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1. WO2001075582 - SYSTEME DE RESEAU A DOMICILE POUR LIVRE ELECTRONIQUE ET PROCEDE CORRESPONDANT

Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

[ EN ]

ELECTRONIC BOOK HOME NETWORKING SYSTEM AND METHOD

Related Applications
This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. Application Serial No.07/991 ,074 entitled TELEVISION PROGRAM PACKAGING AND DELIVERY SYSTEM WITH MENUDRIVENSUBSCRIBERACCESS,filedDecember9, 1992, and U.S. Application Serial No. 08/336,247 entitled ELECTRONIC BOOK SELECTION AND DELIVERY SYSTEM, filed November 7, 1994, andU.S. Application SerialNo.08/160,194 andPCT/ US93/11606 entitled ADVANCED SET-TOP TERMINALFOR CABLE TELEVISION DELIVERY SYSTEMS, filed December 2, 1993, and U.S. Application Serial No. 08/906,469 entitled REPROGRAMMABLE TERMINAL FOR SUGGESTING PROGRAMS OFFERED ON ATELEVISION PROGRAM DELIVERY SYSTEM, filed August 5, 1997, and U.S. Application Serial No. 09/191,520 entitled DIGITAL BROADCAST PROGRAM ORDERING, filedNovember 13, 1998. These applications are incorporated by reference herein. Also incorporated by reference are co-pending U.S. Application Serial No.09/237,827 entitled ELECTRONIC BOOK HAVING LIBRARY CATALOG MENU AND SEARCHING FEATURES, filed January 27, 1999, U.S. Application SerialNo.09/237,828 entitled ELECTRONIC BOOK ELECTRONIC LINKS, filed January 27, 1999, U.S. Application Serial No.09/289,957, entitled ELECTRONIC BOOK ALTERNATIVE DELIVERY SYSTEMS, ffled April 13, 1999, andU.S. Application Serial No. 09/289,956, entitled ELECTRONIC BOOK ALTERNATIVE DELIVERY METHODS, filed April 13, 1999.
Background
Sparked by the concept of an information superhighway, a revolution will take place in the distribution of books. Not since the introduction of Gutenberg's movable typeset printing has the world stood on the brink of such a revolution in the distribution of text material. The definition of the word "book" will change drastically in the near future. Due to reasons such as security, convenience, cost, and other technical problems, book and magazine publishers are currently only able to distribute their products in paper form.

Summary
The electronic book selection and delivery system is a new way to distribute books to bookstores, public libraries, schools and consumers. The technological breakthroughs of this invention provide a secure electronic system for both delivering selected books and receiving payments. The system has an unusual combination of features that provides the consumer with a daily use household appliance that has a high tech aura while being very practical, portable, and easy to use.
An advantage of the system is that it eliminates the distribution of any physical object such as a paper book or computer memory device from any book or text distribution system. The purchase of a book becomes a PAY-PER-READ event avoiding the overhead, "middle-men, printing costs, and time delay associated with the current book distribution system. Published material and text such as the President's speech, a new law, a court decision on abortion, or O. J. Simpson's testimony can be made immediately available to the consumer at a nominal fee. Alternatively, books may be made available free to the end use consumer, subsidized by advertisers who sponsor books or embed advertising within the books. The system is a novel combination of new technology involving the television, cable, telephone, and computer industries. Ituses high bandwidth data transmissions, strong security measures, sophisticated digital switching, high resolution visual displays, novel controls, and user friendly interface software.
The primary components of the text delivery system are the subsystem for preparing the text for delivery and the subsystem for receiving and selecting text that was delivered. An embodiment of the system includes additional components and optional features that enhance the system. The system may be configured for use by bookstores, public libraries, schools and consumers. In one embodiment, the system for consumer use is made up of four subsystems, namely: (1) an operations center, (2) adistribution system, (3) ahome subsystem including reception, selection, viewing, transacting and transmission capabilities, and (4) abilling and collection system. Alternative configurations of the system are defined to allow for a variety of traditional and non-traditional delivery methods.
The operations center performs several primary functions : manipulating text data (including receiving, formatting and storing of text data), security encoding of text, cataloging of books, providing a messaging center capability, and performing uplink functions. In one embodiment, the system delivers the text from the operations center to consumer homes by inserting text data within analog video signals. The insertion of text is generally performed with an encoder at an uplink site that is within or near the operations center. The system can use several lines of the Vertical Blanking Interval (VBI), all the lines of the analog video signal, a digital video signal or unused portions of bandwidth to transmit text data. Using the VBI delivery method, the top ten or twenty book titles may be transmitted with video during normal programming utilizing existing cable or broadcast transmission capability without disruption to the subscriber's video reception. Using the entire video signal, thousands of books may be transmitted within just one hour of air time. Nearly any analog or digital video or data distribution system may be used to deliver the text data. The text data may also be transmitted over other low and high speed signal paths including a telephone network (e.g., a public switched telephone network) having a high speed connection such as digital subscriber line (DSL) connection and the Internet, for example.
The home subsystem performs at least four functions: connecting to the distribution system, selecting text, storing text, and transacting through a communicating mechanism. The components of the home subsystem may be configured in a variety of hardware configurations. Each function may be performed by a separate component, the components may be integrated, or the capability of existing cable set top converter boxes, computers, and televisions may be utilized. A connector, library unit and viewer unit may be used. In one embodiment, the connector portion of the home subsystem receives an analog video signal and strips or extracts the text from the video. The home library stores the text signal, provides a user friendly software interface to the system and processes the transactions at the consumer home. The viewer provides a screen for viewing text or menus and novel user friendly controls. Alternative embodiments that support delivery of text using a variety of communication mechanisms are presented in U.S. Application SerialNo.09/289,957, entitled ELECTRONIC BOOK ALTERNAITVEDELIVERY SYSTEMS, filed April 13, 1999, andU.S. Application Serial No. 09/289,956, entitled ELECTRONIC BOOK ALTERNATIVE DELIVERY METHODS, filed April 13, 1999.
The viewing device may be a portable book shaped viewer which stores one or more books for viewing and provides a screen for interacting with the home library unit. A high resolution LCD display is used to both read the books and to interact with the home library software. In one embodiment, an optional phone connector or return-path cable connection initiates the telephone calls and, with the aid of the library, transmits the necessary data to complete the ordering and billing portion of the consumer transaction. Alternative embodiments that support ordering and billing using a variety of communication mechanisms are presented in U.S. Application SerialNo.09/289,957, entitled ELECTRONIC BOOK ALTERNATIVE DELIVERY SYSTEMS, filed April 13, 1999, andU.S. Application SerialNo.09/289,956, entitled ELECTRONIC B OOK ALTERNATIVE DELIVERY METHODS , filed April 13 , 1999. The user friendly controls include a bookmark, current book and page turn button. The billing and collection system performs transaction management, authorizations, collections and publisher payments automatically.
The electronic book home networking system provides for the in-home sharing of electronic book content between electronic book system components without the need for specialized networks. This allows for electronic content stored in one location to be shared by multiple users, allows electronic book readers to access viewable embedded content within digital appliances in the home, and allows for the shared use of communication paths outside the home to enable electronic book ordering and reception by the in home electronic book system components.

Brief Description Of Drawings
Figure 1 a is ablock diagram of the primary components of an electronic book selection and delivery system.
Figure lb is a block diagram of an electronic book selection and delivery system that uses a composite video signal.
Figure 2 is a schematic showing an overview of the electronic book selection and delivery system.
Figure 3 is a schematic of a delivery plan for the electronic book selection and delivery system.
Figure 4 is a block diagram of the operations center.
Figure 5a is a flow diagram of processing at the operations center and uplink.

Figure 5b is a block diagram of a hardware configuration for an uplink site.
Figure 6a is a block diagram of a hardware configuration for a four component home subsystem.
Figure 6b is a schematic of a two unit home subsystem.
Figure 7 is a flow diagram of processes performed by a video connector.
Figure 8 is a block diagram for an example of a library unit.
Figure 9 is a flow diagram of processes performed by a library unit on the received data stream.
Figure lOisaflowdiagramofprocessesperformedbyalibraryunitoninformation requests from a viewer.
Figure 11 is a block diagram showing the components for an example of a viewer.
Figure 12 is a flow diagram of processes performed by a viewer on an information request from a subscriber.
Figure 13 is a chart depicting a menu structure and sequencing of menus in a menu system.

Figure 14a is a schematic of an introductory menu.
Figure 14b is a schematic showing an example of a main menu.
Figures 14c, 14d, 14e, 14f, 14g, 14h, 14iand 14j are schematics showing examples of submenus.
Figure 15 is a schematic diagram of an electronic book system for a bookstore or public library.
Figure 16a and Figure 16b are schematics of hardware modifications or upgrades to a set top converter.
Figure 17 is a schematic showing a set top terminal that includes a data receiver and data transmitter.
Figure 18a is a schematic of a book-on-demand system.
Figure 18b is a schematic of an operations center supporting a book-on-demand system.
Figure 19 is a diagram depicting the library to output device connectivity using a home network.
Figure 20 is a diagram depicting an input device to viewer connectivity using a home network.
Figure 21 is a diagram depicting the viewer to printer connectivity using a home network.
Figure 22 is a diagram depicting the viewer to viewer connectivity using a home network.
Figure 23 is a diagram depicting the home system to shared communication device connectivity using a home network.
Figure 24 is a diagram depicting a digital device to viewer connectivity using a home network.
Figure 25 depicts the communication module within digital appliance.
Figure 26 presents a hub star wired home network configuration.

Figure 27 presents a hubless wired home network configuration.
Figure 28 presents a branch and node wired home network configuration.
Figure 29 presents an alternative hubless wired home network configuration.
Figures 30a-30c show another embodiment of a home network system.
Figure 31 presents the steps associated with determining content available via an in-home network.
Figure 32 presents the steps a device performs in response to requests for a list of available content over the in home network.
Figure 33 presents the steps a device performs to request electronic book content over the in-home network.
Figure 34 presents the steps a device performs in response to a request for actual electronic book content over the in-home network.
Detailed Description
Figure la shows an electronic book distribution system 100 that may be used for distributing an electronic book. A content provider 110 may publish hard copy versions of books or other printed media including newspapers, magazines, and product catalogs, for example. The content provider 110 may convert printed materials to an electronic format and provide the electronic formatted materials to a distribution center 120, over uplink path 115. The uplink path 115 may be a wired or a wireless path. The uplink path 115 may be a telecommunications network, for example. The uplink path 115 may be a satellite relay path or a wireless telephone path. The uplink path 115 may involve providing electronic books to the distribution center on a fixed media, such as a CD-ROM, for example.
In Figure 1 a, the content provider 110 and the distribution center 120 are shown as separate components of the electronic book distribution system 100. However, the content provider 110 and the distribution center 120 may be co-located.
The distribution center 120 may convert printed matter into an electronic format. Alternately, the distribution center 120 may receive electronic files from an outside source, such as the content provider 110. The distribution center 120 may process and store electronic books.
The distribution center 120 distributes electronic books. The distribution may be, for example, over distribution path 125, distribution network 130, and distribution path 135 to an electronic book subsystem or terminal 140, which may include an electronic book viewer (not shown). The terminal may also be a television, a set top terminal, a personal computer, or similar device. An apparatus and method for distributing electronic books is disclosed in greater detail later. The distribution network 130 may be an electronic book store, an Internet web site, a wired or wireless telecommunications network, an intranet, a radio program delivery system, a television program delivery system, including cable television, satellite television broadcast, and over-the-air broadcast, for example. The electronic book distribution network 130 could include direct delivery through a mail delivery system of electronic books on a fixed media, such as a CD-ROM, for example.
Figure 1 b shows components of an electronic book distribution system 170 using a television program delivery system to distribute electronic books.
In the embodiment shown in Figure lb, the components of the electronic book selection and delivery system 170 are an encoder 174, a video distribution system 178, a connector 182, and a text selector 186. Theencoder 174 places textual data on a video signal to form a composite video signal. Although the composite signal may contain only textual data, it usually carries both video and textual data. A variety of equipment and methods may be used to encode text data onto a video signal. The video distribution system 178 distributes the composite video signal from the single point of the encoder 174 to multiple locations, which have connectors 182. The connector 182 receives the digital or analog video signal from the video distribution system 178 and separates, strips or extracts the text data from the composite video signal. If necessary, the extracted text data is converted into a digital bit stream. The text selector 186 works in connection with the connector 182 to select text.

