Amber Alert Freeze Up?!?!?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by Bighouse, Oct 18, 2006.

  1. Bighouse

    Bighouse 200 Club Member

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    Guerneville, CA

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    Ok, this never happened on my S2 or S1- but last night an Amber Alert flashed on my screen and my remote was utterly useless. Couldn't change channels, couldn't get to the program guide, nothing. The only button that did anything was the mute button, and that's because it shut down the volume on my amp.

    Is this a new "feature" of an S3 or something to do with the Cablecards and the FCC?

    Is there any way to disable it?

    It makes NO sense whatsoever to me to broadcast information about missing children and the car the abductor might be driving to people who are at home watching tv and probably aren't out on the road for the night. What do they think, we're all going to drop what we're doing, jump into our cars and play "police"?
     
  2. davecramer74

    davecramer74 New Member

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    actually they put it on in hopes that you might recognize the car or maybe saw on the way home from work. I take it you dont have any children? What would you want done if your kid was kidnapped? Sorry for the inconvenience. But you should be smacked up along side the head a few times.
     
  3. jmoak

    jmoak Beware of Conky!

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    Your cable company is treating the Amber Alerts as Emergency Alerts.

    When a EAS (Emergency Alert System) message is broadcast, all cable boxes are forced tuned to the channel carrying the EAS information for the duration of the alert. While participation in national EAS alerts is mandatory for these providers, state and local EAS participation is currently voluntary.

    The FCC's Emergency Alert System (EAS) info page
     
  4. PRMan

    PRMan New Member

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    Yorba...
    What's even more upsetting is that most Amber Alerts are actually custody disputes in which the child is in no actual danger:

    If only the 30% of ACTUAL abductions caused an interruption in TV, that would be important and useful. But the misuse of the system has made it a joke and a complete disservice to children who are actually abducted by strangers.

    What better way to get back at your ex- than to agree to a tradeoff and then sick the cops, the national media and the public on him for "abducting" the children?
     
  5. Bighouse

    Bighouse 200 Club Member

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    Guerneville, CA

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    Well, EVERY single Amber Alert I've ever seen on my tv turned out to be false. (As the one yesterday was.) I'm TOTALLY in favor of them on the radio, when you're DRIVING around and you may see something, or on highway signs, etc...but to broadcast them at night and interrupt what may be an important program to me, doesn't make me want to pay much attention to it.

    I wonder how many AMBER ALERTS have actually resulted in ANY captured/convicted kidnappers? And, of those how many of them were the results of someone watching an Amber Alert on their tv the night before?

    I'm all in favor of methods of helping kids keep safe and of catching the bad guys (or gals), but it should be done in an effective way.

    And, for what it's worth, don't hit me. Violence, against kids or against me, is a bad thing.
     
  6. davecramer74

    davecramer74 New Member

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    How many captures or recoveries? This is just for California....

    There were 17 AMBER Alerts and 21 recovered children in 2002

    There were 29 AMBER Alerts and 43 recovered children in 2003

    There were 20 AMBER Alerts and 25 recovered children in 2004


    There were 20 AMBER Alerts and 23 recovered children in 2005

    There have been 7 AMBER Alerts and 8 recovered children so far this year.

    Your tv watching is meaningless compared to the life of a little one. why dont you be a little more selfish, hehe, sheesh.
     
  7. Bighouse

    Bighouse 200 Club Member

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    Dave, those numbers are very misleading. Notice that in all cases the number of Amber Alerts was LESS THAN the number of recovered children. That should immediately tell someone that the two numbers are not correlated to each other directly.

    I read the page you directed me to. It never indicates that the arrests/recoveries were the DIRECT result of someone having watched an Amber Alert on TV. In fact, it seems that CalTrans workers need extra kudos for spotting more than any other group of people...and I doubt they're watching TV while doing their jobs.

    All I'm saying is that someone should be able to "opt-out" of such alerts- and I was hoping there was a code to allow me to do so with my S3. I don't pay attention to the types of vehicles on the road when I'm driving and as soon as an Amber Alert comes on, because I've heard "WOLF!" too many times already, I just tune it out. I would probably pay MORE attention if I heard it WHILE on the road in my car on a radio...not when I'm home in the late evenings. I'm glad someone, anyone, can and does spot these people in their cars, but I don't think this kind of "big brother in your living room" telling us what we have to be "on the lookout for" is right. It's a free country...why can't we be a little more free to determine how we spend our free time?
     
  8. ah30k

    ah30k Well-Known Member

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    There could easily be multiple children with a single alert.

    I just don't get why anyone would complain about an amber alert on their TV. Good luck gaining any sympathy for your position.
     
