Patents by Inventor Donald H. Willis

Donald H. Willis has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 7398005
    Abstract: The present invention concerns a method (200) and system (100) for producing a trick mode playback of a segment of video containing a plurality of predictive pictures. The invention includes the steps of: (a) decoding (212) a portion of a predictive picture from the plurality of predictive pictures; and (b) updating (214) a portion of information stored in a memory with the portion of the predictive picture. In one arrangement, the invention can further include the step of repeating steps (a) and (b) during the trick mode playback such that a portion of each of a predetermined number of subsequent predictive pictures can be decoded and can be used to update a subsequent portion of the information stored in the memory. In addition, the segment of video can be an MPEG video segment that does not contain any intra pictures and each of the plurality of predictive pictures can contain intra macroblocks.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2008
    Assignee: Thomson Licensing
    Inventor: Donald H. Willis
  • Patent number: 7376341
    Abstract: The invention concerns a method (200) and system (10) for recording onto a storage medium (26) a video segment. The method includes the steps of: receiving the video segment (210) in which the video segment contains at least one predictive picture; and selectively converting the at least one predictive picture into an intra picture thereby replacing the at least one predictive picture with the intra picture. In one arrangement, the video segment can contain at least one introductory predictive picture, and the converting step can further include selectively decoding a predetermined number of the introductory predictive pictures to obtain a properly decoded predictive picture (212).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2008
    Assignee: Thomson Licensing
    Inventor: Donald H. Willis
  • Publication number: 20030113098
    Abstract: The present invention concerns a method (200) and system (100) for producing a trick mode playback of a segment of video containing a plurality of predictive pictures. The invention includes the steps of: (a) decoding (212) a portion of a predictive picture from the plurality of predictive pictures; and (b) updating (214) a portion of information stored in a memory with the portion of the predictive picture. In one arrangement, the invention can further include the step of repeating steps (a) and (b) during the trick mode playback such that a portion of each of a predetermined number of subsequent predictive pictures can be decoded and can be used to update a subsequent portion of the information stored in the memory. In addition, the segment of video can be an MPEG video segment that does not contain any intra pictures and each of the plurality of predictive pictures can contain intra macroblocks.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 19, 2001
    Publication date: June 19, 2003
    Inventor: Donald H. Willis
  • Patent number: 5633689
    Abstract: A digital filter (20,30) separates an M-bit (12) chrominance component (C12) from an N-bit (8) digital composite video signal (CV) supplied thereto, M (12) being greater than N (8) due to arithmetic operations (24,44,46,50) required for the separation. The separated M bit chrominance component is reduced to N-bits and subtracted from the composite video signal to provide a separated luminance component. For bit reduction, the separated chrominance component (C12) is subjected to symmetrical rounding (100A or 100B and 104) and limiting (104). Advantageously, symmetrical rounding of the chrominance component provides reduces a tendency for the luminance component to exhibit contouring when displayed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 27, 1997
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Donald H. Willis, John A. Hague, Greg A. Kranawetter
  • Patent number: 5565928
    Abstract: In a synchronizing circuit, an oscillator provides an output signal at a frequency that is a higher integral multiple than that of a synchronizing input signal. A control circuit, responsive to the input signal and a feedback signal representative of the output signal, generates a control signal that is indicative of a difference in phase or frequency between the input and output signals. The oscillator is responsive to the control signal for synchronized tracking of the output signal to the input signal. The control signal exhibits a periodic variation which tends to result in a deviation of the oscillator output signal from its synchronized tracking condition in accordance with the periodic variation. The phase of the output signal is offset relative to a corresponding phase of the periodic variation of the control signal for counteracting this deviation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 15, 1996
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Timothy W. Saeger, Donald H. Willis
  • Patent number: 5519454
    Abstract: A composite video input signal is combined with a noise reduction signal to form a noise reduced first video signal which is delayed by multiple time periods of (i) one line less one-half color cycle, (ii) one line and (iii) one line plus one-half color cycle to form respective ones of first, second and third time delayed signals. The first and third delayed signals are combined to form an averaged signal from which a subtractor subtracts the composite video input signal. The resultant difference signal is limited to form the noise reduction signal. The noise reduced first video signal and the second delayed video signal are combined in an output circuit to provide noise reduced and separated chrominance and luminance output signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 21, 1996
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Donald H. Willis
  • Patent number: 5442406
    Abstract: A video display has a first format display ratio. A mapping circuit maps an adjustable picture display are on the video display. A signal processor generates first and second video signals from input video signals having one of different format display ratios. A switching circuit selectively couples video signal sources as the input video signals. The signal processor can manipulate data from the input video signals by selective interpolation and cropping. A synchronizing circuit synchronizes the first and second signal processors with the mapping circuit. A selecting circuit selects as an output video signal between one of the first and second processed video signals and a combination of the first and second processed video signals. A control circuit controls the mapping circuit, the first and second signal processors and the selecting circuit to adjust in format display ratio and image aspect ratio each picture represented in the output video signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 1992
    Date of Patent: August 15, 1995
