US20130167168A1 - Systems and methods for providing custom movie lists - Google Patents

Systems and methods for providing custom movie lists Download PDF

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Publication number
US20130167168A1
US20130167168A1 US13758935 US201313758935A US2013167168A1 US 20130167168 A1 US20130167168 A1 US 20130167168A1 US 13758935 US13758935 US 13758935 US 201313758935 A US201313758935 A US 201313758935A US 2013167168 A1 US2013167168 A1 US 2013167168A1
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user
movie
movies
list
user equipment
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US13758935
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Michael D. Ellis
Jon P. Radloff
Robert A. Knee
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Rovi Guides Inc
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Rovi Guides Inc
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Abstract

Systems and methods for providing movie lists of available media content are provided. The movies included in the movie lists may be of particular interest to the user and may be derived from active user monitoring, editorial ratings information, user movie viewing preferences, network statistics, third-party activity ratings, and other user-derived or system-derived criteria. A user who is in need of media guidance may access a movie list and perform any suitable media guidance application function on any movie or movies in the movie list. The movie lists may be dynamically updated so that an up-to-date list is always available at any given moment. Movie recommendations, including movie gifts and the actual movie itself, may be sent to other users in the media system.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application Nos. 60/834,605, filed Jul. 31, 2006 and 60/903,808, filed Feb. 26, 2007, both of which are hereby incorporated by reference herein in their entireties.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • This invention relates generally to media systems and, more particularly, to media systems with enhanced media guidance for movies.
  • An interactive media guidance application, such as an interactive television program guide, allows a user to tune to and display a wide array of media content that is available within a media system. For example, such interactive media guidance applications may allow users to access a plethora of media content, including hundreds of television channels as well as on-demand and recorded content. It is sometimes cumbersome, however, for a user to quickly determine what movies (e.g., feature-length broadcast movies and on-demand movies) are available at any given moment. It is even more difficult for a user to quickly find and access movies of interest that are currently available or about to become available in the near future. For example, while current systems may allow a user to search available movies by genre or title, there is no guarantee that the search results will include movies that the user (or a member of the user's household) is actually interested in watching or movies that are currently available.
  • In addition, because movies can come from a variety of different sources (e.g., broadcast television channels, on-demand services, and local storage devices), it is often difficult for a user to monitor all these sources to determine when movies of interest become available for viewing or recording. It may be even more difficult to quickly access or switch between all the available movies of interest that are available within the media system at any given moment.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • In view of the foregoing, a more centralized solution for movie media guidance is provided. The movie media guidance may be provided by a movie finder application, which may create, maintain, and display custom lists of movies of interest to a user. The movie finder application may also allow a user to search for available movies, rate already seen movies, view ratings from other users, critics, and editors for unseen movies, and obtain detailed movie cast, movie summary, and parental control information all from an easy-to-use and convenient user interface. The user may also bookmark movies for later viewing, access community groups focused around movie viewing, and view a history list of recently accessed movies from the main movie interface. As such, the movie finder application provides a complete, comprehensive solution for movie media guidance functionality. The user may access a single movie finder application (or a movie finder module of an existing application) in order to perform all movie-related functions.
  • One feature of the movie finder application is the ability to build and maintain custom lists of movies of interest to the user. The custom lists of movies provided by the movie finder application may be highly targeted lists of movies that are likely to be of interest and available within the media system during a user-configurable movie list time window. The lists may include all movies expressly bookmarked by the user as well as movies matching a user's movie viewing preferences. A user may designate a movie list time window starting from the current time (e.g., movies accessible or beginning within the next 30 minutes), or the user may select a desired start time and stop time in the future for the movie list window. The movie finder application (or a movie finder module or subroutine of an interactive media guidance application) may execute at least partially on a local user equipment device to build and maintain the lists of movies that are available (or beginning) within the media system during the movie list time window and that are likely to be of interest to the user.
  • A single movie list may be maintained on the user equipment device or multiple movie lists may be maintained on the user equipment device. The movie list or lists may be associated with all users of the user equipment device or only a subset of all the users. For example, a separate collection of movie lists may be maintained for each individual member of a household. Individual users may login to the user equipment device in order to access and display their personalized movie list or lists.
  • In some embodiments, the interactive media guidance application may monitor user interaction with the user equipment device. From the user interaction monitoring, the interactive media guidance application may create or update a user activity profile, including such information as, for example, the name and type of content accessed, the length of the access, and the frequency of the content access. From the user activity profile and user history information, the interactive media guidance application may compute a rating or score for each movie currently available or accessible within the media system or about to become available or accessible in the near future (e.g., within the next 30 minutes). The interactive media guidance application may then build a list of movies likely to be of interest to the user at any given moment based, at least in part, on the computed scores.
  • The movie lists may be updated dynamically as more information about the user's movie viewing preferences becomes available. For example, the user may manually specify the user's movie viewing preferences (e.g., favorite genres, actors, and directors) and other movie list criteria (e.g., movie length and rating). These preferences and criteria may be changed or updated by the user (or automatically by the interactive media guidance application) at any time. After a movie viewing preference or movie list criterion is changed, the movie lists may be automatically updated to reflect the new settings. Movie lists may also be updated after new media guidance application data is received, at regular intervals (e.g., periodically), or continuously.
  • Network statistics, include ratings and network viewing activity (e.g., Nielsen ratings), may also be used to determine, at least in part, what content should be included in the user's movie list or lists. For example, the number of access requests from other members of the user's household as well as the number of access requests from other users in the user's local service group (e.g., a switched digital video (SDV) service group in a switched digital video environment or a VOD service group) may be used to determine what movies are “hot” at any given moment. A switched digital video manager may provide this information to the user equipment device for use in determining what movies should be included in the movie list. Movies included the movie list may be currently available, starting soon (e.g., within 30 minutes), available on-demand, recorded to a local storage device (e.g., digital video recorder (DVR)), or any combination of the aforementioned types of movies.
  • In some embodiments, editorial ratings may be used to determine what movies should be included in the user's movie list or lists. Editorial movie picks may be assigned editorial ratings and these ratings may be made available on a supplemental data source. The interactive media guidance application may then access the editorial ratings and use these ratings to determine, at least in part, what content should be included in a user's movie list.
  • In some embodiments, the interactive media guidance application may also use a user profile score to determine, at least in part, what content should be included in a user's movie list. For example, a user may setup movie viewing preferences in the user's profile. The movie viewing preferences might include such information as the user's favorite genres of movies (e.g., drama and action), favorite source of movies (e.g., on-demand and broadcast movies), favorite actor or actors, favorite director or directors, or any other suitable viewing preferences. The user may also define a set of preferred movie criteria, such as the preferred movie parental control rating or ratings, the minimum or maximum movie runtime, and the preferred movie source (e.g., broadcast, on-demand, pay-per-view, available on a premium channel or premium service (for which an extra charge may be assessed), or locally recorded). The interactive media guidance application may read media guidance application data associated with all the movies currently available in the media system (or about to become available in the near future). The interactive media guidance may then compare the media guidance application data with the user's movie viewing preferences and movie criteria to compute a user profile score for each movie selection. Movies with the highest user profile scores may be deemed “hot” and included in the user's movie list.
  • In some embodiments, the movie list may be accessed by the user with a single keystroke or button press on an input device (e.g., a remote control). The movie list may also be automatically displayed when other predefined conditions are met. For example, if the user channel surfs for a predetermined amount of time or fails to watch specific content for a predetermined amount of time, the movie list may be automatically displayed by the interactive media guidance application. The movie list may also be displayed when the interactive media guidance application determines that the user is in need of media guidance or content suggestions.
  • In addition, in some embodiments, the movie list may be displayed automatically after the user requests or accesses a content selection included in the movie list itself (or the user requests or accesses a certain number of content selections each included in the movie list). In this way, the movie list may be automatically invoked and displayed after it is determined that the movie list actually includes content of interest to the user. For example, after the user schedules a recording, sets a reminder, or performs any other suitable function relating to a movie included in the user's movie list, the movie list may be automatically displayed. The movie list may also be displayed upon request by a user or displayed at strategic times by the cable or system operator to advertise or increase patronage of a new movie or program.
  • The movie lists of the present invention may take numerous forms. For example, the list may be integrated as a banner or bar on the bottom, top, or either side of a display screen. The movie list may also take the form of a docked or undocked window or frame that the user may reposition and/or resize using an input device. The movie list may be displayed as an overlay (e.g., a transparent overlay) on top of full-screen programming. The movie list may also be displayed within a display screen of any other application (e.g., the interactive media guidance application) or in full-screen. In some embodiments, a box cover display is used, where the movie box art (or other suitable graphic) is displayed for each movie included in the movie list. The user may scroll through the interactive list and select any movie in the movie list to view more information about the movie or to invoke any media guidance application function (e.g., automatically tune, order, or record the movie).
  • Movies included in the movie list may also be associated with one or more affinity groups. For example, a user may subscribe to the “Sports Movies” affinity group. Movies associated with an affinity group that the user is subscribed to may be automatically added to the user's movie list. Affinity groups may be maintained by the cable or system operator or by a third party host (e.g., a celebrity). The host or system operator may change the movies associated with the affinity group at any time. Users may also create and manage their own movie affinity groups (e.g., “Mike's Favorite Movies”).
  • A user may select any entry within a movie list to automatically invoke any media guidance function on the selected entry. For example, the user may automatically tune to the selected entry, automatically schedule the selected entry for recording, automatically set a reminder for the selected entry, display one or more screens of additional information, or any other suitable function (or combination of functions). A user may also select all entries in a movie list to perform the same media guidance application function on all movie list entries. Movie lists may be prioritized and sorted or filtered by category, genre, or any other suitable criteria.
  • In some embodiments, users may also rate movies after watching them. The user's rating (as well as a text comment by the user) may be made available to other friends and users within the media system and used to determine, at least in part, what movies are included in the user's movie list as well as other users' movie lists. A mail action feature may also be included in some embodiments. The mail action allows a user to send a movie to someone on the user's friends list. Instead of actually sending the movie, the user may also move the movie (or a pointer or link to the movie) to a friend's private movie storage area or drive on the network. In some embodiments, users may also send a movie “gift” to another user on the user's friends list. A movie gift may allow the user receiving the gift to access the movie from an on-demand or pay-per-view service free of charge. The “gifting user” may be automatically charged the access price of the movie sent as a movie gift, or users may be given a predetermined number of free movie gifts in order to promote certain content available within the media system.
  • In some embodiments, identification data and related media guidance application data for movies that have been recently viewed by a user may be stored on a user equipment device. User ratings for a plurality of movies may also be stored. At least one of the stored user ratings may be associated with at least one of the movies that have been recently viewed by the user. A list of movies may then be displayed that have been recently viewed by the user. The displayed list of movies may include at least some of the stored identification data and at least some of the stored media guidance application data. A user may select a movie from the displayed list of movies, and a user indication to assign, in the displayed list of movies, a rating to the selected movie may be received. In response to receiving the user indication to assign the rating to the selected movie, one of the stored user ratings may be updated with the assigned rating, and the assigned rating may be displayed.
  • In some embodiments, identification data and related media guidance application data for a plurality of movies may be stored on a user equipment device. User ratings for the plurality of movies may also be stored. A list of movies that have been rated by the user may then be displayed. The displayed list of movies may include at least some of the stored identification data and at least some of the stored media guidance application data. A user may select a movie from the displayed list of movies, and a user indication to update, in the displayed list of movies, the rating associated with the selected movie may be received. One of the stored ratings may be updated with the updated rating, and the updated rating may be displayed.
  • In some embodiments, identification data and related media guidance application data for a plurality of movies is stored on a user equipment device. A planner list of movies that have not been evaluated by a user may be displayed. The displayed planner list of movies may include at least some of the stored identification data and at least some of the stored media guidance application data. A user may select a movie from the displayed planner list, and in response to receiving the user selection, a plurality of options may be provided to the user. The plurality of options may include at least an option to delete the selected movie, an option to set a bookmark for the selected movie, and an option to watch the selected movie. In response to selecting any of these three options, the selected movie may be removed from the displayed planner list of movies.
