New TV technologies help to save lives and warn in case of emergency

In the event of an emergency many people rely on radio and television to receive updates on what is happening and how to behave. Current technologies may be used by state and local authorities to alert the public of severe weather hazards such as tornadoes and flash floods, terrorist attacks or outbreak of a war. During emergencies the warning system interrupts TV programs broadcasting and transmits the official information with instructions on how the public should behave.

This technology often requires broadcasters and Pay TV operators to make local emergency information accessible to people who are hard of hearing or deaf, and to people who have visual disabilities or blind. Thus, emergency information must be provided both aurally and in a visual format.

To make sure that the warning system is functioning, its equipment must be tested on a weekly basis. In addition, the alert signal check should be scheduled and conducted at a national scale. To illustrate what problems can be discovered during the test, let us refer to the first nationwide EAS (Emergency Alert System) test which took place on November 9, 2011 in the USA. The issues primarily were reported by cable and satellite TV subscribers. Users of DirecTV operator reported hearing Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” play instead of the EAS test, others stated that their receivers were not able to relay the test or simply just did not get the signal at all.

In some cases the immediate live media coverage may replace the warning system providing the warning or alert of what have happened and what might happen as quickly as the information could be distributed.

GS Group develops and implements its own technological solutions while introducing warning system services in its international broadcasting projects. For instance, an intergovernmental agreement between Russia and Indonesia envisages, among others, that “The sides expressed mutual interest in developing cooperation with GS Group holding, on joint projects for launching Direct Satellite broadcasting (DBS) in Indonesia, and also in the field of alerting the public about emergencies using satellite broadcasting technologies in the situation of limited capacity of terrestrial communication systems”. Thus, GS Group offered Indonesia a unique integrated warning system of its own design for cautioning and informing the public in case of emergency.