Diverse Device Controlled By Information Embedded In Video Signal Patents (Class 348/460)
  • Patent number: 5990966
    Abstract: A G-code decoder is coupled to a video tape recorder. When the G-code decoder detects that at least a portion of a G-code will be received or has been received, it checks whether a time clock has been set. If the time-setting is confirmed, the decoder decodes the G-code and terminates the decoding by a terminating means, and, if the time clock is found not to have been set, the decoder indicates the fact at least and terminates the G-code decoding.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 23, 1999
    Assignee: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Toru Watamoto
  • Patent number: 5990928
    Abstract: The disclosure describes a moving receiver station capable of receiving broadcast entertainment signals from a first geostationary satellite associated with a first program provider, or from a second geostationary satellite associated with a second program provider. The receiver station is part of an aircraft and includes a tracking antenna and switching and control system that locks the tracking antenna on either the first or second satellite. The switching and control system receives position information, program attribute information and satellite coverage area information to determine when the aircraft is leaving one coverage area and entering another. The switching and control system switches the antenna to the second satellite when the aircraft enters the second coverage area, and limits the availability of received programming based on whether the aircraft is leaving the first coverage area or entering the second coverage area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 23, 1999
    Assignee: Rockwell International Corporation
    Inventors: Richard E. Sklar, Ralph Phillipp, Robert U. Walzer, Mark R. Zimmerman, Tracy L. Decuir
  • Patent number: 5982445
    Abstract: Textual and graphical displays are provided on a television screen using a hypertext markup language (HTML). On-screen display devices allow a user to invoke hyperlinks to different pages of HTML-coded data in addition to functions calls for controlling television and non-television appliance functions. A method provides HTML-coded display data which is processed to provide a signal suitable for reproduction on a television. The display data may provide information on a featured movie or other presentation of an associated video programming service signal such as a network television broadcast. Function calls allow the control of various television functions and programming options, such as the purchase of pay-per-view programming, or television display options such as aspect ratio, channel, brightness, picture-in-picture, or split-screen. Non-television appliances which may be controlled with function calls include audio equipment which is associated with the programming service (e.g.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 9, 1999
    Assignee: General Instrument Corporation
    Inventors: Mark K. Eyer, Michael Field
  • Patent number: 5973747
    Abstract: A television program management system capable of downloading, displaying and processing data relating to various television programs and for outputting commands for changing channels etc. on the basis of this date- The system has a programmable processing unit connected with an interface and a program memory. The programmable processor has connections that control the display and a switching device between the program processor and a processing and treatment device. The display may be a teletext display.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 26, 1999
    Assignee: Henley Trading Limited
    Inventor: Lucas Goreta
  • Patent number: 5963264
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for wireless control of audio and video recording device operations via selections from an Electronic Programming Guide (EPG) is disclosed. A digital satellite receiving system receives and processes a digital data stream containing television programming information, EPG information, and a list of video cassette recorders (VCRs) and corresponding infrared (IR) codes used to control the listed models of VCRs contained in the list. The VCR list, corresponding IR codes, and EPG information are stored in memory. A user may select a specific model VCR from the list displayed on a viewing screen and the corresponding codes are stored in a memory. The received EPG information may also be displayed on a viewing screen. The user may select for recording an event listing in the EPG, and this selection is also stored in nonvolatile memory. EPG information is repeatedly transmitted in the digital data stream.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 5, 1999
    Assignee: EchoStar Engineering Corporation
    Inventor: Mark Jackson
  • Patent number: 5959687
    Abstract: A video signal processing system produces an output signal suitable for producing a closed caption display and is responsive to a "freeze" command from a user for modifying generation of the output signal such that the content of the closed caption region of the display does not change. The system provides for user selection of various freeze modes including one in which just the caption region of a display is frozen, another in which just the video region of the display is frozen, and another in which both the caption and video regions of the display are frozen.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 28, 1999
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Aaron Hal Dinwiddie, Robert Lawrence O'Brien
  • Patent number: 5953047
    Abstract: Disclosed is a system for a) transmitting an value/benefit including a recordable product identification and offer of value, b) recording the product identification and value and c) reading the product identification and value at a point of purchase location and/or benefit redemption venue.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 14, 1999
    Assignee: Smart TV LLC
    Inventor: Frank Nemirofsky
  • Patent number: 5953065
    Abstract: A hardware system is programmed with a common vertical blanking interval (VBI) scan line decoder to support capture hardware of multiple vendors. The common decoder includes a first and a second function for a capture driver associated with a capture hardware to describe to the common decoder, the sample rate and the line pitch employed by the capture hardware respectively. The common decoder further includes additional functions for the capture driver to confirm the common decoder's presence, register a call back function, specify a channel, and request decoding for a field.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 14, 1999
