WO2004080025A1 - Media source selection and presentation system and method - Google Patents

Media source selection and presentation system and method Download PDF

Info

Publication number
WO2004080025A1
WO2004080025A1 PCT/NZ2004/000047 NZ2004000047W WO2004080025A1 WO 2004080025 A1 WO2004080025 A1 WO 2004080025A1 NZ 2004000047 W NZ2004000047 W NZ 2004000047W WO 2004080025 A1 WO2004080025 A1 WO 2004080025A1
Authority
WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
user
signals
data
system
digital signals
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/NZ2004/000047
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Adrian Hylton Mcgrath
Original Assignee
Brylton Software Limited
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

Links

Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09BEDUCATIONAL OR DEMONSTRATION APPLIANCES; APPLIANCES FOR TEACHING, OR COMMUNICATING WITH, THE BLIND, DEAF OR MUTE; MODELS; PLANETARIA; GLOBES; MAPS; DIAGRAMS
    • G09B5/00Electrically-operated educational appliances
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/28Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications for the provision of proxy services, e.g. intermediate processing or storage in the network
    • H04L67/2838Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications for the provision of proxy services, e.g. intermediate processing or storage in the network for integrating service provisioning from a plurality of service providers
    • 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
    • H04L69/329Aspects of intra-layer communication protocols among peer entities or protocol data unit [PDU] definitions in the application layer, i.e. layer seven

Abstract

A system 1 for presenting a plurality of media sources, in a synchronous manner, to a user for subsequent interaction. For example, the system 1 may be utilized in a learner-directed learning system. In one form, the system 1 includes a plurality of receiving devices 12, 22, 32 configured to receive media signals 10, 20, 30 transmitted from each of the media sources and a plurality of data manipulators 14, 24, 34 configured to convert the received media signals 13, 23, 33 into digital signals 15, 25, 35. The digital signals 15, 25, 35 are received by a switching device 40 which is configured to multiplex selected digital signals into a multiplexed signal 50. The system also includes a user output component 3 which is configured to present to the user the digital signals within the multiplexed signal 50 for interaction. The system may also include a user input component 4 and database 5.

Description

MEDIASOURCE SELECTIONANDPRESENTATIONSYSTEMAND

METHOD

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a system, device and method for presenting a plurality of media sources, in a synchronous manner, to a user for subsequent interaction. In particular, although not exclusively, the present invention can be implemented in a learner-directed learning system.

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

In an educational environment, learning resources are delivered through a variety of media, for example, video cassette or streamed video, instructional devices, and decision tree software.

Video has been used for educational instruction for many years on cassette and is now available to be run on a computer or streamed over the internet. Essentially, the video is a continuous stream of graphical and audio information that has a start and an end. Video can be played, paused, rewound, fast-forwarded or stopped.

Instructional device systems come in a variety of formats including books, audiotapes, videocassettes, pedagogical systems, textbooks, dictionaries, and encyclopedias. These systems can be delivered through a variety of mediums including CD-ROMS, online, Internet web-pages, Internet download and printed-paper.

In all of these cases there is little or no feedback given to the learner at the time of learning because they are designed to instruct the learner with a predetermined set of knowledge. Furthermore, they are not equipped with facilities to accept a learner's response. Decision tree software is a feedback-based software system which delivers to the learner a set of objectives in the form of questions to be answered or tasks to be completed. This type of software is available on CD-ROM or downloaded over the Internet and comes with varying degrees of sophistication and complexity. As the learner responds to the questions or tasks with correct and incorrect answers the software informs the learner that they are correct or incorrect. Based on the learner's response the software allows the learner to have another go at the question or else move on to the next question or task in the sequence.

This type of software delivers a real-time feedback-based learning system via a linear sequence of questions. This software is generally run on a personal computer or other dedicated hardware platforms which provide limited access to other media resources. Therefore, they are not capable of providing the learner, based on their interaction, with multiple types of either the same or different media synchronized in time at exactly the point of learning to help reinforce the issues raised from the questions or tasks.

Further, these types of software systems preclude the capacity to build upon the information provided by the learner over time and thus build a learner profile. Without a learner profile these types of software cannot understand what the learner understands and thus cannot deliver to them the information from different media that they need, when they need it.

It would be useful to provide a learning resource which enables a learner to traverse synchronised material from multiple media sources at their own rate and which draws on information and various media to reinforce understanding.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one aspect, the present invention broadly consists in a system for presenting a user with a plurality of media sources for subsequent interaction including: a plurality of receiving devices configured to receive media signals transmitted from each of the media sources; a plurality of data manipulators configured to convert the received media signals into digital signals; a switching device configured to receive selected digital signals and multiplex them into a multiplexed signal; and a user output component configured to present to the user the digital signals within the multiplexed signal.

