Screaming TV’s And Radios: It’s Not Just For Weather Alerts Anymore

Last Sunday night, we were watching TV like any other night. I should note that the weather outside was completely calm and anything but frightful. Then, all of a sudden, the sound that I thought was strictly reserved for weather events went off. Sorry I had to use a shitty Youtube video that was taken over by an alert, but when the “how will the alert tone sound” link on the AlertReady page doesn’t seem to trigger, I don’t have much choice.

Anyway, it went off and went off. Apparently, if you had Shaw or Cogeco cable, it made the noise, displayed the message and spoke it. But Rogers only had the noise and the visual. I am getting the sense that maybe if I had SAP turned on, like the Described video thing, it might have spoken, but we don’t have it on.

Since this would not go away, we turned on a CBC Radio channel, and finally got the scoop that no, the world wasn’t about to explode, but there was an Amber Alert out on a kidlet who was last seen being dragged into a car.

This chain of events has taught me several things:

  • a. I didn’t know that noise was used for more than weather, but now I know.
  • b. I didn’t know Rogers didn’t auto-broadcast the sound half of the equation.
  • c. People are dicks, getting annoyed that they couldn’t watch their precious show. A kid is potentially being abducted!
  • and finally,

  • d. The little dude was never abducted, he was getting dragged into his own family’s car.

So I have learned a lot. I’m just glad we thought quick enough to switch on the radio. Some of my blind friends made many frantic phone calls and had to wait for the news stories about angry dickheads that missed their precious show before they knew why their TV’s were beeping.

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1 Comment

  1. I couldn’t believe it when I saw people complaining on the news that the alert wrecked their enjoyment of a TV show. Like seriously, fuck off. Would you be saying the same thing if it were for your own kid?

    But one of the complaints I’ve heard a few people make is valid. Why do we need to use that same obnoxious tone for missing child alerts? For weather alerts I totally get it. You’re basically being told to take cover or that you might have to take cover soon. You can make a case for waking up everyone in your house with that loud, awful sound because obviously, they’re coming with you if you have to clear out. But on the other hand, the baby I just spent hours settling down and putting to bed doesn’t know who took the abducted kid, so why do we need to blast him with pants shitting emergency tones? Thanks, CRTC. Now I’m going to miss even more hours of desperately needed sleep to settle him again. There’s no reason I can think of for why we need those tones in these cases. Put a crawl on the screen, break in for the audible announcements and leave it at that.

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