WO2001097516A1 - Multimedia convergence and distribution system - Google Patents

Multimedia convergence and distribution system Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2001097516A1
WO2001097516A1 PCT/IB2000/001566 IB0001566W WO0197516A1 WO 2001097516 A1 WO2001097516 A1 WO 2001097516A1 IB 0001566 W IB0001566 W IB 0001566W WO 0197516 A1 WO0197516 A1 WO 0197516A1
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
data
distribution system
multimedia
connected
subscriber
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/IB2000/001566
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Wayne T. Schellekens
Roman T. Wroczynski
Original Assignee
Arrista Technologies Inc.
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US59335700A priority Critical
Priority to US09/593,357 priority
Application filed by Arrista Technologies Inc. filed Critical Arrista Technologies Inc.
Publication of WO2001097516A1 publication Critical patent/WO2001097516A1/en

Links

Classifications

    • 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
    • H04N21/436Interfacing a local distribution network, e.g. communicating with another STB or inside the home ; Interfacing an external card to be used in combination with the client device
    • H04N21/43615Interfacing a Home Network, e.g. for connecting the client to a plurality of peripherals
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L69/00Application independent communication protocol aspects or techniques in packet data networks
    • H04L69/30Definitions, standards or architectural aspects of layered protocol stacks
    • H04L69/32High level architectural aspects of 7-layer open systems interconnection [OSI] type protocol stacks
    • H04L69/322Aspects of intra-layer communication protocols among peer entities or protocol data unit [PDU] definitions
    • H04L69/323Aspects of intra-layer communication protocols among peer entities or protocol data unit [PDU] definitions in the physical layer, i.e. layer one
    • 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
    • H04N21/462Content or additional data management, e.g. creating a master electronic program guide from data received from the Internet and a Head-end, controlling the complexity of a video stream by scaling the resolution or bit-rate based on the client capabilities
    • H04N21/4622Retrieving content or additional data from different sources, e.g. from a broadcast channel and the Internet
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N7/00Television systems
    • H04N7/10Adaptations for transmission by electrical cable
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N7/00Television systems
    • H04N7/16Analogue secrecy systems; Analogue subscription systems
    • H04N7/173Analogue secrecy systems; Analogue subscription systems with two-way working, e.g. subscriber sending a programme selection signal
    • H04N7/17309Transmission or handling of upstream communications
    • H04N7/17336Handling of requests in head-ends
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L29/00Arrangements, apparatus, circuits or systems, not covered by a single one of groups H04L1/00 - H04L27/00
    • H04L29/02Communication control; Communication processing
    • H04L29/06Communication control; Communication processing characterised by a protocol
    • H04L29/0602Protocols characterised by their application
    • H04L29/06027Protocols for multimedia communication

Abstract

The invention adapts to the needs of large building infrastructures by providing an integrated multimedia convergence and distribution system that effectively provides for all subscribers in a large building in a cost and logitically effective manner. Data from audio/visual/telecom and Internet sources are selected and placed on buses. A multimedia convergence distribution unit then multiplexes and demultiplexes data to and from the user over a single cable connection. Each user's appliance receives and sends data through a subscriber node that muliplexes and demultiplexes the data for each appliance connected to it. Each subscriber node has one cable connected between it an the multimedia ocnvergence and distribution unit. Each subscriber node supports appliances such as television sets, radios, computers, computer servers, telephones, fax machines, IP telephones, PBX equipment, television cameras and other devices which can be connected to data sources or send data to a user. Each subscriber may be in communication with another subscriber or with outside service providers.

Description

MULTIMEDIA CONVERGENCE AND DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM

Background of the Invention Field of the Invention The invention relates to multimedia convergence and distribution of digital multi- media information within the confines of commercial and/or residential buildings. Specifically, the present invention provides for converging multimedia digital information from various service provider sources, and then funneling and distributing these sources, in their native format, to each subscribed user/resident of a building, through a single interface cable.

Description of the Related Art

The coupling of multimedia services (i.e. voice, data and video broadcast) into a multi-unit residential or commercial building is difficult, costly, and requires a multiplicity of inter-connection hardware and cabling to wire each building occupant/subscriber with the variety of services available today. The range of available external service providers is extensive, includes cable television and wireless video, satellite video, Internet access over both wireless and cable, video on demand, and telecom services. The provision of multimedia services to a customer has been the responsibility of each service provider, and 'with each type of service, the subscriber is connected by dedicated hardware and interface cabling defined by the service provider. Distribution of infrastructure cabling within a multi-unit residential or commercial building is a complex mesh of dissimilar cabling interface types connected to a multitude of dissimilar interface boxes (i.e. modems, set-top boxes, telephony junction boxes etc.). As a result of the multiplicity of interface cabling and boxes needed to connect the subscriber to each service, the cost of installation and maintenance of the internal distribution network in a large building becomes an important factor in determining whether a service can be provided competitively with quick pay back on installed equipment and installation expenditures. Further, running multiple cables and wires and optical fibers for telephony, cable TN, Internet connections and other data lines though multi-unit residential or commercial developments is costly, and requires multiple duplication of connections which can be eliminated.

