WO1994013107B1 - Advanced set top terminal for cable television delivery systems - Google Patents

Advanced set top terminal for cable television delivery systems

Info

Publication number
WO1994013107B1
WO1994013107B1 WO9413107B1 WO 1994013107 B1 WO1994013107 B1 WO 1994013107B1 WO 9413107 B1 WO9413107 B1 WO 9413107B1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
menu
menu generation
control information
set top
signal
Prior art date
Application number
Other languages
French (fr)
Publication date

Links

Abstract

A novel advanced set top terminal capable of digital decompression, menu generation, interactivity and other advanced functional capabilities for use in a television program delivery system (200) is described. The invention relates to methods and apparatus for upgrading existing set top terminals (220) to provide menu generation capability and advanced functional capabilities. The invention is particularly useful in television program delivery systems (200) with hundreds of channels of programming, providing (i) menu driven program selection through the addition of an upgrade module (300) or menu generation card and (ii) advanced functional capabilities using a set of hardware upgrades (e.g. 130) and/or an expansion card. Specifically, the invention is an upgradeable system that supports advanced set top functionality through the use of internal software, hardware upgrades, an upgrade module and/or expansion cards. The upgraded hardware generally includes a microprocessor, various input/ouput ports (e.g., 308), processing circuitry (e.g., 108) and memory (e.g., 116). The invention results in an upgraded set top terminal that supports: menu generation; picture-on-picture displays; program catalogue services; interactive services; telephone caller identification; digital audio reception; VCR control; HDTV reception; and backyard satellite system interoperability, among other features and capabilities.

Claims

AMENDED CLAIMS
[received by the International Bureau on 30 May 1994 (30.05.94); original claims unchanged; new claims 44-46 added (3 pages)]
received from a remote location, the method comprising the steps of: providing an electronic connection to the set top converter; demultiplexing the control information stream into graphics and text, -whereby the control information stream is received from the set top converter; graphically decompressing the graphics to produce decompressed graphics that may be used to generate menus; and connecting the menu generation card to the set top converter; and using the menu generation card to combine the text and decompressed graphics to produce a menu generation signal, whereby the menu generation signal is output to the set top converter to be processed for display.
44. An upgrade module for enhancing the functionality of a decompression box for use in a cable television program delivery system, the enhanced functionality using a control information stream and providing the decompression box with menu generation capability, the decompression box initially having the capability to produce decompressed video, the upgrade module comprising: an interface means for providing an electronic connection to the decompression box so that the control information stream may be received from the decompression box; a means for demultiplexing the control information stream into graphics, text and menu generation information that includes information on program packaging and menu content; a means for combining the graphics, text and menu generation information to produce a menu generation signal; and a means for transferring the menu generation signal to the interface means for output to the decompression box, whereby the menu generation signal is processed for display.
45. A remote control unit for use with a set top terminal, the set top terminal capable of receiving a plurality of digitally compressed television signals and digital program control information that may be used in generating a plurality of menus corresponding to the digitally compressed signals, each menu corresponding to a group of related programs or a single program and having menu content data carried by the program control information signal, the remote control unit comprising: a plurality of switches comprising: menu select switches capable of selecting a desired menu from the plurality of menus, the menu select switches having icons representing the groups of related television programs; and cursor movement switches capable of causing a cursor to move on one of the plurality of menus; and means, coupled to the plurality of switches, for communicating with the set-top terminal, wherein selection of one of the plurality of switches effects the processing in the set top terminal of the menu content carried by the digital program control information signal.
46. A method for enhancing the functionality of a cable-ready television for use in a cable television program delivery system, the cable-ready television having an electronic interface that accommodates the enhanced functionality using a control information stream, the enhanced functionality providing the cable-ready television with menu generation capability, the method comprising the steps of: receiving the control information stream from the cable-ready television through the electronic interface; demultiplexing the control information stream into graphics, text and menu generation information that includes information on program packaging and menu content; combining the graphics, text and menu generation information to produce a menu generation signal; and transferring the menu generation signal to the cable- ready television through the electronic interface, whereby the menu generation signal is processed for display.
1 1 2
STATEMENT UNDER ARTICLE 19
Claims 44, 5 and 46 have been added in light of the references cited in the
International Search Report.
European Patent Application, Pub. No. 0 506435, discloses a system for controlling and authorizing subscriber access to encrypted program signals using addressed data packets. The disclosed system uses a loop-back uplink that: (i) receives a combined signal of audio, video, system data packets and addressed data packets, and (ii) strips the data packets from the audio and video signals for use with other audio and video signals. The publication, however, does not teach or suggest the processing of menu generation information to produce a menu generation signal, as in Claims 44 and 46.
The article from the Journal of Lightwave Technology, entitled "Subscriber Distribution Networks Using Decompressed Digital Video," analyzes the performance of MPEG signaling in a passive optical network. The article explains that provisioning of services can be accomplished remotely by transmitting decryption keys to a subscriber once new service requests or program orders are received. The article, however, does not teach or suggest the processing of digital control information at a subscriber location or producing a menu generation signal from which menus may be displayed, as in Claims 44 and 46
The Kudelski Patent, U.S. Pat. No. 5,144,663, discloses a method of interactive communication between a subscriber and a decoder in a pay television system. The patent discloses a method of placing teletext information onto analog video information. The patent, however, does not teach or suggest the processing of digital control information at a subscriber location or producing a menu generation signal from which menus can be displayed, as in Claims 44 and 46.
European Patent Application, Pub. No. 0 355 697, discloses a multimedia broadcast system in which preview programs are downloaded from a cable headend and accessed from a screen using a cursor controlled by a remote control. The system makes use of downlink control information that may include a terminal identification code and descrambler information. The publication, however, does not teach or suggest the processing of menu content data carried by a digital program control information signal or effecting such processing by selection of a switch on a remote control, as in Claim 45.
European Patent Application, Pub. No. 0402809, discloses a satellite television system for audience polling and processing of answers over a wide area network. The publication discloses a scheme of positioning a question and answers on a video to be displayed on a TV and using a remote control unit to place a cursor on the chosen answer. The publication, however, does not teach the processing of menu content data carried by a digital program control information signal or effecting such processing by selection of a switch on a remote control, as in Claim 45.

