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(21) Application Number: KElP/ 2009/000895

(22) Filing Date: 16/10/2007

(30) Priority data: 200610150639.3  20/10/2006  CN

(86)    PCT data  PCT/CN07/070905 16/10/2007 wo 2008/049364 02/05/2008
 
(73) Owner: STAR SOFTWARE TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD. of 002#, C Block, 3rd Floor, Tower 1, 3rd Street, Shangdi Infomation Industry Base, Haidian District Beijing 100085, P.R. China.

(72) Inventors: PANG, Xinxing of 002#, C Block, 3rd Floor, Tower!, 3rd Street Shangdi Information Industry Base, Haidian District, Beijing 100085, P.R. China; LIU, Chungen of 002#, C Block, 3rd Floor, Tower!, 3rd Street Shangdi Information Industry Base, Haidian District, Beijing 100085, P.R.China; YANG, Haiqiang of 002#, C Block, 3rd Floor, Tower!, 3rd Street Shangdi Information Industry Base, Haidian District, Beijing 100085, P.R. China; LI, Weizhong of 002#, C Block, 3rd Floor, Tower!, 3rd Street Shangdi Information Industry Base, Haidian Distric, Beijing 100085, P.R. China; WU, Zhigang of 002#, C Block, 3rd Floor, Tower!, 3rd Street Shangdi Information Industry Base, Haidian District, Beijing 100085, P.R. China;YAN, Peng of 002#, C Block, 3rd Floor, Tower!, 3rd Street Shangdi Information Industry Base, Haidian District, Beijing 100085 P.R. China; HUANG, Xinghe of 002#, C Block, 3rd Floor, Tower!, 3rd Street Shangdi Information Industry Base, Haidian District, Beijing 100085, P.R. China and DAI, Zhenzhong of 002#, C Block, 3rd Floor, Tower!, 3rd Street Shangdi Information Industry Base, Haidian District, Beijing 100085, P.R. China.

(74) Agent/address for correspondence: MURIU MUNGAI & COMPANY ADVOCATES, P. 0. BOX 75362-00200, NAIROBI

(54)    Title:  METHOD FOR TRANSMITTING INFORMATION VIA CHANNEL NETWORK

(57) Abstract: A method for transmitting the information via the channel network includes:ll) sending the information ordering request to the information providing end by the information consumption end,the said request specifies the required information content; 12)determining the time for sending the information based on the resource of information transmission system according to the information ordering request of each information consumption end; 13)receiving the information during the determined time by the information consumption end; 14)storing the received information which may be used by the information consumer at the appropriate time into the nonvolatile memory by the information consumption end.
 
METHOD FOR TRANSMITTING INFORMATION VIA CHANNEL

NETWORK


[0001]    This  application  claims  the  pnonty  to  Chinese  Patent  Application  no.

5    200610150639.3, filed with the Chinese Patent Office on October 20, 2006 and entitled "METHOD FOR TRANSMITTING INFORMATION OVER NETWORK CHANNEL", entire contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference.

Field of the Invention

[0002]    The present invention relates to information technology and in particular to a
10    method for transmitting information over a network channel.

Background of the Invention

[0003] Various information transmission systems for transmitting information over network channels have emerged along with the development of electronic technology and information technology. For example, diversified information is transmitted over

15    the Internet acting as an important approach in daily life and entertainment. Additionally, audio and video information is transmitted in a broadcast form over various broadcast television networks.

[0004] For the various information transmission approaches, both instantaneity and effectiveness of information transmission have to be considered. In other words, the
20    information has to be transmitted in a timely way to a desired terminal.

[0005] Numerous approaches have been adopted in the existing systems of transmission over network channels in order for timely and effective information transmission. The approach of the most importance is an instant transmission approach in which an information consumer sends a request for retrieving information over a

25    network to an information provider, and the information provider transmits the desired information to the information consumer in response to the request. It features that the requested information provider responds immediately once the information consumer requests for the information. For example, browsing news over a network and instant

video-on-demand over a cable television network belong to  such an approach.  This

30    approach has the feature of strong instantaneity, i.e., transmission upon a request at any moment. Unfortunately, the channel resource may be wasted and congested concurrently due to extremely similar use habits of information consumers. It may be difficult for users to retrieve smoothly information in a busy period while the channel resource may not be utilized fully in an idle period, which results in an extremely
 
unreasonable use of the channel resource.

