US20110302497A1 - Method and System for Supporting a User-Specified and Customized Interface for a Broadband Gateway - Google Patents

Method and System for Supporting a User-Specified and Customized Interface for a Broadband Gateway Download PDF

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Publication number
US20110302497A1
US20110302497A1 US12/981,986 US98198610A US2011302497A1 US 20110302497 A1 US20110302497 A1 US 20110302497A1 US 98198610 A US98198610 A US 98198610A US 2011302497 A1 US2011302497 A1 US 2011302497A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
user interface
broadband gateway
theme
received
interface application
Prior art date
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Abandoned
Application number
US12/981,986
Inventor
David Garrett
Jeyhan Karaoguz
Xuemin Chen
Wael William Diab
David Lundgren
Rich Prodan
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Avago Technologies General IP Singapore Pte Ltd
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Broadcom Corp
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Publication date
Priority to US35169610P priority Critical
Application filed by Broadcom Corp filed Critical Broadcom Corp
Priority to US12/981,986 priority patent/US20110302497A1/en
Assigned to BROADCOM CORPORATION reassignment BROADCOM CORPORATION ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: Prodan, Rich, KARAOGUZ, JEYHAN, DIAB, WAEL WILLIAM, CHEN, XUEMIN, GARRETT, DAVID, LUNDGREN, DAVID
Publication of US20110302497A1 publication Critical patent/US20110302497A1/en
Assigned to BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., AS COLLATERAL AGENT reassignment BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., AS COLLATERAL AGENT PATENT SECURITY AGREEMENT Assignors: BROADCOM CORPORATION
Assigned to AVAGO TECHNOLOGIES GENERAL IP (SINGAPORE) PTE. LTD. reassignment AVAGO TECHNOLOGIES GENERAL IP (SINGAPORE) PTE. LTD. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: BROADCOM CORPORATION
Assigned to BROADCOM CORPORATION reassignment BROADCOM CORPORATION TERMINATION AND RELEASE OF SECURITY INTEREST IN PATENTS Assignors: BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., AS COLLATERAL AGENT
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • G06F2221/07Indexing scheme relating to G06F21/10, protecting distributed programs or content
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    • HELECTRICITY
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    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • H04N21/20Servers specifically adapted for the distribution of content, e.g. VOD servers; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/25Management operations performed by the server for facilitating the content distribution or administrating data related to end-users or client devices, e.g. end-user or client device authentication, learning user preferences for recommending movies
    • H04N21/258Client or end-user data management, e.g. managing client capabilities, user preferences or demographics, processing of multiple end-users preferences to derive collaborative data
    • HELECTRICITY
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    • 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
    • H04N21/472End-user interface for requesting content, additional data or services; End-user interface for interacting with content, e.g. for content reservation or setting reminders, for requesting event notification, for manipulating displayed content
    • H04N21/47202End-user interface for requesting content, additional data or services; End-user interface for interacting with content, e.g. for content reservation or setting reminders, for requesting event notification, for manipulating displayed content for requesting content on demand, e.g. video on demand
    • HELECTRICITY
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    • H04N21/60Network structure or processes for video distribution between server and client or between remote clients; Control signalling between clients, server and network components; Transmission of management data between server and client, e.g. sending from server to client commands for recording incoming content stream; Communication details between server and client 
    • H04N21/65Transmission of management data between client and server
    • H04N21/654Transmission by server directed to the client
    • H04N21/6543Transmission by server directed to the client for forcing some client operations, e.g. recording
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02DCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES IN INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES [ICT], I.E. INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AIMING AT THE REDUCTION OF THIR OWN ENERGY USE
    • Y02D30/00High level techniques for reducing energy consumption in communication networks
    • Y02D30/30High level techniques for reducing energy consumption in communication networks by signaling and coordination, e.g. signaling reduction, link layer discovery protocol [LLDP], control policies, green TCP

Abstract

A method and system are provided in which a user interface application may be received by a broadband gateway and may be configured to generate a user interface for display in a display device. The user interface may be generated based on programming information and/or associated metadata received through one or more network access service providers. Each of the network access service providers may be handled by the broadband gateway through a corresponding physical layer access. More than one user interface application may be received by the broadband gateway. In such instances, the broadband gateway may enable the selection of one of the available user interface applications to generate the user interface. For each user interface application, the associated user interface that is generated may have a particular layout, visual characteristics, set of functions, and/or theme that is different from that of the other user interfaces.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS/INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE
  • This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application 61/351,696, filed on Jun. 4, 2010.
  • This application also makes reference to:
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/355,377 (Attorney Docket No. 19545US01) filed on Jan. 16, 2009;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/355,413 (Attorney Docket No. 19897US01) filed on Jan. 16, 2009;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/355,480 (Attorney Docket No. 19902US01) filed on Jan. 16, 2009;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/395,383 (Attorney Docket No. 19910US01) filed on Feb. 27, 2009;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ (Attorney Docket No. 23397US02) filed on ______;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ (Attorney Docket No. 23398US02) filed on ______;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ (Attorney Docket No. 23399US02) filed on ______;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ (Attorney Docket No. 23400US02) filed on ______;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ (Attorney Docket No. 23401US02) filed on ______;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ (Attorney Docket No. 23402US02) filed on ______;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ (Attorney Docket No. 23403US02) filed on ______;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ (Attorney Docket No. 23404US02) filed on ______;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ (Attorney Docket No. 23405US02) filed on ______;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ (Attorney Docket No. 23406US02) filed on ______;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ (Attorney Docket No. 23407US02) filed on ______;
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    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ (Attorney Docket No. 23418US02) filed on ______;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ (Attorney Docket No. 23419US02) filed on ______;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ (Attorney Docket No. 23420US02) filed on ______;
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    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ (Attorney Docket No. 23422US02) filed on ______;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ (Attorney Docket No. 23423US02) filed on ______;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ (Attorney Docket No. 23424US02) filed on ______;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ (Attorney Docket No. 23425US02) filed on ______;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ (Attorney Docket No. 23426US02) filed on ______;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ (Attorney Docket No. 23427US02) filed on ______;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ (Attorney Docket No. 23428US02) filed on ______;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ (Attorney Docket No. 23429US02) filed on ______;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ (Attorney Docket No. 23430US02) filed on ______;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ (Attorney Docket No. 23431US02) filed on ______;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ (Attorney Docket No. 23432US02) filed on ______;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ (Attorney Docket No. 23433US02) filed on ______;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ (Attorney Docket No. 23434US02) filed on ______; and
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ (Attorney Docket No. 23435US02) filed on ______.
  • Each of the above stated applications is hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • Certain embodiments of the invention relate to broadband access. More specifically, certain embodiments of the invention relate to supporting a user-specified and/or customized user interface for a broadband gateway.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • As the use of home networks grow in popularity, the capabilities of today's gateway devices may not be adequate to support certain applications and content to be provided through such networks.
  • Further limitations and disadvantages of conventional and traditional approaches will become apparent to one of skill in the art, through comparison of such systems with the present invention as set forth in the remainder of the present application with reference to the drawings.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • A system and/or method for supporting a user-specified and/or customized user interface for a broadband gateway, as set forth more completely in the claims.
  • Various advantages, aspects and novel features of the present invention, as well as details of an illustrated embodiment thereof, will be more fully understood from the following description and drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a block diagram illustrating an exemplary communication system that comprises a home network serviced by a broadband gateway, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.
  • FIGS. 2A and 2B are block diagrams illustrating exemplary broadband gateways, in accordance with embodiments of the invention.