Using the connector 182 and text selector 186 combination, various methods of selecting and retrieving desired text from a composite or video signal are possible. Text may be preselected, selected as received or selected after being received and stored. One method is for the connector 182 to strip or extract all the text from the video signal and have the text selector 186 screen all the text as received from the connector 182. The text selector 186 only stores text in long term or permanent memory if the text passes a screening process described below.
Figure 2 shows another embodiment of an electronic book selection and delivery system 200. The delivery system 200 includes: an operations center 250 including an uplink site 254, a video distribution system 208, a home system 258 including a video connector 212, a library 262, a viewer 266, and a phone connector 270, telephone system 274, an Internet web site 279 and a billing and collection system 278. Also as shown in Figure 2, the home system 258 may include connections to a television 259 and a personal computer 261 may be used to display menu screens, electronic books, electronic files, or any other information associated with the electronic book delivery system 200. The home system 258 may include connections to a printer 262' for the purposes of providing a hardcopy paper version of home system related information or actual electronic book content. In addition, the television 259 and the personal computer 261 may provide control functions that replicate and supplement those of the viewer 266. Alternative, the TN 259 and personal computer 261 may provide control functions the replicate or supplement those of the library 262.
The operations center 250 receives textual material from outside sources 282 such as publishers, newspapers, and on-line services. Alternately, the outside sources may maintain electronic books at the Internet web site 279. The outside sources 282 may convert textual and graphical material to digital format, or may contract with another vendor to provide this service. The operations center 250 may receive the textual and graphical material in various digital formats and may convert the textual material to a standard compressed format for storage. In so doing, the operations center 250 may create a pool of textual material that is available to be delivered to the home system 258. The textual material may be grouped by books or titles for easy access.
As used herein, "book" means textual or graphical information such as contained in any novels, encyclopedias, articles, magazines, newspapers, catalogues, periodicals, or manuals. The term "title"may represent the actual title assigned by an author to a book, or any other designation indicating aparticular group, portion, or category of textual information. The title may refer to a series of related textual information, a grouping of textual information, or a portion of textual data. For example, "Latest Harlequin Romance," "Four Child Reading Books (Ages 10-12)," "Encyclopedia 'BR1TANNICA'™," "President's Speech," "Instruction Manual," "Schedule of 4th of July Events," "Pet Handbooks," "Roe v. Wade," and "The Joy of Cooking," are suitable titles. Also, the title may be a graphical symbol or icon. Thus, a picture of a wrench may be a title for a repair book, a picture of a computer a title for a computer book, a graphical symbol of a telephone a title for a telephone book, a drawing of a dagger a title for a mystery book, a picture of a bat and ball a title for a sports book, and a picture of tickertape a title for a business book.
The operations center 250 includes the uplink site 254 for placing the text onto a telecommunications signal and sending the telecommunications signal into a distribution system. The uplink site 254 would generally include an encoder 204 (not shown in Figure 2) to encode the text onto the telecommunications signal.
Many analog and digital video distribution systems may be used with the electronic book delivery system 200, such as cable television distribution systems, broadcast television distribution systems, video distributed over telephone systems, direct satellite broadcast distribution systems, and other wire and wireless video distribution systems. Nearly any distribution system which can deliver a telecommunications signal, including a video signal, will work with the electronic book delivery system 200. It is also possible to distribute the electronic book without using a telecommunications signal as described in the embodiments presented in U.S. Application Serial No. 09/289,957, entitled ELECTRONIC BOOK ALTERNATIVE DELIVERY SYSTEMS, filed April 13, 1999, andU.S. Application Serial No.09/289,956, entitledELECTRONIC BOOK ALTERNATIVE DELIVERY METHODS, filed April 13, 1999.
The home system 258 performs five functions: (1) connecting with a video distribution system; (2) selecting data; (3) storing data; (4) displaying data; and (5) handling transactions . An important optional function of the home system 258 is communicating using, in one embodiment, a telephone communication system 274. The home system 258 may be made up of four parts : a video connector 212 or similar type of connector for connecting with the distribution system 208, alibrary 262 for storing and processing, a viewer 266 for viewing menus and text and a telephone connector 270 for connecting with a telephone communications system 274. Additional embodiments are presented in U.S. Application Serial No. 09/289,957, entitled ELECTRONICBOOK ALTERNATIVEDELIVERYSYSTEMS, filed April 13, 1999, andU.S. Application SerialNo.09/289,956, entitled ELECTRONIC BOOK ALTERNATIVE DELIVERY METHODS, filed April 13, 1999, that address alternative communication mechanisms.
The billing and collection system 278 may be co-located with the operations center 250 or located remote from the operations center 250. The billing and collection system 278 may be in communication with the home system 258 using telephone-type communication systems (for example 274). Any of a number of communication systems as presented in U.S. Application Serial No. 09/289,957, entitled ELECTRONIC BOOK ALTERNATIVE DELIVERY SYSTEMS, filed April 13, 1999,andU.S. Application SerialNo.09/289,956, entitled ELECTRONICBOOK ALTERNATIVE DELIVERY METHODS, filed April 13, 1999, such as a cellular system or the Internet, will operate with the billing and collection system 278. The billing and collection system 278 records the electronic books or portions of text that are selected or ordered by the subscriber. The collection system will charge a subscriber's credit account or bill the subscriber. In addition, the billing and collection system 278 may monitor that amount due to publishers or other outside sources 282 who have provided textual data or other services such as air time to enable the text delivery system 200 to operate.
Also shown in Figure 2 is an intranet 279'. The intranet 279' may be used as a part of a private distribution network for distributing and circulating electronic books. For example, a university library may use the intranet 279' to circulate electronic books to university students and professors.
Figure 3 is an expanded overview of a delivery plan 301 for the electronic book delivery system 200. It is a comprehensive delivery plan 301 to support various types of users and various billing systems. Figure 3 shows that publishers 282 may provide text transfer 302 to the operations center 250' and receive payments 306 from the billing and collection system 278'. A separate channel uplink site 254' is shown in this configuration receiving data 310 from the operations center 250'. The operations center 250' has three separate sections (318 , 322, 326) one for text receiving, formatting and re-entry 318, a second for security encoding 322 and a third section for catalog and messaging center functions 326.
The collection and billing system 278' shown has two sections (330, 334) one for transaction management, authorizations and publisher payments 330, and the other for customer service 334. The customer service section 334 provides for data entry and access to customer account information. Transaction accounting information 338 is supplied to credit card companies 342 by the transaction management section 330 of the billing and collection system 278'. The credit card companies 342 provide billing 346 to customers either electronically or by mail.
Methods for communicating between the subscriber base 348 and the billing and collection system 278' include: by telephone switching 350 alone, cellular switching 354 and telephone switching 350 combined, and by use of the cable system 358 and the telephone switching 350. The system shown supports both one-way 362 and two-way cable communication 366 with subscribers. Additional communication methods are presented in U.S . Application Serial No.09/289,957, entitledELECTRONIC BOOK ALTERNATIVE DELIVERY SYSTEMS, filed April 13, 1999, andU.S. Application SerialNo.09/289,956, entitled ELECTRONIC BOOK ALTERNATIVE DELIVERY METHODS, filed April 13, 1999. Public libraries and schools 370 as well as bookstores 374 may use the delivery system 301.
Public libraries and schools 370 could have a modified system to allow the viewer to be checked-out or borrowed while bookstores 374 would rent or sell the viewer and sell electronic book data. The bookstores 374 as well as the public libraries and schools 370 may be serviced by cable 378. Optional direct broadcast systems (DBS) 382 can also be used with the system 200 as detailed in U.S. Application Serial No. 09/289,957, entitled ELECTRONICBOOK ALTERNATIVEDELIVERYSYSTEMS, filed April 13, 1999, and U.S. Application SerialNo.09/289,956, entitled ELECTRONIC BOOK ALTERNATIVE DELIVERY METHODS, filed April 13, 1999.
I. The Operations Center
Figure 4 is a schematic of the operations center 250, which includes the uplink 254. The operations center 250 may gather text or books by receiving, formatting, storing, and encoding. A data stream 302 containing text may be received at the operations center 250 by a data receiver 402. The data receiver 402 is under the control of a processor 404. After reception, the data stream is formatted using digital logic for formatting 406 which is also under the control of the processor 404. If any additional text is generated at the operations center 250 locally for insertion into the distributed signal, the text generation is handled through text generator hardware 410, which may include a data receiver and a keyboard (not shown). Following processing by the text generator 410, the additional text can be added to the text received by the combining hardware 414 that includes digital logic circuitry (not shown).
The processing at the operations center 250 is controlled by a processor 404, which uses an instruction memory 416. The processor 404 and instruction memory 416 may be supplied by a personal computer or mini-computer, for example. To perform the catalog and messaging functions, the operations center 250 uses a catalog and message memory 420 and the text generator 410 if necessary.
The data stream of text, catalog and messages may be encoded by security module encoding 424 prior to being sent to the uplink module 254. Various encoding techniques may be used by the security encoding module 424 such as the commercial derivative of NS A's encryption algorithm (Data Encryption System (DES)) and General Instrument's DigiCipher II. Following encoding, the encoded text may be stored in text memory 428 prior to being sent to the uplink 254. A first-in-first-out text memory arrangement may be used under the control of the processor 404. Various types of memory may be used for the text memory 428 including RAM. The operations center 250 may use file server technology for the text memory 428 to catalog and spool books for transmission as is described below. The operations center 250 may also store the electronic book as compressed data files.
In an embodiment, to transmit textual data, the distribution system 208 (see Figure 2) may use high bandwidth transmission techniques such as those defined by the North American Broadcast Teletext Standard (NABTS) and the World System Teletext (WST) standard. Using the WST format (where each line of the Vertical Blanking Interval contains 266 data bits) , a four hundred page book, for example, may be transmitted during regular television progr__mming using four lines of the Vertical Blanking Interval at a rate of approximately one book every 1.6 minutes (63,840 bits per second). Alternatively, books may be transmitted over a dedicated channel, which interrupts programming so that 246 lines of video can be used to transmit approximately 2,250 books every hour (3.9 Mbits per second). A teletext type format is the simplest but possibly the slowest text format to use with the electronic book delivery system 200. In either event, an encoder 204 may be used at an uplink site 254 to insert textual data into the analog video signal. In many other respects, the delivery of the textual information may be completed using an existing cable television plant and equipment. Alternative transmit formats and delivery systems are presented in U.S . Application Serial No. 09/289,957,entitiedELECTROMCBOOKALTERNATIVEDELIVERYSYSTEMS,filed April 13, 1999, andU.S. Application SerialNo.09/289,956, entitled ELECTRONIC BOOK ALTERNATIVE DELIVERY METHODS, filed April 13, 1999.
Figure 5a is a flowchart of steps involved in processing text from the publisher or provider 282 that may occur at the operations center 250. As shown in block 500, the publisher 282 processes data files of text for books, compresses, encrypts and sends the data files to the operations center 250 or uplink 254. Text files for books may be sent one book at a time. As shown in block 504, the uplink 254 or operations center 250 receives and processes the data stream from the publisher 282. Generally, part of this processing includes encryption and error correction. Text files may be delivered for receipt by multiple home subsystems simultaneously, or to a specific individual home subsystem.
In Figure 5a, the electronic books are distributed to consumers using a video distribution system such as a cable television system. However, the electronic books may also be packaged as data packets and distributed over other telecommunications networks such as a digital wireless telephone network, for example.
In one embodiment, as shown in block 508 , files are broken into smaller packets of information. Header information is added to the packets. The bit stream is converted from a serial digital bit stream to an analog bit stream that is compatible with an NTSC video signal. Block 512 shows the switching of analog data into the video lines of a video signal. The analog data may be placed either in the VBI or the active video lines. In some instances, unused portions of bandwidth (such as 5-40 MHZ, 70-75 MHZ, 100-109 MHZ or other guard bands) may be used instead of the video lines. Alternate transmission methods are presented in U.S. Application Serial No.09/289,957, entitledELECTRONIC BOOK ALTERNATIVE DELIVERY SYSTEMS, filed April 13, 1999, andU.S. Application SerialNo.09/289,956, entitled ELECTRONIC BOOK ALTERNATIVE DELIVERY METHODS, filed April 13, 1999.
Figure 5b is an example of a hardware configuration to perform some of the functions for blocks 508 and 512. A video feed 516 is received and processed through a sync stripper 520. The stripped sync signal 532 is used by the digital logic control 524. The digital logic control 524 receives the sync signal 532 and a serial digital bit stream 528 for processing. The digital logic control 524 passes the serial digital bit stream to the Digital to Analog converter 536 and outputs a control signal 540 for the video switch 544. The video switch 544 integrates the video feed 516 and analog data stream 548 into a video feed with analog data signal inserted 552.
As an alternative to cable, broadcast or other television delivery methods, the public telephone system may be used to transmit books to the subscribers . An average book would take about 7 minutes to transmit over the public telephone system. Using the telephone system, it is not necessary to combine video and text into a composite signal. In most other respects, the operations center would remain similar whether text delivery was by telephone or cable. File server technology (such as that described in U.S. Patent No. 5,262,875, entitled AUDIO/VIDEO FILE SERVER INCLUDING DECOMPRESSION/ PLAYBACK MEANS, issued to Mincer, et al., and, U.S. Patent No.5,218,695, entitled FILE SERVER SYSTEM HAVING HIGH-SPEED WRITE EXECUTION, issued to Noveck, et al., incorporated herein by reference) may be used at the operation center with a telephone system text delivery method.
As another alternative to cable, television, and telephone system delivery, the public telephone system may be used to provide access to the Internet, where the Internet web site 279 may be accessed. Electronic books may be ordered, paid for, and delivered directly from the Internet web site 279 over the telephone system.
When a wireless telephone network is used to distribute electronic books, or otherwise communicate with the home system 258, the home system may receive data using any one or more standard protocols including time division multiple access (TDMA), code division multiple access (CDMA), Global Systems for Mobile Communications (GSM) and Advanced Mobile Telephone System (AMPS) protocols.

