Posted on April 4, 2013 in ATSC News
ATSC has approved and published specifications for a Mobile Emergency Alert System (M-EAS) delivered using the ATSC A/153 Mobile Digital TV standard. In the future, mobile emergency alerts delivered via TV broadcasts will make it possible for viewers to receive more than just text alerts when dangerous weather or other emergency conditions threaten public safety.
The M-EAS enhancements to the A/153 standard will provide capabilities for delivering multimedia alerts (utilizing video, audio, text, and graphics) to mobile DTV-equipped cellphones, tablets, laptops, netbooks and in-car navigation systems. Mobile emergency alerting via mobile DTV requires no additional spectrum and is an additional use of existing TV transmitters and towers.
We have learned from past events that a natural or man-made disaster can have a devastating impact on communications networks, which quickly become overburdened. The ability to reach millions of people with a single transmission using mobile DTV for emergency alerts can help save lives with instantaneous transmission of news, maps, video, audio, and other rich media.
M-EAS is backwards compatible and will not affect the performance of mobile TV products already in consumer hands. Future mobile TV receivers can be designed to take full advantage of M-EAS capabilities.
M-EAS will utilize terrestrial broadcasting, to insure high reliability and mass, instantaneous distribution even when cellular systems fail. TV broadcasters typically have back-up generators and reserve fuel, allowing them to continue broadcasting for days when the electric grid goes down. And like all cellphones and tablets, mobile TV-enabled devices can be recharged from a variety of sources, including cars.
ATSC standardization of the Mobile Emergency Alert System specifications followed a nationwide pilot project that delivered rich multimedia emergency alerts to prototype mobile TV receivers and proved the viability of the technology. The pilot project was undertaken by the Public Broadcasting Service and LG Electronics and was co-funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The project received technical support and additional funding from NAB Labs, Zenith, Roundbox and Harris Corporation. The Mobile Emergency Alerts field trial demonstrated the system’s capabilities for delivering multimedia alerts (utilizing video, audio, text, and graphics) to Mobile DTV-equipped cellphones, tablets, laptops, and in-car media systems.
Posted in ATSC News
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The Advanced Television Systems Committee, Inc., is an international, non-profit organization developing voluntary standards and recommended practices for digital terrestrial broadcasting. ATSC member organizations represent the broadcast, broadcast equipment, motion picture, consumer electronics, computer, cable, satellite, and semiconductor industries. ATSC also develops digital terrestrial broadcasting implementation strategies and supports educational activities on ATSC standards.