WO2011001465A1 - An apparatus for ingesting data to a server - Google Patents

An apparatus for ingesting data to a server Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2011001465A1
WO2011001465A1 PCT/JP2009/003018 JP2009003018W WO2011001465A1 WO 2011001465 A1 WO2011001465 A1 WO 2011001465A1 JP 2009003018 W JP2009003018 W JP 2009003018W WO 2011001465 A1 WO2011001465 A1 WO 2011001465A1
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Prior art keywords
data
unit
writing
server
storing unit
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PCT/JP2009/003018
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French (fr)
Inventor
Takumi Hirose
Toshiyuki Tanaka
Shotaro Kano
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Thomson Licensing
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Abstract

Data writing unit (12) of ingesting apparatus suspends an operation of writing data inputted through input unit (11) into storing unit (32), if server monitoring unit (15) determines that the writing state is below a predetermined state. While the writing operation is suspended, the data inputted through the input unit (11) is retained by data retaining unit (14), and the data writing unit (12) secures a space in the storing unit (32) for writing the data retained by the data retaining unit (14). The data writing unit (12) resumes the writing operation of the data inputted through the input unit (11) into the storing unit (32), if server monitoring unit (15) determines that the writing state is restored to the predetermined state. The data writing unit (12) writes the data retained by the data retaining unit (14) into the space that has been secured in the storing unit (32) at a predetermined timing.

Description

AN APPARATUS FOR INGESTING DATA TO A SERVER

The present invention relates to an apparatus for ingesting data to a server system.

With the spread of communication networks and advancement in computer technology, uploading, i.e. ingesting, of data from a terminal to a server via a communication network is frequently performed.

When ingesting data of a plurality of scenes recorded by a plurality of camcorders located at a live sport telecast and the like from a terminal to an image server, for example, in a case in which it is necessary that an operator immediately plays and edits the video data written in the image server using a high speed video recorder/player, the terminal is required to ingest the data to a storage of the image server maintaining real time writing speed even if the data is large.

In a case where the data is ingested to a storage of a server to which a plurality of terminals are connected, random access to the server by other terminals can temporarily increase the load to be greater than expected. If a writing speed at which the server writes the data into the storage becomes slower due to this load, the server may not maintain real-time processing, and it is not possible to continue ingestion processing itself in some cases.

As one solution for uploading data without fail, there is a technique in which, when handling large data, an amount of a space in a storage of a server is checked and the data is ingested only when the storage of the server has a free space. However, real-time processing cannot be carried out in this case (see patent literature 1).

Alternatively, a technique with which data is ingested twice can be used in order to make a backup. However, in this case, additional storage is required to be prepared with a writing speed and a capacity comparable to the server, which increases complexity and cost of the system. In addition, when the data that has been saved as a backup is used, it is not possible to carry out follow-up playback/editing because it is necessary to switch to data to be edited. This significantly reduces user-friendliness.

Other techniques relating to the data ingestion are disclosed in patent literature 2, patent literature 3, and patent literature 4.

Japanese Unexamined Patent Application Publication No. 2002-351784. United States Patent No. 654992. Japanese Unexamined Patent Application Publication No. H10-134079. Japanese Unexamined Patent Application Publication No. H20-19979.

In the current situation, it is necessary to avoid an overflow that can occur during ingestion by a workflow such as restricting access to a server during ingestion, and a technique for minimizing a range and time for such a restriction is desired to allow automatic recovery when ingestion is aborted.

In view of the above problems, it is an object of the present invention to provide an ingesting apparatus capable of ingesting data to a server without any access restriction.

In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, there is provided an ingesting apparatus including: an input unit for inputting data; a data retaining unit for retaining the data; a data writing unit for writing the data into a storing unit of a server; a server monitoring unit for monitoring a writing state of the data written into the storing unit. The data writing unit suspends an operation of writing the data inputted through the input unit into the storing unit, if the server monitoring unit determines that the writing state is below a predetermined state when the data inputted through the input unit is written into the storing unit. While the writing operation is suspended, the data inputted through the input unit is retained by the data retaining unit, and the data writing unit secures a space in the storing unit for writing the data retained by the data retaining unit. The data writing unit resumes the writing operation of the data inputted through the input unit into the storing unit, if the server monitoring unit determines that the writing state is restored to the predetermined state, and the data writing unit writes the data retained by the data retaining unit into the space that has been secured in the storing unit at a predetermined timing.

In some cases, when the writing speed at which the storing unit of the server writes becomes lower than the speed at which the data is transmitted to the server, for example, due to a large number of accesses to the server or a sudden increase in traffic, failure or such can occur in a buffer of the ingesting apparatus, and ingestion itself may be aborted. In contrast, according to the ingesting apparatus of the present invention, the server monitoring unit monitors the writing state of the storing unit (server storage) of the server. When the speed at which the storing unit of the server writes decreases below the speed at which the data is transmitted to the server, for example, the data that is continuously inputted is quickly evacuated to the data retaining unit (local storage). Then, the transmission of the continuously inputted data to the server is immediately resumed when the writing state of the server is determined to be restored, for example, when the speed at which the storing unit of the server writes is determined to be restored to or above the speed at which the data is transmitted to the server. Accordingly, it is possible to continue ingestion while avoiding a failure in the buffer. Further, as the data retained in the data retaining unit is transmitted to the server at a predetermined timing and written into the space of the storing unit of the server, the data inputted through the input unit can ultimately be stored in the storing unit of the server appropriately. Therefore, it is possible to carry out ingestion of data to a server with a simple configuration while maintaining reliability and stability, without any access restriction and such, even when the data is continuous and large, and is desired to be processed in real time. The predetermined timing may be determined according to an actual implementation, and may be, for example, a time point at which the writing state of the server is determined to be sufficiently restored, a time point at which the writing speed at which the data is written into the storing unit of the server is determined to be restored to a level considerably faster than the transmission speed at which the data is transmitted to the server, or a time point at which ingestion is completed. The writing state may include not only the writing speed, but also the presence of an error in the writing to the storing unit, for example, and can be determined according to an actual implementation. Further, the writing state of the server can be a speed at which the data is written into the storing unit of the server, and the predetermined state can be a speed at which the data is transmitted to the server. With this, it is possible to avoid aborting ingestion itself due to a failure in the transmit buffer.

Further, the ingesting apparatus according to the present invention can be such that the space secured in the storing unit is a space between a first position and a second position, and the data retained by the data retaining unit is written into the space. The first position may be a position at which a last block of data that has been written into the storing unit immediately before the data writing unit suspends the writing operation is stored. The second position may be a position at which a first block of data written into the storing unit immediately after the data writing unit has resumed the writing operation is stored.

With this configuration, the inputted data can ultimately be stored in the space secured in the storing unit of the server appropriately.

Further, the ingesting apparatus according to the present invention can be such that the data retaining unit adds a piece of information, for identifying a last block of data that has been written into the storing unit immediately before the data writing unit suspends the writing operation, to a head of the data retained by the data retaining unit while the writing operation is suspended, and adds another piece of information, for identifying a first block of data written into the storing unit immediately after the data writing unit has resumed the writing operation, to an end of the data.

With this configuration, the ingesting apparatus according to the present invention can add information to the data evacuated to the data retaining unit, the information for identifying the space secured in the storing unit to which the evacuated data is to be restored. With this, the data evacuated to the data retaining unit can be appropriately restored in its proper position in the space in the storing unit.

