19 Apr 2017

Emergency alerting starter kit for broadcasters launched

Digital Alert Systems (DAS) and Triveni Digital announced that they have partnered to provide television broadcasters with an ATSC 3.0 Advanced Emergency Alerting (AEA) "starter kit," intended as an introduction to the powerful new emergency communications capabilities of the next-generation digital television standard. The starter kit will help TV stations vastly improve how they communicate urgent information to their target audiences.

The starter kit combines the DASDEC emergency messaging platform and AEA Content Management from Digital Alert Systems with Triveni Digital's GuideBuilder XM signaling and announcement generator, ROUTE/MMTP encoder, and a live source simulator. Offering support for EAS/CAP requirements, station multimedia, and first-responder communications, the starter kit enables broadcasters to deliver advanced emergency alerts and auxiliary public safety information in both existing and future ATSC 3.0 environments.

Initially the starter kit will enable delivery of CAP- and EAS-Net-formatted alerts to ATSC 3.0 receivers. Stations that already have a DASDEC unit will only need to update their software to use the initial functionality. Digital Alert Systems will provide additional software updates during the year to add support for the ATSC 3.0 AEA format, thereby enabling receivers to perform a wide range of advanced emergency communications functions.

Digital Alert Systems' parent company, Monroe Electronics, played a key role in promoting the AEA feature in ATSC 3.0. The finalized ATSC 3.0 AEA messaging specification, proposed by Monroe Electronics as part of the ATSC A/331 next-generation digital television standard, will be incorporated in future DASDEC updates. The AEA messaging capability, powered by the DASDEC, will provide both the broadcaster and the consumer with forward-looking capabilities.

For stations interested in implementing advanced emergency communications capabilities or exploring the features of AEA, the starter kit provides the core technologies and platforms in an affordable bundle. The kit will make it possible for stations to leverage their existing infrastructure, including their DASDEC emergency communications platform, as much as possible. The DASDEC AEA functionality combines enhanced EAS with general and custom messaging, content management of graphics and multimedia, geotargeted messaging, multilingual support (including device-based translation of basic alert messages), and more.

WRAL-TV, Capitol Broadcasting's NBC affiliate in Raleigh, North Carolina, was the first to adopt the DAS/Triveni AEA starter kit when the station launched its new ATSC 3.0 operation with the nation's first live simulcast from a commercially licensed television station.

"We'll be using this kit to perform test measurements throughout Raleigh and Durham, and to work with our local public safety authorities to bring them in the loop on the advanced alerting capabilities that we will be bringing them," said Peter Sockett, director of engineering and operations, Capitol Broadcasting. "This starter kit will also provide the foundation for the ongoing operation of ATSC 3.0 AEA at WRAL."

"We've partnered with Digital Alert Systems to provide broadcasters with a streamlined package for ATSC 3.0 advanced emergency communications capabilities," said Ralph Bachofen, vice president of sales and marketing at Triveni Digital. "As broadcasters become comfortable with ATSC 3.0 emergency communications transmission, we'll introduce other value-added features."

"This starter kit is the first solution for ATSC 3.0 AEA, enabling broadcasters to begin evaluating how best to implement next-generation AEA features to benefit their local audiences, with an eye towards reaching both stationary TVs and mobile receivers," said Ed Czarnecki, senior director, strategic and government affairs at Digital Alert Systems. "By collaborating with technology leaders like Triveni Digital, we can offer broadcasters a complete ATSC 3.0 solution for AEA for a smoother transition to the new digital television standard."

"The integrated AEA starter kit shows stations how ATSC 3.0 can significantly improve the kind of urgent information their audiences can receive," said Jim Heminway, chief operating officer for Monroe Electronics, Digital Alert Systems' parent company. "Using this starter kit will shorten the learning curve for broadcasters when transitioning to ATSC 3.0, and it gives them the means to show local officials and partners the advanced emergency messaging capabilities they can provide the public and first responders."

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