WO2011039763A2 - System for obtaining information about tv broadcasts via a plurality of channels - Google Patents

System for obtaining information about tv broadcasts via a plurality of channels Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2011039763A2
WO2011039763A2 PCT/IN2010/000587 IN2010000587W WO2011039763A2 WO 2011039763 A2 WO2011039763 A2 WO 2011039763A2 IN 2010000587 W IN2010000587 W IN 2010000587W WO 2011039763 A2 WO2011039763 A2 WO 2011039763A2
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Prior art keywords
channel
epg
data
logo
adapted
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PCT/IN2010/000587
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French (fr)
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WO2011039763A3 (en )
Inventor
Tanushyam Chattopadhyay
Arpan Pal
Aniruddha Sinha
Chandra Sekhar Agnuru
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Tata Consultancy Services Ltd.
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N5/00Details of television systems
    • H04N5/44Receiver circuitry
    • H04N5/445Receiver circuitry for displaying additional information
    • H04N5/44543Menu-type displays
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television, VOD [Video On Demand]
    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/43Processing of content or additional data, e.g. demultiplexing additional data from a digital video stream; Elementary client operations, e.g. monitoring of home network, synchronizing decoder's clock; Client middleware
    • H04N21/44Processing of video elementary streams, e.g. splicing a video clip retrieved from local storage with an incoming video stream, rendering scenes according to MPEG-4 scene graphs
    • H04N21/44008Processing of video elementary streams, e.g. splicing a video clip retrieved from local storage with an incoming video stream, rendering scenes according to MPEG-4 scene graphs involving operations for analysing video streams, e.g. detecting features or characteristics in the video stream
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television, VOD [Video On Demand]
    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/45Management operations performed by the client for facilitating the reception of or the interaction with the content or administrating data related to the end-user or to the client device itself, e.g. learning user preferences for recommending movies, resolving scheduling conflicts
    • H04N21/462Content or additional data management, e.g. creating a master electronic program guide from data received from the Internet and a Head-end, controlling the complexity of a video stream by scaling the resolution or bit-rate based on the client capabilities
    • H04N21/4622Retrieving content or additional data from different sources, e.g. from a broadcast channel and the Internet
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television, VOD [Video On Demand]
    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/47End-user applications
    • H04N21/482End-user interface for program selection
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television, VOD [Video On Demand]
    • H04N21/60Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television, VOD [Video On Demand] using Network structure or processes specifically adapted for video distribution between server and client or between remote clients; Control signaling specific to video distribution between clients, server and network components, e.g. to video encoder or decoder; Transmission of management data between server and client, e.g. sending from server to client commands for recording incoming content stream; Communication details between server and client
    • H04N21/65Transmission of management data between client and server
    • H04N21/658Transmission by the client directed to the server
    • H04N21/6581Reference data, e.g. a movie identifier for ordering a movie or a product identifier in a home shopping application

Abstract

A system and method for displaying an Electronic Program Guide (EPG) data for a television channel of a viewer's choice along with simultaneous access to a plurality of applications while watching the television channel have been disclosed. The system of the present invention recognizes the logo of the currently viewed channel and based on the same establishes a communication link with the website of that channel, downloads and hyperlinks the EPG data and blends the data over a portion of the channel video content. Thus, viewers do not have to browse through the entire programme guide to view the programme details of a channel of their choice. Moreover, the hyper-linking enables viewers to access the website of that channel for additional information.

Description

SYSTEM FOR OBTAINING INFORMATION ABOUT TV BROADCASTS VIA A PLURALITY OF CHANNELS

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to the field of telecommunications.

Particularly, the present invention relates to the generation of Electronic Programme Guides (EPGs) for Tele Vision (TV) channels.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION AND PRIOR ART

An Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) or Electronic Service Guide (ESG) is a digital guide for customers which gives information about the scheduled broadcast television programmes, typically displayed on the television screen along with the functions which allow the viewer to navigate, select, and discover any content by time, title, channel, genre and the like. The viewer can access the EPG using a remote control, a keyboard, or other input devices such as a phone keypad. In conjunction with the Programme Delivery Control (PDC), content can also be scheduled for future playing using a digital video recorder (DVR) / a personal video recorder (PVR).

The on-screen information can be delivered by a dedicated channel or can be generated by the receiving equipment using the information sent by each programme channel. To facilitate the latter method, the European-Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has published the ETS 300 707 standard. Though completely different from the on-screen programme scroll on the TV Guide Channel in the United States, ETS 300 707 technology is based upon broadcasting the data to an application usually residing within the middleware in a Set Top Box (STB). A Set Top Box or a Set Top Unit (STU) is an electronic device that is connected to a communication channel, such as a phone, ISDN or cable television line, and produces output on a conventional television screen.