  • FIG. 3 is a diagram illustrating exemplary user interactions with a broadband gateway, in connection with an embodiment of the invention.
  • FIGS. 4A and 4B are flow charts illustrating exemplary steps for obtaining a user interface application and generating a user interface, in accordance with embodiments of the invention.
  • FIG. 5 is a diagram illustrating a broadband gateway that handles multiple user interfaces, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.
  • FIG. 6 is a flow chart illustrating exemplary steps for obtaining multiple user interface applications and selecting one to generate a user interface, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.
  • FIGS. 7A and 7B are diagrams illustrating a broadband gateway that handles multiple user interfaces, in accordance with various embodiments of the invention.
  • FIG. 8 is a diagram illustrating a broadband gateway that concurrently handles multiple user interfaces, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • Certain embodiments of the invention can be found in a method and system for supporting a user-specified and/or customized user interface for a broadband gateway. In accordance with various embodiments of the invention, a user interface application, which may be received by a broadband gateway, may be configured to generate a user interface for display in a display device. The user interface may be generated based on programming information and/or associated metadata received by the broadband gateway through one or more network access service providers. The broadband gateway may be operable to handle each of the network access service providers through a separate physical layer access. A physical layer may refer to an Open Systems Interconnect (OSI) layer 1. In some instances, more than one user interface application may be received by the broadband gateway. When multiple user interface applications are available, the broadband gateway may enable the selection of one of the user interface applications to generate the user interface. For each user interface application, the associated user interface that is generated may have a particular layout, visual characteristics, set of functions, and/or theme that is different from that of the other user interfaces that may be generated from the other user interface applications.
  • For some devices, such as set-top-boxes (STBs) and digital video recorders (DVRs), for example, a single user interface is typically available from which a user may obtain information and/or to control certain content-related functions or operations associated with the device. Because of the graphical icons and visual indicators present in such types of user interfaces, they are generally referred to as graphical user interfaces or GUIs. As utilized herein, the term user interface may refer to a graphical user interface. For STBs, the content organization scheme, layout, functions, and visual characteristics of the user interface are selected by a cable or satellite provider such as AT&T, Cox, Comcast, DirectTV, or DISH Network, for example. The user interface is made available in the form of an electronic programming guide (EPG) or an interactive programming guide (IPG). An EPG may present a non-interactive menu of programming scheduling information that lists current and upcoming programs on all available channels. An IPG, on the other hand, may allow the user to interactively navigate menus of programming scheduling information by, for example, time, title, channel, and/or genre using an input device such as a keypad, keyboard, or remote control. The user interface is typically provided through one of the channels of the cable or satellite service and may originate from a source different from the source that provides the content available through the service. While there are distinctions between an EPG and an IPG, the term EPG is commonly used to refer to both. For a DVR, such as TiVo, for example, a single user interface may be generated by the device to handle storage and/or playback of content received by and/or stored in the device. In this case, the user interface may be interactive and may be different from the user interface available from the cable or satellite provider that delivers content to the DVR or STB. Regardless of whether a user interface is associated with an STB or a DVR, they are generally static or fixed with respect to the information that is presented, the layout in which the information is presented, and the type of access, control, and/or functionalities that are available. In other words, a user is generally presented with a single user interface choice configured by a service provider and/or by a device manufacturer in such a manner as to satisfy the broadest possible set of customer needs.
  • A typical user interface that may be utilized in connection with a broadband gateway may present similar issues. That is, a broadband gateway may generate a user interface to enable a user to access information and/or control functions associated with content accessible through the gateway. The user, however, may want to have access to a different user interface, one that is more versatile, intuitive, easier to use, flexible, and/or has better visual characteristics than the one that is available. A different user interface may allow the kind of content navigation, search, and/or selection experience that the user wishes he or she could have. Accordingly, the user may want to replace or override the default user interface that is provided by the broadband gateway with a customized user interface that has a desired look-and-feel and/or functionality. To do so, the broadband gateway may be operable to enable applications that generate user interfaces that are different from those typically available. In some instances, the broadband gateway may comprise more than one such user interface application and may enable the selection of one of the applications to generate the user interface. In this manner, a user may have a choice of the type of experience that is desired when interacting with a broadband gateway.
  • In an exemplary embodiment of the invention, in order to generate a customized user interface, the user may first search through various sources of such user interfaces. An example of where to search for sources and sample different types of user interfaces may be the Internet. The sources of applications that generate customized user interfaces may not only comprise third-parties, but may also comprise cable and satellite providers and/or device manufacturers that may see providing access to a range of different user interface applications as another service for their customers. Once a user identifies and selects a particular user interface that suits his or her needs, preferences, and/or style, an associated user interface application or file may be downloaded to the broadband gateway. Once downloaded, the user interface application may be installed and configured. The configuration may be a default or standard configuration, in which the features of the user interface to be generated by the user interface application are fixed. The configuration may also be non-standard configuration, or a customized configuration in which a user may have the ability to select from several options associated with the features of the user interface. In some instances, a configuration file or other like file may be downloaded with the user interface application file and may be utilized to configure the user interface application for use with the broadband gateway. Once installed and configured, the user interface application may be utilized to generate and/or render the customized user interface selected by the user.
  • In a broadband gateway that is capable of handling content received through more than one network access service provider at any one time, the user interface may need to present the user with a content organization scheme, layout, visual characteristics, and/or functionality that is suitable to handle the wide range of content received through multiple network access service providers. Moreover, a broadband gateway may also have access to stored content that the user may want to be made available through the user interface, such as content available from a DVR or other content-storage and/or playback device. Accordingly, a user may desire a user interface that provides an intuitive and easy way to handle multiple sources of content and/or multiple types of content. Therefore, a user may search for a customized user interface that may be able to concurrently handle multiple sources of content and/or multiple types of content in a manner that better suits the needs of the user. As described above, once the user finds such a customized user interface, an associated user interface application may be downloaded, installed, configured, and subsequently utilized to generate the customized user interface.
  • In some instances, one or more third-parties may also generate metadata associated with programming scheduling information and/or with other type of content provided through the network access service providers. For example, a third-party may make available from a web server ranking information, reviews, commentary, descriptions, links, and/or other ancillary information associated with the programming and/or content received by the broadband gateway. Such information may be different and/or separate from other metadata received from a cable or satellite provider. This additional information may enhance a user's experience when navigating, searching, and/or making selections in connection with the information presented by the user interface. The user may find that the user interface that is available from the broadband gateway is unable to handle such metadata or may not do so in manner that meets the needs of the user. Again, the user may find a customized user interface that that may be operable to handle metadata in a suitable manner. Accordingly, the user may want to download, install, configure, and utilize an associated user interface application to generate a customized user interface with enhanced metadata handling capabilities.
  • There may be situations in which the broadband gateway may be utilized by several different users at the same time or at different times. Any one of those users may want to have a customized user interface that suits his or her preferences and may want to have that customized user interface be presented to him or her when using the broadband gateway. Accordingly, the broadband gateway may be operable to support the use of multiple user interface applications to address such a need. That is, the broadband gateway may management and use of multiple user interface applications. For example, the broadband gateway may support the selection of one of the user interface applications to generate a current user interface based on a current user and/or the conditions under which the broadband gateway is being utilized. Such conditions may comprise the time of day, the day of the week, type of content being requested, and/or the location where the user interface is being displayed, for example. In some instances, the broadband gateway may support the concurrent generation of a plurality of user interfaces.
