GB2289782A - Television apparatus - Google Patents

Television apparatus Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2289782A
GB2289782A GB9410404A GB9410404A GB2289782A GB 2289782 A GB2289782 A GB 2289782A GB 9410404 A GB9410404 A GB 9410404A GB 9410404 A GB9410404 A GB 9410404A GB 2289782 A GB2289782 A GB 2289782A
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GB
United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
programme
apparatus
transmitted
viewer
interest
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Granted
Application number
GB9410404A
Other versions
GB9410404D0 (en
GB2289782B (en
Inventor
Gareth Bertram Stevens
Original Assignee
Gareth Bertram Stevens
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Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Gareth Bertram Stevens filed Critical Gareth Bertram Stevens
Priority to GB9410404A priority Critical patent/GB2289782B/en
Publication of GB9410404D0 publication Critical patent/GB9410404D0/en
Publication of GB2289782A publication Critical patent/GB2289782A/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of GB2289782B publication Critical patent/GB2289782B/en
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical
Application status is Expired - Fee Related legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/43Processing of content or additional data, e.g. demultiplexing additional data from a digital video stream; Elementary client operations, e.g. monitoring of home network, synchronizing decoder's clock; Client middleware
    • H04N21/442Monitoring of processes or resources, e.g. detecting the failure of a recording device, monitoring the downstream bandwidth, the number of times a movie has been viewed, the storage space available from the internal hard disk
    • H04N21/44213Monitoring of end-user related data
    • H04N21/44222Monitoring of user selections, e.g. selection of programs, purchase activity
    • GPHYSICS
    • G11INFORMATION STORAGE
    • G11BINFORMATION STORAGE BASED ON RELATIVE MOVEMENT BETWEEN RECORD CARRIER AND TRANSDUCER
    • G11B31/00Arrangements for the associated working of recording or reproducing apparatus with related apparatus
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/45Management operations performed by the client for facilitating the reception of or the interaction with the content or administrating data related to the end-user or to the client device itself, e.g. learning user preferences for recommending movies, resolving scheduling conflicts
    • H04N21/4508Management of client or end-user data
    • H04N21/4532Management of client or end-user data involving end-user characteristics, e.g. viewer profile, preferences
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/45Management operations performed by the client for facilitating the reception of or the interaction with the content or administrating data related to the end-user or to the client device itself, e.g. learning user preferences for recommending movies, resolving scheduling conflicts
    • H04N21/454Content or additional data filtering, e.g. blocking advertisements
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N5/00Details of television systems
    • H04N5/44Receiver circuitry
    • H04N5/445Receiver circuitry for displaying additional information
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N5/00Details of television systems
    • H04N5/76Television signal recording
    • H04N5/78Television signal recording using magnetic recording
    • H04N5/782Television signal recording using magnetic recording on tape
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N7/00Television systems
    • H04N7/08Systems for the simultaneous or sequential transmission of more than one television signal, e.g. additional information signals, the signals occupying wholly or partially the same frequency band, e.g. by time division
    • H04N7/087Systems for the simultaneous or sequential transmission of more than one television signal, e.g. additional information signals, the signals occupying wholly or partially the same frequency band, e.g. by time division with signal insertion during the vertical blanking interval only
    • H04N7/088Systems for the simultaneous or sequential transmission of more than one television signal, e.g. additional information signals, the signals occupying wholly or partially the same frequency band, e.g. by time division with signal insertion during the vertical blanking interval only the inserted signal being digital
    • H04N7/0887Systems for the simultaneous or sequential transmission of more than one television signal, e.g. additional information signals, the signals occupying wholly or partially the same frequency band, e.g. by time division with signal insertion during the vertical blanking interval only the inserted signal being digital for the transmission of programme or channel identifying signals
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/47End-user applications
    • H04N21/482End-user interface for program selection
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N5/00Details of television systems
    • H04N5/44Receiver circuitry
    • H04N5/50Tuning indicators; Automatic tuning control

Abstract

Television apparatus, i.e. TV and/or VCR, has means for receiving a transmitted signal representative of a television programme, means (22) for monitoring which programme is selected by a viewer, means (26) for storing time and channel information relating to the selected programme and timing means (38) for determining when a programme of likely interest to said viewer is next transmitted by reference to the stored information. The apparatus can then automatically display either the programme of likely interest or some form of indicia which serves to indicate that a programme of likely interest is to be transmitted. In other embodiments, programme identification information in the transmitted signal is compared with similar stored information from manual input or from the transmitted signal when a programme was previously selected by the viewer. <IMAGE>

Description

TELEVISION APPARATUS The present invention relates to television apparatus.

