WO2008033060A1 - Method and device for controlling a multimedia presentation device - Google Patents

Method and device for controlling a multimedia presentation device Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2008033060A1
WO2008033060A1 PCT/SE2006/001049 SE2006001049W WO2008033060A1 WO 2008033060 A1 WO2008033060 A1 WO 2008033060A1 SE 2006001049 W SE2006001049 W SE 2006001049W WO 2008033060 A1 WO2008033060 A1 WO 2008033060A1
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
mpd
content
connection
information
interface
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/SE2006/001049
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Kent Olsson
Original Assignee
Obigo Ab
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Publication date
Application filed by Obigo Ab filed Critical Obigo Ab
Priority to PCT/SE2006/001049 priority Critical patent/WO2008033060A1/en
Publication of WO2008033060A1 publication Critical patent/WO2008033060A1/en

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Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N5/00Details of television systems
    • H04N5/44Receiver circuitry
    • H04N5/4403User interfaces for controlling a television receiver or set top box [STB] through a remote control device, e.g. graphical user interfaces [GUI]; Remote control devices therefor
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • 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
    • H04N21/4104Structure of client; Structure of client peripherals using peripherals receiving signals from specially adapted client devices
    • H04N21/4122Structure of client; Structure of client peripherals using peripherals receiving signals from specially adapted client devices additional display device, e.g. video projector
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • 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
    • H04N21/4104Structure of client; Structure of client peripherals using peripherals receiving signals from specially adapted client devices
    • H04N21/4126Structure of client; Structure of client peripherals using peripherals receiving signals from specially adapted client devices portable device, e.g. remote control with a display, PDA, mobile phone
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • 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
    • H04N21/414Specialised client platforms, e.g. receiver in car or embedded in a mobile appliance
    • H04N21/41407Specialised client platforms, e.g. receiver in car or embedded in a mobile appliance embedded in a portable device, e.g. video client on a mobile phone, PDA, laptop
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • 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
    • H04N21/422Input-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 or video on demand [VOD]
    • 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
    • H04N21/422Input-only peripherals, i.e. input devices connected to specially adapted client devices, e.g. global positioning system [GPS]
    • H04N21/4227Providing Remote input by a user located remotely from the client device, e.g. at work
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • 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
    • H04N21/436Interfacing a local distribution network, e.g. communicating with another STB or inside the home ; Interfacing an external card to be used in combination with the client device
    • H04N21/4363Adapting the video or multiplex stream to a specific local network, e.g. a IEEE 1394 or Bluetooth® network
    • H04N21/43637Adapting the video or multiplex stream to a specific local network, e.g. a IEEE 1394 or Bluetooth® network involving a wireless protocol, e.g. Bluetooth or wireless LAN
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/47End-user applications
    • H04N21/482End-user interface for program selection
    • H04N21/4821End-user interface for program selection using a grid, e.g. sorted out by channel and broadcast time
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • H04N21/80Generation or processing of content or additional data by content creator independently of the distribution process; Content per se
    • H04N21/81Monomedia components thereof
    • H04N21/8126Monomedia components thereof involving additional data, e.g. news, sports, stocks, weather forecasts
    • H04N21/8133Monomedia components thereof involving additional data, e.g. news, sports, stocks, weather forecasts specifically related to the content, e.g. biography of the actors in a movie, detailed information about an article seen in a video program
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • H04N21/80Generation or processing of content or additional data by content creator independently of the distribution process; Content per se
    • H04N21/83Generation or processing of protective or descriptive data associated with content; Content structuring
    • H04N21/84Generation or processing of descriptive data, e.g. content descriptors
    • H04N21/8405Generation or processing of descriptive data, e.g. content descriptors represented by keywords
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • 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
    • H04N21/854Content authoring
    • H04N21/8549Creating video summaries, e.g. movie trailer
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N5/00Details of television systems
    • H04N5/44Receiver circuitry
    • H04N5/4403User interfaces for controlling a television receiver or set top box [STB] through a remote control device, e.g. graphical user interfaces [GUI]; Remote control devices therefor
    • H04N2005/4405Hardware details of remote control devices
    • H04N2005/4407Hardware details of remote control devices concerning bidirectional operation of the remote control device
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N5/00Details of television systems
    • H04N5/44Receiver circuitry
    • H04N5/4403User interfaces for controlling a television receiver or set top box [STB] through a remote control device, e.g. graphical user interfaces [GUI]; Remote control devices therefor
    • H04N2005/4405Hardware details of remote control devices
    • H04N2005/4408Display
    • H04N2005/441Display for the display of non-command information, e.g. electronic program guide [EPG], e-mail, messages or a second television channel
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N5/00Details of television systems
    • H04N5/44Receiver circuitry
    • H04N5/4403User interfaces for controlling a television receiver or set top box [STB] through a remote control device, e.g. graphical user interfaces [GUI]; Remote control devices therefor
    • H04N2005/4405Hardware details of remote control devices
    • H04N2005/4425Remote control device emulator integrated into a non-television apparatus, e.g. a PDA, media center or smart toy

