Browse Prior Art Database

Remote Control and Synchronization of Multimedia Workstations

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000112189D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-26
Document File: 4 page(s) / 151K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Nusbickel, WL: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Described is a software implementation to provide remote control and synchronization of multimedia workstations on Local Area Networks (LANs). The implementation enables multimedia programs to be controlled and synchronized so as to provide cohesive display screens for presentation programs.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 39% of the total text.

Remote Control and Synchronization of Multimedia Workstations

      Described is a software implementation to provide remote
control and synchronization of multimedia workstations on Local Area
Networks (LANs).  The implementation enables multimedia programs to
be controlled and synchronized so as to provide cohesive display
screens for presentation programs.

      In prior art, coordination of multimedia workstation
activities, such as Audio Visual Connection (AVC) programs, was not
attainable for cohesive presentations which involved multiple
workstations.  For example, in some trade shows a 4x4 array would be
set up plus several small monitors.  The 4x4 array was used for the
main presentation, while the side monitors displayed supplemental
information, such as performance measurement data.  Typically, the
4x4 array was used to depict related groups of pictures, or a single
composite picture broken up into many sections.  It was necessary to
synchronize the image changes on each system so that the presentation
looked good.  In addition, the performance monitors required the
audio tracks to be synchronized with the image displayed.  It was not
uncommon for the operator to manually perform the synchronization
between the various monitors and to have to wait until all monitor
systems were caught up before continuing a presentation.  At this
point, the operator would signal for a continuation.

      The concept described herein is designed to provide remote
control and synchronization utilizing LAN operations.  Operator
intervention is minimized so as to provide the ability to present a
cohesive and professional presentation through the various connected
displays.  It should be noted that the concept is not limited to
multimedia workstations, but can be used for generic applications as
well.  The concept provides the capability for the operator to
override the activity at a workstation, such as enabling a
workstation to run in an automated mode, executing instructions
issued by the remote controller.

      The concept involves two operational programs for LAN
applications - a show controller program and a workstation control
program:

1.  The show controller program uses the OS/2* LAN requester/server
    mailslot functions to send messages to workstations on the
    network.  Messages may be broadcast to all workstations on the
    LAN or sent to specific workstations.  Messages may vary from:
    terminate the remote program, play a specific file, or freeze the
    full motion play at the current frame.  The user interfaces to
    the controller program by push buttons, dialog boxes with entry
    lists, and pull down menus.  The program contains an automatic
    mode of operation where the controller sends a series of
    pre-programmed commands for the workstation to execute.  Fig. 1
    shows an example of the control flow at the controller
    workstation.  The user in...