By navigating through an EPG on a receiving device, viewers can see more information about the current and the future programmes. When EPGs are connected to PVRs, they enable a viewer to plan his or her viewing timetable and record the broadcast programmes to a hard disk for later viewing. Typical content of an EPG includes programme titles, descriptive information such as a synopsis, the actors, directors, year of production of the programmes and the like, the channel name and the programmes on offer from sub channels such as pay-per-view and Video On Demand (VOD) services, programme starting time, genres and other descriptive metadata. EPG information is typically displayed on a grid with the option to select more information on each programme.

The latest revolution in EPGs is a personalized EPG. iFanzy is such an EPG that is completely personal. It allows the viewers to create customized backgrounds (like a personal computer's desktop image). It also records these programmes so that the viewers no longer have to depend on a broadcaster's time schedule, but can watch the programmes at their own moments of choice.

EPGs can be sent within the broadcast transport stream or in a special data channel beside the broadcast transport stream. Most EPG systems, however, rely upon third party "metadata aggregators" (companies such as Tribune TV Data, Gemstar-TV Guide and Broadcasting Dataservices), to provide good quality data content. Newer media centres (Personal computer based multi-channel TV recorders) and digital video recorders can use an internet feed for the EPG. This enables two-way interactivity for the viewer so that the media download can be requested via the EPG, or a related link, and remote programming of the media centre can be achieved. Examples include IceTV and MythTV.

In developing the EPG software, manufacturers have to include functions to address the growing volumes of increasingly complex data associated with programming. This data should include programme descriptions, schedules, ratings, user configuration information such as favorite channel lists, and multimedia content. Also, it is difficult for the viewers to access the EPG for the required channel from the numerous channels available in the present scenario.

Therefore, there is a need for a system for obtaining TV channel information which: • allows the viewer to obtain the EPG of the channel of his choice easily; • provides the viewer with an EPG having the increasingly complex data associated with all available TV programmes and their scheduling for his selected channel;

• allows the viewer to visit the website of his selected channel;

• displays the text information obtained from the website of the viewer's selected channel blended with the video content of the selected channel; and

• enhances the user interactivity while the TV programmes are being broadcast and watched.

OBJECT OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention, to provide a system for obtaining TV channel information which allows the viewer to access the EPG of the channel of his choice easily.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a system for obtaining TV channel information which provides the viewer with an EPG having the increasingly complex data associated with all available TV programmes and their scheduling for his selected channel.

It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a system for obtaining TV channel information which allows the viewer to visit the website of his selected channel.

It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a system for obtaining TV channel information which displays the text information obtained from the website of the viewer's selected channel blended with the video content of the selected channel.

It is still another object of the present invention to provide a system for obtaining TV channel information which enhances the user interactivity while the TV programmes are being broadcast and watched.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention envisages a system for displaying an Electronic Program Guide (EPG) data for a particular television channel being viewed and providing viewers simultaneous access to a plurality of applications while watching the television channel from analogue transmission, wherein the system comprises the following components:

• a remote EPG server having:

i. a template database for storing channel logo information and corresponding URL information;

ii. receiving means adapted to receive channel logo identification information of a television channel of a viewer's choice;

iii. a comparator adapted to compare said received channel logo information with the logo information stored in the template database and further adapted to provide the compared results giving the retrieved URL;

iv. fetching means adapted to fetch the EPG text data by connecting to website of the retrieved URL;

v. EPG creation means adapted to create the channel EPG and further adapted to hyperlink the created EPG with the channel URL;

vi. transmitting means adapted to transmit the hyperlinked EPG;

• a remote control having a hot-key adapted to enable a viewer to select and access the EPG for the particular television channel and launch the plurality of applications and further adapted to transmit the selected viewer input signal;

• an interactive Set Top Box (iSTB) having an RF cable input / analogue video input and an Internet connection comprising:

i. an application unit adapted to host the plurality of iSTB applications; ii. an RP driver and demodulator unit adapted to decode analog channel data (audio and video) received from the RF cable input / analogue video input and further adapted to digitize the decoded channel data and still further adapted to provide the digital raw channel data;

iii. a display unit adapted to process and display the digital data, the display unit having:

- recognition unit adapted to recognize channel logo information from the digital raw channel data using a multi-factorial approach and further adapted to provide a channel logo identification information;

receiving means adapted to receive the hyperlinked EPG from the EPG server and multimedia data for a particular application requested by the viewer from the application unit;

blending means adapted to overlap a predetermined portion of the digital raw channel data with the received text and image data and further adapted to provide the blended data; and

display means adapted to receive and send the blended data to the application unit for display;

iv. a control unit co-operating with the remote EPG server, the application unit and the display unit adapted to control the operations of the iSTB and further adapted to issue commands to each of the units for display and processing of channel data along with the applications/ EPG requested by the viewer;

v. a receiver adapted to receive viewer input signals from the remote control and external interfaces; and

vi. a decision unit adapted to receive the viewer input signal and further adapted to decide on commands to be issued to the control unit for displaying the EPG for a particular channel by sending the channel logo identification information to the EPG server via the Internet connection or for launching and operating applications from the application unit.

