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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
EMBEDDED CODES, LINKS AND DESCRIPTIONS IN BROADCAST, STREAMING AND DOWNLOADED VIDEOS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/148830
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Methods, systems and techniques are disclosed for sending Program Codes, URLs and Descriptions, encoded in a closed caption or data channel in a video stream, to a consumer device over Bluetooth Link, Bluetooth Low Energy, WiFi, WiFi Direct, or Ethernet after being decoded by a television, monitor, set-top box, DVD/Blu-ray player, streaming player, or over- the-air broadcast/satellite receiver while the video is playing on a television or monitor. A Program Code may be used to launch an application or service, or a URL may be launched in a web browser on the consumer device with a simple click, tap or swipe by the viewer. A character or image-based Description may provide more information on a Program Code or URL. Program Codes, URLs and Descriptions are made available directly to the viewer if the video is viewed on the consumer device.

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Inventors:
BAINS, Inderjit (2 W. 12th Ave, Vancouver, British Columbia V6J 2G2, V6J 2G2, CA)
Application Number:
CA2018/050168
Publication Date:
August 23, 2018
Filing Date:
February 14, 2018
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
ARCTEC MOBILE INC. (6 W. Broadway, Vancouver, British Columbia V6H 3X8, V6H 3X8, CA)
International Classes:
H04N21/434; H04M3/42; H04N21/41; H04L1/22
Foreign References:
US5818935A1998-10-06
US6637032B12003-10-21
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KHANGURA, Ranjit Singh (2 88 Avenue, Vancouver, British Columbia V3W 3J7, V3W 3J7, CA)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A system to link video content to a consumer device, the system comprising:

(a) a video comprising at least one of a program code, a uniform resource locator, and a description, wherein the at least one of the program code, uniform resource locator and description is associated with video content, and wherein the at least one of the program code, uniform resource locator and description is embedded in at least one of a closed caption channel, a data channel or in the video bitstream;

(b) a player device, for playing the video on a monitor, the player device comprising a computer readable memory, a processor, a communications interface for receiving the video and a consumer device communications interface for communicatively coupling with a consumer device.

(c) a player application stored in a computer readable memory coupled to the player device, executable by a processor in the player device, the player application comprising:

(i) a first player routine for decoding the at least one of the program code, uniform resource locator and the description;

(ii) a second player routine for sending the at least one of the program code, the uniform resource locator and the description to the consumer device through the consumer device communications interface;

(d) a device application executable by the consumer device comprising:

(i) a first device routine for receiving the at least one of the program code, the uniform resource locator and the description from the player device;

(ii) a second device routine for displaying the at least one of the program code, the uniform resource locator and the description on a display of the consumer device for allowing a user of the consumer device to select a course of action.

2. The system of claim 1 , or any other claim herein, wherein the at least one of the program code, uniform resource locator or description comprises an error correction code for mitigating transmission errors.

3. The system of claim 1, or any other claim herein, wherein the description comprises a category of a uniform resource locator.

4. The system of claim 1, or any other claim herein, wherein the description comprises instructions for launching an application or service related to the program code.

5. The system of claim 1, or any other claim herein, wherein the description comprises sufficient information for launching an application or service on the consumer device without the program code.

6. The system of claim 1 , or any other claim herein, wherein the at least one of the program code, uniform resource locator or description is unrelated to video content.

7. The system of claim 1, or any other claim herein, wherein the description comprises at least one of a social media symbol, a label or a tag and wherein the device application comprises a sub-routine for automatically opening a webpage associated with the at least one of the symbol, label or tag, and for entering at least one of the symbol, label or tag in the webpage.

8. The system of claim 1, or any other claim herein, wherein the description comprises an email address, and wherein the device application comprises an email routine for automatically opening an email program with appropriate fields filled using information from the description in response to a user selection action.

9. The system of claim 1, or any other claim herein, wherein the description comprises a phone number, and wherein the device application comprises a phone call routine for automatically making one of a standard or VIOP phone call from the consumer device using the phone number in response to a user selection action.

The system of claim 1, or any other claim herein, wherein the description includes a coupon for redeeming in-store or online, and wherein the coupon comprises at least one of a barcode, a coupon uniform resource locator for linking to a webpage with at least one of a discount, a coupon code, or instructions for a wallet app.

The system of claim 1, or any other claim herein, wherein the description comprises any combination of text, text using a markup language, vector or pixel-based graphics or images, social media symbols, labels or tags, email addresses, phone numbers, coupons or instructions for applications or wallet apps.

The system of claim 1, or any other claim herein, further comprising a Bluetooth 5 BLE Secondary Advertisement beacon communicatively coupled to the player device for sending at least a portion of any of the program code, the uniform resource locator or the description on data payload of up to 255 bytes to the consumer device.

The system of claim 1, or any other claim herein, wherein the player is incorporated into a monitor.

A method for linking video content to a consumer device, the method comprising:

(a) sending a video to a player device for playing the video on a monitor, wherein the video comprises at least one of a program code, a uniform resource locator, and a description;

(b) decoding the at least one of the program code, the uniform resource locator and the description from the video using a player device application stored at the player device;

(c) sending the at least one of the program code, uniform resource locator and description to a consumer device that is communicatively coupled to the player device;

(d) displaying the at least one of the program code, uniform resource locator and description on the consumer device; and

(e) launching at least one of a program, service or second uniform resource locator on the consumer device in response to a user of the consumer device selecting the displayed program code, uniform resource locator or description.

15. The method of claim 14, or any other claim herein, further comprising embedding the at least one of the program code, the uniform resource locator and the description in the video when the video is edited, wherein the embedding is performed manually by an operator or automatically by reading from a file.

16. The method of claim 15, or any other claim herein, wherein embedding takes place in real-time.

17. The method of claim 15, or any other claim herein, wherein embedding in the video takes place multiple times to mitigate transmission errors.

18. The method of claim 14, or any other claim herein, further comprising sending at least one of the program code, the uniform resource locator and the description before, during and after an event that at least one of the program code, the uniform resource locator and the description is associated with to allow detection if the event is removed from the video.

19. The method of claim 14, or any other claim herein, further comprising synchronizing the at least one of the program code, the uniform resource locator and the description with the video content.

20. The method of claim 14, or any other claim herein, wherein at least one of the program code, the uniform resource locator and the description are decoded from at least one of a closed caption channel, data channel, or video bitstream delimited with at least one of an identifier, special character, code, quotation mark, start and stop identifier, or carriage return.

21. The method of claim 14, or any other claim herein, further comprising launching an application on the consumer device using the program code.

