OTA, Cable, Satellite, IPTV, and streaming services are all going to have to be compliant, with specialty and PPV channels also being affected. Certain smaller TV operations have until 2016 to get on board.
Canada has needed this for many decades, so this is great to see.
But that's the US. I'm not sure how or when or what time these new alerts will be broadcast or what day of the month, but I'm assuming at least once in the Morning/Afternoon and once in the evening once they get going.
It's too bad that most OTA transmitters in my area, including Toronto and Hamilton, have no emergency back up power. If a true emergency hit that impacted power, these messages won't get out. As it stands now, the CN Tower in Toronto loses electricity for at least an hour several times per year...
Many years ago, I took a tour of the CFRB transmitter, located in the Clarkson area of Mississauga. They could run on diesel power, but at a reduced power level (10 KW, instead of the usual 50 KW, IIRC).
If a true emergency hit that took out power, people wouldn't be able to turn on a TV to see alerts anyway. Radio is a lot more useful in an emergency situation.
That's what happened in Ontario 11 years ago, and also what happened here in Fredericton during Arthur earlier this year. Course, in the case of Fredericton most of the radio stations have minimal staff and didn't really provide any information anyway, but the infrastructure kept working.
Today's flat panel TVs (especially the smallest ones) can easily run for long periods from a UPS, from a generator, or from a vehicle with an inverter. Laptops with OTA tuner sticks can also run without hydro on their own battery or using any of the above methods. Since almost every TV sold in Canada since about 2007 has an ATSC (OTA) tuner in it, if the person's Cable or Satellite service is out the TV can be set to scan for OTA stations during and after an emergency. For the majority of Canadians (those who live in large urban areas) it will be possible to receive OTA stations if those stations are in operation.
My point is that a truly prepared home will include one or all of the above in their emergency plans, along with a radio.
A "truly prepared home" does not describe most of the homes in Canada, and even in the ones that are prepared, worrying about powering a TV isn't exactly high on most people's list.
TV alerts are useful, but they're not as important in blackout conditions as radio ones are. (In non blackout conditions, they're great.)
During the blackout here this summer, many people had no power for going on a week. Virtually the entire city was out for a day. Even the land line phones went down in areas. Wasn't easy to get more gas. You'd be very hard pressed to have found someone who was worried about having enough emergency power to run their TV.
power outages are usually the aftermath of some event and the least of worries when it comes to getting emergency alerts out there, whatever caused it already happened.
Point is to be able to get the message out there before or while something occurs, whatever that may be.
No one wants to be caught driving around with a flat spare tire in the trunk...or having a generator that doesn't even run.