The application unit may host applications selected from the group of applications consisting of TV display, media player, Internet browser, video chat engine and Short Messaging Service (SMS).

Typically, the external interfaces are selected from the group of devices consisting of a remote controller, a keyboard and a mouse. Preferably, the receiver includes user input drivers to enable communication between the external interfaces and the iSTB.

In accordance with the present invention, the multi-factorial approach includes at least one factor which is computed for channel logo recognition selected from the group of factors consisting of Leveinsthein distance, Bhattacharya distance, Crossing count and run length similarity, Fluser and Suk image moments, Structural content, Image Fidelity and Aspect Ratio.

Further, the control unit is connected to the EPG server via the Internet connection through network drivers including wire-line and wireless modems for providing the Internet connection.

In accordance with the present invention there is provided a method for providing viewers access to Electronic Program "Guide (EPG) data for a particular television channel and further access to a plurality of applications simultaneously while watching the television channel, the method comprising the following steps:

• receiving analog channel data from an RF cable input / analogue video input at an interactive Set Top Box (iSTB);

• digitizing the analog channel data to provide digital channel data;

• displaying the digital channel data;

• recognizing the logo of the channel currently being displayed using image processing based multi-factorial approach;

• sending the identified channe] logo information to a remote EPG sever;

• retrieving the URL of the identified channel logo at the remote EPG server;

• establishing a link with the website of the retrieved URL over the Internet;

• transferring the text EPG information from the website and creating the EPG for the identified channel;

• hyperlinking the created EPG with the URL of the identified channel; • receiving the viewer request for access to the EPG for the currently viewed channel / channel of the viewer's choice by pressing a hotkey on a remote control;

• requesting the hyperlinked EPG from the remote EPG server;

• blending the hyperlinked EPG over a predetermined portion of the digital channel data; and

• displaying the blended data.

The method further comprises the steps of receiving requests for access to plurality of applications through external interfaces, launching the requested application, blending the requested application data over a pre-determined portion of the digital channel data and displaying the blended data.

The step of recognizing the logo of the channel currently being displayed may include the steps of:

• localizing the channel logo region;

• identifying the candidate logo regions;

• computing a plurality of different factor values for each of the candidate logo regions based on a multi-factorial approach for logo recognition;

• matching the computed factor values for each of the candidate logo regions with predetermined factors stored in a template database for different preselected channel logos; and

• determining a channel identification information based on a corresponding match found in the template database.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE ACCOMPANYING DRAWINGS

The invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a schematic of the system for obtaining television channel information in accordance with the present invention; and FIGURE 2 is a ilow diagram of the process for obtaining TV channel information in accordance with the present invention

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The drawings and the description thereto are merely illustrative of a system for obtaining TV channel information and only exemplify the system of the invention and in no way limit the scope thereof.

Viewers access Electronic Programme Guides (EPG) to view the current and future program schedules of a television channel at a glance. However, at present on selecting the service guide a viewer is given the program guides for all channels and the viewer is required to browse through the guide to reach the channel of his/her choice. This process is very cumbersome and requires excessive navigation to reach a particular channel. Moreover, the program guide occupies the entire television screen thus blocking the currently broadcasted TV programme content.

To overcome these shortcomings, the present invention envisages a system for efficiently generating the EPG of a TV channel of the viewer's choice wherein the viewer is connected to an RP (Radio Frequency) video channel through some cable service provider. The system of the present invention comprises a mechanism to find out the location of the channel logo, to recognize the channel logo, establish communication link with the website of that channel over the Internet, transfer the text information from the website to the viewer end and blend this text with the video content.

In particular the present invention brings value to any viewer who needs to get the EPG of the required channel even while he is watching the RF TV programme using the cable feed. Moreover, the system in accordance with the present invention allows a person to browse the website o the channel for getting additional information and also to get a better user experience.

Referring to the drawings, FIGURE 1 illustrates the block diagram of the system for obtaining TV channel information in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. The system in accordance with the present invention displays an Electronic Program Guide (EPG) data for a particular television channel being viewed and provides viewers simultaneous access to a plurality of applications while watching the television channel from an analogue transmission. The main components of the system are a remote EPG server 100, external interfaces 114 including remote control, mouse, keyboard and the like and an interactive Set Top Box (iSTB) 116.

The remote EPG server 100 is wirelessly connected with the iSTB 116 via an Internet connection through network drivers. The network drivers include wire-line and wireless modems for the Internet connection. These drivers are implemented on Linux. The EPG server 100 includes a template database 102 for storing channel logo information and corresponding URL information for the channels. The EPG server 100 has a receiving means 104 adapted to receive channel logo identification information of a television channel being currently viewed by a viewer from the iSTB 116 and based on the received channel logo identification a comparator 106 compares the received · channel logo information with the logo information stored in the template database 102 and further provides the compared results giving the retrieved URL. The EPG text data is then fetched by the EPG server 100 via the fetching means 108 by connecting to website of the retrieved URL. An EPG creation means 110 creates the channel EPG and further hyperlinks the created EPG with the channel URL. This hyperlinked EPG is then transmitted to the iSTB on request through the transmitting means 112.