In any delivery system using the telephone system, individual subscribers may increase the electronic book deliver rate by incorporating high speed modems or other communications devices such as an Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) connector, or by use of an Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) . These alternative delivery methods are presented in U.S. Application SerialNo.09/289,957, entitledELECTRONIC BOOK ALTERNATIVE DELIVERY SYSTEMS, filed April 13, 1999, andU.S. Application Serial No.09/289,956, entitled ELECTRONICBOOKALTERNATIVEDELIVERYMETHODS,filed April 13, 1999.
II. The Home Subsystem
The hardware configuration for a four component home system 258 is shown in Figure

6a. Figure 6b shows a hardware configuration for a two component home subsystem. The home system 258 performs several functions, such as receiving data and video transmissions, stripping (or extracting) the data from the video signal, screening and storing the data, providing user friendly interface controls and software, displaying menus and text, processing transactions, initiating telephone calls and transmitting billing data. Various hardware configurations may be utilized to achieve the desired functions of the home system 258. For example, as shown in figure 6b, the home system 258 can be configured to utilize the reception and channel tuning capability of the current installed subscriber base of cable converter boxes and televisions 601 and networked computers. The home system 258 can also be designed as an advanced set top terminal converter box with menu generation capability, electronic memory and a telephone modem as described in section V below. Alternatively, the home system 258 can be configured to support alternate delivery and ordering methods as described in U.S. Application SerialNo.09/289,957, entitled ELECTRONIC BOOK ALTERNATIVE DELIVERY SYSTEMS, filed April 13, 1999, andU.S. Application SerialNo.09/289,956, entitledELECTRONIC BOOK ALTERNATIVE DELIVERY METHODS, filed April 13, The electronic components, which make up the home system 258 can be arranged in a variety of ways . In the four unit subsystem of figure 6a the viewer 266 and library 262 are wired together while the remaining components communicate through RF transceivers 604. Alternatively, a home network, as described in Section Nil may be used for communication between the library 262 and viewer 266. In a simple version of the home system 258 there are only two units, a library 262 and a viewer 266. Figure 6b shows a two unit home system 258 with certain optional features.
The viewer 266 is generally equipped with a high resolution viewing area 602, digital logic (including a key 605, security 606, and a microprocessor 621), video graphics control and memory 607, power supply circuitry 602 (not shown), an optional battery 603 and an optional RF transceiver 604. In a two unit arrangement, the library 262 contains the connector function to the electronic book distribution system 208, connector function to a public telephone communications system, and memory 600 (which may be removable and portable 600'). More specifically, the library 262 would include data stripping functions 617, digital logic 609, memory storage 600, power circuitry 610, optional connections 611 (including cellular or PCN 611'), optional battery (not shown) , optional tuner module 613 and an optional RF transceiver 604. The connector 212 and the public telephone system connection 270, as well as the removable portable memory unit 600 of the library 262 may be broken out into separate components. (Figure 6b shows the removable portable hard disk memory 600' with removable cartridges 614.) The home system 258 may include an attached keyboard 267 or a wireless keyboard 268. Both the attached keyboard 267 and the wireless keyboard 268 may be used to communicate with the viewer 266 (not shown) or the library unit 262. The wireless keyboard 268 may communicate using radio frequency (RF) signaling, for example. Finally, the home network connector (not shown) is used to allow the various home system components to communicate over the home network.
In an alternate arrangement, all functions of the home system 258 may be incorporated into a single unit. The functions of the library 262, for example, may be carried out by a card or chipset in the viewer 266. All the communications devices needed to couple the home system 258 to various telecommunications networks may also be incorporated into the viewer. All interfaces between the home system 258 and the subscriber may be included with the viewer 266. In this embodiment, the viewer 266 may include a communication device for receiving inputs from a separate keyboard. The viewer 266 may also include abuilt-in video camera 608 " that may be used to transmit images of the subscriber. Using the transceiver 608, the camera 608"and the speaker/microphone 608', the subscriber may use the viewer 266 for video conferencing, for example.
Therefore, the home system 258 may have as many as five separate components that communicate with each other. The two, three, four or five separate components that make up the home subsystem 258 can communicate with each other in a variety of ways, including hardwired connection 615 , RF transceiver 604 and other wireless methods or using a home network, as is described in Section VII.
RF communications may be used in the home, allowing separate components to be located throughout the home without restriction. The data communicated between the units may be secure data. In addition, the library 262 may provide power to the viewer 266 through the hard wire communication link 615.
To receive and strip data from a video signal at the user's home, a device such as a cable interface device or cable connector 212isused. The cable connector device includes a tuner 613, while the cable interface device makes use of existing tuning equipment in the home. In either configuration, data is stripped from the video signal and stored at the subscribers location in the library 262. The phone connector 270, optional connector 611, and modular connector 701 initiate communications and transmit ordering and billing information to the operations center 250 or billing and collection system 278. A digital connector 619 is provided to communicate digital information with the set top 601. The library 262 is the intelligent component of the home subsystem, incorporating the hardware and software necessary to store the text data, generate menus and effect the purchase transactions.

