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I was watching a live broadcast of the final Tour de France bicycle race on NBC Sports today. Right at the moment a spectacular presentation was being shown in Paris, an **bleep** warning appeared on my screen about some storm conditions in Riverside, California, which is about 100 miles from where I live.
In addition, earlier in the day, the same obnoxious warning interrupted my recording of the event while I was watching it earlier. I had to restart the recording so no longer have a single recording of the program.
I called Verizon tech support asking how to disable this obnoxious feature. They told me I cannot disable it.
These warnings did NOT appear on normal broadcast TV, just on my FIOS output.
These warnings were about an event that cannot possible affect me.
I have not seen this happen before ever on my normal TV in years of watching TV. Sometimes I hear tests on radio, but not during a prime time broadcast.
I read a post in a FIOS support forum by various people with labels such as "Copper Contributor" and "Plantinum Contributor I" (what is this, kindergarden?). They were all obsequiously defending this lame so-called emergency system and how important it was for me to know about missing children.
I have NO desire to see such EAS messages. about storms or missing children or lost cats. If you want to help the pollice find lost children and animals then listen to police band radio or watch the news where such announcements are appropriate.
There should be a way to turn this feature OFF.
I just re-read my own post to see it was correctly submitted.
My use of the word i d i o t i c was replaced by the term "*bleep*.
Yes, this is kindergarden.
There are a number of threads on this matter. You might want to review them. In short, Verizon has no control over EAS alerts. The originating agency controls when and how they occur.
The response that there is nothing Verizon can do about National Weather service Interuptions might blow off the uneducated but for anyone who actually understands how computerized systems work the answer shows a high Bovine Salutation co-efficient.
Verizon is able to selectively target local advertising down to a single designated service area, areas that can be defined to a finer degree than the zip codes. If advertising can be targeted to this level then National Weather Service warnings can also be similarly defined and targeted. For them not to be so handled is pure sloth on the part of all those involved and demonstrates a complete lack of interest in the provision of quality of service.
There is no reason for a person in the middle of San Bernardino County, the largest geographical county in the contiguous 48 states, to receive warnings for Riverside County or Los Angeles County. These areas are located, with the exception of the Antelope Valley, on the other side of mountain ranges that are passable only at a very few well defined points and the weather in these areas has little or no effect or relation to the vast majority of San Bernardino County.
This past week, between the "mandatory periodic system tests" generated by multiple agencies and the "weather alerts" for areas that are a minimum of 2 hours drive at full interstate speed limit and generated by multiple National Weather Service observation stations, even farther away, the interuptions have become more than a nuisance but are now at the level of having me begin the process of searching for other alternatives.
It would be bad enough if the interuptions were limited to "live" broadcasts but they aren't. I have had recorded programs interupted by these irrelevant and itrusive "tests". If Verizon cares so little about the quality of its services or is so subservient to the insistence of governmental bodies to intrude upon the private time and space of its customers that they force this unwanted and irrelevant bureaucratic overkill on the public the public needs to voice its displeasure and dissatisfaction. If the complaints are not heeded and corrective action taken then the public has many other alternative services available that don't insist on "bundling" government intrusion into their packages.
Verizon has no control over their own set top boxes on their own network? How convenient. I work a 10 hour day, come home to slam down dinner while watching TV trying to enjoy the few hours I have to myself, only to be interrupted by an obnoxious blaring tone which stops both broadcast as well as pre-recorded shows. I'm held hostage while the screen feeds me "important" information. Then, I'm promised that this interruption will occur every month?
Yes, let us all be subservient to the almighty cable box of which "Verizon has no control."
I look forward to Verizon's new cable boxes which promise to have a video camera in them.
FIOS. What was I thinking when I installed it?
They have no control of where or when. They do have them targeted to the area each authority covers. Unfortunately the authorities often don't always restrict the area that gets the notice.
However many of us have pointed out that they shouldn't completely interrupt a DVR recording as long as they have another tuner available. Some other DVR's, cable providers, do this.
This has happened about a dozen times in the last couple of weeks- amazingly stupid. Today I paused a baseball game before walking the dog. Came back to 45 minutes of game waiting for me, only to have an EAS warning for Riverside (far away from me) interrupt my viewing. Even worse, after the alert was over, it jumped to "live" with no ability to rewind. Other times it has interrupted recorded events.
Things Verizon can do:
1. Contact the National Weather Service (or whoever determines the geographical area for the warnings) and ask them to restrict the warnings to the areas that might be affected. The coast is at zero risk of a flash food. Unfortunately, the current system is training us to ignore warnings that might actually affect us. If the next warning is for a tsunami or some other local issue, I will ignore it because every warning that preceded it was of no relevance to me.
2. Set up the DVRs to be able to rewind once the EAS warnings are over.
You'd figure with technology, things would get better. Not always the case.
it's even worse for us with a CableCard and Windows Media Center.
I can't acknowledge/stop the message and it requires me to restart my Media Center sessions to watch any TV.
Yes, I am in Huntington Beach and those flash flood warnings in Riverside County mean nothing to me.
Despite this being labeled as a "monthly" required test, my viewing has been interrupted twice this week. fyi - twice in one week is a greater frequency than "monthly."
I object to having my utilities being controlled by an outside entity.
I object to having my privacy invaded at whim.
I object to no longer being able to do something as simple as watch television without a FIOS salesman knocking on my door trying to up-sell me on packages and constant telephone marketers ringing my home number selling me pills from India.