Patents Represented by Attorney Peter M. Emanuel
  • Patent number: 5893023
    Abstract: A satellite receiver which is capable of being connected to different antenna assemblies which require different operating voltages, includes a switch mode power supply which supplies the different operating voltages. A microprocessor controls the duty cycle of the switch mode power supply to produce the different operating voltages in accordance with the required duty cycle. A memory stores values which define different duty cycles for each of the operating voltages and provides the values to the microprocessor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 6, 1999
    Assignee: Ferguson Limited
    Inventor: David Michael Vizer
  • Patent number: 5877822
    Abstract: The disclosure relates to a method and a circuit for storage of digital tuning data and parameters for a number of television channels in a rewritable memory. The channel search is initialized by pressing a single button to initialize a scan of the reception frequency band. The scanning of the frequency range is interrupted for a preset time-out period .DELTA.t each time a stop-scan signal is generated and resumes automatically until the entire range has been scanned. After each stop-scan pulse, if the single button is pressed during a time-out period, At, the system begins toggling through the possible values of each parameter relating to the station, the current value of the parameter being memorized when the single button is pressed again. The invention also includes a television and video cassette recorder implementing the above method.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 2, 1999
    Assignee: Thomson Multimedia S.A.
    Inventors: Nour-Eddine Tazine, Jino Nguyen, Yves Maetz
  • Patent number: 5874857
    Abstract: A multiplying amplifier which is controlled in a dB linear manner. Transistors, having a numerical distribution coeffient and having the output voltage to be dB-linearly dependent responsive to a control voltage, are connected to the inputs of a muliplier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 1996
    Date of Patent: February 23, 1999
    Assignee: Deutsche Thomson Brandt GmbH
    Inventors: Sabine Roth, Martin Rieger
  • Patent number: 5870380
    Abstract: The disclosure relates to a method of reception of signals from at least two transmitters (RCi), wherein for each transmitter the data ("0", "1") are represented by the time interval (T0i, T1i) between two consecutive pulses transmitted by this transmitter, said time intervals and the pulse widths (Tpi) being characteristic of each transmitter, and wherein said method includes the following steps: reception of a resultant signal that is the sum of the signals from by said transmitters; determination of the parameters of said resultant signal, these parameters including the width and spacing of the pulses; analysis of said parameters and assignment of a data item to one of said transmitters. The invention also concerns a receiver device, a remote controller, and a system of reception. The invention is applicable notably in the field of television and video.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 14, 1996
    Date of Patent: February 9, 1999
    Assignee: Thomson Multimedia S.A.
    Inventors: Eric Diehl, Yves Maetz, Nour-Eddine Tazine
  • Patent number: 5867226
    Abstract: In a television system in which at least program title information for programs which are to be transmitted in the future is transmitted in advance to form a channel guide listing, apparatus is provided for searching for specific television programs which satisfy certain criteria concerning a user's viewing preferences, and upon successful conclusion to the search, the apparatus generates a list of such television programs in order to predict for the viewer certain programs which may be of interest. In a first embodiment of the invention the apparatus stores information about the particular television shows which the user watches, as search criteria. In a second embodiment of the invention the search criteria is editable by the viewer to further refine the searches.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 1995
    Date of Patent: February 2, 1999
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Keith Reynolds Wehmeyer, Jeffrey Philip Reavis, Robert Howard Miller, Sheila Renee Crosby, Hugh Boyd Morrison, Megan Louise Brown
  • Patent number: 5867207
    Abstract: A digital video system receives a digital bitstream representing video and audio information and containing a plurality of packetized data programs in a data format and includes data units related to the selection of individual programs and individual packetized datastreams associated with a program. The system includes a first processor responsive to the bitstream for capturing program guide information and a second processor responsive to the bitstream for capturing selected program data. The program guide data includes a base data unit for selecting a first program and a second data unit of predetermined offset to the base data unit for selecting a second program. The second processor captures program data by capturing data with identifiers matching an identifier determined from the data units.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 2, 1999
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: John William Chaney, Billy Wesley Beyers, Jr., Michael Wayne Johnson, James Edwin Hailey, Kevin Elliott Bridgewater, Michael Scott Deiss, Raymond Scott Horton
  • Patent number: 5864750
    Abstract: A microcomputer in a radio frequency (RF) signal receiver, such as a cordless telephone set, periodically samples a received baseband audio signal to determine its frequency content. The microcomputer uses at least one predetermined frequency threshold value, and determines that the RF signal is present if the output signal contains signals no higher in frequency the frequency threshold value, and determines that the RF signal is absent if the output signal contains signals higher in frequency than the frequency threshold value. The circuit is useful in either a base unit or a handunit of a cordless telephone set.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 26, 1999
