System and method for close to real time scale data collection and indication of actions of large quantity of subscribers relatively to using television

FIELD: television.

SUBSTANCE: television add-on is provided with inner software, allowing to observe interesting events, and allowing other peripheral devices to connect thereto. In particular, add-on has three components, necessary for dispensing its basic functions: hardware, operating system and resident application. Each component provides separate set of application interfaces, which allow the application to query and direct hardware for performing certain functions, determine events observed by operating system, observe events taking place in resident program.

EFFECT: broader functional capabilities.

10 cl, 12 dwg

 

The scope of the invention

This invention relates to the field of automatic tracking use of cable television and, in particular, to a system and method for near real-time data collection and report on the use of cable TV subscribers.

The existing level of technology

The acquisition time for cable television advertisers are extremely expensive. The result is always advisable to obtain reliable statistical data about who is watching a particular material and when he looks. In order to receive such information, you must create a system/method that can identify the cable transmission medium, the transmission process to determine what channel are configured subscribers, and then to produce useful data from such information. Examples of past and current systems/methods, or parts thereof, aimed at this goal are listed below.

Systems and methods for encoding data carrier known in the prior art as shown in U.S. patent No. 4025851 name Haselwood et al.; 4367488 name Leventer et al.; 4547804 in the name of Greenberg; 4574304 in the name of Watanabe et al.; 4639779 in the name of Greenberg; 4647974 in the name of Butler et al.; 4805020 in the name of Greenberg; 4931871 in the name of Kramer; 4945412 in the name of Kramer et al.; 4967273 in the name of Greenberg; 4994916 name Pshtissky et al.; 5280479 in the name of Mary; 5319453 name priviza et al.; 5325127 name Dinsel; 5327237 in the name of Gerdes et al.; 5386240 on and what I Hori; 5387941 in the name of Montgomery et al.; 5425100 in the name of Thomas et al.; 5450122 in the name of Keepe and 5737026 in the name of Lu et al.

Systems or methods to determine what frequency is configured TV, known in the prior art as shown in U.S. patent No. 3973206 name Haselwood et al.; 4048562 name Haselwood et al.; 4425578 name Haselwood et al.; 4605958 name Machnik et al.; 4697209 name Kiewit et al.; 4723302 name Fulmer et al.; 4764808 on the name Solar; 4876736 name Kiewit; and 4972503 name Zurlinden.

Systems and methods for identification and verification of broadcast programs are known from the prior art as shown in U.S. patent No. 4450531 name Capwap et al.; 4511917 on the name Kö'hler et al.; 4547804 in the name of Greenberg; 4574304 in the name of Watanabe et al.; 4639779 in the name of Greenberg; 4647974 in the name of Butler et al.; 4677466 name Lert et al.; 4739398 in the name of Thomas et al.; 4805020 in the name of Greenberg; 4931871 in the name of Kramer; 4945412 in the name of Kramer; 4967273 in the name of Greenberg and 5594934 in the name of Lu et al.

Systems and methods to determine the behavior of the television audience is known, as described in U.S. patent No. 2833859 name Rahmel et al.; 3919479 in the name of Moon et al.; 4025851 name Haselwood et al.; 4230990 name Lert, Jr. et al.; 4245245 in the name of Matsumoto et al.; 4450531 name Capwap et al.; 4511917 on the name Kö'hler et al.; 4677466 name Lert, Jr. et al.; 4931871 in the name of Kramer; 4945412 in the name of Kramer; 4739398 in the name of Thomas et al.; 4647974 in the name of Butler et al.; 4943963 name Waechter et al.; 5200822 name Bronfin et al.; 5243423 name DeJean et al.; 5425100 in the name of Thomas et al.; 5450122 in the name of Keene; 5752159 in the name of Faust et al. and 5778182 name Cathey et al.

However, many of the cable systems/methods only Suprasil who have lots of subscriber set-top boxes, for example, these systems/methods ask "what everyone does at the moment?" Thus, none of the above patents do not disclose and does not imply a system or method for continuous monitoring of each subscriber's set-top box in near real time using existing cable television infrastructure and to ensure the collection and dissemination of relevant information for disclosure in close to real time.

Tasks inventions

Accordingly, the main objective of the invention is to create an invention that overcomes the disadvantages of the prototype.

The present invention is to create a system and method for tracking interest events in a number of user set-top boxes.

Also, the present invention is to create a system and method for near real-time collection of information from a variety of custom set-top boxes.

In addition, the present invention is to create a system and method for processing in near real-time information gathered from a variety of custom set-top boxes.

Also, the present invention is to create a system and method to the e use continuous transmission from remote locations (prefixes) to the Central equipment (brain communication centres).

In addition, the present invention is to create a system and method by which information is transmitted to the Central equipment through the existing cable television infrastructure from a remote location without the need to "dial-up" mechanism.

Another objective of the present invention to provide system and method for near real time scale collection and messages about the actions of subscribers in relation to the use of TV.

Another objective of the present invention to provide system and method for near real time scale collection and messages about the actions of subscribers in relation to other peripheral devices (e.g., VCR, video games, printers, and other auxiliary inputs)associated with the set-top box.

The invention

These and other objectives of the present invention solved through a set top box for use in a cable television system, and this set-top box communicates with a TV, transmits information about the events in the TV (for example, turning on/off the TV, turn on/off sound on/off set top box etc) to the cable television system, when these events occurred.