22. The method of claim 14, or any other claim herein, further comprising providing information on the consumer device about at least one of the program code and the uniform resource locator by sending the description to the consumer device, wherein the description comprises the information about the at least one of the program code and the uniform resource locator.

23. The method of claim 14, or any other claim herein, further comprising generating statistical data for use in generating click-through revenue by displaying the description on the consumer device and routing a cryptic URL through one or more internet servers.

24. The method of claim 14, or any other claim herein, further comprising redirecting the at least one of the program code, the uniform resource locator and the description from an international video stream to a location-specific application or website through geolocation of the user's IP address.

25. The method of claim 14, or any other claim herein, further comprising updating a launched program by through at least one of a subsequent program code and a subsequent description that matches the at least one of the program code and the description without re-launching the program.

26. The method of claim 14, or any other claim herein, further comprising decoding the at least one of the program code, the uniform resource locator and the description directly from a video on the consumer device.

27. The method of claim 14, or any other claimherein, further comprising providing updates for the at least one of the program code, the uniform resource locator and the description from an internet server, wherein the at least one of the program code, the uniform resource locator and the description is tracked by the Internet server and updates are based on an analysis of follow-through data, tracked by the internet server, during a particular time-period.

28. The method of claim 14, or any other claim herein, further comprising providing an update for a set of program codes, wherein the update is provided through one of the description or a second description retrieved from an internet server and wherein the update is based on an analysis of follow-through data for one or more program codes or descriptions, tracked by the internet server, during a particular time-period.

29. The method of claim 14, or any other claim herein, further comprising providing a uniform resource locator update for a set of uniform resource locators, wherein the update is provided through one of the description or a second description retrieved from an internet server and wherein the update is based on an analysis of follow-through data for one or more uniform resource locators or descriptions, tracked by the internet server, during a particular time-period.

The method of claim 14, or any other claim herein, further comprising redirecting a set of uniform resource locators by an Internet server, wherein the redirects are based on follow-through data, tracked on one or more Internet servers, for a particular time period.

The method of claim 14, or any other claim herein, further comprising tracking the use of the video by having the at least one of the program code, the uniform resource locator and the description be specific to the video content of the video and automatically counting the number of times the at least one of the program code, the uniform resource locator and the description are sent to the consumer device, and automatically counting the number of follow-throughs of the program codes and uniform resource locators.

The method of claim 31, or any other claim herein, further comprising generating revenue on a per-use basis by using the tracking data to charge for each use.

A computer program product for linking video content to a consumer device, the computer program product comprising a non-transitory computer-readable medium having computer-readable code embodied therein executable by a processor for performing a method for linking video content to a consumer device, the method comprising:

(a) sending a video to a player device for playing the video on a monitor, wherein the video comprises at least one of a program code, a uniform resource locator, and a description;

(b) decoding the at least one of the program code, the uniform resource locator and the description from the video using a player device application stored at the player device;

(c) sending the at least one of the program code, uniform resource locator and description to a consumer device that is communicatively coupled to the player device; displaying the at least one of the program code, uniform resource locator and description on the consumer device; and launching at least one of a program, service or uniform resource locator on the consumer device in response to a user of the consumer device selecting the displayed program code, uniform resource locator or description.

AMENDED CLAIMS

received by the International Bureau on

26 June 2018 (26.06.2018)

1. A system to link video content to a consumer device, the system comprising:

(a) a video comprising at least one of a program code, a uniform resource locator, and a description, wherein the at least one of the program code, uniform resource locator and description is associated with video content, and wherein the at least one of the program code, uniform resource locator and description is embedded in at least one of a closed caption channel, a data channel or in the video bitstream;

(b) a player device, for playing the video on a monitor, the player device comprising a computer readable memory, a processor, a communications interface for receiving the video and a consumer device communications interface for communicatively coupling with a consumer device.

(c) a player application stored in a computer readable memory coupled to the player device, executable by a processor in the player device, the player application comprising:

(i) a first player routine for decoding the at least one of the program code, uniform resource locator and the description;

(ii) a second player routine for sending the at least one of the program code, the uniform resource locator and the description to the consumer device through the consumer device communications interface;

(d) a device application executable by the consumer device comprising:

(i) a first device routine for receiving the at least one of the program code, the uniform resource locator and the description from the player device;

(ii) a second device routine for displaying the at least one of the program code, the uniform resource locator and the description on a display of the consumer device for allowing a user of the consumer device to select a course of action.

2. The system of claim 1, wherein the at least one of the program code, uniform resource locator or description comprises an error correction code for mitigating transmission errors.

3. The system of any claims 1 and 2, wherein the description comprises a category of a uniform resource locator.

4. The system of any claims 1 to 3, wherein the description comprises instructions for launching an application or service related to the program code.

5. The system of any claims 1 to 4, wherein the description comprises sufficient information for launching an application or service on the consumer device without the program code.

6. The system of any claims 1 to 5, wherein the at least one of the program code, uniform resource locator or description is unrelated to video content.

7. The system of any claims 1 to 6, wherein the description comprises at least one of a social media symbol, a label or a tag and wherein the device application comprises a sub-routine for automatically opening a webpage associated with the at least one of the symbol, label or tag, and for entering at least one of the symbol, label or tag in the webpage.

8. The system of any claims 1 to 7, wherein the description comprises an email address, and wherein the device application comprises an email routine for automatically opening an email program with appropriate fields filled using information from the description in response to a user selection action.

9. The system of any claims 1 to 8, wherein the description comprises a phone number, and wherein the device application comprises a phone call routine for automatically making one of a standard or VIOP phone call from the consumer device using the phone number in response to a user selection action.

10. The system of any claims 1 to 9, wherein the description includes a coupon for redeeming in-store or online, and wherein the coupon comprises at least one of a barcode, a coupon uniform resource locator for linking to a webpage with at least one of a discount, a coupon code, or instructions for a wallet app.

The system of any claims 1 to 10, wherein the description comprises any combination of text, text using a markup language, vector or pixel-based graphics or images, social media symbols, labels or tags, email addresses, phone numbers, coupons or instructions for applications or wallet apps.

The system of any claims 1 to 11, further comprising a Bluetooth 5 BLE Secondary Advertisement beacon communicatively coupled to the player device for sending at least a portion of any of the program code, the uniform resource locator or the description on data payload of up to 255 bytes to the consumer device.

The system of any claims 1 to 12, wherein the player is incorporated into a monitor.

A method for linking video content to a consumer device, the method comprising:

(a) sending a video to a player device for playing the video on a monitor, wherein the video comprises at least one of a program code, a uniform resource locator, and a description;

(b) decoding the at least one of the program code, the uniform resource locator and the description from the video using a player device application stored at the player device;

(c) sending the at least one of the program code, uniform resource locator and description to a consumer device that is communicatively coupled to the player device;

(d) displaying the at least one of the program code, uniform resource locator and description on the consumer device; and

(e) launching at least one of a program, service or uniform resource locator on the consumer device in response to a user of the consumer device selecting the displayed program code, uniform resource locator or description.

