News Thought Leader Roundtable – Sept 23, 1-5 Pm, Chicago – OR – Oct 8, 1-5 Pm, LA

News Thought Leader Roundtable – Sept 23, 1-5 pm, Chicago – OR – Oct 8, 1-5 pm, LA

AWARN Alliance members are invited to take part in an event that could shape the way local TV stations cover emergencies for years to come. This News Thought Leader Roundtable will focus on the development of an emergency information framework that will describe the process and mechanics of alerting and informing.

Moderated by Bill Hague, Executive Vice President of Magid, our goal is development of a voluntary “playbook” that will focus on practical concepts for using Next Gen TV (ATSC 3.0) for reaching new viewers in new ways before, during, and after emergency events. We hope to develop “modules” that can be deployed for news and non-news stations.

Secure Your Seat!

Register to join your peers at one of our roundtables, the first on September 23 in Chicago. You don’t want to miss it. (We will hold a second roundtable at Magid offices in Sherman Oaks, CA on October 8 – more information coming.) In preparation, we also are conducting another of our well-received ATSC 3.0 “level-setting” webinars on September 3 at 1 pm ET.

News Technology Summit Follows our Roundtable

As an added benefit, our roundtable on September 23 is being held in conjunction with the annual News Technology Summit (Sept 24-25) at the Renaissance Chicago O’Hare Suites Hotel. Our event is held on the afternoon before the Summit begins.

The Summit limits attendance to qualified executives in TV news, news tech, operations, and related positions. If accepted by the Summit (AWARN has no role in their process), you will receive two free nights on September 23 and 24 at the Renaissance Chicago O’Hare Suites Hotel and access to the event’s group meals, cocktail hours, panels and keynotes. John Lawson is moderating a panel on ATSC 3.0 on day two of the Summit.

Apply for approval to attend the News Tech Summit by September 2 to secure your complimentary hotel rooms. And please register for our Roundtable!

Ground rules: Anyone who works for an AWARN Alliance member company is invited to attend the News Thought Leader Workshop. Direct focus group interaction will be limited to news, news tech, operations and station or group executives. Other professionals will have observer status with access to moderators during set times for suggesting questions or offering comments.

Magid Joins AWARN Alliance

Magid Joins AWARN Alliance

Alexandria VA, August 29, 2019 – Magid, a consumer-centered business strategy company and media industry research leader, is the latest firm to join the Advanced Warning and Response Network (AWARN) Alliance.

The AWARN Alliance is a voluntary, international coalition of media, consumer electronics, and B2B technology firms and trade associations that have come together to utilize Next Generation Televisions, based on the ATSC 3.0 standard, for advanced emergency alerting, news, and information.

“Magid is the perfect partner for AWARN as our mission has evolved. AWARN members will soon take part in News Thought Leader Roundtable discussions that could shape the way local TV stations cover emergencies for years to come. We’re looking beyond the initial alert to new ways for delivering on-going emergency news and information with ATSC 3.0, when and how people want it. In helping us structure and facilitate these discussions, Magid brings an extraordinary level of expertise and credibility to the process,” said AWARN Alliance Executive Director John Lawson.

“We are proud to support the AWARN Alliance in its mission to harness the power of Next Gen TV for emergency alerting, news, and information. Through the many research projects that we have conducted for Pearl TV, we know that consumers will embrace the new features made possible by ATSC 3.0. Using that same platform in emergencies will give TV newsrooms powerful new tools for reaching people on a wide range of consumer devices. It means that people will continue to turn to their local stations as the trusted source for critical information when they need it most,” said Magid Executive Vice President Bill Hague.

News Thought Leader Roundtables

The AWARN News Thought Leader Roundtables will focus on the development of an emergency information framework that will describe the process and mechanics of alerting and informing. The goal is development of a voluntary “playbook” that will focus on practical concepts for using Next Gen TV for reaching more viewers in new ways before, during, and after emergency events. “Modules” for both news and non-news stations will be considered.

Open to professionals at AWARN Alliance member companies, the first Roundtablewill take place on September 23 from 1-5 pm CT at the Renaissance Chicago O’Hare Airport Suites Hotel. It will precede the News Technology Summit, which begins that evening at the same venue. (Separate registration for each event is required.) A second AWARN Roundtable will be hosted at Magid offices in Sherman Oaks, California on October 8. More information can be found at AWARN.org.

Magid’s Hague will facilitate the discussions, along with Lawson and AWARN Principal Consultant Gail Fenkell. Hague and Lawson are also moderating panels at the News Technology Summit that follows the Roundtable.

