WO2004081772A1 - Electronic display - Google Patents

Electronic display Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2004081772A1
WO2004081772A1 PCT/US2004/007835 US2004007835W WO2004081772A1 WO 2004081772 A1 WO2004081772 A1 WO 2004081772A1 US 2004007835 W US2004007835 W US 2004007835W WO 2004081772 A1 WO2004081772 A1 WO 2004081772A1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
video
display
means
transceiver
skew
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2004/007835
Other languages
French (fr)
Other versions
WO2004081772A8 (en
Inventor
Mark H. Harriman
Original Assignee
Icd, Inc. D/B/A Display Werks
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
Priority to US45488503P priority Critical
Priority to US60/454,885 priority
Application filed by Icd, Inc. D/B/A Display Werks filed Critical Icd, Inc. D/B/A Display Werks
Publication of WO2004081772A1 publication Critical patent/WO2004081772A1/en
Publication of WO2004081772A8 publication Critical patent/WO2004081772A8/en

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09GARRANGEMENTS OR CIRCUITS FOR CONTROL OF INDICATING DEVICES USING STATIC MEANS TO PRESENT VARIABLE INFORMATION
    • G09G5/00Control arrangements or circuits for visual indicators common to cathode-ray tube indicators and other visual indicators
    • G09G5/003Details of a display terminal, the details relating to the control arrangement of the display terminal and to the interfaces thereto
    • G09G5/006Details of the interface to the display terminal
    • 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
    • G06F3/02Input arrangements using manually operated switches, e.g. using keyboards or dials
    • G06F3/0227Cooperation and interconnection of the input arrangement with other functional units of a computer
    • 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
    • G06F3/02Input arrangements using manually operated switches, e.g. using keyboards or dials
    • G06F3/023Arrangements for converting discrete items of information into a coded form, e.g. arrangements for interpreting keyboard generated codes as alphanumeric codes, operand codes or instruction codes
    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09GARRANGEMENTS OR CIRCUITS FOR CONTROL OF INDICATING DEVICES USING STATIC MEANS TO PRESENT VARIABLE INFORMATION
    • G09G2370/00Aspects of data communication
    • G09G2370/04Exchange of auxiliary data, i.e. other than image data, between monitor and graphics controller
    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09GARRANGEMENTS OR CIRCUITS FOR CONTROL OF INDICATING DEVICES USING STATIC MEANS TO PRESENT VARIABLE INFORMATION
    • G09G2370/00Aspects of data communication
    • G09G2370/04Exchange of auxiliary data, i.e. other than image data, between monitor and graphics controller
    • G09G2370/045Exchange of auxiliary data, i.e. other than image data, between monitor and graphics controller using multiple communication channels, e.g. parallel and serial
    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09GARRANGEMENTS OR CIRCUITS FOR CONTROL OF INDICATING DEVICES USING STATIC MEANS TO PRESENT VARIABLE INFORMATION
    • G09G5/00Control arrangements or circuits for visual indicators common to cathode-ray tube indicators and other visual indicators
    • G09G5/18Timing circuits for raster scan displays
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/08Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications adapted for terminal emulation, e.g. telnet

Abstract

A computer display having a first transceiver for receiving and transmitting data between the display and a remote location, such as a computer having a second transceiver, and a serial data processor coupled to the first transceiver for processing serial data signals.

Description

ELECTRONIC DISPLAY

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Field of the Invention

The present invention is directed to an electronic display, and more particularly, to an electronic display that is highly suitable for use as a remote display for a computer system.

Description of the Related Art

The related art will be described with reference to Figures 2 and 3. Figure 2 illustrates a computing system 200 wherein the computer 210 is directly connected to a display 212 and to other optional components using cabling. A first cable 214 connects the computer 210 to the display 212. The first cable 214 is connected to a video output port 216 of the computer 210 and to a video input port 218 of the display 212. The display 212 has its own power connection 220 for receiving power. Typically, the first cable 214 is a VGA cable or an RGB cable, although other video cabling may be used. The power connection 220 is typically configured to receive either standard AC power, such as 110 VAC power, or direct current power at a lower voltage level, such as 12.5 VDC power.

A keyboard 222 is connected to a keyboard port 224 of the computer 210 via a keyboard cable 226. A mouse 228 is connected to a mouse port 230 of the computer 210 via a mouse cable 232. The keyboard 222 and mouse 228 will typically be PS/2 compatible or serial devices.