Current television provides a popular entertainment medium whereby a viewer can select programmes that are likely to be of interest and can either view those programmes directly or record them by way of a video cassette recorder for later viewing.

However, in order to ensure that the programmes of interest to the viewer are actually viewed, whether by way of a recording or otherwise, it is necessary for the viewer to have correct knowledge as regards the date, time and channel information relating to the programme of interest.

Obtaining, and maintaining, the appropriate level of knowledge to achieve such desired viewing of programmes of likely interest is particularly disadvantageous in that it is a time-consuming activity and also involves a high degree of user-awareness. In view of the likely forgetfulness of the user, the required degree of awareness can often not be achieved. For example, to ensure that no programmes of likely interest to the viewer are missed, it is necessary that the viewer scans in advance a complete listing of all programmes being broadcast. This problem is particularly amplified when a, ever increasing, selection of programmes is transmitted to the television apparatus via cable, satellite or terrestrial means. Thus, as more viewing channels become available, particularly in view of the advent of cable and satellite television, the viewer will disadvantageously have to spend even more time viewing the programme listings if it is to be ensured that programmes of interest will not be missed through forgetfulness or otherwise.

The present invention seeks to overcome disadvantages currently experienced.

According to a first aspect of the present invention there is provided television apparatus having means for receiving a transmitted signal representative of a television programme, comprising monitoring means for monitoring which programme is selected by a viewer and means for storing information relating to the selective programme and means for determining when a programme of likely interest to said viewer is next transmitted by reference to the stored information.

The invention is advantageous in that the television apparatus can be arranged to effectively learn the viewing habits or viewing pattern of a viewer. The television apparatus can then be effectively arranged to indicate automatically when a programme of likely interest to a viewer is, or is about to be, transmitted for receipt by the television apparatus. If the apparatus is not currently displaying a programme, it can be automatically activated so as to display the programme of interest.

Thus, the viewer is advantageously relieved from having to carry out the disadvantageously time consuming activity of reviewing programmes to be transmitted.

In one particular advantageous embodiment to the present invention, the monitoring means may be arranged to monitor time and channel information relating to a programme selected by a viewer. The apparatus may then also comprise timer means for providing clock information which provides an indication when the time at which the viewer previously selected a particular channel next occurs. Further, the monitoring means may also include means for monitoring the day of the week when a previous programme that is selected by the viewer was transmitted.

This further feature is particularly advantageous when a programme of interest to a viewer is transmitted on the same day, and at the same time, once a week. Thus, once the monitoring means has established the day, time and channel information related to that previously selected programme, and that information has been stored in the apparatus, the apparatus is advantageously arranged to indicate to the viewer one, two, three and four etc weeks later, as required, that a programme of likely interest to the viewer is, or is about to be, broadcast on a particular indicated channel.

Alternatively, the monitoring means can be arranged to monitor transmitted information in order to determine whether an indication should be provided that a programme of interest is, or is about to be, broadcast. The information that is monitored may comprise information transmitted with a video signal. Thus, the means for storing information can be arranged to store programme identification data, or time-of-transmission data, which can be compared with subsequent transmitted signals received by the apparatus so as to determine whether a programme of interest to a viewer is, or is about to be, transmitted.

The apparatus can be arranged to scan the advance programme-listings for any appropriate period depending upon the availability of data for example one week, or one month, and determine when programmes of likely interest are to be transmitted in that period. Then, at or nearer, the identified time of transmission, the transmitted data can be checked to confirm that the programme of likely interest is still to be transmitted at the previously identified time.