Preferably, the data manipulators are configured to convert the received media signals into digital signals consisting of packet data. More preferably, the switching device is configured to multiplex data packets of selected digital signals into a multiplexed signal consisting of packet data.

Preferably, the system further includes a user input component which is configured to receive input from the user. More preferably, the user input component is integrated with the user output component.

Preferably, the user may select the digital signals to be multiplexed into the multiplexed signal and/or the media signals to be received by the receiving devices via the user input component.

Preferably, the system further includes a database configured to receive data from and send data to the user output component. More preferably, the database receives and sends data relating to the user's interaction with the system.

Preferably, the database is configured to store data received from the user output component.

Preferably, the digital signals to be multiplexed into the multiplexed signal are selected by the user output component in response to data received from the database.

In another aspect, the present invention broadly consists in a method of presenting a user with a plurality of media signals for subsequent interaction including the steps of: selecting a plurality of media signals to be received by the system; receiving and converting the selected media signals into digital signals; selecting a plurality of the digital signals for presenting to the user; multiplexing the selected digital signals into a multiplexed signal; and sending the multiplexed signal to a user output component, wherein the user output component reconstructs the digital signals within the multiplexed signal and presents them to the user for interaction.

Preferably, the selected media signals are converted into digital signals consisting of packet data. More preferably, the step of multiplexing involves multiplexing data packets of the selected digital signals into a multiplexed signal consisting of packet data.

Preferably, the method further includes the step of receiving input from the user and selecting the media signals to be received by the system and digital signals to be presented to the user based on the user input.

Preferably, the selection of the media signals to be received by the system and digital signals to be presented to the user is based on instruction signals generated by the user output component.

Preferably, the method further includes the step of sending data to a database, wherein the data represents the user's interaction with the presented digital signals. More preferably, the database stores the data representing the user's interaction with the presented digital signals.

Preferably, the method further includes the step of receiving data from a database, wherein the data represents information about the user. More preferably, the selection of the media signals to be received by the system and digital signals to be presented to the user is based on the data received from the database.

In another aspect, the present invention broadly consists in a device for synchronizing a plurality of media signals into a multiplexed signal including: a plurality of input ports configured to receive a plurality of media signals; a plurality of data manipulators configured to convert the received media signals into digital signals; a switching device configured to receive selected digital signals and multiplex them into a multiplexed signal; an output port for sending the multiplex signal; and a configuring device operable to control the data manipulators and switching device to construct the multiplexed signal, wherein the configuring device sends and receives instruction signals to and from other systems connected to the device.

Preferably, the data manipulators are configured to convert the received media signals into digital signals consisting of packet data. More preferably, the switching device is configured to multiplex data packets of selected digital signals into a multiplexed signal consisting of packet data.

Preferably, the configuring device receives instruction signals from a system or systems connected to the output port of the device and sends instruction signals to systems connected to the input ports of the device.

Preferably, the input and output ports are duplex.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A preferred embodiment of the invention will be described by way of example only and with reference to the drawings, in which:

Figure 1 is a block diagram of the preferred embodiment system showing, in particular, receiving devices, a data synchroniser, a user output component, a user input component, and a database;

Figure 2 is an expanded block diagram of the data synchroniser of Figure 1 receiving demodulated media signals and sending a multiplexed signal;

Figure 3 is an expanded block diagram of the user input component, user output component, and database of Figure 1, and in particular illustrates the user output component receiving the multiplexed signal; Figure 4 shows a flow diagram of some of the generic operations performed by the system during normal operation;

Figure 5 shows a high-level hardware schematic of the preferred embodiment system, and in particular the receiving devices, a data sychroniser, a user input/output component, and a database;

Figure 6 shows a high-level hardware schematic of a radio receiver device and associated data manipulator of the system of Figure 5;

Figure 7 shows a high-level hardware schematic of a digital satellite television receiver device and associated data manipulator of the system of Figure 5;

Figure 8 shows a high-level hardware schematic of a broadcast television receiver device and associated data manipulator of the system of Figure 5;

Figure 9 shows a high-level hardware schematic of the data manipulators of Figures 6-8 connected to a switching device;

Figure 10 shows a high-level hardware schematic of a configuring device connected to the switching device of Figure 9;

Figure 11 shows a high-level hardware schematic of the configuring device connected to the data manipulators of Figures 6-8; and

Figure 12 shows a high-level hardware schematic of the user input/output component and database of Figure 5.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to Figure 1, the system 1 includes a plurality of components configured to receive and present a plurality of media sources to a user for interaction. In the preferred embodiment to be described, the system 1 is configured to provide a learner-directed learning system. The system 1 facilitates the synchronisation and presentation of a plurality of media sources to a user.