A first speaker 234 is connected to an audio port 236 of the computer 210 via a first speaker cable 238. A second speaker 240 is connected to the audio port 236 of the computer 210 via the first speaker cable 238, the first speaker 234 and a second speaker cable 242. The first speaker 234 has a power port 244 to receive power for driving the first speaker 234 and the second speaker 240. In addition, a serial device 246 is connected to a serial port 248 of the computer 210 via serial cable 250. The serial device 246 has a power port 252 to receive power for driving the serial device 246. In other configurations, the serial device 246 may draw power from the computer 210 via the serial cable 250. The computer system 200 illustrated in Figure 2 will perform in a satisfactory manner when the computer 210 is located in close proximity (typically 20 feet or less) to the display 212, the keyboard 222, the mouse 228, the speakers 234, 240 and the serial device 246. If the computer 210 is located a greater distance from the other components, performance is degraded and signal boosters (not shown) are typically required. The computer system 200 illustrated in Figure 2 also requires the use of multiple, lengthy cables 214, 226, 232, 238, 242, 250 between the computer 210 and the remote location and multiple power supplies for the display 212, the speakers 234, 240 and the serial device 246. In addition, the computer 210 must typically be rebooted if any of the remote devices are temporally disconnected.

Figure 3 illustrates a computer system 300 that uses a first transceiver 310 and a second transceiver 312 to allow a computer 314 to communicate with a remote display 316, a remote keyboard 318, a remote mouse 320, remote speakers 322, 324 and a remote serial device 326. The computer 314 is connected to the first transceiver 310 via a video cable 328, a keyboard cable 330, a mouse cable 332, an audio cable 334, and a serial cable 336. To simplify the illustration, the ports to which the various cables are connected are omitted. The first transceiver 310 also has a power input 338. The first transceiver 310 is connected to the second transceiver 312 via a cable 340. The transceivers 310, 312 may be CAT compatible transceivers and the cable 340 may be CAT 5, CAT 5E, or CAT 6 cable or other twisted-pair cabling. Various combinations of analog and digital signals may be transmitted between the transceivers 310, 312. The second transceiver 312 has its own power connection 342. The second transceiver 312 is connected to the display 316 via a second video cable 344. The display 316 has a power connection 346 for receiving its own power.

The second transceiver 312 is connected to the keyboard 318 via a second keyboard cable 350 and to the mouse 320 via a second mouse cable 352. The second transceiver 312 is also connected to the pair of speakers 322, 324 via speaker cabling 354. The first speaker 322 has a power connection 356 for receiving external power to drive the speakers 322, 324. The second transceiver 312 is connected to the serial device 326 via second serial cable 356. The serial device 326 has a power connection 358 for receiving power to drive the serial device 326.

The computer system 300 requires a substantial amount of cabling and numerous power supplies at the remote location. Moreover, RGB analog video signals transmitted over substantial distances on CAT cabling typically degrade as a result of different time delays for the signal channels making up the RGB signal, which results in different signal attenuation for the signal channels. This degradation is referred to as signal skew. In addition, the computer 314 will typically have to be rebooted each time a remote device, such as keyboard 318, is temporally disconnected from the second transceiver 312. The computer 314 also typically will not boot if the keyboard 318 or the mouse 320 is not properly connected.

Therefore, it can be appreciated that there is a significant need for an improved system and method for remotely connecting a display and other peripheral devices to a computer.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one aspect, a computer system has a computer, a transceiver, which may be incorporated into the computer, and a remote display. The display has a housing containing a transceiver for transmitting and receiving signals from the computer, a video processor for processing video signals received from the computer, a video display for displaying video images, a serial data processor for processing serial data, and a power supply for supplying power to the components of the display. The video processor may also have a skew compensation circuit, which compensates for video signal skew in a received video signal. The skew compensation circuit may detect data related to the skew and automatically compensate for the skew based upon the detected data, it may respond to user input regarding the video skew, or some combination thereof.

In another aspect, a display receives a video signal from a remote location and detects data related to a skew of the received video signal. In response to the detected data, the display automatically modifies the received video signal to compensate for signal skew. The display may optionally permit further fine-tuning of the modifications to the received video signal.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING(S)

In the drawings the sizes and relative positions of elements in the drawings are not necessarily drawn to scale. For example, the shapes of various elements and angles are not drawn to scale, and some of these elements are arbitrarily enlarged and positioned to improve drawing legibility. Further, the particular shapes of the elements, as drawn, are not intended to convey any information regarding the actual shape of the particular elements, and have been solely selected for ease of recognition in the drawings.

Figure 1 is a functional block diagram of a computer system.

Figure 2 is a functional block diagram of computer system using cabling in a conventional manner to communicate with a display and other external components. Figure 3 is a functional block diagram of a computer system using a system of transceivers in a conventional manner to communicate with a remote display and other remote components.

Figure 4 is a functional block diagram of a display according to an illustrated embodiment. Figure 5 is a partial cut-away front elevational view of the display of Figure 4.

Figure 6 is a partial rear elevational view of a display according to an illustrated embodiment. Figure 7 is a schematic diagram of a computer system incorporating a display according to an illustrated embodiment.

Figure 8 is a schematic diagram of a computer system incorporating a display according to another illustrated embodiment.

Figure 9 is a functional block diagram of a transceiver according to one illustrated embodiment.

Figure 10 is a schematic diagram of a computer system incorporating a display according to another illustrated embodiment.

Figure 11 is a schematic diagram of a rack computer system according to an illustrated embodiment. Figure 12 is a functional block diagram of a video processor according to one illustrated embodiment.

