WO2001074061A1 - L configured user interface to tv and internet content - Google Patents

L configured user interface to tv and internet content Download PDF

Info

Publication number
WO2001074061A1
WO2001074061A1 PCT/US2001/009222 US0109222W WO0174061A1 WO 2001074061 A1 WO2001074061 A1 WO 2001074061A1 US 0109222 W US0109222 W US 0109222W WO 0174061 A1 WO0174061 A1 WO 0174061A1
Authority
WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
controls
arrows
user interface
context
pair
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2001/009222
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Anthony F. Istvan
Lisa M. Wilkins
Original Assignee
Digeo Broadband, Inc.
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

Links

Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television, VOD [Video On Demand]
    • H04N21/20Servers specifically adapted for the distribution of content, e.g. VOD servers; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/23Processing of content or additional data; Elementary server operations; Server middleware
    • H04N21/234Processing of video elementary streams, e.g. splicing of content streams, manipulating MPEG-4 scene graphs
    • H04N21/2343Processing of video elementary streams, e.g. splicing of content streams, manipulating MPEG-4 scene graphs involving reformatting operations of video signals for distribution or compliance with end-user requests or end-user device requirements
    • H04N21/234363Processing of video elementary streams, e.g. splicing of content streams, manipulating MPEG-4 scene graphs involving reformatting operations of video signals for distribution or compliance with end-user requests or end-user device requirements by altering the spatial resolution, e.g. for clients with a lower screen resolution
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/01Input arrangements or combined input and output arrangements for interaction between user and computer
    • G06F3/048Interaction techniques based on graphical user interfaces [GUI]
    • G06F3/0481Interaction techniques based on graphical user interfaces [GUI] based on specific properties of the displayed interaction object or a metaphor-based environment, e.g. interaction with desktop elements like windows or icons, or assisted by a cursor's changing behaviour or appearance
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/01Input arrangements or combined input and output arrangements for interaction between user and computer
    • G06F3/048Interaction techniques based on graphical user interfaces [GUI]
    • G06F3/0481Interaction techniques based on graphical user interfaces [GUI] based on specific properties of the displayed interaction object or a metaphor-based environment, e.g. interaction with desktop elements like windows or icons, or assisted by a cursor's changing behaviour or appearance
    • G06F3/0482Interaction techniques based on graphical user interfaces [GUI] based on specific properties of the displayed interaction object or a metaphor-based environment, e.g. interaction with desktop elements like windows or icons, or assisted by a cursor's changing behaviour or appearance interaction with lists of selectable items, e.g. menus
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q30/00Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce
    • G06Q30/02Marketing, e.g. market research and analysis, surveying, promotions, advertising, buyer profiling, customer management or rewards; Price estimation or determination
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q30/00Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce
    • G06Q30/06Buying, selling or leasing transactions
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01LSEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES; ELECTRIC SOLID STATE DEVICES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H01L29/00Semiconductor devices adapted for rectifying, amplifying, oscillating or switching, or capacitors or resistors with at least one potential-jump barrier or surface barrier, e.g. PN junction depletion layer or carrier concentration layer; Details of semiconductor bodies or of electrodes thereof; Multistep manufacturing processes therefor
    • H01L29/66Types of semiconductor device ; Multistep manufacturing processes therefor
    • H01L29/66007Multistep manufacturing processes
    • H01L29/66075Multistep manufacturing processes of devices having semiconductor bodies comprising group 14 or group 13/15 materials
    • H01L29/66227Multistep manufacturing processes of devices having semiconductor bodies comprising group 14 or group 13/15 materials the devices being controllable only by the electric current supplied or the electric potential applied, to an electrode which does not carry the current to be rectified, amplified or switched, e.g. three-terminal devices
    • H01L29/66409Unipolar field-effect transistors
    • H01L29/66477Unipolar field-effect transistors with an insulated gate, i.e. MISFET
    • H01L29/6684Unipolar field-effect transistors with an insulated gate, i.e. MISFET with a ferroelectric gate insulator
    • 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
    • H04N21/4316Generation 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 displaying supplemental content in a region of the screen, e.g. an advertisement in a separate window
    • 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
    • H04N21/433Content storage operation, e.g. storage operation in response to a pause request, caching operations
    • H04N21/4331Caching operations, e.g. of an advertisement for later insertion during playback
    • 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
    • H04N21/439Processing of audio elementary streams
    • 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
    • H04N21/443OS processes, e.g. booting an STB, implementing a Java virtual machine in an STB, power management in an STB
    • H04N21/4438Window management, e.g. event handling following interaction with the user interface
    • 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
    • H04N21/45Management operations performed by the client for facilitating the reception of or the interaction with the content or administrating data related to the end-user or to the client device itself, e.g. learning user preferences for recommending movies, resolving scheduling conflicts
    • H04N21/4508Management of client or end-user data
    • H04N21/4532Management of client or end-user data involving end-user characteristics, e.g. viewer profile, preferences
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television, 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
    • H04N21/45Management operations performed by the client for facilitating the reception of or the interaction with the content or administrating data related to the end-user or to the client device itself, e.g. learning user preferences for recommending movies, resolving scheduling conflicts
    • H04N21/454Content or additional data filtering, e.g. blocking advertisements
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • 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
    • H04N21/45Management operations performed by the client for facilitating the reception of or the interaction with the content or administrating data related to the end-user or to the client device itself, e.g. learning user preferences for recommending movies, resolving scheduling conflicts
