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Evoca TV Demonstrates 3.0 Advanced Alerting Over Streamed, Non-Broadcast Channels

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(Image credit: Edge Networks)

BOISE, Idaho—Evoca TV has demonstrated how emergency alert information can best be delivered to viewers who are watching streaming shows via the internet when those shows do not originate with a local television broadcaster, the company has announced.

Working with Digital Alert Systems, Evoca TV developed this capability after more than one year of investigation into possible strategies. Powered in part by ATSC 3.0, which includes a provision for advanced emergency alert messaging, Evoca TV offers a hybrid subscription TV alternative to cable television that relies on NextGen TV transmission and OTT distribution of content.

The significance of demonstrating the capability centers on delivery of timely local emergency warnings on streaming channels. In comments to the Federal Communications Commission, the motion picture industry and others objected to delivering such warnings on streaming channels, calling it “technically impracticable” to depart from existing methods that rely on local broadcasters.

“Typically, emergency alerts aren’t delivered to viewers who are watching through the usual conditional access systems. Multichannel providers rely on local broadcasters to trigger alerts on locally broadcast channels only. But because the Evoca solution is both an over-the-air and an over-the-top system, we’re able to deliver alerts directly to the viewer,” said Michael Chase, vice president of systems at Evoca.

“Our Evoca Scout receiver can insert emergency alert information right on top of programming being watched by a viewer, regardless of what that channel happens to be. Now, even viewers watching streaming programming will get alerts when local conditions are warranted. The system has the potential to deliver early warnings to viewers about severe weather or other impending dangerous events or disasters.”

“Since Evoca controls both the transmission and reception of signals that reach the viewer, we have the ability to offer a unique solution to enhance safety.”

Evoca integrated the Digital Alert Systems DASDEC platform into its network to provide emergency information across its ecosystem. Evoca’s encoding architecture processes local and national alerts, routing the information to the necessary devices based on specific criteria, it said.

“We found perhaps the most compelling aspect is the seamless way Evoca has blended the user experience,” said Bill Robertson, vice president of business development for Digital Alert Systems. “Regardless of the content’s origin – over-the-air or over-the-top – the customer is presented with emergency alerts in the same way.  We are very excited to be working with a truly pioneering company like Evoca.”

While demonstrating this capability is important, it’s simply one step. Evoca is now at work developing “even more reliable” ways to take advantage of 3.0’s emergency messaging capabilities, said Chase.

“We’re continuing to study the best approach to make certain that viewers who are tuned to any channel on the Evoca network can get an immediate notification should there be an emergency,” he said.

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.