Remember Jim? His Comcast cable box randomly responded to the emergency alert system (EAS) by tuning in to QVC. According to a source inside Comcast, rogue lightning strikes set off the EAS, even though there wasn’t an emergency. Two things happen when the EAS activates: the cable box switches to a local channel, and Comcast replaces the local programming with an alert. In Jim’s case, the box switched to the emergency channel—which happened to be QVC—but since there wasn’t an emergency, there was no special broadcast. So what can you do next time your cable box independently declares an emergency?
Reader Mike8813’s local ABC affiliate decided that the last minute of game 3 of the NBA Finals was a good time to conduct a monthly required test of the EAS. Whoops!