  • FIG. 1 is a block diagram illustrating an exemplary communication system that comprises a home network serviced by a broadband gateway, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown a home network 100 a, a plurality of distribution networks 110, a plurality of network access service providers 120, and a plurality of content providers 130. The home network 100 a may be serviced by a broadband gateway 102.
  • The content providers 130 may generate, capture, and/or package content, such as multimedia content, for example, that may be distributed to end users. Content originating from the content providers 130 may be distributed to end users (e.g., consumers) by the network access service providers 120. The term “network access service provider” as utilized herein, may be distinguished from the more generic term “service provider” that may refer to services other than providing physical layer access to a network. An entity that functions as a network access service provider, however, may also provide content and/or services other than network access. In some instances, an entity that functions as a network access service provider may generate, capture, and/or package content, such as multimedia content, for example, that may be distributed to end users. The content received through the network access service providers 120 may comprise programming scheduling information and/or metadata associated with such programming. In some instances, the metadata may originate in a server, such as a web server, associated with one or more of the content providers 130.
  • The network access service providers 120 may comprise various entities and/or networks that provide access to content and/or services using different access technologies, such as multimedia, television, Internet, phone, Ethernet, multimedia over coax alliance (MoCA), passive optical network (PON), and/or cellular services, for example, to a plurality of end users. The end users may utilize devices that may be configured to support the necessary networking and/or communication infrastructures and/or standards. For example, end users may utilize cellular devices or smartphones, personal computers (PCs), servers, and/or set-top boxes. Exemplary network access service providers may comprise, for example, cellular service providers (e.g., AT&T, Verizon), cable television (CATV) providers (e.g., Comcast, RCN, Cox), satellite television providers (e.g., DirectTV, DISH Network), Internet service providers (ISPs), digital subscriber line (DSL) providers, WiMAX providers, and/or plain old telephone service (POTS) providers. In an exemplary embodiment of the invention, the broadband gateway 102 may enable connecting to a plurality of network access service providers 120 to facilitate receiving content originating from one or more of the content providers 130. When more than one network access service provider 120 provides access to content and/or services to the broadband gateway 102, each network access service provider 120 may do so through a separate physical layer access. In an embodiment of the invention, a separate physical layer access may be enabled in the broadband gateway 102 by having a separate network interface for each network access service provider 120 within the broadband gateway 102.
  • The plurality of distribution networks 110 may comprise one or more networks that may be operable to enable wireless and/or wired communication among a plurality of entities based on one or more networking and/or communication infrastructures. In this regard, the plurality of distribution networks 110 may be utilized to enable distributing content generated by the content providers 130 and/or by the network access service providers 120 to end users. The network connectivity available via the plurality of distribution networks 110 may be based on one or more communication standards and/or protocols. The plurality of distribution networks 110 may comprise, for example, the Internet 110 a, a CATV network 110 b, a satellite television (TV) network 110 c, a wireless local area network/wide area network (LAN/WAN) 110 d, and/or a cellular network 110 e.
  • The Internet 110 a may comprise a system of interconnected networks to enable exchange of data between a plurality of nodes, based on one or more networking standards, including, for example, the Internet Protocol (IP). For example, the Internet 110 a may enable connectivity among a plurality of private and public, academic, business, and/or government nodes and/or networks. The physical connectivity may be provided in the Internet 110 a via, for example, the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), copper wires, fiber-optic cables, wireless interfaces, and/or other protocols and/or standards-based interfaces. The transport functionality may be performed in the Internet 110 a based on, for example, one or more protocols, such as the Transmission Control Protocol/IP (TCP/IP), for example. The CATV network 110 b may comprise suitable distribution nodes, systems, and/or subnetworks that may enable forwarding of communication between CATV providers and a plurality of cable-TV consumers. For example, the CATV network 110 b may comprise a network of fiber optics and/or coaxial cables for use in CATV broadcasts. The satellite TV network 110 c may comprise suitable distribution nodes, systems, and/or subnetworks that may enable communication of satellite TV broadcast by satellite TV providers to a plurality of consumers. For example, the satellite network 110 c may comprise a plurality of orbiting satellite nodes and/or one or more terrestrial centers in a satellite-TV system.
  • The LAN/WAN network 110 d may comprise suitable logic, circuitry, interfaces, and/or code that may be operable to enable implementation of one or more wired and/or wireless LAN or WAN standards and/or protocols. Exemplary WAN technologies comprise, for example, WiMAX-based networks. Exemplary LAN technologies may comprise, for example, those based on IEEE 802.11 standards, including, for example, WiFi-based networks. The cellular network 110 e may comprise suitable logic, circuitry, interfaces and/or code that may be operable to enable communication via one or more cellular technologies. Exemplary cellular technologies may comprise Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), wideband CDMA (WCDMA), CDMA1000, High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA), Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM), General Packet Radio Services (GPRS), Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution (EDGE), and/or Universal Mobile Telecommunication System (UMTS). The cellular network 110 e may comprise, for example, a plurality of control and/or switching nodes, and a plurality of base stations that enable transmission and/or reception of cellular based communications between the cellular network 110 e and cellular capable devices.
  • The home network 100 a may correspond to a location that may comprise a plurality of devices which may be serviced and/or managed by the broadband gateway 102. In this regard, the location may be a residence (e.g., home, apartment), a small business, a school, a library, and/or other like settings in which users may want to obtain access to service and/or to content provider networks. The broadband gateway 102 may be utilized in the home network 100 a to provide connectivity between the home network 100 a and the network access service providers 120, the distribution networks 110, and/or the content providers 130.
  • The broadband gateway 102 may comprise suitable logic, circuitry, interfaces, and/or code that may be operable to provide connectivity between one or more devices in a home network, such as the home network 100 a, and a plurality of external networks. For example, the broadband gateway 102 may support configuring and/or using a plurality of broadband connections 108 to the distribution networks 110. The broadband connections 108 may comprise wired and/or wireless connections between the broadband gateway 102 and the distribution networks 110, which may enable communication between the broadband gateway 102 and the network access service providers 120. The broadband gateway 102 may operate as an interface device that may allow one or more network access service providers and/or content providers to interact with various devices in the home network. In this regard, the broadband gateway 102 may enable communication with each of the network access service providers 120 through separate interfaces. That is, each network access service provider 120 from the plurality of network access service providers 120 may interface with the broadband gateway 102 through a network interface that is separate and/or different from a network interface associated with each of the other network access service providers 120.
  • A single broadband gateway 102 may be operable to handle multiple physical layer access connections, where a physical layer may refer to an OSI layer 1. The connections may provide access to one or more of the distribution networks 110. The distribution networks 110 may be owned, operated, leased, or otherwise associated with different network access service providers 120. For example, one network access service provider 120 may provide network access to the broadband gateway 102 through a cable television connection over coaxial cabling associated with the CATV network 110 b. In another example, a different network access service provider 120 may provide network access to the broadband gateway 102 through a DSL connection over twisted-pair cabling associated with the Internet 110 a. In some instances, the broadband gateway 102 may be operable to concurrently communicate over several physical layer connections associated with the multiple network access service providers 120.
  • The broadband gateway 102 may be operable to perform and/or provide various services that may pertain to enabling and/or facilitating reception of multimedia content. The content may be delivered through one or more network access services providers 120 and their associated networks, which may include at least some portions of the distribution networks 110. For example, the broadband gateway 102 may be operable to perform such operations as network access related processing (e.g., PHY/MAC, transport layer processing), encryption and/or decryption, user and/or account authentication, and/or at least some of video and/or audio processing operations that may be needed for consumption of multimedia content. The broadband gateway 102 may communicate with various devices in the home network 100 a, using wired and/or wireless communication links.