These and other objectives of the present from which retene are also solved by a system for near real-time collection and reporting using the viewers of cable TV for TVs, associated with the cable network, which includes at least one parent communication center. This system contains: (1) the first subsystem to generate the encoded media resources for transmission over the cable network, in accordance with the preparatory subsystem includes means for assigning a range of codes to be linking to media resources and objects that have media resources, to generate the data for media resources; (2) a second subsystem coupled to the first subsystem containing at least one set-top-box connected with the associated TV, for receiving encoded media resources and to obtain data of the television events as they occur, in accordance with this at least one set-top box generates a message corresponding to each of these television events as they happen; at least one means for dispatching events in the set-top box for the reception of each message and to route these messages to the collecting means in the second subsystem, the second subsystem also includes a tool for generating statistics from the data of the television events associated with at least one means of dispatching events in the set-top box; means for selecting the code is C encoded media resources and the formation of these timestamps resource characteristics; and (3) a third subsystem that is connected to the first subsystem and the second subsystem, in accordance with this third subsystem includes a tool to merge timestamp of the resource attributes (a) with statisticians developed in the second subsystem; (b) information relating to published schedules of broadcast and channel switching head of communication centers; and (b) with data resources to generate near real-time consolidated data viewers.

These and other objectives of the present invention are also solved by creating a way to track the television event of at least one TV in the cable system. This method contains the following steps: providing a cable set top box, which communicates with the cable and with said at least one TV; monitoring television events using this cable set-top box; and transmitting from the cable set top box signal, marking a television event, to a cable system as these events occur.

These and other objectives of the present invention are also solved by the creation of a method of collecting and messages in near real time about the use of cable television viewers for television is zorov, connected to the cable network, which includes at least one parent communication center. This method contains the following steps: (a) generating an encoded media resources for transmission over a cable network; (b) assigning a range of codes to be linking to media resources and objects that have media resources for data generation media resources; (C) connecting at least one set top box with corresponding TV to receive encoded media resources and to obtain data of the television events as they occur; (d) generating, by at least one set top box, the messages corresponding to each of data about television events as they occur, and transfer it to the cable network; (d) routing each of the messages to the collecting means; (e) the development of statistics data from the television event; (g) selection code from the encoded media resources and the formation of these timestamps resource characteristics; (C) merge timestamp of the resource characteristics: with statistics; information relating to published schedules of broadcast and channel switching head of communication centers; data resources to generate near real-time the joint data viewers.

Brief description of drawings

Other objectives and many of the attendant advantages of this invention are explained in the following detailed description, illustrated by the drawings, which shows the following:

Figure 1 - scheme layout drawings for Figa-1B. Figa and 1B is a block diagram of the analysis system menu TV programs.

Figure 2 - block diagram of the algorithm for the normal encoding process on the station used in the system analysis menu TV programs.

Figure 3 - block diagram of the algorithm for monitor transmission in cable head-centre of communication used in the system analysis menu TV programs.

Figa and 4B is a block diagram of the algorithm for event Manager in the set-top box used in the system analysis menu TV programs.

5 is a block diagram of the algorithm for unit selection for tracking the audience of the events in the set-top box used in the system analysis menu TV programs.

Figa and 6B is a block diagram of the algorithm for a router request services set-top box used in the system analysis menu TV programs.

7 is a block diagram of the algorithm for the event aggregator set top box used in the system analysis menu TV programs.

Fig - block diagram of the algorithm for the unifier audience of the resources used in the system the IU analysis menu TV programs.

Fig.9 - definition databases used in the analysis system menu TV programs.

A detailed description of the preferred execution

Below are described various drawings, in which same reference items refer to the same elements. On figa-1B shows a system for near real-time collection and messages about the actions of a large number of subscribers in relation to the use of TV, more abbreviated form known as system analysis menu TV programs (hereinafter "STP"), - implementation of the present invention. This system 20 presents a complete system for identification menu TV programs, to identify and gather information about the actions of subscribers in respect of such menu programs and to provide close to real-time message this information to interested parties. In addition, it can be used to secure the effective delivery of their advertisements and/or content of the program. A key component STP 20 is that each subscriber set-top box (ATP), 207, disclosed in detail hereinafter, provides close to real-time transmission of fascinating events, which includes television operation or the operation of any other peripheral that communicates with the ACC 207, in the Zapovednik is inudou system on an existing cable system, as will be more fully disclosed below.

SATP 20 contains three main subsystems, each of which consists of several components. This preparation subsystem, the subsystem delivery/collection of data and the Federation engine/messages. The individual components of these subsystems is shown in figa and 1B. These components are considered either as "data" (marked three-digit numbers beginning with "1")or as "processes" (marked three-digit numbers beginning with "2")or as "other items" (marked three-digit numbers beginning with ' 3").

The preparation subsystem

In order to monitor the actions of subscribers in relation to the use of TV to be delivered to subscribers of the content (media resource 101, such as a video tape) must first be identified so that the user can correlate with a specific portion of the content. Hence, the training system prepares the content for such tracking. In particular, the encoding station 201 is in fact a duplicate station, which places the resource code to find the appropriate place in the resource so that further duplication of the resource have a resource ID. These coding stations 201 to be several, specifically at least one for each subject coded the Yu media. The output of the coding station 201 represents one or more redundant analog or digital resources 102, which contain built-in resource code. Figure 2 shows the block diagram of the algorithm for the process of embedding the resource code in the frame in the audio/video signal. This technology comes at the present time a company like NorPak Corporation of Ontario, Canada. Station 204 encoding characteristics of the live image provides a mechanism for embedding the resource code in the thread 101 a live image or sound so that they do not create any noticeable breaks in the signal from the point of view of the consumer. Devices for this purpose are also commercially available from companies such as NorPak Corporation.

