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Emergency Alerts on TV Screens

Boot Camp feature for Tuesday, June 3, 2003

Bringing emergency alerts to TV screens. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. If you happen to have your TV tuned to just about any one of the networks, it isn't unusual to see warnings at the bottom of the screen about weather emergencies or other news bulletins. But what if your TV is off, or you are watching a DVD or videotape? Thomson RCA will be out with new TVs this summer that incorporate what the company calls Alert Guard. Product planning manager Bruce Schaffer...

"We actually have an independent tuner that's built into the TV, so we're receiving the actual local broadcast at all times. And whether the TV is on or off or regardless of the video source, this thing is monitoring that and you can tailor that so that you can get messages specific to your area that would alert you however you'd like to be alerted."

With lights or warnings signals even when the TV is off. Those alerts could come from weather or emergency management government agencies...

"It allows them to get information quickly to the public and it is covering all sorts of natural events, like weather related events, but also man made events. A chemical spill, a nuclear power plant disaster, anything like that that could affect the public, they're able to get that information out almost instantaneously over that network."

The TVs with the Alert Guard technology will start at about 300 dollars for a 20 inch model and go up from there. It's a new twist to the weather alert radios that have been sold for years. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.