In this manner, and upon the apparatus monitoring that a particular programme has been viewed by a viewer, the apparatus stores programme identification data associated with that programme and compares that data with all subsequent transmitted data received by the apparatus so as to determine whether the programme is likely to be of interest. The identification data may comprise a programme identification code or a programme delivery code, or may comprise one or more key-words that may, for example relate to the title of subject matter of the programme. If the programme monitoring and subsequent recognition is carried out by way of key-word information, the television apparatus may advantageously employ information transmitted during the blanking-interval of the T.V. signal, such as information transmitted along with teletext, or similar, information.

In monitoring and storing programme identification data in this manner, the invention is particularly advantageous in that it can recognise a programme of likely interest to a viewer irrespective of whether or not that programme is transmitted at regular intervals.

Thus, by way of a particularly advantageous embodiment of the invention, the T.V. apparatus monitors a programme that has been selected for viewing by a viewer and can store teletext or similar information associated with that programme. When corresponding teletext, or similar, information is next received by the television apparatus, the apparatus provides for an indication that the programme of likely interest to a viewer is, or is about to be, transmitted. If the apparatus is not currently displaying a programme, it can be automatically activated to display the programme of likely interest.

Advantageously, the programme identification data can be accurately reviewed so as to determine whether in fact the programme is a repeat of one already viewed by the viewer.

Preferably, the apparatus includes means for receiving viewer identification information. Thus, the apparatus can be arranged to provide the required indication of the occurrence of programmes of likely interest to a plurality of potential viewers. The apparatus can be arranged to receive information that indicates which one(s) of a plurality of viewers watch particular programmes so that a programme that is subsequently identified as being one of likely interest to one or more particular viewers can be indicated along with an indication as regards which viewers are likely to find the programme of interest.

The apparatus can also be provided with priority selection means whereby when two or more programmes of likely interest to two or more potential viewers are to be transmitted at the same time, one of those programmes takes priority and it is only the transmission of that one programme that is indicated by the apparatus.

In one embodiment, the viewer identification information comprises identification symbols.

The invention is therefore particularly advantageous in that it can be arranged to monitor, and thereby learn, which programmes are of interest to which particular potential viewers.

The present invention may be arranged as part of a television set or as part of a video cassette recorder. In any case, the present invention can be arranged to operate when a television set is connected to a video cassette recorder. In this manner, the apparatus is advantageously arranged to offer a potential viewer a prompt so that if the potential viewer is not available to respond to the prompt, the apparatus is arranged to control a video cassette recorder so that the programme is recorded for a later viewing.

The response to be provided by a viewer to such a prompt may comprise voice-recognition means or contact data-input means such as a touch screen or push button means.

Preferably, the apparatus is to indicate that a programme of likely interest is, or is about to be transmitted, by providing a physical on-screen indication.

Such indication may simply comprise switching the television apparatus on to the desired channel so as to display the actual programme of likely interest. If so, continuous hands-free operation of the apparatus can be achieved in that a viewer can simply allow the invention to control which programme is displayed. Also, the indication may comprise the provision of a channel indicating sign on the screen irrespective of which of the channels the apparatus is actually switched to. Of course, as required, the apparatus may also be arranged to indicate to which one of the potential viewers the indicated programme is likely to be of interest.

As will be appreciated from the above, the apparatus can advantageously provide for means for monitoring a television viewing pattern of one or more potential viewers. The television apparatus can then assist in serving to display all programmes of likely interest to said one or more potential viewers so that said one or more viewers are provided with an opportunity to view all programmes of interest to them, at the time of broadcast or by way of a recording.

According to another aspect of the present invention there is provided television apparatus having means for receiving a transmitted signal representative of a television programme, comprising data input means for inputting identification data indicative of a programme likely to be of interest to viewer, and monitoring means for monitoring the video signal received by the apparatus so as to determine when a programme of likely interest to said viewer is next transmitted by reference to said identification data.

This aspect of the present invention is particularly advantageous in that a viewer can simply input information relating to programmes that are likely to be of interest so that the television apparatus is arranged effectively for automatic operation whenever a programme of likely interest is actually transmitted. Such operation is particularly advantageous if the viewer wishes to override, or enhance, the programme monitoring and selection function of the apparatus, for example during the two-week period around christmas when particular programmes of interest might be transmitted, this can be readily achieved.

Preferably, said identification data comprises a programme identification code or a programme delivery code.

