Connected Cars And Next Gen TV; 2019 NAB Show

Connected Cars and Next Gen TV; 2019 NAB Show

Infrastructure Decisions Could Be Key to ATSC 3.0 Adoption.

On Monday, April 8th, Tina Quigley, CEO of the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, joined a panel of thought leaders in the roll-out of connected transportation.

Broadcasters and CE companies are rightly focused on in-vehicle infotainment as a pathway for getting ATSC 3.0 receivers in connected vehicles. However, public sector leaders like Ms. Quigley will make key decisions on communications standards and specs in vehicles and roadside infrastructure — decisions that are vital for adoption of ATSC 3.0.

The panel provided an invaluable roadmap for anyone interested in the intersection of Next Gen TV and intelligent transportation.

Tina Quigley, RTCSN

AWARN Alliance Demonstrating Advanced Alerting And New Resources For ATSC 3.0 TV Station News Departments

AWARN Alliance Demonstrating Advanced Alerting and New Resources for ATSC 3.0 TV Station News Departments

New User Experience Design and Santa Barbara Emergency Featured in AWARN Demonstrations at 2019 NAB Show

Contact: John Lawson
AWARN Alliance
Office +1 (703) 347-7070
Mobile +1 (202) 302-1654
[email protected]

LAS VEGAS, April 4, 2019 –  Using a new user experience (UX) design for advanced alerting and ongoing emergency information, the Advanced Warning and Response Network (AWARN) Alliance will demonstrate the power of ATSC 3.0 to integrate official emergency information with local television news coverage at the 2019 NAB Show, which begins April 8 in Las Vegas.

The new on-screen interface and two use cases built on an actual emergency will spotlight how robust multimedia emergency messaging – before, during, and after an emergency – can improve disaster resilience for communities and the nation. At NAB 2019, in addition to the AWARN Alliance’s presence in Futures Park, AWARN will be highlighted in the ATSC-CTA-NAB “Riding the Road to ATSC 3.0” exhibit in North Hall and Central Lobby and the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency’s booth C3330.

The use cases shown for the first time at NAB 2019 were produced with support of NAB PILOT in association with News-Press & Gazette’s KEYT-TV in Santa Barbara, California and the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management. The scenario is based on an actual “debris flow” event on February 2-3 that forced a mandatory evacuation and closed the 101 Highway.

New Focus-Group Tested User Experience Design

AWARN’s demo also will debut the new focus-group tested on-screen design. To improve over initial prototypes for AWARN, the Alliance assembled a team of experts in social science, television design, and emergency management facilitation. In partnership with leading emergency managers, they conducted workshops and formative usability testing last fall in Riverside, California, Maricopa County, Arizona, and New York City. Participants included emergency managers and other public safety officials from multiple jurisdictions, who collectively are responsible for disseminating alerts to more than 40 million people. Research findings were shared with Alliance members.

AWARN Alliance Widening Focus

John Lawson, executive director of the AWARN Alliance, said the AWARN Steering Committee has unanimously directed the expansion of AWARN’s mission to include the integration of official alerting and on-going news and information, which will be demonstrated at the NAB Show.

“Widening of our focus to include a wider range of emergency information, both before and after an alert is sent, represents an evolution of AWARN’s role. We see the potential to work with TV news departments in the months ahead and develop a framework for using ATSC 3.0 to serve our communities like never before,” he said.

The alert use case includes alert banners, hazard and evacuation mapping, shelter locations and other critical information accessible by viewers through on-screen icons and the TV remote control. The UX layout includes a picture-in-picture window for optional station news content or continuing programming. A post-event use case includes power outage, hazard zone access maps, and live press conferences with public safety officials.

New Tools for Stations

A highlight of the demonstration, developed through NAB PILOT’S open source initiative with Triveni Digital, will be ATSC 3.0 alert and information integration. This next-gen technology will enable broadcasters to seamlessly manage alerts and associated emergency information templates. The tool will provide a consistent look and feel to viewers, based upon the AWARN UX focus-group findings, along with interactivity, augmented media in live feeds, multi-lingual alerts, and other advanced features. The demos will be displayed on 4K Ultra HD TVs from LG Electronics.