The server 202 of the resource code is a computer system (e.g., equipment of the universal computer includes computer software developed or specialized for a particular function). The server 202 assigns a range of codes to this subject, as the company or organization. The assigned range is recorded with the data subject as name, address, contact information and industry or type of business, in the main list 103 resource assigned codes. It should be understood that the specific codes in each band known only to the entity.

Block 20 destination uniform resource code of the subject is the process used by a company or organization to record the specific binding of the resource code of their assigned range (through 202) to the media resource. This process can be as complicated as a software application that runs on the hardware of the General purpose computer, or as simple as the communication record manually in Notepad.

It should be understood that although an exemplary media resource 101 in this application is tape, any product that can be broadcast or transmit, can serve as a media resource 101. This media resource 101 is sent then on the coding station 201 to enter the resource code in the media.

Resources 101 containing the resource ID may be duplicated and/or distributed broadcasting networks, network affiliates, independent broadcasters, cable networks and/or cable systems, which are all marked position 205 on figv for broadcast delivery to a cable head center 301 connection. This cable head center 301 communication is a means of containing the equipment and personnel necessary to deliver media streams to localized groups of houses and businesses. This is a common tools in the industry of cable television.

Upon completion of coding these resources are placed in the usual channels 205 distribution for delivery to subscriber televisions.

Subsystem to tawki/data collection

Resources 101 that contains the desired resource codes this program is distributed from the head center 301 communications cable system that is sent over the bidirectional system 302 cable distribution to the subscriber's set-top box (ATP) 207 and eventually to the subscriber's TV 303. Bidirectional system 302 cable distribution represents the physical network over which the distributor cable TV delivers the signals to individual subscribers and collects data from them. Other information, such as current time, is also sent to the ATU 207 of the cable head center 301 connection. ATP 207 contains an application that "watches" for events in the ATP 207 and reports those events that are considered "interesting". These events can be given to any device that is connected to the ATU 207, or making contact with him otherwise. The term "event" includes interaction providing some action TV 303 or other peripheral devices 304, which can be detected ATP 207, in their implementation. Examples of such devices 304 are: remote control, keyboard, cassette recorders, printers, and telephone equipment. ATP 207 reports calling any interest in the action that is seen as meaningful" (for example, any change channels which is not followed by another change channels within ten seconds, the failure of communication with the printer, the on-off of the TV, the on-off VCR, data access (for example, the Internet, e-mail, etc.)), back to bi-directional system 302 cable distribution cable head center 301 connection Manager 209 events in the set-top box, which routes the information to the appropriate collection mechanism, such as a block 210 sampling for tracking the audience of the events in the set-top box, router 211 request services ATP or a combiner 211 event ATP, which are discussed below.

Simultaneously broadcast transmission are tracked in cable head center 301 connection to determine the exact broadcast time for pre-connected signs of some resources. The monitor 206 of the cable head center records the occurrence and time of any resource codes distributed to subscribers. As an analogy monitor 206 of the transmission cable of the head of centre may be considered a room full of people, each of which is watching the only TV channel and registers in the address book name and time of each advertisement during transmission. A practical implementation of one of the head center is coming up with is to implement several of these automated 206 monitors the cable head of the communication center. The monitor 206 of the gear head of the communication center is a system consisting of hardware universal computer together with computer software developed or specialized for a particular function. Figure 3 is a block diagram of the algorithm for operation of the monitor 206 of the transmission cable of the head center. This process allocates the resource ID of the frame in the audio/video signal and transmits it to the recording process data resource code. This process receives the data resource code decoding. This method is also commercially available today from companies such as NorPak Corporation.

Subscriber set-top box (ATP) 207 is a device that allows the subscriber to customize your TV by connecting it to a cable television network. These devices are commercially available from companies such as General Instrument Corporation of Horsham, Pennsylvania, and Scientific-Atlanta, Inc. from Norcross, GA. ATP 207, as it is used in this patent application, the conventional ATP except that the firmware modified to observe the interest of the event, as will be discussed below. Next, ATP 207 includes a provision that allows other peripheral devices 304 to make a connection.

In particular, ATP contains the ri component, required for issuance of its basic functions. These three components include the hardware, the operating system and resident application.

Equipment in this General case is a specialized computer designed to maintain communications cable network and to provide the environment for different degrees of limited internal processing. As a rule, individual hardware components can be polled about their condition and contents of their registers or buffers store. This is often done by computer programs written in languages that support this level of access. The apparatus provides application programming interfaces (PPI) (APIs)that allow an application to request and direct the hardware to perform specific functions.

The operating system (such as Windows® CE from Microsoft from Redmont, WA, or PowerTV from PowerTV, Inc., from Cupertino, CA) manages the processes that run on this instrument, including the planning and provision of simplified interfaces for task management or requesting hardware components. This operating system can also support PPI and means for third parties (for example, other than the producers of ATP or producers operating systems) to run other computer programs on the ATP. Each of arziona system supplies its own separate set of PPI, which define the events observed in this operating system. Examples of events that the operating system can make the observed include events change channels, events, on-off ATP, events, killing sound, etc.