    Assignee: Intel Corporation
    Inventor: Benjamin M. Cahill, III
  • Patent number: 5930274
    Abstract: An information recording and reproduction apparatus for recording and reproducing the information supplied through the transmission line is capable of protecting the copyright by limiting the reproduction of the recorded information. A main information signal supplied through the transmission line and a deadline signal attached to the main information signal and representing the reproduction deadline of the main information signal are recorded and reproduced by a recording device and a reproduction device respectively. A temporal information signal representing the date and time is acquired. The deadline signal reproduced is compared with the temporal information signal acquired. The reproduction output of the main information signal is cut off in accordance with the comparison signal produced by the comparison. In the case where the temporal information has passed the deadline, the reproduction output of the main information signal is cut off.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 27, 1999
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Kouji Kaniwa, Hideo Nishijima, Nobutaka Amada, Hiroo Okamoto, Takaharu Noguchi, Hiroaki Ono, Hitoaki Owashi, Takao Arai, Hiroya Abe, Kouji Minabe
  • Patent number: 5907350
    Abstract: A smart card is disclosed which receives, decodes, and stores encoded data signals comprising redeemable coupons. Encoded data coupons are embedded within television segments and are transmit along with the normal television segments. The smart card receives the luminescent signals which comprise the encoded data coupons directly from the display. The smart card decodes the data coupons. The coupon is then stored within the smart card for future use. The smart card is equipped with an LCD which enables UPC codes corresponding to each of the stored coupons to be utilized. A scanner reads the UPC codes at the coupon redemption site. Once redeemed, the coupon is erased from the memory in the smart cad. Advantageously, all of the functions including receiving, decoding, and storing the data signals are performed by the smart card.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 25, 1999
    Assignee: Smart T.V. LLC
    Inventor: Frank R. Nemirofsky
  • Patent number: 5907365
    Abstract: Identification codes of broadcasting stations which transmit the correct time information are recorded in broadcasting station tables, if a broadcasting station identification code in the broadcasting station tables is found in VPS or Teletext in the received broadcasting signal, the time information in the broadcasting signal is set to the clock. If the time information does not include year, month, and day data, the correct year, month, and day data is calculated based on the time information including year, month, and day data items from another broadcasting station, and the time information is used to set the time to the clock. The correct year, month, and day data are calculated based on the time difference between the time information from another broadcasting station and the time information comprising correct hour, minute, and second data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 25, 1999
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Tetsuo Nishigaki, Yukari Kohashi, Naoyuki Kinebuchi
  • Patent number: 5900912
    Abstract: The invention provides a broadcasting signal receiver which can prevent a failure in reserved recording. A microcomputer decodes a VCR+code of a program desired to be recorded by reservation, which is inputted by way of a remote commander or the like, to obtain data of program starting and ending times and channel information. A channel indicated by the channel information is selected by a tuner circuit, and program table data is extracted from a character broadcasting signal multiplexed in a video signal by a decoder. It is discriminated whether or not one of the program starting times of programs included in the program table data coincides with the program starting time obtained by decoding of the VCR+code. A result of the discrimination is displayed on a monitor television. Only when it is discriminated that a coincident program starting time is present, the data of the program starting and ending times and the channel information are written into a reservation memory and registered for reservation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 4, 1999
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Tetsuo Nishigaki, Kae Nagano
  • Patent number: 5896130
    Abstract: A signal processing device which makes an adjustment of a displayed picture easy. When a game button 31 of a television is pressed, a picture and a sound from a game unit are selected from among a plurality of inputs, an indicator 10 lights up and a predetermined sound is outputted to confirm for the user that the picture and the sound of the game unit have been selected. When the game button 31 is rotated, preset types of adjustment of the displayed picture, for example, a change to the aspect ratio or a change to the position in which the picture is displayed on a CRT, are carried out.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 20, 1999
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Kazuhiro Tsuchiya, Yuichi Takahashi, Noriyuki Hitachiya
  • Patent number: 5880769
    Abstract: The present invention includes methods and apparatus for increasing the efficiency of remote service transactions. According to the present invention, a smart card includes optics for receiving information from a television channel and a modem for providing real-time two way communication with a remote service provider. To maintain system security, data that is provided to the card may be encrypted. The present invention also includes applications of the smart card such as remote financial services, near video-on-demand with automated order and billing, pay-per-view with automated order and billing, appointment TV, home shopping, real-time market studies and opinion polls and electronic gaming and sweepstakes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 9, 1999
    Assignee: SmartTV Co.
