Mobile Devices

March 27, 2013

ATSC Enhances Emergency Alerts with Mobile Updates to its Digital TV Service

The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) has enhanced the standard for mobile digital TV with its approval and publication of specifications for a new Mobile Emergency Alert Service (M-EAS).

The service was announced on Wednesday, and will be delivered using the ATSC’s A/153 standard for Mobile Digital TV, which will allow the M-EAS to provide a large range of multimedia alerts in more ways than just via text.

The alerts will work for all DTV-equipped devices including mobile phones, tablets, laptops, Netbooks, and even in-car navigation systems.

“The ability to reach millions of people with a single transmission using mobile DTV for emergency alerts can help save lives,” said ATSC president Mark Richer.

The M-EAS enhancements to DTV deliver not only text message alerts, but alerts using video, audio and graphics as well.

Richer added that the best part of the updates to the service is the speed at which the alert messages can reach those in danger. With “instantaneous transmission of news, maps, video, audio, and other rich media,” more people can prepare or evacuate in time.

“We have learned from past events that a natural or man-made disaster can have a devastating impact on communication networks, which quickly become overburdened,” Richer explained. With M-EAS and DTV, more than 130 broadcast TV stations are set to transmit mobile DTV signals to work around these complications.

By standardizing a Mobile Emergency Alert Service, ATSC included specifications that follow the nationwide pilot project from the Public Broadcasting Service and LG Electronics. The project was co-funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting with additional funding from NAB Labs, Roundbox and Harris Corporation. With this amount of support, ATSC has high hopes for the future of their service.

“M-EAS is backwards compatible and will not affect the performance of mobile TV products already in consumer hands,” said Richer. “Future mobile TV receivers can be designed to take full advantage of M-EAS capabilities.”

With features including terrestrial broadcasting, high reliability and reach, back-up generators, reserve fuel and recharging systems for mobile devices, ATSC’s service is a comprehensive game changer in emergency alert systems.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

comments powered by Disqus

FOLLOW MobilityTechzone

Subscribe to MobilityTechzone eNews

MobilityTechzone eNews delivers the latest news impacting technology in the Wireless industry each week. Sign up to receive FREE breaking news today!
FREE eNewsletter