Patents Examined by Andrew Faile
  • Patent number: 6574798
    Abstract: The object of the invention is to provide a system and controller for distribution of audio/video signals on a pay-for-use basis, to a customer in a controlled environment such as a motel, hotel, bus station, bar or apartment building. The system includes a global authorization computer which transmits authorization to the customer over a telephone line. The customer has a telephone line/television control interface which receives the dual-tone multi-frequency authorization and allows the customer to select the authorized channel for a defined length of time. Without authorization, the telephone line/television control interface will deny the customer's attempt to tune his television to a pay-for-use channel. When the authorized time expires, the telephone line/television control interface tunes the customer's television to a non-pay-for-use channel. Additional options and embodiments are also presented.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2003
    Assignee: Sasktel
    Inventors: Graham C. Bradley, Alan Simpson, Shane D. Newton, Dennis E. Johns, Oliver Cruder
  • Patent number: 6571391
    Abstract: In accordance with one embodiment of the invention, a broadcast server system computes a feasible stretch value for use in scheduling job requests. A stretch value provides an indication of the delay experienced by each job request to complete, when the broadcast server processes many jobs concurrently. A processing time is calculated for each job request based on, the size of the job request and the bandwidth of the server downlink. Thereafter, a stretch value is proposed. The server system computes a deadline for each job to be the arrival time of the job request plus the product of the processing time and the proposed stretch value. Thereafter, each job request is scheduled, based on an “earliest deadline first” arrangement, wherein the job request that has the earliest deadline is scheduled first, the job request having the next earliest deadline is scheduled second, etc. The proposed stretch value is deemed feasible if each pending job request can be completed prior to its deadline.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2003
    Assignee: Lucent Technologies Inc.
    Inventors: Swarup Acharya, Shanmugavelayut Muthukrishnan
  • Patent number: 6571393
    Abstract: A data transmission system is proposed, for example for video-on-demand, internet or multimedia applications, in which a number of subscribers in a building are connected to a central server through at least in part twisted pair cables within the building. Compensation for the channel distortion caused by the use of twisted pair cables is provided by the use of pre-emphasis filters in the outgoing data lines from the server. The required coefficients for the pre-emphasis filters are established by first characterizing the distortion properties of a channel by the use of a test signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2003
    Assignee: The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
    Inventors: Tsz-Mei Ko, Ming Liou, Kwan-Fai Cheung, Roger Cheng, Bo Hu, Donghui Qu
  • Patent number: 6571390
    Abstract: An interactive entertainment network system has a video-on-demand (VOD) application which allows viewers to create their own customized lists of preferred video content programs, such as movies, games, TV shows, and so forth. Viewers are permitted to select criteria for grouping various video content programs into manageable sets. Lists of programs are provided in one or more scrollable lists, the scrolling rates of which are programmable. Once grouped, previews for the set of programs are displayed. The VOD application allows the viewers to browse the previews at their own rate, skipping forward to the next preview or backward to the previous preview. During this automated browsing, the VOD application enables the viewer to add any of the programs of interest to a customized list. The viewer can retrieve the customized list at any time. If the viewer orders a program from the customized list, the program remains available to the viewer for a rental period (which is adjustable).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2003
    Assignee: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: Matthew W. Dunn, Daniel J. Shoff
  • Patent number: 6567978
    Abstract: A display interface device and method for determining a currently tuned-to channel of a set-top converter box having an electronic display that indicates the currently tuned-to channel via seven-segment display elements in response to drive signals provided thereto by the set-top converter device. The display interface device includes an electrical connection to the electronic display and a controller. The controller receives the drive signals over the electrical connection and generates information representative of the currently tuned-to tuned channel for use by downstream components. The information representative of the tuned channel may be output as an ASCII value representative of the currently tuned-to channel. The display interface may be part of a viewership metering system when used in conjunction with a viewership collection meter to determine viewer habits.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2003
    Assignee: ADcom Information Services, Inc.
    Inventor: Lester L. Jarrell
  • Patent number: 6567979
    Abstract: A parental management controller for use in a DVD environment is disclosed that defines, in a distributive computer environment, department, country, or corporate controls over DVD content viewed by machines within the environment. The controller provides automated parental management installation on remote machines. It provides parental management enforcement on remote machines. It adjusts the default parental management enforcement level to local cultures and moral values. The controller also provides a logging of any parental management violations on local machines.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2003
    Assignee: Oak Technology, Inc.
