Patents Assigned to Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
  • Publication number: 20020070196
    Abstract: In an improved method of etching apertures in a thin metal sheet to form a shadow mask for a color picture tube, the metal sheet has a first acid-resistant stencil on one major surface thereof and a second acid-resistant stencil on the other major surface thereof. At least one of the stencils has openings therein at locations of intended apertures. The improvement comprises the steps of magnetically holding the metal sheet with a flat magnetic assembly, and moving the magnetic assembly magnetically holding the metal sheet thereon through an etching chamber. The magnetic assembly includes a magnetic layer that is supported on an acid-resistant board.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 10, 2001
    Publication date: June 13, 2002
    Applicant: BMC Industries, Inc. and Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Craig Clay Eshleman, Charles Michael Wetzel, Randall Eugene McCoy, Leo B. Kriksunov, Lance Benjamin, Derek Harris, Thomas R. Sage
  • Patent number: 6366326
    Abstract: A receiver system automatically adaptively tunes to broadcast signals that are variable in the number of channels that are transmitted, their signal coding type and their modulation format. A system receives a digital bitstream representing video information encoded in one of a plurality of different formats, and transmitted on one of a plurality of transmission channels. In the system, a method for acquiring data transmitted on a transmission channel involves selecting a transmission channel from the plurality of channels and selecting a modulation format. The method also involves tuning to receive the modulation format and determining whether valid data is being received on the selected transmission channel. The method steps are repeated until valid data is received. The method may also involve selecting a coding type, and tuning to receive the coding type.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2002
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics Inc.
    Inventors: Mehmet Kemal Ozkan, Kumar Ramaswamy, John Sidney Stewart
  • Patent number: 6310922
    Abstract: A programmable synchronizing system for selectively providing synchronizing signals at different rates, such as for incorporation in a video signal decompression system, includes an oscillator and a programmable counter. The programmable counter is conditioned to count pulses from the oscillator by alternate moduli in predetermined sequences to generate the synchronizing signals. The desired synchronization rate is effectively the average of the counter output resulting from counting by the alternate moduli.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2001
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Barth Alan Canfield, Harold Blatter
  • Patent number: 6118497
    Abstract: A method for compatibly tuning a video signal receiver to an image processing device involves generating a prompting message for display to prompt a user to initiate a command response. First and second signals are generated. Each signal incorporates the prompting message but only one of the signals is compatibly tuned to the display. The first and second signals are alternately provided to the display and the prompting message is legibly displayed when the compatibly tuned signal is provided. The signal that is compatibly tuned to the display is selected in response to the command.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2000
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael Anthony Pugel
  • Patent number: 6100930
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for producing a wipe sequence on a display device from incoming compressed video bitstreams, accomplishes the wipe function processing entirely in the compressed domain of the compressed video bitstreams. The old and new video bitstreams or sequences separately undergo a 2-dimensional convolution between its decoded DCT coefficients and stored DCT coefficients of a particular known wipe function. Each convolved bitstream is buffered with its quantization scale and then summed with the other. The summed output bitstream is used by a multiplexer along with each bitstream's decoded macroblock data to provide a seamed output bitstream. A controller controls the process such as frame correlation for convolution and output multiplexing of the summed bitstreams.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 8, 2000
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Ronald Joseph Kolczynski
  • Patent number: 6097442
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for reformatting auxiliary information such as closed caption text that is extracted from a television signal. The apparatus reformats the text by removing redundant spaces, reorganizing the text to fit into an arbitrary sized closed caption window, converting any closed caption display mode (e.g., pop on, paint on or roll up) into a modified roll on display, and inserting speaker identifier prompts into the caption.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2000
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark Francis Rumreich, Mark Robert Zukas
  • Patent number: 6081078
    Abstract: An electron beam tends to slope downwardly as it is deflected horizontally to form a raster in a video display apparatus. The sloping of the beam can cause geometric errors in the raster, for example orthogonality and parallelogram errors. A raster correction circuit substantially offsets the downward slope of the electron beam by modulating a vertical deflection current with an induced horizontal-rate raster correction current, thereby substantially eliminating orthogonality and parallelogram errors in the raster. In respective embodiments of an inventive arrangement taught herein, the horizontal-rate raster correction current is induced in the vertical deflection coils by magnetically coupling a filament pulse waveform, a horizontal deflection voltage waveform, or a horizontal deflection current into the vertical deflection coils.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 1996
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2000
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Walter Truskalo, Peter Ronald Knight, Lawrence Edward Smith
  • Patent number: 6081300
    Abstract: An apparatus and concomitant method for constructing a valid OSD message bitstream from a plurality of stored character bitstreams. Each character of the OSD font set is initially scaled into a fixed block size, e.g., a block size of 16.times.16 pixels. Each character is then encoded into a "character bitstream" using the intra macroblock coding syntax. The character bitstream is stored within a storage medium. When a frame of OSD messages needs to be encoded, the character bitstreams are read from the storage medium and cascaded to form a valid OSD message bitstream which represents the frame of OSD messages.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 1997
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2000
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Billy Wesley Beyers, Jr., Wai-Man Lam
  • Patent number: 6078351
    Abstract: A projection television comprises a projection screen formed by a three dimensional hologram disposed on a film substrate. A projection tube has an optical path in a substantially orthogonal orientation with the screen and two other projection tubes have respective optical paths converging toward the first optical path at angles of incidence .alpha.. The hologram has a configuration effective for reducing color shift in the displayed images. The screen has a color shift less than or equal to approximately 5 for all angles .alpha., where 0.degree.<.alpha..ltoreq.30.degree., as determined by the maximum value obtained from at least one of the following expressions: ##EQU1## where .theta. is any angle within a range horizontal viewing angles, C(.theta.) is the color shift at angle .theta., red(.theta.) is the red luminance level at angle .theta., blue(.theta.) is the blue luminance level at angle .theta. and green(.theta.) is the green luminance level at angle .theta..
