FR2736785A1 - Television programme distribution method - Google Patents

Television programme distribution method Download PDF

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Publication number
FR2736785A1
FR2736785A1 FR9508376A FR9508376A FR2736785A1 FR 2736785 A1 FR2736785 A1 FR 2736785A1 FR 9508376 A FR9508376 A FR 9508376A FR 9508376 A FR9508376 A FR 9508376A FR 2736785 A1 FR2736785 A1 FR 2736785A1
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FR
France
Prior art keywords
lt
gt
programs
sep
characterized
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Withdrawn
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FR9508376A
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French (fr)
Inventor
Alain Staron
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TELEVISION FRANCAISE 1 Ste
TELEVISION FRANCAISE 1 SOC
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SOCIETE TELEVISION FRANCAISE 1
TELEVISION FRANCAISE 1 SOC
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Priority to FR9508376A priority Critical patent/FR2736785A1/en
Publication of FR2736785A1 publication Critical patent/FR2736785A1/en
Application status is Withdrawn legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • H04N21/20Servers specifically adapted for the distribution of content, e.g. VOD servers; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/23Processing of content or additional data; Elementary server operations; Server middleware
    • H04N21/236Assembling of a multiplex stream, e.g. transport stream, by combining a video stream with other content or additional data, e.g. inserting a URL [Uniform Resource Locator] into a video stream, multiplexing software data into a video stream; Remultiplexing of multiplex streams; Insertion of stuffing bits into the multiplex stream, e.g. to obtain a constant bit-rate; Assembling of a packetised elementary stream
    • H04N21/2365Multiplexing of several video streams
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/43Processing of content or additional data, e.g. demultiplexing additional data from a digital video stream; Elementary client operations, e.g. monitoring of home network, synchronizing decoder's clock; Client middleware
    • H04N21/434Disassembling of a multiplex stream, e.g. demultiplexing audio and video streams, extraction of additional data from a video stream; Remultiplexing of multiplex streams; Extraction or processing of SI; Disassembling of packetised elementary stream
    • H04N21/4347Demultiplexing of several video streams
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/43Processing of content or additional data, e.g. demultiplexing additional data from a digital video stream; Elementary client operations, e.g. monitoring of home network, synchronizing decoder's clock; Client middleware
    • H04N21/442Monitoring of processes or resources, e.g. detecting the failure of a recording device, monitoring the downstream bandwidth, the number of times a movie has been viewed, the storage space available from the internal hard disk
    • H04N21/44213Monitoring of end-user related data
    • H04N21/44222Monitoring of user selections, e.g. selection of programs, purchase activity
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/45Management operations performed by the client for facilitating the reception of or the interaction with the content or administrating data related to the end-user or to the client device itself, e.g. learning user preferences for recommending movies, resolving scheduling conflicts
    • H04N21/4508Management of client or end-user data
    • H04N21/4532Management of client or end-user data involving end-user characteristics, e.g. viewer profile, preferences
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/45Management operations performed by the client for facilitating the reception of or the interaction with the content or administrating data related to the end-user or to the client device itself, e.g. learning user preferences for recommending movies, resolving scheduling conflicts
    • H04N21/466Learning process for intelligent management, e.g. learning user preferences for recommending movies
    • H04N21/4667Processing of monitored end-user data, e.g. trend analysis based on the log file of viewer selections
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/47End-user applications
    • H04N21/482End-user interface for program selection
    • H04N21/4821End-user interface for program selection using a grid, e.g. sorted out by channel and broadcast time
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N5/00Details of television systems
    • H04N5/44Receiver circuitry
    • H04N5/4401Receiver circuitry for the reception of a digital modulated video signal

Abstract

<P> According to the invention, the programs are transmitted as digital data by a set of channels (CH1-CHN) of a transmission path (P). The programs have a duration that is multiple of a basic time interval and are synchronized with each other. They are associated with an identifier characterizing them. The decoders (1) of the television receivers receive all the channels. A sorting is carried out at each program transition according to rules of concatenation on detection of the content of the identifier. The decoder (1) receives two other types of inputs: unconditional forcing signals and signals expressing user preferences. The decoder (1) may comprise a buffer (2) of programs for a delayed display according to the same rules and a mode going up the history of successive selections. Separate versions of the same program can be transmitted by multiple channels for multi-screen display, for example to achieve stereoscopic effect. </ P>

Description

 The invention relates to a method for broadcasting television programs with dynamic resource allocation.

 The invention also relates to a system for implementing such a method.

 In the Known Art, television channels are organized into a linear stream of programs, chained to each other, within time schedules. This state of affairs is true, as much for so-called "generalist" channels, as for so-called "thematic" channels.