Abstract

A controlling multimedia presentation device, MPD, (130) e.g. a mobile phone, is used to control a receiving MPD (110), e.g. a TV set. Information relating to multi¬ media content, e.g. a preview, is sent to the controlling MPD, allowing a user to make a content selection. The selection is registered by the controlling MPD, and a command corresponding to the selection is sent to the receiving MPD, thereby making the receiving MPD process the content.

Description

METHOD AND DEVICE FOR CONTROLLING A MULTIMEDIA PRESENTATION DEVICE

Technical field

The present invention relates to a method for controlling a multimedia presentation device according to the preamble of claim 1, and multimedia presentation devices according to the preambles of claims 15 and 25, respectively.

Background

By a multimedia presentation- device, MPD, is meant a device that is capable of being used in the process of displaying or recording multimedia content, e.g. a TV set, a video recorder, etc. Conventionally such devices have been controlled by means of an infrared (IR) light transmitting remote control in order to allow the user to switch channel, control volume or brightness etc. of the MPD while being comfortably seated at some distance from the MPD. Such remote controls usually come as accessories to an MPD, but general remote controls, which may be programmed to co-operate with different types of MPDs are also available on the market.

Such a remote control however only provides a set of buttons located closer to the user, and does not assist the user in the process of selecting the content to be displayed. A frequently occurring behavior of users, searching for interesting content, is therefore to repeatedly change the received channel, even up to 20 times per minute. Needless to say, such behavior- is experienced as very annoying for other users, not being in possession of the remote control. Some set top boxes allow the use of so called electronic program guides (EPGs) , which to some extent facilitates the content selection process. However, use of such an electronic program guide still disturbs the viewing of content on the MPD.

US 2003/0005429 Al describes a system with a set-top box that allows displaying of video previews in an elec- tronic program guide channel.

US 2005/0196136 Al describes a method for programming a video recorder. An advertisement for a television program is broadcasted, and the user is prompted to select the program for recording. If the user chooses to record the program, the video recorder is programmed accordingly.

US 2002/0032907 Al, and US 2003/0121042 Al describe programming of a video recorder where a programming schedule is accessed via the Internet, where the user can select content to be recorded, and where corresponding settings are downloaded to the recorder.

US 2003/0005446 Al, describes a set-top box having a server, which contains locally stored program guide data. An access device accesses the server via the Internet in order to allow a user to schedule events, which are then sent back to the set-top box.

US 2005/0028208 Al describes a system where television equipment can be programmed remotely, via the Internet.

Summary of the invention

An object of the present invention is to facilitate the content selection process when using an MPD. This object is achieved by means of a method for controlling an MPD as defined in claim 1.

More specifically, the method for controlling an MPD then includes sending information relating to a multimedia content, via a first connection, to a second MPD, displaying the information on a display of the second MPD in order to allow a user to make a content selection, registering a content selection, generating in the second MPD a command based on the content selection, and sending the command, via a wireless interface and a second connection, to the first MPD, thereby making the first MPD receive and process content corresponding to the content selection. This method allows the user to make a selection of what content should be displayed on the first MPD, using the second MPD only, where the second MPD functions as a remote control. The displaying of content on the first MPD need not be disturbed at all during this process, even if a great number of different contents are considered. Once the user has made a selection, the second MPD makes the first MPD display content accordingly.

This concept provides another advantage in a second scenario, starting out from the second MPD. Such MPDs may be portable and may therefore comprise a relatively small display, e.g. a 2 inch display. If a user, watching interesting content on such a display, wishes to move the displaying of the content to a bigger display, e.g. to be viewed by a larger group of users, the above indicated method allows the user to do so.

