US20150237390A1 - Mosaic program guide - Google Patents

Mosaic program guide Download PDF

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US20150237390A1
US20150237390A1 US14425502 US201214425502A US2015237390A1 US 20150237390 A1 US20150237390 A1 US 20150237390A1 US 14425502 US14425502 US 14425502 US 201214425502 A US201214425502 A US 201214425502A US 2015237390 A1 US2015237390 A1 US 2015237390A1
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program guide
channel
program
guide screen
multiple sections
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US14425502
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Anthony Louis Watters
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Thomson Licensing
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television, VOD [Video On Demand]
    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/47End-user applications
    • H04N21/482End-user interface for program selection
    • H04N21/4828End-user interface for program selection for searching program descriptors
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television, VOD [Video On Demand]
    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/43Processing of content or additional data, e.g. demultiplexing additional data from a digital video stream; Elementary client operations, e.g. monitoring of home network, synchronizing decoder's clock; Client middleware
    • H04N21/431Generation of visual interfaces for content selection or interaction; Content or additional data rendering
    • H04N21/4312Generation of visual interfaces for content selection or interaction; Content or additional data rendering involving specific graphical features, e.g. screen layout, special fonts or colors, blinking icons, highlights or animations
    • H04N21/4314Generation of visual interfaces for content selection or interaction; Content or additional data rendering involving specific graphical features, e.g. screen layout, special fonts or colors, blinking icons, highlights or animations for fitting data in a restricted space on the screen, e.g. EPG data in a rectangular grid
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television, VOD [Video On Demand]
    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/43Processing of content or additional data, e.g. demultiplexing additional data from a digital video stream; Elementary client operations, e.g. monitoring of home network, synchronizing decoder's clock; Client middleware
    • H04N21/44Processing of video elementary streams, e.g. splicing a video clip retrieved from local storage with an incoming video stream, rendering scenes according to MPEG-4 scene graphs
    • H04N21/4402Processing of video elementary streams, e.g. splicing a video clip retrieved from local storage with an incoming video stream, rendering scenes according to MPEG-4 scene graphs involving reformatting operations of video signals for household redistribution, storage or real-time display
    • H04N21/440263Processing of video elementary streams, e.g. splicing a video clip retrieved from local storage with an incoming video stream, rendering scenes according to MPEG-4 scene graphs involving reformatting operations of video signals for household redistribution, storage or real-time display by altering the spatial resolution, e.g. for displaying on a connected PDA
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television, VOD [Video On Demand]
    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/47End-user applications
    • H04N21/482End-user interface for program selection
    • H04N21/4821End-user interface for program selection using a grid, e.g. sorted out by channel and broadcast time
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television, VOD [Video On Demand]
    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/47End-user applications
    • H04N21/482End-user interface for program selection
    • H04N21/4823End-user interface for program selection using a channel name
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N5/00Details of television systems
    • H04N5/44Receiver circuitry
    • H04N5/445Receiver circuitry for displaying additional information
    • H04N5/44543Menu-type displays
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N5/00Details of television systems
    • H04N5/44Receiver circuitry
    • H04N5/445Receiver circuitry for displaying additional information
    • H04N5/44543Menu-type displays
    • H04N2005/44556Menu-type displays for programme selection

Abstract

Various implementations provide a block-based program guide screen. In one particular implementation, a request is received. The request is to present a program guide on a display. The program guide provides information about programs that are available on multiple channels. In response to receiving the request, a program guide screen is provided. At least a portion of the provided program guide screen is visually divided in both a horizontal direction and a vertical direction into multiple sections. The multiple sections each includes information about programs available on respective distinct channels. In another implementation, the program guide screen is generated and provided. In another implementation, a signal or signal structure includes a program guide screen section conveying the program guide screen.

Description

    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims the benefit of (i) U.S. provisional application No. 61/730,641, filed Nov. 28, 2012, and titled “Method and Apparatus for Auto-Tuning Program Guides”, (ii) PCT application No. PCT/US12/057166, filed Sep. 26, 2012, and titled “User Interfaces for Content Distribution Systems”, and (iii) PCT application No. PCT/US12/054744, filed Sep. 12, 2012, and titled “Method and Apparatus for QAM Modulator Channel Duplication”. The contents of each of these benefit applications are incorporated by reference herein for all purposes.
  • TECHNICAL FIELD
  • Implementations are described that relate to providing program guide information. Various particular implementations relate to providing program guides for a hospitality context.
  • BACKGROUND
  • Program guides are typically provided for most video distribution systems that provide a variety of programs for consumption on one or more available channels. The program guides provide information about the programming on the available channels. Users typically access a program guide to help make a viewing decision.
  • SUMMARY
  • According to a general aspect, a request is received. The request is to present a program guide on a display. The program guide provides information about programs that are available on multiple channels. In response to receiving the request, a program guide screen is provided. At least a portion of the provided program guide screen is visually divided in both a horizontal direction and a vertical direction into multiple sections. Each of the multiple sections includes information about programs available on respective distinct channels.
  • According to another general aspect, a program guide screen is generated. At least a portion of the program guide screen is visually divided in both a horizontal direction and a vertical direction into multiple sections. Each of the multiple sections includes information about programs available on respective distinct channels. A signal is provided that conveys the program guide screen.
  • According to another general aspect, a signal or signal structure includes a program guide screen section. The program guide screen section conveys a program guide screen for which at least a portion is visually divided in both a horizontal direction and a vertical direction into multiple sections. Each of the multiple sections includes information about programs available on respective distinct channels.
  • The details of one or more implementations are set forth in the accompanying drawings and the description below. Even if described in one particular manner, it should be clear that implementations may be configured or embodied in various manners. For example, an implementation may be performed as a method, or embodied as an apparatus, such as, for example, an apparatus configured to perform a set of operations or an apparatus storing instructions for performing a set of operations, or embodied in a signal. Other aspects and features will become apparent from the following detailed description considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings and the claims.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 provides a block diagram depicting an implementation of a system for providing program guides.
  • FIG. 2 provides a screen shot of a first implementation of a program guide.
  • FIG. 3 provides a screen shot of a second implementation of a program guide.
  • FIG. 4 provides a flow diagram of an implementation of a process for providing a program guide screen in response to receiving a request.
  • FIG. 5 provides a flow diagram of an implementation of a process for generating and providing a program guide screen.
  • FIG. 6 provides a screen shot of a third implementation of a program guide.
