|Title of Invention
"A METHOD OF TRANSMITING A DIGITALLY RECORDED FILM"
|A method of transmitting a digitally recorded film by means of an electronic mail network wherein the film is embedded in the body of an electronic mail message for the network so that the film runs as soon as the message is viewed.
This invention concerns the transmission of digitally recorded films over an electronic mail network, particularly but not necessarily exclusively the multicast transmission of films to selected recipients on the Internet.
The term "film" is used herein to refer to a recording on any medium . from which a moving image, with or without sound, may by any means be produced.
Insofar as the invention makes use of proprietary computer systems and applications, it is hereby acknowledged that the following terms used herein are or may be trade marks, registered or unregistered: AY Mail, Dreamweaver, Frontpage, Java,. Macromedia, Microsoft, Windows and Windows Media...
Advertising on the Internet is very extensive, but most, of it Is broadcast - that is to say, it is transmitted generally rather than being channelled to those who are Interested in the subject of the advertisement.' The shortcomings in this kind of advertising are well known: notably it is inefficient because the vast majority of people who see any given advertisement are not at all interested in the product advertised;' and it is largely ineffective because the advertisement is inevitably framed for mass consumption rather than highlighting features which matter most to interested viewers.
Multicast advertising has been proposed to tackle these weaknesses of broadcast advertising. (In fact, multicasting is sometimes known as
narrowcasting, to emphasise the difference). Multicast advertising is directed specifically to people who are known (or, at least, believed) to be interested in the product advertised, with evident improvements in efficiency and effectiveness.
The Internet, and intranet and other systems organised on similar principles, allow advertising to be very closely targeted, right down to a single individual, which is ideal for multicasting. Nevertheless Internet advertising remains very primitive, being almost entirely confined to banner advertisements with minimal movement and no sound. Such advertisements lack impact, and it is hardly surprising that television continues to attract far more advertising revenue. But this is changing.
It is well known that television-style films may be transmitted over the
Internet. Microsoft Corporation developed Audio Video .Interleave (AVI) for.
playback of audio and video from hard disks and CD-ROMs on personal
computers, and more recently, defined Advanced Streaming Format (ASF)
which among other things includes' synchronising time stamps tofacilitate
• real time or streaming audio and video playback over.the Internet
From the foregoing discussion it will- be understood that the Internet supports both multicasting (through electronic mail) and film (through AVI). There Is, further, provision for these two things to be combined, through Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME), which allows AVI files and other multimedia data types to be attached to an electronic mail message.
Hence a film in AVI format may be sent to one or more selected recipients as an attachment to an electronic mail message.
For advertising purposes, the drawback In this is that the advertisement is an attachment, and it will not be seen unless and until the recipient opens the attachment. It is an object of the present invention to enable a film (for advertising or any other purpose) to be associated with an electronic mall message in such a way that it runs as soon as the message-is viewed.
Thus according to the invention there is provided a method of transmitting a digitally recorded film by means of an electronic mail network wherein the film is embedded in the body of an electronic mail message for the network so that the film runs as soon as the message is viewed.
The-message may include means, such as instructions coded in .Hyper Text Markup Language (html), to send a reply automatically whenever the message is opened or forwarded, whereby transmission of the'message maybe tracked.
The invention is particularly applicable to the transmission of advertising or other films over the Internet or a part thereof (such as the World Wide-Web or an intranet) and to this end the method may include the steps of -
(a) encoding the film as a streaming file;
(b) creating a Web page and inserting therein templates and said file;
(c) adapting the Web page for viewing as an electronic mail message;
(d) preparing the message for transmission to a selected recipient on
The film may be in AVI and the streaming file in ASF. To facilitate transmission among different systems connected to the network, the streaming file may be encoded using a specific encoder with a specific setting.
The Web page is preferably created using a frame-based approach so that the position of the message may be controlled. The Web page may be adapted by means of electronic mail sending software arranged, possibly by modification of its instructions, to embed the message rather than carry it as an attachment.