The second MPD may translate the content selection into a content identification information, and include the content identification information in the command. This may be used e.g. when settings information relating to the first MPD is not known to the second MPD.

Alternatively, the second MPD may translate the content selection into a settings information, and may the include the settings information in the command. This allows the second MPD to control the first MPD e.g. when the latter is a legacy TV set, designed to be controlled by a dedicated remote control.

The second MPD may add additional, digital rights management information to the command. This makes it possible to buy copyright protected content using the second MPD and using it on the first MPD. The second MPD may thus be a portable device and the content selection may be registered using an input device of the second MPD.

However, the concept is also functional in a third scenario when a user wants to "copy" content displayed on another MPD, e.g. a TV, to his portable MPD. The TV is then the second MPD and the portable device is the first MPD. The selection is registered on the portable device and sent, as a request for a command corresponding to the content identification, to the second MPD, using the second connection.

Generally, the first connection may be established via a first interface, and the second connection via a second interface. The first interface may be a mobile telephony system or a wireless local area network, WLAN. An Internet connection or a TV distribution system may also be used as the first interface.

The second interface may e.g. be any of an infra - red, IR, connection, a BLUETOOTH connection or a wireless local area network, WLAN, connection.

In some cases it may be useful to let the second interface be operable only if line of sight exists between the first and second MPD or if the distance between the first and second MPDs is less than 10 meters. This may be used to prevent unauthorized or accidental controlling of the first MPD.

The information relating to the multimedia content may be a preview of the multimedia content or a text describing the multimedia content.

An MPD, which is useful in the first and second scenarios comprises a display, user input means and at least one wireless communication interface, enabling the device to receive, via a first connection, information relating to a multimedia content. The MPD further has means for displaying the information on the display, in order to allow a user to make a content selection using the input means, means for registering a content selection, means for generating a command based on the content selection, and means for sending the command, via a wireless interface and a second connection, to another MPD in order to make said another MPD receive and process content corresponding to the content selection. Such means may generally be software implemented, hardware- implemented or both. This MPD may be varied in correspondence with the above mentioned method. An MPD, which is useful in the third scenario has a display, user input means, and a wireless interface which is capable of establishing a first connection for receiving multimedia content. The MPD further has means for registering a content selection, corresponding to infor- mation relating to a multimedia content, the information being displayed on another MPD, means for transmitting a request for a command, corresponding to the multimedia content, to said another MPD via a second connection, means for receiving the command from said another MPD, and means for receiving, utilizing said command and via the first connection, and processing content corresponding to the command. The command may typically include a content identification information. This MPD may be varied in correspondence with the above mentioned method. An MPD may be designed to work in one or more of the scenarios mentioned above.

Brief description of the drawings

Fig 1 shows a system for remote control of a re- ceiving MPD.

Fig 2 schematically illustrates a method for generating and sending remote control commands from a controlling MPD.

Fig 3 schematically illustrates a method for receiving and executing remote control commands in a receiving MPD. Fig 4 schematically illustrates a method for generating and sending selection to setting conversion, STSC, information relating to a receiving MPD, or for generating and sending user identification information from the receiving MPD to a controlling MPD.

Detailed description

Fig. 1 shows a system for remote control of a receiving MPD 110 using a controlling MPD 130. In the first and second scenarios earlier mentioned, the receiving MPD 110 is to be regarded as the first MPD and the controlling MPD 130 is to be regarded as the second MPD. However, in the third scenario initially mentioned, the controlling MPD 130 is to be regarded as the first MPD and the receiving MPD 110 is to be regarded as the second MPD. As a typical example, the receiving MPD 110 may be a legacy TV set, and the system is first described in connection with this example. However, as will be described later, other types of receiving MPDs are con- ceivable which may require different modifications of the system and which provide different functionalities.

In the example now described, an information source 100 in the form of a TV channel is provided which is distributed by means of a distribution system 102, typically by broadcasting or using a cable network. The content thus distributed is received by a transceiver 104 which, in the legacy TV case, usually is a receiver only, and is integrated in the receiving MPD 110.