In accordance with this invention, the remote control 114 has a hot-key which enables a viewer to select and access the EPG for a particular television channel and launch a plurality of applications. As the key press is detected the remote control 114 transmits the selected viewer input signal to the iSTB 116.

The interactive Set l op Box (iSTB) 116 has an RF cable input / analogue video input like composite and CVBS (Composite Vertical Blanking Signal) for receiving the programme content and an Internet connection for communicating with the remote EPG server 100. The iSTB 116 is implemented on a ΊΊ-Davinci processor and includes the following components: Application unit 118: This unit hosts a plurality of iSTB applications including TV display, media player, Internet browser, video chat engine, Short Messaging Service (SMS) and the like.

RP driver and demodulator unit 120: This unit decodes analog channel data (audio and video) received from the RF cable input / analogue video input and further digitizes the decoded channel data. This digital raw channel data is provided to a display unit 122.

Display unit 122: This unit processes and displays the digital raw channel data. The unit is responsible for controlling of the video and audio signals, for controlling the image and text processing and for displaying the video, images and text in the most appropriate and perfectly blended manner. The display unit 122 includes:

• recognition unit 124 to recognize channel logo information from the digital raw channel data using a multi -factorial approach and further adapted to provide a channel logo identification information.

The recognition unit 124 includes image processing algorithms which are implemented on a Digital Signal Processing (DSP) processor for accurate channel logo recognition.

In accordance with the present invention, the methodology used by the recognition unit 124 to determine channel information corresponding to the channel logo will be described hereinafter in detail.

The method used by the recognition unit 124 for the localization of the channel logo region for the detection of the channel logo is decided based on the following observations:

1. The channels using radio frequency cable feed having an EPG available in their website include National Geographic, Star Plus, Star Sports, Star one, Star Gold, Zee Sports, Zee Cinema, SAB, HBO, Ten sports, NDTV 24x7.

2. 99% of the channels observed (other than NDTV) have a static channel logo.

3. Location of the channel logos remains invariant with time. 4. Location of the channel logos remains invariant with the video content being broadcast.

5. Channel logo typically resides in any of the four corners of the TV screen.

Hence, the probability of finding a channel logo in the central part of a TV screen is zero.

6. Some video programmes are displayed with a black strip at the top and the bottom of the video content for making the video content compatible to the TV screen area.

7. Transparency bits for some pixels in the channel logo are set to be 1. Hence, the background color doesn't remain constant throughout the video.

The method used to find the region of channel logo is based on the observations 3, 4 and 5. The steps involved in finding the channel logo region are:

.//. f

• The video buffer for the ' frame ( J ' ) obtained in the U YV Y format is identified.

• The pixels in the central region of the video are marked as WHITE.

, r \ uruwr v HEIGHT HEIGHT * 3

/, (x, y) = WHITE V y a < y <

Once a pixel is marked as WHITE, it is not considered as a candidate for the logo region in the entire process. So for

. (x, y) = WHITE V 3 /)_, (x, y) = 0, Vi > 1

• The average frame( °' : ^x' ^ ) representing the average pixel values at (x,y) coordinate from first frame to frame is computed iteratively as

k

a, (x, y) = )/∑fk (x, y)

k- 1

• The dispersion ( ' )of each pixel of each ' frame is computed using the formula d; (x, y) = £ ,, (x, y) + abs(a, (x, y) - ft (x, y))

• The variation ( V y^ ) in pixel value at location (x,y) at frame is computed as • From the observation 2, it is obvious that while /' is large, V/^x'^will have a less value for the static channel logos and will have a high value for which video content is not static. So, the candidate logo regions will contain a lesser value in variance. Hence, the pixels having a variance greater than threshold are marked as WHITE.

x, y) = WHITE V x,y 3 V,(x,y) > Thvar

Th

var is computed based on the statistics.

• Let be the number of pixels colored as WHITE in / A frame. While the number of frame is increasing, ' is also increasing. But when the channel region is going to converge the following condition must be satisfied, ' J , where 8 is a predefined lower threshold valiie used for checking the convergence criteria. If

f

the above condition is satisfied, a flag ( J c""v ) is set to one.

• If ^""v is one, the connected components for all non WHITE pixels in the frame are found.

cc ( ) i'1' ,h

• Let ( ' 1 ' ) represent the J component in the 1 frame. Then, the bounding box for each component is found.

• All pixels in ^x'-^ are marked as WHITE whose level cc, ^ is satisfying any of the following criteria

. height/ width/ * , ^ η

hh /' 4 , OR ** / 4 s OR w"b h»b < Th^ , where hhh is the height of the bounding box, Wbb is the width of the bounding box and ^«'«' is the threshold of the area obtained statistically.

