Blocking EAS

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Gigs, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. Dec 21, 2010 #1 of 117
    Gigs

    Gigs New Member

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    Does anyone know of a device that you can buy that will just completely block EAS from getting to the Tivo in the first place?

    Failing that, does anyone know where the technical specifications of the EAS signal are available so that I could look into building such a box myself?

    It looks like the newer Common Alert Protocol is just XML. Does anyone know if this is "in band" in an encrypted digital channel, or "out of band"? Are providers using CAP EAS yet? Is the XML format only between EAS relay boxes at providers or is that to end devices as well?
     
  2. Dec 21, 2010 #2 of 117
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    I don't know anything about this, but if you come up with a solution I'd love to hear it. My cable provider seems to do EAS test like 2-3 times a week and it screws up a lot of recordings. I'd love to have a way to turn it off.

    Dan
     
  3. Dec 21, 2010 #3 of 117
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    CableLabs certification requires this feature, and it requires that it cannot be defeated. There's no difference (as far as the TiVo can tell) between a real emergency broadcast and a test.
     
  4. Dec 21, 2010 #4 of 117
    gastrof

    gastrof Hubcaps r in fashion

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    Seems to me if the station/channel, whether OTA or cable/satellite, is doing an EAS spot, THAT is what's going out over the channel, and that's all there is for your TV/recorder to receive. How could you block that? It's like trying to block a commercial from getting to your TV. It's part of the broadcast, and you have to live with it.
     
  5. Dec 21, 2010 #5 of 117
    kdmorse

    kdmorse Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    He's referring to the digital eas signal which is is an out of band communication that says "STOP RECORDING! STOP ALL PLAYBACK! CHANGE ALL TUNERS TO CHANNEL 17. DISPLAY THE FOLLOWING TEXT ON THE SCREEN. DISABLE ALL PLAYBACK CONTROLS FOR THE NEXT 60 SECONDS!". Which is really, really annoying. As you might expect, it fouls up all recordings, even those not on a channel broadcasting the EAS. And if you're watching something out of my shows, it rips you out of what your watching, and forces you to watch the live EAS - about the only thing you can do is turn off the TV.

    Really pretty annoying when you're watching a recorded movie, and you get dumped and locked to a blaring test pattern for 5 minutes.

    -Ken
     
  6. Dec 21, 2010 #6 of 117
    Phantom Gremlin

    Phantom Gremlin Active Member

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    But are you watching something at the time? In my area these only happen after midnight. From what I have read, recordings won't be interrupted if your TiVo is in standby when EAS occurs.

    There's a trick for putting a TiVo HD into standby:

    TiVo button
    slow button
    (possibly need to page down aka channel down)
    select button

    This is fewer button pushes than you might otherwise expect, but IMO a very poor substitute for a physical button on the remote.
     
  7. Dec 21, 2010 #7 of 117
    Hcour

    Hcour Well-Known Member

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    WTH? Is this something new? I'm strictly OTA these days but when I had TWC, about a year ago, I never saw anything like this.
     
  8. Dec 21, 2010 #8 of 117
    ggieseke

    ggieseke Well-Known Member

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    If you have a universal remote there's a discrete code for Standby.
     
  9. Dec 21, 2010 #9 of 117
    mec1991

    mec1991 Cranky old coot

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    Never seen anything remotely like this, either OTA or on cable. Is this just something stations in tornado alley do?
     
  10. Dec 21, 2010 #10 of 117
    rahnbo

    rahnbo Well-Known Member

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    Brighthouse Central Fla I see it every Wednesday morning around 3am and am totally locked out of Tivo for several minutes. It REALLY sucks when you're watching a show and all of a sudden you're dumped out of it and locked out if you happen to be one of the people using Tivo during these tests.
     
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  11. Dec 21, 2010 #11 of 117
    Andyistic

    Andyistic Video acquisition

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    This is exactly the reason I get all my Prime-time programming from antenna.
    I have never seen any sudden EAS interruption during a show with antenna.
    I would see them all the time, especially at night, on cable.
    I hated that.
    But never with antenna.
    Now I only use cable for shows which are not broadcast, like Conan on TBS.
     
