Method and system for interactively transmitting multimedia information over a network which requires a reduced bandwidth

  • US 5,564,001 A
  • Filed: 06/24/1994
  • Issued: 10/08/1996
  • Est. Priority Date: 11/13/1992
  • Status: Expired due to Term
First Claim
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1. A communications system for transmitting interactive multimedia information over a communication medium having limited bandwidth, the system comprising:

  • interactive multimedia mastering (IMM) system means for receiving multimedia program materials from a program source, the IMM system including means for optimizing the program materials by separating the information into primary and secondary layers using psychographic parameters to differentiate between important and less important multimedia information, the program materials further optimized by enhancing information in the primary layers to provide a perceived improvement in the quality of the information when presented to a user, and by compressing at least a portion of the optimized program materials to reduce the bandwidth required to transmit the optimized program materials, the optimized program materials including a plurality of program branches where each of the branches allows a plurality of functions and data to be accessed in order to replicate the program source;

    a multimedia call processing system (MCPS) coupled to the IMM for receiving and distributing the optimized program materials from the IMM; and

    a plurality of interactive multimedia devices (IMDs) for receiving the optimized program materials from the MCPS, the plurality of the IMDs including means for accepting user commands for multimedia information and for responsively transmitting a control signal to the MCPS,the MCPS including a voice mode means responsive to the control signal for branching to a program branch in the optimized program materials indicated by the control signal, the MCPS including means for switching to a data mode for transmitting data from the indicated program branch back to the at least one of the plurality of IMDs and then switching back to the voice mode to accept further control signals from the at least one of the plurality of IMDs, whereby only selected portions of the optimized program materials are sent from the MCPS to the IMDs thereby further reducing the bandwidth required to transmit the multimedia program materials.

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