 In recent years, with the proliferation of available broadcasting resources, there has also been an increase in the number of these channels. In addition, they are issued during a large time slot, or permanently.

 A priori, this state of affairs must satisfy a growing number of viewers. However, the aforementioned multiplication is not without inducing pernicious effects.

 As examples, the channels are becoming more and more "targeted", which makes the realization of the programs more and more difficult. Indeed, it is easy to understand that the production of programs of this type is difficult.

The economy of these channels is precarious: cost of production unchanged, revenue base (that is to say the number of viewers) down and marketing difficult to achieve. A consumer is generally tired of the same type of program issued 24 hours a day. Finally, we note that the so-called "flagship" programs, which contribute to the reputation of a given channel, are actually found on several other channels.

 The invention aims to overcome the difficulties of the diffusion systems of the Known Art, some of which have just been recalled.

 To do this, it takes advantage of the new possibilities offered by digital data transmission.

 According to the invention, the set of a transmitted digital data stream is considered as a whole within which the programs are organized in a regular manner. The allocation of the theme-based dissemination resource is dynamic, in particular according to the time of day and the estimated needs of the consumers, that is to say viewers.

 The subject of the invention is therefore a method for broadcasting television programs comprising, on transmission, the transmission in the form of digital data, by at least two channels of determined bandwidth of a multichannel transmission channel, a succession of television programs, in reception, this set of programs being picked up by a plurality of television receivers, characterized in that the duration of each of said programs is equal to a time interval of determined elementary duration or to an integer multiple of said time interval, in that said programs are synchronized with each other in time, so that the transitions, from one program to the next, coincide with said time intervals of elementary duration, in that each program is associated with a digital identification signal characterizing it, in that a set of selection rules is recorded in each of said television receivers and in that, under the control of this set of selection rules, at each of said transitions, a sorting step is carried out leading to the selection, synchronously, of one of said transmitted programs, on detection of said digital identification signals.

 The invention further relates to a television program broadcasting system implementing this method.

The invention will be better understood and other features and advantages will appear on reading the description which follows with reference to the appended figures, and among which:
- Figure 1 illustrates the program transmission grid according to the
method of the invention;
FIG. 2 schematically illustrates an exemplary architecture of
television program broadcasting system according to the invention;
- Figure 3 illustrates how each program is identified;
FIG. 4 illustrates a detail of the architecture of the system of FIG. 2;
- Figure 5 illustrates two examples of program sequencing
a grid, according to the method of the invention;
FIG. 6 illustrates a particular mode of transmission of
programs by digital data blocks, according to a variant of the
process according to the invention;
FIG. 7 illustrates a variant of the system according to the invention authorizing
display on multiple television screens;
FIG. 8 illustrates the method of transmitting programs in the
variant embodiment according to FIG. 7;
FIG. 9a is a table illustrating the coding of the identifier
associated with a specific program;
FIG. 9b illustrates the binary coding of this identifier.

 To fix the ideas, without being limiting in any way whatsoever of the scope of the invention, we will consider that the bit rate offered by the transmission channel, for example by satellite, is 200 Mbits / s. This rate offers the possibility of simultaneously transmitting 40 television programs with a bandwidth of 5 Mbps each.

 According to a first characteristic of the method of the invention, each program is formatted for a modular duration of time: for example in multiples of 15 minutes, that is to say 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 1 , 5/4, 6/4, 7/4 or 2 hours. If necessary, these programs can be "dressed" to fit in one of these pre-established durations.

 According to a second characteristic of the method of the invention, forty programs are transmitted in parallel synchronously, and, more generally, N programs with N integer equal to the number of simultaneous channels possible. This number N depends on the overall maximum rate of the transmission channel and that required to broadcast each program.

 According to a further characteristic of the method of the invention, these programs are organized into distinct themes, for example the themes that will be called, for purposes of simplification "A" to "Z", it being understood that the number of themes, if it remains reasonable in practice, is not limited.

 FIG. 1 schematically illustrates the configuration of a program schedule broadcast according to the method of the invention.

 This figure shows a time scale t with an arbitrary time origin to. Indeed, according to a preferred embodiment of the invention, the programs are broadcast continuously.

It is also assumed, as a first step, that the transmission channel comprises N channels (for example 40), each carrying a series of modules synchronized with each other and during an elementary time interval T. An entire program is associated with a given theme : games, sports, news, etc., and lasts one or more elementary time intervals. For example, the channel
CHI broadcasts three successive series shows, the newscast, and a magazine, each of which is of T-duration, ie the T1, T2, and T3 time slots. The CHN channel broadcasts a game play of duration 2xT (time slots T1 and T2) and a film beginning at the time interval T3 and of duration at least equal to two time intervals T (in FIG. 1).