Summary Of the invention

The present invention addresses the aforementioned concerns by providing a system architecture that provides for a single interface point for each service provider and eliminates the need for separate cables, wires and optical fibers to be run for voice, data, and video communications; and each customer can therefore receive all multimedia digital information on a single cable running to their location. Each service provider's multimedia information is then digitally encapsulated without modification, conveyed over a digital bus to each subscribed user/resident connected to the system. This greatly simplifies the provisioning of multimedia services to a multi-unit residential or commercial building's occupants. The marketing of the present invention is not restricted solely to multimedia service providers, and can be purchased and installed by building owners. This allows the building owners to negotiate for and control the distribution of multimedia services within their building. As well, it should be noted that the invention is easily adapted to supply multi-media services to a multiplicity of spaced apart housing in a residential suburban development configuration, office parks, hospitals, public buildings etc in the same manner as for a commercial or multi-unit residential building. The invention distributes multimedia data throughout a multi-unit residential or commercial building including traditional analog/digital telephony support, audio, video, Internet and computer networking data. Due to the invention's physical and electrical design, supplying new and/or additional multimedia services to an end user/subscriber connected to the system becomes a simple task of updating the invention's operating software database and connecting the appropriate cable to the a subscriber's electronic multimedia appliance. A multiplexed expandable printed circuit backplane seamlessly allows the integration of any combination of service provider and customer interface cards to be installed onto the system. The invention incorporates a bus architecture whereby the multimedia replaceable service provider interface modules only provide the data that the subscribers are using at the moment (i.e., all the data may not be present on the backplane bus). The backplane data transport contains a time-division multiplexed digital representation of the multimedia service provider data. The invention does not encapsulate service provider's data into ATM or IP datagrams: the data is kept as close to its native digital form as possible. Multimedia information is transported to all customer subscriber nodes using either high bandwidth coaxial cable or fiber optic cable. With the addition of a multi-unit floor Chassis Mux/Demux (CMD) unit, the cabling requirements are reduced, thus simplifying distribution cabling from the Multimedia Convergence Distribution Unit (MDU) chassis. The hardware design is very flexible and scalable, which results in lower system maintenance and growth costs for any installation.

Objects of the Invention

It is an object of the invention to reduce wiring requirements for providing multiple services over multiple lines to a single line carrying all services. It is an object of the invention to provide more services than the number of subscribers. It is an object of the invention to provide audio, video, Internet, and telephony input and output through the same cable to a user. It is an object of the invention to multiplex audio, video, Internet, and telephony though the same cable to a user. It is an object of the invention to selectively control the services a user has access to on the system. It is an object of the invention to keep the data of each service as close to its common digital format as possible. It is an object of the invention to provide a bus architecture whereby the multimedia replaceable service provider interface modules only provide the data that the subscribers are using at the moment to minimize digital traffic on the system. Other objects, advantages and novel features of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of the invention when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