Future of Emergency News & Information Webinar

The Alliance is also conducting an encore presentation of its Future of Emergency News & Information Webinar on September 3 at 1 pm ET. As she did on previous webinars, ATSC President Madeleine Noland will provide an overview of the ATSC 3.0 standard. Lawson will update attendees on AWARN’s development. And Jim DeChant, Vice President of Technology at News-Press & Gazette Broadcasting, will report on KVIA-TV’s intense coverage of the El Paso shootings and share concepts for utilizing Next Gen TV in future emergencies.

The coming and past webinars are non-technical briefings designed to “level-set” participants with basic knowledge of ATSC 3.0 and AWARN before the News Though Leader Roundtables. The webinars are free-of-charge and open to all. AWARN’s July webinars attracted a wide cross-section of television industry professionals and received all five-star ratings from respondents to the post-event survey.

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About Magid
Magid is a consumer-centered business strategy company delivering courageous thinking that shapes better experiences, products and services. Since 1957, thousands of local and global brands in over 40 countries have engaged the firm for bold ideas that have helped achieve innovation and success. The Magid team is passionately curious and driven by the pursuit of improving human experiences with every engagement.

About AWARN Alliance

The Advanced Warning and Response Network (AWARN) Alliance is a cross-industry, international coalition formed to create an 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, plus on-going news and information, to an unlimited number of enabled TVs, connected cars, and handheld devices even when cellular fails or the grid is down.

Contacts
John Lawson
AWANR Alliance
[email protected]
Office (703) 347-7070 
Mobile (202) 302-1654

Bill Daddi
Daddi Brand Communications
[email protected]
Office (646) 370-1341
Mobile (917) 620-3717

More Tech Companies Join AWARN Alliance

More Tech Companies Join AWARN Alliance

Japanese Companies Expand Coalition’s International Footprint

Alexandria VA, June 12, 2019 – The Advanced Warning and Response Network (AWARN) Alliance continues to expand, with more technology firms joining the coalition as adoption of ATSC 3.0, Next Generation Television, picks up steam. The addition of two major Japanese technology firms further expands the international footprint of the organization dedicated to development of advanced emergency alerting using ATSC 3.0.

New members are:

  • T-NET Japan is a “total engineering company” developing an extensive range of technologies on a global scale.
  • Internet Initiative Japan is a global leader in network services, value-added outsourcing services, cloud computing, WAN services and systems integration services.
  • Unisoft offers an ATSC 3.0 delivery system including the ATCaster broadcast stream generator, ATSC SFG signing server, ATEME TITAN Encoder, Enensys Scheduler, ProTelevision Exciter and integration services.
  • Gaian Solutions specializes in operating AI and ML based content monetization two sided marketplaces across industry verticals. Live OTT sports, broadcast localization, alerting services and out of home monetization opportunities.

The growth of AWARN’s membership comes as the coalition’s mission has evolved to include not just emergency alerting, but a wider range of news and information that a television newsroom, working with emergency managers, can provide. The Alliance will be launching roundtable discussions with TV news thought leaders in the months ahead. The goal is development of a voluntary framework for packaging a TV station’s news assets and using ATSC 3.0 to engage with viewers as their trusted information source across multiple devices.

AWARN Alliance Executive Director John Lawson, noting the announcement last month that FOX Television Stations became the first major broadcast network to join the Alliance, said the new tech company members indicate the upward trajectory of AWARN.

“Our new members bring years of experience in advanced television, as well as the integration of over-the-air television and the internet. Our new Japanese members also bring first-hand knowledge of the Japanese emergency warning system, the most sophisticated in the world. The expertise that all of these companies bring in developing the full potential of Next Gen TV is a major asset in achieving our goals,” Lawson said.

Yoshi Tsurimaki, producer, business development for T-NET Japan, said, “We see great potential for ATSC 3.0 interoperability with the world’s other key technical standards, such as W3C, 3GPP, and Hybridcast. We are happy to support AWARN because it presents a very clear use case for the power of an all-IP broadcast transmission capability.”  

Lawson and Tsurimaki are panelists at the TV of Tomorrow Show in San Francisco, June 12-13.

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.

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CONTACTS:                

John Lawson  
AWARN Alliance
Office (703) 347-7070
Mobile (202) 302-1654
[email protected]
FOX Television Stations Becomes First O&O Station Group To Join AWARN Alliance

FOX Television Stations Becomes First O&O Station Group to Join AWARN Alliance

New York / Alexandria VA – May 30, 2019 – FOX Television Stations has joined the Advanced Warning and Response Network (AWARN) Alliance, becoming the first major television O&O member of the coalition.

The Alliance is a coalition of commercial and public broadcasters, consumer electronics makers, tech companies, and trade associations that is developing a voluntary advanced emergency messaging capability using ATSC 3.0. It represents a voluntary public-private partnership for using Next Generation Television to provide a powerful new service for public safety.