Further, the ingesting apparatus according to the present invention can be such that the data writing unit includes a buffer unit that temporarily retains the data before writing the data into the storing unit, and the server monitoring unit monitors a free space of the buffer unit, and determines that the writing state of the server is below the predetermined state when the free space of the buffer unit is above a predetermined value. Further, the ingesting apparatus according to the present invention can be such that the writing state of the data written into the storing unit may be represented by a writing speed at which the data is written into the storing unit, and the predetermined state may be indicated by a predetermined speed at which the data is written into the storing unit.

With this configuration, the ingesting apparatus according to the present invention can appropriately monitor the writing state of the data written into the storing unit of the server.

Further, the ingesting apparatus according to the present invention can further include a data amount reducing unit that reduces an amount of the data, and can be such that, while the writing operation is suspended, the data amount reducing unit reduces the amount of the data that is continuously inputted through the input unit, and the data writing unit writes the data whose amount of data has been reduced into the space secured in the storing unit.

With this configuration, even if the server is in a state in which the data cannot be received, the ingesting apparatus according to the present invention can transmit the data whose amount of data has been reduced to the server even while the data is evacuated to the local. Therefore, when other terminals access the server and request the data that has been evacuated to the local, the data whose amount of data has been reduced can be transmitted.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there is provided an ingesting system comprising a server and an ingesting apparatus, wherein the server comprises a storing unit, and the ingesting apparatus comprises: an input unit for inputting data therethrough; a data retaining unit for retaining the data; a data writing unit for writing the data into a storing unit of the server; and a server monitoring unit for monitoring a writing state of the data written into the storing unit, wherein the data writing unit suspends an operation of writing the data inputted through the input unit into the storing unit, if the server monitoring unit determines that the writing state is below a predetermined state when the data inputted through the input unit is written into the storing unit, while the writing operation is suspended, the data inputted through the input unit is retained by the data retaining unit, and the data writing unit secures a space in the storing unit for writing the data retained by the data retaining unit, wherein the data writing unit resumes the writing operation of the data inputted through the input unit into the storing unit, if the server monitoring unit determines that the writing state is restored to the predetermined state, and wherein the data writing unit writes the data retained by the data retaining unit into the space that has been secured in the storing unit at a predetermined timing.

With this configuration, the ingesting system according to the present invention can ingest data to a server without any access restriction.

Further, in the ingesting system according to the present invention, the server may transmit dummy data when the data that has been retained in the retaining unit but not written in the storing unit is requested.

With this configuration, the ingesting system according to the present embodiment can notify that the data is temporarily evacuated and not lost due to abortion of ingestion, when a different terminal accesses the server and requests data that is being evacuated to the local storage, for example.

According to the present invention, it is possible to ingest data to a server without any access restriction.

FIG. 1 shows a schematic diagram of an information system including an ingesting apparatus according to a representative embodiment of the present invention; FIG. 2 shows a schematic diagram illustrating the information system of FIG. 1, in which the ingesting apparatus evacuates the data to a local as a load on a server to which data is being ingested has increased; FIG. 3 shows a schematic diagram of the ingesting apparatus according to a representative embodiment; FIG. 4 shows a block diagram illustrating a hardware configuration of the ingesting apparatus of FIG. 1; FIG. 5 shows a functional configuration diagram of the ingesting apparatus according to a first embodiment; FIG. 6 shows a diagram illustrating one example of data of an evacuation header; FIG. 7 shows a diagram illustrating one example of a structure of the data of the evacuation header; FIG. 8 shows a flow chart illustrating an operation of the ingesting apparatus of FIG. 5; FIG. 9A shows a diagram illustrating how the ingesting apparatus of FIG. 5 evacuates a portion of the data to be transmitted to the server on the local; FIG. 9B shows a diagram illustrating an operation of the ingesting apparatus of FIG. 5, in which the ingesting apparatus restores the portion of the data that has been evacuated to a storing unit in the server; FIG. 10 shows a functional configuration diagram of the ingesting apparatus according to a second embodiment; FIG. 11 shows a flow chart illustrating an operation of the ingesting apparatus of FIG. 10; FIG. 12 shows a diagram illustrating how the ingesting apparatus of FIG. 10 transmits low resolution data to a server in parallel and stores the low resolution data in a position from which high resolution has been evacuated; FIG. 13 shows a flow chart illustrating an operation of the ingesting apparatus according to a third embodiment; and FIG. 14 shows a diagram illustrating how the ingesting apparatus of FIG. 13 stores, in the server, low resolution data in a position from which high resolution has been evacuated.

The following describes an embodiment of ingesting apparatus according to the present invention, with reference to the drawings.

<First Embodiment>
FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 show a schematic diagram of an information system including an ingesting apparatus according to a representative embodiment of the present invention. The information processing system can be configured, for example, as a moving image editing/recording system. Referring to FIG. 1, the information processing system is provided with camcorders 121-123 that take images of, for example, an event such as a soccer game or a reporting site and output video data of the images in real time, an ingesting apparatus 100 of a representative embodiment that, when the video data is inputted from the camcorders 121-123, transmits in real time to a server, for example, a server 300 connected via a network and writes into a storage of the server 300 (herein also referred to as "ingest(s)"), and other terminals 200 and 400 that access the server 300 via the network and record and edit the data stored in the server 300. The ingesting apparatus 100 that transmits the video data and ingests the data, includes a data retaining unit 361 configured with, for example, a hard disk as a local storage for retaining the video data as needed. The server 300 includes a data storing unit 302 configured with, for example, a hard disk as a server storage for storing the video data that has been ingested and a CPU (not shown) that controls the entire operation.

The video data inputted by the ingesting apparatus 100 from the camcorders 121-123 is, for example, the video data of the images of an event such as a soccer game or a reporting site that are transmitted continuously in real time. The ingesting apparatus 100 ingests the video data inputted continuously in real time from the camcorders 121-123 into the server 300, and writes the data into the data storing unit 302 of a server. In the following explanation, the video data inputted from the camcorders 121-123 is taken as an example of the data that the ingesting apparatus 100 inputs and writes into the data storing unit 302 of the server 300. However, the data that the ingesting apparatus 100 inputs and writes into the data storing unit 302 of the server 300 is not limited to such an example, but may include any type of data such as audio data and program data in addition to video data. Further, video data and audio data that are played by a different playback apparatus that is not shown in the drawing, video data, audio data, program data and the like that are transmitted via a different network may be inputted and written by the ingesting apparatus 100 into the storage of a destination server.

When network traffic is not heavy and the load on the server 300 is small, a writing speed at which the video data is written into the data storing unit 302 of the server 300 can be maintained at a predetermined speed, for example, substantially in real time. In this case, as shown by arrow A in FIG. 1, the video data is smoothly transmitted from the ingesting apparatus 100 to the server 300. Here, a case is considered in which, as shown by arrow B in FIG. 2, for example, the traffic suddenly increases or the load on the server 300 increases due to, for example, accesses from terminals 200, 400 to the server 300, and therefore the writing speed at which the server 300 writes the video data into the data storing unit 302 cannot be maintained at the predetermined speed. Conventionally, when the writing speed at which the data is written into the storage of the server decreases below the transmission speed at which the data is transmitted to the server, failure or such often occurs in a buffer of the ingesting apparatus, thereby ingestion itself is aborted.