Hybrid Broadcast-Broadband Integration from Japan

Also exhibiting in the AWARN booth in Futures Park will be the IPTV Forum Japan, represented by T-NET Japan and Internet Initiative Japan Inc. (IIJ). They will demonstrate an advanced emergency information on-screen portal developed for the hybrid integration of over-the-air broadcasting and broadband in smart TVs. Developed for the highly effective Japanese emergency communications system, T-NET and IIJ plan to adapt the advanced information system for use with ATSC 3.0 transmission. The Forum is a member of the AWARN Alliance, and T-NET Japan also is sponsoring the exhibit.

AWARN at the NAB Show

  • AWARN will be in booth N1435 at Futures Park in the North Hall.
  • Lawson will moderate a session, Connected Cars and Next Gen TV: Infrastructure Decisions Will Be A Key to ATSC 3.0 Adoption, at the In-Vehicle Experience Pavilion & Theater, N3811, on Monday from 4:00 to 4:30 pm (new time).
  • Lawson also will speak from the ATSC Stage on Tuesday of the Show at 12:15 pm.
  • AWARN will be included in:
    • ATSC-CTA-NAB “Riding the Road to ATSC 3.0,” North Hall & Central Lobby.
    • FEMA Integrated Public Alert and Warning Systems (IPAWS), booth C3330.
  • Also see AWARN member demonstrations of advanced emergency information capabilities at Digital Alert Systems (N4813), OpenZNet (N1637), NAB PILOT (N1037 & N1232), Triveni Digital (N3908), and Unisoft (N4131), among others.

AWARN Fact Sheet

AWARN Alliance
The Advanced Warning and Response Network (AWARN) Alliance is a cross-industry, international coalition formed to create the world’s most advanced emergency messaging system. Members include commercial and public broadcasters who reach 90 percent of U.S. households, consumer technology makers, and B2B tech companies. AWARN is based on the Next Generation Television transmission standard (ATSC 3.0), which the FCC has approved for voluntary use by broadcasters. When fully deployed, AWARN can deliver geo-targeted, rich-media alerts to an unlimited number of enabled TVs, connected cars, and handheld devices even when cellular fails or the grid is down.

AWARN Steering Committee

The Alliance is managed by Executive Director John Lawson through his firm Convergence Services, Inc. The AWARN Steering Committee was formed in 2018 as a governance structure for the inter-industry coalition. Members (in alphabetical order by organization) are:

  • John Lawson, AWARN Alliance
  • Pete Sockett, Capitol Broadcasting Company
  • Brian Markwalter, Consumer Technology Association
  • John Taylor, LG Electronics USA Inc.
  • Ed Czarnecki, Monroe Electronics
  • Sam Matheny, National Association of Broadcasters
  • Anne Schelle, Pearl TV
  • Fred Baumgartner, Sinclair Broadcast Group/ONE Media
  • Fred Engel, UNC-TV

Madeleine Nolan, LG senior consultant and chair of Technology Group 3 of the Advanced Television Systems Committee, serves as a non-voting member.

AWARN Alliance Membership, as of March 31, 2019

New-Press & Gazette, Unisoft Corporation, and T-NET Japan are the newest members of the AWARN Alliance.

Broadcasters (Commercial)

  • Capitol Broadcasting Company
  • News-Press & Gazette
  • Pearl TV
  • Sinclair Broadcast Group
  • Spectrum Co

Broadcasters (Public)

  • Kentucky Educational Television
  • KPBS/California State University-San Diego
  • UNC-TV/University of North Carolina
  • WKAR/Michigan State University
  • WNET/New York

Technology Companies

  • Digital Alert Systems
  • LG Electronics USA Inc.
  • Monroe Electronics
  • ONE Media
  • OpenZNet
  • The Weather Company an IBM Business
  • Triveni Digital
  • Unisoft Corporation
  • Zenith Electronics LLC

Associations

  • Consumer Technology Association
  • Interactive Television Alliance
  • IPTV Forum Japan (represented by T-Net Japan)
  • National Association of Broadcasters

Service Providers

  • Convergence Services, Inc.
  • Lerman Senter, PLLC
  • Wiley Rein, LLC

AWARN.org

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AWARN Alliance Looks To Leverage Newsgathering For Emergency Info

AWARN Alliance Looks To Leverage Newsgathering For Emergency Info

The alliance’s executive director sees an opportunity to better inform the public. Phil Kurz

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The Advanced Warning and Response Network (AWARN) Alliance is expanding its mission with the next-generation of emergency alerting to place greater emphasis on news as a source of potentially life-saving information.