    Inventors: Frank Nemirofsky, John C. Morris
  • Patent number: 5856852
    Abstract: A method for providing recording-reservation data to a VCR using a TV, and the TV and VCR adapted to the method are proposed, in which broadcasting signals are received via a receiving section of the TV, and teletext data consisting of plural informations is detected from the received broadcasting signal via a detecting section of the TV. The detected teletext data is stored in a memory of the TV by a controlling section of the TV, and at least one information required for recording reservation of the VCR in the stored teletext data is transmitted to the VCR. A controlling section of the VCR stores transmitted at least one information in a memory of the VCR as the recording reservation information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 5, 1999
    Assignee: LG Electronics Inc.
    Inventor: Chung Hyoea Huh
  • Patent number: 5844478
    Abstract: Program specific information (PSI) is formed suitable for use in recovering data content of a program in the form of a packetized datastream. Packet identifiers (PIDs) that identify individual packetized datastreams constituting the program are renumbered and corresponding packetized datastreams that constitute different programs are given the same PID. A program map table (PMT) is created that associates the renumbered PIDs with the individual packetized datastreams constituting the program. A program association table (PAT) is also created for associating the program with PIDs that identify packets comprising the PMT. A parameter may be employed within the PSI to indicate that the PSI is to be applied in subsequent processing of the program irrespective of a substantive difference between the PSI and previous PSI content. In addition, the PSI may incorporate a version number that is varied between successive occurrences of the PSI irrespective of substantive change in PSI content.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 1, 1998
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Harold Blatter, Kevin Elliott Bridgewater, Michael Scott Deiss, Thomas Edward Horlander
  • Patent number: 5828402
    Abstract: A method and apparatus block the reception of television programming which meets specified criteria. Data packets describing television programming are broadcast with the television signal. The data packets include at least packets which contain category information specifying a level in one or more multi-level categories and/or label information specifying labels applied to the program content of the signal. Data packets in an incoming video signal are detected by a blocking apparatus and compared to preferences stored in non-volatile memory in the blocking apparatus. If the contents of the data packets match or exceed the stored preferences then the video signal is blocked. The apparatus is field configurable. Configuration information specifying the rating scheme is transmitted to the apparatus. The methods of the invention are extremely flexible and allow several different rating systems to be used simultaneously.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 27, 1998
    Assignee: Canadian V-Chip Design Inc.
    Inventor: Timothy David Collings
  • Patent number: 5812732
    Abstract: The invention relates to the classification of such parts of television signals which are commercials so that those parts can be eliminated during recording or playback. Known methods for the detection of commercials during a TV program suffer from the drawbacks that one or two features of the TV signals are observed to decide whether the TV signal is part of a commercial or not. In the present invention of a method and apparatus, a classification of TV signals results on a plurality of information gathered from the TV signals and a plurality of rules using a rule system. Such a rule system permits the modeling of uncertainties so that for the definition of the rules, no strict values or strict limits need be given. In particular, fuzzy rules and linguistic variables are used.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 22, 1998
    Assignee: Deutsche Thomson-Brandt GmbH
    Inventors: Thomas Dettmer, Bernd Reusch, Michael Wittner
  • Patent number: 5812206
    Abstract: A broadcast receiver is disclosed which separates 16-bit binary program labels from a transmitted television signal and applies the television signal to a recorder. The viewer enters, via a keyboard, short program labels which up to three decimal digits in length. These entered short labels are then converted into 16-bit binary program codes by a mapping function processor. Each of the 16-bit codes differs in at least two binary positions from any other 16-bit codes. These codes are stored and compared with received codes and when they agree the video recorder is controlled so as to record the TV signal. Thus, the viewer does not have to enter long codes but can use short labels to identify the programs. The short labels can be obtained by the viewer from a printed TV listing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 1992