Figure 13 is a functional block diagram of a video processor according to another illustrated embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In the following description, certain specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of various embodiments of the invention. However, one skilled in the art will understand that the invention may be practiced without these details. In other instances, well-known structures associated with computing systems and networks have not been described in detail to avoid unnecessarily obscuring the descriptions of the embodiments in the invention.

Unless the context requires otherwise, throughout the specification and claims which follow, the word "comprise" and variations thereof, such as "comprises" and "comprising" are to be construed in an open sense, that is as "including, but not limited to."

Figure 1 and the discussion that follows provide a brief, general description of a suitable computing environment in which the invention may be implemented. Those skilled in the relevant art will appreciate that the invention can be practiced with other computing system configurations, including handheld devices, multiprocessor systems, microprocessor-based or programmable consumer electronics, network PCs, minicomputers, mainframe computers, blade servers, and the like. Referring to Figure 1 , a conventional personal computer referred to herein as a computing system 10 includes a processor unit 12, a system memory 14 and a system bus 16 that couples various system components including the system memory 14 to the processing unit 12. The processing unit 12 may be any logical processing unit, such as one or more central processing units (CPUs), digital signal processors (DSPs), application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC), etc. Unless described otherwise, the construction and operation of the various blocks shown in Figure 1 are of conventional design. As a result, such blocks need not be described in further detail herein, as they will be understood by those skilled in the relevant art. The system bus 16 can employ any known bus structures or architectures, including a memory bus with memory controller, a peripheral bus, and/or a local bus. The system memory 14 includes read-only memory ("ROM") 18 and random access memory ("RAM") 20. A basic input/output system ("BIOS") 22, which can form part of the ROM 18, contains basic routines that help transfer information between elements within the computing system 10, such as during startup.

The computing system 10 also includes one or more memories such as a hard disk drive 24 for reading from and writing to a hard disk 26, and an optical disk drive 28 and a magnetic disk drive 30 for reading from and writing to removable optical disks 32 and magnetic disks 34, respectively. Those skilled in the relevant art will appreciate that other types of computer- readable media may be employed, such as, digital video disks ("DVD"), Bernoulli cartridges, etc. Those skilled in the relevant art will also appreciate that other types of computer-readable media that can store data accessible by a computer may be employed, for example, non-spinning media memories such as magnetic cassettes, flash memory cards, RAiVis, ROMs, smart cards, etc. A user can enter commands and information to the computing system 10 through input devices such as a keyboard 36 and a pointing device such as a mouse 38. Other input devices can include a microphone, joystick, game pad, scanner, etc. (not shown). These and other input devices are connected to the processing unit 12 through an interface such as a serial port interface 40 that couples to the bus 16, although other interfaces such as a parallel port, a game port or a universal serial bus ("USB") can be used. A display 42 or other display devices may be coupled to the bus 16 via video interface 44, such as a video adapter. The computing system 10 can include other output devices such as speakers, printers, etc.

The computing system 10 can operate in a networked environment using logical connections to one or more remote computers (not shown). The computing system 10 may employ any known means of communications, such as through a local area network ("LAN") 46 or a wide area network ("WAN") or the Internet 48.

When used in a LAN networking environment, the computing system 10 is connected to the LAN 46 through an adapter or network interface 50 (communicatively linked to the bus 16). When used in a WAN networking environment, the computing system 10 often includes a modem 52 or other device for establishing communications over the WAN/Internet 48.

The computing system 10 may include one or more interfaces such as slot 54 to allow the addition of devices either internally or externally to the computing system 10. For example, suitable interfaces may include ISA (i.e., Industry Standard Architecture), IDE, PCI (i.e., Personal Computer Interface) and/or AGP (i.e., Advance Graphics Processor) slot connectors for option cards, serial and/or parallel ports, USB ports (i.e., Universal Serial Bus), audio input/output (i.e., I/O) and MIDI/joystick connectors, and/or slots for memory.

The term "computer-readable medium" as used herein refers to any medium that participates in providing instructions to processor unit 12 for execution. Such a medium may take many forms, including but not limited to, non-volatile media, volatile media, and transmission media. Non-volatile media includes, for example, hard, optical or magnetic disks 26, 32, 34, respectively. Volatile media includes dynamic memory, such as RAM 20 of the system memory 14. Transmission media includes coaxial cables, copper wire and fiber optics, including the wires that comprise system bus 16. Transmission media can also take the form of acoustic or light waves, such as those generated during radio wave and infrared data communications.

Common forms of computer-readable media include, for example, a floppy disk, a flexible disk, hard disk, magnetic tape, or any other magnetic medium, a CD-ROM, any other optical medium, punch cards, paper tape, any other physical medium with patterns of holes, a RAM, a PROM, and EPROM, a FLASH-EPROM, any other memory chip or cartridge, or any other medium from which a computer can read.