Advantageously, the identification data can be arranged to identify a programme of likely interest by reference to a signal transmitted. Such a signal may comprise a signal associated with teletext information or any other suitable form of information signal.

In particular, said data input means may be arranged to receive a key-word which can be input by a viewer and which relates to subject matter of interest to that viewer.

Thus, the apparatus can be arranged such that an indication is provided when a programme is transmitted that uses such a key-word as part of its title or as part of the description of the programme content.

This aspect of the present invention is particularly advantageous in that a viewer can simply input a word that relates to the subject matter of interest, for example sport in general or one particular sport. The television apparatus is then arranged to provide an indication as to when a sport-related programme will be, is, or is about to be, transmitted. Also, display of the programme of interest may be achieved by the viewer pre-programming the apparatus on the basis of collected T.V. programme listings data.

This aspect of the present invention is particularly advantageous in that the television apparatus does not have to learn what particular programmes might be of interest to a viewer. This is determined simply by way of the programme identification data input by the viewer.

As above, the television apparatus can be associated with a television set or a video cassette recorder and can therefore effectively provide for the automatic operation of the television set or the video recorder. Also, the apparatus can be provided for use with a television apparatus when connected for operation with a video cassette recorder. Then, the appropriate prompts can be provided as noted above so that if a potential viewer does not provide a required response to a prompt, the programme that is of likely interest to that viewer is automatically recorded for subsequent viewing.

The further features of the first aspect of the present invention outlined above, for example the adaption for use with a plurality of different viewers and the different means for indicating that a programme of interest is to be transmitted, can likewise be advantageously arranged for use in the above-mentioned further aspect of the present invention.

The apparatus of the invention can also be advantageously used by those who may only wish to listen to a programme of interest.

The invention is described further hereinafter, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which: Figure 1 is a block diagram of apparatus according to one embodiment of present invention; Figure 2 is a block diagram of apparatus comprising a variation of the embodiment showing Figure 1; and Figure 3 is a block diagram of apparatus according to a further embodiment of the present invention.

The embodiment of the present invention illustrated by way of Figure 1 comprises a television set arranged to monitor which particular programme is being viewed at a particular time of the day, and at a particular day of the week, and for controlling the future operation of the television set when that particular time and day next occurs.

Figure 1 shows television apparatus 10 comprising a television aerial or appropriate signal receiver 12 and a television signal receiver and processor unit 14 which includes an appropriate decoder. The receiver unit 14 includes channel switching means whereby a viewer can determine which of the variety of video signals, which can include an audio element, received by the aerial 12 can be delivered by way of line 16 to a television screen 18 associated with an audio output device such as a loudspeaker 19. The actual channel which is chosen for viewing is monitored via line 20 by way of a monitoring device 22 and the result of this monitoring operation is fed by way of line 24 to a memory unit 26, the memory unit 26 stores all day, date and channel information relating to the selected operation of the receiver unit 14 and that is detected by the monitoring device 22 and, when appropriate, control information is fed from the memory unit 26 via line 28 to a programme indicator unit 30 and then on to the receiver unit 14 by way of line 32.

A viewer identification unit 34 is also provided which can receive, for example keyed-in, information identifying which one of the plurality of possible viewers has actually chosen to watch the programme being displayed on the screen 18.

The apparatus 10 also includes a clock device 38 that can be employed to provide a permanent display via the television set of day, date and time information as required.

In the embodiment of Figure 1, the clock 38 plays an important role in coordinating the monitoring achieved by the monitoring device 22 and the subsequent control of the receiver unit 14 by way of a programme indicator unit 30.

It is therefore important that the clock 38 provides an actual representation of the correct time of day.

The monitoring unit 22 is arranged to receive clock information relating to the accurate time of day by way of line 40 and the memory unit 26 also receives such information by way of line 42. If required, the clock information supplied by way of line 40 and 42 can also comprise day and/or date information in addition to the correct time of day information.

Operation of the apparatus of Figure 1 is now described by way of an example in which the viewing pattern for one day, i.e. 24 hour time period, is monitored and thus learned by the apparatus 10 for appropriate control of the apparatus during the next day, i.e. in the next 24 hour time period. Of course the learning time period can be varied from one day to one week or even one month depending upon the frequency at which programmes are likely to be of interest to one or more of the potential viewers is to be broadcast. In its simplest form, however, the function of the apparatus 10 is now described merely assuming that a programme of interest to one particular viewer is to be transmitted at the same time of day on, for example, five subsequent days.

