Required Weekly Tests, or are they real alert messages, too?
 

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Discussion Starter #17

Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedskater /forum/post/20960383


It's almost 2012, are weekly tests still needed?

Is digital equipment that unreliable?

I think that locally they do the test every other night, just to be sure.

Yes we do because in areas where the EAS may never overwise be used there is no other way of knowing if it will work or not. It only needs to fail once for lives and property to be lost. Everything can fail at the worst times so its good to be made aware of it during a test rather then an emergency. Its kinda like getting out of bed and stretching your legs, if you don't you'll waste away and atrophy for lack of a better metaphor.

And which tests are you referring to the one cable providers do once a week at random times, or the ones television stations do once a week usually in the middle of the day between commerical breaks or tv programming around the 58 or 59 minute mark?
 

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Discussion Starter #18

Quote:
Originally Posted by k1jos /forum/post/20988628


I am on charter cable in connecticut. I have a few weeks old new model Panasonic Plasma that this week shows the EAS scrolling message almost constantly....for hours even with cable box off. I can the power the TV off and comes back. I have two other new sets that never show this message with identical type of cable box. A LG LED and a Samsung LCD. The only thing different is the Panasonic plasma has the Viera Wi-Fi link so I guess this is coming from Panasonic through the web. Sounds like a glitch not an FCC mandate to only one manufacturer.


Anyone have more info for a fix?

Actually I have heard about this issue before and its not an issue with the cablebox but that your television itself is actually displaying the EAS alert. Is there a cable connection going to the television itself and you are using the televisions built in tuner? I would check the Panasonci website for a firmware upgrade to correct this issue.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Wolf /forum/post/0



Well according to TiVo's own documentations http://support.tivo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/364

only one tuner is affected.

I read over that page and I don't see anything that mentions one tuner. It simply says if it's recording that it changes the channel to record the EAS.


I guess the EAS hardware in my cable system must be old since any time an EAS comes in, the channel changes to a channel with a scrolling banner and black background. I think it's channel 8 since sometimes I see part of the original channel before the channel changes back. The audio is usually horribly garbled, has a very low volume and comes out of only the left speaker. Here's an example (there's no video since I needed to hold my phone next to my HTS speakers to get the audio):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqbl-7DNyJ0
 

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Discussion Starter #20
oh yeah thats definately screwy. I'll look into it and see what I can find out. Oh and if you can get me a video that'd be awesome.
 
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