    Inventor: Linden A. deCarmo
  • Patent number: 6567982
    Abstract: A system and method are described for providing interactive television services and for switching between television programs, such as to an interactive program session from another program. An interactive server, capable of providing requested interactive video services to a set of subscribers in a given geographic area, is coupled to a network to which subscriber set top boxes are also coupled. Television programming, which may be furnished by any number of sources, is accompanied by a signal that indicates the availability of other programming, such as interactive television service related to the program being viewed, as well as information to be used in requesting such service. The user, when notified by this signal, may input to the set top box a request for a second program, such as an interactive program or application. The identity of the original program channel is stored, and a session with the video service provider is established over the network.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2003
    Assignee: BellSouth Intellectual Property Corporation
    Inventors: Wayne R. Howe, Fred Thomas Danner, III, John R. Mauney
  • Patent number: 6567986
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for distributing time and frequency information to a plurality of studios such that the studios can then use the time and frequency information frequency and timelock their studio components to the global reference. The apparatus includes various embodiments for facilitating the distribution of time and frequency depending upon the type of digital network that is used for distributing the television signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2003
    Assignee: Sarnoff Corporation
    Inventors: Christopher Ward, Charles M. Wine
  • Patent number: 6567988
    Abstract: In transmitting the analog video signal via a coaxial cable, a transmission apparatus side is not provided with an emphasis characteristic which is the inverse to the frequency attenuation characteristic of the coaxial cable. In stead, an emphasis is applied by a preemphasis circuit on the transmission side, on the basis of an emphasis curve of a frequency band characteristic curve having an inverse characteristic to a frequency band characteristic curve of a detected signal which is obtained when transmitting a modulated signal without a preemphasis to the coaxial cable and conducting synchronous detection on a receiving apparatus side by using an oscillation frequency having the same frequency as that of a carrier used at the time of modulation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2003
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventor: Hiroshi Okawa
  • Patent number: 6567980
    Abstract: One aspect of the invention is directed to a system and method for video cataloging. The video is cataloged according to predefined or user definable metadata. The metadata is used to index and then retrieve encoded video. In another aspect of the invention, video metadata track processors convert metadata tracks of the video information to produce displayable frames containing hyperlinking between displayable data. Another aspect of the invention is directed to a method of browsing stored video information, including displaying hyperlinked frames of metadata track representations, and selecting and displaying links between displayable frames.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2003
    Assignee: Virage, Inc.
    Inventors: Ramesh Jain, Charles Fuller, Mojgan Monika Gorkani, Bradley Horowitz, Richard D. Humphrey, Michael J. Portuesi, Chiao-fe Shu, Arun Hampapur, Amarnath Gupta, Jeffrey Bach
  • Patent number: 6564381
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for scheduling the distribution of information so as to maximize the viewer ship of the same and, therefore, profits. Dynamic scheduling of distribution of subportions of the information, referred to as descriptors that typically correspond to a motion picture program, is achieved so that the subportions may be transmitted to end users having a high probability of perceiving the same. A subgroup of the descriptors have a weighting value assigned thereto with said subgroup of said plurality of descriptors having a weighting value differing from the weighting value associated with the remaining descriptors of said subgroup. The weighting value is a function of predetermined parameters associated with said motion picture program, such as revenue generated when released in movie theaters, comments by professional critics and contractual constraints placed upon the distributor by holders of the ownership rights of the motion picture program.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2003
    Assignee: VXL Capitol Partners Corporation, Ltd.
    Inventors: Winston H. Hodge, Robert M. Kamm, Lawrence E. Taylor, David L. Hench, Pierre A. Schuberth, Kang Tsi Yam, Gary B. Seaton
  • Patent number: 6564378
    Abstract: An interactive television program guide system is provided in which a user may direct the program guide to display a browsing display screen. The browsing display screen includes a list of current programs including a movable highlight region, a video window containing a television program to which the system is currently tuned, and a detailed description of the highlighted program listing. The user may position the highlight region using remote control cursor keys. The user may then synchronize the content of the video window with the highlighted program listing by pressing a select key or a channel up or down key. If the user changes channels repeatedly using the channel up and down keys, the contents of the video window and the highlighted program listings remain in synchronization.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2003
    Assignee: United Video Properties, Inc.