On the first day of transmission, having decided that the programme is of interest to the viewer, the viewer activates the television set 10 and chooses the appropriate channel by way of selection means on the receiver unit 14.

The selected programme is then viewed by way of the screen 18 until such time that the programme ends when, for example, the viewer has completed the viewing activity and switches off the television apparatus 10.

During the above-mentioned viewing pattern, the apparatus 10 operates as follows. The monitoring device 22 monitors which one of the particular channels was selected by the viewer by way of the line 20 and also monitors the start and stop time relating to the viewing of that channel by way of the clock information derived from the clock unit 38 via the line 40. The channel and start/stop information is then fed via line 24 to the memory unit 26 where it is stored for subsequent use. The channel and start/stop information is stored in the memory unit 26 until such time that the clock information supplied from the clock 38 via line 42 to the memory unit 26 corresponds to the stored start time. Upon the memory unit receiving the appropriate start time from the clock 38 a control signal that includes the appropriate channel selection information previously monitored by the monitoring device 22 via the line 20 is then fed via the line 28 to the programme indicator unit 30. The programme indicator unit may be a separate element in the apparatus or may form part of the receiving unit 14.

In any event, the subsequent output from the programme indicator unit controls the apparatus 10 so as to provide an indication that a programme of interest to the viewer is being transmitted on a particular channel. This indication may be provided by way of alpha-numeric data displayed on the television screen or by automatic switching-on of the apparatus 10 so as to display the appropriate channel.

As will be appreciated from the above, once the viewer has selected the appropriate programme on its first day of transmission, the apparatus 10 is then automatically controlled during the subsequent four days so as to indicate that a programme of interest to the viewer is being transmitted. As mentioned above, the monitoring device 22 is also arranged to receive a signal from a viewer identification unit 34 via line 36. This can prove particularly useful when more than one viewer is likely to use the apparatus 10. The apparatus 10 can then discriminate between programmes of likely interest to different viewers and can also allow one viewer's choice to take precedent over one or more of the other viewers.

Also, and as mentioned before, the apparatus can be arranged to learn a viewing pattern for a time span that is longer than 24 hours, for example one week or one month.

In this case, the clock 38 is also arranged to provide the monitoring device 22 and memory unit 26 with day/date information in addition to the time of day information.

Such an operation is particularly likely since a series of television programmes are commonly transmitted once a week at the same day and time.

The apparatus illustrated in Figure 2 is similar to the apparatus of Figure 1 and comprises a television aerial 212 and a receiver unit 214 for delivering a video signal via line 216 to a television screen 218 and loudspeaker 219. Also, a monitoring device 222 is provided for monitoring the operation of the receiver unit 214 via line 220 and for delivering the result of the monitoring operation to a memory unit 226 via a line 222. Again, the monitoring unit 222 is arranged to receive viewer identification data from the viewer identification unit 234 via line 236. Also, the output from the memory unit 226 is supplied via line 228 to a comparator unit 244 which is also arranged to receive a signal from the aerial 212.

The operation of the apparatus of Figure 2 is similar to that of Figure 1 except that, in monitoring the channel chosen for viewing, the monitoring unit 222 monitors programme identification information that is transmitted as part of a video signal received by the aerial 212. Such information is commonly transmitted with the video signal and is commonly used to provide teletext, or similar, information. The unit 14 can include two or more receivers for receiving a teletext signal to be displayed, a video signal to be displayed and teletext data for controlling operation of the apparatus 10. Thus, when a viewer selects a particular channel for viewing the programme identification data, or such as could be extracted from teletext T.V. listings data, transmitted during the blanking interval is monitored by the monitoring device 222 and subsequent stored in the memory unit 226. Such information can then be provided by way of line 228 to the comparator unit 244 for comparison with subsequent transmitted data signals received by way of the aerial 212.

