Patents Examined by Andrew Faile
  • Patent number: 6606746
    Abstract: A system and method for providing a graphical user interface (GUI) in an interactive television system. In the preferred embodiment, the interactive television system comprises a video delivery system for providing video content, and at least one subscriber television including a display screen, wherein the subscriber television is coupled to the video delivery system. According to the present invention, the video delivery system provides a compressed background picture and one or more compressed insert pictures. Each of the compressed insert pictures represents a display portion of the GUI. The subscriber television receives the compressed background picture and the one or more compressed insert pictures, and operates to paste at least one of the compressed insert pictures into the compressed background picture. The pasting is preferably performed in response to interactive program execution and/or user input.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 12, 2003
    Assignee: OpenTV, Inc.
    Inventors: Joel W. Zdepski, Rama M. Kalluri
  • Patent number: 6604240
    Abstract: A system is provided in which an interactive television program guide is implemented on user television equipment such as a set-top box. The program guide provides an operator showcase in the form of one or more operator showcase television listings screens, each of which contains a set of television listings information. The sets of television listings information are generated by querying a database of television listings data in a database in the set-top box. Each database query is based on content criteria previously selected by the cable system operator or other service provider. The service provider is also able to define the format with which the television listings information is displayed in the television listings screens. A title and logos may also be selected by the service provider for each screen. The operator showcase television listings screens may therefore by customized and branded by the service provider.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 6, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2003
    Assignee: United Video Properties, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael D. Ellis, Edward B. Knudson, William L. Thomas, Bruce L. Davis
  • Patent number: 6604243
    Abstract: According to an embodiment of the present invention, a fast matching algorithm uses a memory space efficient data structure to accomplish information filtering in a system receiving information, such as a set top box used in conjunction with a television set. The data structure, according to an embodiment of the present invention, may include a node with a plurality of levels of expected values of data fields with an associated index to another node to be used when a matching identification of a particular level is not found. Additionally, according to an embodiment of the present invention, the nodes in this data structure may include a level field which identifies levels which are valid within the node.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2003
    Assignee: Open TV
    Inventor: Felix Freimann
  • Patent number: 6601237
    Abstract: The invention relates to an apparatus for receiving programs from a plurality of channels, comprising a tuner for tuning to any of the plurality of channels, and an electronic program guide (EPG) for presenting a schedule of the programs. The apparatus comprises virtual channel means for creating a user selectable virtual channel for reproducing selected programs from various genuine channels. The virtual channel means are adapted to control the tuner to tune to a channel currently broadcasting a selected program. When a user selects the virtual channel, the apparatus takes care of automatically switching between the genuine channels broadcasting the programs viewed on the virtual channel. As a consequence, the user can view the desired programs by simply selecting the virtual channel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 29, 2003
    Assignee: Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V.
    Inventors: Warner R. T. Ten Kate, Edwin A. Montie, Astrid M. F. Dobbelaar
  • Patent number: 6598233
    Abstract: The present invention is capable of reducing a time required for channel switching, and selecting or searching a user request channel quickly by storing a packet identifiers of a video and an audio signal of a digital television channel, extracting the stored packet identifiers according to a channel switching request of a user, and outputting the video and audio signal corresponding to the user select channel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2003
    Assignee: LG Electronics Inc.
    Inventor: Kyung Rok Choi
  • Patent number: 6598229
    Abstract: An interactive information distribution system according to the present invention includes a session control manager having a defective channel detection module, a channel re-allocation module, and a replacement-signaling module. The session control manager is coupled to receive signals from the plurality of set top boxes, and coupled to control the digital video modulators and the assignment of communication channels to nodes. The defective channel detection module receives signals from the plurality of set top boxes, and based on the error rate and other factors determines if any of the communication channels used by the digital video modulators are defective. Upon determining that a particular communication channel is defective, the defective channel detection module signals the channel re-allocation module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2003
    Assignee: Diva Systems Corp.
    Inventors: Aidan J. Smyth, Christopher Goode
  • Patent number: 6594828
    Abstract: An extender transmits red, blue and green signals, and vertical and horizontal sync signals over a single transmission medium. The extender generates a subcarrier reference frequency signal from the vertical and horizontal sync signals and combines the subcarrier reference frequency signal with the vertical and horizontal sync signals and the green signal to generate a green portion. The extender then quadrature amplitude modulates the blue signal and the red signal by the subcarrier reference frequency signal to generate a color portion, and combines the green portion and the color portion to generate an enhanced video signal. The enhanced video signal is transmitted over the single transmission medium.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2003
    Assignee: Intel Corporation
    Inventor: Daniel D. Moss
  • Patent number: 6594826
    Abstract: An architecture for distributing digital information to subscriber units wherein selection from among multiple digital services is accomplished by transmitting a tuning command from a subscriber unit to an intermediate interface. The intermediate interface selects the desired service from a broadband network and transmits it to the subscriber unit over a bandwidth-constrained access line. The bandwidth-constrained access line may be implemented with existing infrastructure, yet the subscriber unit may access a wide variety of digital information available on the broadband network. Universal broadband access is thus provided at low cost. Output bandwidth of broadcast equipment may also be optimized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2003
    Assignee: Irdeto Access, Inc.
