Emergency Alert System test -- Wed Nov 9

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by astrohip, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. Oct 31, 2011 #1 of 126
    astrohip

    astrohip Well-Known Raconteur TCF Club

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    FCC and FEMA are planning the first Emergency Alert System nationwide test, which will take place at 2 p.m. (EST), on Wednesday, November 9, 2011. The test will last approximately three minutes. Normal programming will return following the test.

    Have no idea what this will do to our TiVos, but thought I would throw it out for general awareness. I'm going to set a recording for that time, just to see what happens. I guess I'm one of the lucky ones, in that our local stations have never run an Emerg Alert (AFAIK).

    [Aside: this probably belongs in the Season Pass forum, but I've become convinced lately no one reads it. Warnings & notices in that forum seem to have no effect on people posting here about shows that are bumped, etc.]



    http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/emergency-alert-system-nationwide-test

     
  2. Oct 31, 2011 #2 of 126
    Amnesia

    Amnesia The Question

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    Don't those tests disrupt recordings?
     
  3. Oct 31, 2011 #3 of 126
    astrohip

    astrohip Well-Known Raconteur TCF Club

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    Yes, from what I've heard. I've read from some posters here that it drops you out of your recording to the EAS, and never resumes the recording. Others have said your recording does resume. I know it drops you out of whatever you're watching, which is no biggie. All I care about is what it does to a recording in progress.

    Since I've never had it happen, I'll set something to record, just to find out.
     
  4. Oct 31, 2011 #4 of 126
    LoadStar

    LoadStar LOAD"*",8,1

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    The interesting thing about this test is that this would be the first time in the history of the EAS they will be using the national emergency procedures, so even they don't quite know whether everything will work 100%.

    I'm not sure - did they ever have a national alert or test with the EBS or CONELRAD?
     
  5. Oct 31, 2011 #5 of 126
    astrohip

    astrohip Well-Known Raconteur TCF Club

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    Does every Friday at noon count?

    [I guess you have to be 50+ to even know what I'm talking about...:D]
     
  6. Oct 31, 2011 #6 of 126
    RGM1138

    RGM1138 I wanna Rock

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    A likely story. It's probably to disguise the fact that that's when the alien overlords will finally land and commence the occupation of the planet, and make slaves of the hoomans.

    You heard it here first. ;)
     
  7. Oct 31, 2011 #7 of 126
    That Don Guy

    That Don Guy Now with more GB

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    My first thought was, "Since it's nationwide, networks can probably hold back programming for three minutes" - but this would be hard to do as they would have to hold back a different show in the east (where it's 2 PM) than they do in the west (where it's 11 AM).

    The question I have is, at what levels will the alert take place - will (a) cable companies, (b) local stations, and/or (c) cable channels like CNN have their own alerts, and how will they overlap each other?
     
  8. Oct 31, 2011 #8 of 126
    LoadStar

    LoadStar LOAD"*",8,1

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    The answer to my question, according to Wikipedia, is only once -- unintentionally. On February 20, 1971, a teletype operator at Cheyenne Mountain played the wrong message down the wire, triggering the Emergency Alert Notification.

    From what I can tell, there were national tests issued weekly under the EBS, but none that actually triggered an EAN. They were to be simply logged.
     
  9. Oct 31, 2011 #9 of 126
    cheesesteak

    cheesesteak Meh. TCF Club

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    I don't know about this but when we get the periodic Amber Alerts, it breaks into the TiVo recording but resumes it afterwards.
     
  10. Oct 31, 2011 #10 of 126
    DeDondeEs

    DeDondeEs Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    It seems that whenever they plan drills like this, some disaster actually happens. Stop jinxing us... And is it just a coincidence that it is happening on 11/9, the opposite of 9/11?
     
  11. Oct 31, 2011 #11 of 126
    generaltso

    generaltso Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty sure that was fixed a while ago. If you're watching a recorded show, the Alert will drop you to live TV to watch the scrolling information. But I'm pretty sure anything that's recording just records in the background without the Alert message. At least, that's how mine's been working with the weekly tests.
     
  12. Oct 31, 2011 #12 of 126
    gastrof

    gastrof Hubcaps r in fashion

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    :rolleyes:

    The TV stations and satellite/cable systems aren't running anything when those tests run. They're running the test, so your machine can't possibly be recording something that's running in the background, with or without the alert message.

    All that's being sent out IS the alert message.
     
  13. Oct 31, 2011 #13 of 126
    generaltso

    generaltso Well-Known Member

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    That's not true. Have you seen an Alert message? It's pretty obvious that it's not the only thing being sent from the cable system since you can see and hear live TV under the streaming message.

    I've seen plenty of tests while programs were being recorded. The recordings were not affected by the tests at all.
     
  14. Oct 31, 2011 #14 of 126
    gastrof

    gastrof Hubcaps r in fashion

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    Locally we've gotten black screens with white printing on them, nothing else.
     
  15. Oct 31, 2011 #15 of 126
    generaltso

    generaltso Well-Known Member

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    I guess it depends on the system. From what I can tell, the Alerts in my area are sent as a separate digital stream that's simply overlayed on top of live TV. The TiVo seems perfectly capable of Recording programming without the Alert in the background. It makes sense that it would work this way. The Alerts are meant to be time sensitive, which is why you get forced to Live TV to see the Alert in real time. It wouldn't serve much of a purpose If the Alert was recorded.
     
  16. Oct 31, 2011 #16 of 126
    LoadStar

    LoadStar LOAD"*",8,1

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    For analog cable customers, this is generally true; the screen you described is generated by the EAS encoder/decoder (most commonly, the SAGE EAS ENDEC). When it receives an alert, it automatically interrupts all analog programming and inserts this text screen and plays the message.

    For digital subscribers, the EAS message is able to be transmitted to the subscriber "out of band" without interrupting normal television programming. The digital set-top receiver is able to decode the digitally transmitted EAS message, overlay the textual content and play the audio message. For instance, a Series 3 or beyond TiVo looks like this when it receives an EAS alert:
    [​IMG]

    What I'm curious about is whether cable stations are even required to carry or transmit EAS messages, since the only messages they'd ever be required to carry are national-level alerts, and of course we've never had any. I'm also curious how satellite television handles EAS, since even the spot beams cover such a large area that handling local EAS alerts would be difficult at best.
     
  17. Oct 31, 2011 #17 of 126
    mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

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    Put your Tivos into Standby, and it won't interrupt the recordings (supposedly)... but if this really is happening on ALL channels, maybe it's moot. Would be for a good test if you have multiple Tivos though!
     
  18. Oct 31, 2011 #18 of 126
    EvilMidniteBombr

    EvilMidniteBombr what bomz at midnite

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    I'm one of the lucky ones, I guess. I have never seen an Emergency Alert on my TiVoHD. That includes watching TV during thunderstorms, winter storms and even a tornado warnings.
     
  19. Nov 1, 2011 #19 of 126
    scooterboy

    scooterboy Coney Island Small

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    Alerts on my TivoHD don't look like that at all. Standard black screen with white text and annoying tones.
     
  20. Nov 1, 2011 #20 of 126
    LoadStar

    LoadStar LOAD"*",8,1

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    You mean something like this?
    [​IMG]

    Those are analog alerts being broadcast by the cable company, not the new digital ones handled by the TiVo.
     

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