Various forms of computer readable media may be involved in carrying one or more sequences of one or more instructions to processor unit 12 for execution. For example, the instructions may initially be carried on a magnetic disk of a remote computer. The remote computer can load the instructions into its dynamic memory and send the instructions over a telephone line using a modem. A modem 52 local to computer system 10 can receive the data on the telephone line and use an infrared transmitter to convert the data to an infrared signal. An infrared detector (not shown) coupled to the system bus 16 can receive the data carried in the infrared signal and place the data on system bus 16. The system bus 16 carries the data to system memory 14, from which processor unit 12 retrieves and executes the instructions. The instructions received by system memory 14 may optionally be stored on storage device either before or after execution by processor unit 12. Figures 2 and 3, discussed in more detail above, illustrate conventional methods of connecting a computer, such as the computer 210 illustrated in Figure 2, to a display and other peripheral devices, such as the display 212, keyboard 222, mouse 228, speakers 234, 240, and serial device 246 illustrated in Figure 2.

Referring now to Figures 4 and 5, a display 400, according to an illustrated embodiment taught herein, has a transceiver 410. The display has ports for communicating with other devices, such as a computer via a transceiver (see the computer 314 and first transceiver 310 in Figure 3), for connecting to various components at the remote location, and for receiving power. The ports include a first network port 412; a second network port 414; a keyboard port 416 for connecting an optional keyboard; a mouse port 418 for connecting an optional mouse; two speaker ports 420, 422 for connecting optional external speakers; a serial port 424, such as a USB port, for connecting optional serial devices; and a power input port 426.

The transceiver 410 processes signals traveling between the display 400 and another transceiver, such as transceiver 310 in Figure 3. The signals are received and transmitted via the first network port 412. The display 400 may relay signals between a computer (see Figure 3) and another display or other network device (not shown) via the second network port 414 in a daisy- chain fashion. The networking ports 412, 414 illustrated are RJ-45 ports to facilitate the use of standard twisted-pair cabling, such as CAT 5, CAT 5E, and CAT 6 cabling. After reviewing the specification, one of skill in the art will recognize that other transmission media may be used. The display 400 receives power via the power input port 426. A non-isolated power supply circuit 428 and an isolated power supply circuit 430 condition the power for use by the various components of the display 400.

The display has a video processor 432, which processes video and computer graphics signals to drive a video display module 434. The video display module 434 may be a cathode ray tube, an LCD monitor or any other means of displaying video and graphics. The display 400 also has an on- screen display control (OSD) 436, which allows the user to adjust display features such as color temperature, brightness, contrast, etc., and to power the display 400 on and off. The OSD 436 may also allow the user to adjust the compensation for signal skew, as discussed in more detail below with regard to Figures 12 and 13. The OSD 436 may respond to inputs received from external controls (not shown) on the display 400, from a remote computer (such as computer 314 in Figure 3) via the transceiver 410, or from a remote control such as an infrared remote (not shown).

An audio/serial signal processor 438 conditions and converts audio and serial signals as required to support the use of those signals by other components of the display 400, including ports connecting to external devices. The display 400 has an optional touch screen 440 (illustrated in Figure 5 as partially cut away) that is controlled by an optional touch screen controller 442. The display 400 also has an audio amplifier 444 and two speakers 446, 448. An audio switch 450 allows the user to set the output level to the speaker ports 420, 422 or to select the internal speakers 446, 448. As discussed in more detail below with regard to Figure 13, an optional skew switch 456 allows a user to adjust the display to compensate for the length of a cable, such as the cable 726 in Figure 7, connecting the display 400 to a transceiver, such as transceiver 714 in Figure 7. An optional potentiometer 458 allows a user to further adjust the display to compensate for signal skew.

The various components of the display 400 are coupled together by a bus system 460, which may include a power bus, a control bus, and a status signal bus in addition to a data bus. For clarity of illustration, however, the various buses are illustrated in Figure 4 as the bus system 460. Various components of the display 400 illustrated in Figure 4 may be combined into a single component. For example, a single circuit board may include the transceiver, the video processor, the OSD, the audio serial processor, and the touch screen processor. The bus system 460 can be configured so as to minimize signal interference and degradation issues, and avoids entirely signal issues raised by connecting separate external devices via cabling. Figure 6 is a partial bottom view of an embodiment of a display 600 in accordance with the present invention. Several connections to the display 600 are provided on the bottom 610 of the display case 612. These include: two network connectors 614, 616 of an RJ-45 type configuration; two PS/2 connectors 618, 620 for connecting a keyboard and a mouse, respectively; an audio connector 622, capable of providing stereo or mono output; a power connector 624 for receiving power; and a serial port 626, illustrated as a USB serial port.