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert D. Altmanshofer, Enrique Rodriguez-Cavazos, Donald H. Willis, Nathaniel H. Ersoz, Barth A. Canfield
  • Patent number: 5434625
    Abstract: A video display system comprising: a first source of a first video signal representative of a first picture having a first display format ratio; a first memory having write and read ports, the first video signal being written into the first memory at a slower rate than the first video signal is read from the first memory, at least one of the ports of the first memory being selectively disabled to reduce the first display format ratio; a second source of a second video signal representative of a second picture having a second display format ratio; a video display having a wide display format ratio and synchronized with the first and second video signals; a second memory having write and read ports, the second video signal being written into the second memory at a slower rate than the second video signal is read from the second memory, at least one of the ports of the second memory being selectively disabled to reduce the second display format ratio; and, a multiplexer coupled to the first and second memories,
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 1992
    Date of Patent: July 18, 1995
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Donald H. Willis
  • Patent number: 5430494
    Abstract: A video display system comprises: a video display; first and second signal processors for cropping first and second video signals representative of first and second pictures; a circuit for generating a side-by-side display format of the pictures on the video display; and, a panning control circuit, responsive to panning command signals, for positioning said pictures in the side-by-side display format and for independently panning the pictures, as positioned. The panning control circuit generates independent fixed and variable delays for controlling line memories in the signal processors. Fixed delays control picture positions and variable delays control panning.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 1993
    Date of Patent: July 4, 1995
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Timothy W. Saeger, Nathaniel H. Ersoz, Donald H. Willis
  • Patent number: 5374963
    Abstract: A dithering technique in accordance with an inventive arrangement saves two bits per sample in a wideband video signal. In accordance with this arrangement, a dither signal is added to an n-bit video signal. The adder should include a limiter to avoid overflows. The samples are truncated after the addition. In truncation, the least significant two bits are simply discarded. Usually, dither values are small positive integers which tend to increase the DC content of the signal. A dither signal which can provide significant improvement in a subsampled signal is a two frequency dither in which the higher frequency has the higher amplitude. The dither signal can have any repetitive sequence of the numbers 0, 1, 2, 3 in any order within said sequence, for example, 0, 2, 1, 3, 0, 2, 1, 3, . . . , etc. The quarter-frequency component is usually more objectionable than the half-frequency component, even though the quarter-frequency component has half the amplitude of the half-frequency component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 1992
    Date of Patent: December 20, 1994
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Donald H. Willis
  • Patent number: 5365278
    Abstract: A video display system comprises analog to digital converters for quantizing first and second video signals, representing first and second pictures respectively, at higher and lower levels of quantization resolution relative to one another. The analog to digital converters can operate at different sampling rates. The picture represented in the lower sampling rate signal can have the appearance of being subsampled, relative to the other picture. A video display is synchronized with the first video signal. The second video signal is synchronized with the first video signal. A signal processing circuit modifies the first and second video signals to represent the first and second pictures respectively in sizes smaller than the video display. A multiplexing circuit combines the processed video signals for side-by-side display of said pictures. A quantization resolution enhancing circuit improves the perceived quality of the video signal having the lower level of quantization resolution.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 1994
    Date of Patent: November 15, 1994
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics
    Inventor: Donald H. Willis
  • Patent number: 5329369
    Abstract: A wide screen television apparatus comprises a video display having a first format display ratio of width to height, for example approximately 16.times.9. A first video signal defines a first picture. A second video signal defines a second picture in a second format display ratio of width to height smaller than the first format display ratio, for example approximately 4.times.3. A video signal processor asymmetrically compresses the second picture, for example 4:1 horizontally and 3:1 vertically. A video memory stores lines of video of the asymmetrically compressed picture. Another video signal processor combines portions of lines of video in the first video signal with the stored lines of video of the asymmetrically compressed picture for simultaneous display of the first and second pictures. The asymmetrically compressed second picture is displayed without aspect ratio distortion. The second picture can form an inset within the first picture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 1992
    Date of Patent: July 12, 1994
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Donald H. Willis, Barth A. Canfield
  • Patent number: 5309234
    Abstract: A video display control system automatically controls a video display responsive to detection of letterbox format input video signals having varying format display ratios. A detection circuit continuously detects the first and last lines of active video in a video signal. A memory stores scan line numbers corresponding to the first and last lines of active video. The height of the picture is determined from the scan line numbers of the first and last lines of active video. The picture height is indicative of the format display ratio of the letterbox input. A comparator circuit compares the picture height to a threshold corresponding to the widest expected format display ratio of a letterbox input signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 1993
    Date of Patent: May 3, 1994
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics
    Inventors: Greg A. Kranawetter, Timothy W. Saeger, Donald H. Willis
  • Patent number: 5249049
