Japanese tech firm NEC, in collaboration with the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and the state-run broadcasting company People?s Television Network (PTV), has built and conducted a field trial for a disaster information system enabling the provision of disaster-related information through the use of terrestrial digital broadcasting.
Aiming to mitigate typhoon damage, the field trial utilized PTV?s broadcasting network to send information from a cloud-based disaster information system built by NEC for the OCD to those who could access approximately 30 televisions installed in around 20 government agencies.
The OCD is now proceeding with plans for full-scale introduction of this disaster information system across the country.
?This system uses emergency warning signals to automatically switch on televisions and 1seg receivers that are in standby mode to provide evacuation and other disaster-related information through not only video footage and captions but also datacasting services,? said Tooru Watanabe, general manager for broadcast and media division at NEC Corporation.
?This unprecedented field trial demonstrated the linking of datacasting via terrestrial digital broadcasting with an emergency warning system equipped with an automatic receiver-switch-on function.?
In cooperation with Japan Radio Company, sirens and speaker stations linked to PTV?s broadcasting network were also installed as part of the system to enable voice announcements and siren alerts as an alternative means for conveying information to local residents during emergencies.
The Philippines is one of 17 countries to have adopted the Japanese standard for digital television (ISDB-T).
Presently, the Philippine government is actively pursuing the establishment of a nationwide digital broadcasting system, with broadcasting companies also working hand-in-hand with the government to build the necessary broadcasting infrastructure.
The Japanese digital broadcasting platform is equipped with a function for utilizing the emergency warning system to promptly transmit disaster information over a wide area.
A disaster information system that makes use of this function would therefore be of substantial benefit to the Philippines, which is prone to natural disasters and experienced massive damage during Typhoon Haiyan (known in the Philippines as Typhoon Yolanda) in November 2013.
This disaster information system field trial in the Philippines was conducted as a result of the signing of a memorandum of cooperation among Japan?s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), and PTV in November 2014.
Once the memorandum was signed, PTV began trial broadcasts mainly within central Manila, while NEC conducted tests for transmitting disaster information as part of the trial for this disaster information system.
In addition, NEC has supported the ongoing monitoring of volcanic and seismic activities, as well as the prompt transmission of information to relevant government agencies in the event of an earthquake, through the delivery of a wide-area disaster prevention system to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.
Going forward, NEC will proceed with the provision of a proposal for a disaster-information system utilizing terrestrial digital broadcasting based on the results of the above-mentioned field trial, as well as the pursuit of other projects related to broadcasting and disaster-prevention in the country.