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Emergency Alert System

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Member Since: ‎06-05-2009
Posts: 5
Message 1 of 72 (1,670 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

I have not only tryed channel up and down, but have unplugged the box three times now, nothing. I thought Microsoft had a lock on the blue screen of doom, apparently Comcast has taken it too. No answer with customer service, not any help here, better get a refund. So tired of losing TV when I watch it.Woman Mad

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Member Since: ‎01-09-2012
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Message 2 of 72 (1,586 Views)
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Member Since: ‎09-16-2013
Posts: 1
Message 3 of 72 (2,025 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

I have seen many posts on the EAS issue and I cannot tell you how frustrating I have become with them.  I can tell you that prior to getting Comcast (which is cr*p anyway) I had Directv for about 10 years.  I cannot remember EVER having my shows or live sports interrupted for an EAS message!

 

I don't know why Comcast seems to be the only cable/sat provider I have heard of to have this issue.  By the way, I get an interruption every single morning around 2-3AM.

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Member Since: ‎06-06-2007
Posts: 6
Message 4 of 72 (2,072 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

It's a required weekly test, yet I seem to catch at least 2 or 3 a week.  And this morning I'm sitting here watching TV and every couple of minutes a test runs, it's happened about 6+ times now.  I don't understand why they have to hijack the entire screen anyhow, why can't it just be scrolled along the top of the bottom of the screen?

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Member Since: ‎07-19-2007
Posts: 5
Message 5 of 72 (2,141 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

Same thing here in Rockville,MD. So sick of multiple tests a day but only once had the system actually used correctly to provide alerts despite tornados and other severe weather like that killer derecho last summer. I just hate when I'm watching programs that I had on pause and the EAS comes on and I lose all that paused space and thus can't finish watching the program. It also causes recordings to shut off.
Posted by
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Member Since: ‎08-06-2013
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Message 6 of 72 (2,156 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

Why are the weekly tests from Howard County, Maryland on Comcast brought to me by "WTVD serving the Durham, North Carolina area"?  Happened for several weeks now and twice in the past half hour for the once a week "weekly test."

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Edited on
‎02-03-2013 01:16 AM

Valued Contributor

Member Since: ‎10-11-2011
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Message 7 of 72 (2,400 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

[ Edited ]

Due to certain rules  I have to follow, the best I can do is direct you towards the enforcement bureau. Good luck!

http://www.fcc.gov/guides/emergency-alert-system-violations
http://www.fcc.gov/enforcement-bureau

 

You can also file a complaint here http://www.fcc.gov/complaints

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Member Since: ‎08-25-2008
Posts: 5
Message 8 of 72 (2,407 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

Thank You MikeWolf

Do you have a direct contact address in the FCC where I can carry on with this complaint of identification of TEST Messages.

 

Posted by
Edited on
‎01-17-2013 01:14 AM

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Message 9 of 72 (2,426 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

[ Edited ]

It's going to be more of whatever is sent out to Comcast which just passes it along to their customers. Usually there is a code at the end of the scrolling text such as CMST.

There is an originator code in the beginning of the text and audio message but is technologically limited to these 5.

 

•EAN – Emergency Action Notification Network
•President or other authorized national officials. Shall be used starting November 9, 2011 for the national test.

 

•PEP – Primary Entry Point Station
•President or other authorized national officials

 

•CIV – Civil authorities
•i.e. Governor, state/local emergency management, local police/fire officials

 

•WXR – National Weather Service
•Any weather-related alert

 

•EAS – EAS Participant
•Formerly Broadcast Station or Cable System
•Broadcasters. Generally only used with test messages

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Member Since: ‎08-25-2008
Posts: 5
Message 10 of 72 (2,494 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

I just want  the originator  of the EAS test to be identified when the test occurs!

Is this something COMCAST can do  OR is it up to the FCC ?

Posted by
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Member Since: ‎05-24-2011
Posts: 9
Message 11 of 72 (2,510 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

Do these items ever actually get to Comcast???

