Patent Issued for Flexible Traffic Management and Shaping Processing for Multimedia Distribution
2012 JUL 18 (VerticalNews) -- By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Telecommunications Weekly -- Agere Systems Inc. (Allentown, PA) has been issued patent number 8214868, according to news reporting originating out of Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews editors.
The patent's inventors are Hamilton, Christopher W. (Breinigsville, PA); Sonnier, David P. (Austin, TX); Zoranovic, Milan (Kanata, CA).
This patent was filed on April 21, 2006 and was cleared and issued on July 3, 2012.
From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "Traditionally, broadcast television was only distributed via cable, satellite, or terrestrial systems. Today, with the increase in Internet connection speeds, advancements in technology, the increase in total number of users online, and the decrease in connection costs, it has become increasingly more common to find television content, accessible freely over the Internet. Moreover, new Internet-only television content (e.g., content not distributed via cable, satellite, or terrestrial systems) has appeared. The widespread use of digital subscriber line (DSL) and the ever-increasing bandwidth capabilities offered by industry innovation (e.g., asymmetrical digital subscriber line 2 (ADSL2), very high bit-rate digital subscriber line (VDSL), etc.) have provided an ideal backdrop for new mechanisms for distributing multimedia streams, including, but not limited to, live television (e.g., Internet Protocol (IP) television (IPTV)), also referred to as multicasting, as well as stored multimedia, such as, for example, content on demand (e.g., interactive video, interactive gaming, video on demand (VOD)).
"One of the primary barriers to wider adoption of broadband as a means for delivering multimedia content is streaming technology, both in terms of quality and cost to providers. From a quality standpoint, end client IPTV and media systems delivered over broadband, Ethernet/IP, wireline and/or wireless networks typically require a time-based buffer to be loaded at the end client system in order to prevent picture loss and/or degradation during channel change and playout. However, whenever a request for a channel change is initiated by an end client, the buffer must be cleared and subsequently filled with streaming data from the new channel. In the case of IPTV, this can result in dithering and/or a blank screen during startup while the buffer is being filled. For users who engage in 'channel surfing' or who otherwise rapidly switch between channels of multimedia content, the momentary delay in delivering channel content can be particularly undesirable.
"Accordingly, there exists a need for improved techniques for distributing multimedia content over a network which does not suffer from one or more of the problems exhibited by conventional multimedia distribution methodologies."
Supplementing the background information on this patent, VerticalNews reporters also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The present invention meets the above-noted need by providing, in illustrative embodiments thereof, a multimedia distribution architecture for more efficiently delivering streaming multimedia to subscribing clients in a manner which substantially eliminates dithering and/or reduces the delay in presenting streaming multimedia content to an end client commonly experienced when changing channels.
"In accordance with one aspect of the invention, apparatus for distributing streaming multimedia to at least one end client over a network includes memory and at least one processor operatively connected to the memory. The processor is operative: (i) to receive the streaming multimedia from at least one multimedia source via at least one of a plurality of channels in the network; (ii) when a channel change request generated by the end client for changing a channel and corresponding multimedia content from the multimedia source is not detected, to deliver the at least one multimedia stream to the end client at a first data rate; and (iii) when the channel change request has been detected, to deliver the at least one multimedia stream to the end client at a second rate for a prescribed period of time after receiving the channel change request and, after the prescribed period of time, to deliver the at least one multimedia stream to the end client at the first data rate, wherein the second data rate is greater than the first data rate.
"These and other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of illustrative embodiments thereof, which is to be read in connection with the accompanying drawings."
For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Hamilton, Christopher W.; Sonnier, David P.; Zoranovic, Milan. Flexible Traffic Management and Shaping Processing for Multimedia Distribution. U.S. Patent Number 8214868, filed April 21, 2006, and issued July 3, 2012. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=10&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=482&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=20120703.PD.&OS=ISD/20120703&RS=ISD/20120703
Keywords for this news article include: Ethernet, Internet, Broadband, Television, Electronics, Wireless Network, Agere Systems Inc., Wireless Technology.
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