“The alliance’s steering committee sees AWARN evolving to become more newsroom-centric,” says John Lawson, AWARN executive director.

While delivering official alerts, such as EAS and EAN notifications, will remain the primary focus of AWARN, the advanced capabilities of ATSC 3.0 enable TV newsrooms to deliver a wider range of emergency-related information, such as evacuation routes, the location of emergency shelters or even where fresh drinking water and plywood are available, he says.

Television stations devote enormous resources to newsgathering that can be leveraged to better inform the public via the advanced features of 3.0 when emergencies arise, he says.

The decision to expand AWARN grew out of a series of workshops and focus groups with emergency managers as well as TV broadcasters from three different regions of the country, says Lawson.

However, both groups expressed some concern about overusing 3.0’s enhanced warning features, such as the TV wake-up function, geo-targeting and rich media, to disseminate emergency information. Doing so might fatigue the public and ultimately desensitize audiences to bona fide alerts, causing them to hesitate to take action or ignore warnings altogether.

“The emergency managers see the best use of ATSC 3.0 alerting being reserved for imminent threat alerting, something that is severe and urgent,” says Lawson. Those from the TV community concurred and said voluntary arrangements are needed with emergency managers about what does and does not qualify for an imminent threat alert.

The concept of an on-screen icon for 3.0 viewers to inform them of a possible threat—rather than a banner alert—was discussed. This approach could give viewers control over emergency information, allowing them to click to learn more or to dismiss and disregard.

“The point is to develop a system to deliver the rare alert as well as a service that is capable of delivering more content to consumers on a voluntary basis,” he says.

Interest in taking advantage of 3.0 to deliver this type of information has come from both news-producing and non-news-producing stations as well as commercial and public broadcasters.

“Some stations see this as a way to supplement their news reporting on their main channel by using a digital subchannel,” says Lawson. “Public stations without a regular newscast view it as a way to provide highly localized, critical information to their communities.”

The next step is to organize a series of conversations with TV news directors and other news executives at station groups and stations “to develop a framework to begin using 3.0 for a broader range of information that would be valuable for the communities they serve,” says Lawson.

Part of those discussions will center on the extent to which TV stations rely upon local public authorities for information versus their own reporting. Lawson draws the analogy to the National Weather Service and weather data and graphics vendors.

“There are third-party commercial companies that package weather information and graphics despite the National Weather Service and NOAA offering massive amounts of public data,” he says.

The AWARN steering committee has directed Lawson to establish an operational framework, such as recommended practices, for newsrooms to rely upon to communicate emergency information to their audiences via 3.0, he says.

“We are also hopeful that expanding our footprint to look at emergency information beyond alerting will help us grow our membership,” he adds.

FEMA “IPAWS” Integration And Demonstration At NAB 2019

FEMA “IPAWS” Integration and Demonstration at NAB 2019

AWARN and ATSC 3.0 will integrate seamlessly with the FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS.)

AWARN will be on display in the FEMA booth during the 2019 NAB show.

Alerts generated by state, regional, or local authorities already trigger limited broadcast and text alerts to be received by consumers. The addition of AWARN Emergency Alerts means that devices equipped to receive AWARN signals can be easily triggered by IPAWS to display video, photos, audio, and text alerts to a variety of enabled devices.

Update On Advanced Alerting To FCC Chairman

Update on Advanced Alerting to FCC Chairman

On March 21, 2019, the undersigned met with Chairman Ajit Pai and Alexander Sanjenis, acting media advisor, to provide an update on the Advanced Warning and Response Network (AWARN), which utilizes the ATSC 3.0, Next Generation Television (“Next Gen TV”) broadcast transmission standard. AWARN Alliance Executive Director John Lawson described the evolution of the user experience (UX) design for AWARN advanced emergency alerts using Next Gen TV.

To improve over initial prototypes, the Alliance assembled a team of experts in social science, television design, and emergency management facilitation. In partnership with leading emergency managers, they conducted workshops and formative usability testing over September and October 2018 in Riverside, California, Maricopa County, Arizona, and New York City.

