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Contributor
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎03-17-2004

Emergency Alert System

New Visitor
JeffMccorkhill
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎05-13-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

I do not  mind  the warnings      What I mind is the fact that  after  the  announcement is made   comcast  keeps   the  system  open  and   when trying to keep track of  major  storms  all you get  is the  black screen of  EAS.     This  endangers  many lives     

 

Happened to us the other night  during the Indiana  tornadoes    

Bronze Star Contributor
grday
Posts: 323
Registered: ‎05-01-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

[ Edited ]

JeffMccorkhill

I have Digital Transport Adapter & it never changed the channel or no comcast warnings came across the screen.  On the tv I have analog hooked only,  no comcast warning messages came on that either, very strange.  I also live in Indiana.  My area even with limited basic is switching to all digital, that why I have the DTAs.  My dtas did receive the EAS message but nothing came on.   I am glad because I was able to here the weather people. This makes me wonder if you can put something on the cable line to block the EAS frequency signal from being read by a box or dta.

 

 

 

 

Recognized Contributor
MikeWolf
Posts: 603
Registered: ‎10-11-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

thats absolutely irresponsible for you to even think that. its federal law that EAS is able to be passed, and god forbid something happens and the EAS doesn't get passed to your house because of your little "filter" and something happens to you because you didnt recieve the alert, guess whos dead? darwins law natural selection baby:smileylaugh:

Bronze Star Contributor
grday
Posts: 323
Registered: ‎05-01-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

[ Edited ]

Mikewolf.

I have otherway of getting EAS infomation. I don't have the tv on 24 hours a day. I am talking about improving EAS. They may require you to pass it on but comcast & others doesn't have to go overboard by blocking the tv screen or forcing the converters to change channels. We have many tornado warnings that have been false alarm It should be my choice if I want to get the EAS. I turn my weather alert off at night. So, I should be able turn off the EAS. Some of the EAS does not affect my area. Some tvs allow you disable or set EAS for your county but converters boxes defeat that.

Recognized Contributor
MikeWolf
Posts: 603
Registered: ‎10-11-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

[ Edited ]

Like I said before if you choose to risk getting killed while you sleep that's fine because you have the frame of mind to be aware of what's going on. I'm concerned about the rest who would simply turn it off after the first weekly test because it was "annoying" and live on obliviously, or those who turn it off inadvertently. Here is a video with an example of being oblivious http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4v8DQW4Pm6Y Sometimes you have to protect people from their own stupidity. I mean there really are people who complained about the tsunami warnings after the earthquake in Japan, for example.

New Visitor
purplepetals
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎10-13-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

MikeWolf, I think you missed the point in the article that suggested that if the subscriber is watching live weather coverage, it would be better to leave that on the screen than to block the coverage with the EAS message that is much less precise and detailed.

Recognized Contributor
halfband
Posts: 227
Registered: ‎06-20-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

[ Edited ]

When we had the massive tornado outbreak in alabama the continual EAS alerts interrupting the local channels was definitely a major issue.  At times there were 6 tornados on the ground at a time.  The tornados warnings, along with the severe storm and flash flood warnings, made the emergency warning interruptions virtually continuous.  In our area the local stations have their own radar systems and are directly tied to the nextrad system.  They have invested a lot in severe weather technology and their information is accurate to the street level and virtually to the minute on timing.  But we could not follow this essential coverage due to the constant interruptions, which totally defeats the point.  

The iron content of the local mountains limits the use of antennas here for many residents, which prevents switching to antenna for many, your only tv source is the cable feed.  For extreme weather situation like we had this year someone really needs to rethink how the system works as it almost completely defeated it's own purpose for this event.  

When the locals have switched to live storm tracking coverage, the EAS system is redundant for that channel and is actually a disruption of the very coverage that is needed.

Official Employee
ComcastKeisha
Posts: 1,561
Registered: ‎09-20-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

I apologize for the frustrations and inconveniences you are experiencing with this issue. I will investigate this with my area contacts and get back with you regarding this issue.