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: John Mark Fossaceca, Dennis Ronald McCarthy
  • Patent number: 5862235
    Abstract: A transmitter includes a plurality of oscillators for transmitting multiple radio frequency (RF) signals simultaneously, from each one of which signals a broadcast radio receiver system can reproduce the transmitted audio information. The transmitter will not only allow a user to listen to a CD or tape player through the radio receiver system but also let the user choose whichever frequency gives the best quality sound by merely tuning the receiver system in the same manner as tuning it to the broadcast radio station signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 19, 1999
    Assignee: Thomas Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: David Anthony Kowalczyk
  • Patent number: 5859906
    Abstract: A switch hook interface circuit couples a subscriber telephone to a subscriber telephone line. This interface circuit comprises a source of an off-hook signal, having one state indicating an off-hook condition, and a second state indicating an on-hook condition. A circuit is coupled between the off-hook signal source and the subscriber telephone line which gradually increases the current drawn from the subscriber telephone line when the off-hook signal indicates an off-hook condition, and gradually decreases the current drawn from the subscriber telephone line when the off-hook signal indicates an on-hook condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 12, 1999
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert Alan Pitsch, James Edwin Hailey
  • Patent number: 5852406
    Abstract: A multi-protocol serial data bus system includes two clock lines and a data line. A controller generates a first clock signal and a first data signal according to a first serial data bus protocol during a first mode of operation of the system, and generates a second clock signal and a second data signal according to a second serial data bus protocol during a second mode of operation. The first clock signal and the first data signal are provided on the first and third signal paths, respectively, during the first mode of operation. The second clock signal and the second data signal are provided on the second and third signal paths, respectively, during the second mode of operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 22, 1998
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Gabriel Alfred Edde, Michael David Landis
  • Patent number: 5852377
    Abstract: An eletronic system includes a power supply providing an operating voltage, and a reset circuit. The reset circuit includes a voltage sensing circuit, coupled to the power supply, for generating a control signal when the operating voltage drops below a predetermined voltage. A control circuit generates a rest signal in response to the control signal. Further circuitry provides power to the control circuit, independently of the power supply, when the operating voltage drops below the predetermined voltage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 22, 1998
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert Alan Pitsch
  • Patent number: 5852290
    Abstract: A smart card that includes a descrambler for descrambling entitlement information and data provides improved access control by controlling the manner in which the entitlement information portion of the data stream is passed through the smart card. Entitlement data that is descrambled and used in the smart card for functions such as key generation is reinserted in scrambled form in the high speed output data signal from the smart card. A variable delay device is included in the smart card for controlling when scrambled entitlement data is reinserted into the data stream. Varying the delay permits establishing a desired timing relationship between the reinserted data and other data in the data stream that is output from the smart card. For example, scrambled entitlement data in the output data stream can be made to exhibit substantially the same timing relationship to other data that exists in the input data stream.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 22, 1998
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: John William Chaney
  • Patent number: 5847773
    Abstract: A projection television system includes an automatic contrast control section for controlling the amplitude of the luminance signal in response to the peak value of a luminance-representative image component signal in order to prevent white-spot blooming. Circuitry is provided for deactivating the automatic contrast control section when a user sets the contrast control level above a given threshold level, e.g., corresponding to the maximum contrast control level. As a result white-spot blooming is inhibited in order to ensure sharp images for a contrast control range below the given threshold level while allowing maximum white image components to be produced (at the expense of white spot blooming) when the contrast control level is set above the threshold level, depending on the preference of the user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 8, 1998
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: William Adamson Lagoni, Robert Lawrence O'Brien
  • Patent number: 5841488
    Abstract: An apparatus having a selectable first mode of operation for clamping an input signal to a first reference level and a selectable second mode of operation for clamping a signal derived from the input signal to a second reference level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 1995