15. The method of claim 14, further comprising embedding the at least one of the program code, the uniform resource locator and the description in the video when the video is edited, wherein the embedding is performed manually by an operator or automatically by reading from a file.

16. The method of any claims 14 and 15, wherein embedding takes place in real-time.

17. The method of any claims 14 to 16, wherein embedding in the video takes place multiple times to mitigate transmission errors.

18. The method of any claims 14 to 17, further comprising sending at least one of the program code, the uniform resource locator and the description before, during and after an event that at least one of the program code, the uniform resource locator and the description is associated with to allow detection if the event is removed from the video.

19. The method of any claims 14 to 18, further comprising synchronizing the at least one of the program code, the uniform resource locator and the description with the video content.

20. The method of any claims 14 to 19, wherein at least one of the program code, the uniform resource locator and the description are decoded from at least one of a closed caption channel, data channel, or video bitstream delimited with at least one of an identifier, special character, code, quotation mark, start and stop identifier, or carriage return.

21. The method of any claims 14 to 20, further comprising launching an application on the consumer device using the program code.

22. The method of any claims 14 to 21, further comprising providing information on the consumer device about at least one of the program code and the uniform resource locator by sending the description to the consumer device, wherein the description comprises the information about the at least one of the program code and the uniform resource locator.

23. The method of any claims 14 to 22, further comprising generating statistical data for use in generating click-through revenue by displaying the description on the consumer device and routing a cryptic URL through one or more internet servers.

24. The method of any claims 14 to 23, further comprising redirecting the at least one of the program code, the uniform resource locator and the description from an international video stream to a location- specific application or website through geolocation of the user's IP address.

25. The method of any claims 14 to 24, further comprising updating a launched program by through at least one of a subsequent program code and a subsequent description that matches the at least one of the program code and the description without re-launching the program.

26. The method of any claims 14 to 25, further comprising decoding the at least one of the program code, the uniform resource locator and the description directly from a video on the consumer device.

27. The method of any claims 14 to 26, further comprising providing updates for the at least one of the program code, the uniform resource locator and the description from an internet server, wherein the at least one of the program code, the uniform resource locator and the description is tracked by the Internet server and updates are based on an analysis of follow-through data, tracked by the internet server, during a particular time- period.

28. The method of any claims 14 to 27, further comprising providing an update for a set of program codes, wherein the update is provided through one of the description or a second description retrieved from an internet server and wherein the update is based on an analysis of follow-through data for one or more program codes or descriptions, tracked by the internet server, during a particular time-period.

29. The method of any claims 14 to 28, further comprising providing a uniform resource locator update for a set of uniform resource locators, wherein the update is provided through one of the description or a second description retrieved from an internet server and wherein the update is based on an analysis of follow-through data for one or more uniform resource locators or descriptions, tracked by the internet server, during a particular time -period.

30. The method of any claims 14 to 29, further comprising redirecting a set of uniform resource locators by an Internet server, wherein the redirects are based on follow- through data, tracked on one or more Internet servers, for a particular time period.

31. The method of any claims 14 to 30, further comprising tracking the use of the video by having the at least one of the program code, the uniform resource locator and the description be specific to the video content of the video and automatically counting the number of times the at least one of the program code, the uniform resource locator and the description are sent to the consumer device, and automatically counting the number of follow-throughs of the program codes and uniform resource locators.

32. The method of any claims 14 to 31, further comprising generating revenue on a per-use basis by using the tracking data to charge for each use.

33. A computer program product for linking video content to a consumer device, the computer program product comprising a non-transitory computer-readable medium having computer-readable code embodied therein executable by a processor for performing a method for linking video content to a consumer device, the method comprising:

(a) sending a video to a player device for playing the video on a monitor, wherein the video comprises at least one of a program code, a uniform resource locator, and a description;

(b) decoding the at least one of the program code, the uniform resource locator and the description from the video using a player device application stored at the player device;

(c) sending the at least one of the program code, uniform resource locator and description to a consumer device that is communicatively coupled to the player device; displaying the at least one of the program code, uniform resource locator and description on the consumer device; and launching at least one of a program, service or uniform resource locator on the consumer device in response to a user of the consumer device selecting the displayed program code, uniform resource locator or description.

Description:
EMBEDDED CODES, LINKS AND DESCRIPTIONS IN BROADCAST,

STREAMING AND DOWNLOADED VIDEOS

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] The present disclosure relates to providing links in videos, and in particular,

Program Codes, URLs and Descriptions in broadcast, streaming and downloaded videos.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Video content is available in the form of news programs, comedy and drama series, documentaries, movies, reality shows, and specialty programs. Originally, video content was available only in analog format and was viewed on televisions, through over-the-air broadcasts and later, through cable television. Today, most televised video content is in digital format, at various resolutions (720p, 1080p, 4K). Video content is also available on the Internet, on video-dedicated websites such as YouTube™ and Vimeo™, and embedded in websites. In addition to commercial video content, video-dedicated websites include non-commercial video content, uploaded by individual users or organizations. In addition, video content is available as "live streams," in which video is delivered live over the Internet in real-time, much like live television broadcasts, and may be viewed on a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or computer ("consumer device"), or on televisions through a streaming video player, which may also play non-live video streams, connected to the Internet. Televisions are also available with an integrated streaming player connected directly to the Internet. To pay for the video content, broadcasters play commercial advertisements during breaks in the video playback or live broadcast. In many cases, Internet videos have commercial advertisements before and sometimes during video playback. When played on a consumer device, the user may click or touch the video or advertisement, or a portion of it showing a link, to go to the advertiser's website, get a special offer, or navigate to a webpage for more information, such as an in-depth news story. There exists a continuing desire to advance and improve technology related to advertisements in videos. SUMMARY

[0003] For accessing a website of an advertiser displaying an advertisement in a video displayed on a standard television, the user may need to type the website address manually into a browser's address bar on a consumer device because there is no link from the television to the consumer device. The task of manually typing the website address into a browser's address bar on a consumer device may deter some users from visiting the advertiser's website. The present disclosure addresses this shortcoming in videos displayed on standard televisions by providing for embedding or including Program Codes, URLs and Descriptions in analog or digital cable, DVD/Blu-ray, broadcast, IPTV, streaming, satellite, or downloaded videos playing on a television or monitor, using a closed caption or other data channel, decoding the Program Codes, URLs and Descriptions on a television, set-top box, streaming player or over-the-air broadcast/satellite receiver, and sending the decoded Program Codes, URLs and Description to a consumer device such as a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or computer, over Bluetooth Link, Bluetooth Low Energy Advertisements, WiFi or WiFi Direct. The Program Codes or URLs may be used to provide links to applications or websites which are accessed through the consumer device's WiFi or cellular data network, eliminating the need for the viewer to explicitly find and then launch applications or type in URLs to navigate to websites on the consumer device for advertisements, additional information, games, contests, biographies, recipes, etc., and the Descriptions used to provide information to the user on the Program Code or URL.