    • H04N21/462Content or additional data management, e.g. creating a master electronic program guide from data received from the Internet and a Head-end, controlling the complexity of a video stream by scaling the resolution or bit-rate based on the client capabilities
    • H04N21/4622Retrieving content or additional data from different sources, e.g. from a broadcast channel and the Internet
    • 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
    • H04N21/45Management operations performed by the client for facilitating the reception of or the interaction with the content or administrating data related to the end-user or to the client device itself, e.g. learning user preferences for recommending movies, resolving scheduling conflicts
    • H04N21/462Content or additional data management, e.g. creating a master electronic program guide from data received from the Internet and a Head-end, controlling the complexity of a video stream by scaling the resolution or bit-rate based on the client capabilities
    • H04N21/4627Rights management associated to the content
    • 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
    • H04N21/472End-user interface for requesting content, additional data or services; End-user interface for interacting with content, e.g. for content reservation or setting reminders, for requesting event notification, for manipulating displayed content
    • H04N21/47214End-user interface for requesting content, additional data or services; End-user interface for interacting with content, e.g. for content reservation or setting reminders, for requesting event notification, for manipulating displayed content for content reservation or setting reminders; for requesting event notification, e.g. of sport results or stock market
    • 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
    • H04N21/472End-user interface for requesting content, additional data or services; End-user interface for interacting with content, e.g. for content reservation or setting reminders, for requesting event notification, for manipulating displayed content
    • H04N21/4722End-user interface for requesting content, additional data or services; End-user interface for interacting with content, e.g. for content reservation or setting reminders, for requesting event notification, for manipulating displayed content for requesting additional data associated with the content
    • 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
    • H04N21/475End-user interface for inputting end-user data, e.g. personal identification number [PIN], preference data
    • H04N21/4751End-user interface for inputting end-user data, e.g. personal identification number [PIN], preference data for defining user accounts, e.g. accounts for children
    • 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
    • H04N21/478Supplemental services, e.g. displaying phone caller identification, shopping application
    • H04N21/4782Web browsing, e.g. WebTV
    • 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
    • H04N21/478Supplemental services, e.g. displaying phone caller identification, shopping application
    • H04N21/4786Supplemental services, e.g. displaying phone caller identification, shopping application e-mailing
    • 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
    • H04N21/488Data services, e.g. news ticker
    • H04N21/4882Data services, e.g. news ticker for displaying messages, e.g. warnings, reminders
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television, VOD [Video On Demand]
    • H04N21/80Generation or processing of content or additional data by content creator independently of the distribution process; Content per se
    • H04N21/81Monomedia components thereof
    • H04N21/8106Monomedia components thereof involving special audio data, e.g. different tracks for different languages
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television, VOD [Video On Demand]
    • H04N21/80Generation or processing of content or additional data by content creator independently of the distribution process; Content per se
    • H04N21/81Monomedia components thereof
    • H04N21/812Monomedia components thereof involving advertisement data
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television, VOD [Video On Demand]
    • H04N21/80Generation or processing of content or additional data by content creator independently of the distribution process; Content per se
    • H04N21/85Assembly of content; Generation of multimedia applications
    • H04N21/858Linking data to content, e.g. by linking an URL to a video object, by creating a hotspot
    • H04N21/8586Linking data to content, e.g. by linking an URL to a video object, by creating a hotspot by using a URL
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N5/00Details of television systems
    • H04N5/44Receiver circuitry
    • H04N5/4401Receiver circuitry for the reception of a digital modulated video signal
    • 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
    • H04N7/00Television systems
    • H04N7/16Analogue secrecy systems; Analogue subscription systems
    • H04N7/162Authorising the user terminal, e.g. by paying; Registering the use of a subscription channel, e.g. billing
    • H04N7/163Authorising the user terminal, e.g. by paying; Registering the use of a subscription channel, e.g. billing by receiver means only
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01LSEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES; ELECTRIC SOLID STATE DEVICES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H01L21/00Processes or apparatus adapted for the manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or solid state devices or of parts thereof
    • H01L21/02Manufacture or treatment of semiconductor devices or of parts thereof
    • H01L21/04Manufacture or treatment of semiconductor devices or of parts thereof the devices having at least one potential-jump barrier or surface barrier, e.g. PN junction, depletion layer, carrier concentration layer
    • H01L21/18Manufacture or treatment of semiconductor devices or of parts thereof the devices having at least one potential-jump barrier or surface barrier, e.g. PN junction, depletion layer, carrier concentration layer the devices having semiconductor bodies comprising elements of Group IV of the Periodic System or AIIIBV compounds with or without impurities, e.g. doping materials
    • H01L21/28Manufacture of electrodes on semiconductor bodies using processes or apparatus not provided for in H01L21/20 - H01L21/268
    • H01L21/28291Manufacture of electrodes on semiconductor bodies using processes or apparatus not provided for in H01L21/20 - H01L21/268 comprising a layer which is used for its ferroelectric properties
    • 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
    • H04N21/41Structure of client; Structure of client peripherals
    • H04N21/422Structure of client; Structure of client peripherals using Input-only peripherals, i.e. input devices connected to specially adapted client devices, e.g. Global Positioning System [GPS]
    • H04N21/42204User interfaces specially adapted for controlling a client device through a remote control device; Remote control devices therefor
    • 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
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N5/00Details of television systems
    • H04N5/44Receiver circuitry
    • H04N5/445Receiver circuitry for displaying additional information
    • H04N5/45Picture in picture

