Patents Examined by Andrew Faile
  • Patent number: 6678891
    Abstract: The present invention is a navigational user interface for interactive television. The invention uses an intuitive interactive interface for navigating through service options preferably offered by a cable television service. Services offered such as video on demand, purchasing delivery foods, restaurant selection, banking and community events is all navigated using the present invention.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 1998
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2004
    Assignee: Prasara Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Scott Wilcox, Robert A Montgomery, Thomas McDonald, Praveen Roa, Deborah A Spencer
  • Patent number: 6678893
    Abstract: A method of utilizing a bidirectional amplifier in a cable hybrid fiber and coax (HFC) and a cable modem utilizing an upstream signal. The invention provides an upstream pilot signal from the cable modem and automatically controls the gain of the signal so that the headend receives a constant level upstream pilot signal from each terminal. A cable modem for bidirectional services in the HFC network has a saw filter, a mixer & AGC, a LPF, a tuner, a gain controller, a downstream demodulator, an upstream modulator, a media access controller (MAC), a CPU, a programmable attenuator, a pilot signal generator and a switch connecting the tuner and the pilot signal generator under the control of the CPU.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 1998
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2004
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Choon-Jae Jung
  • Patent number: 6675385
    Abstract: An MPEG-2 digital TV headend and settop box includes a method and apparatus for enabling the presentation of electronic program guide (EPG) information. Television program guide information is downloaded from a source of television programming data to the headend of the TV broadcast system. The downloaded EPG data is translated into a plurality of HTML Web pages, which are continuously transmitted as a rotating data carousel in an MPEG-2 data stream. The digital TV settop box further includes a general-purpose web browser responsive to viewer commands to select and display a selected web page from the rotating carousel of HTML web pages. The digital TV settop further includes a data cache for downloading and storing partial HTML web page EPG information in advance, which reduces the necessary bandwidth allocated for the EPG information, and allows the settop box to quickly display the basic information for a channel related program guide.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 1998
    Date of Patent: January 6, 2004
    Assignee: Liberate Technologies
    Inventor: Jeffrey Yutong Wang
  • Patent number: 6671879
    Abstract: A method and system that provides a single multipurpose PPV channel that a subscriber tunes for all PPV services. From the subscriber's perspective, the program guide, previews, advertising, purchasing options, and showings of all PPV events occur on a single channel. There can be a single multipurpose PPV channel for all PPV services or single PPV channels for groups of similar services, such as a single Family PPV channel, a single Sports PPV channel, and a single Adult PPV channel that each represent single multipurpose channels for similar programming. The advertising on a single multipurpose channel can be directed to the type of programming on all the channels in the group. Once a subscriber purchases a PPV event, the HCT tunes to the MPEG transport stream and program information for the selected PPV event and displays the PPV event on the single multipurpose PPV channel at its associated start time. The subscriber does not have to select another channel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2003
    Assignee: Scientific-Atlanta, Inc.
    Inventors: John M. Schlarb, Robert O. Banker, Darryl L. Defreese, Gregory S. Durden
  • Patent number: 6671882
    Abstract: A translator for converting items of interactive program guide data to data structures that are more universal to handle with popular platforms, operating systems, tools, utilities and other hardware and software processors and resources. The invention uses C++ class objects and structures. The objects and structures are placed into a Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) “wrapper.” This allows the objects to be handled by platform-independent interfaces so that the system is easily adaptable to different hardware devices and software functionality. Aspects of the invention include the translation from custom IPG formats to CORBA-wrapped C++ objects, the storage of the objects, transmission of the objects among devices, and data entry and error handling of information represented by the objects.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2003
    Assignee: General Instrument Corporation
    Inventors: Pat Murphy, Cathy Crofts, Jason Mahan, Jeff Hopper, John Harrington, Chuck Datte
  • Patent number: 6668378
    Abstract: Interactive television content can be classified as either disconnected content or as connected content. An interactive television system involves some receivers that cannot establish connections to the Internet and therefore cannot properly process triggers to connected content. The system also involves other receiver units that can establish connections to the Internet and can process triggers to connected content. A trigger in accordance with the invention involves a “connected content/disconnected content” attribute that identifies the trigger as either a trigger to disconnected content or a trigger to connected content. Receiver units that cannot process triggers to connected content can therefore use the attribute to identify triggers to such connected content and can then ignore such triggers, while those receiver units that can process triggers to connect content can use those triggers to make the desired Internet connection.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2003
    Assignee: WebTV Networks, Inc.
