A system and method for displaying still video images related to video content in an interactive broadcast television system. The system and method of the present invention may also be used for simulating an Internet home page on an interactive television system. The present invention thus supports hyperlinked web-like navigational capabilities in an interactive television system. According to the method of the present invention, the video delivery system provides or broadcasts one or more audio/video channels each comprising video content and also provides or broadcasts at least one still image channel comprising a plurality of still video images, preferably MPEG-2 compressed still images. The user or viewer can select options displayed on the television screen to view desired information. When the set top box receives user input selecting an option to view one of the linked still images, the set top box captures the requested image from the still image broadcast channel, stores the image in memory, and displays the captured still video image corresponding to the selection. The still image being displayed may have associated interactive program content for displaying further selections, wherein these selections may be for viewing other images or content, for ordering information, or purchasing products. The user can thus selectively navigate between the video content and stills in a web-like hyperlinked fashion. In one embodiment, when a user is navigating through still images, the television program or video content which was being viewed is displayed in a small window overlaid on the still image being displayed. Also, when the set top box captures a requested image from the still image broadcast channel, the set top box preferably also pre-caches or pre-loads other related still images based on the probability that these related images will be subsequently requested by the user. The invention also includes an embodiment which provides user requested still images 'on demand' on a dedicated 'search' channel.

Title
Interactive television system and method for displaying web-like stills with hyperlinks
Application Number
PCT/US1997/011568
Publication Number
1998/000976
Application Date
July 1, 1997
Publication Date
January 8, 1998
Inventor
Haass Jon C
Broadwin Elliott
Agent
sKIVLIN B Noël
Assignee
Sun Microsystems
Thomson Consumer Electronics
IPC
H04N 07/16
H04N 07/173
H04N 07/14
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