[sbe-eas] Next Gen EAS
gtimm at journalbroadcastgroup.com
Sat Apr 17 12:16:34 EDT 2010
- The Text-to-Speech (TTS) function is performed independently within
each EAS/CAP unit (if that vendor offers TTS - it is not a requirement).
So if you as a purchaser are concerned about a local pronunciation
dictionary, make the particular vendor you are considering to purchase
from demonstrate how their system accomplishes that.
- Regarding getting a FEMA demo at next April's APRE Conference: FEMA is
planning to adopt CAP this coming September, so presumably by next April
we will all have already been required to have purchased the new EAS/CAP
equipment. However, I would certainly encourage everyone on the list to
request that their State Broadcasters Association or SBE Chapter that
may be sponsoring an upcoming engineering seminar to invite vendors and
"EAS experts" to give presentations.
Gary Timm, Broadcast Chair
Wisconsin EAS Committee
From: sbe-eas-bounces at sbe.org [mailto:sbe-eas-bounces at sbe.org] On Behalf
Of Rich Parker
Sent: Saturday, April 17, 2010 10:34 AM
To: SBE EAS Exchange - a mail list for discussion about the Emergency
AlertSystem and other emergency communication issues.
Subject: [sbe-eas] Next Gen EAS
I stopped by the FEMA/EAS/??? booth at NAB and had a quick CAP demo -
they had a software front end for producing the alerts, and a rack of
various vendors boxes a few yards away. It was very instructive to see
how each of them 'reacted' to the alert (and to hear the results).
Two things I noticed - the 'latest' version of text-to-speech was
actually quite good - a huge improvement over current NWS
implementations heard to date (the female voice in particular - the male
voice was not as good).
If I understood the explanation correctly, the T-t-S 'element' was
implemented within the the receiver itself - it wasn't clear if that was
something which could be implemented 'differently' by each manufacturer,
but if so that could be a huge 'selling point' - ie having a 'better'
voice (and one that was 'upgradeable' as T-t-S technology gets better
One suggestion I made was that either the software front end (the
originator side) or the receive side decoders should have some kind of
'local dictionary' option for applying correct pronunciation for local
As an example, in Vermont we have the town of Calais - which is
pronounced "callus" - not 'Cal-ay' as the boxes did (I had them put this
in as an alert). I have also lived in southern Kentucky where we had the
towns of Versailles (pronounced 'Ver-sales'), and down the road,
Lafayette, Tennesee (pronounced Luh - Fay- et - with the accent on the
Having some kind of way to 'fix' these would be very important. Here in
Vermont we saw a Senate candidate 'from away' being publicly ridiculed
at length for improper pronunciation of local towns. Having 'emergency
management' or others mis-pronounce these would not help their
credibility at the local level.
I think it would be great if this 'demo' could be done in the same way
that Taste of NAB or other local/regional SBE shows are done - so that
folks could see and hear what is (or might be) coming and have the
ability to add input to what they are seeing and hearing.
I find that reading about all of this is perhaps the most mind numbing
and boring tasks I've ever had to do - but seeing and hearing it at the
show was a very eye opening experience.
As planning chair for the Association of Public Radio Engineers', Public
Radio Engineering Conference, held each year on the two days before the
NAB Engineering Conference, I am also hoping very much to be able to get
those folks to set up a similar demo as part of our program next April.
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