 The entire program grid therefore has a matrix configuration, the columns being (in the example described) channels and the lines of the time slots.

 FIG. 2 schematically illustrates an exemplary architecture of a broadcasting system according to the invention.

 It is assumed that the television signals are transmitted by an ETV television transmitter and are broadcast by a transmission channel VT of a given maximum capacity, for example 200 Mbits / s as recalled. This is divided into N channels CHI to CHN according to the bandwidth necessary for each channel, for example 40 channels. The television signals are encoded in digital form and received by a set of Tv televisions. These include, in particular, a decoder 1 to which all the received signals, that is to say all the channels CH1 to CHN, are transmitted. Following a processing of these received signals, which will be detailed below, they will be either displayed on the screen 3 of the TV TV, or transmitted by the link 20 to a buffer 2.Naturally this display and / or this storage concerns only a part of the signals received, this selectively and in a sequence obeying rules specified below.

 The system according to the invention also comprises a remote control 5, in itself conventional, but which can also be used with advantage in the context of the invention.

 Finally, according to a variant of the invention, the system may also include a modem 4 receiving, connected on the one hand, via the link 40, to the decoder 1, on the other hand, via a telephone line 41 to the transmitter center ETV television programs.

 In FIG. 1, only the elements strictly necessary for a good understanding of the invention have been shown. In particular, the conventional HF reception devices of the television Tv, or the reception antenna or the interface elements in a cable network have not been shown. These elements are common to the prior art and do not need to be described further.

 In reality, instead of considering the flow of information arriving at the decoder 1 as "physical transmission channels", it is appropriate to consider them as a set of programs or "products", organized according to the grid of FIG. 'ie, according to an organization "time-bandwidth". The product of these two parameters defines a quantity of information and more precisely of data, since the transmission is carried out in digital mode.

 Figures 3 and 4 illustrate this arrangement.

 According to an important aspect of the method according to the invention, the decoder 1 selects, on the one hand, a "product" from the N products of the set P (FIG. 3: "product 1" to "product N5") and, on the other hand, at each program transition (see grid of Figure 1), the decoder 1 connects to another program, from the same channel or another channel.

 To do this, the decoder 1, in a preferred embodiment of the invention, receives three types of inputs, as shown more particularly in FIG. 4.

 First, simultaneously with the broadcast of a program or product, the system also disseminates service data, including an identifier Id, which will be called hereinafter "cartridge". The latter advantageously comprises two parts, a first part which will be called "vocabulary" data and a second part which will be called "semantic" data.

 By way of example, the first part identifies the type of program: "film", "reportage", etc., and the second part relates to characteristics such as "theme", "actors", etc.

More specifically, an exemplary codification that can be used for the "cartridge" has been represented by Tables I to IX at the end of the present description. These tables I to IX relate to the "TYPE" of emission (TABLE I), to the "GENRE" of the emission (TABLE II), to the "THEME" and to the "SPECIFICITY" of this theme (TABLE III), the "TARGET" referred to (TABLE IV), the "DURATION" of the broadcast (TABLE V), the "FREQUENCY OF BROADCAST" (TABLE VI), the "IMAGE TECHNIQUE" used (TABLE VII), the "TECHNIQUE SON" used (TABLE VIII), and the "LANGUAGE OF
DISSEMINATION "(TABLE IX).

 For the sake of clarity, an exemplary coding of a particular program is illustrated by the table of Figure 9a. In this case, it is a film (code TYl), of the genre "Comedy" (code GE2), theme based on the "war" (code TH2).

 There is no specificity of the theme. In this case, an associated code "SPO" is used.

The target audience is "the whole family" (CII code). This is a "feature film" (code DU 1), broadcast "one [only] time" (code FR1). It is finally a "color film" (code
TI2), broadcast in "monophonie" (TSI code) and in "French version" (code LA2).

 The binary coding of the corresponding "cartridge" Id is illustrated in Figure 9b. In addition to the codes shown in the table of FIG. 9a, the sequence of binary words representing the "cartridge Id" furthermore comprises a binary word of header H at the beginning of "cartridge", a binary end word F, preceded by a binary error correction code Cer The usual transmission techniques can be implemented: redundancy, error detection, error detection and correction, etc., depending on the degree of security sought.

The decoder 1 has R rules, which may be called syntax, which specify a sequence of natural sequence, each transition, programs or products, depending on their content. We can assimilate the whole to a "sentence"
Ph of "words" PA to PG (FIG. 4), which are displayed sequentially on the screen 3.