Figure 7 shows a computer system 700 incorporating a display 710 according to another illustrated embodiment. A computer 712 is coupled to a transceiver 714 by a series of cables, including a video cable 716, a keyboard cable 718; a mouse cable 720; an audio cable 722; and a serial cable 724. The transceiver 714 is coupled to the display 710 via cable 726. The cable may be twisted-pair cable, such as CAT 5, CAT 5E, CAT 6, or other transmission media. The display 710 has a power port 728, and is connected to an optional keyboard 730 and an optional mouse 732 via a keyboard cable 734 and a mouse cable 736, respectively. The display 710 has two speaker ports 738, 740 for connecting two optional external speakers, not shown. The display also has an external serial port 742 for connecting optional serial devices (not shown). The computer system 700 can be configured so as not to require rebooting of the computer 712 when the display 710 is temporally disconnected from or reconnected to the transceiver 714, or when optional components are disconnected from or connected to the display 710. Similarly, the computer system 700 can be configured to permit booting of the computer 712 when optional components are disconnected from the display 710. The system 700 will function reliably at substantially greater distances than the system of Figure 2 and requires fewer cables and power supplies at the remote location than the system illustrated in Figure 3. In an exemplary embodiment, the display 710 provides power to a serial device, such as a touch screen (see Figure 8), via serial port 742. After reviewing the specification, one of skill in the art will recognize that the display 710 and the transceiver 714 may employ any suitable communications method and transmission media, including wireless communications.

Figure 8 illustrates a computer system 800 incorporating a display 810 with an optional built-in touch screen 812 (shown partially cut away) in a further illustrated embodiment. A computer 814 is coupled to a transceiver 816 by a series of cables, including a video cable 818, a keyboard cable 820; a mouse cable 822; an audio cable 824; and a serial cable 826. The transceiver 816 is coupled to the display 810 via cable 828. The cable 828 may be twisted pair cable, such as CAT 5, CAT 5E, CAT 6, or other transmission media. The display 810 has a power port 830, and is connected to an optional keyboard 832 and an optional mouse 834 via a keyboard cable 836 and a mouse cable 838, respectively. The display 810 has an audio port 840 for connecting an optional external speaker, not shown. The display also has an external serial port 842 for connecting optional serial devices (not shown). In an alternate embodiment, the transceiver 816 may supply power to the display 810 via the cable 828 connecting the transceiver 816 to the display 810.

Figure 9 is a functional block diagram of an exemplary transceiver 900 according to one illustrated embodiment. The transceiver 900 is on a card 910 that can be plugged into a slot in a computer, such as the slot 54 in the computer 10 illustrated in Figure 1. The transceiver 900 has a bus interface controller 912 for controlling communications between the transceiver 900 and a computer, such as the computer 10 illustrated in Figure 1. The transceiver 900 also has an external port 914 and a transceiver module 916. The components of the transceiver are connected together by a card bus 918. In operation, the bus interface controller 912 intercepts signals on a computer bus (such as the bus system 16 of the computer 10 illustrated in Figure 1) for transmission by the transceiver module 916 to a remote location, such as the display 710 illustrated in Figure 7, via the external port 914. After reviewing the specification, one of skill in the art will recognize that the components of the transceiver 900 can be integrated together and further that the transceiver 900 can be integrated into a computer, such as the computer 10 illustrated in Figure 1. Plugging transceiver 900 directly into a computer (or alternatively, integrating the transceiver into a computer) eliminates the need to run separate cables between a computer, such as the computer 10 illustrated in Figure 1 , and the transceiver 900. After reviewing the specification, one of skill in the art will also recognize that the transceiver 900 may employ any suitable transmission media.

Figure 10 illustrates a computer system 1000 incorporating a display 1010 and a transceiver 1012 according to another illustrated embodiment. To simplify the illustration, internal components of the display 1010 have been omitted. The transceiver 1012 is incorporated into a computer 1014. This eliminates the need for a number of cables, such as the cables 818, 820, 822, 824, 826, connecting the computer 814 and the transceiver 816 illustrated in Figure 8, as well as the corresponding ports (not shown). It also facilitates centralizing of computers in a secure location remote from end-users. This increases security as direct access by end users to system resources, such as system drives (see Figure 1) can be more carefully controlled. This is particularly advantageous for kiosk systems, such as museum kiosks, or for high security environments, such as banking and medical facilities, where it may be desirable to carefully control end-user access to system resources. It also facilitates ease of system installation.

The transceiver 1012 has an external port 1016, which in an exemplary embodiment is an RJ-45 port to facilitate use of twisted pair cabling, such as CAT 5, CAT 5e, CAT 6. Other cabling, however, may be employed. The display 1010 has a corresponding external port 1018. A cable 1020 connects the transceiver 1012 to the display 1010 via the external ports 1016, 1018. The display has ports 1022, 1024, 1026 for connecting the display to optional external devices, such as a keyboard, mouse, and a serial device (see Figure 8). After reviewing the specification one of skill in the art will recognize that other transmission media may be employed, such as a wireless communication link established between the transceiver 1012 and the display 1010. Figure 11 illustrates a rack computer system 1100 connected to five displays 1110, 1112, 1114, 1116, 1118 according to another illustrated embodiment. Internal components of the displays have been omitted. The rack computer system has four blade computers 1120, 1122, 1124, 1126 each of which has a corresponding integrated transceiver 1128, 1130, 1132, 1134. The transceivers 1128, 1130, 1132, 1134 each have a corresponding external port 1136, 1138, 1140, 1142, and the displays 1110, 1112, 1114, 1116, 1118 each have a corresponding first external port 1144, 1146, 1148, 1150, 1152. Ports for connecting optional components to the displays 1110, 1112, 1114, 1116, 1118, such as keyboards, mice, speakers, serial and parallel devices, (see Figure 7) are omitted for ease of illustration.

