Q2: Free TV That Wakes Up Devices for Emergency Alerts?

As long as I'm not sleeping July 21, 2016
We asked folks to answer 10 questions about “Next-gen TV,” the consumer appellation for the TV content distributed via new technology from the Advanced Television Systems Committee, a collection of engineers charged with developing the nation’s over-the-air TV delivery standard. ATSC 3.0 promises interactive, non-linear and portable functionality, as well as support for 4K and other advanced audio and video technologies.

TV Technology asked a series of questions to gauge the level of interest in these advanced features. We had 101 respondents, 67 percent of whom work in “content creation, app development, media distribution or communications.”

Links to the full results for each of the 10 questions follow the comments.
“Very,” “somewhat” or “not at all” interested...

Synopsis: Several commenters noted that smartphones already wake up to blare out weather warnings and Amber Alerts. Others asked about disabling the feature or being able to define the alert types they wanted to receive.

Of all respondents, 53 percent were very interested; 31 percent, somewhat; and 16 percent, not at all interested in a free TV service that activates devices to deliver emergency alerts.

  • Do I have to purchase the device? My experience with the Emergency Alert System now in place is that it is seldom used for real emergencies. When it is used, it usually does apply to my physical location or at least near me. I get maybe one alert in two to three years. I doubt that I would want to have a device plugged in all the time that alerts me on the test signals... and then very seldom on a real alert. If it did not relay the tests and came up with an alert in the middle of the night I am not sure I would realize it was an emergency.
  • That should be a no-brainer.
  • Don’t live in an area that is prone to emergency alerts.
  • With the deluge of the different delivery of services and ongoing “crying of wolf” affect on social media, it will be the only trustworthy delivery of EAS services.
  • Our subscribers should be getting that info from local sources, not far, far away large city TV stations.
  • Watching is confined to a two- to three-hour period in the evenings, my phone will probably do a more efficient job of warning me.
  • Emergency information is the first reason we need local TV. Or think of the stewardesses on your most recent flight. They don’t give a flying cow about your Diet Coke or peanuts. Should that plane crash, they’re there to save you. So, too, is emergency information on your local TV or radio station. The programming is just a bonus.
  • This is a no-Brainerd. Should have the option to disable.
  • Emergency alerts can save lives.
  • It might be nice to have but like the weather alerts on my cellphone, unless I have the ability to select what kind of emergency it delivers, I’ll just disable it. I really don’t need Amber Alerts in the middle of the night when I’m sleeping, but I wouldn’t be at all annoyed by a forest fire alert if the fire could move to my neighborhood.
  • Really, what alert? Weather comes to your cellphone. Accidents, colored alerts also. The alert system was intended to warn us about a nuclear attack, and what to do—1950 attitudes. No one seems to understand television will be the first to go in an attack. TV alerts are duplicitous.
  • Technically, it has always been possible for TV broadcasters to deliver automatic emergency alerts, but there has been no generally available device to receive such alerts when the TV receiver is turned off.
  • Emergencies are more now than ever before and it would be very beneficial for this free service.
  • This would be very helpful for delivering emergency messages.
  • We do it on phones.
  • Why not! Whatever serves the consumer best!
  • Easier over the net.
  • I am looking forward to AWARN and the new possibilities ATSC 3.0 open up. Full disclosure, I currently use datacasting technology to deliver law enforcement and public safety data to first responders. AWARN is focused on public alerting, but also holds possibilities for the private encrypted public safety data that I deliver.
  • Lukewarm... have already disabled similar Amber & Silver alerts to my mobile phone (too many overnight cries of “wolf”). Such a service would need “hooks” to control types, timing and other variables of any alerts.
  • Most reliable emergency communications system in an increasingly dangerous and dynamic world.
  • How will it be different than a smartphone that goes with you when you leave your home. I’m not lugging my TV around with me, after all.
  • Duplicates some cellphone alerts, but a good idea
  • It’s important to be prepared and forewarned so you can stay safe.
  • Potential for abuse.
  • Nothing is really free. You end up getting pop-ups of some kind which is advertising, because that is what pays for it.
  • Can’t see the application.
  • Don’t care.
  • Why? Is this “device” some other gadget people would be expected to buy and carry around? If not, are broadcasters expecting/hoping that mobile manufacturers will add another chip in the phone to tune to one or more local broadcast channels and constantly drain the battery in hopes that they decode a Wind Advisory? This service already exists via online service providers and wireless operators with a high level of customization. As for “free,” there are already NOAA radios that will activate for emergency alerts. What benefit gap is this idea supposed to fill?
  • Air TV always did that... “this is a test of the emergency broadcasting system...” It’s a good idea though my phone does same thing.
  • Hardly relevant with today’s social media and connected world. I’m sure my friends will tell me something important is going on... be better to put Emergency Alert messages on Facebook!
  • Great idea Just like NOAA Weather “all hazards” radio we have now.
  • That’s “very” as in “very good.” I’m more likely to lose internet in an emergency than free TV.
  • I already have that on my phone.
  • There is a reason they call it an “emergency.”
  • Please, more government in my life.
  • Good idea, depending on the device. Not sure if I need it to interrupt my work on my laptop or mobile phone, but it’s OK to share a message on a television.
  • I like to know when to duck and cover.
  • Not sure I understand that either.
  • Eh, my smartphone already does that.
  • This seems useful, if it is hack-proof.
  • I get alerts on my phone. Free over-the-air TV is watched in this hous hold is less than an hour per day. The phone is with me 24/7.

  • All 10 Questions About Next-Gen TV...
    Q1: How interested are you in free television service that's interactive, like the internet?

    Q2: How do you feel about a free TV service that activates a device to deliver emergency alerts? <-You are here.

    Q3: How interested are you being able to view free TV on smartphones, tablets and laptops in moving cars, trains, or other mobile environments?

    Q4: How interested are you in the ability to move from TV to tablet to smartphone without missing a scene in a show or a play in a sporting event?

    Q5: How interested are you in a free Ultra HDTV service?

    Q6: How interested are you in a free TV service that provides immersive audio, replaceable dialogue and other advanced audio capabilities?

    Q7: How do you feel about advertisements based on data mined from your personal media usage?

    Q8: Would you be willing to buy a set-top box or other hardware peripheral to be able to receive free Next-Gen TV?

    Q9: How much TV do you watch per day? (Include TVs, tablets, laptops, PCs and smartphones.)

    Q10: Do you work in content creation, app development, media distribution or communications?

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