 Figure 5 illustrates two examples of possible sequence of programs, starting from those presented on the grid of Figure 1.

 According to the first example, illustrated by arrows in solid lines, the following sequence of programs is displayed on the screen 3: "Youth" (time interval T1-CH3 channel), "TV Journal" (time interval T2-channel Cl1), "Film" (time intervals T1 to Trcanal CHN).

 According to the second example, illustrated by arrows in broken lines, the following sequence of programs is displayed on the screen 3: "Series" "(time interval T1-channel CH1)," Games "" (time interval T2- CH2 channel), "TV shopping" (time interval T3-channel CH2).

 The rules R chain programs are recorded in the decoder 1 or in an auxiliary circuit that controls, for example in a first memory area provided for this purpose. They are or can be influenced and / or modified by the two other types of inputs, which will be described below.

 Naturally, according to this first series of rules, the linking of one program to another, that is to say a commutation, whether or not the system remains on the same "physical" transmission channel, can not be used. perform only at the moment of transitions. It is the arrival of the aforementioned cartridge that will trigger a comparison with the rules recorded in the decoder 1 and cause a choice between the various programs starting at this time.

 The circuits allowing this comparison can be constituted by conventional electronic circuits, sequential and / or combinatory. They may also be constituted, in a preferred embodiment by registered program signal processing circuits, for example based on a commercial microprocessor, given that the majority of modern televisions and decoders are already provided with such organs for performing various functions outside the scope of the invention.

 Furthermore, it should be clear that, as the discontinuous lines in FIGS. 1 and 5 suggest, the actual transitions for a given transmission are only at the beginning and at the end of this transmission. Indeed, this one can last several elementary time intervals, according to the modular organization previously indicated. For example, the transitions of the "Sport" program (channel CH3) are performed at the beginning of the time interval T2 and at the end of the time interval T3.

 The second type of inputs influencing the choice of the sequence of programs selected for display is constituted by a parameter under the control of the consumer, that is to say the owner or user of the television set Tv. We can call this parameter G or "taste" of the consumer. It is also data advantageously recorded in the decoder or an auxiliary circuit which controls it, for example in a second memory area. They can be developed directly by the user himself. To do this, it can, for example, use the remote control 5 (Figure 2) and enter data guiding the choices to be made, depending in particular on the type of broadcast and the hours of the day.

 Another way to obtain these data of "taste" G, which can be described as indirect, would be to use a history of choices made over a period of time. It is also possible to implement a learning system. This development of control data can be performed under the control of stored program information processing circuitry, including a commercial microprocessor coupled to a program memory.

 Finally, a third type of input relates to control signals f that can be called "forcing".

 These can be under the direct control of the user. It may, for example, have recourse to the remote control 5 to force unconditional switching from one program to another, whether or not at the time of a transition between programs. It is therefore an asynchronous switching, unlike switching due to the application of R selection rules. These signals are also priority.

 The system can be considered as operating in "manual" mode.

 The forcing signals f0 could also be conveyed by the transmission channels, on the initiative of the transmitting station ETV, for example to force all the active television sets to display an emergency or service message.

 It is the combination of these three sources of control data or inputs that allows the linking of the aforementioned programs. More specifically, there is interactivity between these types of inputs, especially between the first two types.

 However, it is conceivable that the memory area registering the concatenation rules is modified and updated, periodically or not, by particular forcing data fO, directly transmitted by the transmitter, on one or more channels.

 In this regard, according to a variant of the method of the invention, a particular channel, of reduced bandwidth, for example, could transmit all the service information, including Id identifiers ("cartridges").

 In order to elaborate a set of logical sequence rules for programs that meet the expectations of viewers, and moreover to develop the program schedule, of which Figures 1 and 5 schematically illustrate an example, it is necessary to know the tastes of the viewers. that is to say, lastly, the choices they make most often.

 To do this various methods exist. We know conventional methods of "audimat", by polls with viewers. These methods are especially suited to diffusion methods according to the prior art, for which the choices made are purely "manual": use of the remote control or the control panel of the television to change channels.

 These methods are poorly adapted to the method of the invention, given that the selection of programs and their sequencing is carried out essentially dynamically and, most often, without direct intervention of the viewer.

 Also, according to a preferred embodiment, as illustrated in Figure 1, the system is provided with a modem 4. The actual programming, that is to say the history of the programs displayed on the screen resulting from the automatic application of the recorded sequence rules (FIG. 4, R inputs) of forcing commands (manual inputs) (remote control) or originating from the system is recorded in a memory zone of the decoder or an auxiliary circuit provided for this purpose.