The receiving MPD 110 further comprises an input device 114, such as a set of buttons, and a control unit 112, which receives input data from the input device 114. A display 118 receives the content from the transceiver 104 and via the control unit 112, and displays the content together with a loudspeaker (not shown) . In addition to the input device 114, the receiving MPD 110 comprises a local communication unit 116, which in the legacy TV case typically may be an IR (Infrared) receiver. The local communication unit 116 thus provides additional input data to the control unit 112.

As conventionally used in the legacy TV case, the user of the receiving MPD 110 selects the content to be displayed using the input device 114 or using a conventional remote control (not shown) , which sends commands to the local communication unit 116.

In the example in fig 1 however, a controlling MPD 130 is used to control the receiving MPD 110. Although a number of different controlling MPD 130 embodiments are conceivable, as will be discussed later, the case is now described where the controlling MPD 130 is a mobile phone .

Third generation (3G) mobile phones readily allow a mobile subscriber to watch streaming video content on the mobile phone display. Thus, the feature of functioning as a general MPD is already provided in many mobile phones. The controlling MPD 130 thus has a display 138, user input means 134 (a keypad) and a wireless communication interface, which enables the device to -receive multimedia content from a content provider 100 via a first connection. The content is received by means of a transceiver 124, which in this example is integrated in the MPD, and via a second distribution system 122. In this case the second distribution system may be the mobile access. system, e.g. UMTS, normally used by the mobile phone. The controlling MPD 130 has a control unit 132 in the form of a processor.

Additionally, the controlling MPD 130 has a local communication unit 136, which enables it to communicate via a second connection directly with the receiving MPD 110. Thus, if the receiving MPD 110 is a legacy TV set, the controlling MPD may comprise a local communication unit 136 in the form of an IR transmitter. The controlling MPD 130 may thus receive, via a first connection, information relating to a certain multimedia content. This information may be devised in different ways but may typically be a preview of the multimedia content. The controlling MPD displays the information using its display 138 and/or loudspeakers, and allows the user to make a content selection by using the input device 134 of the controlling MPD 130.

The user may thus watch a TV show preview on the display of his mobile phone and may be prompted to select this TV show to be displayed on his legacy TV set. As an alternative to a preview, the multimedia content related information may be a text, describing the content, etc.

The controlling MPD has means for registering such a content selection, and means for generating a command based on the user selection. This command is sent, via the local communication unit 136, to the receiving MPD

110 which as a consequence begins to display the selected content.

The term preview as used herein should be interpreted broadly. Not only film trailers and similar con- tent is considered. The prefix pre- only indicates that a content is viewed on the controlling MPD before it is viewed on the receiving MPD. Thus, a live broadcast content may be previewed on the controlling MPD and then displayed on the receiving MPD. The image information displayed on the receiving MPD will then not be the same as was initially displayed on the controlling MPD, since that information had already been broadcasted when the receiving MPD began its reception. The information initially displayed on the controlling MPD is nevertheless, in this context, considered to be a preview of the content.

The controlling MPD 110 may display more than one preview simultaneously.

The term content selection generally means content selected by a user. The content selection may be repre- sented by settings information that is applicable within the controlling MPD, by some content identification information, or by settings information that is applicable within the receiving MPD (e.g. a channel number). The content selection may additionally include information defining a subset (timing, sound only etc.) of the original content. The reception of the multimedia content related information in the controlling MPD may be the result of the user searching for multimedia content e.g. in connection with a remote server. The controlling MPD 130 may thus be used to browse through a multimedia content catalogue available at a remote server. When finding interesting content, the user may first choose to view a preview on the display of the controlling MPD 130, and then to view the content using the receiving MPD 110.

Having thus described a specific but highly relevant example, it should be noted that the general layout illustrated in fig 1 may be embodied in a number of different ways. Some examples will now be given in a description of the general layout in fig 1.

By multimedia content is here meant, in addition to conventional TV/video content, web pages, presentation program slides, etc. Different camera angles of a single scenario may be considered as unique content. The user may thus, while viewing e.g. a sports event using one camera angle on the receiving MPD, preview a different, second camera angle on the controlling MPD. Later, the user may make the receiving MPD switch to the second angle.

The information source 100 is a node where multimedia content is stored and available for retrieval or from where content is streaming, either at a predetermined time or on demand. The information source 100 may thus be e.g. a web server, a TV station, or even a storage medium placed in the users home. More than one information source may store the same content. The content distributed from the information source 100 may be TV/video sequences (live broadcast or recorded) , images, web-pages or sound. When e.g. broadcasting a football game, different camera angles may be available as different sets of content.

