Patents Examined by Andrew Faile
  • Patent number: 6757909
    Abstract: An apparatus and method thereof for communicating a scramble key (for descrambling scrambled digital signals) and service information (used in an electronic programming guide) to an intelligent transceiver (e.g., a set-top box) using a bi-directional digital broadcast system. The intelligent transceiver includes an in-band tuner adapted to receive from the digital broadcast system in-band digital signals comprising audio content and video content. The intelligent transceiver also includes a second tuner adapted to send and receive a scramble key over the World Wide Web via a cable modem. In one embodiment, the in-band digital signals received by the in-band tuner also contain service information. In another embodiment, the digital signals received by the second tuner via the cable modem also contain service information. Thus, the scramble key is sent over the World Wide Web and is received by the intelligent transceiver using a cable modem.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2004
    Assignees: Sony Corporation, Sony Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Jun Maruo, Atsushi Kagami
  • Patent number: 6757908
    Abstract: Impairment or other conditions (e.g., signal to noise ratio or noise floor) in a data-over—cable system are represented graphically in an easy to use and comprehensible manner, enabling quick identification and isolation of the source of the impairment. The graphical representation of the condition, referred to herein as an “impairment circle”, is in the form of a circular template with a line segment superimposed thereon representing the impairment. One end of the line segment is placed on the perimeter of the circle at a location associated with a particular cable modem or channel. The other end of the line segment either terminates in the interior of the circle or terminates on another portion of the perimeter. The perimeter of the circle can be divided into multiple sections, each section representing a channel in a transmission path. The sections can be further divided into multiple divisions, each division corresponding to a particular cable modem in the path or number of occurrences.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2004
    Assignee: 3Com Corporation
    Inventor: Mark O. Vogel
  • Patent number: 6757906
    Abstract: A television viewer interface system provides a viewer interface that allows the viewer to access different functions of a system. The invention's construct allows items called video loopsets to be stored on a storage device and displays single or multiple video loopsets in the background area of the screen on a TV or monitor. Temporal elements are drawn onto the screen over the video loops. A highlight bar is responsive to the user's commands and is used to indicate the current menu item that can be selected by the user. Information is presented in a successive disclosure format where the user navigates through menus by moving the highlight bar to the right to obtain more information or to the left to see less information and return to the previous location. Whispering arrows are provided on each screen that tell the user that more information is available in that particular direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2004
    Assignee: Tivo, Inc.
    Inventors: Howard Look, Robert Vallone, David Avraham Brown, Karen Bedard, Wijnand Van Stam, Ain McKendrick
  • Patent number: 6757911
    Abstract: A broadcasting system which includes a broadcasting apparatus and a reception apparatus and which achieves interactiveness using a broadcast wave. The broadcasting apparatus includes a content storing unit for storing the plurality of contents, each content including a set of video data and a set of control information that indicates another content that is a link destination for a present content, and a transmitting unit for multiplexing a set of video data and a plurality of sets of the same control information included in a same content as the set of video data, and for transmitting the multiplexed sets of video data and control information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 1997
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2004
    Assignee: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Tatsuya Shimoji, Kazuo Okamura, Junichi Hirai, Masahiro Oashi, Takashi Kakiuchi, Yuki Kusumi, Yoshiyuki Miyabe, Ikuo Minakata, Masayuki Kozuka, Yoshihiro Mimura, Shinji Inoue, Toshiya Mori, Naoya Takao
  • Patent number: 6754905
    Abstract: A program guide in which a video layer includes a plurality of video objects including title objects, each title object having associated with it a channel and at least one time slot, the video layer being formed in response to a received video stream; and a graphics layer comprising a plurality of graphics objects including title overlay objects, each of the title overlay objects selectively imparting at least a visual de-emphasis to a respective title object in the video layer, the visual de-emphasis being imparted to title objects not being associated with a desired time slot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 22, 2004
    Assignee: Diva Systems Corporation
    Inventors: Donald F. Gordon, Edward A. Ludvig, Nathan W. Osborn, Jeremy S. Edmonds
  • Patent number: 6745392
    Abstract: A telecommunications system for providing telecommunication services to a plurality of users connected to a loop-through cable distribution architecture. The system includes a signal collection and transmission circuit or headend circuit for collecting and transmitting telecommunication signals to the user. In addition, the system comprises a signal distribution system or circuit operatively connected to the signal collection and transmission circuit for receiving and transmitting telecommunication signals therefrom and thereto. The system includes a user or customer interface device operatively connected to an associated signal distribution circuit for both receiving telecommunication signals from the associated signal distribution circuit and transmitting telecommunication signals to the associated signal distribution circuit. The signal distribution circuit is formed by a node having a plurality of output lines and a service module operatively connected to one of the node output lines.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2004