  • FIG. 7 provides a screen shot of an implementation of a banner providing program guide information for a current channel.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • Various implementations provide an alternative to a traditional program guide, with the alternative being aimed at the perceived needs of the average guest of a hotel or similar establishment. In various implementations, an alternative is provided to a traditional line-oriented program guide. The line-oriented program guide typically provides a view of programming for multiple hours, and frequently multiple days or weeks, into the future, with each channel occupying an entire line of the program guide. In contrast, various described implementations provide a mosaic-based approach that provides a navigable block-based listing.
  • A mosaic is used to refer to a display presentation that includes blocks, also referred to as tiles, with each block providing programming information for a separate channel. The mosaic display presentation generally includes multiple blocks in each of two directions, such as, for example, a horizontal direction and a vertical direction.
  • In several implementations, the block-based listing provides the following basic information that is typically desired by a user, such as, for example, a hotel guest, a student housing resident, or a senior living or assisted living resident:
      • Channel Number
      • Broadcaster Logo
      • What is playing “Now”
      • What is playing “Next”
  • Note that the information identifying what is playing “now” and “next” is provided, in several implementations, by the Program and System Information Protocol (“PSIP”) or another protocol for transmitting program information. PSIP is typically defined as the protocol used in the Advanced Television Systems Committee (“ATSC”) digital television system for carrying metadata about each channel in a broadcast Moving Picture Experts Group (“MPEG”) transport stream of a television (“TV”) station, and for publishing information about television programs so that viewers can select what to watch by title and description.
  • Navigation in various implementations uses the traditional arrow keys on a remote control. In various implementations, a user uses these keys to move a highlight box to a block of the mosaic that lists the program that the user wants to watch. The user then provides an input to immediately move to the channel that is showing the desired program. The input is, in various implementations, for example, an input provided through a remote control. Various implementations using a remote control allow the user to provide the input, for immediately moving to the highlighted channel, by allowing the user to press, for example, an “enter” key, a “go” key, or an “OK” key on the remote control.
  • Various implementations described in this application provide solutions that address one or more of a variety of problems. One such problem arises from the fact that many program guide systems need to be able to render a different guide for each room or TV at the property, at the same time. This problem arises, at least in part, due to the facts that (i) the system provides a guide that is oriented around the current channel being viewed, and (ii) the system does not know what channel will be the channel currently being viewed when the guest starts a guide search. To be able to provide a different guide for each TV requires large bandwidth and processing power at the headend in addition to back channel communication.
  • Various implementations described in this application address this problem by, for example, analyzing what pieces of information are most useful to the average user. Several such implementations allow a rendering of fewer guide pages because the guide is started at a selected set channel instead of at the channel to which the guest is tuned when the guest presses “guide” on the remote. This reduces both the bandwidth needed, as well as the processing power needed, at the headend. Two example renderings are discussed below with respect to FIGS. 2 and 3.
  • Various implementations also include video mosaics that display live video in a mosaic format with box navigation. Providing live video has certain advantages. However, particular implementations avoid the inclusion of live video in order, for example, to reduce bandwidth and processing power requirements, to reduce delays to the user, and/or to avoid the expense of additional headend equipment that is frequently needed to provide the video mosaic. Such delays arise, for example, because when the live video displays commercials the user cannot typically determine what program is playing on that channel and so must wait until the commercial is finished.
  • Referring to FIG. 1, a content distribution system 100 is provided. The system 100 is representative of many environments that include many more video display devices, such as, for example, TVs, than receivers. Hotels are a prime example of such an environment, but other examples include, without limitation, student housing, and senior living.
  • The system 100 includes a single receiver 110 and multiple TVs 120. The receiver 110 is part of the “headend” and is configured to send channel information to the TVs 120. Each of the TVs 120 is typically located in individual rooms at a facility such as a hotel or motel.
  • The system 100 includes a satellite receiver 130, and various implementations of the receiver 110 are capable of tuning and transcrypting up to 24 satellite channels. Transcrypting refers, for example, to receiving a signal and changing the modulation to be suitable for wide distribution, for example, with in a property (such as, for example, a hotel, a dormitory, and/or a campus environment). The satellite signal is tuned and demodulated in the receiver 110. The receiver 110 produces an MPEG-2 transport stream having packets, for example, user datagram protocol (“UDP”) packets. The packets contain data and video programming to be distributed. The transport stream is then IP-encapsulated using standard Internet protocols and Internet RFCs (Requests for Comment) and is sent out of the receiver 110 using an Ethernet interface.
  • The receiver 110 of various implementations also includes a processor and a memory (not shown). The processor is used to generate program guide still images that are provided as a program guide to the TVs 120. The processor of these implementations also updates the program guide still images regularly to reflect new programming information. The generated program guide still images are, in various implementations, stored in the memory.
  • The system 100 includes a modulator 140, which is also typically part of the headend. In various implementations, the modulator 140 is a Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (“QAM”) modulator, and the modulator 140 performs transcrypting. In several such implementations, the data leaving the receiver 110 is in a format suitable for input to an edge QAM device or for distribution on an IPTV network.
  • The distribution to an IPTV network is not shown in FIG. 1. However, in various implementations, the signal for an IPTV network is provided from the modulator 140 to a switched network through a converter that generates an IP signal from the signal provided by the modulator 140. Additionally, in many of these implementations, at the receiving end, another converter is typically used to convert the IP signal back to a signal that the TVs can use, or an IP tuner is used in the TVs.
  • In various implementations, the broadcast video encoding format (for example, MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 compression) is preserved for both QAM input and IPTV distribution. Additionally, the output transport stream is encrypted using any of a variety of different encryption standards, such as, for example, the Pro:Idiom encryption standard.
  • The modulator 140 modulates the MPEG-2 transport stream. In various implementations, the modulator 140 modulates the MPEG-2 transport stream on one of twelve carrier frequencies. Other implementations use a different number of carrier frequencies, either more or less, and even adaptable. The number of carrier frequencies does not limit the number of transport streams.
  • In typical implementations, each input stream corresponds to a program channel, which results in an output modulated channel. The output modulated channel is combined, by the modulator 140, with all other modulated channels provided from the modulator 140 and output over a coaxial cable distribution system 150, shown in FIG. 1 as a splitter, to each individual TV location.
  • FIG. 1 also includes a PC (personal computer) web browser 160. The web browser 160 is used for configuration of the receiver 110, as is typical in the art. Other implementations use a web browser that is in a device other than a personal computer, such as, for example, a cell phone or a tablet.
  • Although not shown in FIG. 1, some implementations include a set-top box with one or more of the TVs 120 in, for example, individual rooms. Such STBs are useful, for example, if the TV cannot process the received signal directly. This occurs, for example, if the TV cannot decrypt or decode the signal.