The content is distributed to the MPDs 110, 130. Even if the respective distribution and display systems alter the content to some extent (e.g. change frame rates or resolution in video content) it is still considered, in this context, to be the same content.

The distribution systems 102 and 122 may in principle be of the same kind or may even be the same system. Usually however, different distribution systems will be used as described in the example above.

A distribution system may allow for two-way information distribution or be restricted to a one-way, downlink information flow from the information source 100 to the MPD.

Possible distribution systems includes at least DVB- H, Analog TV, DVB-S, DVB-T, DVB-C, the Internet, Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (MBMS) using GSM/EDGE/- 3G, as well as local and wide-area data networks. The distribution systems 102, 122 may, as mentioned, reduce the resolution, the number of simultaneous sound channels, the frame rate etc. of the multimedia content, but the content may still be recognizable to a user.

The transceivers 104 and 124 may be of the same kind or not. As mentioned, a transceiver may be a mere receiver, i.e. unable of using the so called uplink of its corresponding distribution system.

The receiving MPD 110 may typically be a legacy TV, a set top box, a personal computer, PC, a video recorder, a digital storage medium, such as a hard drive, etc. Thus the input device 114 and the display 118 are optional in some cases. E.g. in the case of a hard drive, this item does not itself display the content, it only handles (stores) the content for future display e.g. on a TV, but is still considered to be an MPD in this context. The controlling MPD 130 may typically be a mobile phone, a PDA (personal digital assistant) or a PC (a second PC in case the receiving MPD is also a PC) .

In principle, the controlling and receiving MPDs may be identical and/or may switch roles during use, i.e. the controlling MPD may begin to act as the receiving MPD and vice-versa.

The communication link between the local communication units 116 and 136 may be using BLUETOOTH, infrared light, a WLAN standard (e.g. IEEE 802.11) or any other technology suitable for short distance communication. Short distance here means less than about 50 meters.

An advantage with this system configuration is that the controlling of the receiving MPD may be achieved locally. There is thus no need for the controlling MPD to manipulate the distribution system 102 of the receiving MPD 110 in any way. This means that complicated authorization procedures in this distribution system 102 need not be carried out. The distribution system of the receiving MPD 110 may be downlink only, and the distribution systems 102, 122 need not communicate with each other.

The short distance capability of the local communication units' link may actually be an advantage, since it makes unauthorized use difficult. It is then even possible to deliberately reduce this distance e.g. to less than 10 m or to conditions where line-of-sight is required.

It is possible to provide one or more relays (not shown) between the local communication units 116 and 136. for instance to accomplish infrared data traffic between a kitchen and a living room, where line-of-sight is not available. The communication link may be two-way or oneway only. The information sent between the local communication units 116 and 136 may include: settings information, content identification information, additional information, STSC (selection-to-setting conversion) information, information identifying the product type of the receiving MPD, and commands .

The additional information may include decryption information, in case this is needed to receive the content, digital rights management information, etc. Timing information may also be included, e.g. if a video recorder as a receiving MPD is to record content that is to be broadcasted at a later stage. Digital rights management information may comprise a digital rights object, such as a DRM 2.0 enabler as specified by OMA (Open Mobile Alliance) . Such an object may be bought e.g. by means of a web service. The digital rights management information included thus allows the receiving MPD to process the multimedia content, while avoiding violation of copyright protection.

Settings information may include channel numbers, radio frequencies, program numbers within a DVB multiplexer, etc. Generally, the setting information is the key to successful retrieval of multimedia content. The setting information is generally not universal but may vary between different distribution systems and even between different MPD brands and models.

By content identification information is generally meant information that can connect content to a settings information, e.g. an EPG (electronic program guide) channel name in combination with a start time on air, a digital TV frame, etc.

By STSC information is meant information that can be used, in a controlling MPD, to convert a content selection to a setting, thus allowing the setting to be sent to the receiving MPD.

Additionally general setting commands such as "increase volume", "decrease brightness", etc. may be sent between the MPDs.

Fig. 2 schematically illustrates a method for generating and sending remote control commands from a controlling MPD. Only one-way local communication, from the controlling MPD 130 to the receiving MPD 110, is needed.

