ATSC OKs Monroe AEA spec

Dec. 12, 2017
The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) has approved the Advanced Emergency Alerting (AEA) specification as part of the A/331 ...

The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) has approved the Advanced Emergency Alerting (AEA) specification as part of the A/331 standard, which is based primarily on designs submitted by Monroe Electronics. With the approval of the A/311 Signaling, Delivery, Synchronization, and Error Protection standard on Dec. 6, AEA has become an official function within the ATSC 3.0 suite of broadcast transmission standards.

"This is a significant milestone for emergency information capabilities in broadcast technology," said Edward Czarnecki, senior director of strategic and government affairs for Monroe Electronics. "By approving this advanced emergency messaging feature of the standard, the ATSC is enabling broadcasters to leapfrog to IP-based, mobile, customizable and media-rich emergency notifications to their audiences, with the potential for a range of first responder and public safety services as well. We deeply appreciate the amazing work of those broadcast and consumer electronics engineers from several countries who collaborated with us to establish this feature as part of the standard."

The ATSC standard's AEA feature is intended to enable emergency alerts on fixed screens, mobile phones, or portable devices such as tablets or vehicle-mounted displays.

"Advanced Emergency Alerting provides a direct connection for a wide range of urgent information from the station to the audience - including warnings, advisories, bulletins, and all manner of emergency information. The Emergency Alert System as we know it today will continue to be used by television broadcasters. However, Advanced Emergency Alerting will both complement and go beyond the narrow confines of today's EAS," Czarnecki said. "Stations and consumers will benefit from more detailed and useful alert information; media, graphics, and live feeds; enhanced geotargeting; and even personalized notification capabilities - all delivered to ATSC 3.0 receivers in TVs and portable devices like tablets, laptops and perhaps even smartphones."

Using the AEA capability in ATSC 3.0, television stations will be able to send detailed, geotargeted alerts and warnings to the general viewing public or even to specific audiences such as first responders. Broadcasters can supplement those messages with multimedia elements that make the alerts more informative than simple EAS messages.

In terms of the user experience, ATSC AEA is intended to enable advanced options for interaction, such as allowing consumers to select the type, language and display mode of notifications. Users will also be able to choose among text, audio and video alerts.