 

All that I am saying -repeatedly is that:

 

THIS IS A PROBLEM THAT COMCAST COULD SOLVE IF THEY WANTED TO!!

 


But obviously they don't want to and so they have some intermediary continue to blame the customer and just rub it in and rub it in. Anything you can do to irritate me more that I already am.

 

Because you know I have no choice I HAVE to accept their conditions since they are the ONLY cable company available in my area. Even if they really can't do anything about it, it would be nice if they would pretend to be sorry - but NO -- it's all the customers fault or the state police or the EAS equipment manufactures - never Comcast.

 

They have a market cap of over 90 billion, they have lobbyists in every state, they have incredible technical expertise and still these smaller groups are messing up their signal and poor them is helpless to do anything about it.

 

The ONLY reason complaining isn't going to do anything is because this company doesn't care.

Posted by
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Member Since: ‎10-11-2011
Posts: 610
Message 12 of 72 (2,515 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

Complain to the EAS equipment manufacturers or the bad people who abduct kids? Complaining on here isn't going to solve anything. Your asking for a rebate on something that occurs randomly and unexpectedly. The movie may be interrupted but your still able to go back and watch it regardless of how cumbersome it is.

Posted by
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Member Since: ‎05-24-2011
Posts: 9
Message 13 of 72 (2,525 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

This is why Comcast is one of the most hated corporations on the planet.

 

They can spend millions on lobbyists to maintain their monopoly and to get a questionable merger to NBC approved, but they can't go to these government agencies as a public service and say "Hey - We have the expertise to make this work better."

 

Instead they just say too bad is isn't our fault. I never said it was their fault, I'm just saying they can use their muscle to make it better. You know darn well that complaining to the state police isn't going to help and obviously complaining to Comcast isn't going to help either.

 

And why can't they solve to the problem of kicking the signal off? If I pay five bucks or so for a movie, it is bad enough to have it interrupted, but it is a super pain to have go through the cumbersome process of finding the saved movie and resuming it. Why can't I get a rebate on the price I paid? This is two movies in one week that I have had interrupted and I'm wiling to bet that this will be the new normal because that' how the world is going.

 

 

 

Posted by
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Member Since: ‎10-11-2011
Posts: 610
Message 14 of 72 (2,534 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

Comcast only passes the alerts along, if the audio can't be understood it literally isn't Comcast's fault or problem. It's like blaming the television manufacturer for not enough TV channels. If an amber alert is being sent from the state police then complain to them. For all we know they're not even aware of the problem until it's brought to their attention.

Posted by
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Member Since: ‎10-11-2011
Posts: 610
Message 15 of 72 (2,536 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

Yes I agree that sometimes the EAS sticks when its not supposed to but thats not an intentional or forseeable occurance and obviously Comcast and other providers don't want that because it affects their customers.

Posted by
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Member Since: ‎05-24-2011
Posts: 9
Message 16 of 72 (2,542 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

I have to toss in my two cents worth on this very annoying issue. Twice in the last week I have had "On Demand" movies interrupted by an Amber Alert. I would have no problem with this - except :

 


1. I cannot make out a single word of the announcement so it is doing absolutely no good. An unheard message accomplishes nothing.

 

2. It totally knocks the movie off-line and I have to navigate through the menus to "saved movies" to get back to the place I were I was before the message.

 

From reading the posts here, I get the impression that Comcast's attitude is: "This isn't our fault, complain to someone else. This really irritates me. Comcast should be able to fix it so that the movie resumes at the place it was before.

 

Also surely Comcast has more sway with the various agencies the mandate the EAS than I would have. They also have the technical expertise to make this work better.

 

Having a brief UNDERSTANDABLE message (maybe printed out) and then quickly returning to the movie or program with no action on my part with be totally fine with me.