In general, synchronising describes the coordination in time of certain objects or events. Throughout the description the term is used in a different way to the signal transmission type that we refer to as synchronous. When reference is made to the term synchronising, it means that all of the signal transmission types, of which synclironous is one, are coordinated in time or at the same time.

The system 1 can be configured to receive and manipulate media signals from a plurality of different media sources and may include, but is not limited to, information, video, DVD, text, commands, VHF, UHF, broadband, images, software, software programs or streams. The system 1 can be configured to receive synclironous, asynchronous, isochronous, and plesiochronous media signals transmitted from multiple media sources.

The system 1 includes a plurality of receiving devices 12, 22, 32 which are configured to receive various media signals 10, 20, 30 transmitted from a range of media sources. By way of example only, the system 1 shown is configured to receive three signals, namely radio 10, digital satellite television 20, and broadcast television 30. It will be appreciated that the system 1 is scalable and can be configured to receive a number of different signals from a number of different media sources.

In the example shown, each media signal 10, 20, 30 is transmitted via a wireless medium and accordingly each receiving device 12, 22, 32 is equipped with a suitable aerial 11, 31 or satellite dish 21. It will be appreciated that some media sources may transmit media signals via a transmission line, such as cable or the like, in which case an aerial or satellite dish would not be required. Referring also to Figure 2, the receiving devices 12, 22, 32 (shown in Figure 1) transfer each received media signal 13, 23, 33, which may be in a digital or analog form, to a data synchroniser 2. The data synchroniser 2 essentially converts these received media signals 13, 23, 33, where necessary, into suitable digital signals, and constructs a single multiplexed signal 50 comprising a selection of the digital signals for sending to a user output component 3 (shown in Figure 1).

The data synchroniser 2 includes data manipulators 14, 24, 34 adapted specifically to each of the received media signals 13, 23, 33. The data manipulators 14, 24, 34 convert the received media signals 13, 23, 33, where necessary, into digital signals 15, 25, 35 of a suitable form. These digital signals 15, 25, 35 may, for example, consist of packeted data, although it will be appreciated that other forms of digital signals may be utilised in different embodiments.

The data synchroniser 2 includes a switching device 40 which is configured to receive the digital signals 15, 25, 35 and convert them into a multiplexed signal 50. The switching device 40 is controlled by a configuring device 41 and a common clock 42 is provided which generates timing signals for synchronisation.

The configuring device 41 controls the process of multiplexing the digital signals 15, 25, 35, or data packets from each of the digital signals 15, 25, 35, into the multiplexed signal 50. The configuring device 41 is adapted to receive instruction signals from the user output component 3 in regard to the selection of digital signals 15, 25, 35 to be included in the multiplexed signal 50, and subsequently sends instruction signals to the receiving devices 12, 22, 32, data manipulators 14, 24, 34, and switching device 40 to coordinate the construction of the requested multiplexed signal 50.

Referring to Figure 3, the multiplexed data signal 50, consisting of selected data packets from the digital signals 15, 25, 35, is received by the user output component 3. The user output component 3 may include a processing device 60, for example a computer or microprocessor, memory 61, a display device 62 and software (not shown). The user output component 3 is configured, in accordance with the software or otherwise, to extract and reconstruct the digital signals 15, 25, 35 within the multiplexed signal 50 for presenting to the user. In one aspect, the user output component 3 may present the reconstructed digital signals 15, 25, 35, corresponding to each media signal 10, 20, 30, via the display device 62.

It will be appreciated that the user output component 3 could include a number of different audio, visual, or tactile devices for presenting the digital signals 15, 25, 35, which may comprise text, images and audio, for viewing, listening, feeling and/or touching by the user. Examples include, but are not limited to, televisions, speakers, and Braille machines.

The user may interact with, and/or instruct, the system 1 via a user input component 4. In response to user commands and/or interaction, the user input component 4 may control the system 1 to perform certain functions. For example, the user may select which media signals are to be presented and/or how they should be presented by the user output component 3 via the user input component 4 and/or the software. The user input component 4, for applicable media sources, allows a user to select different channels of media signals, and to initiate or conclude the presentation of each media signal as desired.

In the preferred embodiment, the user input component 4 is interfaced with the user output component 3. The user input 4 and output 3 components could be separate parts, integrated or essentially the same component. It will be appreciated, that other embodiments of the invention could include user input components which interact directly with other devices within the system 1 other than the user output component 3, for example, the data synchroniser 2.

The user input component 4 may include a number of audio, visual and tactile input devices which can send instructing signals to the system 1, for example via the user output component 3. The instructions and/or interaction could be delivered by the user via writing movements, Braille movements, eye movements, mouse movements, keyboard key-presses, screen touches, voice or commands. Accordingly, the input devices could include a touch pad, Braille machine, retinal scanner, mouse, keyboard, touch-screen monitor, microphone, web-camera, or joystick.