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 31, 1996
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2000
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Estill Thone Hall, Jr., Wendy Rene Pfile
  • Patent number: 6072804
    Abstract: A data transmission bus system is disclosed which includes a plurality of nodes coupled together by a ring bus. The ring bus transmits data in successive bus cycles, each bus cycle containing a plurality of bus words. One of the bus words in the bus cycle is a bus cycle synchronization word and the remainder of which are data words. The plurality of data words are allocated to a plurality of data channels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 1997
    Date of Patent: June 6, 2000
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Billy Wesley Beyers, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6064378
    Abstract: Apparatus and method for acquiring a program from a packetized signal in response to ancillary information included in the packetized signal. The packetized signal includes a plurality of program signals and ancillary information associated with the plurality of program signals. The apparatus includes means for identifying the ancillary information from the packetized signal, the ancillary information including master guide information for use in identifying and acquiring special guide information, and special guide information for use in acquiring program information associated with the plurality of program signals. The program signals may be acquired using identifier information that may be derived from the ancillary information. The apparatus includes means responsive to the ancillary information for acquiring a selected program from the packetized signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2000
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: John W. Chaney, Bill W. Beyers, Jr., Michael W. Johnson, James E. Hailey, Kevin E. Bridgewater, Michael S. Deiss, Raymond S. Horton
  • Patent number: 6049653
    Abstract: A VCR includes apparatus for controlling a cable converter unit. In a preferred embodiment, infrared (IR) transmission of commands from the VCR to the cable converter unit is employed. An LED assembly holds the LEDs in a predetermined orientation and provides first and second IR ports through which different amounts of IR signals are transmitted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 11, 2000
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: John Homer Furrey, Sung Jo Kim, Phillip Russell Mullis
  • Patent number: 6046777
    Abstract: Apparatus for combining an auxiliary image and a main image includes a source of a main image signal and a source of samples representing an auxiliary image signal. A subsampler selectively subsamples the auxiliary image samples in either a quincunx subsampling pattern or a rectangular subsampling pattern. A signal combiner combines the main image signal and a signal representing the subsampled auxiliary image samples to generate a combined image signal. A control circuit generates a freeze control signal for the subsampler which conditions it to take samples in the rectangular subsampling pattern during a freeze frame operation, and in the quincunx sampling pattern otherwise.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2000
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Steven Wayne Patton, Mark Francis Rumreich, Donald Henry Willis
  • Patent number: 6041240
    Abstract: A radio frequency (RF) signal transmitter/receiver system comprises a pair of transmitter/receiver units. A microcomputer-based RF carrier detect system determines when an RF signal is present or absent. The RF carrier detect system is also responsive to noise interference signals at or near its currently-tuned receiving channel. In periods of inactivity, the RF signal receiver monitors its currently-tuned channel and upon detection of noise interference or upon a determination that the currently-tuned channel is occupied, initiates a fast scan operation to identify an unoccupied and relatively interference-free channel, and transmits a command to its paired transmitter/receiver unit causing it to tune to the newly-identified unoccupied channel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2000
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics Inc.
    Inventors: Dennis Ronald McCarthy, John Mark Fossaceca, Maneck Behram Kapadia
  • Patent number: 6041079
    Abstract: A field/frame conversion method for compressed digital video, especially MPEG type video, having mixed field/frame mode macroblocks in the DCT domain utilizes a 1-D IDCT/DCT approach rather than the conventional 2-D IDCT/DCT approach. A vertical 1-D IDCT is performed on the DCT domain mixed field/frame mode macroblock to obtain a horizontal 1-D DCT domain macroblock. Thereafter, field/frame conversion is performed on the horizontal 1-D DCT domain macroblock to yield a field or frame mode horizontal 1-D DCT domain macroblock, depending on the required conversion. Finally, a vertical 1-D DCT is performed on the field/frame converted horizontal 1-D DCT domain macroblock to yield a 2-D DCT domain macroblock.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2000
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc,
    Inventor: Changhoon Yim
  • Patent number: 6037926
    Abstract: Method and apparatus for using a wide screen television receiver operating at 2f.sub.H as a VGA or SVGA monitor. The VGA or SVGA board in a computer is programmed to generate an RGB video signal representing a picture having fewer than a normal number of horizontal lines than a conventional VGA or SVGA picture having a 4:3 format display ratio, in order to define a picture having a wide format display ratio, for example 16:9. The separate synchronizing signals of the RGB video signal are converted in polarity and phase, as necessary, to a form recognizable by a video processing circuit of the wide screen television receiver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 1994
    Date of Patent: March 14, 2000
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Kenneth John Haas, Theodore Frederick Simpson
  • Patent number: D425502
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 23, 2000
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas E. Renk, Jr., Mark A. Smith
  • Patent number: D427529
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2000
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Paul Stephen Haney
  • Patent number: D427988
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2000
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Paul Stephen Haney
  • Patent number: D430143
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2000
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Thomas Edward Renk