[0004] The present disclosure may also allow for the Program Codes or URLs to be arranged in the device app in the order they are received as a single list, or by using categories in the Descriptions or viewer-defined keywords, several lists arranged by category or keyword. The number of Program Codes or URLs in the list or lists may be configured by the viewer, and new Program Codes or URLs may be ignored if they are already in a list. A Program Code or URL may be redirected through geolocation of the viewer's IP address to a local website, and tracked to provide click-through revenue and statistical data.

[0005] The present disclosure may also allow for the use of Descriptions using image- based captions if the video's caption or data channels allow them, with Bluetooth Link, WiFi or WiFi Direct links the consumer device. Character, HTML, or pixel or vector-based image Descriptions, using custom coding and data compression, may be used for Descriptions with Bluetooth 5 Low Energy Advertisements, which have a payload of up to 255 bytes, without the need to establish a link to the consumer device.

[0006] The present disclosure may also allow downloaded, streaming and IPTV videos to be viewed on consumer devices such as smartphone, tablet laptop or computer, decoding Program Codes, URLs and Descriptions on the device and making them directly available to the user.

[0007] In accordance with an illustrative embodiment of the disclosure, there is provided a system to link video content to a consumer device. The system includes a video that includes at least one of a program code, a uniform resource locator, and a description. The at least one of the program code, uniform resource locator and description is associated with video content, and the at least one of the program code, uniform resource locator and description is embedded in at least one of a closed caption channel, a data channel or in the video bitstream. The system also includes a player device, for playing the video on a monitor. The player device includes a computer readable memory, a processor, a communications interface for receiving the video and a consumer device communications interface for communicatively coupling with a consumer device. The system also includes a player application stored in a computer readable memory coupled to the player device, executable by a processor in the player device. The player application includes a first player routine for decoding the at least one of the program code, uniform resource locator and the description, a second player routine for sending the at least one of the program code, the uniform resource locator and the description to the consumer device through the consumer device communications interface. The system further includes a device application executable by the consumer device, the device application including a first device routine for receiving the at least one of the program code, the uniform resource locator and the description from the player device, and a second device routine for displaying the at least one of the program code, the uniform resource locator and the description on a display of the consumer device for allowing a user of the consumer device to select a course of action.

[0008] In accordance with another illustrative embodiment of the disclosure, there is provided a method for linking video content to a consumer device. The method includes sending a video to a player device for playing the video on a monitor. The video includes at least one of a program code, a uniform resource locator, and a description. The method also includes decoding the at least one of the program code, the uniform resource locator and the description from the video using a player device application stored at the player device, sending the at least one of the program code, uniform resource locator and description to a consumer device that is communicatively coupled to the player device, displaying the at least one of the program code, uniform resource locator and description on the consumer device and launching at least one of a program, service or uniform resource locator on the consumer device in response to a user of the consumer device selecting the displayed program code, uniform resource locator or description.

[0009] In accordance with another illustrative embodiment of the disclosure, there is provided a computer program product for linking video content to a consumer device, the computer program product comprising a non-transitory computer-readable medium having computer-readable code embodied therein executable by a processor for performing a method for linking video content to a consumer device. The method includes sending a video to a player device for playing the video on a monitor. The video includes at least one of a program code, a uniform resource locator, and a description. The method also includes decoding the at least one of the program code, the uniform resource locator and the description from the video using a player device application stored at the player device, sending the at least one of the program code, uniform resource locator and description to a consumer device that is communicatively coupled to the player device, displaying the at least one of the program code, uniform resource locator and description on the consumer device and launching at least one of a program, service or uniform resource locator on the consumer device in response to a user of the consumer device selecting the displayed program code, uniform resource locator or description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] In the accompanying drawings, which illustrate one or more example embodiments,

[0011] FIGURE 1 is a block diagram of the invention with a Television/Monitor,

Cable/Internet Set-top box, Satellite/Over-the-air Receiver, and a Consumer Device, according to one embodiment;

[0012] FIGURE 2 is an example use case of the invention, showing a television with an advertisement, a closed-caption URL and Description, and the Description displayed on a consumer device; and

[0013] FIGURE 3 shows a method for encoding, broadcasting, receiving, and launching a web browser for a URL and Description.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0014] The term "couple" and variants of it such as "coupled", "couples", "coupling", and "coupleable" as used in this description are intended to include direct and indirect connections unless otherwise indicated. For example, if a first device is coupled to a second device, that coupling may be through a direct connection or through an indirect connection via other devices and connections. Similarly, if the first device is communicatively coupled to the second device, communication may be through a direct connection or through an indirect connection via other devices and connections. The term "coupleable", as used in the present disclosure, means that a first device is capable of being coupled to the second device. A first device that is communicatively coupleable to a second device has the ability to communicatively couple with the second device but may not always be communicatively coupled.

[0015] The terms computer program, application, applet, app, or script, as used in this document, refer to a set of instructions executable by a computer processor. The computer program, application, applet, app, or script may be a standalone or integrated within other computer programs, applications, applets, apps, scripts, or systems, such as a computer operating system.

[0016] A URL, or Uniform Resource Locator, in the context of this document, may be a short URL, redirected to an intended webpage by an Internet server or URL redirect service, or a standard URL, which references the intended webpage directly. A website is a collection of webpages, and has a main webpage that may be accessed with a URL. In the context of this document, the terms website and webpage are used interchangeably, as both are accessed by URLs.

[0017] A consumer device, in the context of this document, refers to a device having a processor, computer readable memory, a display, some method of user input such as, for example, a keyboard, discrete buttons, mouse, or touchscreen, and wired or wireless network connection capabilities. Examples of consumer devices include smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers. The viewer of a program on a television, in the context of this document, is also referred to as the user of the consumer device, and the two terms are used interchangeably.

