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Like many people, I sometimes have the TV on "in the background" while I engage in some other activity. Many of the things you might watch this way (24 hour news, baseball games) have long periods of boring fluff, interspersed with important bits that you don't want to miss.
I'd like the channel
to have an out-of-band signal that indicates that the content about to come up is more urgent than normal. (Kind of like the URGent bit in TCP, for those of you who know about such things).
Your TV could be set by you to respond to this in a number of ways:
* Do nothing
* Raise the volume or take the set off mute
* Switch the main picture with the Picture-in-Picture if the small one is urgent
* If you are not watching at all, come off standby
If you use a DVR (i.e. TiVo), it could use this bit to skip to the good parts for you.
Suggested content for this would be:
* (Non-test) Emergency Broadcast System announcements
* Amber Alerts
* News bulletins of breaking stories
* Big plays in sports games
That last one is what made me think of this, watching a long, boring baseball game in PIP one day. It would have been nice to have the PIP automatically expand when someone got a hit. (And actually, there has been some research on automatically detecting this, see link).
Microsoft Research: Hitting the Highlights
Assuming the content is delayed a bit, this Microsoft project might handle it even for live sports. [krelnik, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]
About "Amber Alerts"
[half, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]
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||Funny, that last example is the one that would make me disable the feature completely. That also makes me think that it would need more definition than a single bit so that I could ignore the sports or breaking news if I so choose.
Oh, did I forget to say that I like the idea? Wake up on EBS broadcasts is an application I'd support.
||This is similar to the traffic alert bit of RDS. Could that be modified to suit?
mmm, just wondering what those are.
||[Pericles] - they are an alert system in the states used to notify the public of a child kidnapping. They usually give a description of the suspect and/or vehicle and run across the bottom of the tv or are posted on electronic message boards above highways... they tend to work a little bit quicker than the old side-of-the-milk-carton thing
||This can also be useful to alert everyone when god-awful fads are finally passe, like trucker hats and super-duper-let the love handles hang out-ultra low waist jeans.