 Then, according to a predefined period or on call of the ETV transmission station, via the link 40, the modem 4 and an ordinary telephone line, the information is sent back to this station for further processing. Preferably, the connections will be made during off-peak hours, at low rates, for example at night. If the feedback is made on the initiative of the ETV station, it can be initiated by the reception of service signals, transmitted by all or part of the channels or by a dedicated channel.

 By a statistical treatment of the information received from all or part of the various television viewers can be learned and in particular the most watched shows (audience), the most frequent sequences, etc. From these statistical data, new syntax rules can be developed and a dynamic modification of the syntax rules recorded in the decoders or the additional organs of memory can be initialized. As previously indicated, it is sufficient, for this purpose, to transmit, by all or part of the channels or a dedicated channel, service signals received by all televisions. These will update the saved rules. Naturally the service signals must be perceived as such. It is necessary that they be associated with a specific identifier or code recognized by the decoder 1.

 Of course, the method which has just been described remains compatible with more traditional methods of measuring audience. The information collected in this way can be combined with that collected by the modems 4.

 According to a complementary aspect of the method of the invention, it is also possible to display the programs offline. To do this, it is sufficient to have, as illustrated in Figure 1, a program buffer 2, communicating with the decoder 1 via the link 20. It may be a VCR.

 According to one aspect of the invention, it receives all channels, CH1 to CHN. It also has an interface member 10 with the program buffer 2, in particular for sorting according to the criteria detailed below.

 Indeed, different options are available.

 According to a first embodiment, the buffer memory 2 can record all or part of the programs transmitted by the different channels during one or more time slots. The actual selection of programs and their sequence can then be carried out a posteriori, according to the method of the invention, that is to say by application of the rules of syntax and / or forcing control signals (remote control). The program modules are displayed at this time on the screen 3, according to the chosen sequence. The video signals are retransmitted to the decoder 1 by the link 20 and return by the sorting circuit 10. This is done according to the recorded syntax rules. Alternatively, the buffer memory can communicate directly with the display screen, the link 20 carrying only program selection control signals to be displayed.

 Advantageously, this mode of operation will be used more particularly when there are residual transmission capacities, in other words when the transmission channels of the VT channel are not all occupied, at least by programs known as " normal ". The programs transmitted by the additional channels are then stored in the user for a delayed display, always in accordance with the method of the invention, that is to say according to pre-established syntax rules or possibly by application of forcing commands ( remote control).

 According to a variant of this mode, a given channel is recorded in the buffer memory, for example by forcing the sorting circuits 10 by action on the remote control 5. This provision makes it possible, in particular, to display one or more programs transmitted simultaneously to a remote control. other program displayed live, according to the normal rules concatenation. Indeed, as has been indicated, it is naturally not possible to chain two programs transmitted simultaneously or partially overlapping in time.

 For example, if we refer again to Figure 5, the sequence ["Youth" or "TV News" or "Movie"] does not allow viewing the program "Games" (interval of time T2) CH2 channel or the emission "Sport" (time intervals T2-T3) channel CH3.

 The method of the invention, in this variant, allows a "back in time". It suffices, for example, to chain the program stored temporarily in the buffer 2, either after the "Movie" (time intervals T3 to TX), or instead of this last transmission, by action on the remote control 5 or by any other type of conventional control appropriate.

 According to a second embodiment, sorting is performed a priori, always in accordance with the syntax rules recorded. In other words, only the programs of the selected sequence are recorded.

 Whatever the embodiment or variants considered, the live display of incoming programs must naturally be inhibited during the delayed display of stored programs.

 Until now, it has been considered that each program, or module, is transmitted by a single channel, of a priori constant bandwidth. However, the method of the invention, particularly if an electronic buffer is involved, allows greater flexibility, given that the transmission is of the digital type.

 In a preferred embodiment, the transmission of the programs is in the form of blocks containing a quantity of data determined in particular by the duration of this program, for a given standard.

 Figure 6 schematically illustrates an example of this configuration.

 For the purpose of simplification, it has been assumed in this FIG. 6 that the transmission path has a bandwidth equivalent to three physical channels, CH1 to CH3.

 Four modules B1 to B4 have also been represented, each corresponding to a program, in the direction given in FIGS. 1 or 5. More precisely, in the example described, the module B1 has a duration of three elementary time intervals ( T1 to T3) and has a width of two channels (CHI-CH2) during the time interval T1 and a channel (CHI) during the following time intervals (T2-T3). The module B2 lasts two time intervals (Tl-T2) over the width of a channel (CH3). The module B3 lasts one time interval (T2) over the width of a channel (CH3) and the module B4 lasts one time interval (T3) over the width of two channels (CH2-CH3).

 The blocks must naturally remain synchronized with each other.