• The remaining components are marked as the candidate components (can^< (J) ) for the ' frame. • Checking is done for the stability of the remaining components ( cam^ (^) )5 particularly for their temporal stability( whether they are selected as can<^i ^ for n consecutive frames).

• If the location of the candidate regions stabilizes over time, those regions are marked as candidate logo regions.

Once the candidate logo regions are found, the recognition unit 124 matches them with an available template database (not shown in the figure) containing the features of different channel logos. A multi-factorial approach is then applied to recognize the channel logo. The multi-factorial approach includes at least one factors which is computed for channel logo recognition selected from the group of factors consisting of Leveinsthein distance, Bhattacharya distance, Crossing count and run length similarity, Fluser and Suk image moments, Structural content, Image Fidelity and Aspect Ratio.

The recognition and decision making processes are described in detail as given below.

Some factors used for recognition are based on the quantized HSV (Hue, Saturation, Volume) values of the candidate pixels. The method for quantization is given below.

The input candidate channel logo region image is obtained in YUV format. Initially they are converted to HSV color space to have separate information of color, intensity and impurities and these HSV values are quantized to 36 beans as described below. Let h, s, and v be the HSV domain color value, having s and v normalized between [0,1] for a particular R, G, and B value. The index used is the quantized binary (bin) index.

Now, a pure black area can be found in

v e [0,0.2] and index = 0

Gray area can be found in s e [0,0.2] and v e (0.2,0.8] and index = |_0 - 0.2) x 10)J + 1

Hence, the index value will lie in the range from 1 to 6.

Similarly, a white area can be found in s e I0'0-2] and v e ^08'1 °3 and index = 7. The color area is found in the range

s e (0.2,\.0]and v e (0.2,1.0]^ for different h values index varies in a range of values from 8 to 35.

The quantization of h, s and v values for different s and v is done as given below.

Let Hjndex, S_index, V_index be the quantized index for different h, s and v values.

S index = 0,Vse (0.2,0.5]

= l,Vse (0.5,1.0]

V index = 0,Vve (0.2,0.8]

= l,Vve (0.8,1.0]

H index = 0, V h e (330,360] and h e (0,22]

= l,Vhe (22,45],

= 2,Vhe (45,70]

= 3,Vhe (70,155]

= 4,Vhe (155,186]

= 5,Vhe (186,278]

= 6,Vhe (278,300]

Finally the histogram bin index is given by the following equation

idex = 4 x Il index + 2 x S index + V_index + 8

From the above observation, it is evident that the series of channels by the same channel group (like Star or Zee) usually have a similar looking logo which differs only in text and color. For every row in the candidate region Levenshtein distance and Bhattacharya distance are computed. In information theory and computer science, the Levenshtein distance or edit distance between two strings is given by the minimum number of operations needed to transform one string into the other, where an operation is an insertion, deletion, or substitution of a single character. It is useful in the applications which need to determine how similar two strings are. It can be considered as a generalization of the Hamming distance, which is used for strings of the same length and only considers substitution edits. There are also further generalizations of the Levenshtein distance that consider, for example, exchanging two characters as an operation, like in the Damerau- Levenshtein distance methodology.

Initially the string of quantized HSV values (QHSV) is obtained for the template logos and also the string for the candidate logo region is computed. Then the normalized Leveinsthein distance between the candidate channel logo and the template logo is calculated.

Once the quantized coefficients for the HSV values (QHSV) are obtained, the

h h

histogram of QHSV values is obtained. Let and and logo represents the histogram of candidate region and the template logo respectively.

The normalized histogram is obtained by

Figure imgf000016_0001
is the number of pixels in the candidate logo region.

Similarly the normalized histogram for the template logo region is obtained as

Figure imgf000016_0002
is the number of pixels in the template logo region.

Bhattacharya's distance function is used to compute the distance between two probability distributions. The distance metric can be described as,

Figure imgf000016_0003
Crossing count and run length similarity are the two shape invariant features used in OCR (Optical Character Recognition) for recognition. These features are used in the following manner.

1. Construction of the similarity matrix: The similarity matrix is defined as the matrix of size 36x36. It stores the number of occurrence of each QHSV transition in the form of an adjacency matrix.

V y e (0, height)

{

Vx e (0, width - l)

/'.<— quant[y][x)

j — quant[y] \x + 1]

cross _ wat[ ][y] = cross _ mat[i][j] + 1

}

}

2. Normalization of cross _ mat[i][j] . cross _ mat[i\[j) = -→ί1 ί%βί≠( * (width _ 1)} y e (0, height) and x e ( , wi,

3. Finding the sum of absolute difference:

/ _ SAD =

Figure imgf000017_0001
_ mat[i][j] - cross _ mat _ ref[i [j] |V y e (0, height) and x e (0, width) ■f SAD ajso wjjj jje m ^6 range from 0 to 1.