  • Devices serviced by, and/or connected to the broadband gateway 102 may comprise content consuming devices and/or other, non-content consuming household or home devices that may be operable to interact with the broadband gateway 102. For example, the broadband gateway 102 may service, and/or may communicate with a plurality of home devices 104 a-104 j in the home network 100 a. The home devices may comprise, for example, one or more of a television 104 a, a laptop computer 104 b, a detector 104 c (e.g., a smoke detector, a carbon monoxide detector, a security alarm), a computer and/or server 104 d, a mobile phone 104 e, a speaker 104 f, an AM/FM radio 104 g, a phone 104 h, an appliance 104 i (e.g., refrigerator), and a digital video recorder (DVR) or personal video recorder (PVR) 104 j. The broadband gateway 102 may interact with each of the home devices 104 a-104 j via links 106 a-106 j, which may be supported by the broadband gateway 102 and the corresponding home device. For example, the link 106 a between the broadband gateway 102 and the television 104 a may comprise a High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) cable and/or 60 GHz WiGig wireless connection/interface. The link 106 b may comprise, for example, a wired Ethernet link, a wireless Ethernet link, a Universal Serial Bus (USB) link, or an IEEE 1394 link. The link 106 c may comprise, for example, a two-wire link or a wireless link. The link 106 d may comprise, for example, a wired Ethernet link, a wireless Ethernet link, a USB link, or an IEEE 1394 link. The link 106 e may comprise, for example, a wireless Ethernet link, a USB link, or a cellular link. The link 106 f may comprise speaker wire and/or a wireless link. The link 106 g may comprise, for example, AM and/or FM radio transmissions broadcast received using the broadband gateway 102. The link 106 h may comprise, for example, a phone line. The link 106 i may comprise, for example, a wired or wireless Ethernet link. The link 106 j may comprise, for example, a wired or a wireless link.
  • In the exemplary embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG. 1, although the devices 104 a-104 j, which may be communicatively coupled to only the broadband gateway 102, are shown, the invention may not be so limited. Accordingly, the devices 104 a-104 j, which may be communicatively coupled to multiple broadband gateways in a local or home network, may be implemented without departing from the spirit and scope of various embodiments of the invention.
  • In operation, the broadband gateway 102 may be utilized as an interface device that may allow one or more of the network access service providers 120 and/or the content providers 130 to interact with various devices in a home network, such as the home network 100 a. The broadband gateway 102 may be operable to perform and/or provide various services that may pertain to enabling and/or facilitating reception of content, such as multimedia content, for example. The broadband gateway 102 may distribute the received content to one or more devices in the home network 100 a for consumption. The broadband gateway 102 may also be operable to enable searching, selecting, downloading, storing, installing, configuring, and/or running user interface applications that may be utilized to generate one or more customized user interfaces instead of the user interface that is initially provided with the broadband gateway 102. As described above, the customized user interface may allow the user to have the kind of content navigation, search, and/or selection experience that he or she wishes to have but may not be able to obtain using the user interface initially provided with the broadband gateway 102. The generation of the customized user interface may comprise rendering the layout and/or visual characteristics based on image or video information generated by the user interface application. Moreover, the broadband gateway 102 may be operable to enable multiple instances of user interface applications to be concurrently available to address the needs of different users that may have access to the broadband gateway 102. The broadband gateway 102 may also enable the selection of one of the user interface application to generate a current user interface.
  • FIG. 2A is a block diagram illustrating an exemplary broadband gateway, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. Referring to FIG. 2A, there is shown a more detailed view of an exemplary architecture of the broadband gateway 102 described above with respect to FIG. 1. The broadband gateway 102 may comprise suitable logic, circuitry, code, and/or interfaces that may be operable to provide connectivity between one or more networks, such as the distribution networks 110, for example, and one or more devices in a home network, such as the home devices 104 a-104 j in the home network 100 a. Access from the broadband gateway 102 to the distribution networks 110 may be provided through one or more of the network access service providers 120.
  • The broadband gateway 102 may operate as an interface device that allows one or more network access service providers 120 and/or content providers 130 to interact with various devices in the home network 100 a, such as the home devices 104 a-104 j. Moreover, when more than one network access service provider 120 is utilized to provide access, the broadband gateway 102 may handle each of network access service providers 120 through a separate physical layer access.
  • The broadband gateway 102 may comprise suitable hardware and/or software to provide some or all of the functions and/or operations of one or more of a modem, a router, and a switch. The modem functions and/or operations may be those of a DSL modem, a cable modem, or a wireless cable modem, for example. The router functions and/or operations may be those of a wireless router, for example. The switch functions and/or operations may be those of a network switch, or a local area network (LAN) switch, for example. In some instances, the broadband gateway 102 may communicate with the various devices in the home via more than one home network.
  • The broadband gateway 102 may comprise one or more modules. Each of these modules may comprise hardware, software, or a combination thereof that may be utilized to perform various operations associated with the broadband gateway 102. In an embodiment of the invention, the broadband gateway 102 may comprise a provider interface module 202, a processor module 204, a memory module 206, and a client network interface module 208. The modules in the broadband gateway 102 may communicate with one or more of the other modules through one or more buses and/or connections 205. In some instances, the broadband gateway 102 may be such that the various modules listed above may be distributed over multiple devices. In such instances, the buses and/or connections 205 may enable communication between the various modules across the multiple devices. Moreover, the modules listed above are provided by way of illustration and not of limitation. Other configurations and/or architectures of the broadband gateway 102 may also be implemented. For example, the broadband gateway 102 may be a virtual gateway that is setup in a network by utilizing virtual machines (VMs) and/or next-generation (NG) data centers.
  • The provider interface module 202 may comprise suitable logic, circuitry, code, and/or interfaces that may be operable to receive data and/or to send data through one or more of the network access service providers 120, for example. The data received and/or sent may be associated with content from the content providers 130 and/or from the network access service providers 120. The provider interface module 202 may be operable to support multiple communication protocols, standards, and/or data transport technologies. As illustrated in FIG. 2A, the provider interface module 202 may be operable to interface with one or more of the network access service providers 120. In an embodiment of the invention, the provider interface module 202 may be operable to interface with N of the network access service providers 120. The provider interface module 202 may be communicatively coupled to the various network access service providers 120 via a plurality of broadband connections 108 described above with respect to FIG. 1.
  • The processor module 204 may comprise suitable logic, circuitry, code, and/or interfaces that may be operable to process data received and/or sent through one or more of the network access service providers 120, and/or data received from and/or sent to one or more devices in the home network 100 a. In this regard, the processor module 204 may comprise one or more portions that are suitable to handle certain types of data such as video data and/or audio data, for example. For example, the processor module 204 may comprise a core processor (not shown), a video processor (not shown), and an audio processor (not shown). The processor module 204 may be operable to perform operations associated with searching, selecting, downloading, storing, installing, configuring, and/or running user interface applications that may be utilized to generate customized user interfaces other than the user interface that is initially provided with the broadband gateway 102. Moreover, the processor module 204 may configure portions of the broadband gateway 102, including portions of the processor module 204, to support any functionality or operations associated with the user interface applications. In some instances, to provide a secure environment, the processor module 204 may be utilized to run a virtual machine in which the user interface application may be executed. The generation of the user interface may comprise a rendering operation that may be supported by the processor module 204.