 Variations of the diffusion method according to the invention allow other applications.

 A first variant, schematically illustrated in FIG. 7, makes it possible to display multi-screen games or similar displays. In this figure 7, there is shown two screens, 3 'and 3 ", it being understood that the method is not limited to this number.

 Figure 8 illustrates an example of broadcasting programs according to this variant. The modular aspect is naturally preserved over time. It has been assumed that three successive programs each occupy an elementary time interval T. According to this variant, each program is multiplied over several transmission channels, for example CH1 and CH2, while remaining synchronized with each other. In other words, there are two or more variants of the same program, transmitted by separate channels. Naturally, this variant remains compatible with the block transmission (see FIG. 6).

In the example illustrated, there is shown the succession of three programs A, B and C at time intervals T1, T2 and T3, on the transmission channel CH1, and associated split programs, A ', B' and C ' , on the canal
CH2.

 The decoder 1 operates as before. Only a particular identifier, associated with programs of this type, indicates that two or more channels must be selected. It is not necessary for these programs to be broadcast on contiguous channels.

Assuming that the programs A and A 'are selected, the contents thereof are then displayed on the two screens, 3' and 3 ", respectively, which the local installation Tv has as an alternative (not shown). ,
The display could be made on two separate areas of the same screen.

 In addition to this feature, the decoder 1 operates identically to what has been previously described. In particular, the programs will be chained according to the pre-recorded rules and / or the control of forcing signals. As examples, after the programs A-A ', the decoder can select programs BB' or a "normal" program, that is to say single channel, on another channel, or other programs multiplied , on two other channels (or more, depending on the case).

 Although not shown, a buffer memory can naturally be associated with the decoder 1, as well as a modem 4.

 In the case of a "game" application, the remote control 5 can be advantageously used interactively, the modem, for its part, allowing the feedback of information (actions of the remote control, for example) to a central site.

 According to a second variant of the method, each program is also transmitted by two distinct channels. By this arrangement, it becomes possible to display the images stereoscopically, one of the channels being intended for the right vision, the other for the left vision. This variant naturally remains fully compatible with the teaching of the invention. It is again sufficient to associate a particular identifier with the programs to be associated two by two. The receiving system has the choice of accepting only one channel ("normal" vision) or two channels (stereoscopic vision). The sequences are carried out according to the usual rules and can concern indifferently stereoscopic programs or not.

 In these two variants, the recorded rules can integrate the parameter "stereoscopy", especially taking into account that the local installation T'v allows this mode of operation or not.

 Finally, according to another variant, it is possible to display a mosaic of programs on one screen or several screens, by selecting several channels.

 From the foregoing, it is easy to see that the invention achieves the goals it has set for itself.

 It should be clear, however, that the invention is not limited to the only examples of embodiments precisely described, particularly in relation to FIGS. 1 to 8.

 In particular, the method of the invention remains compatible with the reception of programs in a conventional mode. It is sufficient, for example, to provide a reception forcing command in this mode. Switching from one mode to another can be done simply by using the remote control 4.

 In this case, the "conventional" programs can advantageously be broadcast simultaneously to the programs broadcast according to the method of the invention, on one or more channels reserved for this purpose in the P transmission path.

TABLE I

Figure img00140001

<tb><SEP> Code <SEP> TYPE
<tb> TY1 <SEP> Movie
<tb> TY2 <SEP> Magazine
<tb> TY3 <SEP> Report
<tb> TY4 <SEP> Event
<tb> TY5 <SEP> Theater
<tb> TY6 <SEP> Entertainment
<tb> TY7 <SEP>"Talk<SEP>Show"
<tb> TY8 <SEP> Tips
<tb> TY9 <SEP> Teleshopping
<Tb>
TABLE II

Figure img00140002

<tb><SEP> Code <SEP> GENRE
<tb> GEl <SEP> Adventure-Action <SEP>
<tb> GE2 <SEP> Comedy
<tb> GE3 <SEP> Comedy <SEP> musical
<tb> GE4 <SEP> Romance <SEP> Melodrama
<tb> GE5 <SEP> Fantastic
<tb> GE6 <SEP> Drawing <SEP> Animated
<tb> TABLE III