4. Finding the Fluser and the Suk image moments: These are simple Affine Moment Invariants (AMI) used for channel logo recognition. The AMI is defined as

Moo

Initially 1 \ (lemP^ate i ) ls computed for all reference logo images and they are stored into the template database. Also the value of ^cc^ is computed for the image region inscribed by the candidate region. Next, a factor describing the matching score of the candidate region with i logo ( am1' ) is assigned as ^ where n ^ thg

Figure imgf000018_0001

number of channel logo information available in the template database.

5. Defining the Structural Content (SC): Structural Content (SC) is defined as m,n ιη,ιι

SC

To get the factor value for this feature, SC ( ' ) for each ROI of the reference and the CUI are computed.

Now the factor ( f s i ) for the ROI in the CUI is defined as

Figure imgf000018_0002

SC

where ',nax is given by

SCmas = max((|l - SC, |)„HIGH_VALUE)V / e 1,2,....« ^ HIGH VALUE is a predefined high value obtained by computing SC for two distinct images. This HIGH VALUE jg uge(j tQ remove me possibility of divide by zero error. Finding the Image Fidelity: Image Fidelity (IF) defined as

Figure imgf000018_0003

IF

To get the factor value for this feature, IF ( ' ) for each ROI of the reference and the CUI are computed.

Now the factor ( f "' ' ) for the ROI in the CUI is defined as

Figure imgf000018_0004
IF

where ma is defined as

/ max = max(/F, , HIGH_VALUE)V e 1,2,....» ^ where HIGH VALUE is & predefined high value obtained by computing IF for two distinct images. This HIGH VALUE jg use(j tQ remove me possibility of divide by zero error.

7. Finding the Aspect Ratio: Let the candidate aspect ratio be a P^ and the template channel logo aspect ratio be temP^— asPcami ? men me factor f— asP< indicates the similarity score with ith channel logo is represented by

Figure imgf000019_0001
, where n is the number of channel logos available in the template.

The decision making process implemented by the recognition unit 124 is described as follows.

1 . Construction of evaluation matrix: The decision making process is based on the factors described above. Initially an mxn evaluation matrix is constructed based on the m number of factors and the n number of observations for each of the candidate regions of each frame.

Let the evaluation matrix ( V ) be defined as

Figure imgf000019_0002

where V' ' represents the matching score for the ' factor with the J channel logo. Here the 7 factors and 10 channel logos are used. So m is 7 and n is 10 for the matrix ^ under experiment. So, the evaluation matrix is formed using the factor values as described below.

Figure imgf000020_0001

asp , _asp2

2. Construction of Additive Standard Multifactorial (ASM) function: Now, from the evaluation matrix V, it is difficult to obtain any solution of the decisionmaking problem. So a mapping function ^m that maps the m-dimensional vector f -(f f2> >fm) into ,a one dimensional scalar i.e.

^„,(/) = Mm (f„f2, ,fj is defined

Now, the ASM is applied on V to obtain the multi-factorial evaluation as shown by

ν' ^ν,,ν,, ,y„)

Where v, =Mm(v„, v2l, , vni) Vi =[l,n].

Now, a mapping function is defined as a simple arithmetic average over the m number of factors and thus it is given by

1 "'

M id) = -∑d„,

m ,=i

Finally, the decision making matrix is obtained which is a row matrix and each element represents the confidence score of the membership of the candidate

■ih

region matching with the 1 logo.

3. Decision Making: After obtaining V for each candidate region for each frame, the candidate region belonging to the ' A channel logo for which V' is maximized is decided as

channel id = i, a v, = max(v; )

' . In this way the channel corresponding to the logo is determined. Further, the display unit 122 also includes the following components:

• receiving means 126 to receive the hyperlinked EPG from the EPG server 100 and multimedia data for a particular application requested by the viewer from the application unit 118.

• blending means 128 to overlap a predetermined portion of the digital channel data with the received text and image data and provide the blended data.

• display means 130 to send the blended data to the application unit 118 for display.

Additionally, the iSTB 100 includes:

Control unit 132: This unit co-operates with the remote EPG server 100, application unit 118 and display unit 122 to control the operations of the iSTB and further to issue commands to each of these units for display and processing of channel data along with the applications/ EPG requested by the viewer.

Receiver 134: The receiver 134 receives-viewer input signals from the remote control and external interfaces and passes the received viewer input signal to a decision unit 136. The receiver includes Linux based user input drivers for the remote controller, the keyboard and the mouse inputs interfacing.

Decision unit 136: This unit receives the viewer input signal and further decides on commands to be issued to the control unit 132 for displaying the EPG for a particular channel by sending the channel logo identification information to the EPG server 100 via the Internet connection or for launching and operating applications from the application unit 118.