  • In some embodiments, identification data and related media guidance application data for a first plurality of movies may be stored on a user equipment device. A user may select a movie from the first plurality of movies. A user request to set a bookmark for the selected movie may be received as well as a user indication of a priority for the bookmark. A maximum price may also be associated with the bookmark. The bookmark may then be stored on the user equipment device, the bookmark including associated identification data, the priority, and the maximum price. Identification data and related media guidance application data for a second plurality of movies may also be stored. The stored identification data for the second plurality of movies may then be searched for a movie matching the identification data stored with the bookmark. The access price for the matching movie may be compared with the maximum price stored with the bookmark. The title of the matching movie may then be displayed in a list of bookmarked movies if its price is less than or equal to the maximum price. Finally, the displayed list of bookmarked movies may be prioritized based, at least in part, on the stored priority.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The above and other features of the present invention, its nature and various advantages will be more apparent upon consideration of the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, and in which:
  • FIG. 1 is an illustrative block diagram of a media system in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 2 is an illustrative data table for use in building a movie list in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 3 is an illustrative movie finder menu display screen in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 4 is an illustrative movie list display screen in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 5 is an illustrative screen format setup display screen in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 6 is an illustrative who's watching display screen in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 7 is an illustrative movie list criteria display screen in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 8 is an illustrative movie list entry details display screen in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 9 is an illustrative movie list entry details selection menu display screen in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;
  • FIGS. 10 and 11 are illustrative user ratings display screens in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 12 is an illustrative bookmark display screen in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 13 is an illustrative movie sending or gifting display screen in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 14 shows an illustrative movie planning list in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 15 shows an illustrative user bookmarks display screen in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 16 shows an illustrative user setup display screen in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 17 shows an illustrative user profile display screen in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 18 shows a user profile movie criteria display screen in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 19 shows a movie access history display screen in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 20 shows a user rating display screen in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 21 shows a friends setup display screen in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 22 shows community groups subscription display screen in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;
  • FIGS. 23A and 23B show illustrative user profiles in accordance with one embodiment of the invention; and
  • FIGS. 24, 25, 26A, 26B, 26C, and 26D show illustrative processes for creating, displaying, interacting with, and maintaining movie lists in accordance with various embodiments of the invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • The movie lists and associated functionality described herein may be provided by a stand-alone movie finder application executing at least partially on a user equipment device, or the features and functionality may be provided by a movie finder module or mode of an existing interactive application. If implemented as a module or mode of an existing interactive application, such as an interactive media guidance application, all the display screens, prompts, and overlays shown herein may be integrated with the display screens, prompts, and overlays of the existing application. For example, fonts, colors, and overall layouts may be changed from those depicted to better match the fonts, colors, and overall layouts of the already existing application. Although any type of application may perform the movie list functionality described herein, for convenience this application is referred to as an interactive media guidance or “movie finder” application.
  • The interactive media guidance application may monitor and log all media content access requests, including television channel requests, Internet webpage requests, requests for on-demand and pay-per-view content, and requests for prerecorded content. In addition, the application may also monitor other characteristics about a user's interaction with the user equipment device, such as length of time content is displayed, the frequency of content changing, and any other suitable activity capable of being derived from a user's interaction with the user equipment device. From this interaction information, the interactive media guidance application may build a user monitoring profile and use this profile information, in conjunction with user movie viewing preferences and/or user demographic information, to determine what movies the user is likely to be interested in watching at any given moment.
  • A list of movies in the movie list may be maintained on the user equipment device and displayed to the user at any suitable time. From the movie list, the user may browse through popular categories of movies and automatically tune to any movie included in the movie list. The user may also automatically perform any suitable media guidance function on movies included in the movie list. In this way, the movie lists may facilitate user access to movies of interest to the user that are currently available or about to become available in the near future.
  • FIG. 1 shows illustrative interactive media system 100 for performing the movie list functionality in accordance with one embodiment of the invention. User equipment device 102 receives content in the form of signals from content source 130 and/or supplemental data source 120 over communications paths 150 and 152, respectively. Any suitable number of users may have one or more user equipment devices, such as user equipment 102, coupled to content source 130, data sources 140, and supplemental data source 120. For the clarity of the figure, however, only a single user equipment device is shown. In addition, although in practice there may be numerous instances of content source 130 and supplemental data source 120, for clarity only one instance of each source has been shown in the example of FIG. 1.
  • Content source 130 may be any suitable source of media content, such as, for example, a cable system headend, satellite television distribution facility, television broadcast facility, on-demand server (e.g., video-on-demand (VOD) server), Internet or network media/web server, or any other suitable facility or system for originating or distributing passive or interactive content to user equipment 102. Media content that may be provided by content source 130 to user equipment 102 includes broadcast programming, VOD programming, digital music, news, interactive applications (e.g., interactive games), Internet resources and web services (e.g., websites, newsgroups, and chat rooms), and any other content capable of being displayed by, presented to, recorded, or interacted with, using user equipment 102.
  • Supplemental data source 120 may be any suitable data source configured to provide ratings information and extended summary information about content available from content source 130. For example, Nielson ratings information (or any other network popularity statistics) may be made available on supplemental data source 120. Ratings may include objective ratings based on, for example, network access statistics, as well as subjective ratings based on editorial programming picks. For example, editors or celebrities may rate their favorite programming using a number, point, star, grade, or any other suitable rating system. In addition, editors (or individual users themselves) may associate collections of movies with one or more community groups, as described below in more detail in regard to FIG. 22 below. The editorial ratings may be stored on supplemental data source 120 for access by user equipment device 102 at any suitable time. Additionally or alternatively, ratings information may be automatically delivered to user equipment 102 periodically or continuously, as network bandwidth permits.
  • Supplemental data source 120 may also include box cover art or other art, movie previews, movie trailers, and any other suitable audio, video, graphics, and data relating to movies available from content source 130. The box cover art stored on supplemental data source 120 may be used in some or all of the movie lists displays, as described in more detail with regard to FIG. 4, below.
  • In addition, network statistics from a switched digital video (SDV) manager or VOD server (or any other network monitor or network manager) may be stored on supplemental data source 120 for access by user equipment device 102. The SDV manager or VOD server may provide data reflecting the number, frequency, and/or identity of content access requests from other users in the local switched digital video service group or on-demand service area. This information may then be stored on supplemental data source 120 (e.g., in database 122) and used by interactive media guidance application 106 to determine what movies are hot at any given moment based, at least in part, on the total number of network access requests, the duration of the access, or any other suitable criteria.
  • Database 122 may also store network viewing statistics of all users in media system 100 (not just in the user's local service group). By accessing network viewing statistics, user equipment 102 may determine what movies are currently being watched (or have recently been watched) by a large number of viewers. This may be used as an indication of the popularity of the movies. Popular movies may be included in one or more of the user's movie lists. Database 122 may also store user ratings information on behalf of some or all of the users in media system 100, pre-built and custom user profiles, editorial ratings information, friends lists and contact information, and various other types of application data for use by the movie finder application.
  • In some embodiments, database 122 may also store the interactive media guidance application (or a stand-alone movie finder application) itself. Upon receiving a request from user equipment 102, supplemental data source 120 may transmit the interactive media guidance application directly to user equipment 102 via communications path 152 (or supplemental data source 120 may transmit the interactive media guidance application to content source 130 for transmission to user equipment 120, if desired). In one embodiment, the interactive media guidance application is a self-executing OpenCable Applications Platform (“OCAP”) application downloaded by middleware to user equipment 102. User equipment 102 (or a proxy acting on behalf of the user equipment) may periodically query supplemental data source 120 for application updates, or supplemental data source 120 may push application updates to user equipment 102 automatically as updates become available.
  • Content source 130 and supplemental data source 120 may be configured to transmit signals to user equipment 102 over any suitable communications paths 150 and 152 including, for example, a satellite path, a fiber-optic path, a cable path, or any other suitable wired or wireless path. The signals may be transmitted as a broadcast, multicast, unicast, or any other suitable transmission stream. Content source 130 may also include control circuitry 132 for performing operations on the signals transmitted by content source 130, such as, for example, generating new signals or communicating with user equipment 102 to provide on-demand functionality.
  • User equipment 102 may receive interactive application data from one or more instances of data sources 140, content source 130, and supplemental data source 120. Data sources 140 may provide data for a particular type of content or for a particular application running on user equipment 102. For example, one data source 142 may provide data for interactive media guidance application 106 (including data for the movie finder module of the application) and another data source may provide data for an interactive home shopping application. In some embodiments, data sources 140 may provide data to the applications running on user equipment 102 using a client-server model. There may be one server per data source, one server for all sources, or, in some embodiments, a single server may communicate as a proxy between user equipment 102 and various data sources 140.
  • Content source 130, supplemental data source 120, and data sources 140 are shown in FIG. 1 as separate elements. In practice, their functionality may be combined into a single mechanism and provided from a single system at a single facility, or their functionality may be provided by multiple systems at multiple facilities. For example, supplemental data source 120, content source 130, and data sources 140 may be combined to provide broadcast television content and associated broadcast television data, including ratings, genre, and content summary information, or other suitable information to user equipment 102.
  • User equipment 102 may include any equipment suitable for presenting media content to a user. For example, user equipment 102 may include computer equipment, such as a personal computer with a television card (PCTV) and/or Open Cable Unidirectional Receiver (OCUR). User equipment 102 may also include television equipment such as a television and set-top box, a recording device, a video player, a user input device (e.g., remote control, a keyboard, a mouse, a touch pad, a touch screen, and/or a voice recognition/verification module) or any other device suitable for providing a complete, interactive experience. For example, user equipment 102 may include a DCT 2000, 2500, 5100, 6208 or 6412 set-top box provided by Motorola, Inc.
  • In the example of FIG. 1, user equipment 102 includes control circuitry 114, RFID transceiver 115, display device 104, interactive media guidance application 106, storage device 110, and user input device 108, all of which may be implemented as separate devices or as a single, integrated device. In addition to interactive media guidance application 106, other interactive applications, such as an interactive home shopping application, may be implemented on user equipment 102. In some embodiments, these interactive applications may, for example, direct a tuner in control circuitry 114 to display, on display device 104, the content transmitted by content source 130 over communications path 150 and to provide interactive application features.
  • Display device 104 may be any suitable device capable of presenting human-perceivable media, such as, for example, a television monitor, computer monitor, LCD display, video projection device, holographic projector, or virtual reality simulator. Display device 104 may also be configured to provide audio and other sensory output.
  • Control circuitry 114 is adapted to receive user input from input device 108, execute the instructions of interactive media guidance application 106, execute the instructions of any other interactive applications, and direct display device 104 to display media content and interactive application display screens and overlays. Control circuitry 114 may include one or more tuners (e.g., analog or digital tuners), encoders and decoders (e.g., MPEG encoders and decoders), processors (e.g., MIPs and/or Motorola 68000 family processors), memory (e.g., RAM, ROM, flash memory, and hard disks), communications circuitry (e.g., cable modem and ATSC 256QAM receiver circuitry), input/output circuitry (e.g., graphics circuitry), connections to the various devices of user equipment 102 (e.g., storage device 110), and any other suitable components for providing analog or digital television programming, Internet content, and movie list displays. In one embodiment, control circuitry 114 may be included as part of one of the devices of user equipment 102 such as, for example, part of display 104 or any other device (e.g., a set-top box, television, and/or video player).
  • Control circuitry 114 may also include (or be connected to) RFID transceiver 115 for receiving RFID communications from one or more active or passive RFID tags. As described in more detail below, RFID transceiver 115 may also be configured to automatically interrogate passive RFID tags carried with users who may be watching display device 104. In this way, user equipment 102 may automatically determine which users are in range of user equipment 102 (and thus likely watching display device 104). As also described in more detail below, a Bluetooth discovery function may also execute on control circuitry 114 to automatically detect Bluetooth enabled devices in range of user equipment 102. This may also be used to automatically determine which users are currently watching display device 104. In some embodiments, by identifying the users currently watching display device 104, interactive media guidance application 106 may dynamically update movie lists in real-time based on the combined movie viewing preferences and movie criteria of all the watching users.
  • Control circuitry 114 may be connected to storage device 110 for storing data from data sources 140, content source 130, or supplemental data source 120. For example, storage device 110 may include one or more digital video recorders (DVRs), hard disks, or any other storage mechanism. Control circuitry 114 may also be configured to execute the instructions of interactive media guidance application 106 from memory, which may include any type of storage or memory mechanism (e.g., RAM, ROM, hybrid types of memory, hard disks, and/or optical drives).
  • Although, in the illustrated embodiment of FIG. 1, interactive media guidance application 106 is internal to user equipment 102, interactive media guidance application 106 may be implemented externally or partially implemented externally to user equipment 102. For example, interactive media guidance application 106 may be implemented at supplemental data source 120 or content source 130 and may run using a client-server or distributed architecture where some of the application is implemented locally on user equipment 102 in the form of a client process and some of the application is implemented at a remote location in the form of a server process. Interactive media guidance application 106 may also be implemented on any suitable server, computer equipment, or set-top box accessible by user equipment 102. In some embodiments, interactive media guidance application 106 is integrated with another interactive application or is implemented as a standalone application, subprocess, or class (e.g., in an OCAP environment). In one embodiment, interactive media guidance application 106 is completely integrated within another interactive application running on user equipment 102. In this embodiment, the management and administrative functionality of interactive media guidance application 106 may be invoked directly by the other application or the underlying operating system after some user input from input device 108. In some embodiments, interactive media guidance application 106 includes a web-based interface for accessing interactive media guidance application 106 and performing all related functionality from a remote location (including rating movies, updating movie viewing preferences, and configuring various movie finder settings).
  • In at least some embodiments, interactive media guidance application 106 is implemented in software. However, an implementation of software and/or hardware may be used in other embodiments. These arrangements are merely illustrative. Other suitable techniques for implementing interactive media guidance application 106 may be used if desired.
