12/15/2005

Microsoft patents Pause

Filed under: — By Aviran Mordo @ 2:01 pm

Microsoft has been granted an interactive TV patent that pauses the show while the viewer follows an embedded hyperlink, such as a URL.

And so ends a 12-year battle. Incredibly, Microsoft originally filed for the patent in March 1993, and the language reflects its age: “The Internet has recently exploded in popularity,” we learn, and that, “a computer user with a modem can get on-line.”

In its current form, this archaic patent appears not be of immediate use to Microsoft. Patent #6,973,669 describes an invention which uses the vertical blanking interval (VBI) of analog broadcasts, a technology for which Intel once had high hopes. Intercasting delivered data at around 10kbit/s. As modern digital TV streams at 19Mbit/s per channel, there’s little shortage of bandwidth.

But read on, and it’s apparent that it’s the “pause” that Microsoft seeks to exploit.

Source: The Register

 

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