The message, may of course be sent to a plurality of selected recipients and is preferably prepared for transmission by inserting the electronic mail address of the or each- recipient and adding in corresponding routing and sending information.
The invention will now' be described with reference to specific examples of the steps in the method Which make use of proprietary systems and applications.
A film for transmission by the method is typically a 30 second advertising film containing both audio and video, recorded (and edited etc) in AVI format. Those skilled in the science will appreciate that AVI allows an
Internet user to download an audio-video file from a remote site for playback from hard drive the user's computer. It is widely known that AVr is not well suited to real-time or streaming playback over the Internet or other packet-switched networks because it lacks means to synchronise (and resynchronise) the audio and video streams to be downloaded from and then encoded as an ASF streaming file. However an AVI file may be converted to ASF, which does support audio-video streaming over the Internet/Thus the first step in transmitting the film by means of the invention is to convert it from AVI to ASF. (a) Encoding
The conversion process makes use of Windows Media (Version 4.1.0), which is a suite of digital multimedia applications marketed by Microsoft.
1 Open the Encoder.
2 Choose Custom Settings. Select AVI. Select the'filename of the AVI file' to be encoded.
3' Use single bit rate video.
4 . Choose the bit rate 80-100 kbps
5 Choose codecs as follows -
Audio: . MPEG layers 16 kbps 11,025 khz Mono '
Video: Microsoft MPEG-4 Video codec VI
6 Click Advanced tab. Choose required size and set slider to 50.
7 Set Delay Buffer to 1.
8 Choose location for the ASF file and name it.
9 Click Finish,
Next, a Web page is created. This is done using a frame based approach so as to control the positioning of the message to be transmitted in the window. The process provides three button options (with rollover options) namely Visit the Website, E-mail Us and Call You Back. The web page is coded in HTML and specially coded Java and at this stage a tracking code is inserted. . (b) Creating a Web page
The Web page is created by means of Dreamweaver 1, which is a WYSIWYG web site building application marketed by Macromedia.
1 Create a folder for the message to be transmitted and insert the ASF file and a selected graphic template (default size 450x320).
2 Open Dreamweaver 1.
3 Save the file as vismall.htm.
4 Insert the graphic template (using Insert-image).
5 Select the Draw Layer tool from the Objects toolbar.
6 Draw a layer where the message is required to appear on the
7 In the coding, ensure that the code for the layer is after the code for the template (moving one or both if necessary).
8 Add in buttons for weblinks (Visit the Website), emaillinks (E-mail Us) and callback (Call You Back).
9 Add a tracking code.
10 Add a source lock code.
11 Save the HTM document and Close.
Once the template is complete, the ASF video file can be added in to the appropriate frame. Two separate programs are used in the process. The second one inserts coding which enables the video to begin automatically on accessing the email. (c) Adapting the Web page
The Web page is adapted for viewing by means of Frontpage 2000, which is a Web authoring application marketed by Microsoft.
1 Open Frontpage 2000.
2 Open the HTM document.
3 Click on the Layer area.
4 Click on the Insert and then the Picture tab.
5 . Select the Video option.
6 Choose the ASF file, which causes an Object to appear in the top left corner of the Layer. Click and-drag this Object until it fills the Layer area.
7 Adjust the Object by clicking the HTM tab and amending the values for height and width to those of the ASF file (default 320x160)."
8 Click the Preview tab to check that the movie runs satisfactorily and that it is properly aligned. Adjust HTML settings as appropriate;'
9 Save the HTM document.
10 Click on the HTM tab. Select all the HTML code. Press CTRL C.
11 Close Frontpage 2000.
The HTM page is now transferred to specific email sending software. Here it is adapted so that the graphics and video files are not carried as attachments but embedded within the email itself. This is achieved by adding in a cid: prefix within the application code.
The message is prepared for transmission to the selected recipients by inserting their group of electronic mall addresses and adding 'in corresponding routing and sending information. At this stage the embedded files are programmed into the software for onwards transmission. (d) Preparing for transmission
The message is prepared for transmission by means of an electronic mail sending application known .as AY Mail.