Brief Description of the Drawings

Fig. 1 is a schematic block diagram of the installed multimedia convergence and distribution system. Fig. 2 is a schematic block diagram detailing a fully configured subscriber node interface installation. Fig. 3 is a block diagram of the multi-media convergence and distribution unit internal architecture. Detailed Description of the Preferred Embodiments Fig. 1 is a schematic depiction of a Multimedia Convergence and Distribution Unit (MDU) 100 in accordance with a first embodiment of the invention. This embodiment is exemplary only, the invention may be configured in any number of different ways dependant on the selection of multimedia services to be provided to the subscriber. Additionally the MDU 100 is not restricted to any one type of building structure, it can be installed and serve in hospitals, schools, hotel/motels etc. For purposes of illustration, however, the exemplary embodiment will be described in the context of a mixed multi-unit residential and commercial building installation, as this class of building requires a variety of services to supply its subscribers. The MDU 100 is a mechanism to transport multimedia data and services from several providers and between a plurality of subscribers in an efficient manner. The cabling required is reduced from a multiplicity of traditional transport methods, to one transport method as all signals are multiplexed on the same cable. Multimedia programs and services are interfaced to the system through service interface modules 12-23. These modules can be separated into three categories: Audio/Video modules 40, Telecom modules 41, and Networking modules 42. While only one input stream is indicated on the drawings, some service interface modules 12-23 may interface to multiple physical streams. The Audio/Video modules include the local video input module 15 that converts standard base-band audio and video signals into digital representations for transmission to the subscriber nodes 28 for televisions 30. Other Audio/Video modules connect to service providers using the Digital Video Broadcast - Asynchronous Serial Interface pNB-ASI) standard, like the DNB-ASI video module 12 and the DNB-ASI video server module 13 that supplies a Motion Picture Experts Group-2 (MPEG-2) transport stream to the MDU 100. Several A/V programs can be interleaved on one MPEG-2 transport stream. The Multi-channel Multimedia Distribution System (MMDS) Transcoder video module 14 allows MMDS RF carriers to be directly received by the MDU 100. Digital audio can also be injected using the digital audio module 16. Audio/Video programming may also come from a MPEG over Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) link 23. To facilitate videoconferencing, a special upstream service module 22 can send audio and video signals to another MDU 100 or outside system. Telephony modules transport time-sensitive data across the MDU 100. Standard interfaces like SONET OC-3 20 and Tl/El 21 provide the feeds for Tl, El and telephone services to the subscriber nodes 28. The plain old telephone service (POTS) lines 64, 66 that connect fax 34 and telephone 36 to the subscriber node 28 are digitally sampled and inserted in Tl or El data streams for connection to the telephone service provider. The networking modules transport Transport Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP IP) data across the MDU 100 system. The most common format, TCP/IP over Ethernet is serviced with an IP Interface module 19, while other transports including Satellite IP 18 and MMDS wireless IP 17 are supported by the system. Figure 2 is a block diagram of the subscriber node subsystem in the multi-media convergence and distribution system 100. The subscriber node 28 converts the digital data stream 38 from the customer multiplexer/demultiplexer CMD 27 into its native form for subscribers: baseband audio and video, Ethernet data, analog telephone lines and Tl or El data. The data 38 is transmitted to the subscriber node 28 over coaxial cable, twisted pair or optical fiber 39. The bandwidth used on the digital data stream 38 is dynamically allocated by the system. The CMD 27 is connected to the MDU chassis 10 through a CMD interface card 26. The data on the cable 80 between the CMD 27 and the CMD interface card 26 is the aggregate total of all customers' data connected to that CMD 27 or chain of CMDs 27. CMDs 27 can be daisy chained together to facilitate ease of wiring. Multiple CMD interface cards 26 may be used in special configurations to enhance reliability. The subscriber node 28 may have set-top infrared receivers 29 that allow a subscriber to control what audio/video program will be displayed on their television 30. Support is provided for several televisions 30, a subscriber node 28 with four audio/video ports 54 is shown in the example however any number of televisions 30 can be supported. The audio/video ports 54 can also be used for audio-only services including radio stations. The Ethernet data ports 56 on the subscriber node 28 allows the subscriber to connect computers 32, servers 33, IP telephones 5, hub or router to provide TCP/IP connectivity. If a hub or router is used, the subscriber node 28 can provide external networking support for a local area network. There are two types of telephony supported on the subscriber node 28 at telephony ports 57, 58. These are Tl or El data destined for private branch exchange (PBX) 37 or other Tl/El apparatus, and plain old telephone (POTS) support for analog telephones 36 and facsimile machines 34. The subscriber node 28 also directly interfaces to digital telephones for business applications. While computer modem support can be provided using the POTS lines, the customer can receive greater bandwidth by connecting a computer directly to the Ethernet port 56 on the subscriber node 28. Figure 3 is a block diagram of the multimedia convergence and distribution unit 100 internal architecture. For the purpose of this description, only four service interface modules classes are shown, since each module class operates in a similar manner. In the normal application, multiple modules can be used to provide a number of