[0006] In another information transmission approach, an information consumer subscribes to specific information from a specific information provider (e.g., a server). The specific information is unavailable currently but will be collected and provided by

5    the information provider. The information provider transmits the information to the information consumer upon the collection of the information in response to the requirements for the information that is previously requested by the user. This approach

features that the information consumer proposes the type of desired information, and the

information    provider  transmits   the   information   to   the   information   consumer

10    immediately upon the information is generated. For example, a subscription to daily news from a network belongs to such an approach. In this approach, information is transmitted depending upon the generation of the information, and no consideration has been taken of an effective use of the channel resource.

[0007)    In a further information transmission approach, an information provider plays

15    information, and a user needing the information receives the information over a specific channel as needed. Existing televisions and radios belong to such an approach. In this approach, all available transmission channels seemingly can be utilized for a full use of the channel resource. However, the information transmitted over the channel is

determined by the information provider without direct participation of the user acting as

20    the information consumer, so that much of the information transmitted over the channel is not required by the information consumer, which results in futile transmission of the information and a vain waste of the channel resource. Audio and video programs transmitted through the existing television and broadcast systems belong to such a situation.

25 [0008] In a conclusion, none of the systems of transmission over channels in the prior art may can not schedule the channel resource sufficiently, and therefore, futility, idling or congestion in transmission of information over channels may be caused

Summary of the Invention

[0009]    In  view  of the  problems  present  in  the  existing  methods  for  transmitting

30    information over a channel network, the invention address a technical problem of providing a method capable of making a full use of a channel transmission capability for reasonable and effective information transmission. With this method, both

transmission  of information  required  for  an  information  consumer  over  a  network

channel and a full use of a channel resource can be ensured to thereby avoid congestion
35    and idling ofthe channel due to an unreasonable use of the channel.

[0010]    A method for transmitting information over a channel network, comprising:

[0011] 11) sending, by each information consumer, to an information provider an information subscription request, the information subscription request specifYing contents of desired information;

5 [0012] 12) determining a time at which the information is transmitted in accordance with a condition of a resource of an information transmission system in response to the information subscription request of the each information consumer;

[0013] 13) receiving, by the information consumer, the information at the determined time; and

10    [0014] 14) storing, by the information consumer, the received information in a nonvolatile memory for use by the information consumer at an appropriate time.

[0015]    Preferably, before the step 11 ), the method further comprises:

[0016] 21) transmitting, by the information provider, a catalog of available information to the information consumer; and

15    [0017] in the step 11 ), the information consumer selects the information to be subscribed to from the catalog upon transmission of the information subscription request.

[0018] Preferably, the information comprises audio and video programs, and the information catalog comprises identifiers and summaries of the audio and video
20    programs.

[0019]    Preferably, the step 12) comprises:

[0020] 41) determining a schedule of transmitting the subscribed information to the respective information consumers in accordance with empirical data of the use of the information provider and the channel network resource, a real-time state of the use of

25    the resource, and conditions of subscribing the information by the each information consumer; and if the channel is a bidirectional channel, conditions of the use of device of the each information consumer are further considered; and

[0021]    42) transmitting the schedule to the each information consumer.

[0022]    Preferably, the information subscription request in the  step  II)  comprises  a

30    deadline of obtaining the information by the information consumer, and if the subscription information contains no deadline of obtaining the information by the consumer, the system sets a rule of determining automatically a deadline; and the deadline is further considered in the step 12) in determination of the time at which the
 
information is transmitted.