  • The memory module 206 may comprise suitable logic, circuitry, code, and/or interfaces that may be operable to store data utilized in the operations of the broadband gateway 102. For example, the memory module 206 may be utilized to store configuration data, parameters, device information, tracking and/or monitoring information, security information, and intermediate processing data, for example. The memory module 206 may comprise storage media that may be integrated in the broadband gateway 102 and/or may be removable such as a removable storage device. The memory module 206 may be operable to store data associated with the generation and/or the operation of a customized user interface, including the storing of the user interface application, any files associated with it such as configuration files, for example. Moreover, the memory module 206 may store content and/or information in response to user interaction with the user interface. In some instances, the user interface application may be downloaded and stored in a secure portion of the memory module 206. The user interface application may then be securely executed by the processor module 204 from the secure portion of the memory module 206.
  • The client network interface module 208 may comprise suitable logic, circuitry, code, and/or interfaces that may be operable to receive data from and/or send data to one or more devices in the home network. The client network interface module 208 may be operable to support multiple communication protocols, standards, and/or data transport technologies.
  • In operation, the broadband gateway 102 may enable a customized user interface to be generated. The customized user interface may have a particular organizational scheme, layout, visual characteristics, and/or functionality that is presented to the user. The broadband gateway 102 may be utilized to search, request, download, store, install, configure, and/or run a user interface application that is utilized to generate the customized user interface for display in a display device such as the television 104 a. The user interface application may be received by the broadband gateway 102 upon a request generated by the broadband gateway 102 in response to a user input. During the installation and/or configuration of the user interface application, the broadband gateway 102 may enable the user to select from several options associated with the features of the user interface to be generated by the user interface application. The user interface may be generated based on programming information and/or associated metadata received through one or more network access service providers 120. In some instances, the user interface may be generated based on historical user preference information collected by and/or stored in the broadband gateway 102. The historical user preference information may comprise historical channel selection information, historical genre selection information, historical content selection information, and/or historical individual usage information. When more than one user interface application is available in the broadband gateway 102, the broadband gateway 102 may be utilized to manage the various user interface applications. For example, the broadband gateway 102 may enable the selection of one of the user interface applications to generate the user interface. The broadband gateway 102 may also be utilized to manage concurrent generation of user interfaces.
  • While exemplary uses of customized user interfaces have been described in FIG. 1 with respect to the television 104 a, the various embodiments of the invention need not be so limited. Other devices, including other of the home devices 104 a-104 j, may also be utilized to display customized user interfaces. For example, devices such as smartphones, personal digital assistants, laptop computers, tablet computers such as iPads, and the like, may also be utilized in connection with customized user interfaces.
  • FIG. 2B is a block diagram illustrating an exemplary broadband gateway, in accordance with another embodiment of the invention. Referring to FIG. 2B, there is shown the broadband gateway 102 with the provider interface module 202 comprising N separate network interfaces 203-1, . . . , 203-N, each of which is associated with one of the N network access service providers 120. In this manner, the broadband gateway 102 may separately interface with the network access service providers 120. The network interfaces 203-1, . . . , 203-N may enable the broadband gateway 102 to handle separate physical layer access for each of the N network access service providers 120. For example, the broadband gateway 102 may interface with each of a cellular service provider, a CATV provider, a satellite television provider, an ISP, and/or POTS provider through a separate network interface, each of which comprises suitable logic, circuitry, code, and/or interfaces to enable physical layer access. The handling of the interfaces by the broadband gateway 102 may occur separately and/or concurrently in any combination of the plurality of interfaces.
  • FIG. 3 is a diagram illustrating exemplary user interactions with a broadband gateway, in connection with an embodiment of the invention. Referring to FIG. 3, there is shown the broadband gateway 102 and the television 104 a described above. The television 104 a may display or present a user with the user interface 302, which may be a user-specified and/or customized user interface for the broadband gateway 102. Also shown in FIG. 3 is an input device 300 for a user to interact with the broadband gateway 102. The input device 300 may be a keypad, a keyboard, a remote control, or other like device that enables a user to navigate, search, and/or make selections in connection with the information presented by the user interface 302. Other types of input devices 300 may comprise smartphones, personal digital assistants, laptop computers, tablet computers such as iPads, and the like.
  • The user interface 302 may be generated by the broadband gateway 102 and subsequently sent to the television 104 a for display. The generation of the user interface 302, which may comprise rendering of the layout and visual characteristics of the user interface 302, may be performed by a user interface application that operates in the broadband gateway 102. The user interface 302 may be generated from one of several user interface applications that may be installed and/or configured in the broadband gateway 102. The user interface 302 may give the user more versatility, be more intuitive to use, and be more visually pleasing, for example, than a user interface provided initially available in the broadband gateway 102.
  • The input device 300 may be utilized to control the broadband gateway 102 and/or to send instructions or commands associated with the user interface 302. For example, the input device 300 may typically communicate with the broadband gateway 102 through a link 304. The user may utilize the input device 300 to select a channel or mode in which the television 104 a displays the user interface 302 generated by the broadband gateway 102 and communicated to the television 104 a via the link 106 a. The user may then send instructions or commands to the broadband gateway 102, which in turn may perform certain operations and may communicate results associated with those operations to the television 104 a via the link 106 a. In this manner, any functions or operations that may be available in the broadband gateway 102 and are presented to a user through the user interface 102 may be accessed by the user through the input device 300.
  • Although FIG. 3 illustrates the use of the television 104 a to display the user interface 302 associated with the broadband gateway 102, the invention need not be so limited. Other devices in the home network 100 a in FIG. 1 that may communicate with the broadband gateway 102 and that comprise a display area in which to display the user interface 302 may also be utilized. For example, the laptop computer 104 b and the mobile phone 104 e may be utilized to enable user interaction with the user interface 302. In this regard, the user interface application may generate a user interface having a layout and/or other characteristics that are consistent with the type of display, such as size and/or resolution, for example, of the display device. In such instances, the broadband gateway 102 may comprise information about such devices and may provide that information to the user interface application when generating the user interface 302.
  • FIG. 4A is a flow chart illustrating exemplary steps for obtaining a user interface application, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. Referring to FIG. 4A, there is shown a flow chart 400 in which, at step 410, the broadband gateway 102 may enable a user to select a user interface application from one of many sources that may have such applications available. For example, a user may access the Internet through the broadband gateway 102 utilizing a browser displayed on the television 104 a. The user may search for sources of customized user interfaces and may preview and/or sample how such user interfaces may look and/or function when installed and/or configured for operation with the broadband gateway 102. The user may then identify a customized user interface that provides the user with the organizational scheme, layout, visual characteristics, and/or functionality that he or she prefers. The sources of such custom user interfaces may be third-parties, but may also include websites associated with service providers and/or device manufacturers, for example.
  • At step 420, the user may provide instructions or commands to the broadband gateway 102 regarding a customized user interface and its source. For example, the user may activate one or more keys on the input device 300 to convey information to the broadband gateway 102 regarding a preferred user interface and the source of an associated user interface application that can generate the desired user interface. The information conveyed may comprise a uniform resource locator (URL) or other type of resource identifier, for example. The broadband gateway 102 may receive the information and may generate a request to download an instance of the user interface application from a server associated with the URL.
  • At step 430, after being downloaded, the user interface application may be stored in the memory module 206 of the broadband gateway 102. In some instances, the memory module 206 may be partitioned into several areas and the user interface application may be stored in a secure area of memory. Keeping the user interface application quarantined in this manner may protect the broadband gateway 102 from malicious software or code.