At the start 200 of the flow-chart, the user is al- lowed to select multimedia content. For instance, the user may browse through the available selection from a TV channel network. The user may thus preview these channels on the display 138 of the controlling MPD 130, possibly at low resolution and/or frame rate in order to save bandwidth. The controlling MPD 130 may receive the content-related information also as the result of other measures than browsing. For instance the user may "copy" content from one receiving MPD 110 to another as will be described later, and in this case the controlling MPD may receive content identifying information via a local interface from a receiving MPD. Then the receiving MPD downloads corresponding content relating information, e.g. a preview, from the information ■ source . Additionally, the user may register for a service watching the available broadcasting supply for content that matches the user's registered preferences. If a matching content is available, the user receives a preview or a text message, allowing him to select the content for display on a receiving MPD 110. At the same time the receiving MPD 110 may display totally different content, even from another provider, and the displaying of this content need not be disturbed while the user previews other content using the controlling MPD 130. When the user selects some content, the controlling MPD 130 receives the selection and a corresponding command 202, 204 from the input device 134. The controlling MPD checks 206 whether STSC information is available. If this is the case the selection is converted 210 into a setting using the STSC information, and the setting is sent 212, integrated with the command, to the receiving MPD 110. The controlling MPD may have received STSC information from the receiving MPD or from a remote location. The user may further have programmed STSC information manually into the memory of the controlling MPD. It is possible to receive the STSC information together with the content related information. When browsing selectable content from a remote source, the user may register the type of receiving MPD intended for use, and the required setting may then be delivered from the information source together with the content related information.

If no STSC information is available, the controlling MPD 130 instead sends 208 the original content identification information together with the command. Additionally, identification information, identifying the user, may be sent 214 to the receiving MPD, thereby finishing 216 the procedure.

Fig 3 schematically shows a method for receiving and executing remote control commands in a receiving MPD, i.e. on the other side of the local interface 116-136

(fig 1) . The procedure starts 300 and in a first step 302 information is received from the controlling MPD. The received information is parsed into components that can be used by the receiving MPD, i.e. one or more of a setting, a selection, a command, a user identification, and additional information such as digital rights management information.

In step 303 it is then determined whether the received command is of the kind that requires a trans- mission from the receiving MPD 110 to the controlling MPD 130. If so, a return transmission process 400 is carried out as will be described in connection with fig 4. Note that this requires a two-way communication link and is not usually considered e.g. in connection with legacy TV sets as receiving MPDs.

If a return transmission is not requested, the process continues with step 304 where it is tested whether the identity of the user has to be checked. If so, the received user identity is extracted 306 and it is tested 308 whether the user identification' is OK, i.e. whether the user requesting a command to be carried out is regi- stered as authorized to control the receiving MPD 110. If so, the process continues with step 314. If not, a master is prompted 310, 312 to acknowledge the right of a user to control the equipment. This situation may occur e.g. in a public space such as a hotel lobby, where only some users are allowed to control a receiving MPD. The master would then typically be the person responsible for the receiving MPD.

If the master allows the user to control the- receiving MPD or if no user identification is required, the process continues with step 314. If the master does not allow the user to control the receiving MPD, the process is finished 324. Any approval given by the master may have a limited duration, e.g. 1 hour.

In step 314 it is tested whether the received infor- mation comprises a setting. This will often be the case when the controlling MPD is aware of the type of receiving MPD. If so, the process may immediately proceed to step 322 where the command is executed, after which the procedure is ended 324. If no setting is included in the received information, a setting corresponding to the selection is searched for 316/318, i.e. a database or lookup table (STSC information) may be used to translate the selection (e.g. a TV station abbreviation) into a setting (e.g. a receiver frequency) . Such a database may be stored in the receiving MPD in a non-volatile memory or may be accessible from a remote source via an interface. The receiving MPD may update the database/lookup table e.g. by accessing information at some remote source or using a local search procedure, where different settings are applied to 'the tuner of the receiving MPD, and where corresponding appearing selections are stored together with the settings as setting-selection pairs. The selections may then be extracted e.g. by parsing corresponding EPG (Electronic Program Guide) information in a DVB (Digital Video Broadcast) distribution system. At step 316 one alternative is thus to search for the selection in a data base/lookup table (in the receiving MPD or at a remote source) and use the database/lookup table to convert the selection to a setting that works on the actual receiving MPD. Another alternative at step 316 is to perform a local search by applying different settings to the tuner of the receiving MPD and expecting the desired selection to appear within a reasonable period of time. If the search or the local search results 318 in a found setting/selection combination, this combination may be stored in the database/lookup table for future use. This will make the setting search faster the next time this selection is requested.