The system 1 also includes a database 5 which may send data to and/or receive data from the user output component 3. The database 5 could be any database capable of receiving data from the user output component 3 and sending data back to the user output component 3. The database 5 may provide a user profile for the user(s) of the system 1. In a preferred embodiment, where the system 1 is utilised in a learner-directed learning application, the database 5 may provide information about what a user understands and what sources of information they have used to understand what they know. Essentially, in this aspect, the database 5 maintains a learner profile for each user.

As the user interacts with the system 1, the user output component's 3 software sends information to the database 5 regarding the user's interaction. For example, in a learner- directed learning application, the information could include how long the user spends on a particular problem or what media selections the user has made. The database 5, in return, sends information back, perhaps on request from the user output component's 3 software. This information may provide the user output component's 3 software with an indication as to what selection of digital signals should be included in the multiplexed signal 50. For example, the user output component's 3 software, in response to information from the database 5, may conclude one media signal and initiate a completely new one by sending instruction signals to the configuring device 41 of the data synchroniser 2.

It will be appreciated that the database 5 may be able to provide its data to other databases and systems that may be located in remote locations or at the source of the media signals themselves.

The user output component 3 may control the selection of digital signals 15, 25, 35 to be included in the multiplexed signal 50, by sending the appropriate instruction signals to the data synchroniser 2, in response to information received from the database 5, user input via the user input component 4, or standard software operations. Referring to Figure 4, and by way of example only, the typical flow 80 of operations of an embodiment of the system 1 will be described. First, the user output component 3 initiates start-up 81 by configuring the system 1 for the user, for example by logging in the user from their username and password. The user output component 3 may then initiate a database request 82 for the user's profile information, which may include, for example, their age, gender, grades, etc. It will be appreciated that the form of user profile stored in the database 5 may be customised and configured for various applications of the system 1. For example, in a learner-directed learning application, the user profiles may contain information about the user's past interaction with the system 1 and/or what types of media have been the most effective from a learning viewpoint in the past.

In response to receiving and interpreting user profile information from the database 5, the software of the user output component 3 sends instruction signals 83 to the data synchroniser 2 requesting selected media signals and/or selected channels of specific media signals, for example specific television channels or radio stations. It will be appreciated that the media signals may also be selected manually via user input and interaction with the software. Further, the system 1 allows for the media signals to be selected via a combination of manual user selection and automatic software selection.

The configuring device 41 of the data synchroniser 2 receives and interprets the instruction signals from the user output component 3 and in response sends instruction signals 84 to the receiving devices 12,22,32 to configure them to receive the requested media signals and/or selected channels of media signals. Configuration of the receiving devices may, for example, involve tuning radio or television receivers into specific frequencies. After being configured, the receiving devices 12, 22, 32 receive 85 the selected media signals and/or channels of media signals and input these signals 13, 23, 33 to the data synchroniser 2.

As the media signals 13, 23, 33 are received by the data sychroniser 2, the configuring device 41 controls the data manipulators 14, 24, 34 and switching device 40 to construct 86 a multiplexed signal 50, for example in the form of digital packet data, comprising selected media signals and/or channels of media signals. The data synchoniser 2 then sends/streams 87 the multiplexed signal 50 to the user output component 3 which reconstructs 88 the selected media signals and presents them to the user via appropriate means, for example via the display device 62 or speakers.

The user may then interact 89 with the system 1, via the user input component 4, to modify the presentation of the media signals and/or channels of media signals as desired. In addition, the user may simply interact with the presented media signals, for example they might explore an educational CD-ROM, DVD, or the like. As the user interacts with the system 1, the database 5 may be constantly updated 90 with the user's activity. Alternatively, the user's interaction may be electronically monitored and logged into a file by the software, which then sends the file to the database 5 at the end of a learning session 91.

The user may also conclude or initiate 92 the presentation of media signals as desired or this process may be automated by the software. As this occurs, instruction signals 83 are again sent to the data synchroniser 2 requesting selected media signals and/or selected channels of specific media signals. The user may exit the system 1 at any time, but preferably at the end of the session 91.

It will be appreciated that the sequence of operations performed by the system 1 could be controlled by software loaded onto the computer 60 of the user output component 3. The software may include the drivers and interfacing instructions which enable the system 1 to operate in the required manner. It is not a requirement that the system 1 performs each and every step described in relation to Figure 4, and it is not a requirement that each step is performed in the order set out. For example, the flow of operations could be configured to suit various applications as required.