Abstract

The present invention provides a user interface for an Internet-enabled television system comprising an 'L' configuration of controls. Permanent controls (302) are provided along a first direction of the 'L', and context sensitive controls are provided along a second direction of the 'L'.

Description

L CONFIGURED USER INTERFACE TO TV AND INTERNET

CONTENT

RELATED APPLICATIONS '

The present application is related to and claims priority from provisional application U.S. Serial No. 60/193,046, filed March 29, 2000, with inventor Anthony F. Istvan, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION -

The present application pertains to the fields of television reception and Internet access. More particularly, the present application pertains to a user interface to television broadcasts and Internet content.

BACKGROUND

Televisions and Internet technologies are beginning to converge. In particular, access to the World Wide Web via an Internet-enabled television system is progressing and becoming more popular. However, prior art user interfaces for such systems are limited in their capabilities and do not provide for user-friendly access to both broadcast television (TV) and Internet content.

U.S. Patent No. 6,034,689, entitled "Web Browser Allowing Navigation Between Hypertext Objects Using Remote Control," discloses browser software implemented in a set-top box which allows a user to navigate using a remote control through World Wide Web pages. This browser software has limited capabilities and comprises a relatively simple user interface which allows for selection of hypertext anchors. In this simple user interface, access to Web pages is provided for separately from access to broadcast TV. SUMMARY

User interfaces for Internet-enabled television systems have unique needs stemming from their need to display, in a user-friendly way, both broadcast television and Internet content. The present invention provides for user-friendly access to both broadcast television and Internet content via a single integrated user interface.

One embodiment of the user interface comprises a "L" configuration of controls. Permanent controls are provided along a first direction of the "L," and context- sensitive controls are provided along a second direction of the "L." The context-sensitive controls that are provided depend on the content being displayed. A first pair of arrows on a remote control navigates among the permanent controls, and a second pair of arrows (peφendicular to the first pair) navigates among the context-sensitive controls. Switching between navigation among the permanent controls and navigation among the context- sensitive controls occurs automatically upon switching between using the first pair of arrows and using the second pair of arrows.

Advantageously, the user interface automatically adjusts itself by providing different context-sensitive controls depending on the type of multimedia content in the display area. Furthermore, the user interface enables one-button switching between the permanent controls and the context-sensitive controls to provide particularly user-friendly access to the content.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Fig. 1 is a schematic diagram depicting a system 100 for distributing Internet content, in addition to TV content, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 2 is an illustrative screen frame of a display with a full-size video being displayed.