[0023]    Preferably, the step 13) comprises:

[0024] 61) transmitting, by the information provider, information transmission initiation information to the information consumer prior to arrival of the determined
5    transmission time; and

[0025] 62) commencing, by the information consumer, on receiving the subscribed information at a time point determined from the initiation information.

[0026] Preferably, in the step 61), the information transmission initiation information transmitted by the information provider to the information consumer comprises a

10    channel for transmitting the information, and in the step 62), the information consumer receives the information over the channel.

[0027] Preferably, the channel network comprises: the Internet, a local area network, a wireless broadcast network, a cable television network, a wired telephone network, and a mobile telephone network.

15    [0028] Preferably, the channel network comprises a broadcast network, and the information is transmitted from the information provider to the each information consumer over the network in a broadcast form.

[0029] Preferably, the information consumers of the broadcast network act as clients divided into a plurality of service groups, and the same information is transmitted in the
20    broadcast form over the same channel within the same service group.

[0030] Preferably, if the broadcast network is a unidirectional broadcast network, the clients send the information subscription requests in a form of a mobile phone short message, a voice call, and the Internet.

[0031]    Preferably, the broadcast network composes a video-on-demand system,  and

25    the clients are set-top boxes, the set-top boxes are provided with or connected with nonvolatile memories; and the information provider is a background of the video-on-demand system.

[0032] Preferably, in the step 13), the set-top boxes receive the information at the determined times and at frequency points determined by the background of the
30    video-on-demand system.

[0033] Preferably, the background of the video-on-demand system, while transmitting the information, broadcasts the information to a service group which the client subscribing a specific program belongs to.
 
[0034] The essential idea of the invention lies in that when the information consumers are provided with storage devices, e.g., nonvolatile memories, etc., the information consumers order in advance their desired information from the information provider. The information provider determines reasonable information transmission times in

5    accordance with conditions of the use of the network channels and hereby transmits the information. The information consumers store the received information in the nonvolatile memories and can make use thereof at any moment as needed.

[0035]    The method according to the invention can schedule effectively the network

channel  resource,  avoid  a  waste  and  congestion  of the  channel  resource,  satisfY

10    sufficiently demands of information consumers and improve effectiveness of information transmission.

[0036]    The  method  according  to  the  invention  is  especially  applicable  in  a

video-on-demand  system  consisting  of a  broadcast  system  using  a  cable  telephone

network, etc. In this system, there is a limited channel resource and a large amount of

15    information for transmission as well as similarly of consumption times of information consumers, a consequence of which may be serious problems of channel congestion and

idling. With the method according to the invention, the information can be transmitted in response to the subscription request of the user in a way that a desired program is transmitted to the information consumer local to the information consumer by

20    reasonable scheduling and making a full use of the transmission capacity in a period in which the network is idle, and the information consumer stores the program in the local storage device. The information consumer can read from the local storage device and watch the stored program as needed. Therefore, the use of the method according to the

invention  can  improve  greatly  the  utilization  ratio  of the  channel  resource  of the

25    video-on-demand system at the expense of instantaneity. Also the method can avoid futile transmission of any program and improve effectiveness of the use of the system resource because the program is broadcast to a specific service group in response to a subscription of the information consumer. Because the information consumer stores a large amount of desired programs locally, the requirements for "Order and Play" are

30    decreased greatly. Therefore, the method can reduce the traffic in the busy time of the video-on-demand system greatly.

[0037] In one word, the method according to the invention is an effective approach with a full use of the transmission capacity of the network channel resource and can enable coordination between high and low .use periods and hence implements an
35    effective use of the channel resource.


Brief Description of the Drawings

[0038)    Figure 1 is a flow chart of a first embodiment according to the invention; and

[0039)    Figure 2 is a flow chart of a second embodiment according to the invention.

Detailed Description of the Invention

5 [0040] The first embodiment according to the invention provides a method for transmitting information over a channel network, and this method is based upon a specific channel network. So-called channels refer to channels such as optical paths and electric circuits over which information is transmitted. The channel network refers to a network formed of the optical paths and electric circuits for information transmission.