  • Interactive media guidance application 106 may use application data from data sources 140 to determine the type of content currently being displayed on display device 104 or recorded on storage device 110. For example, media guidance application data may include genre information (e.g., sports, mystery, comedy), subgenre information, content summaries, actor/director information, ratings (e.g., parental control ratings, editorial ratings, and network popularity ratings), or any other suitable information about media content accessible within media system 100.
  • Interactive media guidance application 106 may store movie lists in memory or on storage device 110. The movie lists may include an identification of each movie included in the movie list as well as the rank, or priority, of each movie within the list. As described in more detail below, movies that are no longer accessible by user equipment 102 may be marked as expired and automatically removed from the movie list. Similarly, movies that are currently available or will become available within some user-defined time window (e.g., 30 minutes) may be dynamically added to a movie list, depending on the popularity of the movie, the movie's profile score, the movie's total score, and any other criteria used in the movie list rating algorithm described below.
  • FIG. 2 shows illustrative table 200 which may be used in some embodiments to store the entries of the movie list. As shown in the example of FIG. 2, eleven movies (represented by their program identifiers) are listed in column 202. Program identifiers may include any information needed to identify and locate the movie and its detailed information. For example, this may include a channel and time for broadcast movies, a CableLabs provider ID/asset ID for video-on-demand movies, or a file locator for movies recorded on a DVR.
  • In column 204, the genre and/or subgenre of the movies are listed. Genres included in genre column 204 may include single category genres (e.g., “drama”) or combination category genres (e.g., “sports-genre”). In type column 206, the movie type or source may be listed. For example, movies included in a single movie list may include on-demand movies (e.g., VOD movies), pay-per-view (PPV) movies, broadcast movies, movies available on a premium channel or premium service, and movies recorded locally to a storage or recording device (e.g., a local DVR).
  • Total score 208 includes an indication of each movie's total ranking or score computed in accordance with the movie list rating algorithm. Total scores may be derived from a plurality of criteria, including user ratings, editorial ratings, network viewing statistics, third-party popularity ratings (e.g., Nielson ratings), active user monitoring, user movie viewing preferences, preferred movie criteria, user profile scores, user bookmarks and selections, and any other suitable criteria. The value in total score column 208 may be some suitable weighted function of one or more of these criteria. In addition, the score may be scaled so that, for example, the total score is out of a maximum of 100 points (or any other convenient number). For example, the value of total score 208 may be computed in accordance with the hot list rating described in U.S. Pat. No. ______, filed ______ (Attorney Docket No. GW-076), which is hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety. Any of the features described in the aforementioned patent application may be used in conjunction with suitable or similar features described herein.
  • Regardless of how the value in total score column 208 is computed, it may reflect how interested the user will likely be in watching the movie. Movies with higher total scores may be of greater interest to the user than movies with lower total scores. The active movie list may include a predetermined number of movies with the greatest total scores of all the movies currently available in the media system (or about to become available within some user-defined length of time). The user may configure the length of the movie list so that more or fewer movies are included in the movie list in other embodiments.
  • In some embodiments, table 200 may also include the bookmark, reminder, and recording status of each movie included in the movie list. Reminder column 210 may include a boolean value reflecting whether or not the movie has an active reminder set. Recording column 212 may include a boolean value reflecting whether or not the movie is scheduled to be recorded or is currently being recorded. The table may also include a boolean flag reflecting whether the user has bookmarked the movie. Profile score column 214 may include a numeric value indicative of the number of user viewing preference matches, as defined by the user's profile. Profile matches may be determined, at least in part, from media guidance application data associated with the movies in the movie list.
  • For example, each user of the user equipment device may establish a personal user profile including movie viewing preferences. These movie viewing preferences may include such preferences as the user's favorite actor(s), favorite director(s), favorite genre(s), favorite subgenre(s), favorite movie duration, favorite movie rating(s) (e.g., MPAA or third-party rating), favorite source(s), or any other suitable movie viewing preferences. The interactive media guidance application may compute the profile scores shown in column 214 by, for example, determining the number of user viewing preferences each movie selection matches, as determined from media guidance application data associated with the movie selections. The number of matches may then be optionally weighted and summed. Each viewing preference match may be assigned the same weight in the score computation or some viewing preferences may be weighted more or less heavily in the profile score. For example, the user may rank movie viewing preferences in the user's profile from most important to least important. Users may also specify compound, or combination, movie viewing preferences. So, the user may, for example, designate “action” genre movies having “Tom Cruise” as an actor or director as the most important movie viewing preference. Movies matching this compound preference may be given bonus user profile score points in addition to the points given for matching each individual preference.
  • In addition to a profile score, table 200 may also include a user rating. User rating column 216 may include a numeric rating assigned by the user. For example, FIG. 10 shows an illustrative display screen that may be used to rate a movie. Although numeric user ratings are shown in the example of column 216 of table 200, any other rating system may be used in other embodiments. For example, a star (e.g., one star, two stars, etc.), grade (e.g., A, B, C, D, or F), or thumbs up/thumbs down (e.g., two thumbs up) rating systems may also be used.
  • As described in more detail below, users may rate movies with a single holistic rating or multiple component ratings. For example, component user ratings categories may be defined in some embodiments. A user may then rate a movie according to a number of ratings categories. For example, a user may rate the movie “A League of Their Own” in the sports, drama, and comedy ratings category. The rating assigned to each category may indicate how much the user liked the movie considering the rating category. Alternatively, the rating assigned to each category of the movie may be used to update the user profile to indicate the user's preferences for that item. In addition to ratings categories based on genre (or subgenre), a user may also rate an individual actor's (or director's) performance in the movie. The value in user rating column 216 may be a composite score taking all the user ratings for a particular movie into account, or the value in user rating column 216 may only reflect a single holistic rating assigned by the user. Any other suitable ratings categories may also be defined.
  • Editorial ratings may also be received and stored in table 200. For example, editorial ratings for popular movies may be made available on supplemental data source 120 (FIG. 1). These ratings may be accessed by the user equipment device and used in the total score computed for each movie. As described in more detail below, users may select their favorite editors and critics. The ratings for editors and critics that the user has selected as the user's favorite may be given more weight in the editor rating score listed in column 218. In addition, in some embodiments, the interactive media guidance application may automatically match users with critics, editors, and/or other users. For example, a user's movie ratings may be matched with the movie ratings of other critics, editors, or users. Editors, critics, and users with the greatest number of ratings matches may be automatically designated as the user's favorite editor, critic, or user. If the user's favorite editor, critic, or user has created or subscribed to an affinity group, all the movies in the editor's, critic's, or other user's affinity group may be weighted more heavily in the total score computation. In some embodiments, movies associated favorably with the user's favorite editor, critic, or user are automatically included in the movie list (if the movies are accessible within the movie list time window).
  • In some embodiments, blended editorial ratings are used. Blended editorial ratings may be derived from ratings of multiple editors. The user may self-select (or be automatically associated with based on the user's ratings) one or more editorial bureaus or forums. For example, the user may particularly like the New York Times reviewers and the Washington Post reviewers, but not the Philadelphia Inquirer reviewers. Given this information, the interactive media guidance application may compute the editorial ratings in such a way as to enhance the ratings of liked reviewers and suppress the ratings of disliked reviewers. For example, the ratings may be assigned weights reflecting the user's interest (or confidence) in the reviewers' ratings. This is just one example of how editorial ratings may be personalized to the user.
  • Finally, table 200 includes affinity group column 220. Users, editors, and critics may associate selected movies with one or more affinity groups. Users may then review a listing of the movies associated with each available group and choose to subscribe to one or more affinity groups. In some embodiments, movies associated with affinity groups that the user has subscribed to are always included in the current movie list (if the movies are available within the media system or will become available within some user-configurable amount of time).
  • Although table 200 includes some of the more common movie attributes that may be used in determining what movies should populate the movie list, any other suitable attributes may be used in other embodiments. For example, as previously mentioned, network popularity statistics (e.g., from an SDV manager, VOD server, or third-party service) may also be used to determine what movies are included in the movie list. The values in table 200 may be recomputed continuously or at regular intervals (e.g., every 10 minutes).
  • FIGS. 3-22 show various display screens associated with the movie finder application. For example, FIG. 3 shows movie finder main menu display screen 300. Display screen 300 may include Picture-In-Guide (PIG) window 324, which may display the programming being viewed prior to accessing the movie finder menu. Alternatively, PIG window 324 may also display previews, advertisements, or an interactive movie finder setup wizard. The setup wizard (which may be switched to full-screen) may guide the user through the various movie finder option screens and settings. It may also setup the user's first movie list and prompt the user for various information. For example, the setup wizard may prompt the user for the user's favorite movie viewing preference, demographic information (about the user and/or the user's household), or for any suitable user profile information. The setup wizard may also act as an interactive tutor that answers any questions the user might have about the movie finder functionality.
  • Display screen 300 also includes on now selection 302, planning list selection 304, bookmarks selection 306, recent selection 308, users selection 310, tonight selection 312, search selection 314, community selection 316, friends selection 318, and options selection 320. More icon 322 indicated that additional selections may also be available by pressing an appropriate key or button on an input device (e.g., user input device 108 of FIG. 1).
  • After selecting on now selection 302, on now display screen 400 of FIG. 4 may be displayed to the user. After selecting planning list selection 304, planning list display screen 1400 of FIG. 14 may be displayed to the user. After selecting bookmarks selection 306, bookmarks display screen 1500 of FIG. 15 may be displayed to the user. After selecting recent selection 308, a listing of the user's recently (e.g., within the past week) accessed or viewed movies may be displayed. For example, recent movies display screen 1900 of FIG. 19 may be displayed to the user. After selecting users selection 310, a listing of all the users with associated user profiles may be displayed. For example, display screen 1600 of FIG. 16 may be displayed to the user. After selecting tonight selection 312, a movie list (not shown) including only movies available or accessible within the media system for the same evening (e.g., 5 pm through 11 pm) may be displayed to the user. After selecting search selection 314, a search screen may be displayed (not shown) that allows that user to search all movies or only movies included in one or more movie lists. By searching only movies included in a movie list, the user can be assured that the search results only contain movies of interest to the user. In addition, search times can be reduced because only a small subset of all the available movies may be searched. For example, only the movies included in table 200 (FIG. 2) may be searched in some embodiments. In some embodiments, the search results are not limited to movies on the movie list, but allow the user to find movies that may not yet have been selected for inclusion on any movie list.
  • After selecting community selection 316, communities display screen 2200 of FIG. 22 may be displayed to the user. After selecting friends selection 318, a listing of the user's friends may be displayed to the user. For example, friends display screen 2100 of FIG. 21 may be displayed. Finally, after selecting options selection 320, the user is given an opportunity to configure various settings and customizations of the movie finder application. These settings and customizations may be displayed and configured via one or more of the following display screens (or any other suitable screen): screen format display screen 500 of FIG. 5, movie criteria display screen 700 of FIG. 7, user profile display screen 1700 of FIG. 17, and movie criteria display screen 1800 of FIG. 18.
  • FIG. 4 shows on now display screen 400. On now display screen 400 displays a movie list for the current time window. Thus, movies included in the “on now” movie list are currently available within the media system or will become available within some user-configurable amount of time. For example, the user might set a movie finder application option specifying the time window for “on now” movie lists. This time window is generally short (e.g., within 30 minutes), but the user may configure the option to be any suitable time period.
  • The user may bring up a current movie list at any time. For example, the user may select “on now” selection 302 from menu 300 (FIG. 3) or press a single button or key on an input device (e.g., input device 108 of FIG. 1). The “on now” movie list includes a list of movies that are starting soon or available on-demand that will be of interest to the viewer. It may also include movies that are available on a local or remote storage device (e.g., a local or networked DVR hard drive), whether the movies were explicitly recorded by the user or automatically prefetched based on user preferences. The movie list may also include movies that have been previously bookmarked by the user, as well as movies that match the user's movie viewing preferences. For example, movies with the top total scores, profile scores, or editorial or user ratings may be included in the movie list. The movies selected for inclusion in the list may be saved to table 200 (FIG. 2) and prioritized, or ranked, by total score. The movie list display may reflect the prioritization of movies within the list. For example, movies with higher priorities may be displayed in the hot list before or ahead of movies with lower priorities. The list (and hence table 200 of FIG. 2) may be updated continuously or periodically so that a current list of movies of interest to the user may always be available. In other embodiments, all the ratings and scores in table 200 (FIG. 2) are recomputed each time the user requests a movie list display.
  • On now movie list display screen 400 includes a scrollable list with movie selections 404, 406, 408, and 410. A movie highlight or cursor 412 may be used to select individual movies, a grouping of movies, or all the movies in the list. After the user has highlighted a movie in display screen 400, summary information may be displayed in area 402. At this point, the user may select the movie highlighted in display screen 400 by pressing an “OK” or other suitable button or key on an input device (e.g., input device 108 of FIG. 1). Selecting a movie in the movie list may automatically display the movie page associated with the movie (e.g., movie page display screen 800 (FIG. 8) may be displayed). The user may also directly access the movie, rate the selected movie, view a page of additional information, remove the movie from the movie list, or perform any other suitable function after a movie is highlighted in the movie list.