    Assignee: Symphony Media Systems, LLC
    Inventors: Ganesh Basawapatna, Varalakshmi Basawapatna
  • Patent number: 6738979
    Abstract: A receiver at least comprising: a BS tuner; a demodulating unit; a control unit; a modulating unit; a CATV signal converting unit; and a digital-to-analog converting unit, the control unit, the digital-to-analog converting unit controlled by a control signal from the control unit, and the BS tuner being connected via an I2C bus, and a channel selection signal outputted from the control unit being supplied to the BS tuner via the I2C bus, wherein a gate circuit is connected to the I2C bus, a gate ON signal is supplied to the gate circuit only when the channel selection signal is supplied to the BS tuner, and the channel selection signal is supplied to the BS tuner via
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 18, 2004
    Assignee: Alps Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Shingo Saito
  • Patent number: 6735777
    Abstract: A method for controlling a program guide by which a viewer can easily identify the title of a program currently being broadcast among program titles of the respective channels to select the channel on which a desired program is broadcast, is provided. Among the titles of the programs being broadcast on the respective channels by broadcast time, displayed on the screen by receiving the program schedule data transmitted from the respective TV broadcasting stations, only the programs of the respective channels having started before the current time and ending after the current time are highlighted to be displayed on the screen. The titles of the programs currently being broadcast on the respective channels can be easily identified by displaying the same in a different color from the programs of the respective channels broadcast at different time in a TV program guide mode. Therefore, viewers can easily select and watch a desired program among a plurality of programs currently being broadcast.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2004
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Pil-Tae Kim
  • Patent number: 6732372
    Abstract: A device for sending broadcast-program information to a plurality of terminal devices connected via a network so that the plurality of terminal devices display the broadcast-program information on display screens. The device includes an addition unit attaching at least one of a reception setting button and a recording setting button to broadcast-program information which is to be sent to a terminal device, the reception setting button and the recording setting button being used in the terminal device for issuing a request to make settings for automatic receiving and recording, respectively, of a selected broadcast program. The device further includes an execution-information extracting unit obtaining execution information in response to the request, the execution information specifying information necessary for making the settings, and a transmission unit sending the execution information to the terminal device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 11, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2004
    Assignee: Fujitsu Limited
    Inventors: Yasumasa Tomita, Shigeru Oizumi
  • Patent number: 6732368
    Abstract: System for providing CATV subscribers an access to a UMS (Unified Messaging System) and/or VMS (Voice Mail System), wherein each subscriber is provided with a TV set connected to the CATV network directly-or-through a set-top box. The system comprises a connection between subscribers of the CATV network and the UMS and/or VMS and an interface for permitting exchange of information between the subscribers and the UTMS and/or VMS and a client software for the UMS and/or VMS, which when the connection is through the set-top box resides on, or is coupled to, the set-top box. The interface may comprise a UMS and/or VMS handler and a CATV network handler for providing data connection between the UMS and/or VMS and the subscribers. The interface may also comprise a multimedia message management interposed between the UMS and/or VMS handler and the CATV network handler.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2004
    Assignee: Comverse, Ltd.
    Inventors: Erez Michael, Shlomi Kringel
  • Patent number: 6732367
    Abstract: A system is provided in which an interactive television program guide is implemented on user television equipment. Potentially objectionable material such as the titles and descriptions of adult programs may be blocked. When adult program listing blocking is invoked, the program guide replaces adult program listings with unobjectionable material such as a blank region, a generic unobjectionable program listing, or an unobjectionable title based on the channel being blocked. The user may invoke blocking of titles, descriptions, or both titles or descriptions. Blocking may be based on the rating of the program listings. Access may be provided to blocked program listings by entering a parental control code. The user may temporarily disable adult program listing blocking. The user may also set parental control locks for any type of potentially objectionable programming and may temporarily disable such locks.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2004
    Assignee: United VIdeo Properties, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael D. Ellis, Donald W. Allison, Connie T. Marshall, Thomas R. Lemmons
  • Patent number: 6725463
    Abstract: A dual mode tuner/receiver is disclosed in which both analog and digital signals can be received and processed. A low pass filter allows all channels below a selected frequency enter the circuit. A precisely controlled dual conversion circuit creates an intermediate frequency (IF) signal. An automatic carrier detection circuit monitors the IF signal and determines whether the signal is of analog or digital format and intermediate frequency filters are adjusted based upon the type of signal detected. A coherent oscillator circuit generates in-phase and quadrature reference signals that are used by video and audio detectors for further processing of the IF signal. In-phase and quadrature outputs are provided for digital signals and composite video and audio outputs are provided for analog signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2004
    Assignee: Microtune (Texas), L.P.