Thank You
-Keisha-
Recognized Contributor
MikeWolf
Posts: 603
Registered: ‎10-11-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

The point is if a tornado warning is sent out for your area, you shouldnt be sitting around watching the weather on tv your tail should be in that basement or bathroom or inner most interior of your house, plus the EAS message lasts for no more then a minute or minute and a half most of the time before it clears the screen. Plus new software that a large amount of cable providers have been rolling out no longer use the full screen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xY7aruC4mU4&feature=related, or this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ano00k_3QwI&feature=related but rather a banner displayed across the top or bottom of the screen like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=9Rkfte18lYk and this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ano00k_3QwI&feature=related

Recognized Contributor
MikeWolf
Posts: 603
Registered: ‎10-11-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

[ Edited ]

hello Keisha, how are you today?  I'm curious as to the status of Comcasts efforts to upgrade their equipment for CAP compliance from your perspective. http://www.fcc.gov/document/review-emergency-alert-system-3  This is the nature of my job and am curious to your position on these issues. :smileysilly:

Recognized Contributor
halfband
Posts: 227
Registered: ‎06-20-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

[ Edited ]

In this area of the country spending most afternoons in the basement (if you have one) during storm season is not realistic.  Tornados have relatively narrow paths and the warnings are at the county level. To know where they are, and they track them at the street level now, you watch the local coverage, or at least try too.  Along with flash flood, severe storm warnings and the tornado warnings the one and a half to two minute interruptions sometimes become 6-10 minutes.  This is just completely unacceptable and completely unnecessary when you are already watching a source dedicated to providing accurate and detailed weather information.

The intentions were good but it needs to be adjusted so that it does not impede the very systems is was intended to notify you to look at.  Banners would be a huge improvement at this point.

Recognized Contributor
MikeWolf
Posts: 603
Registered: ‎10-11-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

I agree with that and like I've said we're making improvements throughout, as well as through more sources with the use of CAP and IPAWS and PLAN

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Alerting_Protocol

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commercial_Mobile_Alert_System

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPAWS

 

New Visitor
whateverbrah
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-31-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

This is getting retarded.

 

I am getting spammed with 5+ tests every 2 days several times per night. 1am, 3am, 4am, 5am.

 

1 2 3 4 5 @#$R eas "tests" constantly.

 

Atlanta market.

 

Charter never does that. Fix it comcast. This is not the FCCs fault. 150$ a month for EAS spam destroying whatever little of the shows i do watch. And guess what.. EAS NEVER EVER NEVER EVER EVER comes on during commercials! NEVER!!!!!

 

im fed up.

New Visitor
whateverbrah
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-31-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

[ Edited ]

YAY 5th EAS "REQUIRED WEEKLY TEST" just came on in the span of 40 minutes! 2am until 2:41am. 5 interruptions!

 

Think a 6th one is due in the next 20 minutes? i'll update you.

 

(i had the computer set to central time zone so time corrected above to the proper 2am slot vs 1am central)

New Visitor
whateverbrah
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-31-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

wow. 6th one. that only took 1 minute.  Probably by the time i make this post #7 will cut in too... amazing

New Visitor
whateverbrah
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-31-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

7th. 3.05am

 

 

New Visitor
parkerj
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎10-31-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

Im with you whatever. I've had 13 of them in the past hour. It drives me nuts also seeing how it is just a test but the test is supposed to be weekly. Not 13 in the span of just an hour. I work all day so this is my tv time at night and this eas just kills it every night. Please fix this comcast. Big issue in the Atlanta region.
Recognized Contributor
MikeWolf
Posts: 603
Registered: ‎10-11-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

Comcast is doing authorized testing prior to the national test November 9th. They
did the same thing in New Jersey last Tuesday by me before they started rolling
out new channels in the 800 range, as well as in Florida.  Just relax, its better to get al the kinks worked out now in the middle of the night rather then during your primetime tv shows. Anyway I apologize for the inconvenience this has caused all of you.

New Visitor
whateverbrah
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-31-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

You assume my primetime isn't in the middle of the night.  HD channels here are in the 800 range. Does that mean that i can expect more HD channels added to the lineup or is my programming being screwed up so they can add another tier for more $. Doesn't matter tbh. might be nice to let your customers know of interruptions like these ahead of time. When i was on the old adelphia network (comcast took over) it was awesome. Since i moved and am on the 100% comcast built one, it has been one thing after another.

 

TV is off as the eas keeps on coming. At least 30 before i gave up. 

 

You know the kicker? you can't  watch the DVR either because eas cuts into that as well...... And dvr won't play unless its connected to the line. So basically, you are destroying my PRIMETIME dvred shows as well as live programming.