services to the subscribers. Expandability is an inherent design feature of the MDU 100 leading to flexible system growth scenarios as more services come online. This is easily accommodated by the addition of multiple chassis and the addition of chassis extender plug-in cards 25, as shown in Fig. 1, that can extend the system busses 48-51 to other chassis 10. The data from the various service interface modules 12-23 is placed on the back plane 55 so it can be extracted by the CMD interface cards 26. The back plane 55 is comprised of several logical high-speed buses 48, 49, 50, 51 that each module 12-23 has access to. Wherein audio/video bus 48 takes in data 44 from audio/video input modules 12-16, 23 and outputs data 47 to audio/video output module 22. Telecom bus 49 sends and receives data 45 to telecom modules 20-21. Networking bus 50 sends and receives data 46 from networking modules 17-19. This design gives the customer flexibility when installing modules 12-23 in the chassis 10. A module can go in any slot in the system. The controller 24 is a general-purpose CPU chassis plug-in module whose main function is to initialize the MDU chassis 10 (fig 1) multimedia 12-23 and customer CMD interface cards 26. As well, it serves as the MDU system data management subsystem for the storage of user billing information, recording and reporting of system faults and/or status to the MDU's remote system operator across a TCP/IP management link 59. The back plane buses 48-51 are synchronous in nature, and the information is time-division multiplexed on the buses. The buses 48-51 in the MDU 100 include, but not limited to, a control/message bus 51, networking bus 50, telecom bus 49 and audio/video bus 48. The control/message bus 51 is not a standard address/data style of bus, but rather contains multi-byte messages that travel across the backplane 55. These multi-byte messages contain control instructions and status information for the audio/video input module (12-16,23), the telecom module 20-22, the Internet module 17-19 and the audio/video output module 22. In case the main controller 24 fails, the system will still pass data, but new services may not be available until the main controller is available again. The data from the service interface modules 12-23 is only presented on the back plane buses 55 if a subscriber has requested that service. This keeps the bus traffic at a minimum, and allows the MDU 100 to provide more services than the number of subscribers. For example, if the installed subscriber base has 100 televisions, this architecture allows them to select from more than 100 channels without the need to simultaneously present more than 100 channels on the back plane bus 55. If a customer requests a service, the CMD interface card 26 will send a message indicating the request for that service to the back plane buses 55. Each of the service interface modules 12-23 examines the message to see if they can provide that service. The service module 12-23 corresponding to that service will start sending data on one of the backplane busses (48-51), and send a control message 52, 72 indicating the time slot and bus the service is residing on. Likewise, when a service is no longer required a service stop message is sent from the CMD interface card 26. If a service module 12-23 receives a stop service message and determines that no subscribers are watching the program, it will stop sending data for that program on the corresponding bus (48-51). The networking bus 50 passes TCP/IP data 76, 80 to provide Internet protocol service to the subscriber nodes 28. The networking bus 50 transports IPv4 and IPv6 data from the networking modules (17-19) to and from the CMD interface cards 26. The telecom bus 49 is used to transport bi-directional OC-3, DS-3, E3, Tl, El data 75, 80 and other telephony data between the telecom modules (20-22) and the subscriber nodes 28. The MDU 100 has POTS support and will encode the analog telephone signals into Tl or El time slots. The audio/video bus 48 transports bi-directional MPEG data 74, 80 (chassis 10 to subscriber node 28 for viewing, subscriber node 28 to chassis 10 for video conferencing) between the audio/video service interface modules and the subscriber nodes 28. Several service interface modules are used for the various audio/video formats, including baseband audio/video 15, DNB-ASI satellite data stream 12, DNB-ASI video server streams 13, MMDS or DNB compliant RF streamsH, and MPEG over ATM 23. For television usage the subscriber may select a program they want to view using a remote control. The signal from the remote is received by the set-top receiver 29 (Fig 2) and is passed to the subscriber node 28. The list of channels that the subscriber is allowed to view has previously been downloaded to the subscriber node 28, allowing the user to quickly select the channel they want to watch using an on-screen display. Once the subscriber has selected the desired channel, a program request message is sent from the subscriber node 28 and received by the CMD interface card 26. This message will be sent on the MDU control/message bus 51 causing the service interface module on audio/video input module 40 providing that program to start sending it on the audio/video bus 48. A message is sent back to the CMD interface card 26 indicating the MPEG program identifier is now present on the audio/video bus 48. The CMD interface 27 reprograms its demultiplexer to extract that program from the audio/video bus 48 and passes it on to the subscriber node 28. The MPEG signal 74 is decoded and the subscriber can now view the program on their television 30. The MDU 100 can have subscriber nodes 28 thought of as replacing or supplementing the network replacement nodes 12-23 since the subscriber nodes are connected to the back plane buses 55. This provides subscriber to subscriber communications either alone or in conjunction with outside service providers over network replacement nodes 12-23. Obviously, many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. It is therefore to be understood that, within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described. What is claimed is:

