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Old 25 July 2018, 07:32 PM
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DawnStorm DawnStorm is offline
 
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Bang Head Enough of the Emergency Alert System test/warnings already!

Is it me or has there been a disproportionate amount of EAS alerts lately? For instance, I'm listening to the radio and suddenly the song cuts off and is replaced by that annoying squawking sound. Sometimes it's not even an alert, but some damn test. Ditto for when a show I'm watching either in real time or not is suddenly stopped for an Emergency Alert. I know it's important to know of real emergency alerts, but every other day?! Stop crying wolf!
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Old 25 July 2018, 09:02 PM
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Now I'm having nostalgia for my college radio station when I'd be in the middle of a broadcast, the EAS would come on, and I'd have to stop what I was doing to switch to broadcasting it instead... And the one time there actually really *was* flooding going on and I felt like I might actually be helping maybe two listeners in their cars
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Old 26 July 2018, 12:49 AM
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Given that there's basically no local TV broadcast anymore, is the EAS still really that useful?
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Old 26 July 2018, 12:56 AM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
Given that there's basically no local TV broadcast anymore, is the EAS still really that useful?
The last statistics I saw (2016) had local broadcast as the only source for about 25% of US homes. I wouldn't call 25% "basically" none.
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Old 26 July 2018, 01:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
The last statistics I saw (2016) had local broadcast as the only source for about 25% of US homes. I wouldn't call 25% "basically" none.
And giving the number of people "cutting the cord" I wonder if that might be increasing. Anecdotally a lot of people seem to have replaced cable/satellite with a combination of internet streaming and local broadcast television.
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Old 26 July 2018, 01:21 AM
UrbanLegends101 UrbanLegends101 is offline
 
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Long ago and far away, when I worked in broadcasting, the EBS tests, as they were called then, were on our program log and scheduled, but the tests were never an abrupt interruption of program material. It was done as another piece of program, like a song or commercial.

With the actual alerts, since many times the audio for the alert is originated at an entry point EAS station and the alert is daisy-chained to downstream stations, so for many listeners, the alert is an interruption to that station's program. Many cases, it is an automated process.

I've been out of commericial broadcasting for many years, so I don't know the full process of the test procedures, but it could very well be that even with the EAS tests, the entire chain is tested, that is, the entry point EAS station runs the test and each downstream station automatically joins the test, to realistically test the system as would operate for real alerts.
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Old 26 July 2018, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanLegends101 View Post
but it could very well be that even with the EAS tests, the entire chain is tested, that is, the entry point EAS station runs the test and each downstream station automatically joins the test, to realistically test the system as would operate for real alerts.
That makes sense (and thanks for your explanation), but if it's just a test, then why not schedule the test between shows/songs? Save the programming interruptions for real emergencies.
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Old 26 July 2018, 03:29 PM
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That would require a person at each station to intercept the EMS broadcast and then figure out a time in the schedule to broadcast it. Which would kind of negate much of the value in the test since it wouldn't be testing the automated repeat part of the test.
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Old 26 July 2018, 04:10 PM
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Keeper of the Mad Bunnies Keeper of the Mad Bunnies is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
Given that there's basically no local TV broadcast anymore, is the EAS still really that useful?
EAS are on more than local TV. It is even used on satellite radio. SiriusXM provides nationwide alerts from the Emergency Alert System on all of its channels
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Old 26 July 2018, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnStorm View Post
That makes sense (and thanks for your explanation), but if it's just a test, then why not schedule the test between shows/songs? Save the programming interruptions for real emergencies.
Interrupt paid commercial time? Someone will be pulling their ads, which is loss of revenue. Doubt that will happen. As annoying as it is (and I have been annoyed many times by this, as well as sports pre-emption), testing during broadcasts is the soundest way for stations to broadcast the alert tests.
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  #11  
Old 26 July 2018, 05:18 PM
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Guess you're right GenYus and Crius. Still maddening though. Maybe I should have put this in the FWP thread.
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