The ingesting apparatus 100 according to the present embodiment is such that, when it is detected that the server 300 cannot maintain the writing speed at which the video data is being written into the data storing unit 302 at the predetermined speed, for example, substantial real time, the video data that is being continuously inputted from the camcorders 121-123 in substantial real time is retained by the data retaining unit 361, instead of being transmitted to the server 300, as shown by an arrow C. Further, while the writing operation of the data to the storing unit 302 is suspended, a space into which the data retained by the data retaining unit 361 can be written afterwards is secured into the storing unit 302. Then, when it is detected that the writing speed at which the video data is written into the data storing unit 302 of the server 300 is restored to the predetermined speed, again, the video data that is being continuously inputted from the camcorders 121-123 in substantial real time is transmitted to the data storing unit 302 of the server 300, as shown by arrow A in FIG. 1, to be written into a space secured in the data storing unit 302 of the server 300. With this, it is possible to avoid aborting ingestion to the server 300 due to the reduction of the writing speed of the data storing unit 302.

Further, the video data that has been continuously inputted from the camcorders 121-123 and retained by the data retaining unit 361 instead of being stored in the data storing unit 302 of the server 300 while the writing speed of the server 300 is determined to be lower than the predetermined speed, is transmitted to the server 300 and written into the space secured in the data storing unit 302 of the server at a predetermined timing, for example, when the writing speed of the server 300 is sufficiently restored or when ingestion is completed. The space secured in the data storing unit 302 is a space between a position at which a last block of data, which has been transmitted to the server 300 and stored in the data storing unit 302 of the server 300 immediately before the ingesting apparatus 100 suspends the transmission, is stored, and a position at which a first block of data, which is stored in the data storing unit 302 immediately after the ingesting apparatus 100 has resumed the transmission, is stored. In this manner, the ingesting apparatus 100 carries out ingestion of data to a server with a simple configuration while maintaining reliability and stability, without any access restriction and such, even when the data is continuous and large, and is desired to be processed in real time. For the sake of simplicity, the data that the ingesting apparatus 100 ingests to the server 300 is described as the video data. However, the present invention is not limited to this, and audio data, program data, signals and such can also be ingested to the server 300 along with or independently from the video data, for example.

FIG. 3 shows a schematic diagram of the ingesting apparatus 100 according to the representative embodiment. Referring to FIG. 3, the ingesting apparatus 100 is provided with a main body 101 and a storage 361 connected to the main body 101, and the camcorders 121-123 and a decoder/monitor 134 are connected to the main body 101.

The ingesting apparatus 100 and each component are connected by, for example, a LAN (Local Area Network) that connects the main body 101 and the storage 361, a coaxial cable 124 that connects the main body 101 and the camcorders 121-123, a cable 138 that connects the main body 101 and the decoder/monitor 134. However, the connection form is not limited to this example, and the ingesting apparatus 100 and the components can be connected by a different wired connection (for example, a fibre channel) or by a wireless connection.

The main body 101 transmits, for example, moving image signals that have been received from the camcorders 121-123 as video data or moving image data to an external terminal such as the server 300. The main body 101 also transmits the moving image signals to the decoder/monitor 134. The decoder/monitor 134 displays the moving image based on the moving image signals transmitted from the main body 101. As used herein, the "moving image" includes a "still image".

FIG. 4 shows a block diagram illustrating a hardware configuration of the ingesting apparatus 100 of the present embodiment. Referring to FIG. 4 along with FIG. 1 to FIG. 3, the ingesting apparatus 100 is provided with the main body 101 and the storage 361 connected to the main body 101 via a LAN 141, and the camcorders 121-123, splitters 321-323, and the decoder/monitor 134 (FIG. 3) are connected to the ingesting apparatus 100. An input unit 315 is for inputting data that is transmitted from the camcorders 121-123.

The main body 101 is configured by encoders 311-313, a decoder 341 connected to the decoder/monitor 134, a transmitter/receiver unit 350, a CPU (Central Processing Unit) 371, a memory 381, and such, and each of these components are connected by some kind of bus so as to be able to communicate.

The encoders 311-313 each encode moving image signals transmitted from the splitters 321-323, and create encoded moving image data. Further, the encoders 311-313 can read and encode a moving image signal stored in the storage 361. In a first embodiment as later described, the encoders 311-313 are not activated, and the video data inputted from the camcorders 121-123 are transmitted via the transmitter/receiver unit 350 to the external terminal such as the server 300 as a destination of ingestion. However, in a second embodiment and a third embodiment as later described, both or one of uncompressed video data that is inputted from the camcorders 121-123 (also referred to as "high resolution data") and video data whose amount is reduced by the encoders 311-313 (also referred to as "low resolution data") are transmitted in some cases. In such a case, the encoders 311-313 can compress the data using any method, as long as the decoder of the server 300 is compatible, such as DV codec for creating intra-frame coded data and MPEG, H.264/AVC system, DVC, DVCPRO, DVCPROHD, JPEG, and JPEG 2000, for creating inter-frame predictive coded data, depending on an actual implementation. While the present embodiment is described taking an example in which the uncompressed video data is high resolution data and the compressed video data is low resolution data, the present invention is not limited to such an example. What is required is that the data amount of the low resolution data is reduced from the data amount of the high resolution data, and the high resolution data may be compressed data, for example. In this case, it is desirable that both the high resolution data and the low resolution data are encoded using the same encoding method.

The decoder 341 reads the encoded moving image data from the storage 361, decodes the data, and transmits the decoded moving image signals to a display controller (not shown) and such.

The transmitter/receiver unit 350 transmits and receives the data, according to a control by the CPU 371, from and to an external terminal such as the server 300 and the terminals 200 and 400, for example. Further, the transmitter/receiver unit 350 is provided with a transmission buffer unit 351 that temporarily stores data immediately before the data is transmitted to other terminals.

For example, when continuously transmitting the video data and/or the audio data to the server 300, if the writing of the video data and/or the audio data into the data storing unit 302 of the server 300 is carried out smoothly, and if the writing speed at which the video data and/or the audio data is written into the data storing unit 302 is maintained equal to or faster than the transmission speed at which the video data and/or the audio data is transmitted to the server 300, the video data and/or the audio data stored in the buffer unit 351 is sequentially written into the data storing unit 302 of the server 300. Therefore, a space of the transmission buffer unit 351 used for storing the data becomes immediately open, and the transmission buffer unit 351 remains substantially empty. In contrast, when a load on the server 300 increases, and if the writing speed at which the video data and/or the audio data is written into the data storing unit 302 decreases below the transmission speed at which the video data and/or the audio data is continuously transmitted to the server 300, an amount of the data stored in the transmission buffer unit 351 gradually increases. When the ingesting apparatus 100 transmits large data such as the video data to a different terminal, in the representative embodiment, the CPU 371 monitors a free space of the transmission buffer unit 351, and determines a writing state of the data written into a storage of the destination terminal.

The storage 361 is configured by a hard disk, for example, and stores a program that is executed on the CPU 371 and the encoded moving image data transmitted from the encoders 311-313 as needed. Further, the storage 361 can be provided both or either internally or externally to the main body 101.

The CPU 371 reads the program stored in the memory 381 and carries out various processes. Examples of the program executed by the CPU 371 include applications for editing and playing the moving image data, and an OS (Operating System) for controlling the devices that are connected to the bus.

