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Emergency Alert System annoyance

Frequent Visitor

Emergency Alert System annoyance

I moved from DirecTV to Comcast several months ago and use TiVos. I work from home and watch a lot of TV during the day and evening, but for the most part, I watch recorded content via my TiVo boxes.

 

The one thing I find really annoying about Comcast are the Emergency
Alert notices. The notices cut off whatever recording I am watching with
a banner announcing the alert, dumping me into Live TV. When the alert
finishes, I am not placed back into the recording I was watching.

 

The annoying part of this is that the alert is usually not for my area
(Hillsborough County, NH). The alerts are for Mass, VT, CT, ME, and many
counties in NH other than mine. The alerts also can happen many times in one day (up to 5).

 

Certainly in the 21st Century, Comcast has the programming expertise to
deliver these alerts to the proper areas and not to a severely wide
range audience.

 

There are a few small issues I am dealing with, but this issue is making
me rethink my move away from DirecTV and onto Comcast for TV.

 

Is there any solution for this issue that I can take?

Expert

Re: Emergency Alert System annoyance


@Marvink9 wrote:

I moved from DirecTV to Comcast several months ago and use TiVos. I work from home and watch a lot of TV during the day and evening, but for the most part, I watch recorded content via my TiVo boxes.

 

The one thing I find really annoying about Comcast are the Emergency
Alert notices. The notices cut off whatever recording I am watching with
a banner announcing the alert, dumping me into Live TV. When the alert
finishes, I am not placed back into the recording I was watching.

 

The annoying part of this is that the alert is usually not for my area
(Hillsborough County, NH). The alerts are for Mass, VT, CT, ME, and many
counties in NH other than mine. The alerts also can happen many times in one day (up to 5).

 

Certainly in the 21st Century, Comcast has the programming expertise to
deliver these alerts to the proper areas and not to a severely wide
range audience.

 

There are a few small issues I am dealing with, but this issue is making
me rethink my move away from DirecTV and onto Comcast for TV.

 

Is there any solution for this issue that I can take?


emergency messages are not done/set/arranged/etc by Comcast. the authorities in your area use a PC and after authenticating place the msg in the queue. You then get the message live in real time per federal law. any show in progress (as you described) is interrupted as your are 'tuned' to a special channel to receive the message. when the message has concluded you may hit the last button to return to your previous program.  Any complaints on messaging should be addressed to the sender (announced in the message), not to Comcast.



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Frequent Visitor

Re: Emergency Alert System annoyance


@Rustyben wrote:


emergency messages are not done/set/arranged/etc by Comcast. the authorities in your area use a PC and after authenticating place the msg in the queue. You then get the message live in real time per federal law. any show in progress (as you described) is interrupted as your are 'tuned' to a special channel to receive the message. when the message has concluded you may hit the last button to return to your previous program.  Any complaints on messaging should be addressed to the sender (announced in the message), not to Comcast.


That sounds like a copout. First, Why would someone in Vermont put the message in the queue for someone in New Hampshire to read when the message clearly states it is a message only for Vermont? There has to be more to it than that. If, as you say, it is a Federal thing, then the whole country would get the Vermont message and we would be spending the entire day reading these messages. 

 

Second, on the TiVo, there isn't a "Last" button. There is a "Back" button, and when the message is over, sometimes we are dumped into Live TV, other times we are dumped into the menu. The Back button gets the user only so far. It never gets us back to the recording that we were watching previously. We then have to hunt for what we were watching.

Frequent Visitor

Re: Emergency Alert System annoyance

No one out there has a solution to offer?

Regular Contributor

Re: Emergency Alert System annoyance

Yes complain to TiVo and suggest a on/off feature. This is not Comcast's problem. How our TiVo's react to the alert is beyond ridiculous, yes I agree. 

Frequent Visitor

Re: Emergency Alert System annoyance


@Marvink9 wrote:

@Rustyben wrote:


emergency messages are not done/set/arranged/etc by Comcast. the authorities in your area use a PC and after authenticating place the msg in the queue. You then get the message live in real time per federal law. any show in progress (as you described) is interrupted as your are 'tuned' to a special channel to receive the message. when the message has concluded you may hit the last button to return to your previous program.  Any complaints on messaging should be addressed to the sender (announced in the message), not to Comcast.


That sounds like a copout. First, Why would someone in Vermont put the message in the queue for someone in New Hampshire to read when the message clearly states it is a message only for Vermont? There has to be more to it than that. If, as you say, it is a Federal thing, then the whole country would get the Vermont message and we would be spending the entire day reading these messages. 

 

Second, on the TiVo, there isn't a "Last" button. There is a "Back" button, and when the message is over, sometimes we are dumped into Live TV, other times we are dumped into the menu. The Back button gets the user only so far. It never gets us back to the recording that we were watching previously. We then have to hunt for what we were watching.


1. Not really a copout.  If they stop the these alerts based on area, and that system gets messed up and an area doesn't get the alerts, then Comcast would be liable for damge/deaths.

 

2. The Tivo issue is with Tivo, not Comcast.  You would get better responces on the offical Tivo forum.

Frequent Visitor

Re: Emergency Alert System annoyance

I thought I would update this thread with what has happened so far...

After dealing with both Comcast and TiVo on this issue (a lot), both suggested I get new cable cards and see if that solves the problem.  I did get 2 new cable cards for my 2 Bolts and tried to activate them. Of course, Comcast is incapable of activating a cable card properly, and doing 2 at once multiplies the problem by way more than 2. They got it so messed up that they had to send a technician out to the house to clear it up. He talked the in-house people through how to read the 2 numbers properly and match them up to activate the boxes. Very simple, and yet so complex.

 

Anyway, since then, I have only seen 2 Emergency Alerts that were not from my area. The other alerts I have seen were from my area. So, this may have at least mostly solved the problem.  Cable cards; go figure.

Frequent Visitor

Re: Emergency Alert System annoyance

I jinxed it. I got an alert from Vermont around noon today. I'm in New Hampshire. So, the bogus alerts haven't stopped, but not as frequent as they have been. At least, so far.

Official Employee

Re: Emergency Alert System annoyance

Marvink9, Thanks for letting us know about the issues you're seeing with the alert system. 

 

Xfinity does not issue, control or alter the alert messages in any way. Xfinity merely passes through messages that federal, state or local authorities choose to send to the public.

 

Xfinity has a regulatory obligation as a cable operator to pass-through EAS alerts. EAS is intended to inform the public about local, state or national emergencies that may be of particular importance to the customer. Xfinity customers cannot opt out of receipt of these alerts.


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Re: Emergency Alert System annoyance


@ComcastKenF wrote:

Marvink9, Thanks for letting us know about the issues you're seeing with the alert system. 

 

Xfinity does not issue, control or alter the alert messages in any way. Xfinity merely passes through messages that federal, state or local authorities choose to send to the public.

 

Xfinity has a regulatory obligation as a cable operator to pass-through EAS alerts. EAS is intended to inform the public about local, state or national emergencies that may be of particular importance to the customer. Xfinity customers cannot opt out of receipt of these alerts.


 
, right. So, Vermont, Massachusetts, Maine and New York are "local" to New Hampshire. Who determines that? Why don't we get alerts from Texas? I've had many conversations with Comcast/Xfinity about this issue,. and the one thing that everyone agrees on is that the messages are sent out in too wide a net, and there must be a problem that is causing that. This is why they suggested that I replace the cable cards; that the ones I had may not have understood what area I am from. You really should do some research before replying. This issue has been discussed for quite a while now with many people in the company.