  12. Dec 21, 2010 #12 of 117
    Andyistic

    Andyistic Video acquisition

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    Here's some info I found regarding EAS from Wikipedia:
     
  13. Dec 21, 2010 #13 of 117
    smbaker

    smbaker Well-Known Member

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    I've seen it happen repeatedly on the west coast while watching playback late at night. Rips the Tivo out of playback, forces it to display the EAS message, and then dumps me on some public access station.

    Like everything these days, the government thinks we're to freakin' stupid to tune to the channel ourselves in the event of a real emergency. A simple text overlay across the bottom would have been sufficient and/or an EAS popup screen that we could immediately cancel. There's no need to change channels on the tuners or abort a recording.
     
  14. Dec 21, 2010 #14 of 117
    Andyistic

    Andyistic Video acquisition

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    If you're enjoying a playback of a previous recording, how would you know about such an emergency otherwise?
    You'd have to have some other source going on, like a radio station somewhere else in the home turned on.
    This is the reason for the unavoidable interrupt.
    But yes - still annoying as hell.
     
  15. Dec 21, 2010 #15 of 117
    kdmorse

    kdmorse Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Very true, but you need a reasonable definition of "emergency". Fortunately my cable provider has calmed down to the point where these are fairly rare. But at the height of it's annoyance, it seemed to believe it was a real life shattering emergency:

    1) Every weekend at 3am. I'm usually watching something at 3am...
    2) Every thunderstorm, real or imagined. Usually afternoon or evening guaranteeing the interruption of a prime time show.
    3) Every amber alert.
    4) One month, every time it rained, even a little bit. (We had a lot of rain that month, so every time it rained it triggered a flash flood warning, day after day).

    We have in the past argued the relative merits of all of the above in theory. In practice, not one digital EAS I have ever seen has ever had a practical effect on my life, changed what I was going to do, made me or anyone I know safer in any way, or done anything but irritate me.

    (The amber alter one gets debated alot. I maintain that I'm not going to spot that yellow van with Free Candy written on the side driving down I123 while I'm in my bathrobe, in bed, watching tv).

    -Ken
     
  16. Dec 21, 2010 #16 of 117
    mchief

    mchief Morey

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    Funny, no EAS alerts in this area have ever interrupted a recoding of mine.

    Agree with Amber Alerts - put them on all the overhead signage on the freeways - on my TV at home make very little sense.
     
  17. Dec 21, 2010 #17 of 117
    smbaker

    smbaker Well-Known Member

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    A simple one-line text overlay and beeping noise across the bottom of the screen would suffice. It's what the EAS system has done for the past several decades and has worked fine. The DVR is easily capable of doing a text overlay on top of a playing recording.

    My objection is that the current implementation assumes we're too stupid to pay attention to the EAS message and we require someone to tune the station for us.

    Furthermore, what happens in an emergency if someone is watching a DVD or a Blu-Ray? or watching Hulu on their Roku? or surfing the Internet? Perhaps we need the government to install some means to seize control of all these other devices as well.

    In fact, they should really install big brother in my alarm clock, in case I'm sleeping through an emergency.
     
  18. Dec 21, 2010 #18 of 117
    Andyistic

    Andyistic Video acquisition

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    http://www.fema.gov/emergency/ipaws

    There you go. That will deliver emergency notices to your cell phone too!
     
  19. Dec 21, 2010 #19 of 117
    steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

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    Same here. Of course, me being OTA only helps. If an EAS alert is broadcast, it's going to be on ALL the stations, so there is no reason for the Tivo to change the channel. :p

    And I have never witnessed an EAS alert/test interrupting playback of a previously recorded program.
     
  20. Dec 21, 2010 #20 of 117
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    This is exactly what I'm talking about. I'm a late night guy so I'm regularly watching TV after midnight. What's worse is when I leave the TV paused on something and go to the bathroom. Then all the sudden one of these happens and not only does it play the annoying warning signal at whatever volume the TV is currently set but after it's done it remains on live TV. All of which have the potential of disturbing my wife who is sleeping in a room right above the living room.

    Dan
     

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