META-CC: TECHNICAL OVERVIEW
The Meta-CC engine is run off of a computer connected to a SoftTouch Mag Hubcap Closed Caption Data Recovery unit. The Data Recovery unit transmits closed caption information from an incoming video signal into the computer's serial port.
A small application developed with the Max/MSP software environment reads, formats, and archives the incoming caption information to a MySQL database. The database saves chunks of text at regular intervals. These chunks are accessed through a PHP based browser interface, which uses the text as search terms for various RSS feeds from alternative media outlets.
RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, is an XML Based format that allows for easy distribution and interpretation of web content, mainly news headlines. The information gleaned from these RSS searches is saved to another table within the database. The Max/MSP/Jitter application then accesses the text from the searches and superimposes it in the 'news-ticker' format over the live video stream. Aside from streaming on Meta-CC.net, this new video stream can also be output over DV and displayed on a television in a gallery installation environment.
A dynamic web page will display the video stream from the cable box, with the captions overlayed, along with a second video stream, slightly time delayed, with user captions and cross referenced information, along with links to further alternative information sources.