In addition to an RF transceiver 604, the home library 262 may includes the necessary jacks and connections to allow the system to be connected to the viewer 266, as well as the modular connector for external communications, and the home network connector for communication over the home network. As shown in Figure 6b, the library 262 communicates the text data to the viewer 266 in a secure format, which requires a key 605 for decryption. The text may be decrypted page by page just before viewing.
a. The Video Connector
Figure 7 shows the flow of the processes performed by the video connector 212. The video connector 212 receives the video signal 608, tunes to the channel containing the text data 612, strips the text data from the video signal 616, and communicates the text data stream to logic components in the library 620.
The connection to the video distribution system may be a cable connector to a cable television delivery system, as shown in Figure 6b. The cable connector includes a data stripper circuit 617, which accepts video input from either a set top converter, TV or VCR 601 , or an optional tuner block 613 that receives the CAT V signal through the cable connector 212N. The data stripper circuit 617 strips data out of the video, and outputs a digital bit stream to the digital logic portion 609 of the library unit 262. The data is embedded in the video signal either in the vertical blanking interval or the active video portion in an encrypted and compressed format. The data stripper circuit 617 can be placed inside the set top converter box 601 , TV, or in the library unit. The data stripper circuit 617 outputs the digital bit stream to be used by the library digital logic 609.
The video connector 212 may also contain a channel tuner module 613 that can tune to the video channel and provide access to the video that contains the data to be stripped. Using the optional tuner module 613 , a set top converter, VCR, or TV tuner is not needed in the home subsystem. The optional tuner module 613 would instead receive the CATV signal directly through the cable connector 212. Additional connector options, which allow for the receipt of text files using alternative delivery methods, are presented in U.S . Application Serial No.09/289,957, entitled ELECTRONICBOOK ALTERNATIVEDELIVERYSYSTEMS, filedApril 13, 1999, andU.S. Application SerialNo.09/289,956, entitled ELECTRONIC BOOKALTERNATIVEDELIVERYMETHODS,filed April 13, 1999. This ubiquitous access is provided using the modular connector 700 as depicted in Figure 6b.
b. Library
An embodiment of the library 262 for a two unit home subsystem is shown in both Figure 6b and Figure 8. The embodiment shown includes the following optional parts : the video connector 212, phone connector 270, RF transceiver 604, and battery pack 624 in addition to a removal portable memory 600', microprocessor 628, instruction memory unit 632, digital logic 636, and power unit 640.
The library 262 contains a digital logic section 609 (not shown in Figure 8) which includes the microprocessor 628, the digital logic 636 and the instruction memory unit 632. The microprocessor 628 may be a secure microprocessor such as the Mot SC21 device sold by Motorola. The digital logic section 609 will receive the serial digital bit stream from the data stripper circuit 617 andprocess the data. Error correction will also be performed by the digital logic section 609 and the data will be checked for proper address. If the address of the data is correct and the library 262 is authorized to receive the data, the data will be transferred to the memory storage unit 600, 600' . Authorization to receive the data is provided by the cable headend or another distribution point. An authorization code may be sent in the serial digital bit stream. The digital logic section 609 will send appropriate text and graphical data to the memory storage unit 600, 600 ' . It transfers this data in a compressed and encrypted format and the data remains stored in a compressed and encrypted format.
Also shown in Figure 6b is an in-home network connector 5030. The function of the connector 5030 will be described in detail later.
i. Memory Storage Unit
The memory storage unit of the library may be a removable portable memory unit 600 ' (as shown in Figures 6a, 6b and 8). A variety of options are available for memory storage: a hard disk drive, such as an 80 megabyte, a 200 megabyte, a hard disk with removable platters, and CD ROM. Referring to Figure 6b, a hard disk drive unit 600', which contains removable platters, may also be used. This would provide virtually unlimited library storage capacity. Data will be stored in the memory storage unit in a compressed and encrypted format. As is also shown in Figure 6b, the data may also contain a key or unique ID number that matches the ID or key of the viewer 266. This matching of a unique key or ID number prevents unauthorized transfer of text data from the memory storage unit to an unauthorized viewer. Small memory devices such as smart cards, electronic memory cards or PCM CIA cards (personal computer memory card industry association) may also be used to store the data.
ii. Power Circuitry
As shown in figures 6b and 8, the library 262 will accept power from AC wall power 610, DC power 640, or optional battery power 624. The power circuitry 610, 640 may provide all the voltage necessary from either the battery 624 or AC unit for the various circuitry in the library. The power circuitry 610, 640 may also provide power to the viewer through a single data cable when connected to the viewer. The power circuitry 610, 640 will recharge the battery using AC power when in operation. With the optional battery unit 624 installed, the library 262 becomes a portable unit and can still provide power to the viewer 266. In order to extend battery life, power conservation measures may be utilized, such as shutting down the memory system when not in use. When the viewer unit 266 is being utilized and the library circuitry is not being utilized, virtually all power may be shut down to the library 262.
iii. Connection to the Public Telephone System
In an embodiment, the connection to the telephone system may be provided by a connector device 611, which consists of a modem. Various available modems may be used to perform this function. As shown in Figure 6b, cellular phone or PCN phone connections 611' may also be provided. When the home system 258 is first initialized, the modem may be used to transfer the name and credit card information of the consumer to the billing and collection system 278. The telephone connection 270 may be utilized each time an electronic book is purchased by a consumer to complete and record the transaction. The telephone connection 270 may also be used to receive the text data from the operations center 250, by-passing the video distribution system 208. The phone connection 270 may be a separate unit as shown in Figure 6b. However, alternate means exist to connect the home system 258 to the billing and collection system 278 or the operation center 250. The modular connector 701 (shown in Figures 6b and 8) provides access to each communication network to provide a path from the home system 258 to the billing and collection system 278 or the operations center 250. These alternatives are presented in detail in U.S. Application Serial No. 09/289,957, entitled ELECTRONICBOOKALTERNAT_VEDEIJVERYSYSTEMS,filed April 13, 1999,andU.S. Application SerialNo.09/289,956, entitled ELECTRONICBOOK ALTERNATIVE DELIVERY METHODS, filed April 13, 1999.
iv. Library Processing
Figure 9 shows for one embodiment, an example of processing performed by the digital logic section 609 of the library 262 on the data stream 651 received from the video connector 212 or stripper circuit 617. In step S650, digital logic section 609 checks the data stream 651 for error correction . If an error is detected, in step S 654 digital logic section 609 de-interleaves the data and in step S658 runs aFEC (Forward Error Correcting) algorithm. In steps S650, S654 and S658, the digital logic section 609 performs the error correction needed on the data stream. If no error correction is necessary the digital logic section 609 proceeds to step S662 and checks data packets individually for packet address.
If the address is a unique address, the process moves to step S666 and the digital logic section 609 checks whether the address of the packet matches the library box ID number. The library box ID number is a unique number associated with the library 262. The library box ID is used to ensure security of the data. The process then moves to step S670 and the digital logic section 609 determines whether an electronic file has already been opened into which the data packet can be saved. If no data file has been opened, the digital logic section 609 opens a new data file for that packet. If an electronic file has been opened, the process moves to step S678 and the digital logic section 609 saves the packet in the electronic file on disk. The process moves to step 682 and the digital logic section 609 checks to see if this is the last packet for a particular book for a particular textual data block being received. If it is the last packet of information, the process moves to step 686 and the digital logic section 609 closes the electronic file and updates the directory of available electronic files. Following either step S682 or S686, the process returns to receive another data packet from the data stream received from the data stripper block.
If the packet address is checked and the address is determined to be a broadcast address, the process moves to step S690 and the digital logic section 609 determines the type of message that is being sent. The message may be an index of book titles, menu (and menu graphics) information, announcements, special offerings, discounts, promotions, and previews, for example. The process then moves to step S694 and the digital logic section 609 stores the message in an appropriate electronic message file. The process then returns to step S 650 to receive another data packet and perform another error check.
Using the process of Figure 9, the library 262 is able to receive, store and update directories related to the textual data and graphical data (that can be used to depict pictures in a given book or to generate menus). Variations of the processes are possible depending on the format of the data and operating system of the library 262.
Figure 10 shows an example of the processing of information requests from the viewer 266 at the library 262. Information requests from the viewer 266 are received either through the cable connecting the viewer 266 to the library 262 or through wireless transmissions such as RF or via the home network. It is possible in some embodiments for subscribers' requests to come from a set top converter box 602 (see Section V).
Information requests received from the viewer 266 generally fall into three categories : ( 1 ) directory data of books stored in the library 262, (2) index of all available books on the system, and (3) requests for a specific book (step S700). In step S704, the digital logic section 609 answers a request from the viewer 266 for a directory of data showing the books stored at the viewer 266. The directory of data is sent to the viewer 266 so that it may be displayed to the subscriber. In step S708, the digital logic section 609 handles requests from the viewer 266 for an index of all available books on the system. The library 262 will obtain an index of all the available books on the system and transmit that index, in step S712, with menu information to the viewer 266. In step S716, the digital logic section 609 replies to a request from the viewer 266 for a specific book. In step S720, the digital logic section 609 opens an electronic file for the specific book requested by the viewer 266 and transmits the record or transmits the information on a packet-by-packet basis to the viewer 266. This process of transmitting the specific book, record, or packets to the viewer 266 continues until the last record or packet has been sent in step S724.
In addition to the processes shown on Figure 10 in handling a request for a specific book, the library 262 also orders and receives specific books from the operations center 250 using the process as described in step S716. Following a request for a specific book which is not stored at the library 262, the library 262 will proceed to determine the next available time the book will be on the video distribution system 208 or an alternative delivery system and ensure reception and storage of that book (process not shown). In performing this process the library 262 will transmit to the viewer information on when it will obtain the text data for the book so that the subscriber may view the book. In addition to timing information, price and other ordering information may also be passed by the library 262 to the subscriber, c. The Viewer
Figure 11 is a block diagram of a viewer 266 showing its internal components . The viewer 266 of Figure 11 is similar to the viewer 266 depicted in Figure 6b. The viewer 266 is designed to physically resemble a bound book. The viewer 266 is made up of five primary components and eight optional components: (1) LCD display 602, (2) digital circuitry (not shown), (3) video graphics controller 607', (4) controls 740, (5) book memory 728, (6) optional power supply circuitry 736, (7) optional battery 603N, (8) optional RF transceiver 604, and (9) optional cellular or mobile connector (such as611')(10) optional keyboards 267 and 268, (11) an optional speaker/microphone 608', (12) optional alternative communication interface devices, and (13) optional home network connector 5030.
(1) AhighresolutionLCDscreen602,ofVGAquality,maybeusedbytheviewer

266 to display text and graphic images. The screen may be the size of one page of an electronic book. A two page screen or two screens may also be used with the viewer 266.

(2) Digital circuitry that includes a secure microprocessor 621 , instruction memory 732, and digital logic. Data is transferred to the viewer 266 in compressed and encrypted format. The secure microprocessor 621 compares the ID number ofthe viewer 266 with the incoming data stream and only stores the text data if the ID number ofthe viewer 266 matches that within the incoming data stream. The viewer 266 may be configured to not output text data or other data and that the data is decompressed and decrypted only at the moment of viewing and only for the current page being viewed. These measures provide additional security against unauthorized access to data.
(3) A video graphics controller 607 ' that is capable of assisting and displaying VGA quality text and graphic images is included in the viewer 266. The graphics controller 607 ' is controlled by the digital circuitry described above. Text may be displayed in multiple font sizes.
(4) The viewer 266 of Figure 11 has touch panel controls 740. These unique and novel controls 740 allow the consumer to select stored electronic books and electronic books from catalogues, move a cursor, and turn pages in an electronic book. Typically, the controls 740 include forward and reverse page buttons 742, 741 , a ball 743 for cursor movement, one or more selection buttons 745, a current book button 747 and a bookmark button 749 (see Figure 14a).
The controls 740 should be easy to use and conveniently located. Referring to Figure 14a, the controls for the viewer 266 may be located below the screen 602 at the bottom portion of the viewer 266. The next page turn button 742 is the most used button 740 and is located towards the right edge ofthe page. The subscriber is likely to use right hand thumb movements to work the controls particularly the page turn buttons 741 , 742. Therefore, the buttons may be arranged in such a manner that the buttons are easily controlled by a subscriber's right thumb. Generally, this can be accommodated either on the lower portion of the viewer 266 (as shown) or along the right hand margin of the viewer 266 (not shown) . The current book button 747 and bookmark button 749 are usually the least used of the controls 740. Therefore, in the example shown, those buttons 747, 749 are located on the inside portion towards the binder of the viewer 266.
Locating the ball 743 or other cursor movement device (such as four pointer arrows not shown) in the bottom center ofthe viewer 266 is both easier for the subscriber to use and easier in manufacturing the viewer 266. The selection buttons for the cursor 745 may be located below the middle diameter of the cursor ball 743 on the right and left sides of the ball as shown. If pointer arrows are used for cursor movement, a selection button 745 may be located in the center ofthe four arrow buttons (not shown). Again, the most used controls 740 should be located where a subscriber's right hand thumb would normally rest.
(5) Book memory 728 for at least one electronic book or more of text is included in the viewer 266. The memory 728 stores text and any graphics, which represent pictures in a book. The memory 728 can also store menu graphics data. Two different memory 728 devices may be used in the viewer 266, one for the instructions for the microprocessor 621 in the digital circuitry and a second type of memory may be used for the book memory 728 (and graphics). Various memory devices available on the market may be used such as, ROM, RAM or a small hard disk. Since an electronic book requires approximately 0.6 megabytes of storage, a small hard disk providing approximately 60 MBytes of storage provides memory to store approximately 100 electronic books.
Text for electronic books may be displayed in various font sizes . To accommodate various fonts for display, a variety of fonts are stored in instruction 732 or book memory 728.

Thus larger or smaller fonts may be recalled from memory 621 , 728 to create displays desired by the subscriber.
(6) Power supply circuitry 736 in the viewer 266, will accept power from either an AC power source or from an optional battery 603', or the library 262. The power supply circuitry 736 provides the necessary voltages to accommodate the various systems within the viewer 266.
(7) The optional battery 603' is provided in one embodiment. The battery 603 ' is automatically recharged when AC power is available.
(8) An optional RF transceiver 604 which provided two-way data link between the viewer 266 and other components of the home subsystem can also be included in the viewer 266.
(9) Also, the viewer 266 may include a cellular transceiver (not shown) for mobile communications.
(10) The optional wired (attached) keyboard 267 and wireless (e.g., RF) keyboard 268 (see Figure 6a) may be used with the viewer 266 to provide communications between the subscriber and the viewer 266.
(11) The optional speaker and microphone 608' allow the viewer 266 to provide audio signals to the subscriber, and allow the subscriber to provide an audio input. The speaker and microphone 608' may be used in conjunction with the cellular transceiver 608 or other telecommunications equipment to provide for reception and transmission of telephony and data.
(12) The optional alternative communication interface devices allow the viewer 266 to make use of a variety of communication paths.
(13) The viewer 266 may include the in-home network connector 5030 for communicating with in-home networks. The function ofthe connector 5030 will be described in detail later.