    Inventors: R. Padmanabha Rao, Paolo L. Siccardo, Gilbert Levesque
  • Patent number: 6591420
    Abstract: A program distribution system is disclosed for the simultaneous release of a program at a plurality of locations. The locations may include local broadcasters, or even individual devices. A program is modified so that it cannot be played without a release control signal and is then copied and distributed .either fixed in a media or electronically, i.e. via private network, the Internet, etc.) At the receiver the receiver first detects the release control signal and then replays the program at will. The program may include a time stamp in which case the receiver cannot replay the program until a control indicative of a current time/date corresponding to the date stamp. Alternative the program can be encrypted in which case the release control signal includes the decryption key. The release control can be broadcast over a tv channel, a radio channel and so on and is preferably imbedded into the signals of the standard tv or radio signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2003
    Assignee: Warner Music Group, Inc.
    Inventors: Alan J. McPherson, George Lydecker
  • Patent number: 6591421
    Abstract: An information handling system for utilizing an electronic program guide and a method for generating a future program guide are disclosed. A processor executes a program of instructions for the information handling system, and a memory stores the program of instructions that comprises a program guide for causing the information handling system to obtain current program guide information, to compare the current program guide information to previous program guide information, to thereby generate future programming information, and to generate a future program guide based upon the future programming information. The current program guide information is obtained from a program information source, and the previous program guide information is stored in an information storage medium of the information handling system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2003
    Assignee: Spotware Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Gary E. Sullivan
  • Patent number: 6591419
    Abstract: A method of transmitting a transport stream over an IEEE 1394 Serial Bus comprising stripping out of the transport stream identifiable unrequired data so as to reduce the bandwidth of the transport stream, a digital multi-media receiver for transmitting a transport stream to a Conditional Access Module on an IEEE 1394 Serial Bus including a reader for reading the contents of the transport stream and identifying data which is not required for processing by a Conditional Access Module, a stripper for stripping out at least some of the identified unrequired data from the transport stream and a transmitter for transmitting all of the remaining data of the transport stream which has not been stripped and a network of digital multi-media devices connected by means of an IEEE 1394 Serial Bus whereby a first device sends such a stripped transport stream to a second device over the IEEE 1394 Serial Bus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2003
    Assignee: Sony United Kingdom Limited
    Inventors: Richard John Barry, Michael Alexander Webster, Adrian Charles Paskins
  • Patent number: 6588015
    Abstract: A digital radio broadcast system provides various interactive features, including skip forward and skip backward. In one embodiment, data is transmitted at a faster than real time rate and accumulated in a buffer at a receiver. The user can play a current track or skip to subsequent or earlier tracks. In another embodiment, two or more programming service streams (i.e., user channels) are communicated such that a user can move directly from a current track to the beginning of a track of another stream. In another embodiment, tiers of service levels are provided so that paying subscribers can bypass some or all of the commercial messages, while non-paying subscribers can not bypass the commercials. Replacement programming may be transmitted in a portion of the bandwidth of the free service. At a receiver, control data may be used with multimedia data to provide a multimedia clip which identifies features of a track, such as artist, song title or lyrics.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2003
    Assignee: General Instrument Corporation
    Inventors: Mark K. Eyer, G. Kent Walker
  • Patent number: 6588014
    Abstract: A digital broadcasting system capable of quickly acquiring long term program information. An SI generating part SG2 generates a long term program information S_EIT which is multiplexed in a transport stream TS2 only. The SI generating part SG2 gives information on whether the long term program information S_EIT is present or not for each service to other SI generating parts SG1 and SG3. The SI generating parts SG1 and SG3 multiplex the given presence information in transport streams TS1 and TS3. In this way, the presence information is multiplexed in all the transport streams. Therefore, the presence information may be acquired whichever transport stream is being received. If the presence information is retained beforehand, the information may be quickly used as required.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2003
    Assignee: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Tsutomu Hayashi
  • Patent number: 6581207
    Abstract: In an information filtering unit connected with user's video equipment by a communications line, a program content analyzing section analyzes the contents of broadcast programs from a broadcasting station in terms of substantial information such as video and sound. A collation evaluation section evaluates the similarity between the analyses and a user's profile stored in a profile storage section. A program selecting selection transmits the result of program selection to the video equipment in the form of time information. The video equipment receives and records a program from the broadcasting station in accordance with the time information sent from the information filtering unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2003