Fig. 3 depicts an example layout 300 of a user interface (UI) which has been activated in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 4 is an illustrative screen frame of a UI which has been activated in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. Fig. 5 depicts an example layout 500 of a UI with a user submenu activated in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 6 depicts an example layout 600 of a UI with a TV submenu 602 activated in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 7 depicts an example layout 700 of a UI with television listing controls in the context-sensitive area 304 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 8 is an illustrative screen frame of a UI in a TV listing mode which provides an electronic programming guide (EPG) in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 9 depicts an example layout 900 of a UI with a browser submenu 902 activated in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 10 depicts an example layout 1000 of a UI with browser controls in the context-sensitive area 304 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 11 is an illustrative design for a remote control 1100 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE SPECIFIC EMBODIMENTS

Fig. 1 is a schematic diagram depicting a system 100 for distributing Internet content, in addition to TV content, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. In accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, the system 100 is integrated with a cable TV distribution system. Such cable TV distribution systems may include cable headends and are well known in the art.

The system 100 includes an Internet 102, a plurality of content sources 104, a plurality of distribution centers (depicted as headends or H/E) 106, and a plurality of client terminals (depicted as set top boxes or STB) 108. In addition, a content source 104 is depicted as receiving data from data feeds 112, advertisement servers 114, image sources 116, and streaming video sources 118. The plurality of content sources 104 are coupled to the Internet 102. For example, a content source 104 may comprise a web site portal such as Go2Net.com, or a news web site such as CNN.com, or other types of sources. Each content source 104 may have various data feeds 112, servers 114, and sources 116/118 coupled to it.

For example, news or stock quote feeds 112 may be fed into the content source 104. Servers 114 may provide advertisements for insertion into multimedia content deliveredy by the content source 104. Sources 116/118 may provide images 116, streaming video 118, and other content to the content source 104. Various other feeds, servers and sources may also be coupled to the content source 104.

The Internet 102 comprises a network of networks and is well known in the art. Communications over the Internet 102 are accomplished using standard protocols such as TCP/IP (transmission control protocol/internet protocol) and other protocols. The Internet 102 is coupled to the plurality of distribution centers 106. For example, a distribution center 106 may comprise a cable headend (H E).

Each distribution center 106 is coupled to a plurality of client terminals

108. For example, a client terminal 108 may comprise a set top box (STB), a personal computer, an interactive television set, or another type of communication device.

In alternative or in addition to the Internet 102 being used to distribute multimedia content from the content sources 104 to distribution centers 106, communications channels or networks 120 apart from the Internet 102 may couple one or more content source 104 to one or more distribution center 106. One example of such an alternate path for communications is illustrated in Fig. 1. Other configurations are also possible and meant to be included within the scope of the present invention.

Fig. 2 is an illustrative screen frame of a display with a full-size video being displayed. While the screen frame is a still frame, the actual video is a motion video comprising a multitude of frames in sequence.

Fig. 3 depicts an example layout 300 of a user interface (UI) which has been activated in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. In one embodiment, when the UI is activated, the full-size display (see Fig. 2) shrinks in an "animated" fashion (i.e. with visible motion to a viewer) to occupy a reduced-size area 301 of the display. Alternatively, when the UI is activated, the L configured UI may be superimposed (overlayed) over the full-size display. For example, sliririking the full-size display maybe used if the display is showing TV or video content, while superimposing over the full-size display may be used if the display is showing pages which do not scale well. A "menu" button on a remote control unit may be used to activate and deactivate the UI.

The UI includes a group of permanent controls 302 on a first side of the reduced-size area 301, a context-sensitive area 304 on a second side of the reduced-size area 301 (peφendicular to the first side), and a logo area 306 at the intersection of the two sides. In the example layout 300 shown in Fig. 3, the permanent controls 302 include user ("user name"), TV, mail, browser, and help controls or control icons.

Selection of these permanent control icons typically reveals a corresponding submenu. For puφoses of illustration, described in detail below are a selection of such submenus. First, an example of a user submenu 502 is described below in relation to Fig. 5. Second, an example of the TV submenu 602 is described below in relation to Fig. 6. Third, an example of a browser submenu 902 is described below in relation to Fig. 9.

The context-sensitive area 304 may display different information (non- selectable items) and control icons (selectable items) depending upon the content in the display area 301. Initially, the context-sensitive area 304 may display information on the TV content currently being displayed in the display area 301. The information may include, for example, channel number/network call letters, program title, and current time.

As the content in the display area 301 varies, so will the information and control icons in the context-sensitive area 304. For example, first, when display area 301 contains TV content, then context-sensitive area 304 may have the information shown in Fig. 3. Second, when the display area 301 contains electronic programming guide (EPG) content, then context-sensitive area 304 may have the controls described in relation to Fig. 7. Third, when display area 301 contains web content, then context-sensitive area 304 may have the controls described in relation to Fig. 10.