  • At step 440, the user interface application may be verified by the broadband gateway 102. For example, the user interface application may be verified for file integrity. In this regard, the broadband gateway 102 may verify that the user interface application has not been corrupted by transmission errors, storage errors, copying errors, and/or software bugs, for example. Appropriate steps may be taken by the broadband gateway 102 when the user interface application is found to be corrupted. In another example, the user interface application may be verified for authenticity. In this regard, the broadband gateway 102 may verify that the user interface application does not include or has not been modified to include malicious code such as viruses, for example. The above-mentioned verification operations are not intended to be exhaustive. Appropriate steps may be taken by the broadband gateway 102 when the user interface application is found to contain malicious code. Other verification operations may also be performed by the broadband gateway 102. The user interface application need not be a single computer file or a single computer program but may include more than one file and/or more than one computer program. In such a case, the verification process may comprise verification of each of the files and/or computer programs associated with the user interface application.
  • When the user interface application passes the verification in step 440, the process may proceed to step 460 in flow chart 450 shown in FIG. 4B. Otherwise, the broadband gateway 102 may not allow the installation, configuration, and/or operation of the user interface application.
  • FIG. 4B is flow chart illustrating exemplary steps for generating a customized user interface, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. Referring to FIG. 4B, there is shown a flow chart 450 in which, at step 460, the user interface application received by the broadband gateway 102 may be installed and/or configured. In an embodiment of the invention, once the user interface application has been verified, the user may be prompted with a series of instructions and/or steps that are to be followed to install the user interface application. The installation operation may comprise configuring the user interface application based on a standard configuration or a non-standard configuration. In a standard configuration, the customized user interface to be generated by the user interface application has a set or fixed group of features. Such features may be included in a configuration file downloaded with the user interface application. In the non-standard configuration, the user may be prompted to make certain selections regarding some or all of the features of the customized user interface. The various options to be presented to the user to make the selections may be included in the configuration file.
  • In addition to layout, visual characteristics, and/or a theme, the features associated with the customized user interface may also include a set of functions. The functions may comprise information organization functions, information creation functions, information storage functions, information deletion functions, information management functions, and/or on-demand access functions. With these functions, a user may utilize the customized user interface to access and/or control programming content, metadata, and/or other content that may be accessible through the broadband gateway 102. Moreover, the information provided by the user may be utilized by the broadband gateway 102 to manage the use and/or operation of the user interface application.
  • As part of the installation of the user interface application, the broadband gateway 102 may disable an application, software, or code installed in the broadband gateway 102 that may generate a native user interface. Moreover, the broadband gateway 102 may disable and/or replace a user interface provided by a service provider with the customized user interface generated by the user interface application. In each of these scenarios, the broadband gateway 102 may enable a user, when he or she so desires, to revert back to the native user interface or the user interface provided by the service provider.
  • At step 470, the user interface application may be executed or operated to generate the customized user interface. The user interface application may receive programming scheduling information, metadata, historical user preference information, and/or configuration information to generate image data and/or audio data associated with the customized user interface. The user interface application may comprise a rendering engine, for example, that may receive the image data and may render a video stream or feed to be communicated to the television 104 a. An audio stream or feed, synchronized to the video stream, may also be communicated from the broadband gateway 102 to the television 104 a. The television 104 a may display the images and/or video associated with video stream and may reproduce the sound associated with the audio stream to present the user with the customized user interface that he or she wanted.
  • FIG. 5 is a diagram illustrating a broadband gateway that handles multiple user interfaces, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. Referring to FIG. 5, there is shown the broadband gateway 102 and the television 104 a. The broadband gateway 102 may have received more than one user interface applications in response to several requests made by one or more users of the broadband gateway 102. Each of the various user interface applications may have been installed and/or configured to have a different set of features. In some instances, some or all of the user interface applications may be associated with a particular theme. The broadband gateway 102 may be utilized to manage the user interface applications and the user interfaces that they generate.
  • In the exemplary scenario shown in FIG. 5, the broadband gateway 102 may generate and present a list of customized user interfaces that may be generated based on the user interface applications installed in the broadband gateway 102. For example, there may be a “Sports” user interface, a “Dad 1” user interface, a “Kids” user interface, a “Mom” user interface, a “Dad 2” user interface, and a “Native Interface.”
  • The “Sports” user interface may have features that address a sports theme. For example, prominence may be given to the presentation of sports-related programming scheduling information in the “Sports” user interface. The “Sports” user interface may be generated by a user interface application, which was downloaded, installed, and/or configured in response to a request by one of the users of the broadband gateway 102. The “Sports” user interface may be enabled or selected through the menu 510 presented by the broadband gateway 102 through the television 104 a. The menu 510 may also enable the user to program at what times and/or in which devices to make the “Sports” user interface a default user interface, for example.
  • The “Kids” and “Mom” user interfaces may have features that address, for example, a children's television theme and a news theme, respectively. For example, the children's-television-themed user interface application may enable filtering of programming that may not be suitable for children and prominence may be given to children and/or young adult programming scheduling information. Accordingly, the look-and-feel and/or functionality of the “Kids” user interface may be different from the look-and-feel and/or functionality of the “Sports” user interface. The “Kids” user interface may be enabled or selected through the menu 510 presented by the broadband gateway 102 through the television 104 a. The menu 510 may also enable the user to program at what times and/or in which devices to make the “Kids” user interface a default user interface.
  • The “Dad 1” and “Dad 2” user interfaces may be different user interfaces that are preferred by the same user but for different occasions. For example, the “Dad 1” user interface may be associated with a movie theme, while the “Dad 2” user interface may be associated with a sitcom theme. The “Dad 1” and “Dad 2” user interfaces may result from utilizing two different user interface applications or from utilizing the same user interface application in two different configurations. The user of the “Dad 1” and “Dad 2” user interfaces may select which one to use through the menu 510. The menu 510 may also enable the user to program at what times and/or in which devices to make the “Dad 1” user interface a default user interface and at what times and/or in which devices to make the “Dad 2” user interface a default user interface.
  • The “Native Interface” may refer to the user interface provided with the broadband gateway 102 or the user interface associated with a service provider. In either case, the broadband gateway 102, through the menu 510, may enable the user to select the “Native Interface” whenever he or she prefers to do so. In some instances, the user may select to have the “Native Interface” be the default user interface.
  • Managing the user interface applications and the user interfaces that they generate may comprise adding new options and/or removing existing options over time. Since the broadband gateway 102 may be programmed to control when and/or where a particular user interface is to be displayed, the broadband gateway 102 may be operable to enable and disable various user interface applications and, in some instances, may be operable to run or operate more than one user interface application concurrently.
  • The user interface applications need not be limited to the themes described in the exemplary scenario of FIG. 5. Other themes, such as a soap operas theme, a talk shows theme, a drama theme, a reality television theme, and a detective theme, for example, may be associated with a customized user interface and its corresponding user interface application.
  • FIG. 6 is a flow chart illustrating exemplary steps for obtaining multiple user interface applications and selecting one to generate a user interface, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. Referring to FIG. 6, there is shown a flow chart 600 in which, at step 610, the broadband gateway 102 may receive more than one user interface applications. Each of the user interface applications may have been downloaded and stored in the broadband gateway 102 after a search and selection of a customized user interface by one or more users of the broadband gateway 102. As described above with respect to step 440 in FIG. 4A, each user interface applications received may be verified by the broadband gateway 102. Accordingly, each user interface application may need to pass verification, otherwise, the broadband gateway 102 may not allow the installation, configuration, and/or operation of the user interface application.
  • At step 620, each of the user interface applications received by the broadband gateway 102 may be installed and/or configured. For each user interface application, a corresponding user may be prompted with a series of instructions and/or steps that are to be followed to install the user interface application.