    Inventors: Bruce A. Leak, Daniel J. Zigmond, Dean J. Blackketter
  • Patent number: 6665869
    Abstract: A program guide system is provided that supports a program guide application and multiple non-guide applications. The program guide system has a program guide application interface that allows the non-guide applications to use both device resources and program guide resources. The application interface maintains a list of registered applications and directs control requests from various applications to the current primary application. The application interface also has a user interface input director that directs keystrokes and other user input commands to the appropriate application. If a keystroke for the program guide application is detected while a non-guide application is running, the program guide application is invoked.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2003
    Assignee: United Video Properties, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael D. Ellis, Robert A. Knee
  • Patent number: 6662365
    Abstract: A system and method for controlling a plurality of parental control subsystems within an entertainment system is provided. The system includes a computer interfaced to a plurality of audio and/or audiovisual devices, wherein at least two of the audio and/or audiovisual devices within the system each comprise a native parental control subsystem or locking mechanism having adjustable parameters. A software locking mechanism operates the computer to allow a user to input one or more general parental control parameters and then sets the adjustable parameters of each native parental control subsystem within the system by mapping the parental control parameters onto each separate, native mechanisms for each device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 9, 2003
    Assignee: Gateway, Inc.
    Inventors: Gary E. Sullivan, Kim C. Smith
  • Patent number: 6662366
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a television receiver capable of receiving at least digital satellite broadcasting such as CS broadcasting. The television receiver according to the present invention comprises first means for displaying a plurality of program guides in a matrix shape on a display device utilizing one of the horizontal axis and the vertical axis as a channel number axis and utilizing the other axis as a time axis, and second means for displaying air times for the program guides displayed on the display device in the shape of a bar graph that is long along the time axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 9, 2003
    Assignee: Sanyo Eletric Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yoshinori Hama, Takashige Wakamatsu, Takaya Nonomura, Masako Wakisaka, Tadashi Shiono, Kiyoshi Awano
  • Patent number: 6654958
    Abstract: A CATV system is provided that includes a head-end with laser transmitters to provide data to a multitude of nodes through a forward optical network tree. The nodes convert the optical signals into electrical signals and retransmit the television and data signals through a coaxial network tree to customer interface units (CIUs). The nodes include respective controllers which identify status signals from the equipment of the nodes and transmit the status signals and a reference signal to the head-end controller for display on a display of the head-end controller. The reference signal allows monitoring that the return optical transmitter and network are operating correctly and allows the return signals from the nodes to be aligned. The status signals from the nodes include laser operation, laser bias current and laser power output for the laser transmitters of the nodes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 25, 2003
    Assignee: Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V.
    Inventors: Douglas K. Roberts, Gary F. Chandler, Horacio G. Facca
  • Patent number: 6651253
    Abstract: Metadata for a programming event may be generated through an interactive process. A system may receive data corresponding to a programming event. The data may include descriptive information and timing information. The system may then generate preliminary metadata for the programming event from the received data. The system may provide the preliminary metadata to a system user, and then receive user specified metadata responsive to the preliminary metadata. The preliminary metadata may include one or more of categories of a classification hierarchy, goodness of fit scores associated with the categories, keywords, goodness of fit scores associated with the keywords, and a title. Related embodiments may pertain to a system implementing such methods. Further related embodiments may pertain to methods and systems in which a system user is enabled to approve preliminary metadata provided by the system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 18, 2003
    Assignee: MYDTV, Inc.
    Inventors: Gil Gavriel Dudkiewicz, Dale Kittrick Hitt
  • Patent number: 6651250
    Abstract: A digital satellite broadcast receiving system is proposed in which the necessary packets of an MPEG2-based transport stream can be transferred to the system memory of a computer to facilitate processing of packets by a CPU. The system has means for filtering packets, by packet ID, from an MPEG2-based transport stream, which is output by a digital satellite broadcast tuner, to facilitate section formation from packets of the MPEG2-based transport stream by a CPU of a computer, filtering being performed after the transport stream is descrambled if the broadcast is a subscription broadcast; a buffer memory for storing the filtered data, which has been output by the filter means, until the data can be accessed by a host bus; and DMA control means for transferring, by direct memory access, content of the buffer memory to the system memory of the computer via the host bus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 18, 2003
    Assignee: NEC Corporation
    Inventor: Kazuhito Takai
  • Patent number: 6636607
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for controlling display of content signals begins by receiving a content signal that includes video content and at least one associated content control indicator. The content signal may also include audio content associated with the video content. The processing continues by comparing the at least one associated content control indicator (e.g., a rating of mature subject matter of the content signal) with at least one content control setting (e.g., a parental setting based on allowable viewing of rated content signals). When the associated content indicator compares unfavorably to the content control setting, a video graphics processor scrambles the at least a portion of the video content. The scrambled video content is then provided to a video rendering device for subsequent display.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2003
    Assignee: ATI International SRL
    Inventors: Ivan Yang, Stephen Orr, Andrew Morrison, Anatoly Fridman
  • Patent number: 6637029
    Abstract: A subscriber unit for use in a television system including a television network and transmitting apparatus for transmitting program schedule information, the subscriber unit including a receiving unit for receiving the program schedule information, a profile storage unit for storing at least one viewer preference profile of at least one television viewer, an intelligent agent for customizing the program schedule information based, at least in part, on the viewer preference profile, to produce a program guide including customized program schedule information, and display apparatus for displaying the program guide.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2003
    Assignee: NDS Limited
    Inventors: Jonathan Maissel, Amir Eilat, Yossef Tsuria, Moshe Kranc, Yishai Sered, Gershon Bar-On, Shabtai Atlow, David Zviel
  • Patent number: 6634028
    Abstract: A CATV system including a CATV network, a multiplicity of subscriber units, apparatus for transmitting over said CATV network encrypted information individually addressed to a subscriber unit and apparatus associated with each of said multiplicity of subscriber units for decoding the encrypted information addressed thereto.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 14, 2003
    Assignee: News Datacom, Ltd.
