Patents Examined by John W. Miller
  • Patent number: 7984472
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to a system, method and computer program for enabling a user (an auditor or a viewer) to access complementary information related to one or a plurality of sequences or topics of interest in a recorded program previously broadcast on the radio or television and played back on a device, such as an audio or video tape or disk recorder/player. The preferred embodiment of the invention relates to a system and method for enabling a person listening to or watching a recorded program, to select one or a plurality of topics drawing his or her attention and for immediately receiving further information related to these topics from the World Wide Web. The system is based on the synchronization of local times of transmitters and recorders. The flow of information transmitted, received and recorded is always synchronized, independently of the relative positions of recorders and transmitters.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2011
    Assignee: Yahoo! Inc.
    Inventor: Fernando Incentis Carro
  • Patent number: 7954126
    Abstract: Apparatus, methods, and systems for centrally and uniformly controlling the operation of a variety of devices, such as communication, consumer electronic, audio-video, analog, digital, 1394, and the like, over a variety of protocols within a network system and, more particularly, a control system and uniform user interface for centrally controlling these devices in a manner that appears seamless and transparent to the user. In a preferred embodiment, a command center or hub of a network system includes a context and connection permutation sensitive control system that enables centralized and seamless integrated control of all types of input devices. The control system preferably includes a versatile icon based graphical user interface that provides a uniform, on-screen centralized control system for the network system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2011
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America, Inc.
    Inventors: Polly Stecyk, Brian Peterson, Brian D Maxson, Pavel Houda, George E. Palmer, Shenta T. Pu, Martin Zanfino, Robert A. Perry
  • Patent number: 7954124
    Abstract: Instant messaging (IM) and TV programming are displayed simultaneously on a TV screen. An instant messaging window on the screen displays posted messages and identifies the TV program (if any) being currently viewed by each user posting messages. An icon accompanying a message can be selected by a message recipient to permit a telephone call to be automatically dialed and completed to the message sender. Video files attached to sent messages include a key which may be compared to a key at the destination, so that the video file may be viewed by the recipient only if the there is a match. Data collected at a server managing the instant messaging may be used to monitor message, television and telephone activity, as well as demographic data associated with the IM users.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2011
    Assignee: Quest Communications International, Inc.
    Inventor: Kenneth Rambo
  • Patent number: 7945939
    Abstract: A method involves identifying a leak location in a cable television system using a detection system, calculating a distance between the leak location and a plurality of shapes or points contained in map data to identify the nearest shape or point, and providing a piece of information corresponding to the nearest shape or point. The piece of information may be a street address or a device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2011
    Assignee: Cable Leakage Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Kenneth J. Eckenroth, Michael E. Ostteen
  • Patent number: 7945935
    Abstract: A system that enables an event or moments within an event to be captured and provided in a record that preserves at least some aspects of the participant's perspective of the event. In particular, the present invention involves centralized recording of the event in one or more modes including video, audio, and still image recordings and a system that enables a participant (i.e., one who perceives the event) to select portions of the event recording substantially contemporaneously with the event occurrence. A personalized record is made by duplicating the selected portions from the event record. In a particular example, the personalized record is recorded on a digital media such as a compact disc (CD) or digital video disk (DVD) or the like.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2011
    Inventor: Dale Stonedahl
  • Patent number: 7945926
    Abstract: The present invention includes a system and method for combining television broadcast programming content with customized or personalized information and educational or entertainment content. The system includes a set-top box capable of receiving data transmissions and locally rendering video animation for display with, instead of and/or synchronized with television broadcast programs in a way that the television viewer sees a coherent seamless merging of the television program content and supplemental content sources in an indistinguishable format. Preferably, the viewer may interact in real-time with the enhanced television programming to provide a higher level of engagement and customization potential.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2011
    Assignee: Accenture Global Services Limited
    Inventors: Kelly L. Dempski, Ryan C. Horner, Dax A. Fohl
  • Patent number: 7941821
    Abstract: Apparatus, methods, and systems for centrally and uniformly controlling the operation of a variety of devices, such as communication, consumer electronic, audio-video, analog, digital, 1394, and the like, over a variety of protocols within a network system and, more particularly, a control system and uniform user interface for centrally controlling these devices in a manner that appears seamless and transparent to the user. In a preferred embodiment, a command center or hub of a network system includes a context and connection permutation sensitive control system that enables centralized and seamless integrated control of all types of input devices. The control system preferably includes a versatile icon based graphical user interface that provides a uniform, on-screen centralized control system for the network system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2011
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America, Inc.