The logo area 306 may display, for example, a logo and name for a service provider. In this example, the service provider is named Charter Communications1"". While the particular layout of Fig. 3 shows a "L" configured UI along the top and left sides of the display, other "L" configurations are also contemplated and within the scope of the present invention. For example, the "L" configured UI may instead be along the bottom and left sides, or the bottom and right sides, or the top and right sides.

In accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, a first pair of arrows on a remote control navigates among the permanent controls, and a second pair of arrows (peφendicular to the first pair) navigates among the context-sensitive controls. Switching between navigation among the permanent controls and navigation among the context-sensitive controls occurs automatically upon switching between using the first pair of arrows and using the second pair of arrows. An example of a remote control with such arrows is shown in Fig. 11 which is described below.

Fig. 4 is an illustrative screen frame of a UI which has been activated in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. The frame shown in Fig. 4 is an implementation in close (but not exact) correspondence to the layout 300 of Fig. 3. Like the layout 300 in Fig. 3, the UI of Fig. 4 has permanent controls on the left side, a context-sensitive area on the top, and a service provider's logo at the upper left corner.

Regarding the permanent controls, "Bob234" is an example name of a currently active user. The "Surf control corresponds to the browser control. Regarding the context-sensitive area, "Conde Nast Traveler" corresponds to the program title.

"Channel 31, DSC" corresponds to the channel/network call letters. And, finally, "1:02 pm 02/28/00" corresponds to the current time (and date).

Fig. 5 depicts an example layout 500 of an UI with a user submenu 502 activated in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. The user submenu 502 is activated by selecting the "user name" on-screen control from the group of permanent controls 302. The user submenu 502 may include various selections.

The "family" user is the default selection when the UI is activated. In one embodiment, the family user will be able to access only content which is accessible to all other users. In other words, the family user will have a "permission space" which is the intersection of permission spaces of all other users. Advantageously, this feature does not require a password to be entered upon turning on the TV. Nevertheless, this feature may be used to prevent children from accessing excessively violent or adult-oriented content. Moreover, the protection provided may extend to both TV and Internet content.

User #2, user #3, ..., user #N, may be individual user names, each of which may have a password to protect against entry by an unauthorized person. For example, the different users may correspond to members of a family. These user names may be sorted alphabetically in the user submenu 502. When an individual user name is selected and password, if any, entered correctly, then the user name becomes the active user.

The "manage users" and "settings" selections may be used to perform such function as: editing user name, password, and other user-related information for a specified user account; allowing users to block certain emails; allowing a user with administrative privileges to add or remove users and change user privileges; and so on.

Fig. 6 depicts an example layout 600 of a UI with a TV submenu 602 activated in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. The TV submenu 602 is activated by selecting the "tv" on-screen control from the group of permanent controls 302. The TV submenu 602 may include various selections.

The "listing" selection provides an electronic programming guide (EPG) to broadcast TV content. When the EPG is provide, corresponding controls are provided in the context-sensitive area 304 as described below in relation to Fig. 7. An example of such an EPG within the UI is illustrated in Fig. 8 which is also described below.

The "info" selection provides information relating to the TV program currently being viewed in the display area 301. The information may include a brief description of the program, names of actors/actresses, copyright year, and so on.

The TV "favorites" selection provides a user with a list of his/her favorite TV channels. When a TV channel is selected from the favorite list, then the embedded TV display changes to that channel.

The TV "recents" selection provides small screen video images of the last N (where N is a positive integer) TV channels viewed. For example, if N = 9, then video images of the 9 most recently viewed TV channels may be shown in a 3x3 matrix configuration in the embedded display 301. The number N may be fixed, or it may be user selectable.

The TV "search" selection provides a mechanism to search electronic program guide (EPG) listings for a particular program or programs. The search may be by program title, type of program (e.g., "basketball" may be searched to find basketball games being broadcast), by actor/actress, and so on.

These and other selections may be provided in the TV submenu 602. For example, "recent links" and "channel setup" selections are depicted in the TV submenu 602 of Fig. 6. The "recent links" selection provides access to hyperlinks recently received via a mechanism such as an ATVEF (Advanced TV Enhancement Forum) trigger. ATVEF is a cross-industry alliance of companies from broadcast and cable networks, television transport, consumer electronics, and personal computer industries. The "channel setup" selection allows a user to specify which TV channels are included as channels to tune to as part of the channel up/down tuning sequence.