[0018] Television has evolved from analog broadcasts to high-resolution digital formats available in progressively higher resolutions, with 4Kthe highest currently available resolution. Over-the-air, cable and satellite television channels are currently available in digital format. Digital video content is also available on DVD and Blu-ray disks. More recently, Internet- based video content, of which examples include movies, documentaries and comedy/drama series, may be "streamed" from content providers such as Netflix™ and Amazon™ Traditional cable and satellite content providers have responded with IPTV, a closed system with a dedicated set-top box. Many television viewers watch shows while using a consumer device such as a smartphone, smartwatch, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer, but there is currently no way to link televised content to a consumer device. For example, when an Internet URL for a contest or advertisement is displayed that a viewer may be interested in, the viewer must quickly type the URL in on a virtual or physical keypad on the consumer device. Often the URL is removed from the broadcast before the viewer finishes typing.

[0019] The present disclosure provides systems and methods to link televised content to a consumer device such as, but not limited to, a smartphone, smartwatch, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. The user of the consumer device may, with a click, tap or swipe on the consumer device, launch and interact with an application or service associated with the televised content, such as but not limited to a game or survey, or launch a browser with a URL displayed in or associated with a broadcast, streaming or downloaded video, such as in the following examples: a website for an advertisement, a website for a product placement, a news program's webpage for an in-depth follow-on to a story, a biography webpage of an athlete currently playing in a game or match, or a recipe in a cooking show. Once on a webpage, the viewer's information may be auto-filled from data on the consumer device or Internet server, to automate the ordering of goods or services. The viewer may also click or follow additional links that may be of interest, such as an athlete's social media links, or the webpage's advertisements.

[0020] To provide a link to an appropriate webpage, at least one of a Program Code, which may be used to launch an application or lookup a URL on an Internet server, a short URL, which may be redirected by an Internet server to the intended URL, or a standard URL, which may be used to access a webpage directly, may be embedded in or sent with the video or video stream at the correct time, such as, but not limited to the following examples: when a television show wants to conduct a survey, an advertisement is being played, a product placement is currently displayed in a video or program, a news program is displaying a link to an in-depth follow-up to a story, or a cooking show is displaying a link to a recipe.

[0021] One method to embed a Program Code or URL in a video stream at the correct time is to encode the Program Code or URL into the video or commercial's closed captions (which are closely synchronized with the video's audio channel or channels), along with an optional Description that provides the user with information on the Program Code or URL, at the time the video or commercial is edited and the standard captions are encoded, manually by an editor, or from a structure in a database or computer readable memory, using a video editing program running on a computing device or a system designed to encode closed captions in video. The Program Code or URL and optional Description may also be inserted into the video stream in real-time during broadcast by an operator, manually or from a file or database, along with or in place of captions generated from real-time voice recognition, using a real-time captioning program running on a computing device or by using a live television or live streaming broadcast system capable of captioning in real-time. For DVD/Blu-ray disks, Program Codes, URLs and Descriptions may be encoded in the closed captions when the video is prepared to be burned on DVD or Blu-ray disks.

[0022] Analog television signals primarily used the EIA-608, Teletext, or EBU-STL standards for closed captions (also called subtitles in some parts of the world). Digital television transmission standards, examples of which include ATSC, DVB-T, ISDB-T, and DTMB, may use DVB-Teletext, DVB Subtitles, and EIA-708 (a digital follow-on to EIA-608) digital caption standards. Some standards allow image-based as well as multi-lingual character-based captions. Digital streaming formats, such as IPTV, HLS, MPEG-DASH, HDS, IMF, and MS Smooth Streaming, also allow closed captions. Many captioning standards allow multiple channels of closed captions, for multi-language support, which allows the main closed captioning channel to be used for standard captioning, and one of the secondary captioning channels to be used for Program Codes, URLs and Descriptions. Multi-language support in closed captions allows multi-language URLs to be used, which allows the entire Internet to be accessed. [0023] Using a closed caption channel to send Program Codes, URLs and Descriptions related to the content of the video stream is convenient, since captioning equipment is currently available, and equipment and methods are available to decode and display closed captions from all the various analog and digital video formats. Many of the broadcast and streaming digital video formats have additional data channels or streams that may also be used to send Program Codes, URLs and Descriptions. In addition, part of the main video bitstream may be used to encode Program Codes, URLs and Descriptions at known locations, such as but not limited to the start or end of a frame or file segment, packets preceded with special headers, or in special packets such as null packets.

[0024] A Program Code, URL or Description may be sent multiple times in a closed caption channel, data channel or video bitstream to mitigate transmission errors, the reception of at least two identical copies constituting a transmission without error. If the closed caption channel, data channel or video bitstream used to send a Program Code, URL or Description allows the use of binary data, error correction codes may be used instead of or in addition to sending a Program Code, URL or Description multiple times.

[0025] Program Codes, URLs and Description may be decoded from a closed caption channel, data channel or video bitstream by a content device, such as a television, set-top box, DVD/Blu-ray player, streaming player, or satellite/over-the-air receiver, delimited with, for example, combinations of identifiers, special characters, codes, quotation marks, or carriage returns, and sent to a consumer device over Bluetooth Link, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Advertisements, WiFi, WiFi Direct, or Ethernet (in the case of a desktop computer) links. An app ("the device app") running on the consumer device may be used to receive Program Codes, URLs and Descriptions, and may present a course of action to the user, which may require a click, tap or swipe. In the case of a Program Code, the device app may determine if the Program Code is meant to launch an application or service, or may perform a lookup of an application or service to launch or lookup a URL, and optionally retrieve a Description, if one is not sent with the Program Code in the closed caption channel, on an Internet server through the consumer device's Internet, WiFi or cellular data connection such as 3G, 4G, or LTE. In the case of a URL, the device app may launch a browser and open the URL without a lookup on an Internet server. [0026] Including a Description with a Program Code or URL in the closed caption channel, data channel or video stream may allow the support infrastructure to be simplified; an Internet server to provide Descriptions may be eliminated. A Description for a URL, provided in the video stream or retrieved from an Internet server, may contain a category of the link, examples of which include advertisements, news, television show titles, recipes, and biographies, and may be displayed with the remaining content of the Description by the device app to better inform the viewer of the link's content, as some URLs may be cryptic. Using a Description allows the URL to be made intentionally short and cryptic, to facilitate its routing and tracking through Internet servers to generate click-through revenue and statistical data. A Description for a Program Code may contain instructions to the device app on how to launch an application or service, in addition to providing information for the viewer on the application or service to be launched. A Description alone may be used to specify an application or service to launch and may include instructions to the device app on how to launch an application or service without a Program Code, in addition to providing information for the viewer on the application or service. Any combination of a Program Code, URL and Description, as required for any particular use case, may be used.

