Emergency alerts of the near future could be much broader and more informative than a 90-character mobile text message, with live video alerts, multilingual translations, and hybrid TV sets that mix over-the-air transmissions with broadband content transforming the way that viewers stay connected during an emergency.
At the NAB Show in Las Vegas Convention Center, TV broadcasters will saw how the emerging ATSC 3.0 next-generation broadcast standard could offer new ways to merge content sources and provide a more informative and engaging TV service.
AWARN: Integrated Emergency Alerting
The Advanced Warning and Response Network (AWARN), the industry’s next-generation alerting system announced earlier this year, is being demonstrated for the first time at the 2015 NAB Show. Using a standard alerting protocol, AWARN can wake-up a device and includes rich-media features such as video, evacuation routes and HTML pages.
AWARN is a next-generation approach to public warnings. A congestion free and standards- based approach, that utilizes terrestrial broadcasting rather than cellular network connectivity. This means high reliability and mass, instantaneous distribution even when cellular and other networks fail. AWARN addresses the need for a new approach to emergency communications highlighted in a number of recent high-profile studies. AWARN is being promoted as a next- generation alerting system by a coalition of interests that includes LG Electronics; GatesAir; Digital Alert Systems, a division of Monroe Electronics, Inc.; the National Association of Broadcasters; PBS; WRAL-TV of North Carolina; Wearable Xlabs; and Convergence Services.
At the GatesAir booth in Central Hall (C3107), attendees will see AWARN rich-media emergency alerts, 4K Ultra HDTV and mobile TV delivered simultaneously by the proposed ATSC 3.0 FUTURECAST system, which is designed to provide the optimized combination of broadcasting capabilities for fixed, portable and mobile use.
Jay Adrick, broadcast technology veteran and technology consultant to GatesAir, leads the ATSC’s Advanced Emergency Alert Implementation Team and will speak Sunday about how emergency alerting will evolve during the “ATSC 3.0 Tutorial” sessions in room S219 of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Digital Alert Systems (North Hall N4816) will showcase its DASDECTM OmniLingual Alert ModuleTM software, which provides enhanced multilingual alerting capabilities including emergency alert translation, text, and text-to-speech functionality. With the ability to translate into a wide variety of languages (Spanish, French, Germany, Italian, Somali, English, and others) the OmniLingual module functions with conventional emergency alert system or Common Alerting Protocol sources.
AWARN technology partner Digital Alert Systems will also demonstrate its Audio Management System, which is designed to aggregate information from a variety of sources, convert the text information to audio using a high-quality Text-to-Speech converter, prepare it for playback on the different audio channels, and then provide audio and triggering signals on all configured channels through a single user interface.
Hybrid TV Emergency Alerts
In the North Hall “Futures Park” Pavilion (N8527), NAB Labs will showcase how a “hybrid” television might combine the best of over-the-air reception with broadband connectivity and interactive applications – including enhanced emergency alerting, second-screen interactivity, and targeted advertising based on demographic information such as the local zip code and personalized information enabled by the viewer.
AWARN – the Advanced Warning and Response Network – is being promoted as a next-generation alerting system by a coalition of interests that includes LG Electronics; GatesAir; Digital Alert Systems, a division of Monroe Electronics, Inc.; the National Association of Broadcasters; PBS; WRAL-TV of North Carolina; Wearable Xlabs; and Convergence Services. www.AWARN.org