    Date of Patent: September 22, 1998
    Assignee: British Broadcasting Corporation
    Inventor: Peter Ashley Sarginson
  • Patent number: 5812205
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method and apparatus for automatically setting the time in a peripheral device (170) in a television system (10). In the preferred embodiment, a datastream (300) with packets of data (310-313) is broadcast to the peripheral device (170). A time value (400) within the received datastream (300) is used to set the time within the peripheral device (170). The data within the received datastream (300) also contains a cyclic redundancy check (410) which is used to determine when an error is present in the received data packet (310). The time is set in the peripheral device (170) only when the cyclic redundancy check has found no errors in the data packet (310). When needed, additional values within the received packet (310) can later be used to correct the time which has been set in the peripheral device (170).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 22, 1998
    Assignee: Starsight Telecast Incorporated
    Inventors: Kenneth Alan Milnes, Jeffrey J. Kochy, Constantine Sokolik, Henry Perkins, III
  • Patent number: 5809471
    Abstract: A method and apparatus is provided to enable a user watching and/or listening to a program to retrieve supplemental information or supplemental entertainment pertaining to an item just seen or words just heard. The apparatus includes a recognition system which recognizes the user's request and causes its satisfaction to be provided. A dynamically changing dictionary is created from items or keywords extracted from the most recently received program portion. The items or keywords may be contained in closed caption text in a TV signal. Particular items or keywords may be assigned a high priority so that they are maintained in the dictionary for a long duration. The user's request is matched against this continually changing dictionary. Upon recognition of the request, a search is initiated to access, import and deliver to the user the information required to satisfy the request.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 15, 1998
    Assignee: IBM Corporation
    Inventor: Marc Herbert Brodsky
  • Patent number: 5805230
    Abstract: The disclosure is an automatic programming method for a tuner of a television and/or video recorder that makes use of data received by cable or terrestrial or satellite radio, and a device implementing this method. The method involves the transmission of a set of channel tables, each corresponding to a broadcasting station, using the CEEFAX standard. The television or video recorder memorizes the table corresponding to the postal ZIP code previously input by the user, then automatically programs the tuner. The invention is applicable for all types of television standards (PAL, PAL+, SECAM, NTSC, D2MAC, HDMAC, digital standards, etc.) and to all types of signal formats transmitted with the video signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 8, 1998
    Assignee: Thomson Multimedia
    Inventor: Alain Staron
  • Patent number: 5790198
    Abstract: Television schedule information transmission and utilization systems (50A-50D) transmit TV schedule data and associated network control messages provided by computer (54) as packets via the Video Blanking Interval (VBI) lines in the TV signal from various television program providers (51). This data is acquired by regional data processing systems and forwarded by the regional data processing systems to subscriber units (52) and used to construct an internal database. This internal database can be accessed by the subscriber unit (52) to display a TV schedule for the channels that are received by the user's TV.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 1994
    Date of Patent: August 4, 1998
    Assignee: StarSight Telecast, Inc.
    Inventors: John H. Roop, Alan R. Ebright, Jeffrey J. Kochy, David P. Warden, Konstantine Sokolik, Giambattista A. Alegiani
  • Patent number: 5790937
    Abstract: Multi-media documents, in the form of digital signals, are fed into a multiplexer/coder by several sub-channels, which are time multiplexed. A control signal is added and the combined signal is modulated into a transmission signal at the transmitter side. At the receiver side, the transmission signal is processed up to the output of a tuner like a normal signal for television. After the tuner, the signal is demodulated, digitized, demultiplexed, and the control information of the control signal is extracted from the bit stream so that by monitoring said control information signal provided with the transmission, a transmission channel decoder enables a multi-media player to read a distributed document according to the program of the user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 4, 1998
    Assignee: Thomson Multimedia S.A.