Resident application runs in an environment created by the hardware and operating system. It is a computer program provides the functions used by the subscriber, such as changing channels, mute, sound, programs, etc.; for example, the resident application provides control interaction. Given the resident application may (or may not) provide PPI for third party programs that would allow to observe the events taking place in the resident program. Resident applications that provide PPI for third party programs, allowing to observe the events taking place in the operating system are different for different implementations. Because each resident application provides its own separate set of PPI, the events that are observed from each resident applications vary in line with the development of a self-hosted application. Examples of events that the resident application may make the observed include events change channels, the trigger event is off the ATP, the events of the killing sound, etc.

Thanks to the availability and size, PPI third-party applications that require data access events must request PPI resident application, PPI operating system, hardware components, or any combination thereof, in order to comply fully with their data requirements. Depending on operating system development/self-hosted application, the ways in which the third party application uses these PPI are different.

With regard to the present invention, the ATU 207 is a startup event ATP, whereby the third party application makes a call to the PPI for a particular event or class of events and waits. PPI miss event data in a third party application, only when this event occurs. In particular, third party application (which can be loaded in a cable network system) is stored in the memory of ATP. Third party application determines which events of interest through software coding/calls PPI at the programming language supported by the ATU.

This is opposed to "procedural" environments, while the third party application performs a "cycle" commands, re-requesting data relating to the event or class of events; PPI in this "procedural" environment then either returns Dan is haunted event (if the event had just occurred), or gives the answer "nothing to say"if there were no events.

When hiring a third party application response from the hardware PPI, PPI operating system or PPI TSRs, or combinations thereof, concerning the calling of interest events, it creates a message that includes data elements that identify this event, time, specific ATP (for example, on the basis of the identification number ATU) and the like, and transmits this message to the Manager 209 events ATP on a cable network.

Examples of the message structure are:

ID ATP

the time of the message

- the current channel

- event

the time when the event occurred

the time when the event occurred in recent times.

the current level of the sound

- cluster code

- other relevant data.

Below are some examples of the types of events for which the third party application may send messages:

- the on-off ATP

- the on-off TV

- the on-off VCR

- change channels

- the on-off jamming sound

- the on-off menu programs

- change audio source (SAP etc)

- change source auxiliary input (video games etc)

- the on-off peripheral device is TBA (printer etc)

- no head-heart connection requests on a cable network (e-mail through the user interface allows the user to enter text, etc)

request via the remote control button ATP for special purposes (for example, "buy", "select", "complete", and so on).

It is important to establish a database concerning ATP and cluster codes. Cluster codes are mathematical group audience, that audience has demographic segmentation based on socio-economic factors. For this STP 20 includes a base 104 data matching set-top boxes clustered codes, which is obtained by fusion of possible cluster codes 105 the actual addresses of the subscribers from the database 106 data cable subscribers and their cross-references to the database 107 data identifier of the set-top boxes. This action is performed by the server 208 clustering ATP. This server 208 clustering ATP is a system consisting of a universal computer equipment computer software developed or specialized for a particular function. In addition, the clustered server 208 provides and updates the cluster ID for each ATP 207. ATP 207 stores that cluster code in its memory the I. Depending on the abilities of ATP 207 this install or upgrade the cluster code may occur in response to a request made ATP 207 to the server 207 clustering, or may be initiated by the server 208 clustering by sending independent messages on the ATP 207.

Manager 209 events ATP (figa-4B) is a system consisting of a universal computer equipment computer software developed or specialized for a particular function. Its function is to successfully receive messages from ATP 207 of the bidirectional cable system 302 distribution through the cable head center 301 connection and to pass these messages to the appropriate processing unit 210 of the sample to monitor the audience of the events in the ATP, the router 211 request services ATP or a combiner 213 ATP events. In the practical implementation in the head center 209 connection may be several of these managers 209 ATP events.

Block 210 sampling for tracking the audience of the events in the ATP is used for tracking the sequence of events (TV and other peripherals) specifically selected ATP. A combiner 213 events, the ATP is used for tracking exactly how many ATP manifests a specific event(-I) (TV or other peripheral devices is).

The following consideration applies to each message that is received by a Manager 209 ATP events of the bidirectional cable system 302 distribution through the cable head center 301 connection.

As shown in figa, "get next message" waiting for a message to arrive from the bi-directional cable system 302 distribution. When the message is accepted, requested the message. If the message is not recognized, the message is rejected. If the message type is recognized, it is in the procedure of processing in the servo filter samples. This procedure determines whether the message under the criterion for selection of participants in the sample (i.e. the process determines whether the message from the ATU 207, an identification number specified in the list as participating in selective observation). If so, the message is queued for process 210 sampling for tracking the audience of the events in the ATP. Regardless of whether this message is for tracking filter samples, it is queued to get into the combiner 213 ATP events. If the message is a request message services, this message is queued for the router 211 request services ATP.

The following consideration applies to each message that is received by a Manager 209 events And The P router 211 request services ATP.

As shown in figv, the process waits for a message from the router 211 request services ATP. When receiving a message, it sends it to a specific ATP 207 through the cable head center 301 connection and through a bi-directional cable system 302 distribution.

Block 210 sampling for tracking the audience of the events in the ATP (figure 5) logs events for a statistically significant sample of homeowners in the head center 301 connection. The purpose of these data is to provide enough data input messages to demonstrate that the data collected by the combiner 213 events ATP, correct. Block 210 sampling for tracking the audience of the events in the ATP is a system consisting of a universal computer equipment computer software developed or specialized for a particular function.

As shown in figure 5, this process "to record a message into the database" waiting for a message from the Manager 209 events ATP. When a message is received, it writes this message to the file data 108 sample audience.