Posted by
Regular Contributor

Member Since: ‎05-01-2011
Posts: 323
Message 17 of 72 (2,545 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

Mikewolf, before Comcast switch to total digital.   I had analog cable.   All Insight (before we become Comcast) did was just a scroll across telling about the alert on all channels.   After it became Comcast,  still had a scroll telling you to turn to  CSPAN for information.   Then it changed to a very brief popup screen on all channels telling you to turn to CSPAN for information.   Then when it became Digital, it popped up a blank screen & Eas announcement and wouldn't let you change the channel.

 

 

Yes, they have to follow FCC rule but don't have to take it to the extreme.   Like the Original poster said, cable companies can override it.

 

 

The problem 

EAS interrupts  the end of the show. Local Stations do it during commercials or at very start of the program.

EAS interrupts for the same warning the tv stations is currently broadcasts

EAS Interrupts for the when stations are giving important weather info.

 

EAS Sticks for a long time even after it is done.  Unplugging doesn't work.  Had this happen once it stuck for five minutes.  I just started to dial Comcast when it got fixed.

 

 

This system is going to be replaced anyways.  It should only go off if it affects your zip code.  We should be able to choose if we want to be alerted or not.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by
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Member Since: ‎10-11-2011
Posts: 610
Message 18 of 72 (2,551 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

It's alot more complicated then how your describing it and this isnt the proper forum on that particular disussion. The point I was making was that the FCC does have control on the EAS system in the part that they set forth rules that EAS participants have to follow or face a fine, such as only doing one weekly test and one monthly test, which all has to be reported and logged. They are what makes sure that cable providers, television stations, radio stations, satilite providers and the such dont do 10 to 15 alerts at a time intentionally. They are the ones who hold these participants liable and responsible for their actions. Which is why as I said earlier that if a provider is sending out 10 to 15 alerts in a row intentionally or unintentionally that the person complaining is better off alerting the FCC rather then trying in vain to contact the EAS participants engineering department.

Posted by
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Member Since: ‎05-01-2011
Posts: 323
Message 19 of 72 (2,556 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

FCC doesn't control on how it is displayed. There are several method a company can use. The company themselves chooses the method not the FCC. Otherwise, when the local station does its EAS test, the local station would show a full black screen. Most local station usually just a beep & scroll. Some stations will add the EAS voice (More stations are adding the voice). I know I have seen another weather alerts scrolls. The cable companies can turn off the EAS if they have an agreement with one of those local stations, like for weather alerts.

Posted by
Edited on
‎11-16-2012 12:02 PM

Valued Contributor

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Message 20 of 72 (2,562 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

[ Edited ]

Thats something you need to complain to the FCC about the alerts since they are the ones who are responsible for the EAS system, Comcast just sends out the alerts as they recieve them. Amber alerts for example are sent out on the state level such as the state police or similar.

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Member Since: ‎11-16-2012
Posts: 1
Message 21 of 72 (2,573 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

In the last week I remember seeming two Amber Alerts on Comcast via the Emergency Alert System.  Both of these were nearly impossible to understand. The audio is horrible. Why with today's technology do we use such an old delivery method?  I did a quick search and found the following page: http://www.google.org/publicalerts/alert?aid=faba5e120b5b9c43&hl=en&gl=US&source=web at the time that the Alert went out.  If Comcast were to just break in and post this page for thirty second you would have a much more benificial dispercial of this important information, and fix the audio.

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Member Since: ‎05-21-2012
Posts: 12
Message 22 of 72 (2,653 Views)

Too Many Tests Weaken Emergency Alert System

comcast needs to follow the request for alerts, but any system that requires testing 5 times a day every day of the week is not worth having. 

 

when there really is an emergency, no one will know, because they'll be so used to the tests running all day, every day, they won't pay attention.  when emergencies happen 5 times a day every day of the week, they're not emergencies anymore.

 

comcast cannot control the alerts, but it can come together with the different agencies to make sure that unneeded testing every day does not lessen the good this system can do.