Figure img00140003

<tb> Code <SEP> Principal <SEP> I <SEP> Code <SEP> Specific <SEP> THEME <SEP> SPECIFICITY
<tb><SEP> TH1 <SEP> 7 <SEP> History
<tb><SEP> TH2 <SEP> War
<tb><SEP> TH3 <SEP> Company
<tb><SEP> TH4 <SEP> Policeman
<tb><SEP> TH5 <SEP> Sport
<tb><SEP> TH501 <SEP> Football
<tb><SEP> TH502 <SEP> Rugby
<tb><SEP> TH503 <SEP> Ski
<tb><SEP> TH504 <SEP> Tennis
<tb><SEP> TH6 <SEP> Catastrophe
<tb><SEP> TH7 <SEP>"Western"
<tb><SEP> TH8 <SEP> Erotic
<tb><SEP> TH9 <SEP> Music
<tb><SEP> TH901 <SEP> Classic
<tb><SEP> TH902 <SEP> Jazz
<tb><SEP> TH903 <SEP> Folklore
<tb><SEP> TH904 <SEP> Varieties
<Tb>
TABLE IV

Figure img00150001

<tb><SEP> Code <SEP> TARGET
<tb> CL1 <SEP> Any <SEP> the <SEP> family
<tb> CL2 <SEP> +16 <SEP> years old
<tb> CL3 <SEP> +12 <SEP> years old
<tb> CL4 <SEP> Children
<Tb>
TABLE V

Figure img00150002

<tb><SEP> Code <SEP> HARD <SEP> E
<tb> DU1 <SEP> Long <SEP> Footage
<tb> DU2 <SEP> Medium <SEP> Footage
<tb> DU3 <SEP> Short <SEP> Footage
<Tb>
TABLE VI

Figure img00150003

<tb><SEP> Code <SEP> FREQUENCY <SEP> FROM <SEP> DIFFUSION
<tb> FR1 <SEP> One <SEP> times
<tb> FR2 <SEP> Daily
<tb> FR3 <SEP> Weekly
<tb> FR4 <SEP> Monthly
<Tb>
TABLE VII

Figure img00150004

<tb><SEP> Code <SEP> TECHNICAL <SEP> IMAGE
<tb> Movie <SEP> Black <SEP> and <SEP> White
<tb> TI2 <SEP> Movie <SEP> Color
<tb> TI3 <SEP> Video <SEP> Black <SEP> and <SEP> White
<tb> TI4 <SEP> Video <SEP> Color
<Tb>
TABLE VIII

Figure img00150005

<tb><SEP> Code <SEP> TECHNICAL <SEP> SOUND
<tb> TS1 <SEP> Monophonic
<tb> TS2 <SEP> Stereophony <SEP> simple
<tb> TS3 <SEP>"Dolby<SEP>surround"
<tb> TS4 <SEP> Dolby <SEP> Professional
<Tb>
TABLE IX

Figure img00150006

<tb><SEP> Code <SEP> LANGUAGE <SEP> DE <SEP> DIFFUSION
<tb> LA1 <SEP> rr <SEP> Version <SEP> Original
<tb> LA2 <SEP> Version <SEP> English
<tb> LA3 <SEP> VO <SEP> Subtitled
<Tb>

Claims (18)