    Inventor: Hubert Gutle
  • Patent number: 5768426
    Abstract: An identification code signal is impressed on a carrier to be identified (such as an electronic data signal or a physical medium) in a manner that permits the identification signal later to be discerned and the carrier thereby identified. The method and apparatus are characterized by robustness despite degradation of the encoded carrier, and by holographic permeation of the identification signal throughout the carrier. An exemplary embodiment is a processor that embeds the identification signal onto a carrier signal in real time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 1994
    Date of Patent: June 16, 1998
    Assignee: Digimarc Corporation
    Inventor: Geoffrey B. Rhoads
  • Patent number: 5767896
    Abstract: A smart card is disclosed which receives, decodes, and stores encoded data signals comprising redeemable coupons. Encoded data coupons are embedded within television segments and are transmitted along with the normal television segments. The smart card receives the luminescent signals which comprise the encoded data coupons directly from the display. The smart card decodes the data coupons. The coupon is then stored within the smart card for future use. The smart card is equipped with an LCD which enables UPC codes corresponding to each of the stored coupons to be utilized. A scanner reads the UPC codes at the coupon redemption site. Once redeemed, the coupon is erased from the memory in the smart card. Advantageously, all of the functions including receiving, decoding, and storing the data signals are performed by the smart card.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 16, 1998
    Assignee: Smart TV LLC
    Inventor: Frank R. Nemirofsky
  • Patent number: 5767893
    Abstract: A content based method is used to download/record digital video from networks to client stations and home VCRs. In this manner, the disadvantages associated with conventional time-based downloading of programs to analog video is avoided. The method includes the steps of receiving each of the video programs, identifying one of the programs from those received based upon frame signature matching, pre-loaded pattern searching, annotation signal searching or program bar code searching and saving the desired video program based upon the performed identification. Alternately a storage apparatus is included for storing selected signals. Furthermore, content based filtering is included for identifying selected signals and for transferring the identified selected signals to the storage device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 16, 1998
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Ming-Syan Chen, Chung-Sheng Li, Philip Shi-lung Yu
  • Patent number: 5760838
    Abstract: An interactive video system is disclosed that processes a video data stream and an associated data stream corresponding to the video data stream. The interactive video system displays a video image defined by the video data stream on a display device and performs interactive command functions specified by the associated data stream. The interactive command functions include commands that specify placement of a video display window, commands that specify parameters of graphical objects that are associated with the video image and commands that specify pixel data or graphics description for the graphical object and commands for placement of selection windows and that specify interactive functions for the selection windows.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 1997
    Date of Patent: June 2, 1998
    Assignee: Intel Corporation
    Inventors: Robert Adams, David M. Williams, John Richardson, Burt Perry
  • Patent number: 5761606
    Abstract: A system is disclosed for providing direct automated access to an online information services provider through an address embedded in a video or audio program, commercial message, or news story. The system operates with video or audio programs which are received through broadcast, cable or pre-recorded media, and which are encoded in either analog or digital formats. The address of an online information provider is encoded in a vertical blanking interval or other non-displayed portion of an electronic signal which represents the video or audio program so as not to interfere with the program as displayed or transduced on a television or audio sound system. The online information provider address is detected and decoded from the electronic signal and used in establishing a direct digital communication link to the online information provider. Upon detecting an online provider address, the system indicates to the user that more information is available.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 1996
    Date of Patent: June 2, 1998
    Inventor: Thomas R. Wolzien
  • Patent number: 5757414
    Abstract: A television receiver includes a micro-controller (103) for control of tuning, teletext acquisition, on-screen display, and other functions. It also includes a non-volatile memory (111) in which information regarding the source from which a signal is being received is stored under the control of the micro-controller (103). The micro-controller (103) also enters start and stop times which may be acquired by the teletext acquisition circuit (102). Under control of a user using, for example, a remote control device, the micro-controller (103) reads the information from the non-volatile memory (111) and formats it into information suitable for display to the user to enable the user to monitor the programs received.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 26, 1998
    Assignee: U.S. Philips Corporation
    Inventor: Nicholas D. L. Thorne
  • Patent number: 5754940
    Abstract: A system for providing interactive services in a subscription television system includes a system controller for controlling the interactive services, a video signal source for transmitting a video signal and a subscriber terminal for receiving a downstream transaction from the system controller and the video signal. The system controller comprises a memory for storing subscriber terminal address data and transaction data, a processor for generating a downstream transaction including subscriber terminal address data and transaction data, a transmitter for transmitting the downstream transaction, and a receiver for receiving an upstream transaction. The subscriber terminal includes memory for storing the downstream transaction, an on screen display generator for overlaying data in place of or superimposed on the video signal, data input circuitry for generating upstream data, and an upstream transmitter for transmitting the upstream data to the system controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 1994
    Date of Patent: May 19, 1998
    Assignee: Scientific-Atlanta, Inc.