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventors: Kazuo Sumita, Miwako Doi, Osamu Hori, Hideki Hirakawa
  • Patent number: 6578203
    Abstract: A video/audio system includes an interface device that receives a plurality of audio and video signals from a plurality of sources. The interface device combines these signals into various combinations and transmits the combinations to a receiver. The receiver is configured to interface one of the combinations of signals with a user. In this regard, the receiver allows the user to select one of the combinations, and in response, the receiver separates the video signal(s) of the selected combination from the audio signal(s) of the selected combination. Then, the receiver renders the video signal(s) via a display device and produces a sound defined by the audio signal(s) via a speaker. Accordingly, the user is able to control which set of audio and video signals are interfaced with the user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2003
    Inventors: Tazwell L. Anderson, Jr., Mark A. Wood
  • Patent number: 6578202
    Abstract: A standard, high performance CATV signal splitter that operates at high signal levels with greatly reduced intermodulation distortion. The circuit retains the presently accepted performance standards for RF signal splitters while reducing the unacceptable distortion resulting from the higher signal levels currently encountered in applications such as Internet communication. The improved signal splitter circuitry reduces or eliminates signal distortion due to magnetization of the ferrite core material. Such core magnetization occurs in prior art signal splitters when the high permeability ferrite core of the transformer is exposed to random electrical spikes, power surges, and static charge build-up. In the present invention, a tuned circuit is added in the output balance section of a prior art signal splitter to confine the transformer performance to the narrower range of CATV frequencies.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2003
    Inventor: Michael Holland
  • Patent number: 6578200
    Abstract: The reception device in two way digital broadcasting system sends a transmission request for an object via a control channel of a network to a server device that stores a plurality of objects. This plurality of objects includes at least one object that contains data and at least one object that contains a control instruction for a synchronous transmission request requesting the transmission of data that is presently required or an asynchronous transmission request requesting the transmission of data that will probably be necessary in the future. The reception device receives the requested object via the data channel of the network. On receiving an object that includes a control instruction for a synchronous transmission request or an asynchronous transmission request from the server device, the reception device decodes the control instruction in the received object and judges whether a synchronous transmission request or an asynchronous transmission request is to be issued.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 1997
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2003
    Assignee: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Naoya Takao, Hisayuki Kino, Masahiro Oashi
  • Patent number: 6574795
    Abstract: An information delivery system includes receiving platforms to receive data communicated from a transmitting source according to a unidirectional transfer protocol over a link. At least some receiving platforms process the received data to determine if a portion of expected data is missing. If so, a receiving platform is able to generate and send a request for the missing data according to a supplemental protocol that is separate from the unidirectional transfer protocol. The transmitting source is able to receive the request for missing data and to retransmit the missing data. The data may include ancillary information (e.g., enhancement data) associated with audio/video content (e.g., television content). By adding the supplemental protocol to enable requests for missing data, a unidirectional transfer protocol that is not reliable is made reliable as a mechanism is provided to ensure receipt of the transmitted data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2003
    Assignee: Intel Corporation
    Inventor: Wayne J. Carr
  • Patent number: 6574794
    Abstract: A satellite payload architecture for interactive data distribution and broadcasting services preferably for use in the emerging EHF (20-60 GHz) frequency bands. The system allows many individual service-program providers to transmit their service-program data to the satellite, on a bandwidth-on-demand and as-needed basis, directly from their premises through low-power, low-cost broadcast satellite terminals. The satellite payload utilizes high-gain spot beams for low-cost uplinking, digital regeneration and multiplexing of the individual received service-program data into MPEG transport streams, and broadcasting these in a DVB-compatible format via full-area broadcast beams to very small, low-cost end-user satellite terminals. All end-user satellite terminals are also equipped with transmit capability of a reverse-channel in support of interactivity-communications and network signaling/control functions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2003
    Assignee: Hughes Electronics Corporation
    Inventor: Jamal Sarraf
  • Patent number: 6574793
    Abstract: A method and system for displaying advertisements. The advertisements are displayed on a television having a controlled connected thereto and configured for receiving commands from a viewer of the television. The method includes displaying a first advertisement on the television, receiving a command from the viewer of the television to display a second advertisement, the second advertisement being a variant of the first advertisement, and displaying the second advertisement on the television.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2003
    Assignee: Interval Research Corporation
    Inventors: J. Thomas Ngo, Malcolm Slaney