Participants included emergency managers and other public safety officials from multiple jurisdictions, who collectively are responsible for disseminating alerts to over 40 million people. The resulting UX has been utilized for new alerting use cases produced in association Ex Parte Notice: AWARN Briefing with Chairman Pai Page 2 with News-Press & Gazette Company’s KEYT-TV in Santa Barbara, California and the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management.

The scenarios are based on an actual “debris flow” event on February 2-3 that forced a mandatory evacuation and closed the 101 Highway. The new UX and use cases will be demonstrated at the NAB Show 2019 next month. Lawson also discussed ATSC 3.0 alerting’s potential as a tool for localized emergency alerts for streaming media, which is the subject of recent legislation, ATSC 3.0 use cases for connected vehicles, and potential synergies between AWARN and Wireless Emergency Alerts.

Lawson also briefed the Chairman on the current membership of the Alliance and efforts to expand the membership base for its voluntary advanced emergency communications mission.

As one of the original joint petitioners for Next Gen TV approval, Lawson expressed his gratitude on behalf of the AWARN Alliance for the Chairman’s continued support for the voluntary transmission of Next Generation Television and advanced alerting by local broadcasters.

 

DHS S&T Directorate Report On Alerting Tactics Includes AWARN As A Promising Future Alerting Technology.

DHS S&T Directorate Report on Alerting Tactics Includes AWARN as a Promising Future Alerting Technology.

The purpose of this Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Report on Alerting Tactics (Report) is to provide recommendations on effective combinations of alerting tactics for various incident types based upon lessons learned from practitioners. This report examines: ● Nationwide alert originator best practices for reaching communities; ● Effective combinations of current and emerging alerting tools and practices to improve overall public response; and ● Considerations for integrating future technologies (e.g. advanced sensor alerting) and technology platforms (e.g., Next Generation Television (Next Gen TV)) to address current alerting gaps and challenges.

Read the FULL REPORT

 

NY Times: ‘Presidential Alert’ Goes To Millions Of Cellphones Across The U.S.

NY Times: ‘Presidential Alert’ Goes to Millions of Cellphones Across the U.S.

At 2:18 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday, Nov 7, 2018, cellphones across the United States emitted the ominous ring of an emergency presidential alert.

It was the first nationwide test of a wireless emergency alert system, designed to warn people of a dire threat, like a terror attack, pandemic or natural disaster.

“THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System,” it read. “No action is needed.”

Read the full article here

TVTechnology: AWARN To The Rescue

TVTechnology: AWARN To The Rescue

Advanced emergency warning is on the way thanks to a 3.0 commitment from major broadcasters
Advanced emergency warning is on the way thanks to a 3.0 commitment from major broadcasters. Call it coincidence. Call it synchronicity. Call it whatever you want, but today three items crossed my desk that left me shaking my head.
First, Reuters’ Brian Snyder reported in “Lack of power, phones hampering rescue efforts after Hurricane Michael,” that hundreds of volunteers from Texas had headed to Florida to help locate more than 1,100 people—mostly in Panama City— who have gone missing following Hurricane Michael.Read the full article here >
The ATSC 3.0 Emergency Alert: A Boon For Communities And Local TV Stations (VIDEA Corporate Blog)

The ATSC 3.0 Emergency Alert: A Boon for Communities and Local TV Stations (VIDEA Corporate Blog)

It happens after so many disasters: questions about the performance of emergency alert systems. Victims often complain that alerts came too late or not at all. In California’s catastrophic Camp Fire, the Cal OES State and Fire rescue chief told WNCT, “We need a communications system, not just alert and warning, that is resilient and reliable for not only the public but for us in public service.”

Read the full article here >

Scientific American: How Will Trump’s Emergency Text Alerts Work?

Scientific American: How Will Trump’s Emergency Text Alerts Work?

By Dina Fine Maron on September 20, 2018

Responding to fears of an imminent Soviet nuclear attack, in 1951 Pres. Harry Truman set up a national system enabling the president to quickly notify the public of an impending national security threat via a cross-country relay chain of AM radio stations. It used characteristic blaring warning tones and became a precursor of the Emergency Alert System still in use today. “There are certain stations across every market that listen for those tones and then retransmit the alert to other stations in their market,” says John Lawson, an emergency alert expert who has advised the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on its modern warning systems.

Read the full article here >

AWARN Advisory Council