The paper describes a TV community
system which users can build and maintain a community associated
with the time-line of TV program. It can link a community with
the time-line of a TV program recorded by a VCR, as well as that
of a stream of TV broadcasting. The users specify an arbitrary
scene by manipulating their VCR, and they can link their comments,
including text, voice, and image, to the point on the time-line
of the TV program by this system. The users watching the same
scene of a TV program paused on their VCR or the users playing
the same scene of it can cooperatively share their comments among
each other. This system detects the user's
playing point on the VCR and presents the Web information linked
to the point to him/her by using the WebSync. It enables
users to create a shared document associated with the TV program,
input their comments to the document, and share the comments stored
in the document among themselves by using the Web-Lacco. Since
the TV community system integrates the WebSync and the Web-Lacco,
it will bring us new services that make use of both TV broadcasting
and the Web.
With the recent progress of the Web systems, many users can simultaneously view the same stream media, including movies and music, via the Internet. In addition, some systems integrating the Web and the TV enable users to watch the related information while viewing the TV program. Moreover, through the Web system many users can share information which is maintained in a data base and group ware, and in terms of information sharing such belongs to a community. By combining these technologies, users can input some information about a stream media into the Web community. The community, however can not be created by an audience, because in general, users cannot freely create a file or a data base on a Web server. Moreover, users in the community cannot cooperatively share information uploaded by others while viewing a stream media, because a Web client does not know when information on the Web server is updated by other clients.
Therefore, this paper describes the TV community system that allows a audience to build and maintain the community associated with the time-line of a TV program. Any user in the community can upload their comment associated with the time-line of both the TV program being broadcasted and with the one recorded by VCR. They can also share the information among users viewing the same scene of the TV program, because this system integrates a software (called the WebSync linking the Web information to the time-line on TV program) and a software (called the Web-Lacco uploading data to the Web server and sharing the data simultaneously among users looking at the same Web page). Users can thus exchange the information associated with the time-line of a TV program on the Web by using this system. Moreover, because it stores the uploaded information to a document shared by the community, it enables each user to asynchronously watch the information while replaying the recorded TV program by downloading from the document the information linked to the subsequence of the TV program.
In this workshop, we want to discuss
the future about the TV community system and to hear the opinions
of the expert in related fields.
The TV community system consists of the WebSync and the Web-Lacco, which we developed. Each of these and their integration are explained in the following section.
The WebSync mediates between the TV program played back on a VCR and the WWW. The WebSync software gets a sound pattern file and a scenario file for each TV program through the Internet. The WebSync finds the relative time of the TV program on the VCR by using a pattern matching technique applied between the audio input signal and stored sound pattern file. Then, the WebSync looks up the scenario file by using the relative time in order to get the corresponding URL information. Finally, the WebSync requests the browser to display the Web page specified by the URL information.
The WebSync has advantages that other technologies such as Intercast do not have.
The Web-Lacco is the client server system which allows users to share a document on the WWW system among the end users synchronously as well as asynchronously. In this system, when users specify the URL on a document maintained by the Web-Lacco server, the Web browser downloads the document and activates the Web-Lacco client as a plug-in software. Users can then insert and/or edit an OLE object directly from the browser. The Web-Lacco client submits a transaction updating data to the Web-Lacco server. After receiving the transaction, the Web-Lacco server executes the transaction and updates the original document downloaded by the user, and then multicasts the transaction to users looking at the same document. Then, each of the Web-Lacco clients executes the transaction and displays the updated data onto the users' screens.
Users can also make an empty document using the Web-Lacco client software to share information among the group and they can register a new member, delete the user, and modify the authority of the user in the group.
The WebSync and the Web-Lacco are integrated into the TV community system as follows. Figure 3 shows the architecture of the system. The client software consists of the WebSync and the Web-Lacco client. The Web-Lacco server maintains a document containing indices of comments being shared by the community members. The document is downloaded and cached by the Web-Lacco client and then shared by the WebSync.
When the Web-Lacco client inputs a voice message as a comment from a user, then it calls the WebSync to get the relative time of the scene in the TV program corresponding to the time of that voice input. The Web-Lacco client packs the relative time and the voice message to create the transaction (adding it to the indices), and then submits the transaction to the Web-Lacco server. As previously mentioned, because the Web-Lacco server multicasts the transaction to users looking at the same TV program, each of the Web-Lacco clients can update indices in the cached document. After the indices are updated, the WebSync is activated and it presents the voice message to users.
Thus in the TV community system,
users can build a community associated with the time-line of a
TV program because of the shared document containing the indices
of members' comments. In the
community, they can input the information linked to the subsequence
of the stream and simultaneously share the information on the
We are now considering how to handle a SMIL document in relation to the followings.
In addition, we believe that the
present TV community system is useful in many fields, such as
education, training, and entertainment, but we will consider synchronous
community like a virtual sport bar associated with the live TV
programs because the network latency will be relevant problem
in the community.
 Hiroshi Matoba, Toshio Oizumi,Kazutoshi Maeno: "Websync: A System for Synchronization of Analog Sequential Media andWWW" , IEEE Conference on Protocols for Multimedia Systems - Multimedia Networking (PROMSMmNet'97),November 24-27, 1997 - Santiago, Chile
 Masahiro Tabuchi, Toyoko Abe, Fumiko Ito, Kenichiro Ayukawa, and Kazutoshi Maeon: "A Proposal of a Co-Authoring System of a Office Document, called the Office Accelerator", IPSJ DiCoMo'98 Workshop, 1998. 7.(in Japanese).