In accordance with another embodiment of the present invention, the template database interacting with the recognition unit 124 of the iSTB stores the logos and their associated details including the channel numbers of all the channels received by the viewers' receiving equipment (for example, television set) which are subscribed to the EPG service. The channel numbers are set invariant with time for the viewers' receiving equipment, which makes it easier for the viewer to select his required channel. Hence, the viewer will be able to request for the EPG for any channel by just selecting the channel number using an input device like remote controller, even if he is not currently watching the required channel.

The processing involved in the entire process of the EPG generation by the system is described herein below:

• The RJF driver and demodulator unit 120 decodes the programme broadcast for a channel. The decoded analog video and audio are passed to the TI-Davinci processor. The analog data is digitized and passed to the ARM core;

• The control unit 132 indicates to the display unit 122 to process and display the digital data;

• Image processing methodologies are performed by the display unit 122 to detect and recognize the channel logo;

• The channel logo identification is passed to the control unit 132 and stored for further processing;

• Whenever the user wants to view the EPG information for the current viewed channel, a hot-key on the remote controller 114 is pressed;

• The viewer input signal generated by the hot key press is received by the receiver

134 and passed to the decision unit 136;

• The EPG request is generated by the decision unit 136 and is passed to the control unit 132;

• The control unit 132 then sends the request for the EPG data to a remote EPG server 100 through the internet connection;

• The EPG server 100 sends back the requested EPG information which is received by the control unit 132;

• The control unit 132 then updates the EPG information of the current channel to the display unit which is then overlaid on the video content of the channel and is then sent to the application unit 118; and

• The application unit 118 sends the request for displaying the EPG information.

In accordance with the present invention, there is provided a method for providing viewers access to Electronic Program Guide (EPG) data for a particular television channel and further access to a plurality of applications simultaneously while watching the television channel, the method comprises the following steps as seen in FIGURE 2:

• receiving analog channel data from an RF cable input at an interactive Set Top Box (iSTB), 1000;

• digitizing the analog channel data to provide digital channel data, 1002;

• displaying the digital channel data, 1004;

• recognizing the logo of the channel currently being displayed using image processing based multi-factorial approach, 1006;

• sending the identified channel logo information to a remote EPG sever, 1008;

• retrieving the URL of the identified channel logo at the remote EPG server,

1010;

• establishing a link with the website of the retrieved URL over the Internet,

1012;

• transferring the text EPG information from the website and creating the EPG for the identified channel, 1014;

• hyperlinking the created EPG with the URL of the identified channel, 1016;

• receiving the viewer request for access to the EPG for the currently viewed channel by pressing a hotkey on a remote control, 1018;

• requesting the hyperlinked EPG from the remote EPG server, 1020;

• blending the hyperlinked EPG over a predetermined portion of the digital channel data, 1022; and

• displaying the blended data, 1024.

TECHNICAL ADVANTAGES

The technical advancements of the present invention include in providing a system and method for enabling viewers to access an EPG of a television channel of their choice. Thus, a viewer can view the EPG for a particular channel instead of viewing the entire list of programme details for various channels and then reaching the channel guide of his/her choice. In addition, the EPG data for a particular channel is downloaded from the website of the channel. The system envisaged by the present invention first recognizes the location of the logo of the currently viewed channel and further identifies the logo itself using an efficient multi-factorial approach which enhances the accuracy of logo recognition. The website of the identified channel logo is then accessed via the Internet and the text information is fetched and stored at a remote EPG server. When the user selects a predetermined hot-key on a remote control he instantly gets access to the current channel's programme guide with the scheduling details. The EPG is blended over a portion of the currently viewed video content thus allowing a viewer to simultaneously view the channel video and access the guide.

Furthermore, the EPG data fetched from the channel website is hyperlinked. Thus, allowing a viewer to visit the channel website directly whilst watching the television programme. The website contents too are blended over a portion of the current video content thus allowing simultaneous access to the channel video and the Internet.

Additionally, the proposed system hosts a plurality of applications including TV display, media player, Internet browser, video chat engine and Short Messaging Service (SMS) which can be accessed by a viewer using external interfaces like remote controller, mouse and keyboards.

Thus, the present invention allows a viewer to access the EPG of the channel of his choice easily and view all available TV programmes and their scheduling for his selected channel. Also, gives the viewer convenience of visiting the website of the channel while watching the TV programme and get more details. Thereby, the present invention enhances the user interactivity while the TV programmes are being broadcast and watched.

While considerable emphasis has been placed herein on the components and component parts of the preferred embodiments, it will be appreciated that many embodiments can be made and that many changes can be -made in the preferred embodiments without departing from the principles of the invention. These and other changes in the preferred embodiment as well as other embodiments of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art from the disclosure herein, whereby it is to be distinctly understood that the foregoing descriptive matter is to be interpreted merely as illustrative of the invention and not as a limitation.