10    The method can be applicable to various channel networks including the Internet, a local area network, a wireless broadcast network, a cable television network, a wired telephone network, a mobile telephone network, etc. The method is adapted to transmit information of an information provider possessing the information over a channel

network to an information consumer needing the information over the channel network,

15    and the information consumer is provided with a nonvolatile memory for storing the information. The method features that the information consumer provides the information provider with a request for subscribing to specific information, and the

information provider transmits  duly the information to  the  information consumer in

response  to  the  request  and  in  accordance  with resource  conditions  of the  channel

20    network. The information consumer stores the information in the nonvolatile memory. The information consumer may retrieve the subscribed information from the local nonvolatile memory at any moment as needed. A detailed flow of implementing the method is described as below with reference to Figure 1.

[0041]    Step  S101:  An  information  provider  transmits  a  catalog  of  available

25    information to information consumers.

[0042] Because an object of the invention is to improve the effective use of the channel resource, a demand of the information consumer shall be first acknowledged. The demand of the information consumer is typically based upon a specific content prompt to facilitate his selection. Therefore, the information provider acting as the

30    information possessor shall provide and transmit the catalog of its available information to the information consumer to let the user make a selection. The catalog shall include serial numbers of information contents to let the user make the selection and possibly

summaries of the information contents. For example, if information is a video program, the  user  can  decide  from  a  summary  of the  video  program  whether he  needs  the 35    information. Alternatively, the summary of contents may be a simple title, for example,
 
the user can know from a headline of news whether he is interested in reading the news.

[0043) Step Sl02: An information consumer sends to the information provider an information subscription request in which content of desired information is specified.

[0044)    The subscription request from the information consumer is a precondition of

5    information transmission. The subscription request is selected by the information consumer himself in accordance with the information catalog in the step S 101, and

contents of the request include the serial number of the desired information and possibly a deadline of retrieving the information. For example, a certain video program shall be retrieved in 24 hours.

10 [0045) Step Sl03: A schedule of transmitting the subscribed information to the respective information consumers is determined in accordance with resource conditions of an information transmitting system.

[0046) The information transmission system refers to an integrated information transmission system consisting of the information provider, the channel network and the

15    respective information consumers. The determination in accordance with the resource conditions of the information transmitting system refers to a determination of the schedule of transmitting the subscribed information to the respective information

consumers in accordance with empirical data of the use of the information provider and

the channel network resource, a real-time state of the use of the system resource, and

20    conditions of subscribing the information by the respective information consumers. If the information transmission system is a bidirectional one, conditions of the use of devices of the information consumers may further be taken into account in the determination of the subscribed information schedule.

[0047)    It is assumed here that it is possible to gain knowledge of the conditions of the

25    temporal use of the resource throughout the information transmission system. Therefore, it is possible to know when the resource is sufficient and when it is insufficient in the information transmission system, especially when the channel resource is particularly

insufficient and when it is relatively sufficient over the channel network, and further to

make a reasonable use of the resource, especially in a period the channel resource is

30    sufficient, for information transmission. If the deadline of the subscribed information is further included in the information subscription request, the deadline shall also be considered as one of the criterions for determining the schedule. If no deadline of the

subscribed information is contained in the information order request, the system may determine a deadline of the subscribed information to prevent the subscribed
35    information  from  becoming  delayed  information  due  to   an  excessively  long
 

transmission period. Due to a regularity of the use of the channel resource to some extent over a general signal network, the empirical data of the use of the channel resource actually may be concluded for use in formulating the schedule. For example, there are both a regularity of a busy period of the use of the channel resource in a day of

5    24 hours and a regularity of the use of the channel resource in a week, and these regularities can also be utilized. In addition, the schedule can take into account the conditions of subscribing to the information by the respective information consumers in

accordance  with  the  feature  of the  specific  channel  network.  For  example,  for  a

broadcast  network  divided  into  service  groups,  conditions  of  subscribing  to  the

10    information by respective clients of the same service group shall be considered, and if there are a large number of information consumers, which subscribes to the same information, in a certain service group, the information shall be transmitted with priority. Furthermore, the deadline in the information subscription request from the information consumer or the deadline specified by the system shall further be considered to ensure

15    that the information is transmitted to the information consumer prior to arrival of the deadline.

