Emergency Broadcast on S3

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by kevinv, Jan 30, 2007.

  1. kevinv

    kevinv New Member

    Nov 2, 2002


    I've only had my S3 a few weeks and just had an emergency broadcast test go off. During the test it displayed a message from the Tivo (not the station) and I couldn't exit to the menus or bring up the guide.

    I happened to be watching live tv at the time (something I almost never do) so does the message pop-up during recorded playback as well (or does it flip over to live tv during the EBS)?

    That's a nice feature if it does happen during recorded playback. We get quite a few emergency notices here during tornado season and I've always been a bit paranoid about missing them because of the tivo (I bought a weather radio just for that).
  2. TexasAg

    TexasAg New Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    It will take you to the warning whether you are watching live TV or a recording.

    There is one annoying thing, though. If the Tivo is recording something, it interrupts the recording, and the recording does NOT resume after the warning is complete.
  3. kevinv

    kevinv New Member

    Nov 2, 2002
    that kind of sucks. if its recording dual tuner will it interrupt both recordings?

    i kind of hoped a system would be implemented that would make emergency broadcast separate from content so the recordings could proceed normally and users would be notified live of the emergency.
  4. jmoak

    jmoak Beware of Conky!

    Jun 20, 2000
    the latest EAS (Emergency Alert Service) rules and regs as of March 7th, 2003:

    http://www.nric.org/meetings/docs/meeting_20050329/7 3 FCC EAS Rules.pdf

    Complaining to the cable co's, tv stations or even tivo will do no good. These requirements come straight from the government/fcc. (the "not continuing to record after an EAS alert" problem IS NOT a fcc problem, it's a tivo problem)

    Gov regs simply say they must comply with CableLab's "OpenCable Set-Top Terminal CORE Functional Requirements for Bi-directional Cable", defined by SCTE-DVS208r6 (Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers), superseded now by SCTE18_2002, "Emergency Alert Message for Cable", approved as a joint standard with CEA as ANSI-J-STD-042-2002.

  5. Rucker

    Rucker Member

    Sep 21, 2006


    Where is the requirement that a DVR can't resume normal operation (i.e. resume recording) following an alert? I couldn't find that part in the links you provided.
  6. davecramer74

    davecramer74 New Member

    Mar 17, 2006
    you'd think tivo could get some of software update to fix that. with that said, my cable dvr does the same thing. But those tests usually hit like 5pm so im rarely recording anything at that time anyways, so it hasnt really been an issue to me.
  7. pl1

    pl1 Well-Known Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    I'm sure it's something that TiVo needs to fix. It should be treated just like if you reboot an S2, which is keep on recording where it left off. But when I reboot my S3, it does not keep recording where it left off. So, it must be a "feature".
  8. TydalForce

    TydalForce Active Member

    Feb 8, 2006
    Is this something specific to Cablecards? Or even "digital"?

    I have analogue cable, and digital broadcast, but no cablecards -- nor is my tivo set up to deal with the QAM channels. I've never been interrupted by an EBS alert. And, in fact, it recorded one as part of the program I was watching. I forget what show it recorded, but it was on analogue cable. Recorded right through it, and back to the show when the alert was over - just like what would happen with a VCR.
  9. ewilts

    ewilts Who, me?

    Feb 26, 2002
    Mounds View, MN
    I think it's also interesting that my TV (HP PL-4260N) says it will display the Emergency Broadcast info if the cable is connected directly. It detects it and overrides whatever else you want to see on the TV. I don't have the cable detected (I get all my TV exclusively through the TiVo S3) so I haven't verified it, but that's what the TV manual says.

    That, to me, makes a lot more sense than anything else - if the TV is on, display it there. Don't record it, don't interrupt the signal at all, but display the info on the TV. If the user doesn't have the TV on, then nothing is gained or lost. Screwing up last week's recording doesn't do anybody any good if I'm not in the state to see it anyway.

  10. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    If you do have cable cards but are recording an OTA HD channel, will that also be affected when recording?
  11. AbMagFab

    AbMagFab What happened, TiVo?

    Feb 5, 2001
    Incorrect. I've rebooted my S3 in the middle of a recording, and it started recording the shows that got interrupted (minus the gap of time during the reboot). Just like all my other TIvo's.

    The EBS is something different though, haven't seen that myself.
  12. AbMagFab

    AbMagFab What happened, TiVo?

    Feb 5, 2001
    Makes total sense. Which means the FCC never considered it, and likely don't have a clue about DVR's. So unfortunately, the regs don't account for the TV being off (as far as I can tell).
  13. pl1

    pl1 Well-Known Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    It did not keep recording when I rebooted. That is what I said, and that's what happened, so how could that be incorrect?
  14. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

    May 28, 2005
    New Mexico...
    I happened to be watching the TiVo Live TV last night when the Emergency test hit - TiVo was recording on both tuners, but only TiVo suggestions, and both recordings were stopped and not restarted. I wonder if scheduled recordings are restarted, but TiVo suggestions are not? Alternatively, the TiVo may act differently after a reboot than it does following an emergency broadcast?