The viewer 266 of Figure 11 has parts available for providing connections to: a library 744, electronic card memory 748, CD ROM units 752, and a portable memory unit 756 (such as that shown in Figure 6b as 600'). Various electronic memory cards such as PCMCIA can be used with the viewer 266 to supply and store electronic books.
Security, low power consumption and excellent display technology are desired features ofthe viewer 266 design. The viewer 266 should be lightweight and portable. The viewer 266 contains a software operating system that allows electronic books to be stored, read and erased and includes the capability to order electronic books and retain them in memory 728 for a predefined period of time determined by the system operator. The software can be configured to allow the electronic book to be read during a period of time (e.g., two weeks) and then automatically erased, read once and erased, or held in memory permanently. Each viewer 266 may have aunique key 605. All ofthe data storage may be encrypted with the key 605 for an individual viewer 266 to prevent more than one viewer 266 accessing the text file or electronic book file.
Figure 12 is aflow diagram of some of the processes executed by the microprocessor

621 in the viewer 266. The viewer 266 may receive inputs from the subscriber through touch panel controls 740. In step S 800, the subscriber's information requests are then processed by the microprocessor 621.
In step S804, if the subscriber requests a menu of available electronic books, the microprocessor 621 will select an electronic book menu. In step S808, the microprocessor 621 will open the electronic files that list the electronic books which are available (related to the category of topic ofthe menu) and display the menu with the names ofthe available electronic books.
If the subscriber selects a particular book to read, then in step S812, the microprocessor 621 will process the selection and determine the electronic file that contains the specific electronic book. In step S816, the microprocessor 621 will open the file for that specific electronic book and normally access the first page. (If a pointer has already been set in that books electronic file, the process may default to that page.) In step S820, the microprocessor 621 will then determine which page needs to be displayed. That is, the microprocessor 621 will determine whether a next page, previous page or a bookmarked page needs to be displayed. If the pointer for the electronic file is not in the correct location then in step S828, the microprocessor 621 will move the pointer and obtain the previous page of data from the stored file. Otherwise, in step S824, the microprocessor 621 will normally obtain the next page of text from the stored electronic file. In step S832, the microprocessor 621 will decrypt and decompress the text data and send the data to the video display. The video display will generally have a video display memory associated with it. In step S832, the microprocessor 621 will send the data directly to that video display memory. The circuitry for the display then completes the process of displaying the page of text.
If the subscriber, through the controls 740, requests (from step S 800) that the power be turned off, then in step S836, the microprocessor 621 initiates power off. In step S840, the microprocessor 621 saves the pointer in memory to the page number in the book that the viewer 266 is currently reading. In step S844, the microprocessor 621 closes all the electronic files and signals the power circuitry to shut down the power to the various circuits in the viewer 266. With these examples of basic processes the viewer 266 is able to display book selections and display text from those electronic books,
d. Menu System
Referring generally to Figure 13 , the electronic book system 200 may have a menu system 851 for selecting features and books from the electronic book system 200. The operating software and memory required for the menu system 851 may be located at the viewer 266 (e.g. , the instruction memory 732 and/or book memory 728). However, it can also be located at the library 262 (e.g., the instruction memory 632) or the library 262 and the viewer 266 can share the software and memory needed to operate the menu system 851. Since the menus are usually displayed on the viewer, and since die viewer 266 may be capable of operating in the absence of the library 262, the basic software and memory to create the menus is more conveniently located at the viewer 266.
The menu system 851 allows sequencing between menus and provides menu graphics for graphical displays such as on the LCD display 602 ofthe viewer 266. In an electronic book system that uses a set top converter these menus may also be displayed on a television screen. In an electronic book system that uses a computer, these menus may also be displayed on the computer monitor. In an embodiment, the menus provide just basic text information from which the subscriber makes choices . In other embodiments, the menus provide visual displays with graphics and icons to assist the subscriber and allow for subscriber interaction and real-time ordering of electronic books or other content available to the subscriber.
Figure 13 depicts the menu system 851 with sequencing. The primary menus in the menu system 851 are an introductory menu 850, a main menu 854 and various submenus 858. In the embodiment shown, there are three levels of submenus 858. In certain instances one or two submenus 858 is sufficient to easily direct the subscriber to the selection or information requested. However, there are features in which three or more submenus 858 make the user interface more friendly for the subscriber. Each level of submenus 858 may consist of multiple possible menus for display. The particular menu displayed depends on the selection by the subscriber on the previous shown menu. An example of this tree sequence of one to many menus are the help submenus 887, 888. Depending upon the specific help requested, a different level two help menu is displayed to the subscriber.
An example of an introductory menu 850 is shown on Figure 14a. Generally the introductory menu 850 introduces the viewer 266 to the system and provides initial guidance, announcements and instruction. The introductory menu 850 is followed by a main menu 854, an example of which is shown in Figure 14b. The main menu provides the viewer 266 with the basic selection or features available in the system. Figure 14b is an example of a main menu 854 offering many additional features and submenus 858 to the subscriber. For example, Figure 14b shows that the viewer 266 is able to choose by a point and click method, many options including: (1) free previews, (2) books you can order, (3) books in your library, (4) your current book, (5) help, (6) on-line services and (6) other system features . Following a selection on the main menu 854, a corresponding submenu 858 is shown.
Figure 13 shows fourteen available primary or first level submenus. They are ( 1) account set up 862, (2) free previews 866, (3) book suggestion entries 855, (4) books in your library 872, (5) books you can order 878, (6) your current book 884, (7) help 887, (8) available features 890, (9) messages 893, (10) account information 896, (11) outgoing message submenu 898, (12) show links submenu 970, (13) create links submenu 980, (14) show interactive files submenu 990, and (15) in-home network 1051. Figure 14c is an example of a first level submenu for books in your library 872. This "Book In Your Library" example submenu 872 shows six available books by title and author and provides the subscriber with the ability to check a different shelf of books 874 or return to the main menu

854. Figures 14d and 14e show example submenus 858 for books that maybe ordered using the Books You Can Order submenu 878.
Figure 14f is an example of a confirmation menu which confirms a subscribers order.

In this particular example, the subscriber is required to enter a PIN number to complete the subscriber's order. Any alpha-numeric or similar password may be used to ensure the subscriber is an authorized subscriber. In one embodiment, the subscriber confirms an order with a PIN or password and then receives a final confirmation screen. The final confirmation screen is primarily text and may state:
Your book order is now being processed using CABLE.
Your book will be delivered overnight and your VISA account will be charged $2.95.

Your book will be available for reading at 6:00AM EST tomorrow. Make sure that:

1. your Library Unit and Cable Connection Unit are plugged in with aerials up tonight; and
2. you tune your cable converter to THE BOOK Channel. The TV set does not have to remain on.

or similar language.
Examples ofthe Account Set Up Menu 862 and further submenus 858 related to account set up (which provide instructions and account input 864) are shown in Figures 14g and Figure 14h. These submenus 858 allow initialization of an account at the operations center 250 and orders to be charged to credit cards. The submenus 858 include the ability to enter data related to your desired PIN number or password, credit cards, phone numbers, etc. In one embodiment, the account set up be performed using the telephone system. A confirmation menu verifies that the account has been properly set up with the desired PIN or password and credit card. However, additional set-up methods are presented in U.S. Application Serial No. 09/289,957, entitled ELECTRONIC BOOK ALTERNATIVE DELIVERY SYSTEMS, filed April 13, 1999, andU.S. Application SerialNo.09/289,956, entitledELECTRONIC BOOK ALTERNATIVE DELIVERY METHODS, filed April 13, 1999.
Free previews for books 866 are also provided by submenus (868, 870). Examples of the free preview menus are shown in Figure 14iandFigure 14j. Figure 14ishows amenu depicting various books for which previews are available for viewing. Following a book selection, a screen submenu showing an excerpt ofthe selected book cover's description is provided along with an excerpt from a critic's review of the selected book. In one embodiment, this preview screen for a particular book also allows the subscriber to select a submenu which provides information about the author. The book preview submenu may also include a still video picture or graphics portraying a book cover or a scene from the book. An example of such a still video picture or graphics is shown in figure 14j which depicts apreview screen 870 about the author. The author's preview screen 870 shows a picture ofthe author, provides a short biography, and may allow the subscriber to order the author's books. The price for ordering the authors various books may also be shown on the menu.
In addition to free previews, in other embodiments, the electronic book system 200 provides the subscriber with abook suggestion feature (see 855). This is accomplished using the menu system 851 and the processor with associated memory located at the viewer 266, library 262 or at the distribution point ( 1020 or 250) . When necessary, information for the book suggestion feature is sent in the text data ofthe signal to the home system 258. With this feature, books or authors are suggested to a subscriber based upon historical data ofthe subscriber's previous orders, demographics or mood ofthe subscriber, other indicators, and/or by text word searches.
In one book suggestion embodiment, text word searches of preview information (such as book cover descriptions, critics reviews and biographies about the author) and/or text of books or other titles are performed by the library 262 using databases stored in the library memory 600. Personalized book or author suggestions are made to the subscriber by obtaining information from the subscriber indicative of general subscriber interests. Subscriber entries may be solicited from the subscriber using the book suggestion entry submenu 855. The system uses these subscriber entries either directly or indirectly to search for books or authors to suggest to the subscriber.
Generally, the electronic book suggestion methods may be categorized into two categories, either responsive methods (which respond to a series of subscriber menu entries), or intelligent methods (which analyze data to suggest abook). Using a responsive or intelligent method, the system 200 determines a list of suggested titles or authors and creates a second or third level submenu 856, 857 to suggest the titles for subscriber selection.
Responsive methods of suggesting titles include, for example, the use of mood questions, searching for authors, and keyword searching. Using the instruction memory 732 and menu generation hardware (e.g., 607) ofthe viewer 266, a series of mood questions can be presented on menus to determine a subscribers interest at a particular time. For this methodology, the operations center's 250 processor 404 and instruction memory 416 assign each title mood indicators (and sub-indicators) from a group such as light, serious, violent, short, long, dull, exciting, complex, easy-read, young theme, old theme, adventure, romance, drama, fiction, science-fiction, etc. These indicators are sent to the home system 258 with the text data and are stored in library memory 600. Based upon the subscriber entries, the processor associates a set of indicators with the subscriber's request and a set of books with matching indicators are located for suggesting to the subscriber.
Responsive searches for authors or keywords (a search word provided by the subscriber) are generally performed by the library processor 628 and instruction memory 632 on data stored in the library memory 600. For example, a keyword given by the subscriber may be searched for a match in library memory 600 storing the book reviews, critics and previews databases. Thus, if a subscriber provided an entry ofthe word submarine on an appropriate submenu, the title Hunt For Red October may be located by the microprocessor 628 using instruction from a routine in instruction memory 632.
Intelligent methods of suggesting programs include analyzing personal profile data on the subscriber and/or historical data about the subscriber such as past books ordered by the subscriber (or buy data) . This method may be performed at the distribution point or operations center 250 by the on-site processor 404 using subscriber databases stored in memory 428. The home system 258 receives the text data including program suggestion information from the distribution point or operations center 250 and generates the program suggestion submenus 855, 856, 857 using the same text data receiving 212 and viewer menu generation hardware (e.g., 607, 621) described above. Software routines and algorithms stored in instruction memories (e.g. 632, 732) are used to analyze historical data and book ordered data to determine a line of books to suggest to the subscriber.
The algorithms for this powerful feature of suggesting books or authors to subscribers is disclosed in great detail in U.S. Patent Number 5,798,785, entitled TERMINAL FOR SUGGESTING PROGRAMS OFFERED ON A TELEVISION PROGRAM DELIVERY SYSTEM, filed December 2, 1993, which is incorporated herein by reference.
Referring to Figure 13, submenus 858 are shown on the Books In Your Library submenu 872 and maybe broken into shelf numbers with submenus for each shelf 874, 876. The submenus 858 for theBooks You Can Order submenu 878 is similarly broken out into submenus by shelves 880, 882. These shelves may each be a category or genre of books.

Books maybe grouped into categories such as best sellers, novels, fiction, romance, etc. See Figure 14d.
Referring to Figure 13, the submenu 858 for Your Current Book 884 allows a subscriber to select a current book 884 and then determine what page to view. This selection is confirmed with a level two submenu 885. The help submenu 887 provides the subscriber with additional help screens 888. The submenus 858 for available features 890 may be broken out into a sequence of separate submenus for each feature 891, 892.
Referring to Figure 13 , messages can also be sent with the electronic book selection and delivery system 200. A level one message screen provides the subscriber with the ability to select from various messages the subscriber has pending 893. Each message is then shown on a separate submenu screen 894, 895. The message may contain text and graphics.