Fig. 7 depicts an example layout 700 of a UI with television listing controls in the context-sensitive area 304 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. The television listing controls are provide when the display area 301 is used to provide an electronic programming guide (EPG).

The television listing controls shown in Fig. 7 include a "change day" control, an EPG "search" control, and a "stay on channel" control. The "change day" control allows the user to change the day of the program grid being shown by the EPG. The EPG "search" control provides access to a mechanism to search EPG listings for a particular program or programs. The "stay on channel" control comprises a toggle control to activate/deactivate this option. When the option is deactivated, then the TV tuner actively tunes to the selected channel in the program grid of the EPG. When the option is activated, then the TV tuner remains on the channel that was being displayed before entering the EPG.

Fig. 8 is an illustrative screen frame of a UI in a TV listing mode which provides an electronic programming guide (EPG) in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. The frame shown in Fig. 8 is an implementation in close (but not exact) correspondence to the layout 700 of Fig. 7. (The frame of Fig. 8, for example, does not show a "stay on channel" toggle control.) The EPG shown provides a programming grid including rows representing different channels, and columns representing different timeslots. Other implementations of an EPG are also possible.

Fig. 9 depicts an example layout 900 of a UI with a browser submenu 902 activated in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. The browser submenu 902 is activated by selecting the "browser" on-screen control from the group of permanent controls 302. The browser submenu 902 may include various selections.

The "home" selection may provide access to a web page designated by a service provider (e.g., a MSO) as its "home" page. In one embodiment, when going to the home page, the L configured UI retracts, so that the home page is shown on a full-size screen.

The "user defined" selections provide access to specialized web pages which may be focused to various categories of content. For example, the specialized web pages may focus on categories such as news, money, sports, weather, entertainment, and others. Again, in one embodiment, when going to a specialized web page, the L configured UI retracts, so that the specialized page is shown on a full-size screen.

These and other selections may be provided in the browser submenu 902. For example, "more," "go to," browser "favorites," and browser "search" selections are depicted in the browser submenu 902 shown in Fig. 9. The "more" button provides access to other categories of content in addition to those specified by the "user defined" selections described above. The "go to" button provides a query text box which allows a user to specify a URL to be displayed in the browser. The browser "favorites" button provides access to an organized data structure of favorite links. These browser favorites may be provided separately from the TV favorites, or they may be provided together in an integrated data structure. The browser "search" control provides access to a mechanism to search for particular Internet or Web content. The browser search may be provided separately from the EPG search, or they may be provided together in an integrated search feature.

Fig. 10 depicts an example layout 1000 of a UI with browser controls in the context-sensitive area 304 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. The browser controls are provided when the display area 301 is used to access World Wide Web content and other similar hyperlinked content.

In the embodiment shown in Fig. 10, the left and right arrows 1002 may be individually selected. The left arrow scrolls or shifts the browser controls one button to the left. For example, in Fig. 10, the left arrow would cause the "home" button 1004 to scroll "behind" the arrows 1002 and a control button (not shown) to the right of the "reload" button 1014 to become visible at the right side of the context-sensitive area 304. Similarly, the right arrow scrolls or shifts the browser controls one button to the right.

In the embodiment shown in Fig. 10, the "home" button 1004 provides access to the web page designated by the user as his her "home" page. The "faves" or favorites button 1006 provides access to a list of web pages or URLs that the user selects as his/her favorites. The "save" button 1008 enables a user to save a web page currently being displayed as a favorite page. The "go to" button 1010 provides a query text box which allows a user to specify a URL to be displayed in the browser. The "search" button 1012 provides access to a mechanism to search for particular Internet or Web content. The "reload" button 1014 causes the content currently in the display 301 to be refreshed.

Other buttons may be provided to the right of the "reload" button 1014. In one embodiment, the other buttons may include a "print" button, a "find" button, a "send" button, and an "info" button. The "print" button provides for printing, with various options, of the web page being displayed. The "find" button provides for finding a specified text string within the web page being displayed. The "send" button provides for sending an email with the web page being displayed or its URL attached thereto or contained therein. Finally, the "info" button provides additional information about the web page being displayed.

Fig. 11 is an illustrative design for a remote control 1100 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. Many other designs with similar functionality are, of course, possible and would be within the scope of the present invention.

The menu button 1102 may be used to activate and deactivate the UI as described above in relation to Fig. 3. The "Go To TV" button 1103 returns the display to a full-screen television display as illustrated by Fig. 2. The up arrow 1108 and down arrow 1110 may be used to navigate among the permanent controls 302. The left arrow 1104 and right arrow 1106 may be used to navigate among controls in the context-sensitive area 304. Switching between navigation among the permanent controls and navigation among the context-sensitive controls occurs automatically upon switching between using the up/down arrows 1108/1110 and using the left/right arrows 1104/1106. The "Go" button (which may also be designated the "OK" button) selects the screen object currently pointed to and triggers whatever event is associated with the object.