Once the comparison of the data on line 228 and the transmitted data signal information supplied by the aerial 212, which is carried out such as by scanning the teletext T.V. programme listings data, indicates a certain similarity, the apparatus is arranged to indicate to a likely viewer that a programme of interest will be or is being transmitted. As before, such indication may comprise a display of alpha numeric information in the television screen 218 or may also involve activation of the television apparatus and switching to the appropriate channel. A clock can be provided to be activated when the programme listings data has been scanned and it has been identified that a programme of interest is to be transmitted within a certain time interval. The clock is set to run for that interval and then control the eventual operation of the apparatus so as to allow for the viewing of that programme.

It will be appreciated that the embodiment of Figure 2 involves particular advantages in that a programme of likely interest to the viewer will be detected by way of the comparator unit 244 irrespective of the day of the week, and the time of the day, at which it is transmitted.

Also, the programme identification data detected by way of the monitoring device 222 can be arranged to indicate to a likely viewer that an exact programme of interest is being transmitted, or that a programme of likely interest, i.e.

one that relates to the subject matter of the programme previously viewed by that viewer, is being transmitted. As before, the viewer identification unit 234 can assist in allowing operation of the apparatus with two or more potential viewers.

The embodiment of the present invention illustrated in Figure 3 comprises an input 312 from a cable-television supply for delivering a signal to a receiver unit 314 which includes channel selection means. The video signal relating to the particular channel selected for viewing is delivered by way of line 316 to a television screen 318.

Unlike the embodiments illustrated in Figures 1 and 2, the embodiment of Figure 3 does not include a monitoring device, but merely comprises a programme identification input device which delivers programme identification data via line 324 to a memory unit 326 which is connected to a comparator unit 344 by way of line 328. As before, the comparator unit 344 receives and compares the signals from the memory unit 326 and the input 312. The programme identification input device 346 can include an alpha numeric keyboard whereby a viewer can input information to identify a programme of likely interest. This information is then stored in the memory unit 326 and compared by way of the comparator 344 with the programme identification data transmitted along with the video signal received by the input 312. Such programme identification data, as mentioned above, commonly comprises information transmitted with the signal received by the input 312. In operation, if the comparator 344 recognises a similarity between the programme identification data input by way of the keyboard of the input device 346 and the programmed identification data found in the blanking interval of the signal received by the input 312 the receiver unit 314 is arranged to automatically indicate to a viewer that a programme of likely interest is being transmitted. As before, such indication may comprise alpha numeric data displayed in the television screen 318 associated with a loudspeaker 319 or it may involve activation of the television apparatus and the subsequent display of the appropriate channel. In one particularly advantageous version of the embodiment of Figure 3, the programme identification input device is arranged to receive a key-word input by way of the keyboard and the comparator 344 then searches for such a key-word in the programme identification data transmitted with the signal received by the input 312. In this manner, the comparator 344 can be arranged to identify the key-word input by the user via the keyboard of the input device 346 when it appears in the teletext information relating to a programme being transmitted. This can prove particularly advantageous since the key-word may appear in the title, or descriptive text, of the teletext information.

Of course, the programme identification input device 346 may also be arranged to include a viewer identification unit so that the apparatus can be arranged to indicate which particular programmes are being transmitted that might be of interest to two or more potential viewers.

From the above description, it can be appreciated that the present invention provides for the generally automatic compilation of preferred television programme listings so that a potential viewer does not have to disadvantageously waste time reviewing advanced programme listings to ensure that they do not miss a programme of likely interest.

The apparatus is not restricted to the details of the foregoing embodiments. For example, the television apparatus may comprise a video cassette recorder rather than a television set, or may comprise a television set when arranged for operation with a video cassette recorder.

In this manner, the apparatus can be arranged to provide a prompt to a potential viewer. If no response to this prompt is provided by the viewer, the apparatus takes this as an indication that the viewer is not present for viewing the programme and so the video cassette recorder is automatically activated so as to record the programme for subsequent viewing by the viewer. Also, with particular regard to the embodiment illustrated in Figure 3, the apparatus may be arranged to display a list of all programmes of likely interest to be transmitted in a particular period such as one week or one day.

The invention can also comprise a combination of features that allow for operation according to two or more of the above-mentioned embodiments. For example, the apparatus can be arranged such that if there is insufficient incoming data to be scanned, the apparatus can default to another mode of operation such as that outlined with reference to Fig. 1.

