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Title:
SYSTEM AND METHOD OF TRANSMITTING APPLICATION FOR DIGITAL BROADCASTING
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2008/084976
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Disclosed is a system of transmitting an application for digital broadcasting comprising: a unicasting server providing an application code and application data in a unicasting mode; and a set-top box receiving and executing the application code and the application data, wherein the unicasting server monitors whether there are updated application data and, if it is determined whether there are updated application data, then the unicasting server unicasts the updated application data to the set-top box.

Inventors:
KIM SOO-WOONG (KR)
Application Number:
PCT/KR2008/000123
Publication Date:
July 17, 2008
Filing Date:
January 09, 2008
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
ALTICAST CO LTD (KR)
KIM SOO-WOONG (KR)
International Classes:
H04N7/12; H04N5/00; H04N7/173
Domestic Patent References:
WO2003063487A12003-07-31
Foreign References:
US20060277316A12006-12-07
US20050172310A12005-08-04
EP1517559A22005-03-23
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JO, Hee-Won (#1330-9 Seocho2-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul 137-072, KR)
Download PDF:
Claims:

Claims

[1] A system of transmitting an application for digital broadcasting comprising: a unicasting server providing an application code and application data in a unicasting mode; and a set-top box receiving and executing the application code and the application data, wherein the unicasting server monitors whether there are updated application data and, if it is determined whether there are updated application data, then the unicasting server unicasts the updated application data to the set-top box. [2] The system of claim 1, further comprising: a broadcasting server providing the application data and the updated application data to the unicasting server; and an application server providing the application code to the broadcasting server and the unicasting server. [3] The system of claim 2, wherein the broadcasting server provides the unicasting server with information that indicates whether there are updated application data to share the information with the unicasting server. [4] The system of claim 2, wherein the broadcasting server mixes the application code and the application data and broadcasts or multicasts the mixed data to the set-top box over a broadcasting network. [5] The system of claim 2, further comprising: a data provider providing the application data to the broadcasting server and, if there are updated application data, providing the updated application data to the broadcasting server. [6] A method of transmitting an application to a set-top box in a unicasting mode, comprising: sharing information on whether there are updated application data between a unicasting server and a broadcasting server, the broadcasting server providing application data to the unicasting server; monitoring whether there are updated application data by the unicasting server; transmitting updated application data from the broadcasting server to the unicasting server if it is determined there are updated application data; and providing the updated application data from the unicasting server to a set-top box.

Description:

Description

SYSTEM AND METHOD OF TRANSMITTING APPLICATION

FOR DIGITAL BROADCASTING

Technical Field

[1] The present invention relates to a system and a method of transmitting application for digital broadcasting. Background Art

[2] Conventionally, a broadcasting network has existed separately from the Internet to broadcast analogue signals. As broadcasting signals are recently digitalized, however, the broadcasting network shows a tendency to be convergent with the Internet, so that the broadcasting signals can be served through the Internet as well as the broadcasting network.

[3] With the advent of digital broadcasting era, various data services for broadcasting can be provided through a TV monitor, such as emailing, electronic program guiding(EPG), TV banking, telephony, internet browsing, etc., which were considered impossible to serve through conventional analogue broadcasting. These data services for broadcasting are further developed as new applications are emerging.

[4] FIG. 1 is a block diagram showing a digital broadcasting system according to prior art. Referring to FIG. 1, the data broadcasting system consists of a broadcasting center 100 and a set- top box 110. The broadcasting center 100 includes a data server 101, a carousel server 102, an application server 103, a digital broadcasting server 104, and a multiplexer 105.

[5] The data server 101 sends data on an application transmitted from an original data server 120 to the carousel server 102. The carousel server 102 mixes the received application data with an application code to form an application, which is in turn transmitted to the application server 103. The multiplexer 105 multiplexes an application transmitted from the application server 103 and broadcasting signals, such as audio/video streams, transmitted from the digital broadcasting server 104, and sends the multiplexed signals to the set- top box 110 over a broadcasting network.

[6] The term "application" refers to a program that can be executed based on a Java virtual machine (JVM) in the set- top box 110. The application may include an application code, application data, and an attribute file. The application is tuned as requested by a user and then executed on the set- top box 110.

[7] In a conventional digital broadcasting service using the carousel server 102, application data (or updated application data) that were mixed with an application code have been broadcasted or multicasted to the set- top box 110 along with broadcasting

signals. Accordingly, unnecessary applications, which were not requested by a user, have been also supplied to the set- top box 110. This might cause an overload in the broadcasting network, which may be an obstacle to seamless broadcasting services.

[8] This problem can be further serious while taking it into consideration that new applications are more and more quickly developed to meet platform operators' various requirements.