    Inventors: Elizabeth A. Smith, Lee R. Johnson
  • Patent number: 5751335
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for securely restricting the viewing of television programs. When a television program has been received along with rating data associated with a rating of the television program; length data associated with a length of the program, a microcomputer determines whether the rating data are higher than a predetermined viewing restricting level. If the rating data have been found higher, a muting circuit mutes the television program until it ends with reference to the television program length data, and the program corresponding to the rating data is outputted from a tuner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 12, 1998
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventor: Peter Shintani
  • Patent number: 5748763
    Abstract: An identification code signal is hidden in a carrier signal (such as an electronic data signal or a physical medium) in a manner that permits the identification signal later to be discerned. The carrier signal can thereby be identified, or some machine responsive action can thereby be taken. In one image steganography embodiment, the relative strength of the identification code signal is both perceptually adapted in accordance with psychovisual characteristics of the image, and globally scaled in accordance with a user-set visibility control. The technique can be applied in video imagery embodiments to control associated video equipment, e.g. to serve as a copy control signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 5, 1998
    Assignee: Digimarc Corporation
    Inventor: Geoffrey B. Rhoads
  • Patent number: 5737026
    Abstract: In the present invention, ancillary data is modulated onto a carrier frequency which is within a low energy density portion of a frequency band of a video signal, and the modulated carrier data is combined with the video signal so that the modulated carrier is in an overscan region of the video signal. The ancillary data may be spread over several frequencies and summed at the output of a decoder to enhance the legibility of the ancillary data at the output of the decoder. Frequency-stepping may be used to add the ancillary data at ones of a plurality of selected frequencies within the frequency band of the video signal. The ancillary data may be hierarchically apportioned between respective uniquely specified sequential segments corresponding to many distribution points of the video signal. This hierarchical ancillary data may be frequency-interleaved between harmonics of the horizontal sync frequency of the video signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 1995
    Date of Patent: April 7, 1998
    Assignee: Nielsen Media Research, Inc.
    Inventors: Daozheng Lu, Henry B. Wheeler, Edgar W. Aust, Robert A. Dougherty
  • Patent number: 5724103
    Abstract: A system that displays text and graphic information with vertical blanking interval of a publicly broadcasted video signal. The system also includes a personal computer that has a VBI decoder which can separate the data from the video signal. The separated data contains command and address information, which instruct the personal computer to retrieve text/graphic information from a storage device, and display the retrieved text/graphic information on a computer monitor. The personal computer also contains a NTSC decoder which can decode the video signal and display a television image on the computer monitor. The broadcaster inserts data that retrieves text and graphic information which correspond to the television image displayed by the computer monitor. The retrieved text and graphic information may be stored for later viewing by the user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 3, 1998
    Assignee: Intel Corporation
    Inventor: Steve Batchelor
  • Patent number: 5708960
    Abstract: In order to dispatch a newspaper to subscriber households through satellite communication, a newspaper edit/dispatch system in the head office of a newspaper publishing company electronically creates each paper sheet of national news section as first newspaper data, and transmits the first newspaper data to the branch offices of the company through a communication satellite. In a newspaper edit/broadcast system installed in each of the branch offices, the received first newspaper data and second newspaper data of a local news section are combined and edited into third newspaper data, the third newspaper data are encrypted, and the sort of newspaper and the date of issue thereof are affixed to the encrypted newspaper data. Such newspaper data are broadcast through the communication satellite.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 1995
    Date of Patent: January 13, 1998
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Tadayuki Kamisaka, Satoshi Ikehama, Shigehiro Tomita
  • Patent number: 5699370
    Abstract: An information recording and reproduction apparatus for recording and reproducing the information supplied through the transmission line is capable of protecting the copyright by limiting the reproduction of the recorded information. A main information signal supplied through the transmission line and a deadline signal attached to the main information signal and representing the reproduction deadline of the main information signal are recorded and reproduced by a recording device and a reproduction device respectively. A temporal information signal representing the date and time is acquired. The deadline signal reproduced is compared with the temporal information signal acquired. The reproduction output of the main information signal is cut off in accordance with the comparison signal produced by the comparison. In the case where the temporal information has passed the deadline, the reproduction output of the main information signal is cut off.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 16, 1997
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Kouji Kaniwa, Hideo Nishijima, Nobutaka Amada, Hiroo Okamoto, Takaharu Noguchi, Hiroaki Ono, Hitoaki Owashi, Takao Arai, Hiroya Abe, Kouji Minabe
  • Patent number: 5686954