Router 211 request services ATP sends messages to the correct external services to fulfill the request. This router 211 then sends the response back to the ATU 207.

Figa and 6B show a block diagram of the algorithm for the router 11 request services ATP. In the queue for a particular service (figa) this process reads the message, the ATU Manager 209 events ATP and transmits it to the correct external services. In the queue Manager events ATP (pigv) process reads the message from process 212 to request the service and transmits it to the correct ATP 207. Processes 212 query services are functions that are external to this application, which can be queried by interacting with the ATP 207. These functions may include services such as interactive advertising, trade (supply of goods and services, management of financial accounts and the like), e-mail and retrieve information.

A combiner 213 events ATP accepts messages ATP Manager 209 ATP events and combines them by time, channel, cluster code and the head center. Since the event message, the ATU represents the transition from one state to another, the calculated values for each combination of channels at any point can be considered as valid, unless there is a transition leading to an increase or decrease in value in the counter.

Message ATP points as the time when it was enabled last state (the channel and the like), and the time when we reached new status (channel etc). These data allow the device to distinguish between podschitano the value of ATP, focus on a specific channel, and the counted value of those ATP, which occurred transitions between channels (not actually watching any). This is the phenomenon of successive approximation to count. Upon receipt of message transition between the last state and the current state is used to reduce overlapping time intervals, which gives an accurate estimate of the increase for these periods.

Message ATP provides for events related to the apps menu and killing, feeding on the combiner 213 ATP events. This allows you to get "technodolly count in combination channels. It is estimated tramadolline values allow distinguishing among those ATP, which take the combined audio and video, those who take a video with a depressed sound, and those who take the audio with the video, either partially or completely blocked by the menu, programs, etc.

Thousands of "real time events"that are collected by the Manager 209 events ATP are combined by combiner 213 events ATP to the relatively few events. Examples of this Association may be United by means of a cluster code. It is important to note that this merging and reducing information security-level Department of the aqueous homeowner may be lost and the system can be guaranteed anonymity, if this is desirable. The event aggregator ATP is a universal computer with computer software developed or specialized for a particular function. Thus, due to the large volume of data transmitted from each ATP 207, a combiner 213 events ATP fills in turn, to store all the incoming data, in order to avoid bottlenecks in the system when it moves all the data to a third subsystem.

As shown in Fig.7, at the stage of parsing the message queue ATP reads the message from the Manager 209 events ATP. Following this, the process uses the time at which it was achieved current status (channel, mute, menu programs, the on-off etc), for a step-by-step increase of the respective counters for this time interval in Association 109 ATP data. After this, the process uses the time at which it was achieved in the current state, and the time at which it was switched to a previous state, to define the range of time intervals, which should be reduced. When establishing this temporal range of values in the respective counters when combining 109 ATP data for each time interval in this range are reduced by one to reflect the transition period between the previous state and the current state is receiving.

The process 217 distribution of counting events RTC sets the counter values for the next time interval by direct distribution of counter values for the current time interval.

The Federation engine/messages

In this third subsystem statistics collected set-top boxes and resource labels are merged with additional information related to published broadcast program and arrangements of channels, and sent through a multiplexer (consolidator) 214 audience resources combined (consolidated) base data 114 audience. Creating messages using all means (e.g., print, electronic, etc) are provided from this joint base data 114 and then they are sent.

In particular, a multiplexer 214 audience resources consolidates records 110 timestamp resources for the head center 301 connection with the joint data 109 ATP to determine the actions of subscribers in relation to specific resources. These data behavior are combined with the main list 103 resource assigned codes to identify the owner of private resources that are presented. Arrangement 111 channel head center of communication and the appropriate base 112 data published listings are used to a schedule about the PAMM associated with the behavior of subscribers. All this information is consolidated in the recording of the messages that are entered into joint base data 114 audience. A combiner 214 audience resources is a system consisting of a universal computer equipment computer software developed or specialized for a particular function.

The block diagram of the algorithm for process 214 consolidator audience resources shown in Fig. In particular, at the stage "to get the following entry to the ATP process reads the next entry from the merged data file 109 ATP. Following this, the process determines whether there is at joint base data 114 audience recording for the head center 301 communication/virtual channel numbers/time stamp. If you do not find any records in the base data 114 is injected skeletal (structural) record. If the record is found, this entry is updated with the value of the calculated values. It should be noted that the virtual channel number is a digital channel in the subscriber ATP 207, although the actual viewing by the subscriber channel is another.

Process (Fig) continues, by using the ID of the head center 301 connection and virtual channel numbers to match the table entry 111 lineups head of the communication center. Using data from this record are updated network connectivity and field stations at joint base data 114 audience.

Following this, the process uses the ID of the head center connection and virtual channel numbers to match a record in the database 112 data published listings. Using data from this record is updated field title program joint base data 114 audience.

Process (Fig) then uses the ID of the head center connection and virtual channel numbers to be consistent with the entry in the time stamp 110 resource. Using data from this record is updated resource code field at joint base data 114 audience.

SATP 20 also includes a process that provides a mechanism to update the database 112 data published guide to reflect the most recent changes. Application 215 software patches transmission is a system consisting of a universal computer equipment computer software developed or specialized for a particular function. The base 112 of the data published guide is a combination of information 113 licensed guide and action 215 remediation program guide, the cat is who are modifications and additions to published listings. The base 112 of the data published guide is a commercially available product from companies such as Prevue Network, Inc. from Tulsa, Oklahoma and Starsight Telecast, Inc. from Fremont, California.