The first blade computer 1120 is connected to the first display 1110 via a first cable 1154 connected to the external port 1136 of the first transceiver 1128 and the first external port 1144 of the first display 1110. The second blade computer 1122 is connected to the second display 1112 via a second cable 1156 connected to the external port 1138 of the second transceiver 1130 and the first external port 1146 of the second display 1112. The third blade computer 1124 is connected to the third display 1114 via a third cable 1158 connected to the external port 1140 of the third transceiver 1132 and the first external port 1148 of the third display 1114. The fourth blade computer 1126 is connected to the fourth display 1116 via a fourth cable 1160 connected to the external port 1142 of the fourth transceiver 1134 and the first external port 1150 of the fourth display 1116. The fourth display has an optional second external port 1162. The fifth display 1118 is connected to the fourth blade computer 1126 via a fifth cable 1164 connected to the external port 1152 of the fifth display and the second external port 1162 of the fourth display 1116 and the fourth cable 1160 connected to the first external port 1150 of the fourth display 1116 and the external port 1142 of the fourth transceiver 1134 in a daisy-chain fashion. The use of transceivers integrated into blade computers in a rack system facilitates locating a number of computers in a central location while serving a number of remote locations. The number of rack computers and displays is a matter of design choice, and a one-to-one correspondence is not required. After reviewing the specification one of skill in the art will recognize that a single transceiver may be employed in a rack computer system, rather than separate transceivers integrated into separate blade computers, and further that any suitable transmission media may be employed, such as a wireless method of communication between the transceiver or transceivers and the displays.

Figure 12 is a functional block diagram of an exemplary video processor 1200 that can be employed, for example, as the video processor 432 illustrated in Figures 4 and 5. The video processor 1200 has a splitter 1210 for determining whether a received video signal is a digital video signal or an analog video signal, such as an RGB video signal. The video processor 1200 has a digital-to-digital signal processor 1212 for processing received digital video signals and driving a video display module, such as the video display module 434 illustrated in Figures 4 and 5.

The video processor 1200 also has a skew detector 1214 for gathering data related to the skew of a received analog video signal. Any suitable skew detection method may be employed. For example, data related to the respective time-delay of each of the component signals of an RGB signal may be gathered.

The video processor 1200 also has a skew comparator 1216 and a signal equalizer 1218. The skew comparator 1216 generates a control signal to control the signal equalizer 1218 based on the skew-related data gathered by the skew detector 1214. For example, the skew comparator 1216 may compare time-delay data to data in a look-up table containing time-delay data and corresponding values for the control signal. The skew comparator 1216 may also generate an error signal in the event of an error, for example, if the skew-related data returned by the skew detector 1214 is out of the range of the video processor 1200. Alternatively, the skew comparator 1216 may generate a default control signal for the signal equalizer 1218 in the event of an error. The signal equalizer 1218 processes the component signals of the received analog signal in response to the control signal received from the skew comparator 1216. For example, in response to a control signal the signal equalizer 1218 may introduce a time-delay correction into one of the component signals of the analog video signal by switching that component signal through a particular resistive path.

The video processor 1200 also has an analog-to-digital signal processor 1220 for converting an analog signal, such as an analog signal output of the signal equalizer 1218, to a digital signal and driving a video display module, such as the video display module 434 illustrated in Figures 4 and 5.

The video processor 1200 has an optional skew fine-tuning module 1222 for fine-tuning compensation for signal skew. After reviewing the specification, one of skill in the art will recognize that many different fine-tuning mechanisms may be employed. For example, the skew fine-tuning module 1222 may be a potentiometer that permits manual fine-tuning of the skew correction by adjusting a resistive signal path. In another embodiment, the skew fine-tuning module 1222 may generate a control signal in response to data inputs, such as input from a keyboard 730 illustrated in Figure 7 or from a touch screen 812 illustrated in Figure 8. The signal equalizer 1218 may respond to the control signal generated by the skew fine-tuning module 1222 by fine-tune the equalization of the component signals of the analog video signal. The video processor 1200 also has a bus system 1224 to connect the various components of the video processor 1200 together. Figure 13 is a functional block diagram of another video processor

1300 that can be employed, for example, as the video processor 432 illustrated in Figures 4 and 5. The video processor 1300 has a splitter 1310 for determining whether a received video signal is a digital video signal or an analog video signal, such as an RGB video signal. The video processor 1300 has a digital-to-digital signal processor 1312 for processing received digital video signals and driving a video display module, such as the video display module 434 illustrated in Figures 4 and 5.