    Inventors: Kevin D. Satterfield, Thomas R. Lemmons, Jennifer E. Nelson, Connie T. Marshall, Brent E. Perry
  • Patent number: 6564383
    Abstract: A method and system is provided for capturing, organizing, and presenting information generated from a television program. The method monitors closed caption data of television programs for transition symbols and user defined search parameters and scheduling information. Information relating to captured television programs is entered into a capture management database for assembly into an interactive results file. The interactive results file allows a user to browse, view and navigate the captured television program information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2003
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: James Lee Combs, William Walter Vetter
  • Patent number: 6560778
    Abstract: There is disclosed a tap device for branching a part of transmission signals running through a transmission line to selectively transmit branched signals to subscriber terminal devices via tap output terminals, in which signal paths for leading the transmission signals to the tap output terminals can easily and securely be shielded. Substrates provided with various circuits and the like are successively fixed to a housing member provided with tap output terminals. The housing member is provided with partition walls for surrounding the signal paths to the tap output terminals from the first substrate and separating relays disposed on the substrate. A shield cover, which can separate wiring patterns for signal input to the relays and wiring patterns for signal output via the relays, is disposed between the first and the second substrates. The second substrate is fixed to the housing member via the shield cover.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2003
    Assignee: Masprodenkoh Kabushikikaisha
    Inventor: Shinji Hasegawa
  • Patent number: 6557173
    Abstract: A portable electronic book viewer receives electronic text and graphic files, or electronic books, by connection to a television program delivery system. The electronic books may provided as compressed data that is transmitted with a video signal. The electronic books are transmitted in the vertical blanking interval of the video signal. The electronic books may be received at a set top terminal, and stored in memory at the set top terminal. A hardware upgrade may be added to a conventional set top terminal to provide for reception, storage and processing of the electronic books. Such storage may be by way of a hard disk, a floppy disk, an optical disk, and a magnetic cartridge for example. The portable viewer may receive the electronic books from the set top terminal. The portable viewer may then decompress the electronic books for display and viewing. The electronic books are decompressed only at the time of viewing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 28, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2003
    Assignee: Discovery Communications, Inc.
    Inventor: John S. Hendricks
  • Patent number: 6553567
    Abstract: A two-way wireless local transmission system integrates computer and television user interfaces. A television set-top device includes a separate transmitter and receiver. The transmitter converts an audio and video signal into a modulated signal within the 902-928 MHz frequency band and transmits the modulated signal to a receiver associated with a computer peripheral device. The receiver downconverts the modulated signal and processes the signal within the computer. The computer processed signal is then sent by a transmitter in the computer peripheral device to the receiver in the set-top device, which provides the signal to a television receiver which displays images in response to the received signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2003
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Theodore David Wugofski, John Martin Baker
  • Patent number: 6550063
    Abstract: An HPF for blocking an upstream signal and passing a downstream signal, an LPF for blocking the downstream signal and passing only an upstream data signal, a directional coupler for branching, and a high frequency relay for forming a through line are built in a shielded package integrally as a high frequency module, so as to restrain noise produced by a digital circuit from interfering. This enables the analogue circuit of the high frequency module and the other digital circuits to be built integrally in a network interface module mounted in a cable television set-top box. In addition, a single tuner is used for both analogue and digital signals. In doing so, the switching of an AGC voltage is problematic, which is done by an AGC switching circuit. With a network interface module mounted in a cable television set-top box, the circuit arrangement can be hence simplified, and improvements can be made on cost, size and power consumption.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 19, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2003
    Assignee: Sharp Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Syuuji Matsuura
  • Patent number: 6546557
    Abstract: A method and system for enhancing digital video transmission to set-top boxes improves the performance of a hybrid analog and digital video transmission system, for example, an AM-VSB QAM video transmission system, by selecting a digital channel map based on the relative magnitude and frequency locations of CSO and CTB distortions and the analog channel frequency plan. A variable interleaver may also be implemented in the video transmission system to further reduce the CSO and CTB distortions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2003
    Assignee: General Instrument Corporation
    Inventor: Shlomo Ovadia
  • Patent number: 6546556
    Abstract: A tagged scene of a video stream transmitted from a first to second stations in television broadcasting system is collected while preventing the tags from being used for commercial cutting (i.e., indiscriminate tagged scene cutting). The first station generates for each scene a tag includes a category, a location for use in locating a beginning of the scene and a length. A second station obtains a desired category from the user. Detecting a tag in the video stream, if the category coincides with the desired category, the second station clips from the video stream a part of the length defined in the tag from a position located by using the location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2003
    Assignees: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., Information Broadcasting Laboratories, Inc.
    Inventors: Mitsuteru Kataoka, Kazuhiro Machida, Takenosuke Harada
  • Patent number: 6546555
    Abstract: A system for selling digital video information over a communications network such as the Internet basically includes a filtering server and a service administration system. The filtering server includes a commerce server, a streaming server and a world-wide web information server. The world-wide web information server provides customers with a list of available videos, the possibility to customize specific versions and a method for calculating the price for a specific version. The service administration system includes a management tool for the merchant to define price classes and payment schemes and a meta-data editing tool for the merchant to prepare the content for the filtering. The system will connect to external systems to have the payment information verified. If the payment transaction is accepted the system will pass the selected video through a sequence of service filters to generate the edition that the customer selected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2003
    Assignee: Siemens Corporate Research, Inc.
    Inventors: Rune Hjelsvold, Remi Depommier, Yves Léauté, Kangesh Gunaseelan