Referring to Figure 5, a block schematic depicting the hardware devices and configuration for a possible embodiment of the system 1 is shown. The function of each component will be described below in detail with reference to Figures 1 - 4 also. The system 1 depicted in Figure 5 is configured to receive three modulated media signals from three media sources, namely radio 10, digital satellite television 20, and broadcast television 30. The major components of the system 1 are the receiving devices 12, 22, 32, data synchroniser 2, user output component 3, user input component 4, and database 5.

As mentioned, the user input 4 and output 3 components can be the same or separate part(s). They have been described above separately so that their function can be seen in isolation to the system 1 for clarity. However, in the preferred embodiment shown, the user input 4 and output 3 components represent one component, a personal computer 3, 4. The user input components of the personal computer could include a mouse, keyboard, web-camera, joystick, microphone and the like. The personal computer 3, 4 is configured with software to drive the system for a user.

The receiving devices 12, 22, 32 are connected with the data synchroniser 2 via standard input/output jacks, which may be duplex, and the data synchroniser 2 is in turn connected to the personal computer 3, 4 via an input/output universal serial bus (USB) port. Communication between the personal computer 3, 4 and the database 5 is achieved via a modem or the database 5 may be hardwired to, or within, the personal computer 3, 4. It will be appreciated that these devices may communicate and interact via other equivalent protocols and connections, including wireless protocols. For example, the personal computer 3, 4 may have a direct cable link to the database 5, or communicate via satellite. Similarly, the data synchroniser 2 could interact with the personal computer 3, 4 via infrared or the like.

As mentioned, the digital signals to be presented to the user via the user output component 3 may be selected by the user, by the software in response to information received from the database 5, or by the software's standard operations. Once the selection is made, instruction signals 55 are sent to the data synchroniser 2 via the USB port. The configuring device 41 of the data synchroniser 2, which may be a microprocessor or microcontroller, receives and decodes the instruction signals 55 to determine the selected digital signals 15, 25, 35 to include in the multiplexed signal 50. Each media source shown in the system 1 transmits over a wireless link and sends media signals over a plurality of channels. For example, radio stations operate on different frequencies, and these constitute different channels of radio. Accordingly, in the embodiment shown, the instructions signals 55 include channel selection information in addition to digital signal selection.

The configuring device 2 sends instruction signals 70 to each of the receiving devices 12, 22, 32, thereby configuring each one to receive the selected channel of media signal for that media source. The receiving devices 12 and 32 are provided with specific aerials 11 and 31 which are configured to receive radio 10 and broadcast television 30 waves respectively. Receiving device 22 is equipped with a satellite dish 21 to receive the digital satellite television media signals 20.

Each receiving device 12, 22, 32 is configured with tuner 16, 26, 36 modules for channel selection. The instruction signals 70 from the configuring device 41 are sent to the tuner modules 16, 26, 36 to configure the receiving devices 12, 22, 32 to receive the selected channel of media signal.

Once the receiving devices 12, 22, 32 are tuned, the modulated media signals 10, 20, 30 received require demodulation. Accordingly, each receiving device 12, 22, 32 includes a demodulation component 17, 27, 37 configured to demodulate each different received media signal 10, 20, 30. It will be appreciated that the tuner modules 16, 26, 36 and demodulator components 17, 27, 37 are adapted to suit the media signals 10, 20, 30 transmitted from each different media source as, for example, the requirements for demodulating a radio wave 10 will be different to those for demodulating a digital satellite television media signal 20.

The demodulated media signals 13, 23, 33 are then sent to the data manipulators 14, 24, 34 of the data synchroniser 2 via the input/output jacks. The reception, demodulation and manipulation of the media signals 10, 20, 30 will now be described individually with reference to the components within each receiving device 12, 22, 32 and data manipulator 14, 24, 34.

Referring to Figure 6, the radio frequency media signal 10 is received by an aerial 11 which is tuned to a frequency or station by the tuner 16. The demodulator 17 changes the received radio frequency media signal 10 into an analog demodulated media signal 13. The analog-to-digital converter 102 samples and holds the demodulated media signal 13 long enough to convert the media signal 13 to an -bit digital signal 105, where x is an integer number allocated to suit design requirements. The compressor/encoder 103 converts the x-bit digital signal 105 into an MPEG3 formatted signal 106. A FIFO/Buffer 104 then stores x-bit packets of the MPEG3 formatted signal 106 in a First-In-First-Out sequence. A clock module 101 provides the common timing signal for the demodulator 17, analog-to-digital converter 102 and the compressor/encoder 103. For example, the clock module 101 determines when to start the sampling and holding, and the analog-to-digital converter 102 holds for x cycles of the clock to get the x bits.