  • It is important to note that the pseudo-interactive guide is generated at the video distribution headend, which in FIG. 1 includes the receiver 110, and the modulator 140. Further, the guide is navigated at, for example, the individual TVs or set-top boxes. The user does not technically interact with a guide generated in the receiver 110. Guide navigation keys of, for example, a remote control, actually tune to sub-channels, for example, QAM sub-channels from the modulator 140, displaying guide data still images. Navigating the still images creates the illusion of an interactive guide for the user.
  • In other words, instead of generating an interactive guide interface within a receiver, every static image that is part of the guide is rendered in the headend. The headend distributes each guide still on a separate sub-channel to each of the receivers (for example, the TVs or set-top boxes).
  • The guide stills can be mapped across sub-channels in a predetermined, fixed manner, or the headend can direct the receivers (for example, the TVs or set-top boxes) to recognize the guide stills with, for example, channel identifiers or management services commands. After the mapping is determined, there is no need in various implementations for a back channel (providing communication from the receiver to the headend) for the receiver to navigate the guide. Additionally, changes to the guide data channel mapping can be communicated along the front channel from the headend. For example, if a program channel is re-mapped to another channel number, then the corresponding program guide still images would be recreated. The re-mapping would later be reflected to the user when the modified program guide still images are displayed in response to the user requesting program guide information. In various implementations, the creation of program guide still images is automated based on a received mapping.
  • When a user of an in-room receiver presses the “guide” key command of a remote control, the receiver tunes to the modulated channel (for example, QAM sub-channel) displaying the guide data (a still image) corresponding with the currently tuned channel. While the receiver is displaying a guide data channel, navigation key presses tune to other channels containing the corresponding guide data still images.
  • As discussed earlier, systems that try to replicate a traditional Program Guide are typically faced with the challenge of providing a large number of static images representing all of the portions of the traditional Program Guide. That is, information about all of the channels and across all available time periods. As discussed earlier, the portion of the traditional Program Guide that each user in each room wishes to view is unknown, and often differs between users. This can result in a requirement for large bandwidth between the headend and the TVs, as well as large processing power requirements at the headend.
  • The pseudo-interactive guide of various implementations described in this application addresses one or more of these issues. More specifically, various implementations modify the traditional Program Guide so that the modified guide meets the perceived needs of the average viewer. For example, as discussed above, instead of the traditional line-based view with visibility for multiple hours ahead, the Mosaic-based approach of the various implementations provides a navigable block-based listing providing basic information needed by the guest.
  • Referring to FIG. 2, a screen shot 200 of a particular implementation is provided. The screen shot 200 displays a screen from a program guide. The screen shot 200 includes three principal sections, including a provider section 210, a program section 220, and an additional channel section 230.
  • The provider section 210 includes an indication of the provider. In the case of FIG. 2, the provider of the programming and the program guide is DirecTV, and the television system is installed in a Hilton facility.
  • The program section 220 includes a mosaic of sixteen blocks or tiles, arranged in four rows of four blocks. Each block represents a different programming channel, and includes information about that programming channel. The lower right block 240 is typical, and includes a channel name and/or logo 242, a channel number 244, a Playing Now identifier 246, and a Playing Next identifier 248.
  • The channel name and/or logo 242 provides the name and/or logo of a particular programming channel. The channel number 244 provides the numeric value of the particular programming channel. The Playing Now identifier 246 provides the name of the program that is currently playing on the particular programming channel. The Playing Next identifier 248 provides the name of the program that will be playing next on the particular programming channel.
  • For the block 240, the channel name and/or logo 242 is The Weather Channel, the channel number 244 is channel 34, the Playing Now identifier 246 is the program titled “Day Planner”, and the Playing Next identifier 248 is the program titled “Weather by the Billions”. The other fifteen blocks in the screen shot 200, from left to right, and top to bottom, have the information shown in Table 1:
  • TABLE 1
    Channel Name Channel Number Playing Now Playing Next
    ABC 2 6 News at Noon One Life to
    Live
    CBS 3 WISH-TV 8 The Young and
    News the Restless
    NBC 4 Eyewitness New Days of our
    Lives
    FOX 6 The Steve Jerry Springer
    Wilkos show
    ESPN 12 SportsCenter SportsCenter
    ESPN 2 13 ESPN First Take Best of Mike
    and Mike
    HBO 14 Just Married Life as We
    Know It
    HBO Family 15 Marmaduke All Dogs go to
    Heaven 2
    The History 20 Big Shrimpin' American
    Channel Pickers
    The Discovery 21 American Mythbusters
    Channel Chopper
    TBS 22 Yes Dear American Dad
    TLC 23 What Not to Say Yes to
    Wear the Dress
    FOX News 30 Studio B Your World
    Channel
    CNN 32 CNN Newsroom CNN Newsroom
    MSNBC 33 Martin Bashir The Dylan
    Ratigan Show
  • The screen shot 200 also includes a highlight box 250 that indicates the channel that a user may be interested in viewing. In FIG. 2, the highlight box 250 is drawn around the second block from the left in the second row of the program section 220. The highlight box 250 in FIG. 2 indicates that channel 13 is currently highlighted. The system provides the additional functionality of allowing a user to select the highlighted channel for viewing. In various implementations, if the user presses “enter” on the remote control, the TV will navigate to the highlighted channel. That is, the TV will tune to channel 13, which is ESPN 2 in FIG. 2.
  • In a typical operation of the screen shot 200, a user would press a guide button on a remote control in a hotel room. A TV in the hotel room would then tune to a set guide channel, pre-determined at the headend. To the guest, it would look like the guide, such as the screen shot 200, was just provided in response to the request. However, if the system 100 is being used, the guide would have been provided to the TV all along, and the TV would simply not have displayed it until the guide button was pressed.
  • The guest would use the arrow keys on the remote to navigate to their desired channel or to the next page of program information. For example, the guest would navigate among the blocks of the screen shot 200 using the arrow keys of the remote control. The block that is currently selected will have the highlight box 250 around it. Each block presents the guest with the basic information to allow the guest to make an informed decision about whether to select that channel for viewing. After the guest selects the desired channel, the guest presses a key such as, for example, “enter” on the remote control, and the TV tunes to the selected channel.
  • The guest is presented with information that has been determined to be useful for a typical guest. This information is the channel name and/or logo, the channel number, the name of the program currently playing on the channel, and the name of the program playing next on the channel. In many circumstances, a typical guest can make a viewing decision based on one or more of these pieces of information. These pieces are often useful for one or more of the following reasons:
      • The channel name and/or logo is often useful because the guest will often recognize the channel name and/or logo, and be able to make a viewing decision based, at least in part, on the channel name and/or logo. For example, guests staying at a hotel might not recognize “channel 34” because channel numbers are assigned locally, but would be more likely to recognize, for example, “CBS” or “ESPN” or the logo for the Disney Channel or the logo for the Cartoon Network.