In a further variation, the apparatus can comprise a combination of the embodiments outlined above so that if programme identification data is not available, the apparatus defaults to operation similar to the Figure 1 embodiment. The apparatus can also employ the so-called Programme Delivery Code, currently broadcast by some television channels, to achieve its operation.

Of course, the apparatus may be arranged to display the transmitted information by way of any appropriate display device which would provide for a two-dimensional or possibly three-dimensional display of the information.

It will be appreciated that the modifications and the variations to the invention as described above may be made within the scope of this application.

Claims (25)

1. Television apparatus having means for receiving a transmitted signal representative of a television programme, comprising monitoring means for monitoring which programme is selected by a viewer and means for storing information relating to the selected programme and means for determining when a programme of likely interest to said viewer is next transmitted by reference to the stored information.
2. Apparatus as claimed in Claim 1, wherein indication means are provided to indicate automatically when a programme of likely interest to a viewer is to be transmitted for receipt by the television apparatus.
3. Apparatus as claimed in Claim 2, wherein said indication means is arranged to activate the apparatus so as to display the programme of interest.
4. Apparatus as claimed in any one of Claims 1 to 3, wherein said monitoring means is arranged to monitor time and channel information relating to a programme selected by a viewer.
5. Apparatus as claimed in Claim 4, and including timer means for providing clock information which provides an indication when the time at which the viewer previously selected a particular channel next occurs.
6. Apparatus as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein said monitoring means includes means for recording the day of the week when a programme selected by the viewer is transmitted.
7. Apparatus as claimed in any one of Claims 1 to 3, wherein said monitoring means is arranged to monitor transmitted information in order to determine whether an indication should be provided that a programme of interest is to be broadcast.
8. Apparatus as claimed in Claim 7, wherein the information that is monitored comprises information transmitted with a video signal.
9. Apparatus as claimed in Claim 8, wherein said means for storing information is arranged to store programme identification data, to be compared with subsequent transmitted signals received by the apparatus so as to determine whether a programme of interest to a viewer is to be transmitted.
10. Apparatus as claimed in any one of Claims 7 to 9, and including means arranged to scan the advance programme-listings for any appropriate period and to determine when programmes of likely interest are to be transmitted in that period.
11. Apparatus as claimed in Claim 10, wherein verification means are provided to confirm that the programme of likely interest is still to be transmitted at the previously identified time.
12. Apparatus as claimed in any one of Claims 7 to 11, wherein said transmitted information comprises programme identification code.
13. Apparatus as claimed in any one of Claims 7 to 11, wherein said transmitted information comprises key-words relating to the subject matter of the programme.
14. Apparatus as claimed in Claim 13, wherein said transmitted information comprises information transmitted during the blanking-interval of the T.V. signal.
15. Apparatus as claimed in any one of Claims 7 to 14, and including means for determining if said transmitted information has been received before.
16. Apparatus as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and including means for receiving viewer identification information.
17. Apparatus as claimed in Claim 16 and including means for identifying which of a plurality of potential viewers a particular programme is of interest to.
18. Television apparatus having means for receiving a transmitted signal representative of a television programme, comprising data input means for inputting identification data indicative of a programme likely to be of interest to viewer, and monitoring means for monitoring the video signal received by the apparatus so as to determine when a programme of likely interest to said viewer is next transmitted by reference to said identification data.
19. Apparatus as claimed in Claim 18, wherein said identification data comprises a programme identification code.
20. Apparatus as claimed in Claim 18, wherein said identification data comprises a signal associated with a television information service signal.
21. Apparatus as claimed in any one of Claims 18 to 20, wherein said data input means is arranged to receive a key-word which to be input by a viewer.
22. Apparatus as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and associated with a television set.
23. Apparatus as claimed in any one of Claims 1 to 21, and comprising a video cassette recorder.
24. Apparatus as claimed in Claim 23 and arranged to control operation of said video cassette recorder so as to record the programme of likely interest if the apparatus is not controlled so as to display said programme of likely interest.
25. Television apparatus substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to, and as illustrated in, the accompanying drawings.
GB9410404A 1994-05-23 1994-05-23 Improvements in or relating to television apparatus Expired - Fee Related GB2289782B (en)