[0027] The received Program Codes, URLs and Descriptions may be arranged by the device app running on a consumer device in a single list in the order they are received, or as multiple lists arranged by categories in the Descriptions or by keywords defined by the viewer, for the viewer's convenience and ease of use. The number of Program Codes, URLs and Descriptions to keep in the list or lists may be a default number or may be configured by the viewer. The device app may be configured to run in the background, with an option to alert the viewer by category or keyword in a URL or Description or by a specific Program Code. Since the same Program Code, URL or Description may be decoded and transmitted several times by the television, set-top box, DVD/Blu-ray player, streaming player or satellite/over-the air receiver, the device app may be designed to add a newly received Program Code, URL or Description to the current list or lists of Program Codes, URLs and Descriptions only if it is not currently in the list or lists made available to the viewer. The device app may also be designed to ignore a newly received Program Code, URL or Description if an identical Program Code, URL or Description has been previously received within a default or viewer-configurable time period, even if it is not currently in the list or lists of Program Codes, URLs and Descriptions made available to the viewer. The viewer may browse the list or lists as updates become available, or at a later point in time, for convenience, or if a WiFi or other data connection is not currently available. A Program Code, URL or Description from an intemational broadcast may be redirected to country, region, and city-specific applications, services, or websites through geolocation of the viewer's IP address, and tracked to provide click-through revenue and statistical data. Geolocation may also be used to warn viewers if an offer for goods or services is not available in their country or state, or that additional shipping, handling and customs fees may apply. Any combination of Program Codes, URLs and Descriptions unrelated to video content may also be sent, such as public service announcements, alerts, or warnings.

[0028] When a Program Code and Description, or a Description alone is used to launch a program or service, subsequent Program Codes or Descriptions matching a previous Program Code or Description may be used to update the launched program or service, without relaunching the program or service. An example is a new survey question for a survey application launched by a Description. The device app may be used to check if the part of the Description not specifying which program or service to launch has changed, and update the program or service without relaunching the program or service.

[0029] To allow a Program Code, URL or Description or any combination of a Program

Code, URL or Description to be easily detected from a closed caption channel, data channel or video bitstream by the television, set-top box, DVD/Blu-ray player, streaming player, or over- the-air/satellite receiver, Program Codes, URLs and Descriptions may be preceded by an identifier, special characters or codes, for example, "PROGRAM ID: ', "HTTP:'7"http:", or "TEXT DESC:". A combination of a Program Code, URL or Description may be separated from another combination by start and stop identifiers, special characters or codes. Each Program Code, URL or Description may be sent multiple times in the closed caption channel to mitigate the risk of transmission errors, as well as before, during and after commercials to allow detection even if the commercials are removed from the video stream. The television, set-top box, DVD/Blu-ray player, streaming player, or over-the-air/satellite receiver may be designed to look for at least two identical Program Codes, URLs or Descriptions before sending them to the consumer device, or the device app running on the consumer device may look for at least two identical Program Codes, URLs or Descriptions before adding them to the list or lists made available to the viewer. [0030] A Description may include a social media symbol, label or tag, such as "#" or

"@" followed by additional information or an identifier, with the device app taking appropriate action if the user clicks, taps, or swipes on the symbol, label, tag, additional information or identifier, such as going directly to the social media website associated with the symbol, label or tag, which may be included in the Description, and entering the label or tag along with the additional information or identifier, which may be a search term or usemame. The device app may also store commonly used social media symbols, labels and tags in graphical format, to be displayed to the user if instructed by the Description.

[0031] A Description may include an email address, followed optionally by additional information, with the device app taking appropriate action if the user clicks, taps, or swipes on the email address or additional information, such as, for example, opening an email program with the "To" section automatically filled with the email address, and the additional information may specify the subject of the email.

[0032] A Description may include a phone number, followed optionally by additional information, with the device app taking appropriate action if the user clicks, taps, or swipes on the phone number or additional information, such as, for example, making a standard or VOIP phone call using the phone number, and the additional information may be the name of person or organization being called.

[0033] A Description may comprise a coupon or coupons to be redeemed in-store or online at the user's convenience. A coupon may take on many forms, such as but not limited to a standard or 2D barcode that may be scanned from a consumer device's screen at a cashier, a URL that links to a webpage with a discount, a coupon code that may be entered by the device app or the user on the webpage a URL included in the Description points to, or instructions for a consumer device application, such as a wallet app, which may communicate with point-of- sales equipment wirelessly through any suitable wireless communications standard or technology such as, for example, NFC, Bluetooth Link, WiFi, or WiFi Direct. Previously stored or downloaded coupons may be triggered or made available to the user by the device app or a wallet app by the reception of a specific Program Code, URL or Description.

[0034] Image-based or character-based Descriptions may be sent from a television, set- top box, DVD/Blu-ray player, streaming device, or over-the-air/satellite receiver via any suitable communications system or method, including but not limited to Bluetooth Link, WiFi, WiFi Direct or Ethernet to a consumer device, where they may be rendered alongside or instead of Program Code actions or URLs. In some embodiments, these methods may only work for a small number of fixed users, as they may require establishing and maintaining a link from the television, set-top box, DVD/Blu-ray player, streaming player, or over-the-air/satellite receiver, and in the case of WiFi and Ethernet, a link through a router with proprietary protocols, to the consumer device. For a larger number of viewers, such as in a retail location where potential customers are always changing, beacon-type BLE Advertisements may offer a better solution (beacons are BLE devices that normally transmit BLE Advertisements exclusively). BLE Advertisements up to version 4.2 allow a maximum data payload of 37 bytes on channels 37, 38 and 39, some of which may be required for Bluetooth overhead. In many cases, the intended URL is longer than the maximum payload, so a Unique ID or short URL is used instead, and a lookup or redirect on an Internet server provides the intended URL. The Unique ID, which may be unique to each BLE beacon, may also be used to launch an application or service, or take some other action, with a possible lookup on an Internet server on how to launch the application or service. The lookup is typically done through the consumer device's WiFi or cellular data connection.

[0035] With Bluetooth 5, the BLE Advertisement payload is up to 255 bytes on

Secondary Advertisement channels, which are the same channels used for BLE data packets (all channels other than 37, 38, and 39; 37 channels in total). To send an advertisement on a Secondary channel, an advertisement on a Primary Advertisement channel (one of channels 37, 38, or 39) must first be sent containing the channel and offset start time to the Secondary Advertisement ("auxiliary packet").

[0036] A Bluetooth 5 BLE Secondary Advertisement, with payload of 255 bytes, minus the Bluetooth overhead, may be used for longer URLs than Bluetooth 4.2's payload of 37 bytes, and in many cases, may be used for a URL and a Description, or a Program Code and a Description, or any combination of a Program Code, URL or Description. A Description may be used to inform the viewer of the intended action of the Program Code, provide information to the program launched by the Program Code, or provide information to the viewer on the URL. A data structure in the 255-byte user data payload, such as a header, may be used to specify the locations and sizes of the Program Code, URL, and Description within the 255-byte payload. Multiple consumer devices may receive BLE 5 Secondary Advertisements with a Program Code, URL or Description, or any combination of a Program Code, URL or Description, without the need for WiFi or cellular data connections to access an Internet server to resolve a Program Code action, resolve or redirect a short URL, retrieve a Description, or the need to establish device-to-device links.