(0048)    Step S I 04: The schedule is transmitted to the information consumers.

(0049) The schedule can provide the information consumers with knowledge of when to prepare to receive the information and therefore shall firstly be transmitted to the

20    information consumers. The information provider transmits the schedule to a specified information consumer in the case of a point-to-point information transmission network. Or, the information provider transmits a uniform broadcast schedule to respective information consumers in a broadcast network in the case of the broadcast network.

(0050)    Step  Sl05:  The  information  provider  transmits  information  transmission

25    initiation information to the information consumers prior to arrival of the determined transmission time.

[0051) Despite of the schedule, the specific information transmission time may vary slightly, and the information transmission initiation information is adapted to synchronize the information transmission of the information provider with the

30    information reception of the information consumers. In the case of the broadcast channel network, the information transmission initiation information shall further specify the serial number of a channel over which the information is transmitted so that the information consumer receives the information over the channel.

(0052]    Step  Sl06:  The  information  consumers  commence  on  reception  of  the
35    subscribed information at time points determined by the initiation information.
 

[0053] In the case of the broadcast network, the information consumers receive the subscribed information over the specified channels at the specified time.

[0054] Step S107: The information consumers store the received information in the nonvolatile memories.

5 [0055] The invention can accomplish information subscription because the nonvolatile memories for storing the information are provided at the information consumers. The memory offers the possibility of local storage of the information at the information consumers to extend a period in which the information can be used. For a system without information storage, the information has to be consumed at the time of

10    retrieving the information, and the information can not be consumed in a subscription mode.

[0056] The use of information consumption in a subscription mode actually prolongs a period in which the information is transmitted over a channel, so that the information is transmitted in a period where the channel is idle.

15 [0057] The method for transmitting information over a channel network according to the invention is especially applicable to a broadcast system with a limited channel resource. In this system, a video-on-demand system background acting as an information provider is adapted to provide a client acting as an information consumer with a video program. An application of the method according to the invention in a

20    video-on-demand system based upon a cable television network can provide a video-on-demand method in a subscription mode based upon the existing system, to make a full use of a channel resource of the cable television network.

[0058] The characteristics of video-on-demand system upon which the above video-on-demand in a subscription mode lie in that:

25 [0059] 1. The video-on-demand system plays a video program in a broadcast mode. The minimum unit to which a video program file is transmitted is a service group. In other words, all clients in the same service group will be sure to receive the same program at the same frequency point. A program can be broadcast concurrently at different frequency points of the same line for each service group, and a plurality of

30    programs can be transmitted concurrently at the same frequency point in a digitized video-on-demand system.

[0060] 2. The video-on-demand system may be an either bidirectional system or a unidirectional system. In the case of the bidirectional system, a client may send program subscription information to the video-on-demand system background directly via a
 

television network, and in the case of the unidirectional system, a program shall be subscribed to by means of other communication devices.

[0061] The second embodiment of the invention provides a video-on-demand method in a subscription mode based upon the above video-on-demand system. Figure 2 is a

5    flow chart of the video-on-demand method in a subscription mode according to the invention. The following description is presented in connection with the flow chart.

[0062]    Step S201: Programs are prepared.

[0063] The so-called program preparation refers to storing digitized video program files in the video-on-demand system background while generating other information

10    relevant to the files, for example, a prospectus of the program, order prices, and relevant order records. Such information may be provided for a client so that the client can select one of the programs.

[0064]    Step S202: A program catalog is generated.

[0065]    The step is to generate a relevant catalog from the various video program files

15    stored in the video-on-demand system background. The catalog is intended to classify the video program files in accordance with a plan of an operator. The search catalog is generated and provided to a user for query.

[0066]    Step S203: The client accesses the program catalog.