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Message 23 of 72 (11,620 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

It's a possibility that the reason why the EAS channel exists is because of the fact that your system used to be a non Comcast system. I know that back in 1999 through 2000 my area used to be Adelphia, and for a little while after Comcast bought them out, we were seeing the old fashioned analog system where it was a white text with clear background scrolling across the top of every channel telling the viewer to tune to a particular channel (usually a local channel) for more details. Now the DTA's change from whatever channel they are on to channel 3, and when the alert is over they switch back, same with the set top boxes, my tivo, and my moxi. Now I know that when Comcast was doing testing months ago there was an issue with the alerts freezing up and locking both DTA's and cable boxes so the channel wouldnt change back to its pre alert channel, requiring a power reset. One possible cause of why it doesn't switch to QVC is because Comcast may not have permission from QVC to use them as the EAC in your market and that could change. It's also possible that either the DTA's are not getting a good signal from Comcast (not likely but it's happened), that they may need to be replaced (not likely but its possible), or that Comcast simply has a different system in place but will probably be changing over if it hasn't already. I know that Time Warner Cable has a dedicated EAS channel, and Comcast has one too for the Denver Colorado market called Comcast Entertainment Televison (CET) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comcast_Entertainment_Television when an alert is activated all channels switch to CET.

Posted by
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Message 24 of 72 (11,631 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

Mikewolf

 

I have a question for you.  My dta does this when they did this one test.  It changed to a Emergency Alert Channel, then it changed back and you couldn't change the channel back yourself.  The Emergency Alert channel for my areas doesn't have any programs.   I can see the EAC when I scroll up & down through the channels.  Why doesn't  the DTA change to a channel like QVC?  However, I was converted to comcast from insight.  If this thread gets closed please PM the answer.

Posted by
Edited on
‎03-20-2012 12:47 PM

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Message 25 of 72 (11,653 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

[ Edited ]

A headend is basically like a master computer that controls everything on a cable system's system. For example a headend could control all the cableboxes, while another could control all the cable modems. It keeps everything in balance. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cable_television_headend

It's not that the FCC doesn't require Comcast or other service providers to identify the source, it is because the system being used is too limited. For example there are only five originator codes to choose from.

  • EAN - Emergency Action Notification Network (President or other authorized national officials. Was used November 9th 2011 for the national test and will be used from now on for national tests)
  • PEP - Primary Entry Point Station (President or other authorized national officials)
  • CIV - Civil authorities (i.e. Governor, state/local emergency management, local police/fire officials)
  • WXR – National Weather Service (or Environment Canada. Any weather-related alert)
  • EAS - EAS Participant (formerly Broadcast Station or Cable System) (Broadcasters. Generally only used with test messages)

The use of IPAWS http://www.fema.gov/emergency/ipaws/http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPAWS is being worked on which would allow more flexibility and clarification on events and issues, such as instead of civil authorities sending out a county wide alert for a water main break on Main Street, eventually they can just send out an alert for people on Main Street.

I know from YouTube videos I've seen that usually at the end of a message the last line is "issued by: “and more then once I've seen either "Issued by: COMCST" or "Issued by: State of New Jersey" or "Issued by: (insert radio/TV call letters here)”

Posted by
Edited on
‎03-20-2012 11:32 AM

Valued Contributor

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Message 26 of 72 (11,654 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

[ Edited ]

I can't speak for your state, but generally this occurs when hardware or software isn’t synchronized in testing, or there is just really bad documenting of tests. Like it not being noted the test was done for the week, so the next person doing the testing thinks it wasn't done that week and proceeds to do the test. It could just be a software or hardware glitch since sometimes it’s an automated computer system. Or it could even be on purpose if during the course of the testing it is felt that it didn't go through and broadcast to the public (even though it may have). For example just today while I’m sitting at home a required weekly test flashed a banner across my screen, then about 10 minutes later a required monthly test, duck farts and all flashed its banner.

In my experience from seeing multiple tests a day or week, usually it’s internal testing being done when new software or hardware is installed, and someone forgets to isolate the signal from broadcasting externally.