[0037] Character-based Descriptions sent in BLE Secondary Advertisement channels, in addition to plain text, may incorporate a markup language, such as HTML, to provide variations in text fonts, sizes, and colors. To allow more text to be included in the 255-byte payload, a shorthand form of a markup language may be used. In HTML, for example, "font- family" may be shortened to "ff" The device app on the consumer device may expand the shorthand form of the markup language to the full specification, and use standard rendering tools to display the text with the intended font, size and color, or may render the text directly from the shorthand form of the markup language. A similar shorthand approach may be taken for vector-based graphics, such as Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) files, and the shorthand form expanded by the device app. Small pixel-based graphics may also be used. A Program Code, URL and standard or shorthand form of a Description may also be compressed, since Bluetooth 5's BLE Advertisement payload allows binary data, by the captioning or encoding equipment if transmission of binary data is allowed by the captioning or data channel used, or by the television, set-top box, DVD/Blu-ray player, streaming player, or satellite/over-the-air receiver before transmission as a BLE Advertisement.

[0038] If any combination of a Program Code, URL or Description (the "BLE Data") exceeds the 255-byte limit of BLE 5's Secondary Advertisement packet, the BLE Data may be broken up and sent over more than one BLE Secondary Advertisement, as follows: a Primary Advertisement may provide the number of consecutive Secondary Advertisements to receive on the specified channel and delay, a Primary Advertisement may provide an "Ad ID" and the number of Secondary Advertisements to be sent, sending each Advertisement as a standard BLE Primary-Secondary pair, or a combination of the two, limiting the number of consecutive Secondary Advertisements in a channel to avoid blocking the channel, with the device app running on a consumer device reassembling the BLE Data when all packets have been received for the Ad ID. As the number of packets increases for an Ad ID, the chance that a consumer device will receive all required packets for the Ad ID decreases. This may be mitigated by using shorter advertisement intervals, down to 20ms, since the BLE beacon in the television, set-top box, DVD/Blu-ray player, streaming player, or satellite/over-the-air receiver, is line- powered, and does not need to conserve battery power. [0039] Using shorthand, compression, and multiple BLE 5 Secondary Advertisement packets to provide complex Descriptions containing characters, markup languages, vector graphics and images, or sending complex Descriptions over Bluetooth Link, WiFi, WiFi Direct or Ethernet links, may allow a simplified Internet server infrastructure to be developed. Direct navigation to webpages specified by URLs, with the aid of complex Descriptions provided in BLE 5 Secondary Advertisements, may be possible without the need to maintain and provide Descriptions on an Internet server. For Program Codes, actions that specify the launch of applications or services already installed on the consumer device may be undertaken without the need to perform a lookup on an Internet server, with complex Descriptions describing the actions to the viewer through the device app.

[0040] A Description may contain, with or without compression, any combination of text, text using a markup language, vector or pixel-based graphics or images, social media symbols, labels or tags, email addresses, phone numbers, coupons or instructions for applications or wallet apps.

[0041] Referring to Figure 1, an embodiment of the invention is shown. A set-top box

(10) may connect through an HDMI/DisplayPort or similar cable (15) to a television or monitor (20). The set-top box may receive cable television signals through a video cable (25) connected to a cable outlet (30), and may also receive Internet streaming videos through an Ethernet cable (35) connected to an Internet Modem/Router (40), which may be connected to the Internet through an Ethernet/Fibre/Coax cable (45) to Internet Cloud servers (50). The set-top box (10) may also receive Internet streaming videos from the Modem/Router (40) wirelessly through WiFi (55) or similar wireless network. Upon decoding a Program Code, URL or Description from a closed caption channel, data channel or video bitstream, the set-top box may send any combination of a Program Code, URL or Description over Bluetooth Link, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Advertisements, WiFi Direct, or WiFi (60) to the consumer device (65). The set-top-box (10), in addition to functioning as streaming media player, may also play DVD/Blu- ray disks, downloaded videos or recorded programs. An over-the- air/satellite receiver (70), connected through an HDMI/DisplayPort or similar cable (15) to the television or monitor (20), may receive over-the-air video signals (75) from a broadcast tower (80), or through a downlink cable (85) connected to a satellite dish (90), may receive satellite broadcasts (95) from an orbiting a satellite (100). As with the set-top box (10), the over-the-air/satellite receiver (70) may send any combination of decoded Program Codes, URLs or Description over Bluetooth Link, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Advertisements, WiFi Direct, or WiFi (60) to the consumer device (65). The consumer device (65) may display the action associated with a Program Code, a URL or a Description of a Program Code or URL, and wait for viewer confirmation (click, tap or swipe) before proceeding with the action or opening the URL in a browser. The television or monitor (20) may decode a Program Code, URL or Description from the video stream, and may send any combination of a Program Code, URL or Description to the consumer device (65) directly over Bluetooth Link, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Advertisements, WiFi Direct or WiFi, thereby integrating the decoding and transmitting of Program Codes, URLs and Descriptions within the television or monitor.

[0042] Referring to Figure 2, an example of a URL and Description, delimited by carriage returns, is shown in the closed captions of an advertisement on a television or monitor (20), with the only Description displayed on a consumer device (65) after the URL and Description have been decoded from the closed captions by the television, set-top box, DVD/Blu-ray player, streaming player, or satellite/over-the-air receiver and sent to the consumer device over Bluetooth Link, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Advertisements, WiFi Direct, or WiFi. In this example, the Description alone provides greater clarity than the cryptic URL.

[0043] Referring to Figure 3, there is provided a method for encoding, broadcasting, receiving, and launching a web browser for a URL and Description, such as those shown in Figure 2. At box 310, a URL and Description, read from a structure in a database or computer readable memory coupled to computer or workstation, or entered manually an operator of a computer or workstation, is encoded in a closed caption channel by a video editing program running on a computing device or a system designed to encode closed captions in a video, and broadcast in a television program. At box 320, a set-top box receives the commercial, decodes the URL and Description from the closed caption channel, and sends the URL and Description to a consumer device such as a smartphone over Bluetooth Link, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Advertisements, WiFi Direct, or WiFi. At box 330, the device app running on the consumer device displays the Description to the user and waits for the user to respond with a click, tap or swipe. At box 340, if the user decides to navigate to the URL associated with the Description, the consumer device launches the URL in a web browser. [0044] In some embodiments, a system to provide updated Program Codes, URLs and

Descriptions may be implemented by tracking the follow-throughs of Program Codes, URLs and Descriptions on Internet servers, with the follow-through data processed to produce optimal follow-through results for specific Program Codes, URLs and Descriptions, or categories of Program Codes, URLs and Descriptions, which may include updates for a time period lasting until the next updates, or for a particular time, wherein the particular time may be, for example, the time of day, day of the week, the month, or a season.