  1.  A method of broadcasting television programs comprising, on transmission (ETV), the transmission in the form of digital data, by at least two channels (CH 1 -CHN) of determined bandwidth of a transmission path (P ) multichannel, a succession of television programs; in reception, this set of programs being picked up by a plurality of television receivers (Tv), characterized in that the duration of each of said programs is equal to a time interval of determined elementary duration (T) or to an integer multiple of this time interval, in that said programs are synchronized with each other in time, so that the transitions, from one program to the next, coincide with said time intervals of elementary duration (T1 -Tx), in that that each program is associated with a digital identification signal (Id) characterizing it, in that a set of selection rules (R) is recorded in each of said television receivers (Tv) and in that, under the control from this set of selection rules (R), at each of said transitions, a sorting step is carried out leading to the selection, synchronously, of one of said transmitted programs, on detection detected by ts digital identification signals (Id).
  2.  2. Method according to claim 1, characterized in that said identifier (Id) comprises two zones, the first zone (VOC) relating to information of the nature of said programs and the second zone (Sem) to information relating to the content. of these.
  3.  3. Method according to claim 1, characterized in that said selection step is performed under the control of so-called forcing signals (fO) allowing the asynchronous selection of one of said programs outside said set of registered selection rules. (R), said forcing signals (fO) having priority over this set of registered selection rules.
  4.  4. Method according to any one of claims 1 to 3, characterized in that it comprises an additional step of recording a history of the selections of programs successively carried out and their sequences, so as to constitute a set of rules so-called "preference" (G), and in that it comprises a step of dynamically updating said set of registered selection rules (R) by the so-called "preference" rules (G).
  5.  5. Method according to any one of claims 1 to 5, characterized in that said diffusion comprises the simultaneous transmission, on at least one of said channels (CHl-CHN), of particular control signals for dynamically updating said set of saved selection rules (R).
  6.  6. Method according to claim 5, characterized in that it comprises the transmission back to a transmission center (ETV) of said television programs, signals conveying said history, so as to develop from the historical received , new selection rules and transmit them in the form of said particular control signals for said dynamic update.
  7.  7. Method according to any one of claims 1 to 6, characterized in that it comprises a step of direct display on at least one television screen (3) of the sequence (Ph) of successively selected programs.
  8.  8. Method according to any one of claims 1 to 6, characterized in that it comprises a step of storing in a buffer memory (2) at least a portion of the successively selected programs of said sequence, for a delayed display on at least one television screen (3).
  9.  9. The method of claim 8, characterized in that, the amount of transmitted data associated with each of said programs being proportional to the product of the bandwidth of the channels (CHl-CHN) by the duration of said program, the programs are transmitted under data block form (B1 -B4) occupying at least the width of one of said channels (CHI-CHN) and of duration at least equal to one of said elementary duration time intervals (T), in that said blocks of data are synchronized with each other in time, so that the transitions, from one block to the next, coincide with said time intervals of elementary duration (T1 -T3), in that said selection of a program consists of selecting a block (B1 -B4) and in that said blocks are recorded in said buffer memory (2) before displaying on at least one of said television screens (3).
  10.  10. Method according to any one of claims 1 to 8, characterized in that each of said programs comprises a first version (A, B, C) transmitted by a first transmission channel (CHI) and at least a second version (A ', B', C ') transmitted by a second transmission channel (CH2), these versions being synchronized with each other in time, so that the transitions, from one program to the next, coincide with said intervals time of elementary duration (T1-T3).
  11.  11. Method according to claim 9, characterized in that each of said blocks (B1-B4) comprises a first version (A, B, C) transmitted by a first transmission channel (CHI) and, at least, a second version ( A ', B', C ') transmitted by a second transmission channel (CH2), these versions being synchronized with each other in time, so that the transitions, from one program to the next, coincide with said intervals of time of elementary duration (T1 -T3).
  12.  12. Method according to one of claims 10 or 11, characterized in that said versions are displayed on separate television screens (3, 3 ').
  13.  13. The method of claim 12, characterized in that said first and second versions are intended to achieve a stereoscopic display, the first version being relative to the right vision and the second to the left vision.
  14.  14. Method according to one of claims 10 or 11, characterized in that said versions are displayed on separate areas of the same television screen (3).
  15.  15. System for implementing the method according to any one of the preceding claims, comprising at least one television screen (3, 3'-3 ") for displaying said transmitted programs and a decoder (1), characterized in that it comprises means for recording said sets of rules and in that, said decoder (1) receiving all the transmitted channels (P), it comprises means for sorting said programs controlled by said rules (R) of so as to make successive selections in synchronism with said program transitions and a sequence thereof, according to the rules (R).
  16.  16. The system of claim 15, characterized in that it further comprises a remote control (5) for forced switching from one program to another, asynchronously.
  17.  17. System according to one of claims 15 or 16, characterized in that it further comprises a buffer memory (2) for recording all or part of the programs received, for a delayed display on at least one of said television screens (3).
  18.  18. System according to claim 15, further comprising a modem connected to a telephone line for said transmission back to said program transmission center. television (and), said signals conveying the history.
FR9508376A 1995-07-11 1995-07-11 Television programme distribution method Withdrawn FR2736785A1 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

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Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
FR9508376A FR2736785A1 (en) 1995-07-11 1995-07-11 Television programme distribution method

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Country Link
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Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB2210526A (en) * 1987-09-29 1989-06-07 Gold Star Co Apparatus for controlling video or audio equipment
WO1992011713A1 (en) * 1990-12-21 1992-07-09 Gte Service Corporation Method for providing video programming nearly on demand
WO1994014284A1 (en) * 1992-12-09 1994-06-23 Discovery Communications, Inc. Reprogrammable terminal for suggesting programs offered on a television program delivery system
US5410344A (en) * 1993-09-22 1995-04-25 Arrowsmith Technologies, Inc. Apparatus and method of selecting video programs based on viewers' preferences

Patent Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB2210526A (en) * 1987-09-29 1989-06-07 Gold Star Co Apparatus for controlling video or audio equipment
WO1992011713A1 (en) * 1990-12-21 1992-07-09 Gte Service Corporation Method for providing video programming nearly on demand
WO1994014284A1 (en) * 1992-12-09 1994-06-23 Discovery Communications, Inc. Reprogrammable terminal for suggesting programs offered on a television program delivery system
US5410344A (en) * 1993-09-22 1995-04-25 Arrowsmith Technologies, Inc. Apparatus and method of selecting video programs based on viewers' preferences

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