Claims

1 1. A multimedia Convergence and Distribution system comprising: a plurality of service interface modules carrying data from multimedia sources, a plurality of logical buses connected to the service modules for distributing data, a plurality of customer multiplexer/demultiplexer interface cards connected to the
5 a plurality of logical high-speed buses to multiplex data sent and demultiplex data
6 received such that all the data can be sent and received from the customer multiplexer/demultiplexer interface cards over one connection,
8 a subscriber node connected by one connection to one of the customer
9 multiplexer/demultiplexer interface cards to place the data received in usable form for at least one appliance and to send data from the appliance in usable form over the connector 1 to the customer multiplexer/demultiplexer interface cards, l
1 2. A multimedia Convergence and Distribution system as in claim 1 wherein,
2 the appliance is a television set. 1
1 3. A multimedia Convergence and Distribution system as in claim 1 wherein,
2 the appliance is a telephone.
1
1 4. A multimedia Convergence and Distribution system as in claim 1 wherein,
2 the appliance is a computer. 1
1 5. A multimedia Convergence and Distribution system as in claim 1 wherein,
2 the data connected to the service interface module is DNB-ASI video.
1
6. A multimedia Convergence and Distribution system as in claim 1 wherein, the data connected to the service interface module is DNB-ASI video server.
7. A multimedia Convergence and Distribution system as in claim 1 wherein, the data connected to the service interface module is MMDS Video.
8. A multimedia Convergence and Distribution system as in claim 1 wherein, the data connected to the service interface module is local Video input,
9. A multimedia Convergence and Distribution system as in claim 1 wherein, the data connected to the service interface module is Digital audio.
10. A multimedia Convergence and Distribution system as in claim 1 wherein, the data connected to the service interface module originates from MMDS IP.
11. A multimedia Convergence and Distribution system as in claim 1 wherein, the data connected to the service interface module originates from Satellite IP.
12. A multimedia Convergence and Distribution system as in claim 1 wherein, the data connected to the service interface module are IP datagrams.
13. A multimedia Convergence and Distribution system as in claim 1 wherein, the data connected to the service interface module is SONET OC-3.
14. A multimedia Convergence and Distribution system as in claim 1 wherein, the data connected to the service interface module are El/Tl telephone lines.
15. A multimedia Convergence and Distribution system as in claim 1 wherein, the data connected to the service interface module is MPEG I/O.
16. A multimedia Convergence and Distribution system as in claim 1 wherein, the data connected to the service interface module is MPEG over ATM. .
17. A multimedia Convergence and Distribution system as in claim 1 wherein, a customer multiplexer/demultiplexer connects to the customer multiplexer/demultiplexer interface card to further distribute the data such that one cable runs between the customer multiplexer/demultiplexer interface card and the customer multiplexer/demultiplexer, and the customer multiplexer/demultiplexer serves more than one subscriber node each subscriber node having a cable connected to the customer multiplexer/demultiplexer.
18. A multimedia Convergence and Distribution system as in claim 1 wherein, the subscriber nodes connect to each other through the logical buses for subscriber to subscriber communications,
19. A method for delivering multimedia Convergence and Distribution data over one connection to a user comprising: receiving a plurality of audio/Video signals and placing them on an audio/video bus, receiving a plurality of telecom signal and placing them on an telecom bus, receiving a plurality of Internet signals and placing them on networking bus, converting data received into multiplexed digital signals, sending the signals out over a single cable for a single user, converting the data from the single cable into its original forms, and distributing the data for use in a plurality of appliances.
20. A method for delivering multimedia Convergence and Distribution data over one connection to a user as in claim 19 wherein: converting data from the appliances to multiplexed data for sending over a cable to a user. the bandwidth of data delivered to the appliances is dynamically allocated.
21. A method for delivering multimedia Convergence and Distribution data over one connection to a user as in claim 19 wherein: receiving data on a back plane bus from a subscriber node and sending the data from the back plane bus to another subscriber node for subscriber to subscriber communications.
PCT/IB2000/001566 2000-06-14 2000-10-30 Multimedia convergence and distribution system WO2001097516A1 (en)

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US59335700A true 2000-06-14 2000-06-14
US09/593,357 2000-06-14

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Cited By (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB2384412A (en) * 2001-10-12 2003-07-23 Vortex Comm Ltd Entertainment and information supply system, e.g. for hospitals
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EP1439699A1 (en) * 2002-12-19 2004-07-21 ABB Research Ltd Arrangement for distributing digital video program information
NL1025305C2 (en) * 2004-01-22 2005-07-27 Henk Oort Digital transmission system with multiplexer distribution device.

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