Referring to Figure 7, the digital satellite television media signal 20 is received by the satellite dish 21 which is tuned to a chaimel by the tuner 26. The digital satellite television media signal 20 carries digital information transmitted in an analog form. Accordingly, the digital information is stripped from the analog digital satellite television media signal 20 by a demodulator 27, which creates a demodulated media signal 23. The digital information within the demodulated media signal 23 is descrambled by descrambler 202, which produces descrambled media signal 203. A clock module 201 provides timing signals for the demodulator 27 and descrambler 202 for synchronisation purposes during this data manipulation. A FIFO/Buffer 204 stores -bit packets of the descrambled media signal 203 in a First-In-First-Out sequence.

Referring to Figure 8, the broadcast television media signal 30 is received by an aerial 31 which is tuned to a channel by the tuner 36. The demodulator 37 converts the received broadcast television media signal 30 into an analog demodulated media signal 33. An analog-to-digital converter 302 samples and holds the demodulated media signal 33 long enough to convert the signal to an x-bit digital signal 305. A compressor/encoder 303 then converts the x-bit digital signal 305 into an MPEG2 formatted signal 306. A FIFO/Buffer 304 stores x-bit packets of the MPEG2 formatted signal 306 information in a First-In-First-Out sequence. A clock module 301 is also provided which generates a common timing signal for the demodulator 37, analog-to- digital converter 302 and the compressor/encoder 303.

Referring to Figure 9, the preferred embodiment switching device 40 is a multiplexer. The multiplexer 40 is configured to receive digital signals 15, 25, 35 comprising x-bit packets of data from the FIFO/Buffers 104, 204, 304 of the data manipulators 14, 24, 34 and sequence the x-bit packets 15, 25, 35 into a bus data stream, or multiplexed signal 50. Each x-bit packet represents a portion of the media signals 10, 20, 30 originally transmitted from the media sources. A synchronizing clock 401 provides common timing signals 402, 406 for the FIFO/Buffers 104, 204, 304 and the multiplexer 40 respectively.

The multiplexed signal 50 constructed contains identifier code headers 404 tagged to the head of the x-bit packets 107, 207, 307. These identifier code headers 404 contain data which denotes what x-bit packet is to follow in the multiplexed signal 50 and are utilised at the user output component 3 stage of the system 1 to reconstruct the digital signals 15, 25, 35 for presentation. The multiplexed signal 50 is transferred into a FIFO/Buffer 405 ready for streaming to the personal computer 3, 4 (not shown) in a First-In-First-Out sequence via the USB port 63 (shown in Figure 5).

Referring to Figure 10, the configuring device 41 controls the construction of the multiplexed signal 50 in response to instruction signals 55 from the personal computer 3, 4 (not shown). The configuration device 41 is connected to the multiplexer 40 to control which and how many x-bit packets 15, 25, 35 are to be included in the multiplexed signal 50. For example, each logic AND gate input 106, 206, 306 of the multiplexer 40 receives an x-bit packet input 15, 25, 35 from one of the FIFO/Buffers 104, 204, 304 (shown in Figure 9) and one of the instruction signals 407 from the configuring device 41. Via these instruction signals 407, the configuring device 41 can control the construction of the multiplexed signal 50, including the order and length of the packets included.

Referring to Figure 11, the configuring device 41 monitors and controls the data packets in the FIFO/Buffers 104, 204, 304 via monitoring signals 408 to ensure they do not overflow. Various functions, such as this, will be initiated and performed by the configuration device 41 independently, without requiring instruction signals from the personal computer 3, 4.

Referring to Figure 12, the user input/output component, or personal computer 3, 4, receives the streamed multiplexed signal 50 (shown in Figure 11) via the input/output USB port 63. In the preferred embodiment described, this multiplexed signal 50 contains three digital signals that are synchronised, namely radio 15, digital satellite television 25, and broadcast television 35. These digital signals 15, 25, 35 have been digitized, where necessary, given a common time and sequenced into a multiplexed signal 50.

The personal computer's 3, 4 software extracts and reconstructs each of the three digital signals 15, 25, 35, corresponding to originally transmitted media signals 10, 20, 30, and presents them to the user via the monitor 62 as shown by windows 109, 209, 309 and speakers (not shown). The personal computer 3, 4 may store portions of the digital signals 15, 25, 35 in memory 61 for later use.

The user is free to interact with the presented media signals in various ways according to the capability of the software. The user can stop, pause, rewind, fast-forward, or buffer the media signals as desired. Further, the user can conclude a particular media signal, initiate a new one, or select different channels.

As mentioned, information regarding the user's interactions with the presented media signals is sent to the database 5 via a link 601 to maintain a user profile. In the preferred embodiment the link is a modem, a common piece of hardware in a personal computer 3, 4. This link 601 may alternatively be a wireless link or the database 5 may be hardwired to, or within, the personal computer 3, 4. The software may initiate this transfer of information, and may also request user profile information already stored in the database 5.