Block 216 messages then scans joint base data 114 audience to generate pre-defined or ad hoc messages 115 for people accessing the system.

Figure 9 shows the definition of the database for the following: master list 103 assigned resources, the base 104 data link consoles with the cluster ID, the base 105 data clustering, database 106 data cable subscribers, database 107 data identifiers ATP, joint base 109 ATP data, timestamps, 110 resources, arrangement 111 channel head center of communication, the base 112 of the data published listings and joint base data 114 audience.

Therefore, by combining real-time and availability of information through STP 20 it is obvious that the hidden state of the available data on millions of observations is measured in seconds, which is much superior in characteristics of any system for the collection and generation of messages for the same event, which is currently used.

The term "near real time scale"as used in this patent application, means within seconds Il the units of minutes significant event.

Without further clarification of the above description illustrates the invention with such fullness that the experts can, by applying current or future knowledge, readily adapt it for use in a variety of applications.

1. The set-top box for use in a cable television system, in which the said set-top box connected to a TV, with the above set-top box generates and transmits the cable television system messages, which include information about TV events, when they occur, and television events include data about the change of channels, and the said message includes data elements that identify these events, and information about the current channel on which the currently configured set-top-box data message time data about the time when the event occurred.

2. The set-top box according to claim 1, characterized in that the said set-top box connected to other peripheral devices, and referred to the STB transmits information about the events mentioned in the other peripheral devices in a cable television system whenever events occur in the above-mentioned other peripheral devices.

3. The set-top box according to claim 2, characterized in that it further comprises hardware sredstva support communication over the cable television system, includes application programming interfaces (PPIS) for detecting respective TV events as they occur, and the corresponding television events include change of channels; a memory associated with said hardware; operating system stored in the memory, to control the processes running on said hardware; resident application program stored in the memory, to manage and control interactions with the aforementioned set-top box; the application of a third party stored in the memory that identifies the selected IPP and generating a message for each detected television events of the selected IPP and to transfer the said message in said cable system whenever it detects television events mentioned selected PPIS, these message contains information about the channel change.

4. The set-top box according to claim 2, characterized in that it further comprises hardware to support communication over the cable television system, including application programming interfaces (PPIS) for the detection of relevant events other peripheral devices; a memory associated with said hardware; operating system stored in the memory for years what I processes, running on said hardware, the resident application program stored in the memory, to manage and control interactions with the aforementioned set-top box; the application of a third party stored in the memory that identifies the selected IPP and generating a message for each detected event mentioned selected PPIS and to transfer the said message in said cable system whenever it detects events mentioned selected PPIS.

5. The set-top box according to claim 3, characterized in that the set-top box has an ID number, and the message has a structure which includes the aforementioned identification number, the message and the event that occurred.

6. The set-top box according to claim 5, characterized in that the structure of the message further comprises a time of the event, the volume and the cluster code.

7. The set-top box according to claim 4, characterized in that the set-top box has an ID number, and the message has a structure which includes the aforementioned identification number, the message and the event that occurred.

8. The set-top box according to claim 7, characterized in that the structure of the message additional content is t the time of the event, the volume and the cluster code.

9. The set-top box according to claim 3, characterized in that the said television events include on/off set-top box or turn on/off the TV.

10. The set-top box according to claim 9, characterized in that the said television event additionally include enabling/disabling of the audio signal and the on/off programs TV broadcast.

11. The system for close to real-time data collection and usage message viewers of cable television TVs connected to cable television network having at least one parent communication center, containing the first subsystem to generate the encoded media resources for transmission over the cable network, with the first subsystem includes a means for assigning a range of codes to be linking with media resources and entities that have media resources, to generate the data assigned resources; the second subsystem associated with the first subsystem, the second subsystem contains at least one set-top box, connected to the associated TV to receive encoded media resources and to obtain information about television events when they occur, and mentioned at least one of telepr the rate generates a message corresponding to each of the data about television events when they occur, and to include such data televised events mentioned in the message; means for dispatching events at least one set top box for receiving each of these messages and to route mentioned messages based on the data about television events included in the above message, it means collecting in said second subsystem; a tool for generating statistics from the mentioned data about television events included in the message submitted to the means of dispatching events mentioned at least one set top box; means for extracting the code from the encoded media resources and create a time stamp of resources; and a third subsystem that is associated with the first subsystem and the second subsystem and the third subsystem includes means for merging information related to published schedules, broadcast and inclusions channel head center link, and referred to the merge tool merges mentioned timestamps of resources with statistics generated by the second subsystem, the information relating to published schedules, broadcast and inclusions channel head center of communication, and with the mentioned data nae is obtained resources to generate consolidated data audience in close to real time.

12. The system according to claim 11, wherein the second subsystem further comprises

(a) a database cluster codes;

(b) a database of cable subscribers;

(C) database identification of set-top boxes and

(g) the server cluster tool code to merge data from a database cluster codes, database of subscribers to cable systems and databases identify set-top boxes to generate compliance data of the set-top cluster codes.

13. The system according to claim 11, characterized in that the said means for raising the second subsystem provides a means of combining the events set-top boxes to collect account data regarding which the number of set-top boxes is at least one event, to create a comprehensive data set-top boxes.

14. The system according to claim 11, characterized in that the said means for collecting further comprises a router request services set-top box, which routes the request message services from the mentioned at least one set top box to an external service.