[9] The applicant' s Korean Patent Application No. 10-2006-0068610 entitled "SYSTEM

AND METHOD OF TRANSMITTING APPLICATION BASED ON UNICASTING TRANSMISSION OVER DIGITAL BROADCASTING NETWORK", filed on July 21, 2006 discloses an approach to solve the afore-mentioned problem. Disclosure of Invention Technical Problem

[10] However, '8610 application above has a problem in that updated application data can't be used in unicasting environment. Technical Solution

[11] The present invention has been designed to solve the above problems, and it is an aspect of the present invention to provide a system and a method which is capable of transmitting updated application data in unicasting way in a network environment where an application is transmitted in unicasting mode to a set-top box.

[12] An exemplary embodiment of the present invention provides a system of transmitting an application for digital broadcasting comprising: a unicasting server providing an application code and application data in a unicasting mode; and a set-top box receiving and executing the application code and the application data, wherein the unicasting server monitors whether there are updated application data and, if it is determined whether there are updated application data, then the unicasting server unicasts the updated application data to the set-top box.

[13] The system of transmitting an application for digital broadcasting may further comprise a broadcasting server providing the application data and the updated application data to the unicasting server; and an application server providing the application code to the broadcasting server and the unicasting server.

[14] The broadcasting server may provide the unicasting server with information that indicates whether there are updated application data to share the information with the unicasting server.

[15] The broadcasting server may mix the application code and the application data and broadcast or multicast the mixed data to the set-top box over a broadcasting network.

[16] The system of transmitting an application for digital broadcasting may further comprise a data provider providing the application data to the broadcasting server and,

if there are updated application data, providing the updated application data to the broadcasting server. [17] An exemplary embodiment of the present invention provides a method of transmitting an application to a set-top box in a unicasting way, comprising: sharing information on whether there are updated application data between a unicasting server and a broadcasting server, the broadcasting server providing application data to the unicasting server; monitoring whether there are updated application data by the unicasting server; transmitting updated application data from the broadcasting server to the unicasting server if it is determined there are updated application data; and providing the updated application data from the unicasting server to a set-top box.

Advantageous Effects

[18] There are various applications which are developed in broadcast and multicast environment. The present invention may transmit updated application data in unicasting way in a network environment where an application is transmitted in unicasting way to a set-top box. Brief Description of the Drawings

[19] FIG. 1 is a block diagram illustrating a digital broadcasting system according to prior art.

[20] FIG. 2 is a block diagram illustrating a system of transmitting application for digital broadcasting according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

[21] FIG. 3 is a block diagram illustrating the unicasting server shown in FIG. 2.

[22] FIG. 4 is a flow chart illustrating a method of transmitting updated application data using a system of transmitting application for digital broadcasting according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. Best Mode for Carrying Out the Invention

[23] Exemplary embodiments of the present invention will be described in more detail with reference to accompanying drawings.

[24] FIG. 2 is a block diagram illustrating a system of transmitting application for digital broadcasting according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, Referring to FIG. 2, the system includes a unicasting server 3, a broadcasting server 37, an application server 33, a data provider 41, and set-top boxes 1 and 10. The application may include an application code and application data.

[25] The data provider 41 sends the broadcasting server 37 application data which can be used when an application is executed on the set- top boxes 1 and 10. And, the data provider 41 checks if the application data was updated, and if updated, sends the updated application data to the broadcasting server 37. For this purpose, the data provider 41 may include a data agent 441. The data provider 41 can be provided in

plurality.

[26] The application server 33 provides an application code to the broadcasting server 37, and application metadata and an application code to the unicasting server 3. The metadata contains information necessary to generate an application information table (AIT), which includes application ID information, application version information, application name, and application initial class and so on.

[27] The broadcasting server 37 mixes the application data with the application code to form an application which can be broadcasted, and sends the application to the set-top box 1 over a broadcasting network in a broadcasting or multicasting way. The broadcasting network may include a cable broadcasting network and the Internet.

[28] More specifically, the broadcasting server 37 sends the application data and application code to the set-top box 1 in the form of an object carousel for frequent transmission of objects and in the form of a data carousel for frequent transmission of data modules. The object carousel carries hierarchically structured files using directories and file objects.

[29] The set-top box 10 restores the data carousel and the object carousel into original application code and application data to execute the application. The application is mul- ticasted or broadcasted to the set- top box 10 in the form of a mixture of an application data and application code, and therefore, if the application data is updated, the updated application data can be sent to the set-top box along with the application code in the form of object carosel.

[30] In addition, the broadcasting server 37 interacts with the unicasting server 3 to have data agent set-up information in common and send the application data transmitted from the data provider 41 to the unicasting server 3. The data agent set-up information includes a data agent ID, an application ID, a file name of updated application data, location information of an application data source, object carousel information. The object carousel information contains location information on an application data when the application data is mixed with an application code and then converted in the form of a carousel.

[31] The unicasting server 3 unicasts an AIT and an application to the set- top box 1 over a communication network. The communication network includes the Internet.

[32] More specifically, the unicasting server 3 generates the AIT using application metadata transmitted from the application server 33 and then sends the AIT to the set- top box 1 in response to an application service request from the set-top box 1. The AIT contains identification information on the set-top box that requested the application service, application ID information, application attribute information, and information on application download location.