[0067]    In the bidirectional video-on-demand system, the client is manipulated by the

20    user to generate and send a relevant access instruction to the video-on-demand system background to query about the program catalog of the video-on-demand system background; and the video-on-demand system background determines, from an identifier of the client in the instruction, a service group that the client belongs to, and

broadcasts the program catalog to the service group. The information of the program

25    catalog includes the identifier of the querying client. The client determines from the identifier that the information of the program catalog is intended for the present client and further reads the information of the program catalog.

[0068] In the unidirectional video-on-demand system, a transmitter of the client information is manipulated by the user to send a relevant access request to a receiver of

30    the client information in a form of a short message, a voice call, and a log-on of a webpage. The receiver of the client information converts the access request into an access instruction that can be received by the system background and sends the access instruction to the system background. The system background inquiries about registration information in accordance with a mobile phone number, determines an

identifier of the client sending the access instruction and a service group that the client belongs to, and transmits information of the program catalog to the service group. The information of the program catalog includes the identifier of the querying client. The client determines from the identifier that the information of the program catalog is
5    intended for the present client and further reads the information of the program catalog.

[0069]    Step S204: Programs are selected from the program catalog and subscribed to.

[0070] After obtaining the program catalog, the client receives a selection from the user, selects appropriate programs from the program catalog, and generates a list of subscribed programs.

10 [0071] If the video-on-demand system is a bidirectional system, the user may make the selection directly via an input and output unit of the client and generate the list of subscribed programs directly at the client.

[0072] If the video-on-demand system is a unidirectional system, the list of subscribed programs may be generated in a form of a mobile phone short message, a voice call, or

15    a network log-on, etc., by editing the relevant short message or via the voice call, the network log-on, etc., in accordance with the program catalog obtained by the client.

[0073]    The step S205: A program subscription request is sent to the video-on-demand

system background.

[0074]    After making the selection and generating the list of subscribed programs, the

20    user generate a program subscription request in combination with a corresponding command, request, etc., and sends the program subscription request to the video-on-demand system background. The program subscription request includes the

list of programs to be subscribed to.  The program subscription request includes also

relevant subscription information including program identifiers of the programs to be

25    subscribed to, the identifier of the client subscribing the programs, the time at which the programs are required, etc.

[0075] In the bidirectional system, the program subscription request is generated at the client and sent from the client to the system background via a cable television network.

[0076]    In the unidirectional system, the program subscription request is generated at

30    the receiver of the client information and sent directly to the system background.

[0077] Step S206: The video-on-demand system background receives and processes correspondingly the program subscription requests sent from the respective clients.

[0078]    Upon  receiving  the  program  subscription  request  from  the  client,  the
 

video-on-demand system background inquiries in a user management unit about a relevant record of the client, determines whether the client is authorized to subscribe to the program, and if so, the background records the subscription for charging.

[0079)    Step S207: The video-on-demand system background generates a program play

5    schedule in accordance with the program subscription requests from the respective clients and a load condition of the system.

[0080] Upon receiving the program subscription requests from the respective clients of the different service groups, the video-on-demand system background generates a program play schedule in accordance with a load condition of the video-on-demand

10    system. The program play schedule shall be determined in comprehensive consideration of various aspects of the system.

[0081] The comprehensive consideration of various aspects refers to a comprehensive consideration of operation features of the video-on-demand system. Firstly, the video-on-demand system is a broadcast system which shall broadcast a played program

15    to all clients per service group, and therefore, conditions of subscription by the respective clients of the service group shall be considered to satisfy the demands of the

respective clients of the service group to the most extent. Secondly, for the video-on-demand system, a video program file shall be transmitted integrally instead of being separated into data packets for transmission, and this requires a sufficient

20    bandwidth to be ensured in the entire transmission process since the video program file begins to be transmitted to satisfy all tasks of the video-on-demand system. Besides the above aspects, it will be further considered that the video-on-demand system shall also execute an "Order and Play" task with priority, and therefore, the system shall reserve a sufficient system load to execute any "Order and Play" task which may occur at any

25    moment. This requires a prediction of a system load available for transmitting the subscribed programs in view of a periodical change of the system load. Another factor to be considered is the time for a program subscribed to by a client. The program shall be integrally transmitted to and stored in the client prior to the specified time of

watching at the client. In one word, a reasonable program play schedule for playing

30    specified programs can be generated only if the above aspects are considered comprehensively for the purpose of a full use of the system resource.

