06477579 is referenced by 121 patents.
A system and method for accessing Internet-based and other information through a user television in a television distribution network enables a user to access and view information which is related to the programming content of a currently viewed television broadcast. This concept, known as channel hyperlinking, enables a television viewer to download Internet Web pages, and the like, which are related to a currently viewed advertisement, program, newscast, etc. To facilitate channel hyperlinking, each user of the system sends channel hyperlink requests through an upstream channel to a network headend by actuating a hyperlink button on a television remote control, for example. The network headend is interfaced to the Internet by means of an Internet Service Provider (ISP), and downloads HTML Web page data from the Internet to the requesting user. Each television broadcast to be linked to the Internet-based or other information is transmitted by the original broadcaster with an identification tag which identifies the Universal Resource Locator (URL) or address where the program content related information is located. The headend uses the ID tag with channel and time of request information to identify the location of the information to be downloaded to the user. Preferably, the information is pre-cached from the ISP to a headend cache in advance of the broadcast to facilitate quicker downloading of the information to the user.