The video processor 1300 has a skew adjustment input module 1314 and a signal equalizer 1316. The skew adjustment input module 1314 allows a user to select from a pre-selected number of skew-adjustment settings to control the signal equalizer 1316. The skew adjustment input module 1314 may, for example, be a switch, such as the skew switch 456 illustrated in Figures 4 and 5, that changes the data paths in the signal equalizer 1316. The skew switch 456 may, for example, select from three data paths that have been experimentally determined to compensate for the most common signal skew conditions. In another example embodiment, the skew adjustment input 1314 may be a circuit that responds to input signals, such as signals from the OSD 436 illustrated in Figures 4 and 5, by generating a control signal to control the signal equalizer 1316. The video processor 1300 also has an analog-to-digital signal processor 1318 for converting an analog signal to a digital signal and driving a video display module, such as the video display module 434 illustrated in Figures 4 and 5.

The video processor 1300 has an optional skew fine-tuning module 1320 for further adjustment of skew compensation. The video processor 1300 also has a bus system 1322 for connecting the components of the video processor 1300 together.

After reviewing the specification one of skill in the art will recognize that the various components of a video processor, such as the video processors 1200, 1300 illustrated in Figures 12 and 13, may be combined. For example, the skew detector 1214, the skew comparator 1216, the signal equalizer 1218 and the optional skew fine-tuning module 1222 illustrated in Figure 12 may be integrated into a single skew compensation circuit 1219 rather than being four separate circuits connected by a bus system. Similarly, the skew adjustment module 1314, the signal equalizer 1316 and the optional skew fine-tuning module 1320 illustrated in Figure 13 may be integrated together into a single skew compensation circuit 1319. The various embodiments described above can be combined to provide further embodiments. All of the above U.S. patents, patent applications and publications referred to in this specification, including but not limited to: Serial No. 60/454,885 filed March 13, 2003 (Express Mail No. EV1701140634US), are incorporated herein by reference, in their entirety. Aspects of the invention can be modified, if necessary, to employ systems, circuits and concepts of the various patents, applications and publications to provide yet further embodiments of the invention.

From the foregoing it will be appreciated that, although specific embodiments of the invention have been described herein for purposes of illustration, various modifications may be made without deviating from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, the invention is not limited except as by the appended claims.

