Mobile Emergency Alert System Reaches Key Milestones with Test Streams for
Device Makers, Standardization Progress
International CES Demonstration Shows How Mobile DTV Broadcasting Will Deliver
Video, Audio, Photos, Maps, and Other Vital Information to Millions at Once
LAS VEGAS, Jan. 4, 2013
LAS VEGAS, Jan. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- When disaster strikes, public safety
officials need an instantaneous way to reach millions of people at once.
Superstorm Sandy's aftermath in the Northeast demonstrated both the fragile
limits of cell phone networks during times of emergency and the life-saving
ability of TV broadcasting.
A flexible new system being demonstrated next week at the International CES^®
combines the reach and reliability of broadcasting with the mobile
communications that Americans depend on to stay informed, especially during a
crisis. At the "CES Mobile TV TechZone" (Central Hall 14340), the Mobile
Emergency Alert System (Mobile EAS) will demonstrate how a single broadcast
can deliver reliable, rich-media alerts to mobile devices anywhere, anytime.
"Mobile Digital TV is growing with more broadcasters on the air and more
devices available to viewers. Our efforts to deploy the new Mobile Emergency
Alert System are also expanding, with the availability of test streams for
device manufacturers to incorporate M-EAS as they develop new consumer
products. Those streams are available now on www.MobileEAS.org. We're also
working closely with the ATSC (Advanced Television Systems Committee), which
is expected to finish standardization of Mobile EAS by March," said
Convergence Services CEO John Lawson, a long-time expert in emergency alerting
and key player behind M-EAS.
Equipment Manufacturers, Chipmakers Developing M-EAS Products
Utilizing the newly available test streams, Mobile DTV solution provider Siano
and mobile device accessory manufacturer Elgato already are working on future
products designed to support Mobile EAS for mobile viewers, in anticipation of
the final ATSC standard. Mobile phone manufacturers, including Mobile DTV
leader LG Electronics, also are working on incorporating M-EAS capability into
Prototype LG smartphones used in the CES demonstrations will offer not only
audio and visual indications of emergency alerts, but also a vibrating mode to
notify all users (including those with vision or hearing loss) about an
emergency. The demonstrations in the Mobile TV TechZone will show how easy it
will be for local TV stations to transmit Mobile DTV signals with rich-media
alert content. The simulations will be based on national and local emergency
scenarios, including a hurricane threat in North Carolina, a tornado in the
Northeast and an impending tsunami on the West Coast.
The 2013 CES Mobile EAS demonstrations are being conducted with the support of
the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), LG Electronics (which developed Mobile
EAS receivers) and its Zenith subsidiary (which provided technical support and
funding), and Harris Broadcast (which equips TV stations with the necessary
equipment.) Mobile EAS requires no additional radiofrequency spectrum and is
a "dual-use" of existing TV transmitters and towers. Standards-based
equipment to upgrade stations for Mobile DTV transmission is already available
Avoiding Cellular Congestion in Emergencies
Using conventional TV broadcasts that are enhanced with data and Mobile DTV
transmissions, the Mobile EAS demonstration shows the system's capabilities.
The system will deliver multimedia alerts (utilizing video, audio, text, and
graphics) to Mobile DTV-equipped cellphones, tablets, laptops, and in-car
navigation systems. Utilizing the inherent one-to-many architecture of
broadcasting, M-EAS alerts to mobile devices avoid the roadblocks and chronic
congestion of cellular systems during emergencies.
The Mobile EAS system would complement the recently activated cellular-based
system that transmits up to 90-character text messages to mobile phones.
"Mobile DTV will be a significant enhancement for local public safety
communications because millions of devices will receive alerts simultaneously
– just as easily as reception by a single device. Video, photos, graphics of
evacuation routes, text and audio can all be transmitted through the system to
reach anyone with a mobile device, including those with disabilities," said
Wayne Luplow, vice president for LG's Zenith R&D subsidiary, which together
with PBS developed the core technology enabling M-EAS.
The new alerting application developed for Mobile EAS utilizes existing
standards for implementation. The U.S. broadcast standard for mobile
television, the ATSC A/153 Mobile DTV Standard, uses Internet Protocol (IP) at
its core. The use of IP allows the new application to be flexible and
extensible. Data delivery, non-real-time delivery, and electronic service
guides are all included. Mobile EAS is compliant with the international
Common Alerting Protocol and designed for full incorporation into the U.S.
Integrated Public Alert and Warning System.
Contact: John I. Taylor, +1-847-941-8181, email@example.com; or Dave Arland,
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