  • At step 630, the broadband gateway 102 may receive instructions or commands to select one of the installed user interface applications. In an embodiment of the invention, the selection may be in response to a user input. In another embodiment of the invention, the selection may be in response to a programmed or determined schedule that identifies when, where, and/or which customized user interface is to be displayed.
  • At step 640, the user interface application that is selected in step 630 may be utilized to generate a user interface. The generation may comprise generating image data and rendering the image data to produce a video stream. The generation may also comprise generating audio data to produce an audio stream that may be synchronized with the video stream. At step 650, the user interface that is generated in step 640 may be communicated to the appropriate display device for display to a user.
  • FIG. 7A is a diagram illustrating a broadband gateway that handles multiple user interfaces, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. Referring to FIG. 7A, a user A may prefer to be presented with programming scheduling information and/or with other content-related information through a customized user interface 720. The user interface 720 may have a unique set of features, functional and visual, that are suitable to user A. In one embodiment of the invention, when user A is using the television 104 a, he or she may select that user interface 720 be generated and displayed. In another embodiment of the invention, when user A is using the television 104 a at a particular time, the broadband gateway 104 a may have been programmed and/or may have information about the historical use of the television 104 a by user A to automatically generate and send the user interface 720 to the television 104 a without direct input from user A.
  • FIG. 7B is a diagram illustrating a broadband gateway that handles multiple user interfaces, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. Referring to FIG. 7B, a user B may prefer to be presented with programming scheduling information and/or other content-related information through a customized user interface 730, which is different from the user interface 720. The user interface 730 may have a unique set of features, functional and visual, that are suitable to user B. In one embodiment of the invention, when user B is using the television 104 a, he or she may select that user interface 730 be generated and displayed. In another embodiment of the invention, when user B is using the television 104 a at a particular time, the broadband gateway 102 may have been programmed and/or may have information about the historical use of the television 104 a by user B to automatically generate and send the user interface 730 to the television 104 a without direct input from user B.
  • As illustrated by FIGS. 7A and 7B, the broadband gateway 102 may keep track of whether user A or user B is using the television 104 a, may generate the appropriate customized user interface for the appropriate user at the appropriate time, and may update the historical user preference information for each of user A and user B.
  • FIG. 8 is a diagram illustrating a broadband gateway that concurrently handles multiple user interfaces, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. Referring to FIG. 8, the broadband gateway 102 may be operable to concurrently generate a customized user interface 820 that is preferred by user A and a customized user interface 830 that is preferred by user B. In an embodiment of the invention, user A may select to have the user interface 820 displayed by a television 804 a. The broadband gateway 102 may generate the user interface 820 utilizing a corresponding user interface application installed in the broadband gateway 102. The user interface 820 is then communicated to the television 804 a for display through a link 806 a. User B may select to have the user interface 830 displayed by a television 804 b. The broadband gateway 102 may concurrently generate the user interface 830 utilizing a corresponding user interface application installed in the broadband gateway 102. The user interface 830 is then communicated to the television 804 b for display through a link 806 b.
  • Although the scenario described with respect to FIG. 8 shows two different customized user interfaces being concurrently generated and displayed, embodiments of the invention need not be so limited. The broadband gateway 102 may be operable to concurrently generate more than two customized user interfaces that may be displayed in different devices communicatively coupled to the broadband gateway 102.
  • In an embodiment of the invention, a method and a system may comprise having a broadband gateway, such as the broadband gateway 102, that is operable to handle a plurality of physical layer connections to a plurality of corresponding network access service providers, such as the network access service providers 120. The broadband gateway 102 may enable communication with a plurality of devices, such as the home devices 104 a-104 j, for example. The broadband gateway 102 may receive a user interface application in based on user input. The broadband gateway 102 may configure the received user interface application and may generate a user interface for display via a display device, such as the television 104 a, utilizing the configured user interface application. The received user interface application may be configured based on configuration information received in response to the user input.
  • The user interface may be generated by the broadband gateway 102 based on programming information received through one or more of the network access service providers 120. The user interface may be generated based on metadata associated with the received programming information, wherein the metadata may be received through one or more of the network access service providers 120. The user interface may be generated based on content stored in one or both of the broadband gateway 120 and a device communicatively coupled to the broadband gateway 120 through a local network, such as the home network 100 a. An example of such a content storage device is the DVR 104 j described above with respect to FIG. 1. The user interface may be generated based on historical user preference information stored in the broadband gateway 120.
  • The user interface application may be a first user interface application and the user interface may be a first user interface. In such instances, the broadband gateway 102 may receive a second user interface application different from the first user interface application based on a separate user input. The broadband gateway 102 may configure the received second user interface application. The received second user interface application may be configured based on configuration information received in response to the separate user input. The broadband gateway 102 may select one of the configured first user interface application and the configured second user interface application. When the configured second user interface application is selected, the broadband gateway 102 may generate a second user interface different from the first user interface for display via the television 104 a utilizing the configured second user interface application. The second user interface may be generated based on the received programming information. A layout associated with the first user interface may be different from a layout associated with the second user interface.
  • The broadband gateway 102 may configure the received first user interface application to enable a first set of functions and the received second user interface application to enable a second set of functions different from the first set of functions. Each of the first set of functions and the second set of functions comprises one or more of information organization functions, information creation functions, information storage functions, information deletion functions, information management functions, and on-demand access functions.
  • The broadband gateway 102 may configure the received first user interface application based on a first theme and the received second user interface based on a second theme different from the first theme. Each of the first theme and the second theme may be one of a sports theme, a movie theme, a news theme, a children's television theme, a soap operas theme, a talk shows theme, a drama theme, a reality television theme, and a detective theme.
  • Another embodiment of the invention may provide a non-transitory machine and/or computer readable storage and/or medium, having stored thereon, a machine code and/or a computer program having at least one code section executable by a machine and/or a computer, thereby causing the machine and/or computer to perform the steps as described herein for supporting a user-specified and/or customized user interface for a broadband gateway.
  • Accordingly, the present invention may be realized in hardware, software, or a combination of hardware and software. The present invention may be realized in a centralized fashion in at least one computer system or in a distributed fashion where different elements may be spread across several interconnected computer systems. Any kind of computer system or other apparatus adapted for carrying out the methods described herein is suited. A typical combination of hardware and software may be a general-purpose computer system with a computer program that, when being loaded and executed, controls the computer system such that it carries out the methods described herein.
  • The present invention may also be embedded in a computer program product, which comprises all the features enabling the implementation of the methods described herein, and which when loaded in a computer system is able to carry out these methods. Computer program in the present context means any expression, in any language, code or notation, of a set of instructions intended to cause a system having an information processing capability to perform a particular function either directly or after either or both of the following: a) conversion to another language, code or notation; b) reproduction in a different material form.
  • While the present invention has been described with reference to certain embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted without departing from the scope of the present invention. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the teachings of the present invention without departing from its scope. Therefore, it is intended that the present invention not be limited to the particular embodiment disclosed, but that the present invention will include all embodiments falling within the scope of the appended claims.

Claims (20)

1. A method, comprising:
in a broadband gateway that enables communication with a plurality of devices, wherein the broadband gateway is operable to handle a plurality of physical layer connections to a plurality of corresponding network access service providers:
receiving a user interface application based on user input;
configuring the received user interface application; and
generating a user interface for display via a display device utilizing the configured user interface application, the user interface being generated based on programming information received through one or more of the plurality of corresponding network access service providers.
2. The method of claim 1, comprising configuring the received user interface application based on configuration information received in response to the user input.
3. The method of claim 1, wherein the user interface is generated based on metadata associated with the received programming information, the metadata being received through one or more of the plurality of corresponding network access service providers.