      • The name of the program currently playing is often useful because the guest is frequently interested in viewing a program immediately.
      • The name of the program playing next is often useful because the guest often is interested in viewing a program when it begins, but without waiting long. Additionally, a guest is often interested in finding a particular program that is starting soon, such as, for example, a football game. Displaying the name of the program playing next on each channel allows the guest to quickly scan the channels to find the channel(s) that will be displaying the game.
  • Conversely, guests typically are not interested in making a viewing decision based on what is playing beyond the next program. For that reason, most implementations do not identify more than one future program for a given channel. Such systems avoid clutter and allow a guest to focus on useful information.
  • Additionally, the guest is often aided in making a viewing decision by having the information for the different channels organized in a mosaic, as in FIG. 2. Such a format allows the guest to view all of the relevant information for a given channel in a geographically compressed structure. This reduces the amount of scanning that the eye has to perform to capture all of the information for a given channel. Conversely, in a line-oriented program guide, a guest's eye would often have to traverse the entire width of the TV in order to view all of the information provided for a given channel. Moreover, as a guest compares different channels, the guest's eyes can often move more quickly among different blocks (in a mosaic-oriented structure) than among different lines (in a line-oriented structure).
  • If the programming system provides more channels than fit on one screen, the guest can scroll to another screen. In FIG. 2, the guest would move the arrow key of the remote control down past the program section 220 into the additional channel section 230. The additional channel 230 has visual indicators that more channels are available because it includes graphics of six “down arrows” and the words “Additional Channels”. In one implementation, the guest presses the down arrow key to move into the additional channel section 230, upon which the additional section 230 is highlighted. Then the guest presses the down arrow key again, and additional channels are displayed on the screen.
  • Implementations vary in a variety of details, such as, for example, how many additional channels are displayed upon one press of the down arrow key. In one implementation, one new row of blocks is provided, and the bottom three rows of blocks are scrolled up to make room for the new block at the bottom of the program section 220. This has the advantage of allowing the guest's eyes to remain focused on one part of the screen, and the guest can press the down arrow key multiple times, examining one new row of blocks each time.
  • Another implementation provides a completely new set of sixteen blocks each time the down arrow key is pressed. This has the advantage of allowing the guest to move more quickly through the program guide if desired by the guest.
  • Providing a completely new set of sixteen blocks also has the advantage of reducing the number of separate screens that the system has to be able to produce. For example, if there are only thirty-two channels available, and if a system provides sixteen new channels on each program guide screen, then a system only needs two screen shots. In contrast, if a system provides only one new row with every request for new additional channels, then at least five screen shots are needed. The five would include, for example, (i) channels 1-16, (ii) channels 5-20, (iii) channels 9-24, (iv) channels 13-28, and (v) channels 17-32.
  • Recall that in many implementations, as explained earlier, each possible screen is provided from the headend continuously on a separate sub-channel. In such systems, the appropriate screen is displayed by merely selecting the corresponding sub-channel, without requiring a back channel for requesting guide information from the headend.
  • Various implementations always provide the screen shot 200 when the guest presses the guide button. This also provides advantages over systems that provide a guide screen that is oriented around the current channel. One manner of orienting around the current channel is to place the current channel near the middle of the guide screen. A “middle” position is, for example, the position highlighted by the highlight box 250 in FIG. 2. The advantage of always providing the screen shot 200 as a starting point is that fewer screens need to be prepared.
  • For example, if there are only thirty-two channels available, then only two screen shots need to be prepared. In contrast, if the current channel were to be positioned near the middle of the screen, then perhaps thirty-two screen shots would need to be prepared. This may be achieved, for example, by having the channels in a circular queue or buffer for display, and always putting the current channel in a designated “middle” block.
  • Clearly, the number of blocks in a program guide screen can be varied in different implementations. FIG. 2 illustrates sixteen blocks, but different implementation use different numbers, such as, for example, twenty blocks (four rows of five blocks) or thirty-five blocks (five rows of seven blocks). The exact number and layout also depends, in various implementations, on the size of the display in the TV.
  • Referring to FIG. 3, a screen shot 300 is provided showing a second implementation of a program guide. The screen shot 300 displays the same information as the screen shot 200, but provides different emphasis. For example, in the screen shot 300, the channel and program information in each block is generally located in different relative positions than in the screen shot 200. For example, in the block 240 it can be seen that:
  • (i) the channel name 242 is toward the right side of the block 240 in the screen shot 300, but toward the left side of the block 240 in the screen shot 200,
      • (ii) the channel number 244 is toward the left side of the block 240 in the screen shot 300, but toward the right side of the block 240 in the screen shot 200,
      • (iii) the channel number 244 includes only a numeral in the screen shot 300, but also includes the word “Channel” in the screen shot 200, and (iv) the Playing Now identifier 246 is toward the top of the block 240 in the screen shot 300, but toward the bottom of the block 240 in the screen shot 200.
  • The screen shot 300 offers an advantage for guests that prefer to focus on the channel number. Because the channel number 244 of the screen shot 300 is toward the left side of the blocks, and because the channel number is larger, a guest's eyes often will more easily identify the channel number.
  • The implementations of FIGS. 2 and 3 provide alternate implementations that may suit different environments. For example, FIG. 2 is frequently preferred by hotels because FIG. 2 puts an emphasis on the channel name/logo. This is important for hotel guests that typically will recognize the type of programming provided by a channel name/logo, but will not know what type of programming is usually provided on any given channel number. FIG. 3, in contrast, is frequently preferred by student or senior living facilities because FIG. 3 puts an emphasis on the channel number. Longer-term residents, such as students or seniors, will typically be familiar with the programming provided on the different channel numbers, and often prefer that mode of previewing available content
  • The implementations of FIGS. 2 and 3 also allow a guest to scroll up in various methods. In certain implementations, after the guest scrolls down, then a second “additional channels” section will appear above the top row of blocks of the channel section 220. That second additional channels section will indicate that more channels are available by scrolling up. The guest would typically access those channels in a manner analogous to scrolling down, by pressing the up arrow key on the remote.
  • Referring to FIG. 4, a process 400 is shown. The process 400 provides a flow diagram of an implementation of a process for providing a program guide screen in response to receiving a request.
