06160989 is referenced by 257 patents and cites 153 patents.

A novel network controller for use with a digital cable headend capable of monitoring and controlling set top terminals in a television program delivery system is described. The invention relates to methods and apparatus for a network controller that manages a configuration of set top terminals in a program delivery system. The invention is particularly useful in program delivery systems with hundreds of channels of programming, a menu driven program selection system, and a program control information signal that carries data and identifies available program choices. Specifically, the invention modifies a program control information signal at the cable headend before the modified signal is transmitted to each set top terminal. This signal is used with polling methods to receive upstream data from the set top terminals. The invention initiates such upstream data retrieval, gathers all data received and compiles viewer demographics information and programs watched information. The invention processes this data and information to generate packages of advertisements, as well as account and billing reports, targeted towards each set top terminal. The invention uses upstream data reception hardware, databases and processing hardware and software to accomplish these functions.

Title
Network controller for cable television delivery systems
Application Number
991074
Publication Number
6160989
Application Date
October 23, 1996
Publication Date
December 12, 2000
Inventor
Alfred E Bonner
Bethesda
MD, US
John S Hendricks
Potomac
MD, US
Agent
Dorsey & Whitney
Assignee
Discovery Communications
MD, US
IPC
H04N 7/173
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