    Date of Patent: November 24, 1998
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Mark Francis Rumreich
  • Patent number: 5841433
    Abstract: A television system for receiving a plurality of digitally-encoded television programs includes circuitry for selecting a particular digital data transmission channel from a plurality of digital data transmission channels containing a desired digitally-encoded television program in response to a control signal, at least one of the data transmission channels also including television program schedule data. The system also includes user-operable data entry circuitry for entering data, and a controller for generating the above-noted control signal in response to user-entered data. The controller selects a virtual channel from a plurality of virtual channels in response to user-entered data, each virtual channel being subject to reassignment to a different one of said a plurality of digital data transmission channels, the television program schedule data defining the relationship of each of the television programs to respective ones of the plurality of digital data transmission channels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 24, 1998
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: John William Chaney
  • Patent number: 5841483
    Abstract: A television receiver comprises a graphics generator, a video processor, an audio processor, a picture-in-picture processor, and a controller for producing a display of an array of inset images. The controller causes one inset image of the array of inset images to be displayed with an associated graphics image to indicate selection of the one inset image, and causes the reproduction of the audio signal associated with said selected inset image. In one embodiment, all images except the selected one are "frozen", and the selected image is updated in near real time. In another embodiment, a second tuner is tuned to the selected-image channel and is used to provide audio for the selected image, while the first tuner continues to sequentially tune the channels from which all of the images are derived.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 24, 1998
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Kirk Edward Shafer
  • Patent number: 5835161
    Abstract: An amplifier (60) provides an amplified video signal in response to a video input signal supplied thereto. A cathode current sensor (Q3), couples an output of the amplifier to the cathode of a kinescope (20) and also provides an output current (Ik) proportional to the kinescope cathode current. A feedback path (82) applies a portion of the sensed cathode current provided by the cathode current sensor to a circuit node (65 or 63) in the amplifier for imparting gamma correction to images produced by the kinescope. In one application the cathode current is apportioned (Q3, Q5) to provide gamma correction for the kinescope and to provide automatic kinescope bias (AKB) control.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 10, 1998
    Assignee: RCA Thomson Licensing Corporation
    Inventor: Anton Werner Keller
  • Patent number: 5835864
    Abstract: A device such as a pay TV decoder, a television receiver, a VCR or a remote control is automatically customized with information such as channel, frequency, and/or remote control codes that is stored in memory in a smart card. The smart card transmits the information to the device via a smart card reader. The information is transmitted to the device in response to the smart card being coupled to the smart card reader. Customization by smart card facilitates efficient production of devices such as pay TV decoders because all devices can be identical during manufacturing and customized easily after manufacturing. For example, a cable TV operator can customize each pay TV decoder with channel allocation information appropriate for the site of the decoder by using a smart card.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 21, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 10, 1998
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics S.A.
    Inventors: Eric Diehl, Joel Hamon
  • Patent number: 5831347
    Abstract: In an electronic instrument subject to power line interruptions and having a standby power supply, an external timer is used to time a predetermined brief period (e.g. 15 seconds to 1 minute). If the timer has not yet expired when standby power is once again developed, then a controller will cause a real time clock to start timing, using the currently held time of day. If the timer has expired when standby power is once again developed, the controller will cause the time of day clock to indicate that its time is no longer accurate. Moreover, if the timer has expired, then the controller will not cause the receiver to be turned on. If the timer has not expired, then the controller will determine if the receiver was turned on when the AC power line failure occurred, and if so, the controller will cause the receiver to turn on. If the receiver was turned off when the AC power line failure occurred, then the controller will cause the receiver to remain in standby mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 3, 1998
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael David Landis, Gabriel Alfred Edde, David Michael Browning
  • Patent number: 5822011
    Abstract: A phase detector provides angular phase error measurements of the color burst component of a video input signal. Burst phase errors exceeding a given angular threshold are detected and the number occurring within a given period of time are counted. From the accumulated count, a noise indicating signal is derived and applied to a video picture processor for controlling a parameter of displayed images.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 13, 1998
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Mark Francis Rumreich