  • The process 400 includes receiving a program guide request (410). In at least one implementation, the operation 410 includes receiving a request to present a program guide on a display. The program guide provides information about programs that are available on multiple channels.
  • The process 400 includes providing a mosaic program guide screen in response to the request (420). In at least one implementation, the operation 420 includes providing, in response to receiving the request, a program guide screen. At least a portion of the provided program guide screen is visually divided in both a horizontal direction and a vertical direction into multiple sections. Each of the multiple sections includes information about programs available on respective distinct channels. In particular implementations, the multiple sections include sections whose positions differ in at least the horizontal position (for example, blocks in the same row of section 220 in FIG. 2 or 3), or at least the vertical position (for example, blocks in the same column of section 220 in FIG. 2 or 3), or both the horizontal position and the vertical position (for example, the blocks for ABC and ESPN 2 in section 220 in FIG. 3).
  • In at least one implementation, the operation 410 is performed by a TV, a set-top box, or a computer, that receives a request from a guest. The set-top box is, in various implementations, coupled to a TV in a hotel room, with each room including a set-top box and a TV. The request is received when the guest presses the “guide” button on a remote control.
  • In various implementations, the operation 420 is performed by a TV, a set-top box, or a computer, providing a program guide screen such as the screen shot 200 or the screen shot 300. The program guide screen is provided, in certain implementations, from a set-top box to a TV for eventual display by the TV, or from a receiver unit of a TV to a screen of the TV. Other implementations provide the program guide screen from a computer processing component to a computer display or to a TV. In various implementations, the program guide screen is provided to a remote display, such as, for example, a second screen, a tablet, or a cell phone. The request for a program guide screen also comes, in various implementations, from such a remote device.
  • Various implementations of the process 400 provide one or more other features, such as, for example:
      • One or more of the multiple sections of the mosaic program guide screen includes an indication of a current-program that is the program available at the current time on the channel.
      • One or more of the multiple sections of the mosaic program guide screen includes an indication of a next-program that is the next program available after the current-program on the channel.
      • One or more of the multiple sections of the mosaic program guide omits reference to programs beginning after the next-programs on the respective channels.
      • One or more of the multiple sections of the mosaic program guide further includes an indication of a channel number.
      • One or more of the multiple sections of the mosaic program guide further includes an indication of a channel provider.
      • The mosaic program guide screen that is provided is the same regardless of what channel was most recently being displayed.
      • Providing the mosaic program guide screen includes (i) receiving one or more signals that convey all possible program guide screens that can be presented, (ii) selecting the program guide screen, based on the received request, from the one or more signals that convey all possible program guide screens; and (iii) providing the selected program guide screen.
      • The request specifies a particular program guide screen based on one or more of a programmed selection of a first program guide screen to display, or the last channel viewed.
      • The multiple sections of the mosaic program guide screen form rows and columns and the process 400 further includes (i) receiving a scroll request to scroll the program guide, and (ii) providing, in response to receiving the scroll request, an updated program guide screen that gives an appearance of scrolling.
      • Providing the updated program guide screen includes (i) receiving one or more signals that convey all possible program guide screens that can be presented, (ii) selecting the updated program guide screen, based on the received scroll request, from the one or more signals that convey all possible program guide screens, and (iii) providing the selected updated program guide screen.
      • The scroll request specifies a particular program guide screen based on one or more of a programmed selection of a next program guide screen to display, or a scroll input received from a user.
      • The process 400 further includes displaying the program guide on the display.
      • The display is part of a television or a computer system.
      • The operations of receiving the request and providing the program guide screen are performed by either a set top box, a television, or a computer.
  • Referring to FIG. 5, a process 500 is shown. The process 500 provides a flow diagram of an implementation of a process for generating and providing a program guide screen.
  • The process 500 includes generating a mosaic program guide screen (510). In at least one implementation, the operation 510 includes generating a program guide screen. At least a portion of the generated program guide screen is visually divided in both a horizontal direction and a vertical direction into multiple sections. Each of the multiple sections includes information about programs available on respective distinct channels. In particular implementations, the multiple sections include sections whose positions differ in at least the horizontal position (for example, blocks in the same row of section 220 in FIG. 2 or 3), or at least the vertical position (for example, blocks in the same column of section 220 in FIG. 2 or 3), or both the horizontal position and the vertical position (for example, the blocks for ABC and ESPN 2 in section 220 in FIG. 3).
  • The process 500 includes providing the mosaic program guide screen (520). In at least one implementation, the operation 520 includes providing a signal that conveys the program guide screen.
  • In at least one implementation, the operation 510 is performed by a portion of a headend system, such as by the receiver 110. The receiver 110 of various implementations generates the program guide still images that are provided as a program guide to the TVs 120. The receiver 110, of these implementations, also updates the program guide still images regularly to reflect new program names for “Now” and “Next” as well as to reflect program changes and/or re-mappings.
  • In various implementations, the operation 520 is performed by a portion of a headend system, such as by the receiver 110 or the modulator 140. The receiver 110 provides, for example, one or more digital files that include the program guide still images for the mosaic program guide. The one or more files are provided to the modulator 140. The modulator 140 modulates each of the program guide screens onto a separate sub-channel of a signal, and provides the signal for distribution to the TVs in the hotel rooms.
  • In at least one implementation of the operation 520 that uses the system 100, each program guide still image is modulated on a separate QAM sub-channel (such as, for example, 33-2, 33-3, 33-4, etc.). The number of sub-channels would be determined, for example, by the number of channels at the property, the number of tiles (blocks) per screen, and whether navigation to additional channels (see the additional channel section 230) displayed one additional row or an entire new page.
  • Various implementations of the process 500 provide one or more other features, such as, for example:
      • One or more of the multiple sections of the mosaic program guide screen includes an indication of a current-program that is the program available at the current time on the channel, and an indication of a next-program that is the next program available after the current-program on the channel.
      • One or more of the multiple sections of the mosaic program guide screen omits reference to programs beginning after the next-programs on the respective channels.
      • One or more of the multiple sections of the mosaic program guide screen includes an indication of a channel number.
      • One or more of the multiple sections of the mosaic program guide screen includes an indication of a channel provider.
      • The process 500 further includes (i) generating a set of program guide screens, including the program guide screen, that collectively provide information about programs available on all available channels, and (ii) providing one or more signals that convey the set of program guide screens.
      • The one or more signals are provided concurrently, allowing a video presentation system to receive the signals and to determine which of the set of program guide screens to present on a display device of the video presentation system.
      • The multiple sections form rows and columns and a second of the program guide screens in the set of program guide screens gives an appearance of scrolling with respect to the program guide screen.