  • The movie list may be relatively short. For example, no more than six entries may be included in the list in some embodiments. This assures the user that only the best movie matches are displayed, providing very reliable movie guidance. The user may also specify the preferred length of the list in some embodiments.
  • As shown in the example of FIG. 4, the top four movies in the “on now” movie list are shown, and the user can scroll to see more movies, as indicated by more icon 420. The movie or DVD box cover (or any other available art) may be displayed, along with the selected media guidance application database fields.
  • In some embodiments, the movie lists described herein may be presented in “box cover” format. The movie or DVD box cover or other graphic may be shown in a grid, along with other key information, such as, for example, the title of the movie (and description), channel and time until the movie starts (if a broadcast movie), an indicator if on-demand or DVR (or prefetched), MPAA (or TV) rating 418, duration 410, critic's star rating 414, a user rating, a popularity index, a price, if applicable, or any other suitable information.
  • The viewer may customize the display of the movie list in many ways. For example, as shown in display screen 500 of FIG. 5, overlay 502 allows the user to select to display the movie list in box cover art form (as shown in the example of FIG. 4) or in interactive list format (not shown). Interactive list format may be preferable to some users so that more movie entries are displayed in the movie list display screen at one time. The user may toggle layout option 504 between “Box Covers” and “List” formats. The type of rating displayed (e.g., in lieu of critic's star rating 414 of FIG. 4) may be selected using rating type option 506. The user may select to have a popularity rating (e.g., a Nielson rating), an editorial rating, a user rating, or any other suitable rating be displayed in the movie list. The user may also select the preferred number of entries in the movie list (i.e., the preferred length of the list) using an option similar to options 504 and 506. The user may confirm the selections in overlay 502 by selecting save option 508.
  • Overlay 502 may also include an option to display a movie list as a toolbar in lieu of, or in addition to, the movie list display shown in FIG. 4. The toolbar may be displayed in the flip bar, banner area, or along any edge of the display screen while programming is simultaneously displayed in the display screen. The movie list toolbar may include all the functionality and features of movie list display screen 400 (FIG. 4). For example, it may allow a user to quickly access, rate, or remove any movie from the movie list, all without tuning away from the programming currently being displayed. To display the movie list toolbar, the user may press a single key or button on an input device (e.g., input device 108 of FIG. 1). The display of the toolbar may timeout automatically after a predetermined amount of time with no user interaction with the toolbar, or the user may manually display and discard the toolbar using input device 108 (FIG. 1).
  • In some embodiments, the movie list (or the movie list toolbar) may be automatically displayed when the interactive media guidance application determines that the user is in need of media guidance. For example, the user may be channel surfing aimlessly for content without luck. If a predetermined number of channel change requests is received within a certain time period (and optionally without settling on any one channel for at least some minimum threshold length of time), interactive media guidance application 106 (FIG. 1) may automatically display the movie list (or movie list toolbar) to the user. The movie list toolbar may be automatically displayed in conjunction with the hot lists described in U.S. Pat. No. ______, filed ______ (Attorney Docket No. GW-076) so that the hot list is automatically displayed during certain hours (e.g., hours when the user is not likely to be desiring a movie) and the movie list (or movie list toolbar) is automatically displayed during peak movie viewing time periods (e.g., Friday evenings). A table of peak movie viewing times may be supplied by the cable or system operator, or the interactive media guidance application may automatically create such a table based on actual viewing habits at the user equipment device. For example, the interactive media guidance application may log the type and/or genre (e.g., series, movie, sporting event, news) of all content accessed on the user equipment device. This type and/or genre information may be derived, at least in part, from media guidance application data. The interactive media guidance application can then determine which time period or periods the user most frequently accesses movie content. These time periods may then be compared to the current system time, which may be read from a local system timer (e.g., within user equipment 102 of FIG. 1). Alternatively, the network time may be received from the system operator (e.g., by making it available on a network time data source, such as data source 142 of FIG. 1).
  • In some embodiments, the user may also identify who (e.g., one or more household members) is going to watch the movie, in which case the movie list will be targeted to the preferences and settings of the selected viewer or viewers. For example, FIG. 6 shows display screen 600, which includes who's watching overlay 602. A list of the available users of the user equipment device may be accessed and displayed in overlay 602. For example, name or handle 604 may be displayed for each user as well as toggle option 606. A user may select each user currently watching programming on the user equipment device and toggle the who's watching indicator between “No” and “Yes” options. The user may then confirm the selections displayed in overlay 602 by selecting save option 608.
  • By specifying who is currently watching, the movie finder application may apply the chosen options and settings to all users who are currently watching. The options and settings may then be saved to each watching user's personal profile. Additionally, a system default profile may be maintained and used when only an unregistered user is watching (i.e., a new user or a user without a profile). In addition, by specifying who is currently watching, the interactive media guidance application may use the movie viewing preferences and movie criteria of all the users who are currently watching in order to create and/or update the movie list. For example, profile score 214 may reflect the user profile preferences of all watching users.
  • This may affect the total score for each movie and consequently what movies are included in the movie list. In some embodiments, movie lists based on blended scores from a plurality of users try to appease all watching users. As such, at least one movie that is of interest to each watching user may be automatically included in the movie list, even if the movie does not otherwise qualify for inclusion (e.g., based on its total score) in the movie list. In this way, each watching user can be assured that there will be at least one movie in the movie list that is of interest to the user. This may facilitate agreement on a single movie to watch.
  • For example, a family of five members of a household may have a weekly “movie night” where all five users will be home to watch a movie together. By selecting which users are watching using overlay 602, the media guidance application may automatically recalculate the total scores for all movies based on all of the users' movie viewing preferences. For example, if all five users are home and watching, the media guidance application may weight or scale each user's contribution to each movie's total score by 1/5. A new movie list may then be generated based on the new total scores. After the new movie list has been generated, another subroutine may analyze the list to see if each user has at least one movie on the list the meets a predetermined user profile score for the user. For example, one member of the household may have a very unique taste or interest in movies. All four other members of the household may share similar interests in movies. As such, the four members of the household with similar interests may dominant the movie list (e.g., all six movie list selections in the movie list may be of interest only to the four members with similar interests). To alleviate this potential problem, the interactive media guidance application may add at least one movie to the movie list that meets some minimum user profile score for the underrepresented user.
  • In some embodiments, the settings in who's watching overlay 602 may be automatically populated by the user equipment device. For example, if one or more users are currently logged on to the user equipment device, then toggle options 606 for these users may be automatically set to “Yes”. In this way, the user need not manually select the users who are currently watching the user equipment device. Overlay 602 may be automatically populated in other ways as well. For example, in some embodiments, user equipment 102 (FIG. 1) includes an integrated or attached RFID transceiver, such as RFID transceiver 115 (FIG. 1). Users of the user equipment device may then carry cards (e.g., PVC cards) with embedded RFID tags (e.g., passive or active RFID tags). The RFID tags may store a unique identifier for each user. Additionally or alternatively, RFID tags may be integrated with hand-held user equipment devices (e.g., remote controls, cellular telephone, PDAs, and the like), jewelry (e.g., watches and bracelets), clothing, or any other accessory that is typically carried with the user (e.g., eyeglasses). When the user is within range of RFID transceiver 115 (FIG. 1), the user may be automatically authenticated and identified as currently watching the user equipment device. In this way, the identification of watching users may be performed automatically without the need to display (or even utilize) overlay 602.
  • The RFID tags of the present invention may also be implanted beneath the skin of users. For example, each member of a household may have an RFID tag subdermally implanted in the hand or arm. Similar to the RFID tags mentioned above, theses implantable RFID tags may be used to automatically authenticate all users who are within range of the user equipment device. The interactive media guidance application may receive API function calls from RFID transceiver 115 (FIG. 1) in order to automatically identify the users who are currently watching the user equipment device. Any of the other overlays described herein that accept a user selection may also benefit from this automatic identification approach. For example, one or more of the overlays shown in FIGS. 10, 11, and 12 may also be automatically populated by the interactive media guidance application.
  • Although RFID tags are used in some embodiments to identify the users who are currently watching the user equipment device, other approaches may also be used. For example, users may be provided with Bluetooth enabled devices (e.g., cellular telephones). Using Bluetooth discovery mode, the user equipment device may automatically discover new users who are watching the user equipment device. By leveraging Bluetooth's discovery feature, which allows a Bluetooth enabled device to automatically announce itself to other devices in range, user equipment device 102 (FIG. 1) may automatically determine who is watching the user equipment device. In order to discover which users are currently watching, the interactive media guidance application may periodically invoke a “Bluetooth Discover” function call. This function call may return a list of device addresses and device names within range of the user equipment device. Each user may associate one or more Bluetooth device names and/or addresses with the user (e.g., saved in the user's profile). The user equipment device may maintain a table of users and their associated Bluetooth device names and/or addresses. After each “Bluetooth Discover” function call, the interactive media guidance application may automatically identify the users watching the user equipment device from the device and address table.
  • Sometimes, an unknown Bluetooth device name or address may be discovered. For example, an unregistered friend of a household member may be watching the user equipment device. This friend may have a valid Bluetooth enabled device, but no user profile stored on the user equipment device matching the address or device name of the device. The friend, however, would still like his or her movie viewing preferences and movie criteria to be used in building movie lists and suggesting movies. To remedy this potential problem, the interactive media guidance application may automatically query a supplemental data source (e.g., supplemental data source 120 of FIG. 1) in order to download the friend's user profile. For example, the query may be performed by Bluetooth device name or address. Supplemental data source 120 (FIG. 1) may store a database of “roaming” user profiles indexed by Bluetooth device name or address for faster lookup.
  • After the friend's user profile has been downloaded, it may be stored in the user profile database on the user equipment device with the other user profiles. The friend may then be treated like any other registered user.
  • Additionally or alternatively, the friend's user profile may be stored in a supported format on the Bluetooth enabled device itself. For example, as described in more detail below, FIGS. 23A and 23B show a default user profile and a custom user profile in a standardized XML format with mandatory and optional fields. If the friend's user profile is stored on the Bluetooth enabled device, the user equipment device may act as a Bluetooth server and establish a Bluetooth connection with the device using the discovered address and/or device name. The friend's user profile may then be transferred to the user equipment device and treated as a “roaming” user profile. In this way, a user may carry his or her user profile as the user moves from user equipment device to user equipment device. The user profile may be automatically transferred and accepted by other user equipment devices using the Bluetooth protocol. In some embodiments, the Bluetooth transmission may take place over an unlicensed industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) band at 2.4 to 2.485 GHz, using a spread spectrum, frequency hopping, full-duplex signal at a nominal rate of 1600 hops/sec. Any other suitable wireless protocols may be used in other embodiments. Any other suitable method for recognizing which users are in the room may be used. For example, some embodiments may use facial recognition or voice recognition to determine who is watching the user equipment device.
  • The user may also set other movie criteria using display screen 700 of FIG. 7. The criteria set in this display screen may also be saved to the profiles of the users that are currently watching the user equipment device. The interactive media guidance application may then filter the movie list to remove movies not meeting the movie criteria. For example, maximum rating option 704 allows a user to set a maximum (i.e., most adult) MPAA or TV rating for content included in the movie list. Instead of specifying a maximum rating, a permitted range may also be specified. Maximum length option 706 allows a user to set a maximum movie length (in hours and minutes) for content included in the movie list. Instead of specifying a maximum length, a permitted length range (e.g., longer than 30 minutes but shorter than 3 hours) may also be specified. Show pay movies options 708 allows a user to toggle whether pay movies (e.g., pay-per-view movies, movies available on premium channels that the user has not subscribed to, or movies available from an on-demand service for which a surcharge is applicable) are included in the movie list. The user may also specify the movie list time window using window option 710. For example, the user may choose between common time windows (e.g., within 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, or 60 minutes of the current time), or the user may select a custom time window. Movies starting now or within the user-selected time may be included in the movie list.
  • Although the user may select to view the “On Now” movie list for the current time window (i.e., a time window starting at the current time), any other suitable time window may also be used in other, custom movie lists. For example, using window option 710, the user may also select to view an “On Tonight” movie list for that same evening (e.g., 5 pm to 10 pm), an “On This Weekend” movie list for the upcoming weekend (e.g., Saturday and Sunday), an “Evenings This Weekend” movie list for the evenings of the upcoming weekend (e.g., Saturday and Sunday from 5 pm to 10 pm), or any other suitable movie list for any other suitable time window. The user may specify one or more of the movie list start time, the movie list stop time, and the date (or date range) for each movie list using window option 710. Dates and times may be specified relative to the current date and time, or absolute dates and times may be specified. As described above, some movie list time windows are periodic and the windows are valid on some suitable period (e.g., daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly). This allows a user to create a custom list (e.g., the “On This Weekend” movie list) that automatically includes movies available each period cycle without the need to manually recreate another movie list. Since media guidance application data is generally available for media content several days or weeks in advance, the interactive media guidance application may compute total scores for movie selections and create a movie list table (similar to table 200 of FIG. 2) for any future time period that media guidance application data is available.