    I did not notice any special banner or message from TiVo during the Emergency Broadcast test, but I was half asleep too!
  15. CharterJames

    CharterJames Digital Guru

    Jan 29, 2007
    Hickory, NC
    EAS is a manditory program - I know with our motorola system it's set up to FORCE TUNE the boxes to a specific channel that's designated for the Emergency Alerts. We don't get to pick a local etc, it's one specifically designated for our area. (I think ours is TBN, which has generated a few complaints as it's a Faith based network)

    I know our system is designed so that it tunes you to that channel - unfortunately they didn't set it up to know when the alert is over (many are re-broadcast every few minutes) so there's no mechanism to tune back to your origional programming. I imagine this would be disruptive to any DVR, not only TIVO.

    Given TIVO has a communications mechanism in place with their boxes (the broadband connection) I'm sure they are under the same restraints we are and given the nature of some of these messages (repeated alerts etc) they probably either elected to stop recording to keep the program from hitting future interuptions or it anticipates being force tuned to another program and they lack the mechanism to switch tuners mid-record.

    I know they are not allowed to assume which tuner you are on and they may also have to factor in the fact that a Digital Controller (the server that controls boxes and CableCards) would force tune all devices (because it cannot determine that both cable cards are in fact the on same device) to the EAS station for a warning.

    EAS can be nasty too... there are ways of false triggering or testing the alert status. I remember when I was at a Motorola training school for the Digital Controller and they told me a story about a disgruntled employee who set the EAS channel to Playboy and forced a "test" for 8:30pm after his last day.

    Imagine... every digital box / cable card enabled device being force tuned to an adult channel after normal business hours... not being to change the channel until someone figured out how to turn off the false EAS alert. :eek:

    There's a bit more security in the system now... I don't think I could force an EAS alert even if I wanted to. (heck I don't even know how to change the channel EAS is on without calling in some additional tech support!) But when one happens, there's always complaints, no matter what type of box or device your on! (especially when it's something that doesn't even affect you, like a tornado in the next county or something...)
  16. jmoak

    jmoak Beware of Conky!

    Jun 20, 2000
    There isn't one.

    That's why in my post I added, the "not continuing to record after an EAS alert" problem IS NOT a fcc problem, it's a tivo problem.
  17. Rucker

    Rucker Member

    Sep 21, 2006
    Ok, jmoak. I just wanted to confirm that we should complain to Tivo contrary to your statement otherwise :) I didn't realize the last sentence in the paragraph was meant to qualify the first one.

    I may misunderstand the regulations, but it isn't clear to me that the regulations force Tivo to force-tune all tuners. I presume using all tuners was easier to implement (and perhaps certify). So my only complaint with the EAS handling is that the Tivo seems to do more than what is required (not resuming, interrupting both tuners). And for that I need to complain to Tivo.

    If indeed all tuners must be tuned, I think what needs to change is the CableLabs rules. In which case, if your cable company is a CableLabs member, complaining to them *could* help. Personally, I wouldn't waste my time, however.
  18. GoHokies!

    GoHokies! O2->CO2 Converter

    Sep 21, 2005
    Not if the Tivo doesn't have any way of knowing when the alert is over and is free to tune back to the show it was recording.

    The lack of that mechanism in the requirements does make it an FCC problem, not a Tivo problem.

    Edit: Perhaps I'm wrong. I was looking over one of the documents you linked and encountered the following:

    If I read that correctly (I'm no engineer!), there is a value that the Tivo should be able to get that tells it how many minutes it must stay on the alert channel before it can automatically retune to the show it should be taping. Is that right? If so, this should be a pretty easy fix, I would think...

    (part 6.5 at http://www.scte.org/documents/pdf/SCTE182002ANSIJSTD042DVS208.pdf)
  19. rdrrepair

    rdrrepair Bill Knapp

    Nov 24, 2006
    845 New York
    Imagine sitting down to watch one of your TiVo recording while it is already in progress. The TiVo started to record 20 minutes ago and you decide to watch it and catch up to live Tv.

    The EBS goes off and your busy watching 20 minutes in the past - The wall of water that used to be behind the Dam is rushing downstream to your house. By the time you catch up to live Tv your house has been hit and is under water.

    Of course the EBS is going to stop your DVR from recording - what good does it do to watch an EBS 20 minutes after it has gone off? :eek:

    If it's just a test then my TiVo has recorded it in the past and did not change the channel. The EBS has different tags attatched to it that tell you it is a test (no interruption) or it's real and needs to interrupt the program. It's like all of these programs that have the "delete by copyright holder" tag on them. The local issuing authority has no idea or cares how your DVR reacts so the wrong tag is attached to it.

    If it's only a test it should record - if it's real then listen up! Complain about the test interruption to the local cable operator. Complain to TiVo if the EBS stops then it should finish recording.

    I live in an area that has a Nuclear reactor - major streams and rivers and rail lines. Give me the notice and I'll be happy to evacuate.

    Most of these programs are on the net after there broadcasted. I would like to see the TiVo able to record those types of programs too.
  20. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Well-Known Mumbler

    Aug 2, 2003
    Re: the TV not being on, perhaps the S3 could keep recording as long as it was in Standby?

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