      • The set of program guide screens includes a specific program guide screen. The specific program guide screen is configured to be the first program guide screen displayed by a video presentation system that receives the one or more signals. The specific program guide screen will be first, regardless of what channel the video presentation system was most recently displaying.
      • The signal is provided to a video presentation system.
  • Various implementations of the processes 400 and 500 are performed by an apparatus that includes one or more processors collectively configured to perform one or more of the process implementations described. Additionally, certain implementations of the processes 400 and 500 are performed by a processor readable medium having stored thereon instructions for causing one or more processors to collectively perform one or more of the process implementations described.
  • Referring to FIG. 6, a screen shot 600 is shown that provides another implementation of a program guide. The screen shot 600 includes a mosaic-based program guide, and includes some of the information for a highlighted channel in a banner at the top of the screen. The banner also includes a video window showing the current video from the highlighted channel.
  • More specifically, the screen shot 600 includes a banner section 610 and a program section 620. The banner section 610 includes a video window 612, provided as a picture-in-a-picture, that displays the current programming from a highlighted channel, as explained below. The banner section 610 also includes:
      • A current program field 614, providing a textual description that indicates (i) the name of the program currently playing on the highlighted channel, (ii) the time during which the current program is scheduled to play, and (iii) a rating of the current program. Various implementations provide additional information for a given program, or provide less. For example, rating information is only displayed in certain implementations if that information is provided by a broadcaster of a program.
      • A next program field 616, providing a textual description that indicates (i) the name of the program playing next on the highlighted channel, and (ii) the time during which the next program is scheduled to play. Other implementations also provide in the next program field 616 a rating of the next program.
      • A current program summary or description field 618, providing a textual summary or description of the current program.
  • The program section 620 includes a mosaic-based program guide that includes a series of blocks providing program guide information for respective programming channels. The program section 620 displays ten blocks at a time in two rows of five. A scroll bar 625 is used to scroll through additional rows, or screens, of blocks. Other implementations use down arrows and up arrows as an alternative, or in addition, to the scroll bar 625. Yet further implementations provide the scroll bar 625 as an indicator of the approximate position in the mosaic-based program guide blocks (also referred to as a channel list), and not as a tool for navigating (that is, a user does not scroll using the “scroll bar” of such implementations).
  • A block 630 is shown with a highlight box 640, indicating that the block 630 is highlighted in the program guide. The highlight box 640 is typically navigated using, for example, arrows keys of a remote control.
  • Each of the blocks includes particular pieces of information, as shown and discussed for the block 630. The block 630 includes:
      • A channel logo 632 that provides the logo of a particular programming channel. The channel logo 632 is for HGTV, which is the Home & Garden TV network.
      • A channel number 634 that provides the numeric value of the particular programming channel. The channel number 634 includes a primary channel and a secondary channel (also referred to as a sub-channel), and is 81-2.
  • In other implementations, these two-part channel numbers that include a primary and a secondary channel are set up as “Virtual Channels” from the headend. For example, in one implementation, a setup is performed at the headend to assign channel 81-2 to show as channel 25, and to assign channel 82-1 to show as channel 26. This allows the viewer to have a simpler, more recognizable channel ring.
      • A channel name 636 that provides a textual name of the particular programming channel. The channel 636 is HGTVHD, which indicates that the HGTV programming is available in HD (high definition) on channel 81-2.
  • Other blocks in the screen shot 600 are for additional programming channels. The channels displayed in the screen shot 600 include CNN in HD on channel 80-1, ESPN in HD on channel 80-2, ESPN 2 in HD on channel 81-1, Bravo in HD on channel 82-1, COM in HD on channel 82-2, AMC in HD on channel 83-1, A&E in HD on channel 83-2, The History Channel in HD on channel 83-1, and the National Geographic Channel in HD on channel 84-2.
  • Referring to FIG. 7, a screen shot 700 is provided showing a display that occurs after a user selects the highlighted block 630 from the screen shot 600. The TV leaves the program guide and tunes to the highlighted channel, which is HGTV in HD on channel 81-2. Additionally, or alternatively, the screen shot 700 of various implementations appears as a user is channel surfing and selects channel 81-2. The screen shot 700 includes a banner section 710 and a content section 720.
  • The banner section 710 includes the channel logo 632, the channel number 634, and the channel name 636. The banner section 710 also includes a “now showing” section 714 that includes the name of a program that is currently showing on the selected channel, which is 81-2 for the HGTV network in HD. The current program is Designed to Sell. The banner section 710 further includes a “next showing” section 716 that includes the name of a program that will be playing after the currently playing program on the selected channel. The next program is House Hunters.
  • The banner section 710 of various implementations is also able to display the current program summary or description field 618. Certain implementations, for example, provide this field 618 when an “INFO” button on a remote control is pressed.
  • The content section 720 shows the current program from the selected channel. In typical implementations, the banner section 710 disappears after a pre-defined period of time, after which the content section 720 takes up the entire screen.
  • It should be clear that the implementations of FIGS. 6-7 have many points in common, and in distinction, with the implementations of FIGS. 2 and 3. Many of the same pieces of information are present in each of the implementations.
  • The implementation of FIG. 6, however, includes a video window in the program guide to assist the viewer in making a program selection decision. The implementation of FIG. 6 also splits the information for a given channel into two locations in the program guide screen, which are the block 630 of the mosaic-based grid, and the banner 610 in the top of the screen. This structure assists viewers in making a two-tiered decision that considers first the programming channel or network (for example, HGTV), and second the actual programs that are scheduled on that channel. The viewer makes the first decision using the mosaic structure of the program section 620, and makes the second decision using the banner section 610.
  • Notably, the structure of the implementations of FIGS. 6-7 still allows a viewer's eye to focus on geographically constrained areas, and does not require scanning an entire horizontal line to determine the relevant programming information. Of course, other implementations position the program section 620 and the banner section 610 in different locations of the screen.
  • Many variations of the implementation of FIG. 7 also provide the user with the ability to pull up the banner section 710 at any time. Thus, for example, if a viewer is watching “Designed to Sell” on channel 81-2 and wants to find out what is playing next, the viewer can, for example, hit an appropriate key (for example, an “INFO” button) on a remote control to pull up the banner section 710. In various implementations, the banner section 710 will remain visible for a pre-determined length of time, or until the viewer presses the same key again on the remote control. In this way, the viewer can find out what is playing next without leaving the current program. Additionally, a viewer can pull up the banner section 710 to be reminded of the currently selected channel.
  • Further, in various implementations as indicated above, the banner section 710 automatically appears as a viewer channel surfs. Thus, the banner section 710 is displayed for every new channel that a viewer selects.
