He’s No Sisyphus | TV Tech

I lately requested John Lawson, govt director of the Advanced Warning and Response Network (AWARN) Alliance, what it’s been like making an attempt to get ATSC 3.0 superior emergency alerting off the bottom. “We’ve been pushing a rock up a hill,” he stated with a little bit of weariness in his voice.Why? It may very well be the truth that Pearl TV, which incorporates a few of the nation’s largest station teams, Fox Television and News-Press and Gazette have left the alliance. Perhaps, it’s as a result of a company tech member from Japan has bailed out. Or, it could be an absence of help from the FCC.Each has confirmed to be a problem for Lawson. But his greatest disappointment—the factor that will have added the tinge of exasperation to his voice, is how the published business total has dropped the ball relating to superior emergency alerting.(Image credit score: AWARN Alliance)“By and huge, the broadcasters haven’t lived as much as the guarantees that a lot of them made to the FCC in 2017 to face up superior alerting if the fee authorised a voluntary transition to ATSC 3.0,” he stated, including that Capitol Broadcasting Company in Raleigh, N.C., and Sinclair Broadcast Group are notable exceptions.  While the remaining AWARN Alliance members lately voted to proceed as a company with Lawson as its chief, he’s no Sisyphus.With the membership’s blessing, Lawson is making ready to push that rock up the hill another time. But not like the legendary Sisyphus, Lawson is taking a brand new route up—one he believes that may take superior emergency alerting the place it must go.This time, Lawson is taking the for-profit, industrial method. His plan is twofold. Working with a companion like tech producer 6G-Datacast.television, Lawson hopes to see cell 3.0 receivers with battery backup energy and Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities within the properties and vehicles of tens of millions of individuals across the nation. The thought is the models will obtain 3.0 superior emergency messages and information and rebroadcast them to different units within the residence if the customers so select.To naysayers who argue Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) messages and cell telephones can do the identical factor, Lawson factors out that quite than serving to, the combo can damage when a quick response on the a part of the general public is required. When folks obtain these alerts, they have a tendency to mill about, unnecessarily delaying their response, whereas they search to verify or discover extra data on their smartphones. That phenomenon is tied on to the 360-character limitation of WEA messages. In distinction 3.0 superior emergency messages don’t have any such character limits and might, in reality, embody wealthy media like maps with escape routes, different graphics, video and audio from official sources like native emergency managers and extra.Plus, there’s the issue {of electrical} service to cell towers happening in extreme storms and hurricanes, a relatively uncommon prevalence at TV transmitter websites hardened with backup turbines and days of gas.The different piece of the puzzle, Lawson stated, is a 24/7 catastrophe actuality channel, one thing he described as “C-SPAN meets the Weather Channel.” The thought is to make use of synthetic intelligence to scrape public sources of emergency alerts to retrieve the two,800 or so issued day-after-day. Then utilizing a mannequin just like Alert FM, which has confirmed to be successful, ship the alerts and accompanying wealthy media from official sources to TV station subscribers by way of satellite tv for pc or different means.Lawson would outfit emergency managers and public security officers with the instruments to mixture wealthy media and the means to transmit that content material together with alerts to station purchasers. On the station facet, the alerts and wealthy media could be obtained and robotically set off supply to the general public by way of 3.0.While he’s firstly of this journey, Lawson is inspired after attending Disaster Expo USA 2023 on the Anaheim Convention Center in September the place the concepts have been effectively obtained. Of course, there might be many challenges alongside the way in which, however not less than he’s had years of expertise studying to reside with the ache of pushing a rock up a hill. 


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