    Inventors: Polly Stecyk, Brian Peterson, Brian D. Maxson, Pavel Houda, George E. Palmer, Shenta T. Pu, Martin Zanfino, Robert A. Perry
  • Patent number: 7941823
    Abstract: A representation of an audiovisual asset is obtained and is processed to obtain at least one normal playback video elementary stream, (optionally, at least one audio elementary stream), and at least one trick mode video elementary stream. A transport stream is formed from the at least one normal playback video elementary stream, the at least one audio elementary stream (where present), and the at least one trick mode video elementary stream, with the at least one trick mode video elementary stream encapsulated in the transport stream. Streaming of the transport stream within a network is facilitated, for example, to a VOD server (for de-encapsulation), and in some approaches, to a set-top box.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2011
    Assignee: Time Warner Cable Inc.
    Inventor: Charles Hasek
  • Patent number: 7937733
    Abstract: An information processing system may include first apparatus and second apparatus coupled to each other through communications means. The first apparatus may include a transmitting/receiving unit effecting two-way communications with the second apparatus, and a control unit that transmits data corresponding to the operating signal from the transmitting/receiving unit to the second apparatus in response to an operating signal transmitted from the second apparatus, and to perform control of the first apparatus. The second apparatus may include a transmitting/receiving unit effecting two-way communications with the first apparatus, a display displaying an image based on the data transmitted from the first apparatus, and a control unit that displays, on a screen of the display, a first operating image for operating the first apparatus and a second operating image for operating a menu screen related to the first apparatus, in response to a remote controller signal supplied from a remote controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2011
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Tamao Katayama, Kazunori Suto, Natsuko Nishikata
  • Patent number: 7937737
    Abstract: Systems and methods are disclosed for qualifying performance of a disk drive in a digital home communications terminal (DHCT) deployed in the field. In embodiment, among others, at least one DHCT is identified for performance testing. A disk drive performance test application is downloaded to the DHCT over a communication channel. Performance test results are received from the DHCT over the communication channel. A DHCT is designated as having a hard disk failure if the test results are below a threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2011
    Inventors: Samuel H. Russ, Mark Randall Murray
  • Patent number: 7930722
    Abstract: A method for providing community information concerning an accommodation area includes the steps of (a) inputting community information of the accommodation area to a storage medium; (b) creating a television presentation and a web presentation using software, wherein the software imports the community information from the storage medium and automatically formats and lays out the community information into the television presentation and the web presentation; (c) applying presentation elements having user-modifiable rules associated therewith to the television presentation and the web presentation; (d) transmitting the television presentation to the accommodation via a distributed communications network; and (e) optionally displaying the web presentation on a web site associated with the accommodation area. A system for creating, managing and delivering community information is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2011
    Assignee: Touchtown, Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffrey A. Pepper, Evan M. Ruiz, David A. Hornig, Karen A. Graff
  • Patent number: 7921447
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for enhanced video signal processing are described. An enhanced video signal is received. A plurality of metadata describing the enhanced video signal are generated and processed. A channel for transmission of the enhanced video signal to a plurality of viewers is determined.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2011
    Assignee: Thomson Licensing
    Inventors: Jay Weber, David Kaiser, Prasad Panchangam
  • Patent number: 7913273
    Abstract: A system and method for purchasing broadcast audio and/or video (audio/video) works. According to one embodiment, the system includes a data stream processor that receives a broadcast audio/video data stream and produces from the broadcast audio/video data stream a first audio/video output data stream and a second audio/video output data stream, wherein the broadcast audio/video data stream contains information corresponding to an audio/video work and the first audio/video output stream is in a format that can be recognized and processed by conventional audio/video reproducing equipment; a storage device that stores data included in the second audio/video output data stream, wherein the data corresponds to the audio/video work; and a user interface that enables a user of the system to input to the system an indication that the user desires to purchase the audio/video work.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2011
    Assignee: Music Choice
    Inventors: David J. Del Beccaro, Jeremy Rosenberg
  • Patent number: 7908618
    Abstract: A system and method for managing interactive program and commercial content is disclosed. The system includes an interactive enabling device for receiving a broadcast stream containing interactive program and commercial triggers for retrieving interactive program and commercial content. An interactive content server communicates with a control application in the interactive enabling device. The interactive enabling device executes the control application to manage retrieval of interactive program and commercial content from the content server in response to the interactive program and commercial triggers. The interactive control application includes a gatekeeper function for selectively retrieving interactive program and commercial content in response to recognized interactive program and commercial triggers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2011
    Assignees: Sony Corporation, Sony Pictures Entertaiment Inc.