  • The program guide of the implementation of FIG. 6 is provided, in various implementations, by a headend or by a set-top box. In various set-top box implementations, the set-top box constructs the entire program guide based on, for example, PSIP information. In various implementations, the set-top box either prepares each program guide screen upon request by a user, or prepares some or all of the program guide content and layout ahead of time.
  • The program guide screen that is first displayed upon a user request can be different, depending on what channel the user had most recently selected, or can be the same regardless of what channel the user had most recently selected for viewing.
  • In various headend implementations, in which a headend provides the program guide of FIG. 6, the program guide screens are provided from the headend as still images to a TV or a STB. Separate still images are generated, in certain implementations, for displaying, or not displaying, the summary or description information of the field 618. Each still image also has a window (the window 612) into which the headend inserts video from the relevant channel. Other implementations allow the STB or the TV to insert the video from the relevant channel into the window 612.
  • Typical implementations of FIGS. 6-7 allow the fields for the title of the “Now” program (614, 714), and the fields for the title of the “Next” program (616, 716) to extend most of the way toward the right edge of the screen. This will generally provide the advantage of allowing more space, as compared to the implementations of FIGS. 2-3, for the titles of the “Now” program and the “Next” program.
  • Additionally, various implementations provide a signal, or a signal structure, that includes a program guide screen section. The program guide screen section conveys a program guide screen for which at least a portion is visually divided in both a horizontal direction and a vertical direction into multiple sections. Multiple sections in both the horizontal direction and the vertical direction include information about programs available on respective distinct channels. Various other implementations provide a processor readable medium that stores such a signal or a signal structure.
  • Various implementations include a scrolling feature. Implementations can provide the scrolling upon request of the guest, for example, by the guest pressing arrow keys on a remote. Other implementations include a self-scrolling feature that automatically scrolls through the available channels when the program guide is being displayed. Whether the scrolling is manual, automatic, or some combination, various implementations provide quick display of available channels to a guest because there are relatively few screens required to present all of the available channels.
  • This application provides multiple figures, including the block diagrams of FIG. 1, the screen shots of FIGS. 2-3, and flow diagrams of FIGS. 4-5. Each of these figures provides disclosure for a variety of implementations.
      • For example, the block diagram certainly describes an interconnection of functional blocks of an apparatus or system. However, it should also be clear that the block diagram provides a description of a process flow. As an example, FIG. 1 also presents a flow diagram for performing the functions of the blocks of FIG. 1. For example, the block for the receiver 110 also represents the operation of receiving a signal that includes programs, and the block for the modulator 140 also represents the operation of receiving, for example, an MPEG-2 transport stream and modulating the MPEG-2 transport stream. Other blocks of FIG. 1 are similarly interpreted in describing this flow process.
      • For example, the screen shots of FIGS. 2-3 certainly describe an output screen shown to a user. However, it should also be clear that the screen shots describe a flow process for interacting with the user. For example, FIG. 2 also describes a process of presenting a user with a selection of programming channels, and providing the user with a mechanism for selecting one of the channels. Further, FIG. 2 can also be interpreted in a similar fashion to describe a flow process.
      • For example, the processes of FIGS. 4-5 certainly describe a flow process. However, it should also be clear that the flow diagrams provide an interconnection between functional blocks of a system or apparatus for performing the flow process. For example, reference element 510 also represents a block for performing the function of generating a mosaic program guide screen. Other blocks of FIG. 5 are similarly interpreted in describing this system/apparatus. Further, FIG. 4 can also be interpreted in a similar fashion to describe a system or apparatus.
  • Various implementations have been described that receive satellite television signals, and then provide programming channels on coaxial cable. Other implementations use different transmission technologies and media, however. For example, channels can be received on one or more of a terrestrial broadcast link, a coaxial cable, or a fiber optic cable, and can be ATSC-based or Internet-based. Programming channels can be distributed from a headend over a wireless connection or a wired connection, and can be ATSC-based or Internet-based.
  • We have thus provided a number of implementations. Various implementations provide a block-based program guide for a user. It should be noted, however, that variations of the described implementations, as well as additional applications, are contemplated and are considered to be within our disclosure. Additionally, features and aspects of described implementations may be adapted for other implementations.
  • Reference to “one embodiment” or “an embodiment” or “one implementation” or “an implementation” of the present principles, as well as other variations thereof, mean that a particular feature, structure, characteristic, and so forth described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present principles. Thus, the appearances of the phrase “in one embodiment” or “in an embodiment” or “in one implementation” or “in an implementation”, as well any other variations, appearing in various places throughout the specification are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiment.
  • Additionally, this application or its claims may refer to “determining” various pieces of information. Determining the information may include one or more of, for example, estimating the information, calculating the information, predicting the information, or retrieving the information from memory.
  • Further, this application or its claims may refer to “accessing” various pieces of information. Accessing the information may include one or more of, for example, receiving the information, retrieving the information (for example, memory), storing the information, processing the information, transmitting the information, moving the information, copying the information, erasing the information, calculating the information, determining the information, predicting the information, or estimating the information.
  • A video presentation system is included in various implementations. Such a system can take many forms, depending on the implementation. Various video presentation systems include, for example, a TV, a TV in combination with a set-top box, a computer, or a computer in combination with a set-top box.
  • It is to be appreciated that the use of any of the following “/”, “and/or”, and “at least one of”, for example, in the cases of “NB”, “A and/or B” and “at least one of A and B”, is intended to encompass the selection of the first listed option (A) only, or the selection of the second listed option (B) only, or the selection of both options (A and B). As a further example, in the cases of “A, B, and/or C” and “at least one of A, B, and C” and “at least one of A, B, or C”, such phrasing is intended to encompass the selection of the first listed option (A) only, or the selection of the second listed option (B) only, or the selection of the third listed option (C) only, or the selection of the first and the second listed options (A and B) only, or the selection of the first and third listed options (A and C) only, or the selection of the second and third listed options (B and C) only, or the selection of all three options (A and B and C). This may be extended, as readily apparent by one of ordinary skill in this and related arts, for as many items listed.
  • Additionally, many implementations may be implemented in a processor, such as, for example, a post-processor or a pre-processor. Various processing modules discussed in this application do, in various implementations, include multiple processors (sub-processors) that are collectively configured to perform, for example, a process, a function, or an operation. For example, the receiver 110, as well as other processing components, is, in various implementations, composed of multiple sub-processors that are collectively configured to perform the operations of that component.