While specific embodiments and applications of the present invention have been illustrated and described, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the precise configuration and components disclosed herein. Various modifications, changes, and variations which will be apparent to those skilled in the art may be made in the arrangement, operation, and details of the methods and systems of the present invention disclosed herein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, selecting one of the permanent controls 302 (user, TV, browser, etc.) may lead to alternative implementations other than submenus. Instead of submenus, a selection of buttons or a new page with controls may be utilized.

Claims

WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:
1. A user interface for displaying multimedia content on a broadband Internet-enabled television system, the user interface comprising: a display area for displaying the multimedia content; a group of permanent controls adjacent to the display area, where the group of permanent controls is provided whenever the user interface is active; and a plurality of groups of context-sensitive controls adjacent to the display area, where each group of context-sensitive controls is provided when a corresponding type of multimedia content is being displayed on the display area.
2. The user interface of claim 1, where the group of permanent controls is aligned along a first direction of the display area.
3. The user interface of claim 2, where each group of context- sensitive controls is aligned along a second direction of the display area.
4. The user interface of claim 3, where the first and second directions are peφendicular to each other so as to form a L-shaped configuration.
5. The user interface of claim 4, further comprising: an identifying logo located at an intersection of the first and second directions.
6. The user interface of claim 1 , where a first pair of arrows of an input device are used to navigate among the permanent controls, and where a second pair of arrows on the input device are used to navigate among the context-sensitive controls.
7. The user interface of claim 6, where the input device comprises a remote control device.
8. The user interface of claim 6, where the first and second pairs of arrows together form a four-pointed star configuration on the input device.
9. The user interface of claim 8, where the four-pointed star configuration comprises: a first arrow pointing up from a central point on the input device; a second arrow pointing down from the central point; a third arrow pointing right from the central point; and a fourth arrow pointing left from the central point.
10. The user interface of claim 6, where switching from navigation among the permanent controls to navigation among the context-sensitive controls occurs automatically upon switching from use of the first pair of arrows to use of the second pair of arrows, and where switching from navigation among the context-sensitive controls to navigation among the permanent controls occurs automatically upon switching from use of the second pair of arrows to use of the first pair of arrows.
11. A user interface for displaying multimedia content on a broadband Internet-enabled television system, the user interface comprising: a display area for displaying the multimedia content; a group of permanent controls adjacent to the display area, where the group of permanent confrols is provided whenever the user interface is active; and a plurality of groups of context-sensitive controls adjacent to the display area, where each group of context-sensitive controls is provided when a corresponding type of multimedia content is being displayed on the display area, where the group of permanent controls is aligned along a first direction of the display area, where each group of context-sensitive controls is aligned along a second direction of the display area, where a first pair of arrows of an input device are used to navigate among the permanent controls, where a second pair of arrows on the input device are used to navigate among the context-sensitive controls, where switching from navigation among the permanent controls to navigation among the context-sensitive controls occurs automatically upon switching from use of the first pair of arrows to use of the second pair of arrows, and ι where switching from navigation among the context-sensitive controls to navigation among the permanent controls occurs automatically upon switching from use of the second pair of arrows to use of the first pair of arrows.
12. A set-top terminal providing the user interface of claim 1.
13. A method of providing a user interface to television and broadband Internet content, the method comprising: displaying multimedia content on a display area; providing a group of permanent controls which is displayed whenever the user interface is active; and providing a plurality of groups of context-sensitive controls which changes depending on the multimedia content being displayed on the display area.
14. The method of claim 13, further comprising: displaying the group of pennanent controls along a first direction of the display area; and displaying each group of context-sensitive controls, when the corresponding permanent control is activated, along a second direction of the display area.
15. The method of claim 14, further comprisin : using a first pair of arrows of an input device to navigate among the permanent controls; and using a second pair of arrows on the input device to navigate among the context-sensitive controls.
16. The method of claim 15, further comprising: switching from navigation among the permanent controls to navigation among the context-sensitive controls occurs automatically upon switching from use of the first pair of arrows to use of the second pair of arrows; and switching from navigation among the context-sensitive controls to navigation among the permanent controls occurs automatically upon switching from use of the second pair of arrows to use of the first pair of arrows.
PCT/US2001/009222 2000-03-29 2001-03-21 L configured user interface to tv and internet content WO2001074061A1 (en)