15. The system according to claim 11, characterized in that the means for extracting the code in the second subsystem contains the monitor cable head center of communication that records the occurrence and time of any resources assigned codes, which are transmitted over the network to belingo TV that creates mentioned timestamps resources.

16. The system according to claim 11, characterized in that the merge tool further comprises means for coupling the identity of the head of the centre for communication and data virtual channel with published data broadcast to update the consolidated data of the viewing audience.

17. The system of clause 16, wherein the tool coupling also matches the identification data of the head of the centre for communication and data virtual channel with the mentioned data timestamps of resources to update the consolidated data of the viewing audience.

18. The system according to claim 11 characterized in that the third subsystem further comprises a means of communication for providing these consolidated data audience as an interactive information.

19. The system according to claim 11, wherein the third subsystem further comprises a means of communication for providing these consolidated data audience as printed documentation.

20. The tracking method of changing channels in at least one TV in the cable television system, comprising the steps

ensure the cable set top box, which communicates with the system cable TV, which I and at least one TV, moreover, the aforementioned at least one TV displays the channel on which the currently configured referred to cable set-top box,

change detection channel using the cable set-top boxes and

transfer from cable set-top box of the first signal indicating a change of channel, when there is a change of channel in the cable system, in fact the first signal also identifies the current channel on which the currently configured cable set-top box.

21. How close to real-time data collection and usage message viewers of cable television TVs connected to cable television network having at least one parent communication center, comprising the steps

(a) generating encoded media resources for transmission over cable networks,

(b) prescribing the range of codes to be linking with media resources and entities that have media resources, to generate the data assigned resources;

(c) connecting at least one set top box to the associated TV to receive encoded media resources and to obtain information about television events when they occur,

(d) generating a message by the aforementioned at least the ne set-top box, corresponding to each data mentioned about television events when they occur, and transfer it to the network cable television

(e) routing each of these messages to the tool collection,

(f) generating statistics of these data about television events

(g) extracting the code from the encoded media resources and create a time stamp resources

(h) merge timestamps of resources with these statistics, with information relating to published schedules, broadcast and inclusions channel head center of communication, and with the mentioned data assigned resources to generate consolidated data audience in close to real time.

22. The method according to item 21, wherein the step of generating statistics from the data on the television event includes the use of a database cluster codes, database of subscribers to cable systems, databases identification of set-top boxes and server tools cluster code to merge data from a database cluster codes, database of subscribers to cable systems and databases identify set-top boxes to generate compliance data of the set-top cluster codes.

23. The method according to item 22, wherein the step of generating statistics from Yes is data about television events includes data collection account on how many set-top boxes is at least one event, and creating a comprehensive data set-top boxes.

24. The method according to item 23, wherein the step of generating statistics of these data about television events includes recording data about television events for a statistically significant sample of the audience in at least one main communications centre and the creation of a data sample audience.

25. The method according to paragraph 24, characterized in that it further includes the step of routing the request message services from at least one set top box to an external service.

26. The method according to paragraph 24, wherein the step of extracting the code from the encoded media resources includes a recording of the occurrence and time of any resources assigned codes, which are transmitted over a cable television network, and the above-mentioned timestamps of resources.

27. The method according to item 21, wherein the step of merging referred timestamp resources further includes a pair of the identity of the head of the centre for communication and data virtual channel with published data broadcast to update the consolidated data of the viewing audience.

28. The method according to item 27, wherein the step of merging referred timestamp resources further includes a pair of identification data is head of the centre for communication and data virtual channel with the mentioned data timestamps of resources to update the consolidated data of the viewing audience.

29. The method according to item 21, characterized in that it further includes the step of messages to represent the mentioned consolidated data audience as an interactive information.

30. The method according to item 21, characterized in that it further includes the step of messages for providing these consolidated data audience as printed documentation.

31. The method according to claim 20, characterized in that it further includes the steps

control television events other than change channels using the cable set-top boxes and

transfer from the cable STB second signal indicating mentioned television events, a cable system, when mentioned television event.

32. The method according to p, characterized in that it further includes the steps

(a) connect other peripheral devices to the mentioned cable set-top-box,

(b) event control other peripheral devices using the set top box and

(c) transfer from cable set-top box of the third signal indicating the above-mentioned events other peripheral devices in a cable system, when these events occur other peripheral devices.

33. The method according to p, great for the decomposing those that said set-top box contains hardware with application programming interfaces (PPIS) for change detection channels mentioned television events referred to other peripheral devices, and these stages of the control channel changes, mentioned television events referred to other peripheral devices include a software application program of a third party for the memory device, and an application program of a third party identifies the selected IPP hardware set-top box.

34. The method according to p, characterized in that the device further comprises an operating system having its own set of PPIS, these phase control change channels mentioned television events referred to other peripheral devices includes identifying an application program of a third party selected PPIS mentioned operating system.

35. The method according to clause 34, wherein the box further comprises a memory-resident program stored in the memory of the set top box, with a TSR program has its own set of PPIS, and referred to the phase of the control channel changes, mentioned television events referred to other peripheral devices includes the ID is tificatio application program of a third party selected PPIS mentioned TSRs.

36. The method according to p, characterized in that the STB has an identification number and referred to the stage of transfer of the aforementioned first, second and third signals includes configuring the above-mentioned program third party to generate the message structure containing the aforementioned identification number set-top box, the message time and event type.

37. The method according to p, characterized in that the said step of transmitting the first, second and third signals further comprises the inclusion in the above-mentioned message the time when the last time was the event of the same type, volume and cluster code.

