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SCTE Approves Revised Emergency-Alert Standard

The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers’ Engineering Committee has approved a new version of the group’s standard for emergency-alert messaging.

The SCTE 18 Emergency Alert Messaging standard, first published in 2002, defines a signaling method for use by cable TV systems to send information about emergencies to digital set-top boxes and other digital receivers.

SCTE vice president of standards Steve Oksala said that the revised Emergency Alert Messaging standard has “no major changes, but a host of small ones.” Most notable, he said, are clarifications for exception handling, priority processing and the handling of overlapping alert messages. 

“These are all ‘small’ items, but they can make a big difference in the interface between the cable operator and the consumer-electronics equipment,” Oksala added.

Development of the standard has been an ongoing joint effort between the SCTE Digital Video Subcommittee and the Consumer Electronics Association, which publishes the specification as CEA-814-A. The standard has also been submitted to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).