  • Some content eligible for movie list inclusion may not be associated with media guidance application data. For example, movies recorded to a local DVR or other storage device may not be associated with media guidance application data (or may be associated only with abbreviated media guidance application data). However, in at least some embodiments, media guidance application data (e.g., actor, director, genre, and editorial ratings information) is actually written to the local storage device when content is recorded so that this information may be used in the movie list ratings and total score calculations. The interactive media guidance application may also compute movie list scores and ratings for these content selections by attempting to look up information about the movies on a supplemental data source (e.g., supplemental data source 120 of FIG. 1). The lookup may be performed using the title or filename of the recorded content or a unique program identifier that is associated with the content. If no information about the content can be located on the supplemental data source, the movie list rating or score may be computed without the information. Such movies may still be eligible for inclusion in a movie list, however, because in some embodiments movies recently recorded to a local DVR are always added to the movie list. The user may also have rated the recorded movie, accessed the recorded movie a number of previous times, added the movie to a favorites list, or bookmarked the movie. Any of these actions may also qualify a movie otherwise not associated with media guidance application data for inclusion in a movie list.
  • Some movies, such as on-demand and locally recorded movies, may be available at any time. These movies may always meet the start time criteria specified in window option 710. In some embodiments, only movies that have not already started, but will start within the movie list window, are included in the movie list. In addition, some movies that have recently started may also meet the start time criteria. For example, in some embodiments, the interactive media guidance application automatically pre-tunes content with the highest total scores. For example, if the user equipment device includes three tuners, the movies with the top two or three total scores may be automatically tuned without any specific user request to tune to the movies. If the user requests a specific content selection that is not tuned (and a new tune is required to display the requested content), the tuned movie with the lowest total score may be tuned away first, and so on. In this way, the interactive media guidance application always tunes to movies of interest whenever possible. Because some movies will be already tuned, the user equipment may buffer these movies up to the buffer window size. This may allow the user to watch a movie time-shifted from its actual broadcast time and immediately invoke advanced video controls (e.g., pause and rewind controls). Movies with the beginning buffered may also meet the start time criteria specified in window option 710. For example, if the user equipment buffer window is 30 minutes, movies that have started less than 30 minutes ago may also be included in the movie list. In this way, the user may still access and watch the entire movie, if desired. The user may then confirm the selections displayed in overlay 702 by selecting save option 712.
  • As shown in FIG. 4, the user may move cursor 412 to highlight and select any movie in the movie list. After highlighting and selecting a movie in the movie list (e.g., the movie “Finding Nemo” is highlighted in the example of FIG. 4), the interactive media guidance application may take one or more actions. For example, movie page display screen 800 (FIG. 8) may be automatically displayed, the selected movie may be automatically tuned (e.g., on a foreground or background tuner), the selected movie may be automatically displayed (e.g., in full-screen or in a PIG or PIP window), or the interactive media guidance application may take any combination of the aforementioned actions.
  • In some embodiments, after a user selects a movie from the movie list (e.g., the user selects movie selection 406 in FIG. 4), the selected movie is automatically tuned on an available background tuner (if it is a broadcast movie that has not already been tuned), and movie page display screen 800 of FIG. 8 is displayed. Movie page display screen 800 may display detailed information about the selected movie. For example, the title of the selected movie, its source (e.g., channel name and channel number), its start time and end time, its MPAA rating, its editorial rating (e.g., a star rating), and its genre may also be displayed. In addition, a synopsis or other summary text, still images (e.g., the box art), and previews for the selected movie may be displayed in movie page display screen 800. Detailed genre information may also be displayed on this display screen. Actions that may be available from this screen may include go back to the previous screen (i.e., movie list display screen 400 of FIG. 4), watch, play/restart/resume, buy, remind, or any other appropriate action related to the selected movie. Other actions may include watching an associated video clip (e.g., for on-demand and broadcast movies), the selection of which may launch a single clip, or may offer a selection of clips. The clips may include a movie trailer/preview, a reviewer's video (e.g., from E! or TV Guide), or any other video clip.
  • At the bottom of movie details display screen 800, a bar or banner may be displayed. The bar or banner may include a number of selectable icons, each icon invoking a particular function related to the selected movie. For example, the user may select watch icon 802 to display the selected movie in full-screen. The user may also select preview icon 804 to view a video preview of the selected movie.
  • As shown in movie information display screen 900 of FIG. 9, the user may select movie information icon 902 to view a list of extended information about the selected movie. For example, an overlay may be displayed listing common critics and reviewers, such as reviewers 910 and 912. Additional information about the movie may be displayed by selecting TV Guide Details option 906, cast details option 908, and parental information option 914. TV Guide Details option 906 may link the user to online information from a suitable television program guide service, such as TV Guide. Cast details option 908 may display the name (and optionally picture) of each pertinent cast member as well as a brief biography, a list of other movies the cast member has performed in, and any other suitable cast information. After selecting parental information option 914, a screen of detailed parental control information may be displayed. For example, a review of movie content attributes (e.g., strong language and sexually explicit behavior) may be displayed, along with recommendations for appropriate ages for viewing and discussions of aspects of the movie that might be of issue or of particular interest to parents, after the user selects parental information option 914.
  • As shown in ratings display screen 1000 of FIG. 10, the movie page may allow a user to rate a movie. For example, after a user selects rate icon 1002, user ratings overlay 1004 may be displayed. This overlay may include an option to choose among various user ratings for the movie. Sample ratings may include “I′ve already seen this movie and I give it N stars,” “I am not interested in watching this movie,” and “I′d watch it again.” Other ratings schemes (e.g., thumbs up/thumb down and star ratings) may be used in other embodiments. The user may select the rating to associate with the movie using rating option 1008. Additional user ratings options may be displayed after selecting more options 1010. To confirm the selections made in overlay 1004, the user may select save option 1012.
  • The interactive media guidance application may provide for household-wide ratings or individual ratings for each household member. For example, using user option 1006, the user may select his or her name from a list. This identifies the current user who is rating the movie. More than one user may be selected to associate the rating with using user option 1006, and distinct ratings may be selected for each user.
  • The rating may be saved to the profile of each user specified in user option 1006. Advanced ratings may also be defined, including the ability to identify the reasons behind the user's rating (e.g., a user rating may be tied to one or more movie attributes, such as actor or genre, as described below).
  • FIG. 11 shows advanced user ratings display screen 1100. Advanced ratings overlay 1102 may be displayed after the user selects more option 1010
  • (FIG. 10). Advanced ratings overlay 1102 may include a number of ratings categories, including one or more genres, one or more movie classifications, one or more cast members or actors, one or more directors, and any other suitable ratings category. In some embodiments, the user may rate the movie in terms of each such ratings category. In other embodiments, the user may directly rate the classification itself. For example, the user may rate Ellen DeGeneres' performance in this movie, or the user may express a preference for Ellen DeGeneres in general that will be added to the user's profile (and which may be used to help evaluate other movies in which she appears). As shown in the example of FIG. 11, overlay 1102 includes genre categories 1106 and 1108, movie categories 1114, and cast member categories 1110 and 1112, all of which are associated with the “Finding Nemo” movie. A user may highlight any available category and select a rating to associate with the category. Ratings may be saved to one or more user profiles. As shown in the example of FIG. 11, the user “George” is setting a rating to be saved in the user's profile. A user may select one or more users in user list 1104 and toggle checkmark icon 1103 on and off. Ratings will be saved to the user profiles of all users with checkmark icon 1103 displayed. The user may also select “All Users” from user list 1104 in order to associate the rating with all users of the system. Alternatively or additionally, the user may select individual users and associate distinct ratings for each category for each user.
  • In some embodiments, a user may also customize the ratings categories displayed in overlay 1102. For example, a “New Category” option may be defined. After the user selects this option, the user may input a text label for the new category as well as a user rating. This custom rating category may also be saved to the user's profile. Users may also create custom combination ratings categories. For example, the user may create a new custom combination ratings category labeled “Comedy—Ellen DeGeneres”. This rating would be used to submit ratings regarding the comedic aspects of Ellen DeGeneres' role in the movie. Other users who are rating the same movie may also submit ratings on custom categories and custom combination categories created by other users.
  • The movie page may also include bookmark actions for any on-demand, broadcast, or recorded movie. For example, FIG. 12 shows bookmarks display screen 1200. After selecting bookmarks option 1202, overlay 1204 may be displayed to the user. The user may select his or her name from user option 1206. The user may also create a bookmark by selecting the add bookmark option 1210. To discard bookmarks overlay 1204, the user may select close option 1212. The bookmarks may inform the system that the viewer is interested in the movie, but does not want to watch it at the present time. Bookmarked movies may be added to a bookmark list, which is stored on the user equipment device (e.g., in memory or on storage device 110 of FIG. 1). The user may also prioritize movies when they are bookmarked (e.g., High, Medium, or Low) using priority option 1208. The bookmark list may be displayed to the user (optionally in priority order) at any time so that the user may see a list of bookmarked movies. The user may select any movie in the displayed bookmark list to obtain more information about the movie, view the movie page associated with the movie, or automatically display the movie in full-screen.
  • In some embodiments, movies in the bookmark list may be automatically added to the “On Now” movie list when the movies are available within the media system. If the movie is already on the bookmark list (or is on the recently watched list), add bookmark option 1210 may change to “Delete”.
  • The movie page may also include other actions such as record, view other air times, and lock (to create a parental control lock). In some embodiments, the movie page may also include a mail feature. For example, mail display screen 1300 of FIG. 13 shows such a mail feature. Overlay 1304 may be displayed after the user selects send option 1302 on the movie page. This overlay allows the user to send a movie to someone on the user's friends list. For example, the user may send a recommendation to the friend or friends listed in send to list 1306. The user may also associate a new rating with the movie prior to sending the movie using rating option 1308. After the movie is sent, it may be automatically added to the friend's own movie list. In some embodiments, just a recommendation of the movie is sent. In other embodiments, the actual movie itself is sent to the friend or friends included in send to list 1306. For example, as shown in FIG. 21, a user may associate a network address or other contact information with each friend. The movie may also be optionally compressed and/or encrypted before being sent. For example, in some embodiments, the movie is sent as an MPEG-2 or H.264/MPEG-4 AVC video file. The movie may be sent over the media system or over an external network (e.g., the Internet or a proprietary cellular data network). Instead of sending the actual movie file, a recommendation may be sent to the friend or friends listed in send to list 1306. The user may associate a rating with the recommendation using user rating option 1308. The mail action may also be used to buy the friend a viewing of the movie (i.e., a movie gift). For example, some movies may be associated with a surcharge, such as an on-demand or pay-per-view movie. After the user sends the friend the movie gift, the friend's account may be automatically credited with a single viewing credit so that the friend may, for example, order the movie free of charge. The viewing credit may be available to view any movie associated with a surcharge or only the particular recommended movie.
  • In some embodiments, the movie finder may include a movie planner feature. FIG. 14 shows movie planner display screen 1400. The movie planner may allow users to find movies they may be interested in at some point in the future. The system may support individual movie planners, such as the planner shown in the example of FIG. 14, for each household member. Each movie planner may include a planning list, which includes movies that are, or might be, upcoming and which the user has not yet evaluated. Once a user has evaluated the movie, it may be removed from the planner list and never show up on the list again. While highlighting a movie entry in this list, for example, entry 1406, the interactive media guidance application may display single-button options to delete and to bookmark the movie. The user may also select a movie to see the movie page associated with the movie. This list may be presented in listing or box cover format. The user may be allowed to sort the list in various ways, such as alphabetically, when available, when it expires (if known), or by star rating.
  • The movie planner list may be combined from several sources. For example, the sources may include all movies in the next two weeks' broadcast schedule. The broadcast schedule may include free and PPV movies. The sources may also include all VOD movies. VOD movies may include free VOD movies, pay VOD movies, and VOD movies carried by a specific programmer. The sources may also include movies that are known to be upcoming in the next month or two, both linear and on-demand, movies that are in the theaters or have recently been in the theaters, or any other source. In some embodiments, each movie will only be shown once in the movie planner list, regardless of the number of times it is scheduled or whether it is available via both broadcast and on-demand.
  • As shown in the example of FIG. 14, movie entry 1406 includes an identification of the source of the movie (e.g., the channel, such as HBO), the name of the movie in name area 1402, and movie flags, such as bookmarked flag 1404. A user may select any movie entry in the movie planner list to toggle the movie's bookmarked status or mark the movie for deletion from the movie planner list. For example, the user may highlight any movie on the list and press “OK” on an input device (e.g., input device 108 of FIG. 1). The icon next to the movie title may toggle between no icon, bookmark (or high/medium/low priority bookmark), and delete. The next time the planning list is displayed, any movies with “Delete” or “Bookmark” icons may no longer be shown on the list because the user has already evaluated these movies.