In case no corresponding setting is found, the command can however not be carried out, and the procedure ends 324.

Fig. 4 schematically illustrates a method for generating and transmitting selection to setting conversion, STSC, information relating to a receiving MPD, or for generating and transmitting user identification infor- mation from the receiving MPD to a controlling MPD. This procedure requires a two-way interface between the controlling and receiving MPDs.

The controlling MPD may primarily request two types of information from the receiving MPD, user identifica- tion information or STSC information. However, in the third scenario also a command corresponding to a content identification may also be distributed in this direction, as will be described later. It is tested 402 whether the user requests user identification information, i.e. requests to be registered as an authorized user with the receiving MPD and receiving a user identity. If so, the master is prompted to allow this request 422, 424, and if he does approve the request new ID information is generated 426 and stored 428 as an approved controlling MPD. The ID information is transmitted to the controlling MPD. If no approval is received, the process is finished 418.

If instead STSC information is requested, it is checked 404 whether this information is already available. If not, information that can be used to map selections to settings is accessed 406, e.g. at a remote location. It is also possible, in a local search, to apply different settings to the tuner of the receiving MPD, and to store the combinations of selections and settings that appear. The mapping information or the combinations are then used to generate 408 the STSC information.

Then, in steps 410, 412, 414 and 416, and similarly to steps 306, 308, 310 and 312, respectively, it is tested whether user identification is needed, if so, whether the user is registered as approved, and, if not, whether the master allows the controlling MPD to receive the information. If a transmission is allowed the STSC information is transmitted to the controlling MPD.

It is possible to let the content selection input come from the receiving MPD. Then this input is received via the second interface 116, 136 (fig 1) . The receiving MPD then requests a command to switch to the content currently displayed on the controlling MPD. This may be carried out e.g. using a dedicated remote control.

Additionally, the controlling MPD may be switched to display the content currently displayed by the receiving MPD, in the third scenario initially mentioned. This allows the controlling MPD to "copy" the content currently displayed on the receiving MPD. The controlling MPD then extracts content identification information from the receiving MPD e.g. by requesting such information as a command from the receiving MPD, via the local interface 116, 136. If the interface 116, 136 only allows communication from the controlling to the receiving MPD, as would be the case with most legacy TV sets, this limitation may be overcome by switching the receiving MPD to the text TV, taking a digital photo of the text page using a camera in the controlling MPD, and carrying out character recognition on the content of the text in order to extract content identifying information.

Extracting content identifying information from a receiving MPD allows the user to move a displayed content from one receiving MPD to another, which may be a very useful feature. For instance, if a user watches a program on one receiving MPD and has to leave the location, he may "copy" the content to his controlling MPD and watch the displayed content on the display of the controlling

MPD e.g. on the bus on his way home. When coming home, he may choose to copy the content again, now to another receiving MPD in his home and in the manner already described, thereby allowing him to continue watching the content on a bigger screen.

In e.g. some public spaces a plurality of receiving MPDs may be present. One potentially useful feature of a controlling MPD may be to sent an empty command, which makes the receiving MPD acknowledge a successful recep- tion. The receiving MPD may then e.g. flash a LED. The acknowledging can thus be carried out without disturbing other users watching the receiving MPD.

It is possible to schedule future display or recording activities in the controlling MPD, which then later transmits commands accordingly to the receiving MPD. It is however also possible to transmit an entire schedule to the receiving MPD as a complex command. The receiving MPD may then execute the schedule independently.

The invention is not restricted to the described embodiments, but may be varied within the scope of the appended claims.

