High Speed, Interactive, Internet TV Channel requiring a Low Bandwidth Reverse Channel
Original Publication Date: 2000-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-18
This article describes how to achieve an interactive web site experience while watching a related TV channel. What makes this concept interesting is that the channel delivering the web sit information and the TV channel are both one way. That is, no information is sent back to the source. At first this may seam like a paradox. How can the web site be interactive without a back channel? Because, when you click on an URL it is expected that the page associated with that URL will be displayed. How is this done? The following few paragraphs answer this question. The web site is made interactive by processing the pages of the web site into a continuos loop. This is done by fetching the web site from the internet (programs like TELEPORT are available for this task) and saving it in a directory. Each page from the site is put into its own file. These pages are next processed into one file by making all the URLs, within the pages, relative links to locations within this file. In addition, the pages are separated by special page separator tags and the first page is specially marked as the home page. From a server point of view all that's left to do is transmit this file continuously in a loop to the receiving client. The client receives the stream of pages from the server. Recall that the stream is sent as a contiguous loop. So the client must start by waiting until it receives the unique page marked as the home page. When this page is detected the client displays the page on the clients screen. This is easy to do because the received pages data is html. When the user clicks on an URL link within a page the client knows the link is relative and points to another page within the continuos loop of data being received from the server. Hence it need only wait until that page is encountered within the loop and display it. The user thus navigates at will within the web site contained in the transmitted loop. Overall the user experience appears to be interactive with the server. And as promised, the channel is one way.