[33] The unicasting server 3 provides an application code transmitted from the application

server 33 to the set-top box 1 and application data transmitted from the data provider 41 to the set- top box 1 in response to an application download request from the set- top box 1. The application data is provided to the set- top box 1 in the form of a DSM-CC (Digital Storage Media Command and Control) object message that includes information on the object carousel.

[34] The set-top box 1 transmits an application service request to the unicasting server 3 and parses an AIT transmitted from the unicasting server 3 to extract the location information of the requested application and requests downloading the application from the unicasting server 3.

[35] The set-top box 1 downloads an application code and application data from the unicasting server 3 and then executes the application. The set-top box 1 may also request the unicasting server 3 to check if there are updated application data. If it is evaluated that there are updated application data, then the updated application data may be transmitted to and used for the set-top box 1 as new application data.

[36] The system of the present invention may further include a plurality of local distribution servers 61 that can distribute the loads that are exerted on the unicasting server 3 and can relay between the unicasting server 3 and the set-top box 1.

[37] More specifically, the local distribution server 61 that is deployed in each local area serves to receive an application code and application data from the unicasting server 3, transmits the received application code and the application data to each set-top box 1 associated with the local distribution server 61, and sends a request of checking if there are updated application data from the set- top box 1 to the unicasting server 3.

[38] FIG. 3 is a block diagram illustrating the unicasting server 3 shown in FIG. 2.

Referring to FIG. 3, the unicasting server 3 includes a broadcasting interface 331, a data providing unit 332, and a set-top box interface 341.

[39] The broadcasting interface 331 enables the unicasting server 3 to interact with the broadcasting server 37 and the application server 3, and shares data agent set-up information in association with the broadcasting server 37. Also, the broadcasting interface 331 transmits application data (including updated application data) and data agent set-up information transmitted from the broadcasting server 37 to the data providing unit 332, and sends application metadata and application code transmitted from the application server 33 to the data providing unit 332.

[40] The data providing unit 332 generates an AIT using the application metadata and transmits the AIT through a set- top box interface 341 to the set- top box 1 in response to the application service request. The data providing unit 332 transmits application code and application data through the set- top box interface 341 to the set- top box 1. The data providing unit 332 checks if application data that is executed on the set-top box 1 is updated in response to a request of checking if there are updated application

data from the set-top box 1. If it is checked there are updated application data, the data providing unit 332 transmits the updated application data from the broadcasting interface 331 through the set-top box interface 341 to the set- top box 1. The data providing unit 332 can also determine whether there are updated application data through object carousel information contained in the data agent set-up information.

[41] The set- top box interface 341 registers and manages the set- top box 1 that can be connected to the unicasting server 3, and provides an AIT and an application to the set- top box 1 in unicasting mode in response to an application service request received from the registered set- top box 1. In addition, the set- top box interface 341 sends a request of checking if there are updated application data from the set-top box 1 to the data providing unit 332, and transfers updated application data transmited from the data providing unit 332 to the set-top box 1 in unicasting mode.

[42] FIG. 4 is a flow chart illustrating a method of transmitting updated application data using a system of transmitting application for digital broadcasting according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. Referring to FIG. 4, the method includes sharing set-up information (Step 100), transmitting updated application data (Step 110), and executing an application (Step 120 or Step 130).

[43] In Step 100, data agent set-up information is shared between the unicasting server 3 and the broadcasting server 37. The unicasting server 3 may monitor whether there are updated application data through the shared data agent set-up information and receive the updated application data through the broadcasting server 37.

[44] In Step 120, the data agent 441 checks if there are updated application data, and, if any, sends the updated application data to the broadcasting server 37. The broadcasting server 37 sends updated application data to the unicasting server 3.

[45] The updated application data can be unicast to the set-top 1 by the unicasting server

3, and multicast or broadcast to the set- top box 10 by the broadcasting server 37.

[46] More specifically, the unicasting server 3 may transmit the updated application data to the set-top box 1 registered in the unicasting server 3 in a unicasting mode.

[47] The set-top box 1 uses the updated application data as new application data. Prior to this, an application code that can be executed on the set- top box 1 can be unicast from the unicasting server 3 to the set-top box 1 along with the application data in response to a user's request.

[48] In a case where the updated application data are multicast or broadcast from the broadcasting server 37 to the set- top box 10, the updated application data are mixed with an application code in the form of being capable of broadcasting in the broadcasting server 37, and then the mixed data are broadcast or multicast from the broadcasting server 37 to the set- top box 10. The set- top box 10 can execute an application using the application code and updated application data transmitted from the

broadcasting server 37.

[49] As described above, the present invention may transmit updated application data in unicasting mode in a network environment where an application is broadcast or multicast to a set-top box.

[50] While the invention has been shown and described with reference to exemplary embodiments thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes in form and details may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

[51]