 

whatever. honestly. fed up with monopolies

Recognized Contributor
MikeWolf
Posts: 603
Registered: ‎10-11-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

Yes it would be nice but they don’t tell anyone unfortunately unless you’re an engineer or have some ties with the FCC unfortunately. However there will be a national test of the emergency alert system November 9th for three minutes starting at 2pm. http://www.fema.gov/emergency/ipaws/eas_info.shtm

 Anyway I’m not aware of where you’re located in the United States so I can't say for sure if your area is scheduled for receiving more HD channels but I know from my own personal experience that there was no charge for the additional HD channels. http://www.xfinityhdocean.com/ I was on the old Adelphia system as well until 2002. I understand your frustration but the vibe I'm getting is issues that go beyond just this situation. All I can offer is an apology.

Contributor
Arubaflower
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎11-01-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

Here in Alexandria, VA we are up to at about 3-5 tests a day also.  That dang loud buzzer is enough to give someone a heartattack (including me when it woke me up out of dead sleep with a start).  I loathe those obnoxious tests.  Why can't you test without blasting the loud buzzer noise? 

 

And what does adding new HD channels have to do with EAS testing?  Because I have always been bombarded with relentless EAS testing from Comcast, receiving my "monthly" tests on at least a twice weekly basis and ususally a couple times on those days.  Only as of late it has gotten worse with it now being every day at least 3-5 times.  

 

Is Comcast intentionally trying to drive all of its consumer-base away with all of these annoyances?  Good grief.

Recognized Contributor
MikeWolf
Posts: 603
Registered: ‎10-11-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

[ Edited ]

its quite complicated to explain how the emergency alert system works with diigtal cable and frequencies of channels, and so forth so I'll just be general. the alerts are sent out before channels are activated so that if an alert is ligitmately activated while a viewer is using those channels it is made sure it can be seen. also the audio buzzer as you describe it is the audio portion of S.A.M.E. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Specific_Area_Message_Encoding your hearing the 853 and 960 Hz tone.

Also Comcast is doing hardware and software upgrades throughout the system to better support the new changes taking place with the emergency alert system such as C.A.P. and I.P.A.W.S. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Alerting_Protocol http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPAWS
long story short is once this is all completed the system will work better and you shouldnt be bothered as often as you currently are though the weekly and/or monthly test will still occur as per FCC regulations. Also there is going to be a national test November 9th at 2pm for a period of 3 minutes.

 

here is something you should read. http://www.9wsyr.com/content/news/real_deal/story/Emergency-Alert-System-tests-picking-up-in/wAbuUwf...

New Visitor
boxo
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎11-08-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

Keisha

 

maybe you can  tell me why the regular Emergency Alert System already in use  test in the middle of the night??

 

boxo

Recognized Contributor
MikeWolf
Posts: 603
Registered: ‎10-11-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

I work in this field so I can answer this. The test is generally performed in the middle of the night as to not interfer with service to customers during the day when the majority are awake.

New Visitor
boxo
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎11-08-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

i would much rather have one of the many infomercials  interupted than wake me in the middle of the night 

 

 

Recognized Contributor
MikeWolf
Posts: 603
Registered: ‎10-11-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

Hmm? Aren't infomercials generally run in the middle of the night?

New Visitor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎02-28-2010

Re: Emergency Alert System

I'm getting a bunch of these EAS tests in the middle of the day. The test last for just about 30 seconds and then switches to the TV guide channel no matter what I'm watching. It then switches back a few seconds later.This has been going on for a few weeks now im my area, several times a day.

Recognized Contributor
MikeWolf
Posts: 603
Registered: ‎10-11-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

can you be more specific in the order that this is occuring?  Is it a force tune event, such as your watching something on tv then suddenly the channel changes without you pressing any buttons on the remote? Or are is this occuring in a different order of events?  Are you seeing that black screen with white text http://youtu.be/uKoTtmtsjg8?t=44s or are you seeing a blue screen with white text and a red border? http://youtu.be/3nllX7jfmCE?t=1m 

 

Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎08-25-2008

Re: Emergency Alert System

I have gotten use to have EAS TEST messages in the early AM  esp  the last few days of the month.

Being kicked out of an On Demand movie is a pain in having to wait & go back in the on demand menu etc.

I once had over 12 in a 45 min period.

 

MY big complaint is that the issuing entity is never identified  :smileyangry:  !!

I have no idea where they are coming from.  