  • The movie finder may also include a movie search feature. This search feature is a full-featured search of all movie databases. It may include movies that are not currently scheduled on broadcast channels or on-demand. The results of a movie search may be displayed as a list of movies (not shown) matching the search criteria. The list of search results may be sorted or filtered by any suitable criteria (e.g., by start time, duration, rating, or alphabetically by title).
  • In a switched digital video system, a switched digital video manager (or other network manager or monitoring utility) may keep track of how many users are watching each switched channel. In some embodiments, an entity (either at the headend or local to the set-top) filters this list to isolate those channels that correspond to movies and uses this filtered list to provide a popularity indication of movies that are currently being viewed. In some embodiments, these viewed movies are correlated to other movies that may not presently be available and all of this information may be used, at least in part, in the determination of movies to recommend to the user or add to a movie list. In some embodiments, a video-on-demand server may monitor requests for individual movies, and this information may be used, at least in part, in the determination of movies to recommend to the user or to add to a movie list. In some embodiments, the interactive media guidance application may keep track of interactions involving movies, including requests to watch, purchase, record, bookmark or rate movies. This information may be collected centrally and may be used in the determination of movies to recommend to the user or to add to a movie list.
  • The user may select any movie from the search results list to view the movie page for the movie, bookmark the movie, or perform other suitable actions (e.g., order, record, or add to a favorite movies list). The movie finder may search based on title, actor, director, producer, and other credits, detailed description, genre, MPAA or TV ratings, star rating, free/pay, current availability, or any other fields as appropriate.
  • In some embodiments, a “top movies” list is maintained by the interactive media guidance application or the switched digital video manager. The top movies list may include the movies with the most access requests or the movies allocated for the longest period of time within the switched digital video group.
  • The top movies list may also include the movies with the most requests from a video-on-demand server. The top movies list may also include movies which have been most viewed, recorded, bookmarked, or highly rated by other viewers in the network. For example, a “Top 20” movie list may be created and displayed to the user so that the user may see what movies are popular within some local geographic or demographic group.
  • Additionally or alternatively, third-party popularity statistics may be used to supplement or replace the network statistics. For example, Nielson designated market area (DMA) ratings, Nielson Television Activity Report (NTAR) data (both from Nielson Media Research), or any other suitable popularity or activity ratings may be made available on a supplemental data source (e.g., supplemental data source 120 of FIG. 1). As another example, box office revenues may be used to determine popularity. These custom ratings and popularity statistics may be provided by third-party vendors or by the network or cable operator itself. Such statistics may give an indication of what movies are highly viewed by television viewers in a local geographic region or by a particular demographic of viewers (e.g., children or teenagers).
  • The movie finder may also include a bookmark list for each household member, one for the entire household, or a combination of the two. FIG. 15 shows bookmark list display screen 1500 for an individual user. The bookmark list is a list of all movies that have been bookmarked by the user at any time (and which have not been viewed). The list may also include movies bookmarked automatically by the interactive media guidance application. For example, the interactive media guidance application may automatically tag or bookmark movies of potential interest to the user based at least in part on the user's profile information (e.g., the user's movie viewing preferences and user ratings). The user may navigate a cursor to select any item on the list, such as item 1502. After an item is selected, the user may view its associated movie page, change its bookmark options, or remove it from the list. The bookmark list may also include an indication of the next date and/or time the movie may be viewed in availability area 1504. The list may be sorted, for example, based on the priority assigned by the user. Bookmark options may include priority (from “must see soon” to “may be interested”), pay/free (willingness to pay to see), or any other criteria for sorting the list.
  • The movie finder feature may allow the interactive media guidance application to prefetch or automatically record movies on a user's bookmark list (or which match the user's movie preference and ratings) as soon as they become available. The interactive media guidance application may prefetch or automatically record certain movies even absent an express user instruction to do so. The system may allocate a section of storage device 110 (FIG. 1) (e.g., a DVR hard drive) for prefetching or automatically recording movies. The amount of disk space used for prefetching may be configurable by the user or the system. There may be separate disk areas for prefetching for each user, or there may be a single prefetch area shared by all users. The allocation may be changed or may remain fixed over time. The system may monitor the schedule for movies that may be of interest that are available when there is a free tuner. Such movies may include bookmarked movies and movies that match the user's movie viewing preferences. Bookmarked movies with higher priorities may be prefeteched or automatically recorded before bookmarked movies with lower priorities. Prefetched movies may be deleted at any time to make room for other movies of higher interest. As such, the “keep” priority of prefetched movies may be set to the lowest possible priority in some embodiments. An asset's keep priority may determine the order in which content is overwritten on a storage device to make room for other content (e.g., newer content). Content with lower keep priorities may be overwritten before content with higher keep priorities. If a movie is ignored for a certain period of time (e.g., not accessed by the user within some user-configurable amount of time), it may also be removed from the prefetch area. In some embodiments, prefetched movies may also show up as entries in the user's movie list. For example, movie list display screen 400 (FIG. 4) may include all prefetched movies. In other embodiments, the user is not notified when movies are prefetched. However, if and when the user actually requests to view or access the movie, the prefetched version may be automatically accessed or displayed. A prefetched movie may be automatically deleted after it has been viewed.
  • In some embodiments, each household member may customize the movie finder. Customizable fields may include the individual name for the display configuration (e.g., the name of the household member). Customizable fields may also include preferred settings for different movie format options, along with an indication of whether it is a required setting (i.e., a mandatory movie list criteria) or just a preference. The options may include audio language, subtitle presence, subtitle language, SD, HD, or H.264 format, widescreen/letterbox or normal, closed caption, Dolby Digital, MPAA rating and advisory limits (which may be controlled by a PIN number), and minimum user or editorial star rating. In some embodiments, it may be useful to allocate a percentage of the prefetch area to each household member, although if a program is recorded or prefetched for more than one user, only one copy may be stored on storage device 110 (FIG. 1).
  • Each user profile may also be assigned a PIN. If a PIN is assigned, the user's profile cannot be accessed without first entering the PIN. For example, FIG. 16 shows users display screen 1600. Users display screen 1600 list all the users with profiles established on the system. To add a new user, an authorized user (e.g., an administrator) may select add user option 1602. After selecting add user option 1602, the administrator may set the name or handle of the user, the user's PIN, the user's access level, and various user profile settings. An administrator (or an authorized user) may view and edit a user's profile by selecting any user in users display screen 1600 (e.g., user 1604). A PIN may be required to view or edit another user's profile.
  • After selecting a user in users display screen 1600, user profile display screen 1700 of FIG. 17 may be displayed for the selected user. From user profile display screen 1700, the user's profile may be deleted, renamed, or updated using delete profile option 1702, rename profile option 1704, and settings option 1706. After selecting favorites option 1708, a listing of the user's favorite movies and movie classifications may be displayed. For example, these movies may include movies added to the user's favorite movies list. These movies may also include all bookmarked movies, movies the user has given a certain rating (e.g., at least four stars), or any combination of the aforementioned movies. Classifications may include any specific movie genre, actor, director, or any other suitable movie attribute that the user may choose to rate. To create, change, or remove a user's PIN, the user may select PIN option 1710. The function of PIN option 1710 may change depending on the current PIN status of the selected user. For example, if no PIN is currently set for the user, the option may allow the user to create a PIN. If a PIN is set, the user may change the PIN, reset the PIN, or remove the PIN, depending on the user's access level.
  • In some embodiments, a user may select, from display screen 1700, an option to copy another user's profile to the current user's profile or use a pre-built system profile as the user's own profile (or use it as a starting seed from which the user can create his or her own profile). The user may also specify an optional duration (e.g., one week) that the new profile should be used as the user's own profile. For example, a collection of pre-built profiles for celebrities and popular actors may be made available on a supplemental data source (e.g., supplemental data source 120 of FIG. 1). A user may view a list of available pre-built profiles and view the settings and user ratings stored within any profile. If the user likes a profile's settings, the user may select to copy or replace the user's current profile with the selected pre-built profile. A backup of the user's current profile may be saved to the user equipment so that the user's current profile can be restored after the user-configurable duration has expired. This may allow a user to use, for example, Tom Cruise's user profile in place of the user's own profile for any suitable amount of time. The interactive media guidance application may then recommend movies Tom Cruise would like to the user. The recommendations may be based in whole or in part on Tom Cruise's profile. The interactive media guidance application may also populate the user's movie list based on the settings and preferences included in Tom Cruise's profile.
  • Instead of selecting a pre-built profile, the user may also select to use the profile of any other user in the system. As a user watches and rates more movies, the user's profile becomes more personalized and refined. A user may select the profile of any other user (e.g., a friend) and use the profile of the selected other user as the user's own profile (or use it as a starting seed from which the user can create his or her own profile). These profiles may be stored on a supplemental data source (e.g., supplemental data source 120 of FIG. 1). An indication of the age of the profile (e.g., the number of days since the profile was created or the number of rated movies in the profile) may also be displayed to the user. In this way, the age of the profile may be an indication of the accuracy of the profile to predict or recommend movies of actual interest to the profile's owner. User profiles may also be modular in nature and portable to other user equipment devices. As shown in FIG. 23 below, each user profile may take a standardized format with a series of mandatory and optional fields. The mandatory fields may include all the basic movie viewing preferences. The optional fields may include specific movie and category ratings. The interactive media guidance application may download and save any user profile locally to the user equipment device (e.g., on storage device 110) upon request by a user.
  • After selecting settings option 1706, the user may update or define one or more movie viewing preferences or profile settings. For example, settings display screen 1800 of FIG. 18 lists some common profile settings. Using maximum movie rating option 1802, the user may set the “most adult” MPAA or TV rating allowed for movies in the movie list. Using minimum star rating 1804, the user may set the lowest user (or editorial) rating for movies in the movie list. As shown in the example of FIG. 18, the user has selected that only movies with the MPAA rating of PG-13 or lower and movies with a user or editorial rating of at least two stars should be included in the movie list.
  • The user may also associate one or more favorite movie critics with the user's profile using favorite critic option 1806. The favorite critic selected in favorite critic option 1806 may control which star ratings are displayed and what movies are automatically added to the user's movie list based on critic ratings. As previously described, favorite critics may be manually selected by the user or automatically selected by the interactive media guidance application. Prefetch option 1808 allows the user to specify whether prefetching of movies of potential interest is enabled. HD option 1810 determines whether the interactive media guidance application should automatically use the high-definition (HD) version of the movie (if available) for all movie list and movie finder operations (including prefetching). Options for HD option 1810 may include “Never,” “If Available,” “Based on available space,” and “Always.” Other format options may also be included, such as language, subtitles, widescreen, closed captioning, and various versions of Dolby Digital sound. Additional settings may be displayed and updated by scrolling down in settings display screen 1800 or pressing an appropriate button on input device 108 (FIG. 1).
  • For example, a user may set a maximum access price (e.g., only free movies) for movies in the movie list. This maximum access price may be stored in the user's profile. When the user bookmarks a movie, the interactive media guidance application may automatically search for a version of the bookmarked movie meeting the maximum access price preference. Only movies matching the maximum access price preference may be displayed in a bookmark list, such as bookmarks display screen 1500 of FIG. 15, or the movie list.
  • FIG. 19 shows recent movies display screen 1900 displaying the recent movies list. The recent movies list may include movies that have been viewed by the user in the past “few” days (e.g., two weeks or one month). The user may select any movie from this list (e.g., movie 1902) and rate it after viewing the movie or send a recommendation (or the actual movie itself) to a friend. Access date 1904 may list the date of last access of the movie or the date the user last completed watching the movie.
  • In some embodiments, after a movie is watched, the movie may be removed from the bookmark list and added to the recent movies list for some period of time. There may be a separate recent movies list for each household member. The user may delete any movie from this list. The interactive media guidance application may keep a running list of all bookmarked and recently watched programs for the user to review at any time. This may allow the user to see if any of the user's bookmarked or previously viewed movies that the user liked are currently available to be watched. The user may select a movie from the list, view the movie page for a movie in the list, and associate a rating with the movie (or update its current rating, if available).
  • As previously described, the user may also rate a movie, for example, from zero to four stars (or any other suitable ratings system). As shown in FIG. 20, a list of all movies rated by the user (positively or negatively) may be displayed to the user in rated movies display screen 2000. The user may select any rated movie in the list (e.g., movie 2002) and change its rating. As shown in the example of FIG. 20, movie 2002 is currently associated with single thumbs up user rating 2004.
  • If desired, the interactive media guidance application may also provide a favorite actors list, a favorite genres list, etc. for the user. These additional lists may include specific movie attributes that the user has rated. The user may also tie the rating to one or more movie attributes such as, for example, actor or genre. The user may also manually enter in favorite actors or genres. In some embodiments, movies may be added to the movie list for the user based on the selection of a favorite critic and that critic's star ratings. In some embodiments, the user may also be a critic, and the ratings for the “user” critic may be collected from the audience of users. The user's movie ratings may be made available to other users in the media system (e.g., media system 100 of FIG. 1), and other users remote from the local user may use the user's ratings as criteria for determining which movies are included in their own movie lists.