Claims

1. A computer system, comprising: a computer; a display remotely located with respect to the computer, the display comprising: a housing; first means for communicating with a remote location; means for processing video signals communicatively coupled to the first means for communicating with a remote location; means for generating a video display communicatively coupled to the means for processing video signals; means for processing serial communication signals communicatively coupled to the first means for communicating with a remote location; and means for supplying power to the first means for communicating with a remote location, the means for processing video signals, the means for generating a video display and the means for processing serial communications signals; and second means for communicating with a remote location communicatively coupled to the computer and to the first means for communicating with a remote location.
2. The computer system of claim 1 wherein the means for processing video signals comprises means for compensating for signal skew.
3. The computer system of claim 2 wherein the means for compensating for signal skew comprises: means for detecting data related to a signal skew; and means for modifying a video signal based at least in part on the detected data.
4. The computer system of claim 1 wherein the second means for communicating with a remote location comprises a transceiver at least partially received by the computer.
5. The computer system of claim 1 wherein the second means for communication with a remote location comprises twisted-pair cabling.
6. The computer system of claim 1 wherein the display further comprises means for receiving serial data coupled to the means for processing serial communication signals.
7. The computer system of claim 1 wherein the means for supplying power provides isolated and non-isolated power.
8. The computer system of claim 1 wherein the means for processing a video signal comprises an on-screen display processor.
9. The computer system of claim 1 wherein the first means for communicating with a remote location comprises an RJ-45 jack.
10. The computer system of claim 1 wherein the first means for communicating with a remote location comprises means for communicating with another remote location.
11. The computer system of claim 1 wherein the second means for communicating with a remote location comprises means for transmitting a power signal and the means for supplying power extracts power from the transmitted power signal.
12. A display, comprising: a housing; means for communicating with a remote location; means for processing video signals communicatively coupled to the means for communicating with a remote location; means for generating a video display communicatively coupled to the means for processing video signals; means for processing serial communication signals communicatively coupled to the means for communicating with a remote location; and means for supplying power to the means for communicating with a remote location, the means for processing video signals, the means for generating a video display and the means for processing serial communications signals.
13. The display of claim 12 wherein the means for processing video signals comprises means for compensating for signal skew.
14. The display of claim 12, further comprising means for receiving serial data communicatively coupled to the means for processing serial communication signals.
15. The display of claim 14 wherein the means for receiving serial data is a PS2 compatible port.
16. The display of claim 14 wherein the means for receiving serial data is a USB port.
17. The display of claim 12 wherein the means for processing a video signal comprises an on-screen display processor.
18. The display of claim 12 wherein the means for communicating with a remote location comprises an RJ-45 jack.
19. The display of claim 12 wherein the means for communicating with a remote location comprises means to communication with another remote location.
20. The display of claim 12, further comprising an audio port coupled to the means for processing serial communication signals.
21. The display of claim 12 wherein the means for supplying power extracts power from a power signal received by the means for communication with a remote location.
22. A computer display, comprising: a housing; a transceiver for communicating with a remote location; a video processor communicatively coupled to the transceiver for processing video signals received by the transceiver and for generating video drive signals; a video display module for generating a video display in response to the video drive signals; a serial data processor communicatively coupled to the transceiver for processing serial communication signals; and a system power supply electrically coupled to transceiver, the video processor, the video display module, the audio processor and the serial data processor for supplying power.
23. The computer display of claim 22 further comprising a touch screen to receive data and a touch screen processor to process data received by the touch screen.
24. The computer display of claim 22 wherein the video processor comprises an on-screen display processor.
25. The computer display of claim 22, further comprising an RJ-45 jack communicatively coupled to the transceiver.
26. The computer display of claim 22 wherein the transceiver receives and transmits signals to a plurality of remote locations.
27. The computer display of claim 22 wherein the video processor comprises a skew compensation circuit.
28. The computer display of claim 27 wherein the skew compensation circuit comprises: a delay detector; a comparator circuit; and a signal equalizer.
29. The computer display of claim 27 wherein the skew compensation circuit further comprises a skew fine-tuning module.
30. The computer display of claim 22, further comprising a serial communication port wherein the system power supply is configured to supply power to the serial communication port.
31. A computer system, comprising: a computer having a first transceiver for transmitting and receiving signals; and a display, the display comprising: a housing; a second transceiver for receiving and transmitting signals between the computer and the display; a video processor for generating video drive signals in response to video signals received by the second transceiver; a video display for generating video images in response to the video drive signals; a serial data processor communicatively coupled to the second transceiver for processing serial communications; and a power supply for supplying power to the second transceiver, the video processor, the video display and the serial data processor.
32. The computer system of claim 31 , further comprising a twistedpair cable coupled between the first and second transceivers.
33. The computer system of claim 31 wherein the video processor comprises a skew compensation circuit.
34. The computer system of claim 33 wherein the skew compensation circuit comprises: a skew detection circuit; a skew comparator circuit; and a signal equalization circuit.
35. A computer system, comprising: a computer; a first transceiver communicatively coupled to the computer for transmitting and receiving signals; and a display, the display comprising: a housing; a second transceiver for receiving and transmitting signals between the first transceiver and the display; a video processor for generating video drive signals in response to video signals received by the second transceiver; a video display for generating video images in response to the video drive signals; a serial data processor communicatively coupled to the second transceiver for processing serial communications; and a power supply for supplying power to the second transceiver, the video processor, the video display and the serial data processor.
36. The computer system of claim 35, further comprising a twisted pair cable coupled between the first and second transceivers.
37. The computer system of claim 35 wherein the video processor comprises a skew compensation circuit.
38. The computer system of claim 35 wherein the video processor comprises an on-screen display processor.
39. A display, comprising: a housing; a transceiver for receiving and transmitting signals between the display and a remote location; a video processor for generating video drive signals in response to video signals received by the transceiver, wherein the video processor comprises a video skew compensation circuit; a video display for generating video images in response to the video drive signals; and a power module for supplying power to the transceiver, the video processor and the video display.
40. The display of claim 39 wherein the video skew compensation circuit comprises: a skew detector; a skew comparator; and a signal equalizer.
41. The display of claim 40 wherein the video skew compensation circuit further comprises a skew fine-tuning module.
42. The display of claim 40 wherein the video skew compensation circuit comprises: a skew adjustment selection module; and a signal equalizer.
43. The display of claim 40, further comprising a serial data processor for processing serial signals.
44. A method for displaying a video image, comprising: transmitting an analog video signal from a remote location; receiving the transmitted analog video signal; detecting data related to a skew of the received analog video signal; automatically modifying the received analog video signal based at least in part upon the detected data; and generating video drive signals based upon the modified analog video signal.
45. The method of claim 44, further comprising: receiving a signal related to the skew of the received analog video signal wherein the step of modifying the received analog video signal includes modifying the received analog video signal based at least in part on the received signal related to the skew.
46. A method for displaying a video image, comprising: transmitting an analog video signal from a remote location; receiving the transmitted analog video signal; receiving a first signal related to a skew of the received analog video signal; modifying the received analog video signal based at least in part upon the first signal related to the skew; and generating video drive signals based upon the modified analog video signal.
47. The method of claim 46, further comprising: receiving a second signal related to the skew of the received analog video signal wherein the step of modifying the received analog video signal includes modifying the received analog video signal based at least in part on the second received signal related to the skew.
PCT/US2004/007835 2003-03-13 2004-03-12 Electronic display WO2004081772A1 (en)

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