The memory 381 stores the program that is read from the storage 361. Examples of the program include applications for editing and playing the moving image data, and an OS for controlling the devices that are connected to the bus. Further, the memory 381 can store the moving image signals and the moving image data transmitted from the devices connected to the bus.

FIG. 5 shows a functional configuration diagram of the ingesting apparatus according to the first embodiment. Referring to FIG. 5 along with FIG. 4, the ingesting apparatus of the present embodiment carries out functions of each of an input unit 11, a data writing unit 12, a server monitoring unit 15, a data retaining unit 14, and a controlling unit 16, by the components shown in FIG. 4 in cooperate with the program. By these components, the controlling unit 16 carries out (1) a destination monitoring function for monitoring a writing state of a destination server when transmitting real-time continuous data, (2) a data evacuation and server reservation function for evacuating the data that is continuously inputted to the ingesting apparatus, i.e., a local storage (the data retaining unit 14) instead of transmitting the data to the server when the writing speed of the destination server is determined to be lower than the predetermined speed, and for reserving a space for the evacuated data in the server storage, (3) a transmission resuming function for resuming the transmission of the data that is continuously inputted to the server when the writing speed of the destination server is determined to be restored, and (4) a data restoration function for transmitting the data that has been evacuated to the local storage to the server at a predetermined timing, and for writing the data at a predetermined position in the server. In the present embodiment, the input unit 11 can be configured by the input unit 315, the data writing unit 12 can be configured by the transmitter/receiver unit 350, the data retaining unit 14 can be configured by the storage 361, the server monitoring unit 15 can be configured by the transmission buffer unit 351 and the CPU 371 that monitors the amount of the data stored in the transmission buffer unit 351 and the controlling unit 16 can be configured by the CPU 371, for example. The storing unit 32 of the server can be configured by, for example, the data storing unit 302 such as a hard disk. In the present embodiment, essential components in the configuration of the ingesting apparatus 100 described with reference to FIG. 3 and FIG. 4 are the CPU 371, the input unit 315, the transmitter/receiver unit 350, the transmission buffer unit 351, and the storage 361.

(1) Destination Monitoring Function
The CPU 371 that configures the controlling unit 16 monitors a data writing state of a storage of the server 300 as a destination, i.e., the storing unit 32 (the data storing unit 302) using the server monitoring unit 15. When the data is inputted continuously in real time, if the writing speed at which the data is written into the storing unit 32 decreases below the predetermined speed, for example, the transmission speed at which the data is transmitted to the server, the amount of the data stored in the transmission buffer unit 351 increases. If such a situation is maintained, failure or such occurs in the transmission buffer unit 351 and the data that is continuously inputted through the input unit 11 is lost, for example, and thus ingestion itself is aborted. The server monitoring unit 15 can monitor the amount of the data stored in the transmission buffer unit 351 to monitor the data writing state of the storing unit 32 of the server 300. With the destination monitoring function, it is possible to monitor the data writing state of the storing unit 32 of the server 300 as the destination, and to take appropriate measures before a failure occurs in the buffer.

(2) Data Evacuation And Server Reservation Function
When the data writing unit 12 transmits the data continuously inputted through the input unit 11 to the server 300 via the network to store the transmitted data in the storing unit 32 of the server 300, the CPU 371 that configures the controlling unit 16 monitors the writing state of the server 300, which is monitored by the server monitoring unit 15. When the server monitoring unit 15 determines that the writing state of the server 300 is below a predetermined state, the CPU 371 immediately causes the data writing unit 12 to suspend the transmission of the data continuously inputted through the input unit 11 to the server 300. Further, the data continuously inputted through the input unit 11 is retained by the data retaining unit 14, from a block succeeding a last block of the data that has been continuously inputted through the input unit 11, transmitted to the server 300 by the data writing unit 12, and stored in the storing unit 32 of the server 300. With this, it is possible to avoid the failure in the transmission buffer, and to evacuate the data continuously inputted through the input unit 11 to the local storage.

In order to realize the data restoration function, it is necessary to reserve a free space for an amount of the data evacuated to the local data retaining unit 14 in the storing unit 32 of the server 300. Then, it is necessary for the local to store a starting position and a size of the evacuated data so that the data evacuated to the local can be later restored in the space reserved in the storing unit 32 of the server.

The ingesting apparatus according to the present embodiment specifies the last block of the data that has been stored in the storing unit 32 of the server immediately before the transmission is suspended using, for example, a file pointer, and reserves a space so that the data evacuated to the local can be later restored in a storage of the server 300. Further, a header for identification (herein referred to as an "evacuation header") is created at a head of a data block that is first written when the data that has been continuously inputted through the input unit 11 is evacuated to the local, so that the data evacuated to the local can be later restored in the space reserved and secured in the storing unit 32 of the server.

In the evacuation header, information necessary for later restoring the evacuated data in the space reserved and secured in the server 300 is recorded. For example, a position of the data block from which the evacuation has started and a size of the evacuated data can be recorded in the evacuation header. One example of the evacuation header is shown in FIG. 6, and one example of a data structure of the evacuation header is shown in FIG. 7.

As shown in FIG. 6 and FIG. 7, in the evacuation header, a file pointer of the last block of the data that has been written into the storing unit 32 of the server 300 immediately before the transmission is suspended, and information such as the size of the data evacuated to the data retaining unit 14 are recorded. When evacuating the data continuously inputted through the input unit 11, the data which the data writing unit 12 suspends the transmission to the server 300 and instead stores in the data retaining unit 14 is provided with the evacuation header thus created at a head portion of the data, and then stored in the data retaining unit 14.

Moreover, along with the information of the last block of the data written into the storing unit 32 of the server 300 immediately before the transmission is suspended, information of a first block that is stored in the storing unit 32 immediately after the transmission of the data to the server 300 has been resumed can be recorded in the evacuation header (see FIG. 9A).

Further, in some cases, while the continuously inputted data is evacuated to the data retaining unit 14, a different terminal accesses the server 300 and requests a piece of data that is not stored in the server 300 but is being evacuated to the data retaining unit 14. The controlling unit 16 may transmit a signal to the server 300 so as to instruct the server 300 to display dummy data, for example, an error message or a message notifying "this data is locally evacuated" when the piece of data that is being evacuated is requested,. With this, the ingesting apparatus according to the present embodiment can notify that the data is temporarily evacuated and not lost due to abortion of ingestion, when a different terminal accesses the server and requests data that is being evacuated to the local storage (the data retaining unit 361), for example.

(3) Transmission Resuming Function
When the writing state of the server 300 monitored by the server monitoring unit 15 is in the predetermined state, for example, when the data is inputted continuously in real time, if the writing speed at which the data is written into the storing unit 32 is determined to be restored to a level equal to or faster than, for example, the transmission speed at which the data is transmitted to the server 300, the CPU 371 that configures the controlling unit 16 immediately causes the data writing unit 12 to resume the transmission of the data continuously inputted through the input unit 11 to the server 300. When the transmission of the data to the server 300 is suspended, the amount of the data stored in the transmission buffer unit 351 gradually decreases, and the transmission buffer unit 351 returns to a substantially empty state. The time point at which the transmission buffer unit 351 returns to the substantially empty state can be used as an indication that the writing state of the server 300 has restored the predetermined state. Further, in the present embodiment, the method of monitoring the amount of the space in the transmission buffer unit 351 is described as one example of the method of monitoring the state of writing to the storing unit 32 of the server. However, the present invention is not limited to this example, and any method, that a person having ordinary skill in the art can conceive of, can be used, such as monitoring an error in the storing unit 32. With this, as the server 300 can store the data that is continuously inputted in the storing unit 32, as the load returning to a normal state, other terminals that access the server 300, i.e., the terminals 200 and 400, can continue a process such as an editing operation in real time, for example.