Priority Applications (4)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US19304600 true 2000-03-29 2000-03-29
US60/193,046 2000-03-29
US59154700 true 2000-06-08 2000-06-08
US09/591,547 2000-06-08

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
AU4769301A AU4769301A (en) 2000-03-29 2001-03-21 L configured user interface to tv and internet content

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO2001074061A1 true true WO2001074061A1 (en) 2001-10-04

Family

ID=26888629

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/US2001/009222 WO2001074061A1 (en) 2000-03-29 2001-03-21 L configured user interface to tv and internet content

Country Status (1)

Country Link
WO (1) WO2001074061A1 (en)

Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5621456A (en) * 1993-06-22 1997-04-15 Apple Computer, Inc. Methods and apparatus for audio-visual interface for the display of multiple program categories
US5850218A (en) * 1997-02-19 1998-12-15 Time Warner Entertainment Company L.P. Inter-active program guide with default selection control
US6002394A (en) * 1995-10-02 1999-12-14 Starsight Telecast, Inc. Systems and methods for linking television viewers with advertisers and broadcasters

Patent Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5621456A (en) * 1993-06-22 1997-04-15 Apple Computer, Inc. Methods and apparatus for audio-visual interface for the display of multiple program categories
US6002394A (en) * 1995-10-02 1999-12-14 Starsight Telecast, Inc. Systems and methods for linking television viewers with advertisers and broadcasters
US5850218A (en) * 1997-02-19 1998-12-15 Time Warner Entertainment Company L.P. Inter-active program guide with default selection control

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US6938208B2 (en) Electronic program guide with graphic program listings
US7296284B1 (en) Client terminal for displaying ranked program listings based upon a selected rating source
US6493876B1 (en) System and method for providing a full service television system
US7380260B1 (en) Focused navigation interface for a PC media center and extension device
US6445398B1 (en) Method and system for providing user interface for electronic program guide
US6732369B1 (en) Systems and methods for contextually linking television program information
US20070157248A1 (en) Systems and methods for providing channel groups in an interactive media guidance application
US6918132B2 (en) Dynamic interface method and system for displaying reduced-scale broadcasts
US6388714B1 (en) Interactive computer system for providing television schedule information
US6182287B1 (en) Preferred service management system for a multimedia video decoder
US7350157B1 (en) Filtering by broadcast or recording quality within an electronic program guide
US6452611B1 (en) Method and system for providing dynamically changing programming categories
US20020056104A1 (en) Folder-style program guide with categories and sub-categories
US6904610B1 (en) Server-centric customized interactive program guide in an interactive television environment
US5596373A (en) Method and apparatus for providing program oriented information in a multiple station broadcast system
US8051450B2 (en) Query-based electronic program guide
US20030226146A1 (en) Methods and systems for displaying recommended content alternatives
US5758259A (en) Automated selective programming guide
US8312484B1 (en) Systems and methods for blocking selected commercials
US7065709B2 (en) Client-server electronic program guide
CA2232003C (en) Systems and methods for providing television schedule information
US20020152224A1 (en) System and method for generating a recommendation guide for use with an EPG
US20030005445A1 (en) Systems and methods for linking television viewers with advertisers and broadcasters
US7320134B1 (en) System and method for cable operator control over enhanced programming
US6675385B1 (en) HTML electronic program guide for an MPEG digital TV system

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
AK Designated states

Kind code of ref document: A1

Designated state(s): AE AG AL AM AT AU AZ BA BB BG BR BY BZ CA CH CN CO CR CU CZ DE DK DM DZ EE ES FI GB GD GE GH GM HR HU ID IL IN IS JP KE KG KP KR KZ LC LK LR LS LT LU LV MA MD MG MK MN MW MX MZ NO NZ PL PT RO RU SD SE SG SI SK SL TJ TM TR TT TZ UA UG UZ VN YU ZA ZW

AL Designated countries for regional patents

Kind code of ref document: A1

Designated state(s): GH GM KE LS MW MZ SD SL SZ TZ UG ZW AM AZ BY KG KZ MD RU TJ TM AT BE CH CY DE DK ES FI FR GB GR IE IT LU MC NL PT SE TR BF BJ CF CG CI CM GA GN GW ML MR NE SN TD TG

121 Ep: the epo has been informed by wipo that ep was designated in this application
REG Reference to national code

Ref country code: DE

Ref legal event code: 8642

122 Ep: pct application non-entry in european phase
NENP Non-entry into the national phase in:

Ref country code: JP