1 Open AY Mail V1.7.
2 Click on the Message tab.
3 Press CTRL V to reveal the application code.
4 For every graphic .(templates/buttons, gifs etc) change the- -code as follows-
Change ..src="Backgroundl. jpg"... to „.src=cid:Backgroundl. jpg... Change ...dyns rc="vi smai 1. as f "... to ...dyns rc=ci d: vi smai 1. asf...
5 Click on the Recipients tag and insert electronic mail addresses
for the or each intended recipient of the message. (This may be done
by cut and paste from any text file).
6 Click on the Header and then -
In the To field put Recipients
In the From field put the sender's electronic mail address
In the Subject field put vismai 1.
7 Click Attachments. Attach all the graphics files and the ASF file that comprise the message, but excluding the HTM document.
8 Click on the Options tab and put in the sender's Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) address.
The message Is now ready to be sent. Because the film Is embedded therein it will be seen as soon as the message is viewed by a recipient.
Whilst the invention has been described with reference to the use of particular proprietary computer systems and applications, It will be understood that the invention may be implemented in other ways, and other modifications and adaptations will be apparent to those skilled in the science.
1. A method of transmitting a digitally recorded film by means of an electronic mail network wherein the film is embedded in the body of an electronic mail message for the network so that the film runs as soon as the message is viewed.
2. A method of transmitting a film as claimed in claim 1, wherein the message may include means to send a reply automatically whenever the message is opened or forwarded, whereby transmission of the message may be tracked.
3. A method of transmitting a film as claimed in claim 2, wherein the means to send a reply comprises instructions coded in HTML.
4. A method of transmitting a film as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the network is the Internet or a part thereof and the method includes the steps of
(a) encoding the film as a streaming file;
(b) creating a Web page and inserting therein templates and said file;
(c) adapting the Web page for viewing as an electronic mail message; and
(d) preparing the message for transmission to a selected recipient on the network.
5. A method of transmitting a film as claimed in claim 4, wherein the film is in AVI and the streaming file is in ASF.
6. A method of transmitting a film as claimed in claim 4 or claim 5, wherein the streaming file is encoded by means of an encoder chosen and arranged to facilitate transmission among different systems connected to the network.
7. A method of transmitting a film as claimed in any of claims 4 to 6, wherein the Web page is created using a frame-based approach so that the position of the message may be controlled.
8. A method of transmitting a film as claimed in any of claims 4 to 7, wherein the Web page is adapted by means of electronic mail sending software arranged, to embed the film in the message rather than carry it as an attachment thereto.
9. A method of transmitting a film as claimed in claim 8, wherein instructions of the electronic mail sending application are modified so as to embed the film in the message.
10. A method of transmitting a film as claimed in any of claims 4 to 9, wherein the message is prepared for transmission by inserting the electronic mail address of the or each recipient and adding in corresponding routing and sending information.
11. A method of delivering an electronic mail message to a recipient for receipt through an electronic mail network and for viewing at a recipient computer, the electronic mail message having a film embedded therein such that the film runs as soon as the message is viewed.
12. A method of delivering a message as claimed in claim 11, wherein the message includes means to send a reply automatically whenever the message is opened or forwarded.
13. A method of delivering a message as claimed in claim 11 or 12, wherein the message includes a web page adapted for viewing as an electronic mail message, the web page including the film encoded as a streaming file.
14. A method as claimed in claim 13 wherein the streaming file is in ASF format converted from an AVI formatted film.
15. An electronic mail message deliverable by means of an electronic mail network and having embedded therein a digitally recorded film such that the film runs as soon as the message is viewed.
|Indian Patent Application Number
|PG Journal Number
|Date of Filing
|Name of Patentee
|HONEY [GB] PLC
|CHURCHILL COURT, PALMERSTON ROAD, BOURNEMOUTH BH1 4HN, U.K.
|PCT International Classification Number
|PCT International Application Number
|PCT International Filing date