(4) Data Restoration Function
The CPU 371 that configures the controlling unit 16 transmits the data, that has been evacuated to the data retaining unit 14 while the server monitoring unit 15 has determined that the writing state of the server 300 is below the predetermined state, to the server at the predetermined timing, and extracts and restores the data in the space that has been reserved and secured in the storing unit 32 of the server 300, that is, the space specified by the evacuation header (see FIG. 9B). The predetermined timing can be determined according to an actual implementation, and can be, for example, a time point at which the writing state of the server 300 is determined to be sufficiently restored, a time point at which the writing speed at which the data is written into the storing unit 32 of the server 300 is determined to be restored to a level considerably faster than the transmission speed at which the data is transmitted to the server 300, or a time point at which ingestion is completed. With this, the server 300 can appropriately extract the data evacuated to the local storage, i.e., the data retaining unit 14, at a predetermined position in the storing unit 32 configured, for example, by a hard disk of the server 300, without any special configuration. Accordingly, other terminals that access the server 300, for example, the terminals 200 and 400, can properly carry out a process such as the editing operation.

Further, as the data evacuated to the local data retaining unit 14 is restored in the space in the storing unit 32 of the server 300 that is specified by the evacuation header, it is not necessary for the server 300 to sequentially read the data from the data retaining unit 14 of the ingesting apparatus. The ingesting apparatus can locate a restoring position in the storing unit 32 of the server 300 based on the information of the evacuation header, and write the evacuated data into the free space to be restored.

FIG. 8 shows a flow chart illustrating an operation of the ingesting apparatus of the present embodiment. Referring to FIG. 8 along with FIG. 4, the operation of the ingesting apparatus according to the present embodiment is described. The following process is carried out under the control of the CPU 371 included in the ingesting apparatus.

First, in Step S21, input of the data commences. Specifically, the input unit 11 commences input of the data that is continuously inputted from the camcorders 121-123, for example. In Step S22, the data is transmitted to the server. Specifically, the data writing unit 12 transmits the data continuously to the server 300 via the network, and writes the data into the storing unit 32 of the server 300.

Then, in Step S23, it is determined whether or not the writing state of the storing unit 32 of the server 300 is below the predetermined state. Specifically, the server monitoring unit 15 monitors the writing state of the data written into the storing unit 32 of the server 300 based on, for example, the writing speed at which the data is written into the storing unit 32, the amount of the data that has been stored in the transmission buffer unit 351, or the like. In Step S23, if the writing state of the storing unit 32 of the server 300 is determined to be below the predetermined state, the process proceeds to Step S24. Alternatively, in Step S23, if the writing state of the storing unit 32 of the server 300 is determined to be at or above the predetermined state, the process proceeds to Step S26.

In Step S24, the data is evacuated to the local storage, that is, the data retaining unit 14, instated of being transmitted to the server 300. Specifically, the space for the data evacuated to the data retaining unit 14 is reserved in the storing unit 32 of the server 300, and the evacuation header is created for the data block that is first written into the data retaining unit 14, so that the data evacuated to the data retaining unit 14 can be later restored in the reserved space. FIG. 9A shows a diagram illustrating how a portion of continuous data to be ingested to the storing unit 32 of the server 300 is evacuated to the data retaining unit 14.

As shown in FIG. 9A, the continuous data evacuated to the data retaining unit 14 is such that the last data block and the first data block in the data that has been written into the storing unit 32 of the server 300 can be identified based on the evacuation header described referring to FIG. 6 and FIG. 7. With this, it is possible to identify between which data blocks, of the continuous data ingested in the storing unit 32 of the server 300, the continuous data evacuated to the data retaining unit 14 should be inserted.

In Step S25, it is determined whether or not the writing state of the server is restored. Specifically, the server monitoring unit 15 monitors the writing state of the data written into the storing unit 32 of the server 300 based on, for example, the writing speed at which the data is written into the storing unit 32, the amount of the data that has been stored in the transmission buffer unit 351, or the like. In Step S25, if the writing state of the storing unit 32 of the server 300 is determined to be restored to the predetermined state, the process returns to Step S22. If the writing state is determined to be not restored, the process returns to Step S24.

In Step S26, it is determined whether or not input of the data has been completed. Specifically, it is determined whether or not input of the data from the camcorders 121-123 to the input unit 11 has been completed. If input of the data is determined to not be complete, the process returns to Step S22. If input of the data is determined to be completed, the process proceeds to Step S27. In Step S27, it is determined whether or not the evacuated data is present in the local storage, that is, the data retaining unit 14. In Step S27, if the evacuated data is determined to be present in the data retaining unit 14, the process proceeds to Step S28. In Step S28, the data evacuated to the local storage, that is, the data retaining unit 14 is written into the secured space in the storing unit 32 of the server, and the ingesting operation is terminated.

In the description, the data evacuated to the local data retaining unit 14 is restored in the data storing unit 32 of the server 300 after the data input in Step S26 is completed. However, the present invention is not limited to such an example. A timing at which the data evacuated to the local data retaining unit 14 is restored in the data storing unit 32 of the server can be, for example, a time point at which the writing state of the storing unit 32 of the server 300 is sufficiently restored, such as when it is determined that the traffic to the server 300 for writing is not busy to an extent that the writing of the evacuated data to the data retaining unit 14 can be carried out in addition to the writing of the data continuously inputted through the input unit 11 to the storing unit 32, or when a predetermined time period lapses after the data input has been completed, and can be determined depending on an actual implementation.

FIG. 9B shows a diagram illustrating an operation of restoring the data evacuated to the data retaining unit 14 in the storing unit 32 of the server 300. As shown in FIG. 9B, the data evacuated to the local data retaining unit 14 is restored in the reserved free space in the storing unit 32 of the server 300. Specifically, the data evacuated to the local data retaining unit 14 is restored, referring to the evacuation header provided for the data, in the space between the position at which the last block of the data in the storing unit 32 that has been transmitted to the server 300 immediately before the data writing unit 12 suspends the transmission and is stored in the storing unit 32 of the server 300, and the position at which the first block of the data stored immediately after the data writing unit has resumed the transmission is stored in the storing unit. When the data evacuated to the data retaining unit 14 is stored in the storing unit 32 of the server 300, it is not necessary to sequentially read the evacuated data from the data retaining unit 14 of the ingesting apparatus 100. The ingesting apparatus specifies the restoring position in the storing unit 32 of the server 300 based on the information in the evacuation header, and writes the evacuated data into the free space to be restored.