  • The implementations described herein may be implemented in, for example, a method or a process, an apparatus, a software program, a data stream, or a signal. Even if only discussed in the context of a single form of implementation (for example, discussed only as a method), the implementation of features discussed may also be implemented in other forms (for example, an apparatus or program). An apparatus may be implemented in, for example, appropriate hardware, software, and firmware. The methods may be implemented in, for example, an apparatus such as, for example, a processor, which refers to processing devices in general, including, for example, a computer, a microprocessor, an integrated circuit, or a programmable logic device. Processors also include communication devices, such as, for example, computers, cell phones, tablets, portable/personal digital assistants (“PDAs”), and other devices that facilitate communication of information between end-users.
  • Implementations of the various processes and features described herein may be embodied in a variety of different equipment or applications. Examples of such equipment include an encoder, a decoder, a post-processor, a pre-processor, a video coder, a video decoder, a video codec, a web server, a television, a set-top box, a router, a gateway, a modem, a laptop, a personal computer, a tablet, a cell phone, a PDA, and other communication devices. As should be clear, the equipment may be mobile and even installed in a mobile vehicle.
  • Additionally, the methods may be implemented by instructions being performed by a processor, and such instructions (and/or data values produced by an implementation) may be stored on a processor-readable medium such as, for example, an integrated circuit, a software carrier or other storage device such as, for example, a hard disk, a compact diskette (“CD”), an optical disc (such as, for example, a DVD, often referred to as a digital versatile disc or a digital video disc), a random access memory (“RAM”), or a read-only memory (“ROM”). The instructions may form an application program tangibly embodied on a processor-readable medium. Instructions may be, for example, in hardware, firmware, software, or a combination. Instructions may be found in, for example, an operating system, a separate application, or a combination of the two. A processor may be characterized, therefore, as, for example, both a device configured to carry out a process and a device that includes a processor-readable medium (such as a storage device) having instructions for carrying out a process. Further, a processor-readable medium may store, in addition to or in lieu of instructions, data values produced by an implementation.
  • As will be evident to one of skill in the art, implementations may produce a variety of signals formatted to carry information that may be, for example, stored or transmitted. The information may include, for example, instructions for performing a method, or data produced by one of the described implementations. For example, a signal may be formatted to carry as data the channel programming information for the channels available on a system. Such a signal may be formatted, for example, as an electromagnetic wave (for example, using a radio frequency portion of spectrum) or as a baseband signal. The formatting may include, for example, encoding a data stream and modulating a carrier with the encoded data stream. The information that the signal carries may be, for example, analog or digital information. The signal may be transmitted over a variety of different wired or wireless links, as is known. The signal may be stored on a processor-readable medium.
  • A number of implementations have been described. Nevertheless, it will be understood that various modifications may be made. For example, elements of different implementations may be combined, supplemented, modified, or removed to produce other implementations. Additionally, one of ordinary skill will understand that other structures and processes may be substituted for those disclosed and the resulting implementations will perform at least substantially the same function(s), in at least substantially the same way(s), to achieve at least substantially the same result(s) as the implementations disclosed. Accordingly, these and other implementations are contemplated by this application.

Claims (16)

  1. 1. A method comprising:
    generating a program guide screen, at least a portion of which is visually divided in both a horizontal direction and a vertical direction into multiple sections, wherein each of the multiple sections includes information about programs available on respective distinct channels; and
    providing a signal that conveys the program guide screen.
  2. 2. The method of claim 1 wherein the multiple sections each include an indication of a current-program that is the program available at the current time on the channel, and an indication of a next-program that is the next program available after the current-program on the channel.
  3. 3. The method of claim 2 wherein the multiple sections omit reference to programs beginning after the next-programs on the respective channels.
  4. 4. The method of claim 2 wherein the multiple sections each further include an indication of a channel number, and an indication of a channel provider.
  5. 5. The method of any of claim 1 further comprising:
    generating a set of program guide screens, including the program guide screen, that collectively provide information about programs available on all available channels; and
    providing one or more signals that convey the set of program guide screens.
  6. 6. The method of claim 5 wherein the one or more signals are provided concurrently, allowing a video presentation system to receive the signals and to determine which of the set of program guide screens to present on a display device of the video presentation system.
  7. 7. The method of any of claim 5 wherein the multiple sections form rows and columns and a second of the program guide screens in the set of program guide screens gives an appearance of scrolling with respect to the program guide screen.
  8. 8. The method of any of claim 5 wherein the set of program guide screens includes a specific program guide screen that is configured to be the first program guide screen displayed by a video presentation system that requests program guide information in the form of a program guide screen and that receives the one or more signals, regardless of what channel the video presentation system was most recently displaying.
  9. 9. The method of any of claim 8 wherein the signal is provided to a video presentation system.
  10. 10. An apparatus configured to perform one or more of the methods of claim 9.
  11. 11. (canceled)
  12. 12. The apparatus of claim 10 wherein the apparatus comprises:
    means for generating a program guide screen, at least a portion of which is visually divided in both a horizontal direction and a vertical direction into multiple sections, wherein each of the multiple sections includes information about programs available on respective distinct channels; and
    means for providing a signal that conveys the program guide screen.
  13. 13. A processor readable medium having stored thereon instructions for causing one or more processors to collectively perform one or more of the methods of claim 9.
  14. 14. A signal comprising:
    a program guide screen section, conveying a program guide screen for which at least a portion is visually divided in both a horizontal direction and a vertical direction into multiple sections, wherein each of the multiple sections includes information about programs available on respective distinct channels.
  15. 15. A signal structure comprising:
    a program guide screen section, conveying a program guide screen for which at least a portion is visually divided in both a horizontal direction and a vertical direction into multiple sections, wherein each of the multiple sections includes information about programs available on respective distinct channels.
  16. 16. A processor readable medium having stored thereon a signal structure, the signal structure comprising:
    a program guide screen section, conveying a program guide screen for which at least a portion is visually divided in both a horizontal direction and a vertical direction into multiple sections, wherein each of the multiple sections includes information about programs available on respective distinct channels.
US14425502 2011-09-27 2012-12-14 Mosaic program guide Abandoned US20150237390A1 (en)

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PCT/US2012/054744 WO2013048728A1 (en) 2011-09-27 2012-09-12 Method and apparatus for qam modulator channel duplication
PCT/US2012/057166 WO2013049089A1 (en) 2011-09-27 2012-09-26 User interfaces for content distribution systems
US201261730641 true 2012-11-28 2012-11-28
US14425502 US20150237390A1 (en) 2012-09-12 2012-12-14 Mosaic program guide
PCT/US2012/069744 WO2014042664A1 (en) 2012-09-12 2012-12-14 Mosaic program guide

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