As an example, consider the system 1 utilised in a learner-directed learning application, where the database 5 maintains a learner profile. If the personal computer 3, 4 was connected to a retinal scanner, the user's interest in different media signals could be monitored and this information stored in the user's learner profile in the database 5. This information could be accessed at a later date by the system's 1 software when determining which kind of media would be most effective to aid the learners understanding of a particular concept.

The software could, for example, utilise the database's 5 user profile information to provide automated decisions about which media signals to conclude or initiate next. Essentially this means that the software, in response to information received from the database 5, can automatically select the media signals to be sent through the USB 63 by the data synchroniser 2 for presentation. Alternatively, the user, via user input component 4 can determine ultimately what media signals are to be presented.

It will be appreciated that other sources of media which are integrated directly with the personal computer 3, 4 could be presented to the user in combination with those media signals processed by the data synchroniser 2. For example these could include, but are not limited to, CD-ROM, Internet Web Pages, E-mail, Internet-Chat, Instant Messaging, DVD and Games.

The foregoing description of the invention includes preferred forms thereof. Modifications may be made thereto without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the accompanying claims.

Claims

WHAT WE CLAIM IS:
1. A system for presenting a user with a plurality of media sources for subsequent interaction including: a plurality of receiving devices configured to receive media signals transmitted from each of the media sources; a plurality of data manipulators configured to convert the received media signals into digital signals; a switching device configured to receive selected digital signals and multiplex them into a multiplexed signal; and a user output component configured to present to the user the digital signals within the multiplexed signal.
2. A system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the data manipulators are configured to convert the received media signals into digital signals consisting of packet data;
3. A system as claimed in claim 2, wherein the switching device is configured to multiplex data packets of selected digital signals into a multiplexed signal consisting of packet data.
4. A system as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, further including a user input component which is configured to receive input from the user.
5. A system as claimed in claim 4, wherein the user input component is integrated with the user output component.
6. A system as claimed in claim 4 or 5, wherein the user may select the digital signals to be multiplexed into the multiplexed signal via the user input component.
7. A system as claimed in any one of claims 4-6, wherein the user selects the media signals to be received by the receiving devices via the user input component.
8. A system as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, further including a database configured to receive data from and send data to the user output component.
9. A system as claimed in claim 8, wherein the database receives and sends data relating to the user's interaction with the system.
10. A system as claimed in claim 8 or 9, wherein the database is configured to store data received from the user output component.
11. A system as claimed in any one of claims 8-10, wherein the digital signals to be multiplexed into the multiplexed signal are selected by the user output component in response to data received from the database.
12. A method of presenting a user with a plurality of media signals for subsequent interaction including the steps of: selecting a plurality of media signals to be received by the system; receiving and converting the selected media signals into digital signals; selecting a plurality of the digital signals for presenting to the user; multiplexing the selected digital signals into a multiplexed signal; and sending the multiplexed signal to a user output component, wherein the user output component reconstructs the digital signals within the multiplexed signal and presents them to the user for interaction.
13. A method as claimed in claim 12, wherein the selected media signals are converted into digital signals consisting of packet data.
14. A method as claimed in claim 13, wherein the step of multiplexing involves multiplexing data packets of the selected digital signals into a multiplexed signal consisting of packet data.
15. A method as claimed in any one of claims 12-14, further including the step of receiving input from the user and selecting the media signals to be received by the system and digital signals to be presented to the user based on the user input.
16. A method as claimed in any one of claims 12-15, wherein the selection of the media signals to be received by the system and digital signals to be presented to the user is based on instruction signals generated by the user output component.
17. A method as claimed in any one of claims 12-16, further including the step of sending data to a database, wherein the data represents the user's interaction with the presented digital signals.
18. A method as claimed in claim 17, wherein the database stores the data representing the user's interaction with the presented digital signals.
19. A method as claimed in any one of claims 12-18, further including the step of receiving data from a database, wherein the data represents information about the user.
20. A method as claimed in claim 19, wherein the selection of the media signals to be received by the system and digital signals to be presented to the user is based on the data received from the database.
21. A device for synchronizing a plurality of media signals into a multiplexed signal including: a plurality of input ports configured to receive a plurality of media signals; a plurality of data manipulators configured to convert the received media signals into digital signals; a switching device configured to receive selected digital signals and multiplex them into a multiplexed signal; an output port for sending the multiplex signal; and a configuring device operable to control the data manipulators and switching device to construct the multiplexed signal, wherein the configuring device sends and receives instruction signals to and from other systems connected to the device.
22. A device as claimed in claim 21, wherein the data manipulators are configured to convert the received media signals into digital signals consisting of packet data.
23. A device as claimed in claim 22, wherein the switching device is configured to multiplex data packets of selected digital signals into a multiplexed signal consisting of packet data.
24. A device as claimed in any one of claims 21-23, wherein the configuring device receives instruction signals from a system or systems connected to the output port of the device and sends instruction signals to systems connected to the input ports of the device.
25. A device as claimed in any one of claims 21-24, wherein the input and output ports are duplex.
PCT/NZ2004/000047 2003-03-07 2004-03-08 Media source selection and presentation system and method WO2004080025A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
NZ524609 2003-03-07
NZ52460903 2003-03-07