    Inventor: Vince Birleson
  • Patent number: 6718553
    Abstract: Systems and end-to-end methods for delivering digital aggregated broadcast television programming from a centralized aggregation headend to subscribers in multiple markets using an interconnected terrestrial fiber optic network. A centralized aggregation headend receives multiple multi-market broadcast television signals from multiple content providers. The multiple broadcast television signals are aggregated into a digital aggregated content bundle. The digital aggregated content bundle is prepared for transport over an interconnected long-haul fiber optic network, comprising multiple fiber optic networks interconnected by a plurality of interconnection points of presence. The digital aggregated content bundle is transported over the interconnected long-haul fiber optic network to local/metro PoPs in multiple markets. The local/metro PoPs are interconnected with central offices and/or other local facilities for last-mile delivery of the digital aggregated content bundle to subscriber premises.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2004
    Assignee: Complete TV LLC
    Inventor: Kevin Kenworthy
  • Patent number: 6718551
    Abstract: A method and system for providing targeted advertisements over a networked media delivery system, especially interactive television networks, the system comprising tracking and storing viewer selections, analyzing the selections, and delivering targeted advertisements that appeal to the particular subscriber making the selections, the system including a merge processor, a file server, a profile processor, and a broadcast server contained in a head end in communication with a plurality of set-top boxes through a distribution network. Based on a subscriber's viewing habits and account information, the present invention delivers different, customized advertisements to different viewers watching the same program or channel. The present invention delivers the advertisements as either still frame bit maps or as video streams advertisement insertion in a playlist or a broadcast media program.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2004
    Assignee: BellSouth Intellectual Property Corporation
    Inventors: Scott R. Swix, John R. Stefanik, John C. Batten
  • Patent number: 6701528
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for providing a virtual video on demand services is disclosed. The method and apparatus disclose the storing of a segment of the video program in advance for VOD viewing at a later time. When the subscriber selects VOD service, a pre-stored video segment is retrieved for presentation to the subscriber. Remaining video program segments simultaneously broadcast on a plurality of channels are recorded in parallel while the pre-stored video program segment is retrieved and presented to the user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 26, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 2, 2004
    Assignee: Hughes Electronics Corporation
    Inventors: Robert G. Arsenault, Leon J. Stanger
  • Patent number: 6698019
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for controlling viewing of video programs. The apparatus includes a signal unit for receiving and processing a video signal, a decoding unit for decoding a grade code of a video program contained in the video signal, a key input unit for receiving control data from a user wherein the control data includes a secret number, a storage unit for prestoring a grade code and a secret number, and a control unit for comparing the decoded grade code with the prestored grade code, comparing the secret number inputted to the key input unit with the prestored secret number if the decoded grade code matches the prestored grade code, and outputting the video signal to the user if the secret numbers match.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2004
    Assignee: LG Electronics Inc.
    Inventors: Do Hyun Kim, Myeong Joon Kang
  • Patent number: 6698020
    Abstract: A system and method for selecting and inserting advertisements into a video programming feed at the household level. An advertisement insertion device in a home entertainment system receives a plurality of advertisements from an advertisement source. The advertisement insertion device selects one of the advertisements for display to a viewer according to advertisement selection criteria combined with viewer and system information. The video programming is displayed to a viewer while the advertisement insertion device monitors the programming feed for a triggering event indicating an appropriate time to display the selected advertisement. At the appropriate time, the video programming feed is interrupted and the selected advertisement is displayed. Selecting advertisements at the household level allows advertisers to target viewers with a high degree of specificity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2004
    Assignee: WebTV Networks, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel J. Zigmond, Phillip Y. Goldman
  • Patent number: 6694516
    Abstract: The method is used in a telecommunication network wherein a central station (CS) is coupled to a plurality of residences (R1,R2,R3). One of the residences (R3) includes a termination unit (TU) which is coupled to the central station (CS) via a first port (P1). The residence (R3) also includes subscriber terminals, e.g. a personal computer (PC), a telephone set (TEL), a television set (TV) and a set-top box (STB) which are coupled to the termination unit (TU) via a second port (P2). The method includes amplifying an upstream signal (US) applied to the second port (P2) with an upstream gain value (UG) by means of an upstream signal amplifier (U-AMP3) which is included in the termination unit (TU). Thereby, an amplified upstream signal (AUS) is generated and provided to the first port (P1).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2004
    Assignee: Alcatel Alsthom Compagnie Generale d'Electricite
    Inventors: Peter Vandenabeele, Dieter Beller
  • Patent number: 6691310
    Abstract: An information receiver comprising a unit receiving information having a package number identifying the information, a first storage section where said package number is stored, a second storage section where reception information indicating whether or not said information associated with said package number was received, and a third storage section where display information indicating whether or not said information associated with said package number was displayed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 1999
    Date of Patent: February 10, 2004
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Shigeki Hirasawa, Yuichi Yagawa, Eiichi Yukino, Michio Morioka, Toru Yamada, Nobukage Takahashi
  • Patent number: 6680756
    Abstract: A receiver includes a CPU. The CPU can determine whether a variable N has reached a predetermined value X or not. The variable N is the number of channels over which broadcast signals could have been consecutively received. If “YES” is determined in the determination, the CPU performs presetting according to a CATV broadcast channel plan.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 20, 2004
    Assignee: Funai Electric Co., Ltd
    Inventor: Katsuhiro Morisada