Claims

1. A method for controlling a first multimedia presentation device, MPD, (110; 130) , c h a r a c t e r - ά z e d by
-sending information relating to a multimedia content, via a first connection, to a second MPD (130; 110),
-displaying the information on a display of the second MPD in order to allow a user to make a content selection,
-registering a content selection,
-generating in the second MPD a command based on the content selection, and -sending the command, via a wireless interface and a second connection, to the first MPD, thereby making the first MPD receive and process content corresponding to the content selection.
2. A method according to claim 1, wherein the second MPD translates the content selection into a content identification information, and wherein the command includes the content identification information.
3. A method according to claim 1, wherein the second MPD translates the content selection into a settings information, and wherein the command includes the settings information.
4. A method according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the second MPD adds additional, digital rights management information to the command.
5. A method according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the second MPD (130) is a portable device and the content selection is registered using an input device of the second MPD.
6. A method according to any of claims 1-4, wherein the first MPD (130) is a portable device and the content selection is registered using an input device of the first MPD and is subsequently transmitted to the second MPD using the second connection.
7. A method according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the first connection is established via a first interface, and the second connection is established via a second interface.
8. A method according to claim 7, wherein the first interface is a mobile telephony system.
9. A method according to claim 7, wherein the first interface is a wireless local area network, WLAN.
10. A method according to claim 7, wherein the second interface is any of an infra red, IR, connection, a BLUETOOTH connection or a wireless local area network, WLAN, connection.
11. A method according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the second interface is operable only if line of sight exists between the first and second MPD.
12. A method according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the second interface is operable only if the distance between the first and second MPDs is less than 10 meters.
13. A method according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the information relating to the multimedia content is a preview of the multimedia content.
14. A method according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the information relating to the multimedia content is text describing the multimedia content .
15. A multimedia presentation device, MPD, (130) comprising a display, user input means and at least one wireless communication interface, enabling the device to receive, via a first connection, information relating to a multimedia content, c h a r a c t e r i z e d by -means for displaying said information on the display (138), in order to allow a user to make a content selection using said input means, -means (134) for registering a content selection, -means (132) for generating a command based on the content selection,
-means (136) for sending the command, via a wireless interface and a second connection, to another MPD (110) in order to make said another MPD receive and process content corresponding to the content selection.
16. A multimedia presentation device, MPD, according to claim 15, wherein the MPD is arranged to translate the content selection into a content identification information, and wherein the command includes the content identification information.
17. A multimedia presentation device, MPD, according to claim 15, wherein the MPD is arranged to translate the content selection into a settings information, and wherein the command includes the settings information.
18. A multimedia presentation device, MPD, according to any of claims 15-17, wherein the MPD is arranged to add additional, digital rights management information to the command.
19. A multimedia presentation device, MPD, according to any of claims 15-18, wherein the first connection is established via a first interface, and the second connection is established via a second interface.
20. A multimedia presentation device, MPD, according to claim 19, wherein the first interface is a mobile telephony system.
21. A multimedia presentation device, MPD, according to claim 19, wherein the first interface is a wireless local area network, WLAN.
22. A multimedia presentation device, MPD, according to claim 19, wherein the second interface is any of an infra red, IR, connection, a BLUETOOTH connection or a wireless local area network, or a WLAN connection.
23. A multimedia presentation device, MPD, according to any of claims 15-22, wherein the information relating to the multimedia content is a preview of the multimedia content.
24. A multimedia presentation device, MPD, according to any of claims 15-22, wherein the information relating to the multimedia content is text describing the multimedia content.
25. A multimedia presentation device, MPD, (130) comprising a display and user input means, and a wireless interface which is capable of establishing a first connection for receiving multimedia content, c h a r a c t e r i z e d by
-means (134) for registering a content selection, corresponding to information relating to a multimedia content, the information being displayed on another MPD (110);
-means for transmitting (136) a request for a command, corresponding to the multimedia content, to said another MPD (110) via a second connection,
-means for receiving a command from said another MPD; and
-means for receiving, utilizing said command and via the first connection, and processing content corresponding to the command.
26. A multimedia presentation device according to claim 25, wherein digital rights management information is received together with the content identification, and the MPD (130) is arranged to receive the content using the digital rights management information.
27. A multimedia presentation device, according to claim 25 or 26, wherein first connection is established via a first interface, and the second connection is established via a second interface.
28. A multimedia presentation device according to claim 25, wherein the first interface is a mobile . telephony system or a wireless local area network, WLAN.
29. A multimedia presentation device according to claim 25, wherein the second interface is any of an infra red, IR, connection, a BLUETOOTH connection or a wireless local area network, WLAN, connection.
PCT/SE2006/001049 2006-09-15 2006-09-15 Method and device for controlling a multimedia presentation device WO2008033060A1 (en)

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