  • The movie finder application provides several opportunities for increasing viewership using community buzz. As described above, each user's ratings may be made available to other users. For example, the movie page may include an average star rating assigned by other users (all users, users in my geographical area, users in my demographic or ethnographic group, users in my list of friends, or any other suitable subset of users). Users may also enter text comments that can be made available to other viewers. As also described above, in some embodiments, users may send a link to, or recommendation for, movies that the user liked to other users (e.g., another person in another household or another user at another location).
  • FIG. 21 shows friends display screen 2100. Friends may be added to the movie finder friends list by selecting add friend option 2102. A user's movie recommendations (or the actual movie itself) may be sent to one or more friends on the user's friends list. As shown in the example of FIG. 21, the friends list may include a name, nickname, or handle of each friend in name area 2104 and contact information for each friend (if known) in address area 2106. In some embodiments, the interactive media guidance application uses the contact information in address area 2106 in sending movie recommendations (or the actual movies themselves). The user may associate any network contact information, including cellular telephone number, email address, network address (e.g., IP address), user equipment identification number, or any other suitable network identifier, with each friend in the user's friend list. This contact information may then be saved to any suitable data structure (e.g., a database table) associated with the user's profile or in the user's profile.
  • In some embodiments, a group of users may create a user group, community group, or affinity group. For example, a user and the user's friends may create a group in which the user and the user's friends may share what movies they are watching and their ratings and comments. FIG. 22 shows groups display screen 2200, which includes a number of user, community, and affinity groups. In some embodiments, the interactive media guidance application may automatically create affinity groups of people with similar interests. For example, all viewers that selected a certain critic as a favorite may be grouped together. Any user in this group can see the average star ratings of others in the group, along with a selection of user comments. When the viewer belongs to a user group or an affinity group, the user may access a screen that lists movies recently viewed by other members of the group, along with average star ratings. In some embodiments, the system may include affinity groups that are created editorially. These editorially-created affinity groups may be associated with movies selected by a list owner who may not be an individual user.
  • The user may select any group in groups display screen 2200 (e.g., group 2202) to view more information about the group. The user may also press the “OK” button (or other suitable button) on input device 108 (FIG. 1) in order to join (or un-join) any group in the list. Icon 2204 may indicate that the user is currently joined or subscribed to the group. If the user is a member of the group, then movies that are associated with (or recommended by) the group may be automatically added to the user's movie list. The user can also press the “INFO” button (or any other suitable button) to see the current list of movie recommendations from the group (and optionally a list of current members).
  • The movie finder provides numerous opportunities for targeted advertising because of the level of personalization. For example, advertisements for movies may be presented simultaneously with any movie finder display screen (e.g., in a PIG window). Advertisements may be targeted based on any information in the user's profile, including the user's movie viewing preferences, group membership, and movie access history. Advertisements may also be targeted based on separate demographic information about individual household members, for example, when they are looking at user-specific recommendations in the movie list or watching the actual movies themselves. Targeted advertisements for movies and other programming, as well as targeted advertisements for products and services, may be provided.
  • The advertisements may be delivered to the user equipment device and stored locally in an advertisement database on storage device 110 (FIG. 1). In some embodiments, advertisements are correlated with specific categories or genres of movies the user is interested in (or has rated highly). For example, a user who likes sports-themed movies (e.g., because the user has rated a number of sports genre movies highly, subscribed to a sports-related affinity group, or watched a predetermined number of sports-related movies) may match a sports-coded advertisement database. An identification of the advertisement database match may be saved to the user's profile. The advertisements from this database may relate, for example, to sporting events, sports programming, and other sports-related products and services. The interactive media guidance application may cycle through all the advertisements in the database or select a random advertisement from the database each time a movie finder display screen is accessed. In this way, the user is presented with highly-personalized advertisements each time a movie finder display screen is displayed. A single user may match multiple advertisement databases, in which case the interactive media guidance application may select an advertisement from all the advertisements in all the matched advertisement databases and simultaneously display the advertisement in any display screen described herein.
  • Additionally or alternatively, advertisements may be stored in databases at a third-party data source (e.g., supplemental data source 120 of FIG. 1). The interactive media guidance application may access the third-party data source each time a new targeted advertisement is requested by the movie finder application. Advertisements may be sent to the user equipment device on any suitable data path or data stream. For example, in some embodiments a dedicated advertisement data stream (e.g., an IP stream) is used to send advertisements to the user equipment device. Advertisements may include text, graphics, video, and interactive elements. For example, an interactive survey for an upcoming movie may be presented to the user as an advertisement. The survey might ask the user how much the user likes the plot, title, or any other content element of up-coming movie. The user may also indicate how likely the user will be to actually watch or order the movie (e.g., watch the movie at a movie theater or order the movie on-demand). The user may submit the user's selections by pressing a suitable key on an input device (e.g., input device 108 of FIG. 1).
  • The advertisements for products and programming may also be interactive. For example, the user may navigate a cursor from any of the movie finder display screens to an advertisement within the display screen. After highlighting the advertisement, the user may select the advertisement using an input device (e.g., input device 108 of FIG. 1) in order to automatically invoke any media guidance application function related to the advertisement. For example, the interactive media guidance application may auto-tune the user to the advertised programming, order the advertised programming, add the advertised programming to a favorites list, add the advertised programming to a movie list, schedule the advertised programming for recording, or any other suitable function. Ordering or purchasing information about an advertised product or service may also be displayed. For example, a website may be displayed to the user in place of the advertisement window (or in the main window) after the user selects a targeted advertisement.
  • FIG. 23A shows default user profile 2300, and FIG. 23B shows custom user profile 2310. Although both default user profile 2300 and custom user profile 2310 are shown in the example of FIGS. 23A and 23B as XML files, any other suitable format of storing user profiles may be used in other embodiments. XML files are used at least in some embodiments to simplify transmission and processing of the user profiles. In other embodiments, user profiles may be stored as tables in a relational database (and optionally converted to XML format for transmission). Any other suitable data structure may be used to store user profiles in other embodiments.
  • As previously described, user profiles may include mandatory fields and optional fields. Mandatory fields may include the most basic movie viewing preferences (e.g., movie duration and rating). Optional fields may include a number of movie preferences supplied by the user (or automatically chosen by the interactive media guidance application based on user viewing history and active user monitoring). These optional fields may include, for example, one or more favorite genres, subgenres, actors, directors, or any other suitable movie attribute. Optional fields may also include user ratings of specific movies. From the user ratings, the interactive media guidance application may automatically select a favorite genre, subgenre, actor, director, or any other suitable movie attribute for the user. For example, if the user consistently rates action movies with Tom Cruise starring in the movie with five stars, the interactive media guidance application may add Tom Cruise to the user's profile as a favorite actor and add the action genre to the user's profile as a favorite genre. From the user ratings, the interactive media guidance application may also automatically match the user with other users and critics who have similar ratings. An identification of these other users and critics may then be saved to the user's profile as the user's favorite users and critics.
  • As shown in FIG. 23A, default user profile 2300 includes filename 2302, which may identify the default profile. Body 2304 of default user profile 2300 may include an identification of the default profile settings. As shown in the example of default user profile 2300, default viewing preferences may include the minimum (i.e., least adult) rating of the movie, the maximum (i.e., most adult) rating of the movie, the minimum length of the movie, the maximum length of the movie, whether premium movies associated with an additional charge should be included, and the window for the default movie list. As shown in FIG. 23A, the default movie list includes movies starting now (i.e., at the current time) or within 30 minutes of the current time.
  • One or more additional time windows for one or more additional movie lists may also be defined in the default profile. As described above, a user may be interested in viewing a movie list of movies available tonight. In lieu of time windows relative to the current time, absolute and/or periodic time windows may also be defined. For example, a movie list of each night's movies (e.g., starting between 5 PM to 11 PM each night) may also be defined. The movies lists may be named and made available to all users of the user equipment device.
  • As shown in FIG. 23B, user profile 2310 includes filename 2312, which may uniquely identify the user profile. Body 2314 of user profile 2310 may include custom viewing preferences, settings, ratings, and movie list windows created by or associated with the owner of the profile. User ratings for specific movies may be identified using a program identifier and rating (e.g., 1 to 5 stars). User profile 2310 may be stored locally on the user equipment device that the user created the profile. In addition, user profile 2310 may also be stored on a network location (e.g., supplemental data source 120 of FIG. 1) so that other users in the media system may access and/or view the profile, if authorized. As an added benefit, storing user profile 2310 on a network location allows the profile to be “roaming.” For example, a user may access or login to another user equipment device within the media system. After logging in, the user's custom profile may be downloaded to the local user equipment device that the user is logged into. The interactive media guidance application may then apply the downloaded profile to the user's viewing session so that the user may utilize all the movie finder functionality as if the user were on the user's home user equipment.
  • When a new user is created, the default profile may be copied as the user's base profile. A setup wizard may then automatically launch, prompting the user to specify some common movie viewing preferences. In this way, the user's profile may be at least minimally personalized to the user. The setup wizard may also educate the user as to the most common movie finder features and provide an interactive tutorial.
  • FIGS. 24, 25, 26A, 26B, 26C, and 26D show illustrative processes for performing various movie finder functions. Some of the processes may be manually executed by the user, and some of the processes may be automatically executed by the interactive media guidance application. In some embodiments, certain movie finder processes execute continuously on their own application thread. For example, the total scores and ratings may be continuously updated as new information becomes available by an application thread or agent. In this way, an up-to-date movie list may be always available for display.
  • FIG. 24 shows illustrative process 2400 for displaying an interactive movie list to the user. At step 2402, interactive media guidance application data is read for the current movie list window. For example, using overlay 702 (FIG. 7) a user may set the window for the default “on now” movie list. This window may be any suitable length of time starting from the current time. As previously described, custom movie lists for other time periods may also be available. These time periods need not start at the current time. For example, a “this evening's” movie list may be defined that includes movies available each evening (e.g., from 5 PM to 11 PM).
  • At step 2404, user profile data may be read. For example, some or all of the information stored in user profile 2310 may be read at step 2404. This information may include the user's movie viewing preferences, movie criteria, and the user's favorite genres, subgenres, actors, directors, and any other suitable information. It may also include various user ratings of specific movies. At step 2406, the user profile data may be compared to the media guidance application data. For example, the user's favorite genres may be compared to the genres of movies associated with received media guidance application data.
  • At step 2408, interactive media guidance application 106 (FIG. 1) may determine if any movies accessible or starting within the movie list window meet or exceed some predefined threshold. For example, as shown in table 200, the movies with the top eleven total scores are included in the movie list. New movies with a greater score than any of these eleven movies may exceed the threshold. The interactive media guidance application may also compare a plurality of content attributes (such as genre, actor, rating, etc.). If more than a specified number of these content attributes match the user's movie viewing preferences, the movie may qualify for inclusion in the movie list.
  • At step 2410, the movie list is updated to include any movies accessible or starting within the movie list window that meet or exceed the movie list criteria. At step 2412, the movies in the movie list may then be prioritized, or ranked. For example, if the ranking scheme is by total score, the interactive media application may read total score column 208 of table 200 (FIG. 2) in order to rank the movies in the movie list. Movies may also be ranked based on a number of other factors. For example, in some embodiments the movies may be ranked by start time (more recent start times first). In other embodiments, some blended ranking scheme may be used.
  • After the movies are ranked at step 2412, an interactive movie list may be displayed to the user at step 2414. For example, the list may be presented in box cover form, as shown in the example of FIG. 4. The movie list may also be presented in a bar or banner form along any edge of the display screen, or as a textual listing screen. The interactive movie list display allows a user to quickly preview movies of high interest to the user that are currently accessible or starting soon within the media system. As previously described, after a user selects a movie entry in the displayed movie list (or movie list toolbar), any suitable media guidance function may be invoked. For example, the selected movie may be automatically tuned on a foreground or background tuner, the movie may be automatically accessed and displayed in full-screen or in a PIP window, the movie may be automatically ordered, the movie may be automatically scheduled for recording, a reminder or a bookmark may be set for the movie, the movie may be added to a favorite movies list, or any combination of the aforementioned actions may be automatically performed.
  • In practice, one or more steps shown in process 2400 may be combined with other steps, performed in any suitable order, performed in parallel (e.g., simultaneously or substantially simultaneously), or removed.
  • FIG. 25 shows illustrative process 2500 for dynamically updating a movie list. As previously mentioned, the movie lists may be updated continuously or periodically as new movies become accessible within the media system. For example, since some movies (e.g., broadcast television movies) typically start and end on the hour or half-hour, movie lists may be automatically updated every 30 minutes on the half-hour in some embodiments. In other embodiments, movie lists may be updated continuously by an agent running in the background on the user equipment device. In some embodiments, the movie list may be updated just before it is to be displayed.
  • At step 2502, the user-configurable movie list window may be read. For example, the user may set a configurable movie list window via a movie list settings display screen, such as the display screen shown in FIG. 7. The movie list window may define the user's preference relating to the length of time a movie may be starting in the future and still qualify for inclusion in the “on now” movie list. Typically, the movie list window will be short (e.g., less than 30 minutes), but any suitable window may be selected by the user. In addition, custom windows may be defined for custom movie lists that are not based on the current time. For example, as described above, a weekend or Friday evening movie list may be defined.