Posted by
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Member Since: ‎10-11-2011
Posts: 610
Message 27 of 72 (11,666 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

Blue screen with red border is by Monroe Electronics EAS OneNet Endec, where as the black with white text is more of a generalized version. Both are called full screen Slate screens. The blue one with red border displays more information where as the black and white  one displays more generic information. Both support audio. The customer owned or cable system owned hardware does not really dictate how the alert is displayed when this mode is used, since all the equipment does is force tune to a specified channel which is displaying said message. Ticker banners on the other hand allow the hardware receiving the message to dictate how it looks such as how the Moxi and TiVo have this http://youtu.be/SAfWLkGtg5w?hd=1 or how my Cisco cable box displays the alert like this http://youtu.be/eXsBz97HUhI. According to Moxi and TiVO the device doesn't have to pass the audio portion of the alert along, just the visual part, and that's legal. This is why the slate screen model is more useful because it does include the audio portion which can be more detailed and informative then the visual accompaniment.

 

The reason why the alerts seem different is because there are several diferent Endec companies which use different software, and you could see one style alert coming directly from the cable company where as you could see something totally different when it is coming through a different source such as from the weather service or radio broadcaster or state or county with their own equipment.There are several different redundant Entry points besides the primary source such as radio broadcasters so in case one chain fails others would pick up the slack and get you that message.

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Member Since: ‎03-19-2012
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Message 28 of 72 (11,679 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

Knoxville, TN area

 

How many people have the problem that the emergency alert system (also for the child abduction system) comes on comes on, it starts saying something, flashes to some other channel (usually home shopping type channel), then flashes back to the EAS, the counties affected scroll by and there is no sound or intermitent sound. 

 

For an emergency alert system, it would be helpful if they cannot support both sound and image, that all of the words they are going to say are also scrolled on the screen.

 

It is not a great system if the information is not being communicated. This has been happening for months

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Member Since: ‎08-25-2008
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Message 29 of 72 (11,953 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

-Keisha-

Thank you for the info. on the requirements-- even though I have no idea what a "headend" is.

 

"At this time, we do not have the means of providing more precise warnings.

 

Does this mean COMCAST cannot identify the authority that issued the EAS broadcast  or is it that the FCC does NOT require them to do so within the broadcast?

 

don

 

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Member Since: ‎12-22-2011
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Message 30 of 72 (11,996 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

Mike, since you asked whether or not they were seeing a black screen w/ white text or the blue with borders..

I'm just curious as to why we'd see two different visual 'styles' of the EAS message to begin with? I've seen both, but I'm just trying to find out why they'd look different if they are both coming from the cable company. Is it a way to figure out where the messages are coming from? Or is it the cable boxes themselves that format the message to those 'styles'?

 

Thanks! 

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Member Since: ‎12-21-2011
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Message 31 of 72 (12,025 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

Just one question about the EAS. IT appears that the EAS weekly test is being broadcast almost every day and at various times. On some days it is broadcast by the state twice a day, at 10AM and 2AM. Last week the weekly test message was broadcast on four seperate days at various hours. On Wed, at 1:05AM, the weekly test was broadcasted and I thought the time listed in the test on the screen indicated it was 3AM. But anyway, why is the EAS test being broadcast more than once per week?

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Message 32 of 72 (12,133 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

 

Thank You
-Keisha-
Posted by
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Member Since: ‎10-11-2011
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Message 33 of 72 (12,156 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

Thank you for your reply and if you have any questions please feel free to ask. Smiley Happy

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Message 34 of 72 (12,165 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

All,

The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a national public warning system that requires broadcasters, cable television systems, wireless cable systems, satellite digital audio radio service (SDARS) providers and, direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service providers to provide the communications capability to the President to address the American public during a National emergency.  The system also may be used by state and local authorities to deliver important emergency information such as AMBER alerts and whether information targeted to a specific area.


EAS (Emergency Alert System) is a federally mandated requirement and Comcast Cable does not have any option but to comply with the FCC and their EAS plans. At this time, we do not have the means of providing more precise warnings.