    Inventor: Doron Handelman
  • Patent number: 6629318
    Abstract: There is disclosed a decoder buffer capable of receiving streaming video data packets and storing the data packets in a plurality of access units. Each of the access units holds at least one data packet associated with a selected frame in the streaming video. The decoder buffer comprises: 1) a first buffer region comprising at least one access unit for storing data packets that are less immediately needed by the video decoder; and 2) a re-transmission region comprising at least one access unit for storing data packets that are most immediately needed by the video decoder. The decoder buffer, in response to a detection of a missing data packet in the re-transmission region, requests that the streaming video transmitter retransmit the missing packet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 30, 2003
    Assignee: Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V.
    Inventors: Hayder Radha, Kavitha Parthasarathy
  • Patent number: 6625811
    Abstract: A system output signals of broadcast contents in a multichannel broadcasting system without the need to suspend broadcasting even in the event of a failure occurring in an output buffer apparatus, includes a broadcast content storage unit for storing data of the broadcast contents, a plurality of main output buffer apparatuses each assigned to some of several output channels wherein data of broadcast contents to be output to the associated output channels is copied from the broadcast content storage unit to be output at output times as signals, backup output buffer apparatuses fewer in number than the main output buffer apparatuses wherein data of broadcast contents to be output to all the output channels is copied from the broadcast content storage unit, and a control unit for letting the backup output control apparatus output signals of broadcast contents stored therein for output channels associated with any of the main output buffer apparatuses to the output channels in the event of a failure occurring in
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 23, 2003
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventor: Shunji Kaneko
  • Patent number: 6622307
    Abstract: A multiple-room communication system is adapted to provide digital television programming (e.g. DBS) to a plurality of rooms in a single family dwelling and may be further adapted to provide digital television programming to a plurality of dwelling units in a multiple dwelling unit such as an apartment. A central unit includes a plurality of integrated receiver decoder modules that receive e.g. satellite signals from a satellite antenna and filter and supply the signals to a distribution system that is coupled to a plurality of display devices that are located in various rooms throughout the single family home. A plurality of hand-held remote controllers, each being associated with one of the integrated receiver decoder modules, are used to communicate with and control the associated integrated receiver decoder module to cause it to supply a desired signal to a desired display device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2003
    Assignee: Hughes Electronics Corporation
    Inventor: Kesse Ho
  • Patent number: 6622305
    Abstract: A method for display of near video on demand programs broadcast over a network system to a receiver operable to record at least one channel. The program includes a plurality of segments broadcast over two or more channels during a plurality of time intervals. The method includes displaying a first segment of the program as it is broadcast at a first time interval and recording a second segment of the program at the first time interval if the second segment is not scheduled for broadcast at a second time interval. The second segment is displayed if broadcast at the second time interval or the recorded second segment is played at the second time interval if not broadcast. The steps of recording and displaying are repeated for remaining segments of the program until the last segment of the program is displayed. A method for scheduling broadcast of near video on demand programs and a system for displaying near video on demand programs are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2003
    Assignee: OpenTV, Inc.
    Inventor: Pierre Willard
  • Patent number: 6611958
    Abstract: Methods and apparatuses for displaying broadcast history information of a plurality of episodes of a program on an audio-visual system, which enable a viewer to select a program for which the history information of each episode will be stored. In response to the viewer's selection, the audio-visual system stores the history information for the episodes of the selected program that has been received by the audio-visual system. The audio-visual system can display the history information when the viewer watches the current episode of the program in a future time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2003
    Assignees: Sony Corporation, Sony Electronics Inc.
    Inventors: Peter R. Shintani, Hisafumi Yamada