If I did I would talk to the local entities and attempt for them to set up a schedule and let the public know what it was

Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎08-25-2008

Re: Emergency Alert System

Does anyone know  where I can find a list of entities that are required (or can) broadcast alert test for a given geographic (zip code) area? 

thanks

Official Employee
ComcastKeisha
Posts: 1,561
Registered: ‎09-20-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

 

Thank You
-Keisha-
Official Employee
ComcastKeisha
Posts: 1,561
Registered: ‎09-20-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

 

Thank You
-Keisha-
Official Employee
ComcastKeisha
Posts: 1,561
Registered: ‎09-20-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

Thank You
-Keisha-
Official Employee
ComcastKeisha
Posts: 1,561
Registered: ‎09-20-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

 

Thank You
-Keisha-
Official Employee
ComcastKeisha
Posts: 1,561
Registered: ‎09-20-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

 

Thank You
-Keisha-
Official Employee
ComcastKeisha
Posts: 1,561
Registered: ‎09-20-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

 

Thank You
-Keisha-
Official Employee
ComcastKeisha
Posts: 1,561
Registered: ‎09-20-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

 

Thank You
-Keisha-
Official Employee
ComcastKeisha
Posts: 1,561
Registered: ‎09-20-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

All,

The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a national public warning system that requires broadcasters, cable television systems, wireless cable systems, satellite digital audio radio service (SDARS) providers and, direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service providers to provide the communications capability to the President to address the American public during a National emergency.  The system also may be used by state and local authorities to deliver important emergency information such as AMBER alerts and whether information targeted to a specific area.


EAS (Emergency Alert System) is a federally mandated requirement and Comcast Cable does not have any option but to comply with the FCC and their EAS plans. At this time, we do not have the means of providing more precise warnings.

 

EAS messages are issued on a county basis, and if that county occurs within the footprint of the headend, it must be retransmitted over the entire headend.

 

 

Thank You
-Keisha-
Recognized Contributor
MikeWolf
Posts: 603
Registered: ‎10-11-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

Thank you for your reply and if you have any questions please feel free to ask. :smileyhappy:

Official Employee
ComcastKeisha
Posts: 1,561
Registered: ‎09-20-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

 

Thank You
-Keisha-
New Visitor
Scottd19
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎12-21-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

Just one question about the EAS. IT appears that the EAS weekly test is being broadcast almost every day and at various times. On some days it is broadcast by the state twice a day, at 10AM and 2AM. Last week the weekly test message was broadcast on four seperate days at various hours. On Wed, at 1:05AM, the weekly test was broadcasted and I thought the time listed in the test on the screen indicated it was 3AM. But anyway, why is the EAS test being broadcast more than once per week?

New Visitor
pwilson952
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎12-22-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

Mike, since you asked whether or not they were seeing a black screen w/ white text or the blue with borders..

I'm just curious as to why we'd see two different visual 'styles' of the EAS message to begin with? I've seen both, but I'm just trying to find out why they'd look different if they are both coming from the cable company. Is it a way to figure out where the messages are coming from? Or is it the cable boxes themselves that format the message to those 'styles'?

 

Thanks! 

Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎08-25-2008

Re: Emergency Alert System

-Keisha-

Thank you for the info. on the requirements-- even though I have no idea what a "headend" is.

 

"At this time, we do not have the means of providing more precise warnings.

 

Does this mean COMCAST cannot identify the authority that issued the EAS broadcast  or is it that the FCC does NOT require them to do so within the broadcast?

 

don

 

New Visitor
PET511
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎03-19-2012

Re: Emergency Alert System

Knoxville, TN area

 

How many people have the problem that the emergency alert system (also for the child abduction system) comes on comes on, it starts saying something, flashes to some other channel (usually home shopping type channel), then flashes back to the EAS, the counties affected scroll by and there is no sound or intermitent sound. 

 

For an emergency alert system, it would be helpful if they cannot support both sound and image, that all of the words they are going to say are also scrolled on the screen.

 

It is not a great system if the information is not being communicated. This has been happening for months

Recognized Contributor
MikeWolf
Posts: 603
Registered: ‎10-11-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

Blue screen with red border is by Monroe Electronics EAS OneNet Endec, where as the black with white text is more of a generalized version. Both are called full screen Slate screens. The blue one with red border displays more information where as the black and white  one displays more generic information. Both support audio. The customer owned or cable system owned hardware does not really dictate how the alert is displayed when this mode is used, since all the equipment does is force tune to a specified channel which is displaying said message. Ticker banners on the other hand allow the hardware receiving the message to dictate how it looks such as how the Moxi and TiVo have this http://youtu.be/SAfWLkGtg5w?hd=1 or how my Cisco cable box displays the alert like this http://youtu.be/eXsBz97HUhI. According to Moxi and TiVO the device doesn't have to pass the audio portion of the alert along, just the visual part, and that's legal. This is why the slate screen model is more useful because it does include the audio portion which can be more detailed and informative then the visual accompaniment.

