Amber Alert - total loss of control?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by hoyty, Apr 3, 2015.

  1. Apr 3, 2015 #1 of 63
    hoyty

    hoyty Member

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    The other night there was a amber alert in Seattle, WA area. When this happened I lost total control of my Roamio, no buttons would work at all? I was watching a recorded program and it appeared the TiVo went to some special channel and locked itself there. I found it interesting that the TiVo would relinquish all control in that way. Makes me wonder from a security standpoint could a similar command be created maliciously? This is essentially a backdoor into TiVo OS to give over control?
     
  2. Apr 3, 2015 #2 of 63
    ncted

    ncted A leaf on the wind

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    Are you on cable?
     
  3. Apr 3, 2015 #3 of 63
    hoyty

    hoyty Member

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    Yep, Comcast. Although it would interesting to know if TiVo would respond to appropriate signal via OTA?
     
  4. Apr 3, 2015 #4 of 63
    LoadStar

    LoadStar LOAD"*",8,1

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    Amber Alerts are transmitted over the Emergency Alert System (EAS), and function identical to any other EAS alert, such as tornado, tsunami, or EAN (national emergency alert issued by the White House), among others.

    EAS functionality is built into the Cable Card standard, and is transmitted to your TiVo (and any other digital addressable device, such as a cable company provided set-top box) via a secure out-of-band channel.

    The standard is SCTE 18, and if you'd like to read all about it in gory detail, the white paper is here:
    https://www.scte.org/documents/pdf/Standards/ANSI_SCTE 18 2007 J-STD-042A 2007.pdf
    Nope. The functionality you describe is strictly via digital cable.
     
  5. Apr 3, 2015 #5 of 63
    hoyty

    hoyty Member

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    Thanks for the info. I guess since TiVo is cablecard certified device it must submit to the command and lock out all other functions?
     
  6. Apr 3, 2015 #6 of 63
    tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Well-Known Member

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    Yep. The only way around it is to put the TiVo into standby mode. Some people who record stuff late at night do this to avoid their recordings being interrupted by the periodic EAS tests late at night.
     
  7. Apr 3, 2015 #7 of 63
    LoadStar

    LoadStar LOAD"*",8,1

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    Exactly. Although the amount of energy saved by Roamio's new "energy saving" mode is apparently negligible, it does provide the benefit of automatically putting the TiVo into standby mode, avoiding any issues with EAS alerts interfering with recordings.
     
  8. Apr 4, 2015 #8 of 63
    rahnbo

    rahnbo Well-Known Member

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    You can cancel these alerts by quickly unplugging the coax. I have an A/B switch on mine just for this case because I'm usually up late at night and get interrupted by EAS testing. 3-5 minutes each darn time. This works on my Premieres and STB. I would hope the same is true of Roamio but I don't know anything about it.
     
  9. Apr 5, 2015 #9 of 63
    JWhites

    JWhites New Member

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    I've been hearing reports that TiVo is working on a fix to nullify that since it apparently violates some sort of FCC rule. :eek:
     
  10. JWhites

    JWhites New Member

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  11. rahnbo

    rahnbo Well-Known Member

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    Hey that's awesome...lets force an EAS that nobody will ever hear. Its kind of like when you're watching an old recording and the news break shows the temps in the 20's even though it is in the 90's. What is the point? Lets just bring back air raid sirens. THAT would be awesome. :up:
     
  12. JWhites

    JWhites New Member

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    lol I know what you mean. I've been giving this some thought. As you know when the TiVo is in standby mode the audio and video signal stops so the equipment reads "No Signal". What I'm thinking is it'd cause the TiVo to behave the way it would when the Live TV or TiVo button is pressed on the remote, which would then start the forced tune or alert banner scroll. I mean technically the TiVo already does behave in that way when you're watching a recording or using an app like Netflix or Hulu and the Live TV button on the remote is pressed which automatically dumps the viewer to Live TV. The mechanisms are already in place, it's only a matter of time until TiVo uses it.
     
  13. CharlesH

    CharlesH Member

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    Forcing a TiVo that was in standby mode, and thus known to not be viewed by anyone, to pick up and record the EAS, would just be the latest in bureaucratic idiocy. And I have never figured out the point of putting Amber alerts on TV channels; I am not likely to see that Red Ford Taurus license number XXX123 with a kidnapped child while sitting in my family room. :rolleyes:
     
  14. tomhorsley

    tomhorsley Well-Known Member

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    The advice I always get while sitting in my room watching TV is to go inside and avoid the nasty weather.

    TiVo could make this a lot less irritating without violating any mandates though. The TiVo quite often seems to completely forget what you were doing. If it remembered the position in a recording or the live channel you were watching it could at least pick up where it left off.
     
  15. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

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    Has anybody here actually complained to the FCC about these?

    Even though they're "required" tests, having them at 1AM really is a pain for me.. I'm a late night person AND record the late night talk shows (and Nightline).. So I routinely LOSE parts of my program due to this.. (Nowadays I *usually* remember to put my Tivo in standby a few minutes before 1 to a bit after so I don't lose part of my recording, but I shouldn't have to do this..)

    I know that ANY time would inconvenience someone...

    But making some kind of an official complaint might do something, even if that something is making me feel a bit better.. heh.

    (I can turn off AMBER alerts on my phone, the CableCard group shouldn't make it a requirement to interrupt anything UNLESS I'm absolutely at LIVE TV caught up as close as possible to live..)
     
  16. rahnbo

    rahnbo Well-Known Member

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    I have complained, was given a case number, and ignored at least 2 years ago. Be glad you can turn off Amber Alerts on your phone. My Note 3 (Verizon) and Note 3 (ATT) will not allow this to be disabled. I mean I could root it...but then then I'd probably just be breaking some law.
     
  17. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    Does the FCC actually ACT on cases filed with it? I've never received responses--it seems to just accept info., perhaps in an attempt to mollify consumers and perhaps intimidate companies.
     
  18. rahnbo

    rahnbo Well-Known Member

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    I've mentioned this in other forums here, but EVERY SINGLE Amber alert I have ever seen was a false alarm or just one idiot parent using the Amber system to get revenge on the other parent by claiming abduction. It's BULL and it doesn't work. I like my air raid siren idea more and more. You know, if something is sooo important then wake up everyone right then and there. Get everyone out of bed, make them pay attention, and get stuff done. It could be a missing child, a possible tornado 5 counties away, a felon on the loose, or, of course, a nuke. Well, I guess in the case of a nuke we may as well let people sleep in. :eek:
     
  19. tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Well-Known Member

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    The EAS is definitely abused. Weekly tests really should not be required. One test every 3 or 4 months should be more than sufficient. And having the Amber Alerts are really more about making parents/child advocates feel better than to actually recover missing children. And now we also have to put up with Silver Alerts because some old person with dementia decided to wander away from the nursing home. This madness has to stop. Next we'll have Fido Alerts when someone's pet gets lost. At the very least you should be able to turn off most of the tests and the Amber/Silver Alerts if you don't want to see them.
     
  20. MonsterJoe

    MonsterJoe Travels for Food

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    They still test the sirens in certain parts of europe, on a schedule. Scared the CRAP out of me the first time I heard it
     

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