As described above, in the ingesting apparatus according to the present embodiment, when the data writing unit 12 writes the data into the server via the network and if the writing state of the server that the server monitoring unit 15 monitors is determined to be below the predetermined state, the controlling unit 16 immediately causes the data writing unit 12 to suspend the transmission of the data continuously inputted from the input unit 11 to the server. Then, the data continuously inputted through the input unit 11 is retained by the data retaining unit 14, from the block succeeding the last block of the data transmitted to the server by the data writing unit 12 immediately beforehand, and stored in the storing unit of the server. The controlling unit 16 immediately causes the data writing unit 12 to resume the transmission of the data continuously inputted through the input unit 11, to the server, when the writing state of the server monitored by the server monitoring unit 15 is determined to be restored to the predetermined state. Further, the controlling unit 16 stores the data that has been continuously inputted through the input unit 11 and retained by the data retaining unit 14 instead of being stored in the storing unit of the server while the server monitoring unit 15 determines that the writing state of the server is below the predetermined state, at the predetermined timing, in the space in the storing unit of the server between the position at which the last block of the data that has been transmitted to the server immediately before the data writing unit 12 suspends the transmission and is stored in the storing unit of the server, and the position at which the first block of the data stored immediately after the data writing unit has resumed the transmission.

Thus, according to the ingesting apparatus of the present embodiment, the storage that is normally provided on the local can be used as the data retaining unit for temporarily evacuating, i.e., retaining the data, and therefore, any special hardware for retaining the data is not necessary. Further, as the free space for restoration is reserved and secured in the storing unit, the evacuated data can be restored in its proper position without fail. Further, as the data is evacuated only when the writing state is below the predetermined state, the data that is evacuated is limited, and the restriction given to the operation can be minimized even when the editing operation is carried out while ingesting the data in real time. Further, as the data evacuation is carried out when the server monitoring unit 15 determines that the writing state of the monitored server is below the predetermined state, it is not necessary for a user to consciously carry out any kind of operation. Further, in the present embodiment, there is only a single piece of the data to be edited, and the piece of the data is evacuated to the local storage only when the writing state is below the predetermined state. Accordingly, it is possible to realize the present invention with a capacity usually provided for the local storage. Further, as there is no switching of the data, it is possible to suppress functional restrictions as much as possible. Thus, it is possible to carry out ingestion of data to a server with a simple configuration while maintaining reliability and stability, without any access restriction and such, even when the data is continuous and large, and is desired to be processed in real time.

In the present embodiment, it is described that the data is not transmitted to the server 300 but evacuated to the local data retaining unit 14, when the writing state of the storing unit 32 of the server 300 is determined to be below the predetermined state in Step S23. However, the present invention is not limited to such a configuration. For example, regardless of the writing state of the storing unit 32 of the server 300, it is possible to always continue to transmit data with reduced data amount to the server 300. When the writing state of the storing unit 32 of the server 300 is determined to be below the predetermined state in Step S23, the data with reduced amount of data can be stored in the storing unit 32 of the server 300 at the same time as the data can be transmitted to and evacuated to the local data retaining unit 14. The next embodiment describes this configuration.

<Second Embodiment>
The ingesting apparatus according to the second embodiment is provided with a data amount reducing unit for reducing an amount of the data to be transmitted, and is different from the ingesting apparatus according to the first embodiment in that the ingesting apparatus transmits the video data in low resolution whose amount of data is reduced to the server along with the video data in high resolution inputted from the camcorders 121-123 and whose amount of data is not reduced or greater than the video data in low resolution.

FIG. 10 shows a functional configuration diagram of the ingesting apparatus according to the present embodiment. As shown in FIG. 10, the ingesting apparatus according to the present embodiment is provided with a data amount reducing unit 21 that reduces the amount of data, in addition to the configuration of the ingesting apparatus according to the first embodiment. The hardware configuration is the same as that of the ingesting apparatus according to the first embodiment other than that the encoders 311-313 configure the data amount reducing unit and the amount of the inputted data is reduced by an operation of the encoders 311-313 in the configuration described with reference to FIG. 4. Further, the server 300 is provided with a decoder with an encoding method corresponding to the encoders 311-313, in addition to the CPU that controls the processes. In the following, the same configurations and steps as in the first embodiment are represented by the same referemce nembers and only major differences from the first embodiment are described with reference to FIG. 10 and FIG. 4.

The ingesting apparatus according to the present embodiment carries out, in addition to the functions described in the first embodiment: (1) the destination monitoring function, (2) the data evacuation and server reservation function, (3) the transmission resuming function, and (4) the data restoration function, (5) a low resolution data transmit function for transmitting data with reduced amount of data to the server when transmitting the continuous data. Accordingly, even when the writing state of the server 300 is deteriorated and the continuously inputted data is evacuated to the storage (the data retaining unit 14) of the local, i.e., the ingesting apparatus instead of being transmitted to the server, the low resolution data with reduced amount of data continues to be transmitted to the server 300. Therefore, the server 300 can continue to receive the video data that is taken real time by the camcorders 121-123. Thus, the low resolution data is written into the portion of the storing unit 32 at which the high resolution data cannot be received and ingestion of the data can be continued.

Further, when the data is evacuated, the data is retained in the data retaining unit 14 of the local with the evacuation header described with reference to FIG. 6 and FIG. 7 being provided at the head of the data block. Therefore, when the data is later restored at the predetermined timing, the low resolution data stored in a space in the storing unit 32 between a position at which a last block of the high resolution data that has been transmitted to the server 300 and is stored in the storing unit 32 of the server 300 immediately before the data writing unit 12 suspends the transmission is stored and a position at which a first block of the data that is stored immediately after the data writing unit 12 has resumed the transmission can be easily replaced by the high resolution data evacuated to the data retaining unit 14 of the local in the same manner as described in the previous embodiment.

FIG. 11 shows a flow chart illustrating an operation of the ingesting apparatus according to the present embodiment. The operation of the ingesting apparatus according to the present embodiment is described with reference to FIG. 11 and FIG. 4. The following process is carried out under the control of the CPU 371 included in the ingesting apparatus.

First, in Step S21, input of the continuous data commences. Specifically, the input unit 11 commences input of the continuous data from the camcorders 121-123, for example. In Step S22, the data is transmitted to the server. Specifically, the data writing unit 12 transmits the data to the server 300 via the network, and has the storing unit 32 of the server 300 store the data.

In parallel with Step S22, in Step S41, the amount of the inputted continuous data is reduced. Specifically, the CPU 371 that configures the controlling unit 16 controls the data amount reducing unit 21 to reduce the amount of the data that is continuously inputted through the input unit 11. In Step S42, the low resolution data, i.e., the data whose amount of data is reduced, is transmitted to the server. Specifically, the data writing unit 12 transmits the low resolution data, i.e., the data whose amount of data is reduced by the data amount reducing unit 21 to the server 300, and has the storing unit 32 of the server 300 store the data. In Step S43, it is determined whether or not input of the data has been completed. Specifically, it is determined whether or not input of the data from the camcorders 121-123 to the input unit 11 has been completed. If input of the data is determined to be not completed, the process returns to Step S41. If input of the data is determined to be completed, the data transmission operation is terminated.

Further, in Step S44, when the high resolution data is evacuated to the data retaining unit 14 instead of being transmitted to the server 300, the controlling unit 16 writes the corresponding low resolution data into the space that the server 300 has secured in the storing unit 32, that is, writes the corresponding low resolution data immediately after the position of the last block of the high resolution data that has been stored. When the ingesting apparatus resumes the transmission of the high resolution data to the server 300, the controlling unit 16 writes, into the storing unit 32, the high resolution data that succeeds the low resolution data that has been received immediately before the transmission is resumed with maintaining continuity of the data. Therefore, the low resolution data transmitted to the server 300 in Step S42 may be processed on the server 300, referring to, for example, a time stamp included in the data, synchronized with the high resolution data transmitted in Step S22.

