Method and systems for multicast using multiple transport streams

CAFC
  • US 7,992,172 B1
  • Filed: 10/04/2000
  • Issued: 08/02/2011
  • Est. Priority Date: 04/15/1999
  • Status: Active Grant
First Claim
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1. A system for providing interactive program guide (IPG), the system comprising:

  • a plurality of encoding units, disposed within a headend of a distribution system, each of the plurality of encoding units being operative to receive content from a plurality of content sources, the content including a plurality of video inputs, a corresponding IPG page associated with each of the plurality of video inputs, an audio input and at least one data input, wherein each of the plurality of video inputs associated with IPG pages include a guide portion and a video portion, the plurality of encoding units encoding the guide portion and the video portion of each video input associated with the IPG pages, the audio input and the at least one data input and generating a guide stream for each of the video inputs and a video stream, an audio stream and at least one data stream, wherein each generated guide stream, video stream, audio stream and data stream is assigned a respective packet identifier (PID);

    at least one transport stream generator operatively coupled to the plurality of encoding units, each transport stream generator being assigned to a single distribution node of the distribution system, each transport stream generator further operative to receive the generated guide stream, video stream, audio stream and data stream from one or more of the plurality of encoding units and to multiplex packets from the received streams into one or more transport streams, wherein the at least one transport stream generator generates packets conveying a program mapping table (PMT) for each transport stream;

    a session manager coupled to the at least one transport stream generator and the plurality of encoding units, the session manager being operative to manage the operation of the plurality of encoding units and the at least one transport stream generator and to service demands of each distribution node of the distribution system; and

    a bandwidth manager, coupled to the at least one transport stream generator for monitoring resources usage and availability for encoding by the plurality of encoding units, the bandwidth manager, in response to a demand received from a node of the distribution system, obtains information regarding whether sufficient bandwidth and PIDs are available in the one or more transport streams being transmitted to the distribution node to service the demand and communicates the obtained information to the session manager for servicing the demand, wherein the session manager controls the at least one transport stream generator to dynamically adjust the number of transport streams generated based on the obtained information received from the bandwidth manager.

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