Referring to Figure 13 , account information is shown on a level one submenu 896 and then follow-on submenus 858 show the recent orders and your account balance 897. There is also a level one submenu for outgoing messages 898 which has a follow-on submenu used as an input screen 899.
In addition to the specific features and submenus described in Figure 13 and Figure 14a through Figure 14j, many other variations and features are possible. When a book is finally selected for viewing the title page 886 will appear on the screen followed by a page of text.
HI. The Billing And Collection System
In one embodiment, the billing and collection system 278 (shown in Figures 2 and 3) utilizes the latest technology in electronic transaction and telephone switching to track orders, authorize deliveries, bill consumers, and credit publishers automatically. The telephone calls initiated by the phone connector 270 are received by the billing and collection system 278 which responds immediately without human intervention by placing the order and charging the consumers credit card account. Data is compiled periodically and publishers 282 are credited for sales of their books or other text. The billing and collection system 278 may also connect with subscribers through two-way cable connections, cellular, or other communication means. These additional methods are detailed in U.S . Application Serial No.09/289,957, entitled ELECTRONICBOOKALTERNATTVEDELIVERYSYSTEMS,filedApril 13, 1999,and U.S. Application Serial No.09/289,956, entitledELECTRONIC BOOK ALTERNATIVE DELIVERY METHODS, filed April 13, 1999.
The billing and collection system 278 communicates with the operations center to track changes in available books and to provide statistical data to the operations center 250. IV. Public Library, School, and Bookstore System
The electronic book system can be modified to be used at public libraries, schools, bookstores, newsstands , or stand-alone kiosks . Figure 15 shows one possible arrangement of components for the distribution location. The main unit is the file server 900. The file server 900 is a large electronic memory unit that can store thousands of books, newspapers, or periodicals. Various electronic storage means maybe used in the file servers, such as hard disks, read-write CD ROMs and read-only CD ROMs.
The system comprises five components; the file server 900, a converter or video connector 904 or connector capable of interfacing to one ofthe alternative delivery systems presented in U.S. Application Serial No. 09/289,957, entitled ELECTRONIC BOOK ALTERNATIVE DELIVERY SYSTEMS, filed April 13, 1999, andU.S. Application Serial No.09/289,956, entitledELECTRONICBOOKALTERNATIVEDELIVERYMETHODS, filedApril 13, 1999, acontroller908,aviewer912, andacatalogprinter916. Thesoftware for controlling the system is primarily located in the controller 908. The converter or video connector 904 is similar to those described above. In this configuration the controller unit 908 monitors the data being transferred to the file server 900 by the converter 904. The controller 908 may be provided with a viewing screen and several control buttons. When it is necessary to have a larger screen to perform more sophisticated controlling ofthe system a viewer 266 may be connected to the controller 908 and the viewer screen and controls 740 may be used.

For security reasons, the controller 908 is only able to download books to public viewers 912 which are authorized to receive books from the particular file server 900. Also for security reasons it is not desirable that the public viewer 912 have access to more than one file server 900. In this way, security can be maintained over the text data for books. The public viewer 912 may be limited to receiving one or two books at a time from the controller 908. When the user ofthe public viewer 912 needs a new or additional book, the user returns the viewer 912 to the school or public library where the user receives a new book from the controller 908.
In order to track the books that are available on the file server 900, the titles of the available books may be printed on a catalog printer 916. The catalog printer 916 is connected to the library controller 908 and the titles ofthe books are downloaded to the catalog printer 916. For security reasons, the coded text for any of the electronic books may not be authorized for printing using the controller 908 and catalog printer 916. In order to maintain security over the data, none of the electronic book data may be allowed to be downloaded to the printer 916. Once a complete printout of available book titles, magazines, or other textual material is complete, a hard copy ofthe catalog 920 can be maintained at the file server 900.

The system shown may also be used at bookstores. The bookstores can rent the public viewer 912 to customers with the text for one or two books loaded onto the public viewer 912. The public viewer 912 may be provided with an automatic timeout sequence. The timeout sequence would erase the textual data for the books after a certain period of time, for example, two weeks. It is expected that after aperiod of time (perhaps within two weeks) the renter would return the public viewer 912 to the bookstore and receive additional books for viewing. Using this arrangement, it is also possible for the bookstore to (permanently) sell a viewer 912 to a regular customer. The customer then returns to the bookstore from time to time to receive textual data for a book which the customer can then store permanently on the customer's own viewer 912. Various other configurations are possible for bookstores, schools and public libraries using the file server 900 and public viewer 912 described.

V. Use Of A Set Top Converter
Existing set top converter boxes such as those made by Scientific Atlanta or General

Instruments are presently unequipped to handle the book selection system ofthe present invention. Although set top converters may be built which include the library functions, hardware modifications are necessary in order to use the book selection system with existing set top converter technology.
Figures 16a and 16b are examples of hardware modifications or upgrades. A port is used to attach hardware upgrades described below to a set top terminal. Two upgrades are possible to set top converters 601 to assist in receiving and selecting electronic books, a menu generation card upgrade (Figure 16a) and an information download unit (Figure 16b) . Each of these upgrades may be connected to the set top terminal unit through an upgrade port. A four wire cable, ribbon cable, FireWire (IEEE 1394B) interface connector, USB connector, or the like may be used to connect the upgrade to the set top converter 601.
A card addition 950 to a set top converter 601 is depicted in Figure 16a. The card 950 shown provides the additional functionality needed to utilize the book selection system with existing set top converter 601 technology. The card 950 may be configured to slip inside the frame of a set top terminal and become part of the set top terminal, an advanced set top terminal. The primary functions the card 950 adds to the set top converter 601 are the interpreting of data signals, generating of menus, sequencing of menus, and, ultimately, the ability ofthe subscriber to select a book using either the television or a viewer 266. The card 950 also provides a method for a remote location, such as the cable headend, to receive information on books ordered. The books ordered information and control commands may be passed from the cable headend to the card 950 using telephone lines or alternative ordering methods as presented in U.S. Application Serial No.09/289,957, entitled ELECTRONIC BOOK ALTERNATlVEDELIVERYSYSTEMS,fiIed April 13, 1999, andU.S. Application Serial No. 09/289,956, entitled ELECTRONIC BOOK ALTERNATIVE DELIVERY METHODS, filed April 13, 1999.

The primary components ofthe card 950 are a PC chip CPU 952, a VGA graphic controller 954, a video combiner 956, logic circuitry 958, NTSC encoder 960, areceiver 962, demodulator (not shown), and a connector 611', which consists of a dialer. The card 950 operates by receiving the data text signal from the cable headend through the coaxial cable. The logic circuitry 958 of the card 950 receives data 964, infrared commands 966, and synchronization signals (not shown) from the set top converter 601. Menu selections made by the viewer 266 on the remote control are received by the set top converter's 601 IR equipment and passed through to the card 950. The card 950 interprets the IR signal and determines the book (or menu) the subscriber has selected. The card 950 modifies the IR command to send the information to the set top converter 601. The modified IR command contains the channel information needed by the set top converter 601. Using the phone line 968 and dialer 611', the card 950 is able to transmit electronic books ordered information to the cable headend. It is also possible to receive the electronic books over the telephone lines and other telecommunications networks, including wireless networks, and by-pass the video distribution system. Additionally, the card 950 can have ahome network connector 5030 that supports communication with the viewer or other electronic book system components over a home network.
These commands are passed through the interface linking the set top terminal's microprocessor with the microprocessor ofthe hardware upgrades. In this way, subscriber inputs, entered through the set top terminal keypad or remote control, can be transferred to any ofthe hardware upgrades for processing and responses generated therein can then be sent back to the set top terminal for display. In one embodiment the IR commands 966 are transferred from set top terminal 601 to hardware upgrade.
Hardware upgrades may include a microprocessor, interactive software, processing circuitry, bubble memory, and a long-term memory device, hi addition to these basic components, the hardware upgrade may make use of an additional telephone modem or CD-ROM device.

An information download hardware upgrade 1001 shown in Figure 16b allows the subscriber to download large volumes of information from the operations center 250 or cable headend using a set top terminal 601. The hardware upgrade 1001 will enable subscribers to download data, such as electronic books and electronic magazines, to local storage. Primarily, the hardware upgrade 1001 is an additional local storage unit 1003 (e.g., hard disk, floppy, optical disk or magnetic cartridge and may include a microprocessor 1005, instruction memory 1007, and a random access memory 1009, as shown in Figure 16b). A small portable viewer may also provided with the upgrade 1001 to enable downloaded text to be read without the use of a television.
The downloadable information may be text or graphics supplied by the operations center 250 or cable headend. With the upgrade 1001 , electronic books maybe downloaded and read anywhere with the viewer 266. Using the upgrade 1001 , electronic books may be downloaded and stored in compressed form for later decompression. The electronic books may be decompressed only at the time of viewing. Important text that the public desires immediate access may made available through this system. Text such as the President's speech, a new law, or a recent abortion decision rendered by the Supreme Court may be made immediately available.
In one embodiment, electronic book ordering information is stored at each set top terminal 601 until it is polled by the cable headend using a polling request message format. An example of a polling request message format consists of six fields, namely: ( 1 ) a leading flag at the beginning ofthe message, (2) an address field, (3) a subscriber region designation, (4) a set top terminal identifier that includes a polling command/response (or P/F) bit, (5) an information field, and (6) a trailing flag at the end of the message. A similar response frame format for information communicated by the set top terminal to the cable headend in response to the polling request may be used.
Figure 17 shows components of a set top terminal 601'. The components include a data receiver 617' and a data transmitter 1011. The data transmitter provides upstream data communications capability between the set top terminal 601 ' and the cable headend. Upstream data transmissions are accomplished using the polling system described and, using a data transmitter 1011. Both receiver 617' and transmitter 1011 maybe built into the set top terminal 601' itself or added through an upgrade module. Regardless of the specific hardware configuration, the set top terminal's data transmission capabilities may be accomplished using the hardware shown in Figure 17.
Figure 17 shows RF signals, depicted as being received by a data receiver 617' and tuner 613 working in unison. Both of these devices are interfaced with the microprocessor 1013, which receives inputs 1015, from the subscriber, either through a set top terminal's keypad, a remote control unit or viewer 266. Generally, all cable signals intended for reception on the subscriber's TV are accessed by the tuner 613 and subsequently processed by the processing circuitry 1017. This processing circuitry 1017 typically includes additional components (not shown) for descrambling, demodulation, volume control and remodulation on a Channel 3 or 4 TN carrier.
Data targeted to individual set top terminals is received by the data receiver 617' according to each set top terminal's specific address or ID. In this way, each addressable set top terminal 601' only receives its own data. The data receiver 617' may receive set top terminal 601 ' specific data in the information field ofthe signal frame described or on a separate data carrier located at a convenient frequency in the incoming spectrum.
The received data includes information regarding electronic books and menus available for selection. The subscriber may enter a series of commands 1015 using a keypad or remote control in order to choose an electronic book or menu. Upon receipt of such commands, the set top terminal's microprocessor 1013 instructs the tuner to tune to the proper frequency of the channel carrying data and subsequently instructs the processing circuitry 1017 to begin descrambling of this data.
Upon selection of an electronic book, the microprocessor 1013 stores any selection information in local memory (not shown) for later data transmission back to the cable headend.