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO2004080025A1 true true WO2004080025A1 (en) 2004-09-16

Family

ID=32960338

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/NZ2004/000047 WO2004080025A1 (en) 2003-03-07 2004-03-08 Media source selection and presentation system and method

Country Status (1)

Country Link
WO (1) WO2004080025A1 (en)

Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
CN105408920A (en) * 2013-05-24 2016-03-16 高通股份有限公司 Signaling device for teaching learning devices

Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP1056221A2 (en) * 1999-05-25 2000-11-29 Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha Integrated receiving system for receiving a plurality of media signals and corresponding signal reception processing method
WO2002102014A2 (en) * 2001-06-11 2002-12-19 Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. Media server

Patent Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP1056221A2 (en) * 1999-05-25 2000-11-29 Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha Integrated receiving system for receiving a plurality of media signals and corresponding signal reception processing method
WO2002102014A2 (en) * 2001-06-11 2002-12-19 Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. Media server

Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
CN105408920A (en) * 2013-05-24 2016-03-16 高通股份有限公司 Signaling device for teaching learning devices
CN105408920B (en) * 2013-05-24 2018-01-09 高通股份有限公司 The signal transmission device for learning the teachings of the device

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US7225456B2 (en) Gateway screen for interactive television
US6510557B1 (en) Apparatus for the integration of television signals and information from an information service provider
US6072521A (en) Hand held apparatus for simulating two way connectivity for one way data streams
US20030035075A1 (en) Method and system for providing improved user input capability for interactive television
EP0617563B1 (en) Data server, control server and gateway architecture system and method for broadcasting digital video on demand
US5903259A (en) Method and apparatus for mapping remote control buttons onto keyboard stroke combinations
US6530084B1 (en) Automated control of interactive application execution using defined time periods
US7134133B1 (en) Method, system, and software for creating and utilizing broadcast electronic program guide templates
US5806849A (en) Electronic game system with wireless controller
US20040128701A1 (en) Client device and server device
US6064420A (en) Simulating two way connectivity for one way data streams for multiple parties
US20030018975A1 (en) Method and system for wireless audio and video monitoring
US5838384A (en) System for assigning multichannel audio signals to independent wireless audio output devices
US20020152464A1 (en) System and method for pushing internet content onto interactive television
US6052556A (en) Interactivity enhancement apparatus for consumer electronics products
US6519771B1 (en) System for interactive chat without a keyboard
US6199206B1 (en) Television transmitter, television transmitting method, television receiver and television receiving method
US20090165057A1 (en) Concurrent program content processing apparatus, systems, and methods
US20020010924A1 (en) Push method and system
US20020129376A1 (en) Virtual channel system for web appliance, including interactive television
US5878222A (en) Method and apparatus for controlling video/audio and channel selection for a communication signal based on channel data indicative of channel contents of a signal
US20110030027A1 (en) Television transmitter, television transmitting method, television receiver and television receiving method
US20020010923A1 (en) Apparatus and method for providing and obtaining product information through a broadcast signal
US20050015464A1 (en) Network systems and methods to pull video
US20060282785A1 (en) System and method of displaying content in display windows

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
AK Designated states

Kind code of ref document: A1

Designated state(s): AE AG AL AM AT AU AZ BA BB BG BR BW BY BZ CA CH CN CO CR CU CZ DE DK DM DZ EC EE EG ES FI GB GD GE GH GM HR HU ID IL IN IS JP KE KG KP KR KZ LC LK LR LS LT LU LV MA MD MG MK MN MW MX MZ NA NI NO NZ OM PG PH PL PT RO RU SC SD SE SG SK SL SY TJ TM TN TR TT TZ UA UG US UZ VC VN YU ZA ZM ZW

AL Designated countries for regional patents

Kind code of ref document: A1

Designated state(s): BW GH GM KE LS MW MZ SD SL SZ TZ UG ZM ZW AM AZ BY KG KZ MD RU TJ TM AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HU IE IT LU MC NL PL PT RO SE SI SK TR BF BJ CF CG CI CM GA GN GQ GW ML MR NE SN TD TG

121 Ep: the epo has been informed by wipo that ep was designated in this application
122 Ep: pct app. not ent. europ. phase