[0045] In some embodiments, a generic, limited or fixed set of Program Codes may be used, with Descriptions sent with the Program Codes in the video stream or retrieved from an Internet server providing customizations or updates for, but not limited to, customizations or updates for a time period lasting until the next updates, or for a particular time, wherein the particular time may be, for example, the time of day, day of the week, the month, or a season, and the customizations or updates may be based on data processed from previous Program Code or Description follow-throughs tracked on Internet servers to produce optimal follow-through results.

[0046] In some embodiments, a generic, limited or fixed set of URLs may be used, with

Descriptions sent with the URLs in the video stream or retrieved from an Internet server providing customizations or updates for, but not limited to, customizations or updates for a time period lasting until the next updates, or for a particular time, wherein the particular time may be, for example, the time of day, day of the week, the month, or a season, and the customizations or updates may be based on data processed from previous URL or Description follow-throughs tracked on Internet servers to produce optimal follow-through results.

[0047] In some embodiments, a generic or fixed set of URLs may be redirected by an

Internet server or URL redirect service, the redirects updated to provide customizations or updates for, but not limited to, customizations or updates for a time period lasting until the next updates, or for a particular time, wherein the particular time may be, for example, the time of day, day of the week, the month, or a season, and the customizations or updates may be based on data processed from previous URL or Description follow-throughs tracked through Internet servers to produce optimal follow-through results.

[0048] In some embodiments, a combination of multiple televisions, set-top boxes,

DVD/Blu-ray players, streaming players, or satellite/over-the-air receivers, may be located in close proximity to one another in a single location or multiple locations, each sending Program Codes, URLs, and Descriptions over Bluetooth Link, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Advertisements, WiFi Direct, or WiFi to a combination of consumer devices decoded from videos.

[0049] In some embodiments, a Description may provide information to the application launched by the Program Code that is not displayed to the user. In some embodiments, a Description alone may be sent, providing only information to the user, with no further action required from the user or option to launch an application or URL in a web browser. The information may include instructions on enabling reception of Program Codes, URLs and Descriptions by the device app, to allow Program Codes, URLs and Descriptions to be received and processed.

[0050] In some embodiments, a user's information, such as but not limited to search history, username, preferences, previously launched applications or services, and followed- through URLs, stored on the user's consumer device or on an Internet server, alone or along with categories in Descriptions or keywords defined by the user, may be used to provide customizations or options such as, for example, customizations and selection of inline advertisements for applications or services launched by a Program Code, or customizations and selection of advertisements on webpages launched by a URL.

[0051] In some embodiments, the invention may be used to provide proximity-based marketing by playing analog or digital cable, DVD/Blu-ray, broadcast, IPTV, streaming, satellite, or downloaded videos on televisions or digital signage monitors using set-top boxes, DVD/Blu-ray players, streaming players, media players or over-the-air broadcast/satellite receivers in retail locations, such as, for example, coffee shops, bars, clubs, restaurants, malls, stores, or car dealerships, and sending any combination of Program Codes, URLs and Descriptions embedded in the video to one or multiple consumer devices through a suitable communications standard or technology such as Bluetooth Link, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Advertisements, WiFi Direct, or WiFi.

[0052] In some embodiments, downloaded, streaming, or IPTV videos or programs may be viewed on a consumer device such as, for example, a tablet, smartphone, smartwatch, laptop, or desktop computer, bypassing the television. The device app running on the consumer device may decode Program Codes, URLs and Descriptions from downloaded, streaming or IPTV videos, and make them available to the viewer, as a list or multiple lists arranged by categories in the Description or by keywords defined by the user, as the video is played, after the video is played, or without playing the video, negating the need to make links visible in the video. If the commercials have been removed from the downloaded video, Program Codes, URLs and Descriptions may be extracted if they are sent again in the main closed caption channel after a commercial has finished playing. If Program Codes, URLs and Descriptions are sent on a secondary closed caption channel or in a data channel or video bitstream, they may be encoded before and after a commercial in the video, as well as after several commercials have played in succession, with the device app ignoring duplicate Program Codes, URLs and Descriptions. Program Codes, URLs and Descriptions for product placements in a video will remain in the video even if the commercials have been removed. Tracking application launches specified by Program Codes or clicked-through URLs through Internet servers from downloaded videos may provide statistical data and additional revenue to broadcasters and video content producers. The Program Codes, URLs and Descriptions may be made specific to an episode or series, or to or in addition to broadcast, streaming, or downloaded videos, and may be used to provide statistical data and revenue on a per-episode, per-series, or per- viewing preference basis, before being redirected to more generic websites through Internet servers.

[0053] Any combination of a Program Code, URL or Description may be embedded, written into, included or otherwise incorporated into at least one of a closed caption channel, data channel, or video bitstream in an analog or digital cable, DVD/Blu-ray, broadcast, IPTV, streaming, satellite, or downloaded video or video bitstream, decoded by any one of, but not limited to, a television, monitor, set-top box, DVD/Blu-ray player, streaming player, media player or over-the-air broadcast/satellite receiver, sent to a consumer device such as but not limited to a tablet, smartphone, smartwatch, laptop, or desktop computer through a suitable communications standard or technology such as Bluetooth Link, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Advertisements, WiFi Direct, WiFi or Ethernet, to allow a viewer, with information in a Description acting as an aid, to launch an application or service or launch a URL in a browser, with a click, tap or swipe.

[0054] The terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only and is not intended to be limiting. Accordingly, as used herein, the singular forms "a", "an" and "the" are intended to include the plural forms as well, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. It will be further understood that the terms "comprises" and "comprising," when used in this specification, specify the presence of one or more stated features, integers, steps, operations, elements, and components, but do not preclude the presence or addition of one or more other features, integers, steps, operations, elements, components, and groups.

[0055] It is contemplated that any part of any aspect or embodiment discussed in this specification can be implemented or combined with any part of any other aspect or embodiment discussed in this specification.

[0056] While particular embodiments have been described in the foregoing, it is to be understood that other embodiments are possible and are intended to be included herein. It will be clear to any person skilled in the art that modifications of and adjustments to the foregoing embodiments, not shown, are possible.




 
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