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EP0903957A2 (en) * 1997-09-04 1999-03-24 Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. Method for receiving information, apparatus for receiving information and medium
EP1063847A1 (en) * 1999-06-22 2000-12-27 Sagem S.A. Information presentation system
EP1069769A2 (en) 1999-07-15 2001-01-17 Pace Micro Technology PLC Improvements relating to television system
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WO2002007433A1 (en) * 2000-07-13 2002-01-24 Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. Epg display of recommended shows with previously viewed shows identified
EP1227681A2 (en) * 2000-12-01 2002-07-31 Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. Receiving device and transmission device
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US7051352B1 (en) 2000-02-04 2006-05-23 Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. Adaptive TV program recommender
US9071872B2 (en) 2003-01-30 2015-06-30 Rovi Guides, Inc. Interactive television systems with digital video recording and adjustable reminders
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US10063934B2 (en) 2008-11-25 2018-08-28 Rovi Technologies Corporation Reducing unicast session duration with restart TV
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Cited By (24)

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EP0892554A2 (en) * 1997-06-18 1999-01-20 Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. Program information retrieval apparatus, method and system for retrieving and displaying information of broadcast programs
EP0892554A3 (en) * 1997-06-18 2000-03-01 Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. Program information retrieval apparatus, method and system for retrieving and displaying information of broadcast programs
EP0903957A2 (en) * 1997-09-04 1999-03-24 Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. Method for receiving information, apparatus for receiving information and medium
US7079497B2 (en) 1997-09-04 2006-07-18 Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. Method for receiving information, apparatus for receiving information and medium
EP0903957A3 (en) * 1997-09-04 2005-08-17 Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. Method for receiving information, apparatus for receiving information and medium
US6792245B1 (en) 1998-04-10 2004-09-14 Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Information reproducing apparatus and broadcasting system
US10075746B2 (en) 1998-07-14 2018-09-11 Rovi Guides, Inc. Client-server based interactive television guide with server recording
EP1063847A1 (en) * 1999-06-22 2000-12-27 Sagem S.A. Information presentation system
FR2795588A1 (en) * 1999-06-22 2000-12-29 Sagem System presentation of information
EP1069769A2 (en) 1999-07-15 2001-01-17 Pace Micro Technology PLC Improvements relating to television system
EP1069769A3 (en) * 1999-07-15 2002-01-09 Pace Micro Technology PLC Improvements relating to television system
US6782551B1 (en) 1999-07-15 2004-08-24 Pace Micro Technology Plc System for indicating when a program has been selected from a program guide display
NL1014211C2 (en) * 2000-01-27 2001-07-30 Doorneveld Franciscus T Television apparatus and method for automatic operation of a television apparatus.
US7051352B1 (en) 2000-02-04 2006-05-23 Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. Adaptive TV program recommender
WO2002007433A1 (en) * 2000-07-13 2002-01-24 Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. Epg display of recommended shows with previously viewed shows identified
US9294799B2 (en) 2000-10-11 2016-03-22 Rovi Guides, Inc. Systems and methods for providing storage of data on servers in an on-demand media delivery system
EP1227681A2 (en) * 2000-12-01 2002-07-31 Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. Receiving device and transmission device
EP1705814A3 (en) * 2000-12-01 2006-12-13 Matsushita Electric Industries Co. Ltd. Receiving device and transmission device
EP1227681A3 (en) * 2000-12-01 2002-10-02 Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. Receiving device and transmission device
EP1705814A2 (en) * 2000-12-01 2006-09-27 Matsushita Electric Industries Co. Ltd. Receiving device and transmission device
WO2003036945A1 (en) * 2001-10-26 2003-05-01 Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. Automatic viewing history based television control system
US9071872B2 (en) 2003-01-30 2015-06-30 Rovi Guides, Inc. Interactive television systems with digital video recording and adjustable reminders
US9369741B2 (en) 2003-01-30 2016-06-14 Rovi Guides, Inc. Interactive television systems with digital video recording and adjustable reminders
US10063934B2 (en) 2008-11-25 2018-08-28 Rovi Technologies Corporation Reducing unicast session duration with restart TV

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GB2289782B (en) 1998-02-04

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