4. The method of claim 1, wherein the user interface is generated based on content stored in one or both of the broadband gateway and a device communicatively coupled to the broadband gateway through a local network.
5. The method of claim 1, wherein the user interface is generated based on historical user preference information stored in the broadband gateway.
6. The method of claim 1, wherein:
the user interface application is a first user interface application and the user interface is a first user interface; and
said broadband gateway enables:
receiving a second user interface application different from the first user interface application based on a separate user input;
configuring the received second user interface application;
selecting one of the configured first user interface application and the configured second user interface application; and
when the configured second user interface application is selected, generating a second user interface different from the first user interface for display via the display device utilizing the configured second user interface application, the second user interface being generated based on the received programming information.
7. The method of claim 6, comprising configuring the received second user interface application based on configuration information received in response to the separate user input.
8. The method of claim 6, wherein a layout associated with the first user interface is different from a layout associated with the second user interface.
9. The method of claim 6, comprising:
configuring the received first user interface application to enable a first set of functions;
configuring the received second user interface application to enable a second set of functions different from the first set of functions; and
each of the first set of functions and the second set of functions comprises one or more of information organization functions, information creation functions, information storage functions, information deletion functions, information management functions, and on-demand access functions.
10. The method of claim 6, comprising:
configuring the received first user interface application based on a first theme;
configuring the received second user interface application based on a second theme different from the first theme; and
each of the first theme and the second theme is one of a sports theme, a movie theme, a news theme, a children's television theme, a soap operas theme, a talk shows theme, a drama theme, a reality television theme, and a detective theme.
11. A system, comprising:
a broadband gateway that enables communication with a plurality of devices, wherein the broadband gateway is operable to handle a plurality of physical layer connections to a plurality of corresponding network access service providers, the broadband gateway comprising one or more processors and/or circuits being operable to:
receive programming information through one or more of the corresponding plurality of network access service providers;
receive a user interface application based on user input;
configure the received user interface application; and
generate a user interface for display via a display device utilizing the configured user interface application, the user interface being generated based on the received programming information.
12. The system of claim 11, wherein the one or more processors and/or circuits are operable to configure the received user interface application based on configuration information received in response to the user input.
13. The system of claim 11, wherein the user interface is generated based on metadata associated with the received programming information, the metadata being received through one or more of the plurality of corresponding network access service providers.
14. The system of claim 11, wherein the user interface is generated based on content stored in one or both of the broadband gateway and a device communicatively coupled to the broadband gateway through a local network.
15. The system of claim 11, wherein the user interface is generated based on historical user preference information stored in the broadband gateway.
16. The system of claim 11, wherein:
the user interface application is a first user interface application and the user interface is a first user interface; and
the one or more processors and/or circuits are operable to:
receive a second user interface application different from the first user interface application based on a separate user input;
configure the received second user interface application;
select one of the configured first user interface application and the configured second user interface application; and
when the configured second user interface application is selected, generate a second user interface different from the first user interface for display via the display device utilizing the configured second user interface application, the second user interface being generated based on the received programming information.
17. The system of claim 16, wherein the one or more processors and/or circuits are operable to configure the received second user interface application based on configuration information received in response to the separate user input.
18. The system of claim 16, wherein a layout associated with the first user interface is different from a layout associated with the second user interface.
19. The system of claim 16, wherein the one or more processors and/or circuits are operable to:
configure the received first user interface application to enable a first set of functions;
configure the received second user interface application to enable a second set of functions different from the first set of functions; and
each of the first set of functions and the second set of functions comprises one or more of information organization functions, information creation functions, information storage functions, information deletion functions, information management functions, and on-demand access functions.
20. The system of claim 16, wherein the one or more processors and/or circuits are operable to:
configure the received first user interface application based on a first theme;
configure the received second user interface application based on a second theme different from the first theme; and
each of the first theme and the second theme is one of a sports theme, a movie theme, a news theme, a children's television theme, a soap operas theme, a talk shows theme, a drama theme, a reality television theme, and a detective theme.
US12/981,986 2010-06-04 2010-12-30 Method and System for Supporting a User-Specified and Customized Interface for a Broadband Gateway Abandoned US20110302497A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US35169610P true 2010-06-04 2010-06-04
US12/981,986 US20110302497A1 (en) 2010-06-04 2010-12-30 Method and System for Supporting a User-Specified and Customized Interface for a Broadband Gateway

Applications Claiming Priority (11)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US12/982,453 US9042387B2 (en) 2009-01-16 2010-12-30 Utilizing a gateway for brokering and/or arbitrating service consumption options
US12/981,986 US20110302497A1 (en) 2010-06-04 2010-12-30 Method and System for Supporting a User-Specified and Customized Interface for a Broadband Gateway
US12/982,036 US9191415B2 (en) 2009-01-16 2010-12-30 Method and system for providing virtual gateway services
US12/982,501 US9317712B2 (en) 2009-01-16 2010-12-30 Providing secure communication and/or sharing of personal data via a broadband gateway
US12/981,966 US9167005B2 (en) 2009-01-16 2010-12-30 Method and system for supporting visitor access via a broadband gateway
US12/982,010 US9450818B2 (en) 2009-01-16 2010-12-30 Method and system for utilizing a gateway to enable peer-to-peer communications in service provider networks
US14/523,139 US9450821B2 (en) 2009-01-16 2014-10-24 Method and system for combining and/or blending multiple content from different sources in a broadband gateway
US14/548,012 US9471809B2 (en) 2009-01-16 2014-11-19 Method and system for providing secure transactions via a broadband gateway
US14/696,595 US9349025B2 (en) 2009-01-16 2015-04-27 Utilizing a gateway for brokering and/or arbitrating service consumption options
US14/886,919 US20160043994A1 (en) 2009-01-16 2015-10-19 Method and system for supporting visitor access via a broadband gateway
US15/058,723 US20160182457A1 (en) 2009-01-16 2016-03-02 Providing secure communication and/or sharing of personal data via a broadband gateway

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
US20110302497A1 true US20110302497A1 (en) 2011-12-08

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US12/981,971 Abandoned US20110301963A1 (en) 2010-06-04 2010-12-30 Method and System for Providing Energy Related Information Associated with Gateway Connected Devices
US12/982,453 Active 2032-10-21 US9042387B2 (en) 2009-01-16 2010-12-30 Utilizing a gateway for brokering and/or arbitrating service consumption options
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US12/982,236 Abandoned US20110302010A1 (en) 2010-06-04 2010-12-30 Method and system for providing incentivized benefits in a broadband gateway

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US14/530,254 Abandoned US20150051748A1 (en) 2010-06-04 2014-10-31 Method and system for managing power consumption utilizing inter-gateway communication
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US14/886,919 Abandoned US20160043994A1 (en) 2009-01-16 2015-10-19 Method and system for supporting visitor access via a broadband gateway
US14/933,508 Abandoned US20160080824A1 (en) 2009-01-16 2015-11-05 Method and system for optimizing communication in a home network via a gateway
US14/966,983 Abandoned US20160099838A1 (en) 2009-01-16 2015-12-11 Method and system for utilizing a broadband gateway for peer to peer communications
US15/056,225 Pending US20160182568A1 (en) 2010-06-04 2016-02-29 Method and system for porting gateway functionality associated with a user from a first gateway to one or more other gateways
US15/058,723 Abandoned US20160182457A1 (en) 2009-01-16 2016-03-02 Providing secure communication and/or sharing of personal data via a broadband gateway

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US20150229492A1 (en) 2015-08-13
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