Further, in Step S27, if the evacuated data is determined to be present in the data retaining unit 14, the process proceeds to Step S45. In Step S45, the data evacuated to the local storage, that is, the data retaining unit 14 is written into the secured space in the storing unit 32 of the server, and the ingesting operation is terminated. Step S23, Step S25, and Step S26 are the same as in the steps described in the first embodiment with reference to FIG. 8.

In the description, the data evacuated to the local data retaining unit 14 is restored in the data storing unit 32 of the server 300 after the data input in Step S26 is completed. However, the present invention is not limited to such an example. A timing at which the data evacuated to the local data retaining unit 14 is restored in the data storing unit 32 of the server can be, for example, a time point at which the writing state of the storing unit 32 of the server 300 is sufficiently restored, such as when it is determined that the traffic to the server 300 for writing is not busy to an extent that the writing of the evacuated data to the data retaining unit 14 can be carried out in addition to the writing of the data continuously inputted through the input unit 11 to the storing unit 32, or when a predetermined time period lapses after the data input has been completed, and can be determined depending on an actual implementation.

FIG. 12 shows a diagram illustrating the low resolution data thus stored in the storing unit 32 of the server 300 along with the high resolution data. As shown in FIG. 12, while the high resolution data is evacuated to the data retaining unit 14 instead of being transmitted to the server 300, the server 300 writes the low resolution data concurrently transmitted from the ingesting apparatus into the storing unit 32 in place of the high resolution data. In this manner, the server 300 writes the low resolution data into the space in the storing unit 32 immediately after the last block of the high resolution data that has been stored immediately before the evacuation commences. Further, when the ingesting apparatus resumed the transmission of the high resolution data to the server 300, the high resolution data is written into the storing unit 32 with maintaining continuity of the data following the low resolution data that has been written up to then. In the present embodiment, the space in the storing unit 32 in which the low resolution data is written while the high resolution data is evacuated to the data retaining unit 14, is secured as the space in which the evacuated high resolution data is later restored in the storing unit 32. With this, even when the video data is stored in real-time, the ingesting apparatus according to the present embodiment can use the low resolution data in place of the high resolution data while the high resolution data is evacuated to the local storage (the data retaining unit 14) while maintaining continuity. As the method of writing the low resolution data that is transmitted in parallel with the high resolution data in the space within the storing unit 32 while maintaining continuity when evacuating the high resolution data in the data retaining unit 14 instead of being transmitted to the server 300, various methods such as referring to a time stamp is known, and therefore a detailed explanation of such a method is omitted.

The ingesting apparatus according to the present embodiment includes, in addition to the features of the ingesting apparatus according to the first embodiment, the data amount reducing unit that reduces the amount of the data, and the data writing unit always transmits the data with reduced amount of data when the data, continuously inputted through the input unit, is transmitted to the server via the network and stored in the storing unit. Therefore, during the time period between the time point at which the server monitoring unit determines the writing state of the server is below the predetermined state and the time point at which the server monitoring unit determines the writing state of the server is restored to the predetermined state, the controlling unit can reduce, with the data amount reducing unit, the amount of the data continuously inputted through the input unit, and thereafter be transmitted to the server by the data writing unit and stored in the storing unit in the server. With this, even when the high resolution data is evacuated to the local, as the server is in a state in which the high resolution data cannot be received, the low resolution data with reduced amount of data is written into the server in place of the high resolution data. Accordingly, when other terminals access the server and request the data, the low resolution data corresponding to the high resolution data evacuated to the local is instead transmitted to the other terminals. This allows other terminals to carry out the editing operation by confirming contents of the data using the low resolution data in place of the high resolution data evacuated to the local. Further, the low resolution data is replaced with the high resolution data that has been evacuated to the local at the predetermined timing.

In the present embodiment, it is described that the ingesting apparatus always transmits the data with reduced amount of data to the server 300. However, the present invention is not limited to such a configuration. The ingesting apparatus can reduce the amount of the continuously inputted data and transmits the data with reduced data amount to the server 300 in place of the high resolution data, for example, only when the writing state of the server 300 is deteriorated and the continuously inputted data is evacuated to the ingesting apparatus, i.e., the local storage (the data retaining unit 14) without transmitting the continuously inputted data to the server. This configuration is described in the following embodiment.

<Third Embodiment>
The ingesting apparatus according to the third embodiment is different from the ingesting apparatus according to the second embodiment in that, the continuous data with reduced amount of data is transmitted to the server 300 only when the continuously inputted data is evacuated to the local storage (the data retaining unit 14). In the following, the same configurations and steps as in the second embodiment are represented by the same reference numbers and only major differences from the second embodiment are described.

FIG. 13 shows a flow chart illustrating an operation of the ingesting apparatus according to the present embodiment. The hardware configuration is the same as that of the ingesting apparatus according to the first embodiment other than that the encoders 311-313 configure the data amount reducing unit and the amount of the inputted data is reduced by an operation of the encoders 311-313 in the configuration described with reference to FIG. 4. Further, the server 300 is provided with a decoder of the type corresponding to the encoders 311-313, in addition to the CPU that controls the processes. The operation of the ingesting apparatus according to the present embodiment is described with reference to FIG. 13 and FIG. 4. The following process is carried out under the control of the CPU 371 included in ingesting apparatus. In the present embodiment, the low resolution data is transmitted to the server 300 only when the writing speed of the server decreases.

First, in Step S21, input of the continuous data commences. Specifically, the input unit 11 commences input of the continuous data from the camcorders 121-123, for example. In Step S22, the data is transmitted to the server. Specifically, the data writing unit 12 transmits the data to the server 300 via the network, and stores the data in the storing unit 32 of the server 300.

Further, in Step S23, if the writing state of the storing unit 32 of the server 300 is determined to be below the predetermined state, the process proceeds to Step S51. In Step S51, low resolution data, i.e., the data whose amount of data is reduced is transmitted to the server, and the high resolution data, i.e., data whose amount of data is not reduced or reduced but greater than the low resolution data, is transmitted to the local storage, i.e., the data retaining unit 14. Specifically, the CPU 371 that configures the controlling unit 16 controls the data amount reducing unit 21 to reduce the amount of the data that is continuously inputted through the input unit 11, and controls the data writing unit 12 to transmit the low resolution data with reduced amount of data to the server 300. The ingesting apparatus synchronizes the low resolution data with the high resolution data using such a method of referring to a time stamp as described above, so that the server 300 can write the low resolution data from the position immediately after the last block of the high resolution data stored in the storing unit 32 when evacuating the high resolution data to the data retaining unit 14 without transmitting to the server 300, and so that the server 300 can immediately write the high resolution data that succeeds the low resolution data that has been received up to then in the storing unit 32, with maintaining continuity of the data, when the ingesting apparatus resumes the transmission of the high resolution data to the server 300.

