An industry group is promoting the concept that Mobile DTV could be used for national alerting. Another major channel for distributing alerts could be emerging. Remember when the TV industry first converted to digital HDTV? Well, there’s a new version of digital TV developing in the U.S. that could open interesting possibilities for alerting. Standards are being developed for Mobile DTV (Digital TV), which would allow broadcasters to provide new services to handheld devices. Alerting is on the table.
Landmark International Agreement to be Signed
LAS VEGAS, April 5, 2018 – At the 2018 NAB Show in Las Vegas, April 7 – 12, the Advanced Warning and Response Network (AWARN) Alliance is showcasing the power of ATSC 3.0 over-the-air broadcasting, integrated with optional broadband connectivity, to provide the world’s most advanced emergency alerting capabilities.
After a year of catastrophic natural and manmade disasters, the need to upgrade America’s fragmented alerting system has become more urgent than ever. Marking its second anniversary, the AWARN Alliance continues to build support and engage internationally.
A highlight of the 2018 NAB Show will be the AWARN Alliance’s expanded global footprint, commemorated with the signing of a three-way agreement among the Alliance, NAB and RAPA – the Korea Radio Promotion Association. Among other terms, AWARN and RAPA will take steps to form a global alliance for the future co-development of advanced alerting based on the next-generation ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard. A memorandum of understanding will be signed in a ceremony on the opening day of the show, Monday, April 9.
“From the beginning, U.S. and South Korean companies have supported AWARN, starting with LG,” Lawson said. Aircode and DigiCap have since joined the Alliance. “Along with NAB, we’re honored to be engaging with our colleagues at RAPA for continued co-development of Next Gen TV, including a joint global initiative for ATSC 3.0 advanced alerting,” Lawson said.
Continued Growth and Increased Engagement
Support for the AWARN Alliance has more than doubled in 2018, with existing members renewing and new members joining. The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and Pearl TV in particular have stepped up their involvement, supporting increased engagement with alerting authorities and development of an end-to-end alerting beta solution to support early adopter ATSC 3.0 stations in 2019.
The newest member of the Alliance, contributing as a technology partner, is The Weather Company, an IBM Business. The Weather Company brings to the table deep expertise in severe weather alerting and geo-targeting that supports AWARN’s mission.
“We deeply appreciate the renewed commitment of our founding members and the addition of new ones,” said AWARN Alliance Executive Director John Lawson. “Increasingly, the Alliance is providing the nexus between the Next Gen TV development community and the nation’s emergency managers. Our goal is not only to create the architecture for delivering geo-targeted advanced alerts, but also design rich media and accessible messages that lead to life-saving action by the public,” he said.
Lawson pointed to a March 14 workshop co-convened by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate and the AWARN Alliance and hosted by the Consumer Technology Association in Arlington, VA. According to Lawson, the facilitated small-group discussion produced valuable insights from local, state and federal alert authorities about defining future alert capabilities.
Hybrid Alert Integration
The interactive “hybrid” demonstrations of AMBER alerts and hazardous materials (“HazMat”) alerts at the NAB Show will leverage the revolutionary IP-based capabilities of Next Gen TV. Several standards in the ATSC 3.0 suite of standards can be utilized to deliver advanced alerts, including the A/344 standard, approved last December, that addresses interactive content. AWARN alerts are being designed for delivery over-the-air, and if ATSC 3.0-enabled smart TVs or mobile devices are connected to the Internet, new capabilities like social media integration and interactive maps are now possible.
With a focus on the user experience/user interface (UX/UI), the AWARN Alliance has contracted with OpenZNet, a Mountain View, CA, software development company and market leader for ATSC 3.0 delivery through broadcaster applications. OpenZNet also is a prime contractor for PILOT, which underscores the close collaboration between NAB and the Alliance for standards-based AWARN development.
AWARN NAB Show Highlights
The AWARN Alliance will have an increased presence at the 2018 NAB Show, including:
- AWARN Booth N1739FP, Futures Park, North Hall (along the back wall between PILOT and Korea UHD On-Air, near NHK)
- Korea UHD On-Air, Booth N1134FP, Futures Park, North Hall
- Featured exhibit in the Road to ATSC 3.0 booth, LVCC Grand Lobby
- AWARN-NAB-RAPA International Agreement Signing Ceremony – included in Futures Park Opening Press Conference, Booth N1534FP, 3:00PM, Monday, April 9 – followed by reception
AWARN Alliance Membership
- Capitol Broadcasting Company
- Pearl TV
- Sinclair Broadcast Group
- Kentucky Educational Television
- KPBS/California State University-San Diego
- UNC-TV/University of North Carolina
- WKAR/Michigan State University
- WNET/New York
- Digital Alert Systems
- LG Electronics
- Lokita Solutions
- ONE Media
- Monroe Electronics
- The Weather Company an IBM Business
- Trilithic Inc.
- Triveni Digital
- Viavi Solutions
- Zenith Electronics LLC
- Consumer Technology Association
- Interactive Television Alliance
- National Association of Broadcasters
- Convergence Services, Inc.
- Lerman Senter, PLLC
- Wiley Rein, LLC
AWARN Advisory Committee
The AWARN Advisory Committee (AAC), composed of the nation’s largest alert originators, also supports the Alliance.
- Federal Emergency Management Agency
- National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
- National Weather Service
- Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials
- Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate.
AAC organizations are not members of the AWARN Alliance but support its goals by providing input on the aggregation of alert content, alert interfaces, and the social science elements required for actionable alerts.