[0082] Step S208: The video-on-demand background generates and sends a program play notification instruction to the client subscribing the program before playing the programs in accordance with the broadcast schedule.

35    [0083)    Because timely adjusting to the frequency point at which the program is played
 

is necessary for the client to receive the program after the subscribed program commences on playing, the system background shall notifY the client before playing the program to synchronize the playing of the background with the reception of the client.

In the case of taking only the program play schedule into account, the program may not

5    be received properly because the system background is not synchronized with the client. The play notification instruction further includes relevant information such as the serial number of a channel over which the program is played.

[0084) Step S209: The video-on-demand system commences on broadcasting the specified program over the specified channel to the specified service group over a cable
10    television network at the time specified in the program play schedule.

[0085] Step S210: The client subscribing the program receives the broadcast program over the specified channel in response to the play notification instruction and stores the program in a storage unit for playing.

[0086)    The  client  subscribing  the  program  receives  the  broadcast  program  at  the

15    specified time and at the specified frequency point in response to the play notification instruction, and also stores the broadcast program in a storage unit of the client. When

the client is a set-top box, the set-top box may be provided with a storage unit dedicated for storing video program files. Of course, the storage unit may alternatively be one independent of the set-top box, and it is sufficient that it is disposed at the client end and

20    the user can read conveniently the video program files stored in the storage unit at any time.

[0087] With the above process, the video-on-demand system plays the video program file subscribed to by the client to the service group that the client belongs to at the time specified by the client in accordance with the subscription information of the client, and
25    the client receives and stores the video program file for later playing at any time.

[0088] The foregoing descriptions are merely illustrative of the preferred embodiments of the invention, and it shall be pointed out that the ordinarily skilled in the art can further make numerous adaptations and modifications thereof without departing from the claimed scope of the invention, and these adaptations and the modifications shall
30    also be considered as falling within the claimed scope of the invention.

CLAIMS

I. A method for transmitting information over a channel network, comprising:

Il) sending, by each information consumer, to an information provider an information subscription request, the information subscription request specifying
5    contents of desired information;

12)    determining a time at which the information is transmitted in accordance with a condition of a resource of an information transmission system in response to the information subscription request of the each information consumer;

I3) receiving, by the information consumer, the information at the determined

10    time; and

I4) storing, by the information consumer, the received information m a nonvolatile memory for use by the information consumer at an appropriate time.

2. The method according to claim 1, wherein before the step Il), the method further comprises:

15 21) transmitting, by the information provider, a catalog of available information to the information consumer; and

in the step li), the information consumer selects the information to be subscribed to from the catalog upon transmission of the information subscription request.

20 3. The method according to claim 2, wherein the information comprises audio and video programs, and the information catalog comprises identifiers and summaries of the audio and video programs.

4.    The method according to claim I, wherein the step I2) comprises:

41)    determining a schedule of transmitting the subscribed information to the

25    respective information consumers in accordance with empirical data of the use of the information provider and the channel network resource, a real-time state of the use of the resource, and conditions of subscribing the information by the each information consumer; and if the channel is a bidirectional channel, conditions of the use of device of the each information consumer are further considered; and

30    42) transmitting the schedule to the each information consumer.

5.    The method according to claim I, wherein the information subscription request m the step Il) comprises a deadline of obtaining the information by the
 


14
 








information consumer, and if the subscription information contains no deadline of obtaining the information by the consumer, the system sets a rule of determining automatically a deadline; and the deadline is further considered in the step 12) m determination of the time at which the information is transmitted.