FIG. 14 shows a diagram illustrating how the low resolution data in place of the high resolution data evacuated to the local is stored in the storing unit 32 of the server 300 along with the high resolution data. As shown in FIG. 14, the real time video data is stored while maintaining continuity of the data, so that the server 300 can write the low resolution data from the position immediately after the last block of the high resolution data stored in the storing unit 32 when evacuating the high resolution data to the data retaining unit 14 without transmitting to the server 300, and so that the server 300 can immediately write the high resolution data that succeeds the low resolution data that has been received up to then in the storing unit 32 when the ingesting apparatus resumes the transmission of the high resolution data to the server 300. As the method of storing the transmitted low resolution data in the corresponding position in the storing unit 32 when evacuating the high resolution data to the data retaining unit 14 without transmitting to the server 300, various known methods such as referring to a time stamp can be used.

In the above embodiments, the case is described in which the amount of data is reduced using the encoders as the data amount reducing unit for reducing the amount of the continuous data. However, the present invention is not limited to such a case. As long as it is possible to decode by the decoder on the server, various methods can be used and known to a person having ordinary skill in the art, for example, a method of adjusting the amount of the video data by adjusting a quantizing step in quantization. Further, it is possible to adjust the amount of data to be reduced by controlling the encoders 311-313 according to the writing state of the storing unit 32.

The ingesting apparatus according to the present embodiment includes, in addition to the features of the ingesting apparatus according to the above embodiments, the data amount reducing unit that reduces the amount of the data. When the data writing unit transmits the data continuously inputted through the input unit to the server via the network and stores the data in the storing unit, the controlling unit can, during the time period between the time point at which the server monitoring unit determines the writing state of the server is below the predetermined state and the time point at which the server monitoring unit determines the writing state of the server is restored to the predetermined state, make the amount of the data continuously inputted through the input unit be reduced by the data amount reducing unit, and thereafter be transmitted to the server by the data writing unit and stored in the storing unit in the server. Therefore, even when the data is evacuated to the local as the server is in a state in which the high resolution data cannot be received, the data with reduced amount of data is transmitted to the server in place of the high resolution data. Accordingly, when other terminals access to the server and request the data that has been evacuated to the local, the low resolution data can be transmitted to the other terminals.

Further, the ingesting apparatus according to the present embodiment is different from the ingesting apparatus according to the second embodiment in that the data with reduced amount of data is transmitted only when the data is evacuated to the local. Accordingly, processes such as the compression of the data is not always required to be carried out on the ingesting apparatus, and further it is possible to reduce the traffic between the ingesting apparatus and the server.

As described above, the ingesting apparatus and system according to the various embodiments are explained. The ingesting apparatus according to the present invention can be operated by a data transmission program that causes a commonly used computer provided with a CPU and memory to serve as each of the above described components. The data transmission program can be distributed via a communications line, or can be distributed in a form of a program written into a recording medium such as a CD-ROM.

Moreover, the present invention is not limited to the embodiments described above. Further, the effects described in the embodiments according to the present invention are mere examples of the preferred effects that can be realized by the present invention, and the effects of the present invention are not limited to those described in the embodiments according to the present invention.

11 input unit
12 data writing unit
14 data retaining unit
15 server monitoring unit
16 controlling unit
21 data amount reducing unit
32 storing unit (storage of server)
100 ingesting apparatus
101 main body
121 to 123 camcorder
200 terminal
300 server
315 input unit
311 to 315 encoder (data amount reducing unit)
350 transmitter/receiver unit (data writing unit)
351 transmission buffer unit (server monitoring unit)
361 hard disk (data retaining unit)
371 CPU (controlling unit, server monitoring unit)
400 terminal

Claims (8)

  1. An ingesting apparatus comprising:
    an input unit for inputting data therethrough;
    a data retaining unit for retaining the data;
    a data writing unit for writing the data into a storing unit of a server;
    a server monitoring unit for monitoring a writing state of the data written into the storing unit,
    wherein the data writing unit suspends an operation of writing the data inputted through the input unit into the storing unit, if the server monitoring unit determines that the writing state is below a predetermined state when the data inputted through the input unit is written into the storing unit,
    wherein while the writing operation is suspended, the data inputted through the input unit is retained by the data retaining unit, and the data writing unit secures a space in the storing unit for writing the data retained by the data retaining unit,
    wherein the data writing unit resumes the writing operation of the data inputted through the input unit into the storing unit, if the server monitoring unit determines that the writing state is restored to the predetermined state, and
    wherein the data writing unit writes the data retained by the data retaining unit into the space that has been secured in the storing unit at a predetermined timing.
  2. An ingesting apparatus as set forth in claim 1, wherein
    the space secured in the storing unit is a space between a first position and a second position, and the data retained by the data retaining unit is written into the space, the first position being a position at which a last block of data that has been written into the storing unit immediately before the data writing unit suspends the writing operation is stored, the second position being a position at which a first block of data written into the storing unit immediately after the data writing unit has resumed the writing operation is stored.
  3. An ingesting apparatus as set forth in claim 1, wherein
    the data retaining unit adds a piece of information, for identifying a last block of data that has been written into the storing unit immediately before the data writing unit suspends the writing operation, to a head of the data retained by the data retaining unit while the writing operation is suspended, and adds another piece of information, for identifying a first block of data written into the storing unit immediately after the data writing unit has resumed the writing operation, to an end of the data.
  4. An ingesting apparatus as set forth in claim 1, wherein
    the data writing unit includes a buffer unit that temporarily retains data before writing the data into the storing unit, and
    wherein the server monitoring unit monitors a free space of the buffer unit, and determines that the writing state of the server is below the predetermined state when the free space of the buffer unit is above a predetermined value.
  5. An ingesting apparatus as set forth in claim 1, wherein
    the writing state of the data written into the storing unit is indicated by a writing speed at which the data is written into the storing unit, and the predetermined state is indicated by a predetermined speed at which the data is written into the storing unit.
  6. An ingesting apparatus as set forth in claim 1, further comprising a data amount reducing unit for reducing a data amount of data, wherein,
    while the writing operation is suspended, the data amount reducing unit reduces the amount of the data that is continuously inputted through the input unit, and the data writing unit writes the data whose amount of data has been reduced into the space secured in the storing unit.
  7. An ingesting system comprising a server and an ingesting apparatus, wherein
    the server comprises a storing unit, and
    the ingesting apparatus comprises:
    an input unit for inputting data therethrough;
    a data retaining unit for retaining the data;
    a data writing unit for writing the data into a storing unit of the server; and
    a server monitoring unit for monitoring a writing state of the data written into the storing unit,
    wherein the data writing unit suspends an operation of writing the data inputted through the input unit into the storing unit, if the server monitoring unit determines that the writing state is below a predetermined state when the data inputted through the input unit is written into the storing unit,
    wherein while the writing operation is suspended, the data inputted through the input unit is retained by the data retaining unit, and the data writing unit secures a space in the storing unit for writing the data retained by the data retaining unit,
    wherein the data writing unit resumes the writing operation of the data inputted through the input unit into the storing unit, if the server monitoring unit determines that the writing state is restored to the predetermined state, and
    wherein the data writing unit writes the data retained by the data retaining unit into the space that has been secured in the storing unit at a predetermined timing.
  8. An ingesting system as set forth in claim 7, wherein
    the server transmits dummy data when the data that has been retained in the retaining unit but not written in the storing unit is requested.
PCT/JP2009/003018 2009-06-30 2009-06-30 An apparatus for ingesting data to a server WO2011001465A1 (en)

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