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A SYSTEM TO EARN AND REDEEM POINTS FOR VIDEO-ON-DEMAND VIEWERS

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000028900D
Publication Date: 2004-Jun-07
Document File: 5 page(s) / 55K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

FRÉDÉRIC LANDAIS: INVENTOR

Abstract

This service is intended to help video on demand (VoD) content providers to improve their ROI (Return On Investment) for their VoD services by encouraging customers to use VoD programming in exchange for redeemable points.

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A SYSTEM TO EARN AND REDEEM POINTS

FOR VIDEO-ON-DEMAND VIEWERS

This service is intended to help video on demand (VoD) content providers to improve their ROI (Return On Investment) for their VoD services by encouraging customers to use VoD programming in exchange for redeemable points.


Many households subscribe to digitally based audio/visual services that are delivered through a VoD based network.  These services provide viewers with a big number of channels to choose from.  From the viewer standpoint, the key element of this system is the set-top unit that is used to receive and decode digital audio-visual programs transmitted on the content provider network (satellite, cable, terrestrial, etc.).  A set-top unit is said to be interactive if the box allows a subscriber to send back information to the service provider.  This feature is essential for VoD services.  The newer generation of set-top units embeds a hard-drive into the set top box that allows for enhanced services (such as video on demand).

Near VoD, or Pay-Per-View (PPV), is the most simple enhanced service, where paying programs are broadcasted at specific hours (in the same way that movies are precisely scheduled in theatres).  For this service, the viewer requests a desire to watch a program by means of the interactive channel, where the PPV service provider records the purchase information for the invoice, and an authorization key is sent back from the content provider to the set-top unit to allow the decoding the broadcasted paying program.  The drawback of this service is the constraint for the viewer needs to be present at the scheduled time of the PPV service to watch a requested program.

True VoD (as an enhanced service) is not broadcasted; the bought program is specifically intended for one set-top unit.  This service is more flexible as it allows a customer to choose any program in a catalog and to watch the selected program at any time.  In this system, after the request to watch a program is sent to the VoD content provider by the means of an interactive channel, the purchase information is recorded for the invoice, and the VOD program is scheduled for presentation to the user set-top unit on a reserved channel.  The content provider sends information allowing for the set-top unit to tune to the reserved channel and to decode the requested program.  However, the download operation scheduling could result in a certain delay before the content provider finds a free channel to download the requested program to the viewer if this one has requested an immediate start of the replay; but compared to the PPV system, the viewer has a better control for the time when the viewer watches the program.

A third class of enhanced services, called deferred VoD, are for set-top units equipped with a hard drive.  This system is a mix of both preceding systems, where a viewer buys a broadcasted program as with the PPV service, but instead of being constrained to watch the prog...