5    6. The method according to claim 1, wherein the step 13) comprises:

61)    transmitting, by the information provider, information transmission initiation information to the information consumer prior to arrival of the determined transmission time; and

62)    commencing, by the information consumer, on receiving the  subscribed

10    information at a time point determined from the initiation information.

7.    The method according to claim 1, wherein in the step 61), the information transmission initiation information transmitted by the information provider to the information consumer comprises a channel for transmitting the information, and in the step 62), the information consumer receives the information over the channel.

15 8. The method according to any one of claims 1 to 7, wherein the channel network comprises: the Internet, a local area network, a wireless broadcast network, a cable television network, a wired telephone network, and a mobile telephone network.

9. The method according to any one of claims I to 7, wherein the channel network comprises a broadcast network, and the information is transmitted from the

20    information provider to the each information consumer over the network in a broadcast form.

10.    The method according to claim 9, wherein the information consumers of the broadcast network act as clients divided into a plurality of service groups, and the same information is transmitted in the broadcast form over the same channel within the
25    same service group.

11.    The method according to claim 10, wherein if the broadcast network is a unidirectional broadcast network, the clients send the information subscription requests in a form of a mobile phone short message, a voice call, and the Internet.

12.  The  method  according  to  claim  10,  wherein  the  broadcast  network

30    composes a video-on-demand system, and the clients are set-top boxes, the set-top boxes are provided with or connected with nonvolatile memories; and the information provider is a background of the video-on-demand system.

13.    The method according to  claim  12, wherein in the step  13), the  set-top
 
boxes receive the information at the determined times and at frequency points determined by the background of the video-on-demand system.

14. The method according to claim 13, wherein the background of the video-on-demand system, while transmitting the information, broadcasts the

5    information to a service group which the client subscribing a specific program belongs to.


ABSTRACT


A method for transmitting the information via the channel network includes: II) sending

the information ordering request to the information providing end by the information

5    consumption end,the said request specifies the required information content; 12)determining the time for sending the information based on the resource of information transmission system according to the information ordering request of each information consumption end; 13)receiving the information during the determined time by the information consumption end; 14)storing the received information which may be

10    used by the information consumer at the appropriate time into the nonvolatile memory by the information consumption end.


SlOl

Information provider transmits an inform tion 1
 

catalog to information transmitters
 

I
 
------------------ , ----------- • ------
S102
Information consumers send llformation ~ subscription requests to the information I
provider    1

Determine an information transmission   -rS103
-----s-ch__.,e._du-le    _j?  04
l Transmit the schedule to the informatio;fl
consumers
---- •I    1    S105
The information provider transmits --r information transmission initiation (!I

information to the information consumers    S 106
        I

The information co~sumers commence on I receiving subscribed information in response

to the information transmission initiation I information I
The infonnation ooru;wn= '""' rereived ~7
information in nonvolatile memories    ,
___________________________  ___j



Figure 1
 





1  /")
 

c S201
Prepare programs    I r!S202
I    .

~-----------~----------r_--------~1
Generate a program catalog
S203
,-----    =::1_---/
Clients access the program catalog   ~ S204

-- -- ~_____l___ __ ____j~ i Clients select programs to be subscri~
L_-    catalog    8205   
    ••1.-;f   
Clients sends program subscription requests to a    1   
    system background       
        S206   
The system backg~ound receive: the pro~1

subscription requests from the respective clients   !
'--~~~-~~--~~--,~~~~--_J'  S207

System background generates a progr~
'    schedule in response to program subscription
            1       
    requests from the respective clients and in    '       
-        accordance with a system load condition        8208   
        I    ~   
1    Generate and transmit a notification instruction t?';       
'    the client subscribing a specific program before   I       
1   broadcasting the program according to the program ,       
L        broadcast schedule    :    S209   
~--    Broadcast the progr£    --t   
        ~-    .    8210   

1 Each client subscribing the program receives the - ( broadcast program at a specified frequency point in(\

response to the play notification instruction and . stores the program in a storage unit for play~

Figure 2

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