 

EAS messages are issued on a county basis, and if that county occurs within the footprint of the headend, it must be retransmitted over the entire headend.

 

 

Thank You
-Keisha-
Posted by
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Member Since: ‎09-20-2011
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Message 35 of 72 (12,167 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

 

Thank You
-Keisha-
Posted by
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Message 36 of 72 (12,170 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

 

Thank You
-Keisha-
Posted by
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Message 37 of 72 (12,173 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

 

Thank You
-Keisha-
Posted by
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Message 38 of 72 (12,176 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

 

Thank You
-Keisha-
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Message 39 of 72 (12,180 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

Thank You
-Keisha-
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Message 40 of 72 (12,187 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

 

Thank You
-Keisha-
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Message 41 of 72 (12,191 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

 

Thank You
-Keisha-
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Member Since: ‎08-25-2008
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Message 42 of 72 (12,196 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

Does anyone know  where I can find a list of entities that are required (or can) broadcast alert test for a given geographic (zip code) area? 

thanks

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Message 43 of 72 (12,197 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

I have gotten use to have EAS TEST messages in the early AM  esp  the last few days of the month.

Being kicked out of an On Demand movie is a pain in having to wait & go back in the on demand menu etc.

I once had over 12 in a 45 min period.

 

MY big complaint is that the issuing entity is never identified    !!

I have no idea where they are coming from.  

If I did I would talk to the local entities and attempt for them to set up a schedule and let the public know what it was

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Message 44 of 72 (12,252 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

can you be more specific in the order that this is occuring?  Is it a force tune event, such as your watching something on tv then suddenly the channel changes without you pressing any buttons on the remote? Or are is this occuring in a different order of events?  Are you seeing that black screen with white text http://youtu.be/uKoTtmtsjg8?t=44s or are you seeing a blue screen with white text and a red border? http://youtu.be/3nllX7jfmCE?t=1m 

 

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Member Since: ‎02-28-2010
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Message 45 of 72 (12,255 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

I'm getting a bunch of these EAS tests in the middle of the day. The test last for just about 30 seconds and then switches to the TV guide channel no matter what I'm watching. It then switches back a few seconds later.This has been going on for a few weeks now im my area, several times a day.

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Message 46 of 72 (12,264 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

Hmm? Aren't infomercials generally run in the middle of the night?

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Message 47 of 72 (12,272 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

i would much rather have one of the many infomercials  interupted than wake me in the middle of the night 

 

 

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Message 48 of 72 (12,279 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

I work in this field so I can answer this. The test is generally performed in the middle of the night as to not interfer with service to customers during the day when the majority are awake.

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Message 49 of 72 (12,283 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

Keisha

 

maybe you can  tell me why the regular Emergency Alert System already in use  test in the middle of the night??

 

boxo

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Edited on
‎11-01-2011 06:15 AM

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Message 50 of 72 (12,376 Views)

Re: Emergency Alert System

[ Edited ]

its quite complicated to explain how the emergency alert system works with diigtal cable and frequencies of channels, and so forth so I'll just be general. the alerts are sent out before channels are activated so that if an alert is ligitmately activated while a viewer is using those channels it is made sure it can be seen. also the audio buzzer as you describe it is the audio portion of S.A.M.E. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Specific_Area_Message_Encoding your hearing the 853 and 960 Hz tone.

Also Comcast is doing hardware and software upgrades throughout the system to better support the new changes taking place with the emergency alert system such as C.A.P. and I.P.A.W.S. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Alerting_Protocol http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPAWS
long story short is once this is all completed the system will work better and you shouldnt be bothered as often as you currently are though the weekly and/or monthly test will still occur as per FCC regulations. Also there is going to be a national test November 9th at 2pm for a period of 3 minutes.

 

here is something you should read. http://www.9wsyr.com/content/news/real_deal/story/Emergency-Alert-System-tests-picking-up-in/wAbuUwf...