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Cited By (10)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US8850477B2 (en) 1995-10-02 2014-09-30 Starsight Telecast, Inc. Systems and methods for linking television viewers with advertisers and broadcasters
US8869204B2 (en) 1996-05-03 2014-10-21 Starsight Telecast, Inc. Method and system for displaying advertisements in an electronic program guide
US8918807B2 (en) 1997-07-21 2014-12-23 Gemstar Development Corporation System and method for modifying advertisement responsive to EPG information
US8918428B2 (en) 2009-09-30 2014-12-23 United Video Properties, Inc. Systems and methods for audio asset storage and management
US9015750B2 (en) 1998-05-15 2015-04-21 Rovi Guides, Inc. Interactive television program guide system for determining user values for demographic categories
US9099097B2 (en) 1999-06-25 2015-08-04 Adrea, LLC Electronic book with voice emulation features
US9113107B2 (en) 2005-11-08 2015-08-18 Rovi Guides, Inc. Interactive advertising and program promotion in an interactive television system
US9147198B2 (en) 2013-01-10 2015-09-29 Rovi Technologies Corporation Systems and methods for providing an interface for data driven media placement
US9503787B2 (en) 1997-10-06 2016-11-22 Rovi Guides, Inc. Interactive television program guide system with pay program package promotion
US9591251B2 (en) 1997-10-06 2017-03-07 Rovi Guides, Inc. Interactive television program guide system with operator showcase

Cited By (12)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US8850477B2 (en) 1995-10-02 2014-09-30 Starsight Telecast, Inc. Systems and methods for linking television viewers with advertisers and broadcasters
US8869204B2 (en) 1996-05-03 2014-10-21 Starsight Telecast, Inc. Method and system for displaying advertisements in an electronic program guide
US8918807B2 (en) 1997-07-21 2014-12-23 Gemstar Development Corporation System and method for modifying advertisement responsive to EPG information
US9191722B2 (en) 1997-07-21 2015-11-17 Rovi Guides, Inc. System and method for modifying advertisement responsive to EPG information
US9015749B2 (en) 1997-07-21 2015-04-21 Rovi Guides, Inc. System and method for modifying advertisement responsive to EPG information
US9503787B2 (en) 1997-10-06 2016-11-22 Rovi Guides, Inc. Interactive television program guide system with pay program package promotion
US9591251B2 (en) 1997-10-06 2017-03-07 Rovi Guides, Inc. Interactive television program guide system with operator showcase
US9015750B2 (en) 1998-05-15 2015-04-21 Rovi Guides, Inc. Interactive television program guide system for determining user values for demographic categories
US9099097B2 (en) 1999-06-25 2015-08-04 Adrea, LLC Electronic book with voice emulation features
US9113107B2 (en) 2005-11-08 2015-08-18 Rovi Guides, Inc. Interactive advertising and program promotion in an interactive television system
US8918428B2 (en) 2009-09-30 2014-12-23 United Video Properties, Inc. Systems and methods for audio asset storage and management
US9147198B2 (en) 2013-01-10 2015-09-29 Rovi Technologies Corporation Systems and methods for providing an interface for data driven media placement

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