  • At step 2504, interactive media guidance application 106 (FIG. 1) may determine what movies are starting now or starting within the user-configurable movie list window. For example, media guidance application data may be read at step 2504 to determine the scheduled start time of movies available within media system 100 (FIG. 1). Some movies, such as VOD and recorded movies, may be always accessible. An identification of these movies may be indexed and stored locally on user equipment device 102 (e.g., on storage device 110 of FIG. 1) or on a network storage device. If interactive media guidance application 106 (FIG. 1) determines, at step 2506, that new movies are starting or available within the movie list window, the movie list ratings for the newly accessible movies may be calculated at step 2508. If no new movies are accessible within the media system at step 2506, illustrative process 2500 may return to step 2502.
  • After the new movie list ratings are calculated at step 2508, interactive media guidance application 106 (FIG. 1) may then compare the calculated movie list ratings to the movie list ratings of the movies currently in the movie list at step 2510. For example, the movie list ratings may be stored in a suitable data structure, such as total score column 208 of table 200 (FIG. 2). Because the new movie list ratings may require a change in the movie list, at step 2512 interactive media guidance application 106 (FIG. 1) may determine if such a change is needed. If such a change is needed, the movie list may be updated at step 2514. For example, one or more of the new movie list ratings calculated at step 2508 may be higher than the movie list ratings of content selections in the current movie list. If the movie list is set at a fixed size, movies with the lowest ratings may be removed from the movie list while new entries with higher movie list ratings are added. In addition, the movie list may need to be re-prioritized based on the new entries. Illustrative process 2500 may be repeated continuously or at regular intervals in order to support a dynamic movie list that always includes content of interest that is currently accessible within the media system (or accessible within the user-configurable movie list window) at any given moment.
  • In practice, one or more steps shown in process 2500 may be combined with other steps, performed in any suitable order, performed in parallel (e.g., simultaneously or substantially simultaneously), or removed.
  • FIGS. 26A, 26B, 26C, and 26D show illustrative process 2600 for displaying and supporting a movie page for a movie list entry. At step 2602, the interactive movie list may be displayed to the user. For example, the movie list shown in FIG. 4 may be displayed. At step 2604, interactive media guidance application 106 (FIG. 1) may determine if the user has selected an entry within the displayed movie list. For example, the user may move a cursor or cell highlight to a desired movie within the movie list and press an “OK” button (or any other suitable button) on an input device (e.g., input device 108 of FIG. 1).
  • If the user selects a movie in the movie list at step 2604, any number of actions may be automatically performed. For example, in some embodiments, a screen of additional information is displayed at step 2606. The screen of additional information may be similar to movie page display screen 800 (FIG. 8). In addition to displaying the movie page, the movie may be automatically tuned (but not displayed) on a background tuner at step 2608. This allows faster access to the movie, if and when the user actually requested to view the movie. Pretuning the movie also allows for advanced media controls (e.g., pause and rewind) to be immediately performed on the movie because the movie will have been already buffered by interactive media guidance application 106 (FIG. 1).
  • As shown in FIG. 8, from the movie page the user may perform numerous actions related to the selected movie. If the user selects to rate the movie at step 2610, a user ratings overlay may be displayed at step 2612. For example, user ratings overlay 1004 (FIG. 10) may be displayed. From the user ratings overlay, the user may associate a user rating with the movie (e.g., one to five stars, thumb up/thumbs down, multiple thumb up/thumbs down, or a custom rating). As previously described, the user may associate a holistic rating with the movie or rate individual categories or components of the movie. For example, the user may rate the performance of each actor or rate each scene in the movie at step 2612. The user may also independently specify a rating for any classification of the movie. At step 2614, the user ratings may be saved to the user profile of each user rating the movie. For example, as shown in overlay 1004 (FIG. 10), one or more users may be associated with the rating. This allows a batch user rating function to be performed for multiple users.
  • Illustrative process 2600 continues in FIG. 26B. At step 2616, interactive media guidance application 106 (FIG. 1) may determine if the user has selected to view movie details. For example, the user may select movie details button 902 (FIG. 9). If the user has selected to view movie details, at step 2618 a supplemental data source may be accessed containing some or all of the movie details. For example, supplemental data source 120 (FIG. 1) may store reviews from critics, information on individual cast members, detailed parental control information, or any other user information. After accessing the movie details at step 2618, a list of detail sources may be displayed to the user at step 2620. For example, overlay 904 (FIG. 9) may be displayed to the user. The user may select any of the displayed sources in order to view the requested information.
  • At step 2622, interactive media guidance application 106 (FIG. 1) may determine if the user has selected to bookmark the movie. If the user has selected to bookmark the movie (e.g., the user has selected button 1202 of FIG. 12), a bookmark overlay may be displayed to the user at step 2624. For example, bookmark overlay 1204 (FIG. 12) may be displayed. The overlay may also allow the user to associate a priority with the bookmark. The priority may take the form of a numeric number or ranking, or the user may select from default priorities, including, for example, high, medium, and low priorities. At step 2626, the bookmark (and optionally its associated priority) may be saved to the profile of each user adding the bookmark. For example, the user may select multiple users in overlay 1204 (FIG. 12). This allows a batch bookmark function to be performed for the multiple users.
  • Illustrative process 2600 continues in FIG. 26C. At step 2628, interactive media guidance application 106 (FIG. 1) may determine if the user has selected to send the movie to a friend on the user's friends list. For example, the user may select send movie button 1302 (FIG. 13). At step 2630, interactive media guidance application 106 (FIG. 1) may then determine if the user has requested to send a recommendation for the movie, the movie itself, or a movie gift. The user may select one of these three options as a default sending preference in the user's profile.
  • If the user requests to send a movie recommendation, then interactive media guidance application 106 (FIG. 1) may store the recommendation on a suitable data source (e.g., data source 142 or supplemental data source 120, both of FIG. 1) for each identified friend in the recipient friend list at step 2632. The corresponding interactive media guidance application executing on each friend's user equipment device may then read the recommendation at step 2640 and automatically add the recommended movie to each friend's movie list. Instead of sending the movie recommendation to a data source, the recommendation may alternatively be sent directly to the friend's user equipment device (or external email address). For example, FIG. 21 shows an example friends list with external contact information.
  • If the user wishes to send a gift instead of a recommendation, at step 2633, the sending user's account may be automatically deducted the access price of the movie (plus an optional gift service fee). Then this amount may be credited to the friend's account at step 2638. The friend may also be notified of receipt of the gift at step 2642. For example, a prompt or overlay may identify the gifted movie, the identity of the sender of the gift, and the expiration date (if any) of the gift.
  • If the user wishes to send the movie itself, at step 2634, interactive media guidance application 106 (FIG. 1) may determine the supported movie formats. For example, contact information for the recipient friends may be read at step 2634. This contact information may be derived from a friends listing display screen, such as display screen 2100 (FIG. 21). Depending on the type of contact information (e.g., email address, set-top box address, or IP address) various movie formats may be available. The formats may include MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, and AVI formats as well as any other suitable formats.
  • At step 2636, a supported format is sent to each identified friend in the recipient list. The movie may be sent over media system 100 (FIG. 1) or over an external network. For example, the Internet or a cellular data network may be used to send the movies.
  • Illustrative process 2600 continues in FIG. 26D. At step 2644, interactive media guidance application 106 (FIG. 1) may determine if the user has selected to record the movie. For example, the user may select a record option from movie page display screen 800 (FIG. 8). If the user has selected to record the movie, the movie may be recorded or scheduled for recording at step 2646. If the movie is available within the network (e.g., as on on-demand movie), the movie may be accessed and saved locally to the user equipment device (e.g., the movie may be saved to storage device 110 of FIG. 1).
  • At step 2648, interactive media guidance application 106 (FIG. 1) may determine if the user has selected to view the movie. If the user has selected to view the movie, the output of the tuner already tuned to the movie may be displayed at step 2650. The movie may be displayed in full-screen or in a PIG or PIP window. In addition to displaying the movie, a targeted advertisement may be also be simultaneously displayed with the movie. At step 2652, the movie access may be logged to the profiles of each user watching the movie. For example, a user may specify who is currently watching the user equipment device using overlay 602 (FIG. 6). Since movie access may affect user profile scores for other content with similar characteristics, a record of all access requests may be saved to each watching user's profile.
  • At step 2654, the total scores of all movies accessible within any active movie list may be updated based on the new profile information. For example, one or more of the scores shown in table 200 (FIG. 2) may be recalculated based on the new user profile information. If the new scores necessitate a change in a movie list, the movie list is updated at step 2656.
  • In practice, one or more steps shown in process 2600 may be combined with other steps, performed in any suitable order, performed in parallel (e.g., simultaneously or substantially simultaneously), or removed.
  • The above described embodiments of the invention are presented for purposes of illustration and not of limitation, and the present invention is limited only by the claims which follow.

Claims (17)

  1. 1-34. (canceled)
  2. 35. A method for enhanced movie media guidance on a user equipment device, the method comprising:
    storing a plurality of user profiles at a user equipment device, wherein each user profile is associated with a different user and each user profile comprises at least one movie viewing preference;
    automatically determining which users are currently watching the user equipment device;
    accessing media guidance application data associated with a plurality of movies, the plurality of movies comprising movies either currently accessible by the user equipment device or accessible by the user equipment device within some predetermined length of time;
    comparing at least a portion of media guidance application data with the movie viewing preferences of each user currently watching the user equipment device; and
    displaying an interactive list of movie recommendations based, at least in part, on the comparison.
  3. 36. The method of claim 35 wherein automatically determining which users are currently watching the user equipment device comprises interrogating at least one passive RFID tag associated with a user watching the user equipment device.
  4. 37. The method of claim 36 wherein the at least one passive RFID tag comprises at least one subdermally implantable RFID tag.
  5. 38. The method of claim 35 wherein automatically determining which users are currently watching the user equipment device comprises reading at least one active RFID tag associated with a user watching the user equipment device.
  6. 39. The method of claim 35 wherein automatically determining which users are currently watching the user equipment device comprises discovering a Bluetooth network address or device name of a Bluetooth enabled device associated with a user watching the user equipment device.
  7. 40. The method of claim 39 further comprising:
    establishing a Bluetooth connection with the Bluetooth enabled device; and
    transferring a user profile to the user equipment device.
  8. 41. The method of claim 35 wherein automatically determining which users are currently watching the user equipment device comprises automatically establishing a wireless connection with a wireless device associated with a user watching the user equipment device.
  9. 42-75. (canceled)
  10. 76. A system for enhanced movie media guidance on a user equipment device, the system comprising:
    a display device;
    memory to store a plurality of user profiles, wherein each user profile is associated with a different user and each user profile comprises at least one movie viewing preference; and
    control circuitry configured to:
    automatically determine which users are currently watching the user equipment device;
    access media guidance application data associated with a plurality of movies, the plurality of movies comprising movies either currently accessible by the user equipment device or accessible by the user equipment device within some predetermined length of time;
    compare at least a portion of media guidance application data with the movie viewing preferences of each user currently watching the user equipment device; and
    display, on the display device, an interactive list of movie recommendations based, at least in part, on the comparison.
  11. 77. The system of claim 76 further comprising at least one passive RFID tag associated with a user watching the user equipment device, wherein the control circuitry is configured to automatically determine which users are currently watching the user equipment device by interrogating the at least one passive RFID tag.
  12. 78. The system of claim 77 wherein the at least one passive RFID tag comprises at least one subdermally implantable RFID tag.
  13. 79. The system of claim 76 further comprising at least one active RFID tag associated with a user watching the user equipment device, wherein the control circuitry is configured to automatically determine which users are currently watching the user equipment device by reading the at least one active RFID tag.
  14. 80. The system of claim 76 further comprising at least one Bluetooth enabled device associated with a user watching the user equipment device, wherein the control circuitry is configured to automatically determine which users are currently watching the user equipment device by discovering a Bluetooth network address or device name of the at least one Bluetooth enabled device.
  15. 81. The system of claim 80 wherein the control circuitry is further configured to:
    establish a Bluetooth connection with the Bluetooth enabled device; and
    transfer a user profile from the Bluetooth enabled device to the user equipment device.
  16. 82. The system of claim 76 further comprising at least one wireless device associated with a user watching the user equipment device, wherein the control circuitry is configured to automatically determine which users are currently watching the user equipment device by automatically establishing a wireless connection with the at least one wireless device.
  17. 83-135. (canceled)
US13758935 2006-07-31 2013-02-04 Systems and methods for providing custom movie lists Abandoned US20130167168A1 (en)

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US11888675 Active 2031-06-01 US8745661B2 (en) 2006-07-31 2007-07-31 Systems and methods for providing enhanced sports watching media guidance
US11888676 Active 2030-01-03 US8281341B2 (en) 2006-07-31 2007-07-31 Systems and methods for providing media guidance planners
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