WASHINGTON– Pearl TV, Pilot and Sinclair have joined other broadcast groups to support the rapid deployment of the Advanced Warning and Response Network, or “AWARN.” Together, they are forming the AWARN Alliance,
whose primary mission is to implement the advanced alerting capabilities of the
ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard being developed by the
Advanced Television Systems Committee.
ATSC 3.0 technology to deliver rich media, multilingual, and geo-targeted
content–including video, storm tracks, evacuation routes, flood
maps, and earthquake early warnings–to millions of consumer devices
simultaneously. Delivered over broadcast spectrum from TV stations equipped
with back-up generators, AWARN will function even when cellular networks
overload or the electric grid goes down.
The Federal Emergency Management
Agency is currently testing initial AWARN-related technologies at the FEMA
Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Lab in Indian Head, Md.
The AWARN Alliance will be launching officially next week at the 2016 National Association of Broadcasters convention. In addition to Pearl, Sinclair and Pilot (formerly NAB Labs), members include Capitol Broadcasting Co., Digital Alert Systems/Monroe Electronics, Gates Air, LG Electronics/Zenith and Triveni Digital. Each has been instrumental in the development of AWARN and its predecessor technologies through their investment in research and development. Another Alliance member, the Public Broadcasting Service, also has provided technical support during AWARN’s entire development cycle.
PBS serves 350 member stations. Pearl TV members own and operate
more than 200 network-affiliated TV stations. Pearl member companies are Cox
Media Group, the E.W. Scripps Company, Graham Media Group, Hearst Television
Inc., Media General Inc., Meredith Local Media Group, Raycom Media, and TEGNA,
Inc. Sinclair Broadcast Group owns or operates 171 TV stations and, through its
affiliate, ONE Media, also has been a major contributor to the development of ATSC 3.0.
Together, Pearl TV, Sinclair, and Capitol Broadcasting reach over 80 percent of U.S. television households.
The Alliance’s executive
director is one of the chief architects of AWARN, John Lawson, long-time broadcasting
executive and principal at Convergence Services, Inc.