The set top terminal's microprocessor 1013 coordinates all C ATN signal reception and also interacts with various upstream data transmission components. Typically, the data transmitter 1011 operates in the return frequency band between 5 and 30 MHZ. In an alternative embodiment, the frequency band of 10 to 15 MHZ may be used. Regardless, however, of the frequency band used, the data transmitter 1011 sends information to the cable headend in the information field ofthe response frame described. Those skilled in the art will recognize that anumber of variations and combinations ofthe above-described set top terminal hardware components may be used to accomplish upstream data transmissions.
VI. Books-On-Demand System
The electronic book system 200 described may also be configured in a book-on-demand style. Figure 18a shows one example of a configuration for a book-on-demand system. A book on demand system requires more powerful two-way communications between the consumer's home, bookstore, school or public library and either the operations center 250 or a distribution site 1020 such as the cable headend. In one embodiment, this type of two-way communication can be provided by the hardware shown in Figure 17 and described above. Additional methods related to alternative communication paths are presented in U.S. Application Serial No.09/289,957, entitled ELECTRONIC BOOK ALTERNATIVE DELIVERY SYSTEMS, filed April 13, 1999, and U.S. Application Serial No.09/289,956, entitled ELECTRONIC BOOK ALTERNATIVE DELIVERY METHODS, filed April 13, 1999.
Referring to Figure 18a, in a book-on-demand system, the subscriber selects the book to be download from an available menu of books (see for example Figures 14d and 14e). The data for menus of available books is usually sent to the subscriber location by the distribution site 1020. After the subscriber's menu selection, information about the subscriber selection (or request) is then communicated to either a distribution point 1020 (such as a cable headend) or the operations center 250. Upon receipt of this request, the needed textual and graphical information for the book is spooled and sent to the subscriber. In this manner, electronic books are only sent when requested by the subscriber and are sent immediately upon demand for the electronic book (or text).
In order to support such a demand system, the text delivery and distribution must be conducted on a strong nodal architecture distribution system, such as, a video-on-demand cable or telephone television system, through use of individual telephone calls on the public telephone system or cellular phone system, through the use of the Intemet, or a number of other data network options.
The book-on-demand system allows for a greater selection of electronic books to the subscriber and limits the amount of communicated book data that is unnecessary or unneeded. It also provides the electronic book to the subscriber in a much timelier fashion.
In addition to a stronger distribution system, a book-on-demand system requires a distribution point 1020 to have more sophisticated equipment to access and spool out the textual information. This can be accomplished using file server technology 1024 for storing the books and distribution technology such as ATM 1028 or telephone-type switching (not shown) to distribute the textual information. The file server 1024 and distribution technology that can be used in configuring such a book-on-demand system is described in U.S. Patent No. 5,262,875 and U.S. Patent 5,218,695, cited above.
Figure 18a shows an embodiment for a book-on-demand system that utilizes file server technology. In addition to books, the embodiment of Figure 18a will support distribution of nearly any digital data. Books or textual files are received from publishers 282 and other sources through local feeds 1032, ATM 1028, or by satellite dish 1036, for example. The data is then stored in memory 1040 at the file server 1024. In one embodiment, the distribution point 1020 is a cable headend that receives requests from subscribers and delivers text to subscribers over a two-way communication system (such as a video-on-demand system (NOD) 1044).
The library 262 can be connected to either a basic premium-type service cable system 1048, a near video-on-demand type cable system (or pay-per-view (PPV) 1052) or a video-on-demand cable system 1044. In connecting with either of these three systems the library 262 may access the cable directly or may access the system through a set top terminal 601', 601 ", or 601 '".
Using the two-way video-on-demand system 1044, a subscriber is able to request a specific book title and receive that text immediately following its request. To accomplish this, the distribution point 1020 transmits a list of available books through the cable delivery system to the library 262. The library 262 displays the list of available books on a menu or similar format. As described earlier, the library 262 may use menus which list categories of available books to form its request from the distribution point 1020. After selecting a book the library 262 then sends a request signal on the two-way communication system 1044 back to the distribution point 1020. This request signal can be handled in two ways. The library 262 either initiates the request or the distribution point 1020 polls the various libraries on to the two-way system 1044. Upon receiving the request for the book title, the text associated with that book title is transmitted to the library 262 using the two-way cable system 1044.
Figure 18b is an expanded view of an operations center 250 that supports a regional or national book-on-demand system. In fact, the operations center 250 shown supports distribution of nearly any digital data. The operations center 250 supports multiple feeds to receive digital information by tape 1060, 1060', ATM 1028, or satellite 1036. The information is processed through an input MUX 1064 and a small file server 1068 before reaching the master file server 1072. Digital data such as books received from publishers 282 is then stored on the master file server 1072. The digital data may be stored compressed in a standard format such as MPEG2.
A system controller 1076 provides control over the regional or national book-on-demand system. Books may be packaged into groups to provide feeds to various cable headends. In addition, scheduling and marketing research are conducted at the operations center 250. In order to handle the scheduling and market research, book buy data is received at the operations center 250 through a multiplexer 1082. Book buy information can be provided by the operation center 250 to the billing and collection system 278.
The operations center 250 is also equipped to insert messages or advertisements into the file server. These messages or advertisements will eventually be received by the subscribers.
The master file server 1072 uses an output multiplexer 1080 and ATM 1028 as well as satellite connections to distribute digital data. In one embodiment, cable headends receive text data on books from the master file server 1080 through the output multiplexer 1028 and an ATM system 1028. After receiving the digital book data, the cable headends store the books in a local file server 1024. Figure 18a's distribution point 1020 is an example of a cable headend which may receive data from the operations center 250 of Figure 18b through an ATM hookup 1088 or satellite hookup.
VII. Electronic Book Home Networking Systems
Home networking of electronic book devices will allow for the sharing of content between electronic book home system components, between electronic book home system components and other digital appliances in the home, and between electronic book home system components and shared communication systems. Home networks may include the use of existing home wiring, telephony, cable TV, and power distribution system. Home networks may also encompass wired communication networks installed exclusively for communications between digital devices. Home networks may also take the form of wireless networks, requiring no new wiring (an in-home wireless local loop).
a. Connected Devices
Figure 19 depicts the use of an in home network 5000 to support the connection ofthe home system library 262 to an output device such as a dedicated electronic book viewer 266, the PC 261 , functioning in whole or in part as an electronic book viewer, and the TV 259, functioning in whole or in part as an electronic book viewer. The output device, could also be a personal data device 261 ' such as a PalmPilot®, for example, a printer 262' and a wireless telephone 261 ". Figure 20 depicts the use of the in-home network 5000 to support the connection of an input device, such as the PC 261 , functioning in whole or in part as a home system library 262, to the viewer 266. Figure 20 also shows a connection ofthe in-home network 5000 to the TV 259, and the set top box 601. Figure 21 shows the use of the in-home network 5000 to support the connection of the viewer 266 to the printer 262' . Figure 22 shows the use ofthe in-home network 5000 to support the connection of viewer A 266' to viewer B 266". Figure 23 shows the use of the in-home network 5000 to support the connection of the home system 258 to a shared communication device 5010. The shared communication device 5010 allows for multiple home systems or other digital devices in the home (not shown) to use a shared distribution network 130 or any of the delivery systems described in U.S. Application Serial No. 09/289,957, entitled ELECTRONIC BOOK ALTERNATIVE DELIVERY SYSTEMS, filed April 13, 1999.
b. Home System Network Connectivity
Each of electronic book system components presented above that communicate over the in-home network 5000 may contain a home network connector 5030 to enable such communication. The home network connector 5030 may include a multiplexing/demultiplexing function to couple data to/from a digital device and other components coupled to the in-home network 5000. Figure 6b depicts the library 262 and viewer 266, each with the home network connector 5030. The home network connector 5030 supports the receive and transmit functionality required to communicate over the in-home network 5000 for each home networking embodiment described below. The home network connector 5030 may be a wired or a wireless connector.
c. Digital Devices
Figure 24 shows the in-home network 5000 that supports the connection of in-home digital devices 5020 to the viewer 266. The in-home digital devices 5020 can be any devices that can transmit data to the electronic book viewer 266. The digital devices 5020 may include appliances and other devices in or around the home, such as computers, refrigerators, automobiles, security systems, hghting control systems, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) control systems, video or audio surveillance monitors, garage door openers, televisions, and radios, for example. The digital devices 5020 may have stored within them, user manuals, troubleshooting information, self contained documentation, video clips presenting information on appliance use or for promoting related products or services, audio clips for presenting information on appliance use or for promoting related products or services or are the source of other related textual, graphical, audio, or video content. The digital devices 5020 may be capable of storing status information for real-time or delayed transmission through the in-home network 5000 to the viewer 266 or the viewer 266'.
As shown in Figure 25, each ofthe digital devices 5020 may contain a communication module 5050. The communication module 5050 may include electronic book content files stored in a memory device 5051. Upon query, either using a display device 5052 resident in the communication module 5050, or externally using the viewer 266, a processor 5053 may present a menu of available electronic book compatible content that is stored in a memory device 5051. Selected content may be provided to the viewer 266 using the home network connector 5030. The home network connector 5030 handles the communication to and from the digital devices 5020. Alternatively, the communication module 5050 supports direct connectivity to a viewer 266' without the use ofthe in-home network 5000. The processor 5053 has access to a communication bus 5054 that is provided current health and status information about a digital device 5020 and makes this information available for display in the display device 5052 or on the viewer 266. Additionally, the communication bus 5054 may be provided real-time or stored content accessible by the digital device 5020, which the processor 5053 makes available for viewing on the viewer 266 or the viewer 266'.
d. Home Network Types
In-home network 5000 can be either wired or wireless . Wired networks may include the use of existing multi-use media, such as telephony wiring, powerline distribution wiring, or cable TV wiring. Frequency division multiplex techniques may be used to share the physical wired media with the other applications such as Internet sharing applications, peripheral sharing applications (printers, scanners, facsimile machines), file and memory storage sharing applications, home automation and remote control applications, voice applications, and entertainment applications like video and audio distribution. Alternatively, spread spectrum techniques can be used to simultaneously share the physical media. Existing commercially available in-home networking formats and protocols can be used, including Home Phoneline Networking Alliance (HomePNA) standard for telephone lines, the PeracomB Home Connex format for shared use of coaxial cable, and the Echelon LonWorks standard for shared use over powerlines.
Wired networks may mclude the use of dedicated data networks such as an in home local area network (LAN) . Frequency and time division multiplexing techniques and spread spectrum techniques can be used to share the physical wired media. Commercially available in-home networking formats and protocols, such as Avio's Media Wire for twisted pair wiring, Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) Home Networking protocol used in conjunction with IEEE 1394 protocol for twisted pair and fiber media, TCP/IP, Ethernet, and token ring protocols, can also be used. Finally, the CXBus standard for transmission and control may be used. The CXBus standard is described in O'Brien, Jr., IEEE Transactions on Consumer Electronics, Vol. 37, Number 3, August 1991, which is incorporated by reference.
The configuration of a wired in-home network may be modeled as a hub and star network 5000', as shown in Figure 26, where communicating device 5060, communicating device 5060', communicating device 5060", and communicating device 5060'" each communicate directly with a home network control hub 5061. In this configuration, each communicating device 5060 contains the home network connector 5030 (not shown), allowing the communicating device 5060 to communicate with the home network control hub 5061. The wired in home network also may be modeled as a hubless network 5000", as shown in Figure 27, where communicating device 5060, communicating device 5060', commumcating device 5060", and communicating device 5060'" each communicate directly with one another over the in-home network 5000". In this configuration, each communicating device 5060 contains the home network connector 5030 (not shown), allowing the communicating device 5060 to communicate with other communicating devices. A variation of a hub-less configuration is a branch and node network 5000'" shown in Figure 28. This is the typical wiring configuration of an in-home powerline network. In Figure 28, communicating device 5060 communicates with communicating device 5060' over this branch and node network. Another hubless wired network is shown in Figure 29. The hubless wired network 5000'" is the typical wiring configuration of an in-home cable and wired telephony network.
Whereas wired networks may already be conveniently installed in the home often, such existing wired networks may not allow for the full viewer mobility desired by the subscriber in the home. Therefore, wireless networks and wireless local area networks (WLANs) are ideal for mobility in and around the home. Wireless techniques can also be used to bridge an electronic book home system 258 to a fixed or wired network. Wireless home networks can mclude both point to point and point to multiple point configurations . To enable more efficient use of wireless resources, both direct sequence spread spectrum and frequency hopping spread spectrum techniques can be used to communicate between home system devices. Existing commercially available wireless networking formats and protocols can be used, including the Ericsson sponsored BlueTooth standard for radio frequency communications, the Shared Wired Access Protocol (SWAP) controlled by the HomeRF Working Group, and the Sharewave protocol by Sharewave Digital Wireless. Infrared signaling protocols, such as IrDA may also be used for intra device communication in the form of a in-home network.
As discussed above, the electronic book viewer 266, or another nondedicated viewing device such as the TV 259, the PC 261 , the personal data device 261 ' and the printer 262' (see Figures 19 and 24) may be used to operably connect digital devices in order to display data associated with those digital devices. The data available from the digital devices includes status data and information related to the maintenance, repair and operation of the digital devices. The in-home network 5000 may also be used to transmit information to connected digital devices.
As an example, the in-home network 5000 may be used to communicate data regarding garage door openers. Figure 30a shows a home 5001 having the in-home network 5000 and three garage doors 5002, 5003 and 5004 with corresponding garage door openers 5002', 5003' and 5004', respectively. The garage door openers 5002', 5003' and 5004* each include a control circuit having a memory chip programmed to provide digital data on demand and to receive commands such as OPEN and SHUT. The memory chip may contain data format displays, menus, and a complete technical manual in electronic book format. The data format displays, menu, and technical manual may be displayed on the viewer 266, or on another nondedicated electronic book viewing device such as the TV 259, the PC 261 , the personal data device 261 ', and the printer 262' . The viewer 266 may be a standalone device, or may be coupled to the library 262 and/or the home system 258.
Menu options may be presented on the viewer 266 in a hierarchical format that allows the user to select a desired option from the devices connected menu 5199. Figure 30b shows a menu 5101 that allows the user to select one of N devices coupled to the in-home network 5000. As shown in Figure 30b, the menu 5101 includes a garage door opener submenu 5103, a refrigerator item 5105, a TV item 5109, an alarm system 5111, and an Nth digital device item, 5113. The garage door opener submenu 5103 has further submenus, including a door status submenu 5121, which provides information regarding all three garage door openers 5002', 5003" and 5004' shown in Figure 30a.
The garage door opener submenu 5103 may include further submenus 5122-5124, for each ofthe garage door openers 5002', 5003', and 5004' shown in Figure 30a. Each ofthe further submenus 5122-5124 may contain even further submenus, including a status submenu 5126 or, routine maintenance submenu 5127, and a technical manual submenu 5128. The technical manual submenu 5128 may include further submenus such as a set up/set code submenu 5129 and a trouble shooting submenu 5129'.
The menu 5101 may be displayed on the electronic book viewer 266 or any other suitable terminal including the TV 259, the PC 261 , and the personal data device 261 ' shown in Figure 30a. The user may select a desired function by scrolling through the structures ofthe menu 5101 and operating a select button or similar signaling device to indicate a desired device. The functionality associated with the selected device from the menu 5101 will then be available to the user. For example, if the user is located remotely from the home and wants to determine if the garage doors are shut, the user, with the viewer 266, for example, selects the door status submenu 5121. The viewer 266 may then send a query directly to the garage door openers 5002', 5003 ' and 5004' and receive a response indicating open or shut. Alternatively, the door status may be provided to the home system 258. In this alternative, the viewer 266 would connect to the home system 258 and query the home system 258 to determine the status ofthe garage doors. The status of the garage doors could then be stored in memory in the home system 258. The user may use the viewer 266 to signal a command to shut any open garage doors. The command may be sent from the viewer 266 directly to the door opener, or alternatively to the home system 258 and then to the door opener. Once the desired garage door is shut, the memory in the home system 258 is updated.
Figure 30c shows an example of an interactive information display 5130 that may be used to provide information regarding the garage doors 5002, 5003 and 5004. The information display 5130 may be displayed on the viewer 266. Alternatively, the information display 5130 may be displayed on any one ofthe TV 259, PC 261 , personal data device 261 ', and printer 262'. The information display 5130 may be displayed at the viewer 266, for example, when the viewer 266 is in the home, or is located remotely from the home. The information display 5130 includes a basic information section 5131 that includes product and manufacturer information. In the specific example shown in Figure 30c, the information is provided for the garage door openers 5002', 5003", and 5004'". The information for each garage door opener 5002', 5003", and 5004'" may be provided simultaneously, or upon selecting a specific garage door opener. The information section 5131 may include an interactive call button 5132 that, when selected, automatically dials a toll free telephone number for the garage door manufacturer. The information section 5131 may also include a link 5133 to a web site of the garage door opener manufacturer.
The information display may include status information 5134 for each of the garage doors 5002, 5003 and 5004. The status could include a visual representation ofthe garage door position 5134' and/or open and shut indicators 5134". The open and shut indicators 5134" may also function to operate the garage door openers 5002', 5003", and 5004'" remotely. That is, by selecting an open or shut "button", a user can send a signal from the viewing device, such as the viewer 266 to the in-home system 5000 to direct opening or closing of one or more of the garage doors 5002, 5003 and 5004.
The information display 5130 may include an interactive feature to view and change a code for operating each ofthe garage door openers 5002', 5003", and 5004'". This feature may be provided by way of a window 5135 that displays a current operating code, and that allows the user to enter a new code.
Other information available at the information display 5130 includes a window 5136 displaying the next maintenance requirement for each ofthe garage door openers 5002', 5003", and 5004'". The window may display a specific maintenance action and its due date. By selecting a specific window 5136, the user may be linked to a more complete explanation of the required maintenance.
The information display 5130 may include links to an electronic book related to the garage door openers 5002', 5003", and 5004'". These Unks may include a link 5137 and a link 5138 that connect the viewer 266 or other display device to an electronic book technical manual and a routine maintenance electronic book, respectively.

