Last week the ATSC 3.0 over-the-air TV standard officially launched in Dallas and Phoenix as test markets. A lot of the focus on 3.0 OTA TV has been on the 4K HDR, better coverage, more sub channels, and other features. Yet maybe one of the most exciting options is the ability to offer better and more accurate emergency notifications.
This week Cord Cutters News is at the National Association of Broadcasters Show. As you would expect ATSC 3.0 is a big part of the show. Cord Cutters News was able to get in person demos of some of the biggest announcements around 3.0 OTA TV including the new emergency alert system.
Here is our demo of the ATSC 3.0 alert system:
One of the main issues with the current alert system is the fact that with current over-the-air TV systems you cannot target it just for one town. This means many of the alerts you see now may be for something happening far from your current location. This trains people to dismiss alerts as something not affecting them.
With the new ATSC 3.0 system, your TV will only show alerts that are for your area. So when you see an alert it is something you should pay attention to.
Different Alert Levels
With the new 3.0 OTA TV standard there are several different kinds of alerts that will be shown. Major alerts can still bring up full banners and play an alert sound but lower level alerts won’t. Now you may see an alert icon popup on your TV for a weather watch. If you want to learn more, you can click on an icon to read more. If it’s a weather warning, your TV can still play the sound and roll a message on your screen.
Currently in most areas alerts are only in English on your TV. Now with 3.0 OTA, TV alerts can be offered in multiple languages at the same time.
Now with ATSC 3.0 not only can you see there is an alert but you can also learn more. Not only do you see there is a thunder storm closing in but you can read a detailed statement and see on-demand videos about the alert right on your TV.
The best part is this is all delivered over the air. No internet required. So if your TV and internet service are knocked out, with 3.0 OTA TV you can still get detailed emergency information.
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