  9. Bighouse

    Bighouse 200 Club Member

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    Guerneville, CA
    I'm not looking for sympathy, I'm just looking to see if there's a way to disable it from happening on my S3. But, I apprecaite the well-wishes. ;)

    Look, don't get me wrong. I like kids, I've got a lot of nephews and neices who love me and I love them all. I like pets, I like people, etc. etc...I just think sometimes these alerts are a nuisance and eventually, with enough false ones like the one yesterday, they also become meaningless and simply ignored...
     
  10. pallen4215

    pallen4215 New Member

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    Mar 4, 2005
    surely this wasn't during primetime was it? Couldn't local stations play this during commercial instead of interupting a program?
     
  11. ah30k

    ah30k Well-Known Member

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    Ethics or business aside, emergency alerts are generated from a central EAS server in the local headend and then each tuner is forced-tuned to that EAS. There would be no way of knowing which of the hundred channels are in program versus in commercial.
     
  12. moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Mission...
    I'd like to know what happens when there are scheduled recordings on both tuners and an EAS alert kicks in? For my cable co. box both tuners are force tuned to the EAS alert and any ongoing recordings are canceled, but what's worse is the recordings don't resume once the EAS alert terminates. Hopefully the S3 will at least resume recording? Anyone know what the behavior is for the S3 with ongoing recordings?
     
  13. TexasAg

    TexasAg New Member

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    Unfortunately, I don't think the S3 continues recordings when the EAS stops. My old Motorola did. You think the S3 would be smart enough to do this.
     
  14. phox_mulder

    phox_mulder I get paid 2watch TV

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    Salt Lake...
    We've been fighting with Comcast over this for a couple years.
    We do our own Amber Alerts, Weather Alerts and Weekly/Monthly EAS tests.
    We do these with crawls over programming or News Interrupts over commercials.
    No programming is lost or interrupted (most of the time, depends on the "emergency")

    We don't need our programming interrupted by Comcast doing their own alerts and tests, particularly when they accidently redo the tests 3 times in an hour program.
    They do a full screen graphic, losing the program video and audio entirely, upsetting more than a few viewers who then call us and complain.

    I can see the need for them to do this over "cable" programming, but leave the broadcast channels alone, we can take care of ourselves.


    phox
     
  15. Bighouse

    Bighouse 200 Club Member

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    Guerneville, CA
    I don't have a clue...was watching Live TV at the time. But, there are going to be a lot of upset recorders out there if Amber alerts start being sent during one-run prime time shows! I suspect my S3 would have just recorded the EAS into the recording, but I don't know for sure...anyone? Hope I don't have to find out.

    (People: PLEASE, KEEP A CLOSE EYE ON YOUR CHILDREN & STAY OUT OF NASTY CONTESTED DIVORCES!)
     
  16. moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Mission...
    Well maybe this can help explain some of the partial recordings some people have been having. I realize that some of the partial recording problems are tuner related, but this is another source of partial recordings problems - and I'm sure there are no messages or anything indicating when an EAS alert occured right?
     
  17. ah30k

    ah30k Well-Known Member

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    I'm curious who "we" is. There are cheap ways to do EAS (quick and dirty force-tune) and more expensive ways (digitally adding an EAS crawl to all existing RF transmissions). There is a minimum requirement and more elaborate and where companies choose to fall in the spectrum is up to them.

    For MSOs to differentiate between cable transmission of OTA and cable transmission of national broadcasts might be more trouble than its worth.
     
  18. phox_mulder

    phox_mulder I get paid 2watch TV

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    Salt Lake...
    Sorry, "We" are the local CBS affiliate in Salt Lake City, and we do a pretty bang up job of handling EAS on our own, we don't need Comcast handling it for us.

    We've even gone as far as trudging over to the local Comcast office with the FCC "bible" showing them the subpart that states it is a Broadcaster responsibility, not the "re-broadcaster".


    phox
     
  19. davecramer74

    davecramer74 New Member

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    :D so, to sum it up bighouse, no, your fooked. No disabling them for you!

    And i was just giving you ****. I get annoyed by them emergency broadcasts sometimes as well. But theres a reason they interrupt everything. If a tornado was about to blow through your house, would you like to know about it, or would you like to continue watching the game? hehe. You can whine it up, but it doesnt change the fact that they are there for a reason and work how they work for a reason. I'm assuming its on a higher level then the cable company. Its prolly the FCC that makes the rule about when these go out, etc.
     
  20. JDguy

    JDguy New Member

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    Jan 15, 2006
    Bear in mind that cable operators also have local franchise requirements that must be satisfied. In many cases these local (city) franchise requirements include local EAS alert requirements that are above and beyond the national (FCC) requirements. Your best bet to have these things removed is not to complain to your cable operator, but to complain to your city council or franchise authority.
     

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