“Our stations are dedicated to serving their communities, and nothing is more important than giving people the information they need to stay safe in emergencies. We support the Alliance’s broader mission to develop a framework for providing emergency information beyond the initial alert. ATSC 3.0 will enable FOX Television Stations to use its local news assets as never before, and we are happy to add our voice to that initiative,” said Richard Friedel, Executive Vice President of Engineering, Operations and Technology. 

“On behalf of our whole coalition, I am very happy to welcome FOX as the first O&O group to join the AWARN Alliance,” said John Lawson, executive director of the AWARN Alliance.

“This really adds to our momentum. Combined with their reach and expertise, FOX has the leadership and vision to make a positive and lasting impact with us. Along with their commitment to ATSC 3.0, FOX’s support of AWARN means recognition of the power of this technology to serve their communities at a whole new level,” Lawson said.

AWARN will be launching roundtable discussions with TV news thought leaders in the months ahead. The goal is development of a voluntary framework for packaging a TV station’s news assets and using ATSC 3.0 to engage with viewers as their trusted information source across multiple devices.

About FOX Television Stations

FOX Television Stations owns and operates 28 full power broadcast television stations in the U.S. These include stations located in nine of the top ten largest designated market areas (DMAs), and duopolies in 11 DMAs, including the three largest DMAs (New York, Los Angeles and Chicago). Of these stations, 17 are affiliated with the FOX Network. In addition to distributing sports, entertainment and syndicated content, our television stations collectively produce nearly 1,000 hours of local news every week. These stations leverage viewer, distributor and advertiser demand for the FOX Network’s national content.

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.

The Alliance is a coalition of commercial and public broadcasters, consumer electronics makers, tech companies, and trade associations that is developing a voluntary advanced emergency messaging capability using ATSC 3.0. It represents a voluntary public-private partnership for using Next Generation Television to provide a powerful new service for public safety.

“Our stations are dedicated to serving their communities, and nothing is more important than giving people the information they need to stay safe in emergencies. We support the Alliance’s broader mission to develop a framework for providing emergency information beyond the initial alert. ATSC 3.0 will enable FOX Television Stations to use its local news assets as never before, and we are happy to add our voice to that initiative,” said Richard Friedel, Executive Vice President of Engineering, Operations and Technology.  

“On behalf of our whole coalition, I am very happy to welcome FOX as the first O&O group to join the AWARN Alliance,” said John Lawson, executive director of the AWARN Alliance.

“This really adds to our momentum. Combined with their reach and expertise, FOX has the leadership and vision to make a positive and lasting impact with us. Along with their commitment to ATSC 3.0, FOX’s support of AWARN means recognition of the power of this technology to serve their communities at a whole new level,” Lawson said.

AWARN will be launching roundtable discussions with TV news thought leaders in the months ahead. The goal is development of a voluntary framework for packaging a TV station’s news assets and using ATSC 3.0 to engage with viewers as their trusted information source across multiple devices.

About Fox Television Stations

FOX Television Stations owns and operates 28 full power broadcast television stations in the U.S. These include stations located in nine of the top ten largest designated market areas (DMAs), and duopolies in 11 DMAs, including the three largest DMAs (New York, Los Angeles and Chicago). Of these stations, 17 are affiliated with the FOX Network. In addition to distributing sports, entertainment and syndicated content, our television stations collectively produce nearly 1,000 hours of local news every week. These stations leverage viewer, distributor and advertiser demand for the FOX Network’s national content.

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.

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CONTACTS:

Contact: John Lawson                                Contact: Claudia Russo

AWARN Alliance                                          Fox Television Stations

Office (703) 347-7070                                  Office: (212) 301-3997

Mobile (202) 302-1654                                [email protected]

[email protected]

Broadcasters Make In-Car Play For ATSC 3.0

Broadcasters Make In-Car Play For ATSC 3.0

While conversations between broadcasters and car makers are just starting, ATSC 3.0 proponents say that given the three-to-five-year build cycle of a typical new model it’s crucial to get 3.0 receiver chips into car makers’ design plans by next spring so they’re ready to roll in 2024, by which time next-gen stations will be broadcasting across the U.S.

By: Glen Dickson, TVNewsCheck

Broadcasters and technology vendors visited Detroit last week to pitch the automotive industry on the benefits the ATSC 3.0 next-generation broadcast standard can bring to cars, including wireless software updates of key control systems, emergency traffic alerts on the dashboard and live TV in the backseat.

The symposium at Scripps-owned WXYZ Detroit, organized by broadcast consortium Pearl TV, coincided with an announcement that Scripps sister station WYMD Detroit will launch 3.0 broadcasts next year in partnership with Graham Media’s WDIV. The goal is for WYMD to serve as a 3.0 test-bed for the major auto makers headquartered locally.

Read Full Article Here

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.

 

AWARN Advisory Council