    Abstract: A video display control system, comprises a video display having a first format display ratio. A picture height circuit determines an active video picture height from an input video signal having a second format display ratio. A detector circuit identifies letterbox formats responsive to the active video picture height in the video signal and determines a format display ratio of the letterbox picture. A zoom control circuit is operable in a first mode of operation for enlarging the picture in size to fill the display substantially entirely, notwithstanding consequent cropping of the picture, and operable in a second mode of operation for enlarging the picture in size to substantially fill the display vertically, notwithstanding consequent unused portions of the display. A vertical pan control circuit automatically centers the picture in both modes of operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 1992
    Date of Patent: September 28, 1993
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Greg A. Kranawetter, Timothy W. Saeger, Donald H. Willis
  • Patent number: 5175619
    Abstract: A progressive scan processor includes an input circuit which produces a video difference signal representative of a difference between a first low frequency component derived from a current line of a video input signal and a second low frequency component derived by motion adaptive processing from a selected previous line of the video input signal. A line-rate doubling output circuit combines a line of the double line-rate difference signal with every other line of the double line-rate input signal to form a progressively scanned output signal. Advantageously, the system exhibits the relatively high vertical resolution and motion artifact immunity characteristic of motion adaptive systems as well as substantially reduced system memory requirements characteristic of "dual band" processors and it provides "dual band" processing of high and low frequency video components without the need for complementary band splitting filters having special amplitude and phase response characteristics.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 1990
    Date of Patent: December 29, 1992
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Donald H. Willis
  • Patent number: 5162910
    Abstract: A phase locked loop circuit regenerates a synchronizing signal. A first counter counts adjustable and fixed time intervals. A flip/flop generates synchronizing pulses having periods defined by sets of the adjustable and fixed time intervals. A second counter successively measures phase differences between synchronizing pulses and input pulses related to a synchronizing component in a video signal. The phase differences are measured between the ends of the adjustable time intervals in the synchronizing pulses and the input pulses. Each of the phase measurements results in a period correction value for controlling the duration or period of the very next one of the adjustable time intervals. The second counter is reset at the ends of the fixed time intervals. A network defining a loop filter may comprise an accumulator, a first scaler, a summer, and a second scaler for calculating weighted phase difference measurements to define the period correction values.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 3, 1990
    Date of Patent: November 10, 1992
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Donald H. Willis
  • Patent number: 4992874
    Abstract: A picture-in-a-picture television receiver displays a compound image which includes a compressed image derived from an auxiliary signal inset in a full-size image derived from a main signal. The auxiliary composite video signal is sampled synchronous with a system clock signal that is burst locked to the main signal. The sampled data signal is separated into luminance and color information component signals, which are subsampled and stored in a field memory synchronous with the system clock signal. The clock signal phase used for horizontal subsampling is determined at the start of each line to compensate for skew errors in the auxiliary signal. The luminance samples retrieved from the memory are applied to clock transfer circuitry which resynchronizes the samples to a phase shifted version of the system clock signal to compensate for skew errors in the main signal. The phase shifted clock signal is synchronized to the horizontal scanning signals used to display the compound image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 1989
    Date of Patent: February 12, 1991
    Assignee: RCA Licensing Corporation
    Inventors: Donald H. Willis, Barth A. Canfield
  • Patent number: 4987493
    Abstract: A picture-in-a-picture television receiver includes a memory for holding samples representing a vertically and horizontally compressed image. The memory is divided into three parts, a main portion which holds one field of the compressed image and first and second crossover buffers, each of which hold one line of the compressed signal. Both upper and lower field types may be derived from each field of the auxiliary signal used to produce the compressed image. Sample values are stored into the memory such that an upper field of the compressed image is stored when an upper field of the main image is displayed and a lower field is stored when a lower field is displayed. When the address used to read samples from the memory overtakes the address used to write samples into the memory, the type of field derived from the auxiliary signal is switched and one line of samples is directed to one of the crossover buffers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 1989
    Date of Patent: January 22, 1991
    Assignee: RCA Licensing Corporation
    Inventors: Barth A. Canfield, Russell T. Fling, Donald H. Willis
  • Patent number: 4882626
    Abstract: A signal combining circuit for adaptively combining first and second signals includes a comparator to develop a control signal to indicate when the combination of the first and second signals will have an amplitude exceeding a predetermined amplitude in one polarity sense. In the absence of the control signal the first and second signals are combined. On the occurrence of the control signal the first signal is combined with a further signal related to the first signal and a reference value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 1988
    Date of Patent: November 21, 1989
    Assignee: RCA Licensing Corporation
    Inventors: Russell T. Fling, Donald H. Willis
  • Patent number: 4802000
    Abstract: A Y/C selector switch is coupled to receive a first pair of internally-separated component signals Y.sub.1, C.sub.1 in addition to a second and a third pair of externally-supplied wideband component signals Y.sub.2, C.sub.2 and Y.sub.3, C.sub.3. The switch selects one of the pairs of input signals for application to its output terminals in response to a control signal. Means are provided for disabling the circuitry employed for generating the internally-separated component signals Y.sub.1, C.sub.1 when the Y/C switch is conditioned to apply a pair of externally-supplied component signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1987
    Date of Patent: January 31, 1989
    Assignee: RCA Licensing Corporation
    Inventor: Donald H. Willis