    Inventors: John Anthony Bruckner, Nizar Allibhoy
  • Patent number: 7908624
    Abstract: A settop box for streaming a television program to a network device through a network includes a central processing unit, a network interface device, a direct memory access engine, a buffer, and a memory for storing computer-executable instructions. The stored instructions cause the direct memory access engine to route time-ordered digital media data packets encoding the television program into the buffer, cause the central processing unit to add a network header to the digital media data packets, and cause the network interface device to relay the digital media data packets to a network device through the network, wherein the packets are relayed substantially without latency and with a time-ordering based on the same time-ordering of the packets in the buffer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2011
    Assignee: Broadcom Corporation
    Inventor: Yasantha Nirmal Rajakarunanayake
  • Patent number: 7904936
    Abstract: Program content is received at a headend of a broadband communication system, along with data concerning scheduled start and end times of the program derived from electronic program guide (EPG) data. After the program is broadcast, the actual broadcast start and end times of the program are compared with the corresponding scheduled times to determine whether there is any start and/or end time variance. If a time variance is determined, the content of the program is redefined to include only its supposed content. The redefined content is then made part of an asset for later retrieval and distribution.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 8, 2011
    Assignee: Time Warner Interactive Video Group, Inc.
    Inventor: Erik G. Urdang
  • Patent number: 7900231
    Abstract: An apparatus for storing broadcast programs for future transmission to subscribers comprising means for receiving a broadcast channel data stream which comprises a plurality of sequential programs and, a data storage means, wherein, video and audio data relating to each program are extracted from a received broadcast channel data stream and stored on the data storage means at a known position, service information relating to each program is extracted from the data stream and stored at a known position on the data storage means with data identifying the position on the storage means at which the corresponding video and audio data for the program are stored.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2011
    Assignee: Video Networks IP Holdings Limited
    Inventors: Brian Paxton, Dominic A. Robinson
  • Patent number: 7900236
    Abstract: A system for transmitting auxiliary data within a modulated video signal from a broadcast source to a hand-held device with a slot, the system comprising the broadcast source comprises means for transmitting auxiliary data to the slotted hand-held device via the modulated video signal; an interface device electronically coupled to the hand-held device via the slot and comprises a card microcontroller, a receiver electronically coupled to the card microcontroller for receiving the modulated video signal from the broadcast source, and circuitry electronically coupled to the card microcontroller and the receiver for demodulating the modulated video signal and reproducing the auxiliary data, and transferring the auxiliary data to the hand-held device via an interface protocol, and the hand-held device with the slot comprises a microcontroller for processing the signal auxiliary data received via the interface protocol from the interface device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2011
    Assignee: Koplar Interactive Systems International, L.L.C.
    Inventors: Yousri H. Barsoum, Alan G. Maltagliati, Christopher E. Chupp, Daniel A. Ciardullo
  • Patent number: 7895634
    Abstract: An editing apparatus captures material data of audio and/or image data, edits the material data and generates main data. When an instruction to limit reproduction operation of the main data is made, the associated information including limitation information for limiting the reproduction operation of the main data so as to get a desired quality of content-representation is generated. The associated information is combined with the edited main data so that they are transmitted as the content data. Content-sending apparatus generates sending-data based on the data to transmit it. When the associated information including limitation information for limiting the reproduction operation of the main data is combined with the main data, content-reproducing apparatus performs reproduction operation based on the limitation information and controls reproduction speed, display size and the like. Content-representation apparatus represents audio and image at desired quality.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2003
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2011
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventor: Junichi Ogikubo
  • Patent number: RE42357
    Abstract: An interactive broadcast system comprising a plurality of user interfaces each comprising a local clock signal generator. Each user interface delivers interactive applications to a respective user with reference to its respective local clock signal. A central control system broadcasts data to the user interfaces. The CCS detects adjustment of the local clock signals to identify fraudulent users.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2011
    Assignee: ZH Interactive Systems LLC
    Inventors: Jason R. Malaure, Richard A. Kydd