In a similar manner, the in-home network 5000 may be used to operate other appliances or equipment in the home 5001 , monitor their performance, and check on their status.
The in-home network 5000 may incorporate artificial intelligence features. These artificial intelligence techniques may be based on algorithms and software routine stored in the home system 258 or the PC 261. As an example ofthe use of artificial intelligence techniques, the in-home network 5000 may determine that a certain user routinely watches a specific television program (day of week, time and channel) by monitoring signals present on the TV 259. If the home system 258, for example, detects that the TV 259 is tuned to the designated channel at the time and date expected for the specific television program, the home system 258 may "conclude" that the certain user is watching television and may update an entry in the memory 600 of the home system 258 to indicate the certain user is present in the home. The home system 258 may then communicate this data to a user located away from the home, by way of the viewer 266, for example.
S ome home devices may include technical information, such as a parts list, trouble shooting chart, or a technical manual in electronic form. The technical information may reside in a memory chip in the device. Alternatively, the technical information may be provided on a memory device, such as a floppy disk or CD-ROM, for example. When present in a memory chip, the technical information maybe accessed by the user by way of a suitable terminal, such as the viewer 266, for example. The technical information maybe accessed by the user in the home using the viewer 266. Alternatively, the user may access the technical information, using the viewer 266, from a remote location, such as an appliance repair center. Thus, the viewer 266, in conjunction with the home network 5000, a shared communications device 5010 and distribution network 130 as shown in Figure 23, may be used to display technical and other information related to devices connected to the home network 5000, including electronic versions of technical manuals, operating manuals and installation manuals, for example. The electronic technical manuals, for example, may be updated as needed. For example, if a device is located in the home and is registered with the device manufacturer, the manufacturer may send an update, by a wireless network, for example, to the home network 5000 in the home 5001.
Using the in-home network 5000, a user may access an electronic technical manual or parts list and may, by simply pointing to and selecting a particular component displayed on the electronic book viewer 266, for example, place an electronic order for the device. For example, if a refrigerator interior light bulb is burned out, the user can access a technical information submenu for the refrigerator, scroll to a pictographic display or to a list of parts, select the desired light bulb, and then, with one click, initiate and transmit a purchase request to the refrigerator' s supply point or other appropriate node external to the in-home network 5000. This one click operation may include making the external connection between the home system 5000 and the external node. The one click operations may optionally require the user to enter user-specific information such as shipping address, credit card number and other information. Alternatively, this information may be provided in advance when the user connects the digital device (e.g., the refrigerator) to the in-home network 5000.
Other uses for the in-home network 5000 include placing or receiving a telephone call, with the viewer 266 as the telephone receiver/transmitter, for example, or by connecting the in-home system 5000 to the home's wired telephone system, a wireless telephone or a wireless local loop installed at the home. The viewer 266 can support a standard or customized telephone directly, and can support advanced call features, including call forwarding, caller ID, call waiting, and other call features . When equipped with a video camera, the viewer 266 and the in-home system 5000 and support video and multi-media conferencing,
e. Home Network Management
Figure 31 shows the steps associated with managing the access of electronic book content over an in-home network 5000, specifically, building a list of accessible content for use with the in-home network 5000. Figure 3 lbegins with request step 5200. In step 5201 , once an electronic book device, for example the viewer 266, is connected to the in-home network 5000, the viewer 266 sends a request over the in-home network 5000 using the viewer's primary supported communication mode to request available electronic content from compatible devices connected to the in-home network 5000. hi step 5202, the viewer 266 receives responses from devices residing on the in-home network 5000. In step 5203, as other devices on the network respond to the request, the viewer 266 stores the response information in the memory device 5051 , building a list of compatible devices and electronic book content accessible over the in-home network 5000. In step 5204, the viewer 266 sends a similar request over the in-home network 5000 using an alternative communication mode supported by the viewer 266. In step 5205, the viewer 266 repeats steps 5202 and 5203 for the alternative communication mode. In step 5206, the viewer 266 repeats steps 5204 and 5205 for all remaining supported communication modes. The process ends in step 5207.
Figure 32 depicts the steps a device, for example the library 262, performs in response to requests over the in-home network 5000. Figure 32 begins with step 5210. In step 5211 , the library 262 awaits for requests from other devices. Upon receipt of a request, the library packages a list of available content and any security requirements, step 5212. Thelibrary262 then returns the list of content to the requestor using the communication mode in which the request was received, step 5213. The process then ends, step 5214.
Figure 33 depicts the steps a device, such as the viewer 266, performs to request electronic book content over the in-home network 5000. Figure 33 begins with step 5220. In step 5221 , the viewer 266 displays content available over the in-home network 5000. In step 5222, using the communication mode and security level determined in an earlier process, the viewer 266 is used to request the desired content from the content source. Security over the home network can be provided using the methods presented in pending U.S . Application Serial No.09/400,296 entitled ELECTRONIC BOOK SECURITY AND COPYRIGHT PROTECTION SYSTEM, filed September 21, 1999, and hereby incorporated by reference. In step 5223, the viewer 266 receives and stores and/or displays the requested content on the viewer 266.

Figure 34 depicts the steps a device, such as the library 262, performs in response to a request for electronic book content over the in-home network 5000. Figure 34 begins with step 5230. In step 5231 , upon request for content using the appropriate communication mode and security level, the library 262 packages the requested content for delivery. In step 5232, the library 262 applies security to the requested content. In step 5233 , the library 263 delivers the requested content to the requesting device over the in-home network 5000. The process then ends, step 5234.
A variety of home networking systems and methods have been described for communication between electronic book devices in the home. One of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that the above description is that of preferred embodiments ofthe invention and that various changes and modifications may be made thereto without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the following claims.