 

The reason why the alerts seem different is because there are several diferent Endec companies which use different software, and you could see one style alert coming directly from the cable company where as you could see something totally different when it is coming through a different source such as from the weather service or radio broadcaster or state or county with their own equipment.There are several different redundant Entry points besides the primary source such as radio broadcasters so in case one chain fails others would pick up the slack and get you that message.

Recognized Contributor
MikeWolf
Posts: 603
Registered: ‎10-11-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

[ Edited ]

I can't speak for your state, but generally this occurs when hardware or software isn’t synchronized in testing, or there is just really bad documenting of tests. Like it not being noted the test was done for the week, so the next person doing the testing thinks it wasn't done that week and proceeds to do the test. It could just be a software or hardware glitch since sometimes it’s an automated computer system. Or it could even be on purpose if during the course of the testing it is felt that it didn't go through and broadcast to the public (even though it may have). For example just today while I’m sitting at home a required weekly test flashed a banner across my screen, then about 10 minutes later a required monthly test, duck farts and all flashed its banner.

In my experience from seeing multiple tests a day or week, usually it’s internal testing being done when new software or hardware is installed, and someone forgets to isolate the signal from broadcasting externally.

Recognized Contributor
MikeWolf
Posts: 603
Registered: ‎10-11-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

[ Edited ]

A headend is basically like a master computer that controls everything on a cable system's system. For example a headend could control all the cableboxes, while another could control all the cable modems. It keeps everything in balance. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cable_television_headend

It's not that the FCC doesn't require Comcast or other service providers to identify the source, it is because the system being used is too limited. For example there are only five originator codes to choose from.

  • EAN - Emergency Action Notification Network (President or other authorized national officials. Was used November 9th 2011 for the national test and will be used from now on for national tests)
  • PEP - Primary Entry Point Station (President or other authorized national officials)
  • CIV - Civil authorities (i.e. Governor, state/local emergency management, local police/fire officials)
  • WXR – National Weather Service (or Environment Canada. Any weather-related alert)
  • EAS - EAS Participant (formerly Broadcast Station or Cable System) (Broadcasters. Generally only used with test messages)

The use of IPAWS http://www.fema.gov/emergency/ipaws/http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPAWS is being worked on which would allow more flexibility and clarification on events and issues, such as instead of civil authorities sending out a county wide alert for a water main break on Main Street, eventually they can just send out an alert for people on Main Street.

I know from YouTube videos I've seen that usually at the end of a message the last line is "issued by: “and more then once I've seen either "Issued by: COMCST" or "Issued by: State of New Jersey" or "Issued by: (insert radio/TV call letters here)”

Bronze Star Contributor
grday
Posts: 323
Registered: ‎05-01-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

Mikewolf

 

I have a question for you.  My dta does this when they did this one test.  It changed to a Emergency Alert Channel, then it changed back and you couldn't change the channel back yourself.  The Emergency Alert channel for my areas doesn't have any programs.   I can see the EAC when I scroll up & down through the channels.  Why doesn't  the DTA change to a channel like QVC?  However, I was converted to comcast from insight.  If this thread gets closed please PM the answer.

Recognized Contributor
MikeWolf
Posts: 603
Registered: ‎10-11-2011

Re: Emergency Alert System

It's a possibility that the reason why the EAS channel exists is because of the fact that your system used to be a non Comcast system. I know that back in 1999 through 2000 my area used to be Adelphia, and for a little while after Comcast bought them out, we were seeing the old fashioned analog system where it was a white text with clear background scrolling across the top of every channel telling the viewer to tune to a particular channel (usually a local channel) for more details. Now the DTA's change from whatever channel they are on to channel 3, and when the alert is over they switch back, same with the set top boxes, my tivo, and my moxi. Now I know that when Comcast was doing testing months ago there was an issue with the alerts freezing up and locking both DTA's and cable boxes so the channel wouldnt change back to its pre alert channel, requiring a power reset. One possible cause of why it doesn't switch to QVC is because Comcast may not have permission from QVC to use them as the EAC in your market and that could change. It's also possible that either the DTA's are not getting a good signal from Comcast (not likely but it's happened), that they may need to be replaced (not likely but its possible), or that Comcast simply has a different system in place but will probably be changing over if it hasn't already. I know that Time Warner Cable has a dedicated EAS channel, and Comcast has one too for the Denver Colorado market called Comcast Entertainment Televison (CET) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comcast_Entertainment_Television when an alert is activated all channels switch to CET.