    Abstract: A plurality of classification items each including a plurality of detailed items for recognizing broadcasting programs per se and program elements included in each of the broadcasting programs are provided wherein the contents of each of the broadcasting programs are represented by the classification items and the detailed items that are respectively represented by the identification data are used to form scheduled program information. The scheduled program information is broadcast together with the corresponding table data for the identification data and the data for character display of the classification items and the detailed items corresponding to the identification data. Program schedules for various kinds of broadcasting programs can be broadcast with a reduced amount of data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 1995
    Date of Patent: November 11, 1997
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Hitoshi Yoshinobu, Tsukasa Yoshimura, Yoshitsugu Hattori
  • Patent number: 5668917
    Abstract: Unwanted information, such as commercials, is typically transmitted from a transmission station many times each day. The repetitive nature of such unwanted information is used by the present apparatus/method to distinguish unwanted information from normal programming.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 16, 1997
    Inventor: Donald A. Lewine
  • Patent number: 5668946
    Abstract: A television cable system includes a headend and a decoder coupled by an in-band communication link and an out of band communication link. The headend controller includes conventional transmission systems for providing a plurality of program channels to the decoder via the in-band communication link. In addition, the headend system includes a plurality of controller inputs which provide data to a download executive circuit which in turn organizes data and transfer it to a transmitter coupled to the out of band data link. Within the decoder, a pair of processors are operative via a communication link therebetween. One processor is of predefine capability and is used to operate a user keyboard as well as conventional tuning and signal processing and descrambling systems to provide television display. The remaining processor includes a memory manager coupled to an out of band transmission receiver which receives downloaded interpretive execution data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 1993
    Date of Patent: September 16, 1997
    Assignee: Zenith Electronics Corporation
    Inventors: Caitlin B. Bestler, Mack S. Daily, Shu-Yuan V. Yang
  • Patent number: 5661526
    Abstract: The video cassette recorder selects channels in succession, determines the presence or absence of additional information included in the broadcast signal for the selected channel, and stores the selected channel regarded as a reception channel for the additional information when detecting the presence of the additional information in the broadcast signal. Further, the recorder extracts station identification information included in the broadcast signal for the selected channel, provides a VCR Plus guide channel corresponding to the station identified by the station identification information, and stores in its memory the relationship between the selected channel and the VCR Plus guide channel. Moreover, the recorder compares a remaining recording time available with the program continuation time extracted from the broadcast signal, and controls a recording speed mode appropriately based on the comparison.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 1994
    Date of Patent: August 26, 1997
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Kenji Hamamoto, Kazuhiro Nagura, Takamichi Yoshida, Tomoyuki Hanai
  • Patent number: 5659653
    Abstract: Program related data contained in the broadcast signal of an advertisement for a future television show are evaluated and compared with the current TV set tuning when a LEARN button on a remote control is pressed. A VCR tunes to the present TV channel and stores the program related data for the future television show. The apparatus also ensures that a program to be recorded will start and end at the right time and that broadcast advertisements will be skipped during recording, are disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 1994
    Date of Patent: August 19, 1997
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, S.A.
    Inventors: Eric Diehl, Nour-Eddine Tazine
  • Patent number: 5659366
    Abstract: A notification system for television receivers including a visible alarm and/or an audible alarm that is activated when a certain event occurs. An information signal is extracted from a received television signal and is processed to determine the status of an event. If it is determined that the event occurred, then a control signal is sent to the appropriate alarm to activate that alarm, thereby notifying the user of the event's occurrence. The event may include the reception of a text or graphic message, the televising of a certain television program, and the televising of a television program with a specific program rating. The user may also deactivate the alarm. A personal identification number may be used to restrict access to certain features of the notification system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 1995
    Date of Patent: August 19, 1997
    Assignee: Matsushita Electric Corporation of America
    Inventor: Charles Walter Kerman
  • Patent number: 5657414
    Abstract: An auxiliary device control for a subscriber terminal includes a four wire ribbon cable defining a bidirectional communication and data interface from the terminal to one or more auxiliary devices. A communication and data protocol for the bidirectional transfer of instructions, status, and data over the interface includes an address field, command or reply field, data length field, and checksum field transmitted at 9600 baud. In a preferred implementation, the auxiliary device to be controlled is an IR peripheral controller which can tune a VCR, and switch it on and off. Several transactions in the communications and data protocol are used to effect the operation where a control VCR command and reply transaction cause the control of the tuning and recording of the VCR. A set-up VCR command and a brand reply transaction is used to provide information to configure the controller with brands and model of the VCRs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 1992
    Date of Patent: August 12, 1997
    Assignee: Scientific-Atlanta, Inc.