Claims

1. A system for displaying an Electronic Program Guide (EPG) data for a particular television channel being viewed and providing viewers simultaneous access to a plurality of applications while watching the television channel from analogue transmission, said system comprising:
• a remote EPG server having:
i. a template database for storing channel logo information and corresponding URL information;
ii. receiving means adapted to receive channel logo identification information of a television channel of a viewer's choice;
iii. a comparator adapted to compare said received channel logo information with said logo information stored in said template database and further adapted to provide the compared results giving the retrieved URL;
iv. fetching means adapted to fetch the EPG text data by connecting to website of the retrieved URL;
v. EPG creation means adapted to create the channel EPG and further adapted to hyperlink the created EPG with the channel URL;
vi. transmitting means adapted to transmit the hyperlinked EPG;
• a remote control having a hot-key adapted to enable a viewer to select and access the EPG for said particular television channel and launch said plurality of applications and further adapted to transmit the selected viewer input signal;
• an interactive Set Top Box (iSTB) having an RF cable input / analogue video input and an Internet connection comprising:
i. an application unit adapted to host said plurality of iSTB applications; ii. an RF driver and demodulator unit adapted to decode analog channel data (audio and video) received from said RF cable input / analogue video input and further adapted to digitize the decoded raw channel data and still further adapted to provide the digital raw channel data; a display unit adapted to process and display said digital raw data, said display unit having:
recognition unit adapted to recognize channel logo information from the digital raw channel data using a multi-factorial approach and further adapted to provide a channel logo identification information;
receiving means adapted to receive said hyperlinked EPG from said EPG server and multimedia data for a particular application requested by the viewer from said application unit;
blending means adapted to overlap a predetermined portion of the digital raw channel data with the received text and image data and further adapted to provide blended data; and
display means adapted to send said blended data to said application unit for display;
a control unit co-operating with said remote EPG server, said application unit and said display unit adapted to control the operations of the iSTB and further adapted to issue commands to each of said units for display and processing of channel data along with the applications/ EPG requested by the viewer;
a receiver adapted to receive viewer input signals from said remote control and external interfaces; and
a decision unit adapted to receive said viewer input signal and further adapted to decide on commands to be issued to said control unit for displaying the EPG for a particular channel by sending the channel logo identification information to said EPG server via the Internet connection or for launching and operating applications from said application unit.
2. The system as claimed in claim 1, wherein said application unit hosts applications selected from the group of applications consisting of TV display, media player, Internet browser, video chat engine and Short Messaging Service (SMS).
3. The system as claimed in claimed 1, wherein said external interfaces are selected from the group of devices consisting of a remote controller, a keyboard and a mouse.
4. The system as claimed in claim 1 , wherein said receiver includes user input drivers to enable communication between said external interfaces and the iSTB.
5. The system as claimed in claim 1, wherein said multi-factorial approach includes at least one factor which is computed for channel logo recognition selected from the group of factors consisting of Leveinsthein distance, Bhattacharya distance, Crossing count and run length similarity, Fluser and Suk image moments, Structural content, Image Fidelity and Aspect Ratio.
6. The system as claimed in claim 1, wherein said control unit is connected to said EPG server via said Internet connection through network drivers including wire-line and wireless modems for providing the Internet connection.
7. A method for providing viewers access to Electronic Program Guide (EPG) data for a particular television channel and further access to a plurality of applications simultaneously while watching the television channel, said method comprising the following steps:
• receiving analog channel data from an RF cable input / analogue video input at an interactive Set Top Box (iSTB);
• digitizing the analog channel data to provide digital raw channel data;
• displaying the digital raw channel data;
• recognizing the logo of the channel currently being displayed using image processing based multi-factorial approach;
• sending the identified channel logo information to a remote EPG sever;
• retrieving the URL of the identified channel logo at the remote EPG server;
• establishing a link with the website of the retrieved URL over the Internet; • transferring the text EPG information from the website and creating the EPG for the identified channel;
• hyperlinking the created EPG with the URL of the identified channel;
• receiving the viewer request for access to the EPG for a channel of a viewer's choice by pressing a hotkey on a remote control;
• requesting the hyperlinked EPG from the remote EPG server;
• blending the hyperlinked EPG over a predetermined portion of said digital channel data; and
• displaying the blended data.
8. The method as claimed in claim 7, wherein the method further comprises the steps of receiving requests for access to plurality of applications through external interfaces, launching the requested application, blending the requested application data over a pre-determined portion of said digital channel data and displaying the blended data.
9. The method as claimed in claim 7, wherein the step of recognizing the logo of the channel currently being displayed includes the steps of:
• localizing the channel logo region;
• identifying the candidate logo regions;
• computing a plurality of different factor values for each of the candidate logo regions based on a multi-factorial approach for logo recognition;
• matching the computed factor values for each of the candidate logo regions with predetermined factors stored in a template database for different preselected channel logos; and
• determining a channel identification information based on a corresponding match found in the template database.
PCT/IN2010/000587 2009-09-07 2010-09-03 System for obtaining information about tv broadcasts via a plurality of channels WO2011039763A3 (en)

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