38. The method according to p, characterized in that the said television event represents the on/off set-top box or turn on/off the TV.

39. The method according to p, characterized in that the said television event represents the on/beep off or on/off program TV broadcast.

40. The system for close to real-time data collection and usage message viewers of cable television TVs connected to cable television network having at least one parent communication center, containing

at least one set-top-box connected to include the efforts of the TV and the cable television network, moreover, the aforementioned at least one set-top box receives data about television events when mentioned television events occur, and the above-mentioned at least one set-top box generates a message corresponding to each data of the television events when they occur, to enable the mentioned data about television events mentioned in the message

means for dispatching events at least one set top box associated with the cable network, for receiving each of these messages and to route mentioned messages based on the data about television events included in the above message,

a tool for generating statistics from data about television events included in the said message associated with said means for dispatching events at least one console, and

means for generating in close to real-time consolidated data about the audience of these statistics with means of generating statistics and information related to the inclusions of the channels of the head center of communication.

41. System p, characterized in that it further contains information related to published schedules broadcast program, and the said means for generators is the consolidated data about audience uses said information, related to published schedules broadcast program, for generating the aforementioned consolidated data about the audience.

42. The system for close to real-time data collection and usage message viewers of cable television TVs connected to cable television network having at least one parent communication center, containing

the first subsystem to generate the encoded media resources for transmission over a cable network, and said subsystem includes a means for assigning a range of codes to be linking with media resources and entities that have media resources, to generate the data assigned resources

the second subsystem associated with the first subsystem, the second subsystem contains

at least one set-top-box connected to the associated TV, for receiving encoded media resources and to obtain information about television events when they occur, and mentioned at least one set-top box generates a message corresponding to each data of the television events when they occur, and to include such data on a televised event in the above message,

means for dispatching events at measures the one set-top boxes for the reception of each of these messages and to route mentioned messages based on the television event included in the above message, it means of gathering in the above-mentioned second subsystem

a tool for generating statistics from the mentioned data about television events, served on the means of dispatching events mentioned at least one set-top box,

tool to retrieve the code from the encoded media resources and

the third subsystem associated with the first subsystem and the second subsystem and the third subsystem includes means for merging information related to published schedules of programs broadcast and inclusions channel head center link, and referred to the merge tool merges data assigned resources mentioned statistics generated by the second subsystem, and information with respect to the inclusions of the channels of the head center, to generate near real-time consolidated data about the audience.

43. The system for close to real-time tracking of use by viewers of cable television TVs connected to cable television network, comprising at least one head centre, containing

at least one set-top-box connected to the associated TV and cable television networks, and mentioned what I at least one set-top box receives data about television events when it encounters mentioned television event and said at least one set-top box generates a message corresponding to each data of the television events when they occur, to enable the mentioned data about television event in the above message,

means for dispatching events at least one set top box associated with the cable network, for receiving each of these messages and to route the above message on the basis of such data on a television event, included in the above message,

a tool for generating statistics from data about television events associated with the said means of dispatching events at least one console, and

means for generating in close to real time sequence of the television events of the statistics from the mentioned tools generate statistics and information related to the inclusions of the channels of the head center of communication.

44. How close to real-time data collection and usage message viewers of cable television TVs connected to cable television network having at least one parent communication center, comprising the steps

(a) providing at least one set top box that is connected to the associated TV and cable television networks, and mentioned at least one the set-top box receives data about television events, when they occur,

(b) generating the aforementioned at least one set-top box messages corresponding to each data of the television events when they occur, and their transmission to the network cable television

(c) routing each of these messages to the tool collection,

(d) generating statistics of these data about television events

(e) your use of the statistics and information related to the inclusions of the channels of the head center, to generate consolidated data about audience in close to real time.

45. The method according to item 44, wherein the step of using the mentioned statistics and information related to the inclusions of the channels of the head center of communication further includes using information relating to published schedules broadcast program, to generate consolidated data about audience in close to real time.

46. How close to real-time data collection and usage message viewers of cable television TVs connected to cable television network having at least one parent communication center, comprising the steps

(a) generating encoded media resource is for transmission over cable networks,

(b) prescribing the range of codes to be linking with media resources and entities that have media resources, to generate the data assigned resources;

(c) connecting at least one set top box to the associated TV to receive encoded media resources and to obtain information about television events when they occur,

(d) generating messages mentioned at least one set-top box corresponding to each data of the television events when they occur, enabling mentioned data about television events mentioned in the message and send the above message to the network cable television

(e) routing each of these messages to the tool collection,

(f) generating statistics of these data about television events included in the above message,

(g) extracting codes from the encoded media resources and the creation of them timestamps of resources

(h) the use of the statistics and information related to the inclusions of the channels of the head center of communication, together with the data assigned resources to generate consolidated data about audience in close to real time scale.

47. How close to the real time scale of the caking use by viewers of cable television TV connected to a cable television network having at least one parent communication center, comprising the steps

(a) providing at least one cable set-top box, which is connected to the associated TV and cable TV, and mentioned at least one set-top box receives data about television events when they arise,

(b) generating the aforementioned at least one set-top box messages corresponding to each data of the television events when they arise, including the data in these messages and transmit them to the network cable television

(c) routing each of these messages to the tool collection,

(d) generating statistics from data about television events included in the above message,

(e) your use of the statistics and information related to the inclusions of the channels of the head center, to generate the close to real-time television sequence of events.



 

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