    Inventors: David B. Lett, Scott L. Hamilton, Kinney C. Bacon, Michael Raley
  • Patent number: 5652613
    Abstract: A television electronic program guide intelligent memory management system and method automatically deletes the least valuable stored program information at that moment as free memory space is needed by the system. In advance of a program schedule update, the system executes a two-level memory "housekeeping" operation in which the system first scans the memory to identify obsolete schedule information. If, after this sweep, there is insufficient memory available for the next update, the system performs a second-level memory "triage" operation wherein schedule information is automatically prioritized in accordance with pre-defined rules for assessing the current value of the information to each viewer based on program air time, channel and other variables relating to program utility. The system then deletes schedule information in ascending order of value, starting with the least valuable information, and continues until enough space is available in memory to store the schedule update.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 1995
    Date of Patent: July 29, 1997
    Inventors: David Beryl Lazarus, Michael Dean Ellis
  • Patent number: 5649283
    Abstract: Verifying that a correct program is being received and displayed on a television set of a consumer. In addition, video quality is checked to assure that transmission has not degraded the video quality. When the consumer requests a program by transmission of a message via a controller in a set top box to a system computer controlling a cable television system, the system computer sends the necessary commands to cause the requested program to be communicated to the consumer site and also transmits to the controller in the set top box a start time of the requested program and information defining the initial video content of that program. At the start time, the controller verifies that the initial video content is being received and that the consumer has the set top box correctly tuned. The controller uses a frame grabber circuit at the consumer site to grab the initial portion of the program and then to analyze the stored portion with respect to the initial video content.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 1995
    Date of Patent: July 15, 1997
    Assignee: Lucent Technologies Inc.
    Inventors: Bruce I. Galler, Jamie C. Su, Stephanie M. Zwolinski
  • Patent number: 5617146
    Abstract: A system for processing a television signal including a data component, such as extended data services data, includes a decoder for processing the data component to provide data representing time information. A control device responds to the data for modifying time information, e.g., time of day, that is maintained in the system. The time information decoded from the video signal is compared to the time information maintained in the system to determine a time difference. If the time difference is in a predetermined range, the time difference indicates that the time information from the television signal is invalid. The control device responds to the time difference being in the predetermined range by preventing modification of the time information maintained in the system. A user may provide an input via a device such as a remote control to control the manner in which the control device responds to the time difference.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 1995
    Date of Patent: April 1, 1997
    Assignee: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: David J. Duffield, Michael D. Landis, Gabriel A. Edde
  • Patent number: 5604542
    Abstract: A system and method for transmitting an electronic advertisement within the vertical blanking interval of a video signal. The system includes an encoder that formats and inserts an electronic advertisement into the vertical blanking interval of the video signal, a transmitter that transmits the video signal and the electronic advertisement, a receiver that receives the video signal and the electronic advertisement, and a decoder which removes the electronic advertisement from the video signal. The electronic advertisement can be consumed by an end user by printing the ad, or by displaying the ad on a monitor. The printed advertisement can be returned to the advertiser by a carrier service. The advertiser may accredit an account of the end user upon receipt of the returned advertisement to provide an inducement to read the ad. The system may further have a demographic server located within a network of computers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 1995
    Date of Patent: February 18, 1997
    Assignee: INTEL Corporation
    Inventor: Rick Dedrick
  • Patent number: 5594493
    Abstract: A smart card is disclosed which includes an optical receiver for receiving promotion data encoded in a television signal and transmitted through a cathode ray tube of a television. The smart card also includes circuitry for storing the promotion data and circuitry for executing the promotions associated with the promotion data, including circuitry for displaying a promotion in the form of a UPC code on an LCD display. The smart card further includes circuitry for interacting with a user through the LCD display and a plurality of buttons.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 1994
    Date of Patent: January 14, 1997
    Inventor: Frank R. Nemirofsky
  • Patent number: 5583576
    Abstract: A technique for selectively inhibiting television receiving apparatus from displaying those television programs which satisfy predetermined content ratings criteria. Television program information associated with television programs that are receivable by the television receiving apparatus during a selected time interval, such as channel data representing the channels on which the television programs are received and rating data representing the contents of those programs, is stored. A rating code representing the content ratings criteria of those programs which a viewer wishes to inhibit from being displayed also is stored. When a desired channel is selected by the viewer, the stored rating data associated with that channel is compared with the rating code to determine if the television program transmitted on that channel satisfies the predetermined content ratings criteria.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 10, 1996
    Assignee: OKTV, Inc.
    Inventors: William Perlman, Richard Leghorn