WO2018206946A1 - Methods and apparatus for allowing visual and/or interactive devices to receive dedicated broadcast video and separately receive and transmit data - Google Patents

Methods and apparatus for allowing visual and/or interactive devices to receive dedicated broadcast video and separately receive and transmit data Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2018206946A1
WO2018206946A1 PCT/GB2018/051245 GB2018051245W WO2018206946A1 WO 2018206946 A1 WO2018206946 A1 WO 2018206946A1 GB 2018051245 W GB2018051245 W GB 2018051245W WO 2018206946 A1 WO2018206946 A1 WO 2018206946A1
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WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
communication
signal
client
data
data communication
Prior art date
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PCT/GB2018/051245
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Simon Davies
Original Assignee
Krowd 9 Limited
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Priority to US201762505482P priority Critical
Priority to US62/505,482 priority
Application filed by Krowd 9 Limited filed Critical Krowd 9 Limited
Publication of WO2018206946A1 publication Critical patent/WO2018206946A1/en

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Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L51/00Arrangements for user-to-user messaging in packet-switching networks, e.g. e-mail or instant messages
    • H04L51/04Real-time or near real-time messaging, e.g. instant messaging [IM]
    • H04L51/046Real-time or near real-time messaging, e.g. instant messaging [IM] interacting with other applications or services
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • H04N21/20Servers specifically adapted for the distribution of content, e.g. VOD servers; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/21Server components or server architectures
    • H04N21/218Source of audio or video content, e.g. local disk arrays
    • H04N21/2187Live feed
    • 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
    • H04N21/43Processing 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
    • H04N21/4302Content synchronization processes, e.g. decoder synchronization
    • H04N21/4307Synchronizing display of multiple content streams, e.g. synchronisation of audio and video output or enabling or disabling interactive icons for a given period of time
    • 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]
    • H04N21/80Generation 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
    • 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

Abstract

In some embodiments, an apparatus includes a memory and a processor operatively coupled to the member. The processor is configured to receive a first data communication signal via a first communication channel. The processor is configured to receive a second data communication signal via a second communication channel different from the first communication channel. The processor is configured to combine the first data communication signal with the second data communication signal to define a combined data communication signal. The processor is configured to send the combined data communication signal to a multimedia device such that the multimedia device displays data associated with the combined data communication signal to a user.

Description

METHODS AND APPARATUS FOR ALLOWING VISUAL AND/OR

INTERACTIVE DEVICES TO RECEIVE DEDICATED BROADCAST VIDEO AND SEPARATELY RECEIVE AND TRANSMIT DATA

Cross-Reference to Related Applications

[1001] This application claims priority to and the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/505,482, filed May 12, 2017 and titled "Methods and Apparatus for Allowing Visual and/or Interactive Devices to Receive Dedicated Broadcast Video and Separately Receive and Transmit Data," which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

Background

[1002] Some embodiments described herein relate to methods and devices for allowing mobile devices to receive dedicated broadcast video and separately receive and transmit data. More particularly, some embodiments described herein relate to devices and methods for a device that can connect to a mobile device to allow the mobile device to receive a video broadcast signal and separately transmit data communication over a dedicated Wi-Fi® network.

[1003] Some known multimedia devices have limited capability to handle time-critical audio-visual applications along with interactive functions, especially in a high- density/volume environment. Thus, a need exists for methods and devices that to allow a mobile device to use interactive services while simultaneously viewing video.

Summary

[1004] In some embodiments, an apparatus includes a memory and a processor operatively coupled to the member. The processor is configured to receive a first data communication signal via a first communication channel. The processor is configured to receive a second data communication signal via a second communication channel different from the first communication channel. The processor is configured to combine the first data communication signal with the second data communication signal to define a combined data communication signal. The processor is configured to send the combined data communication signal to a multimedia device such that the multimedia device displays data associated with the combined data communication signal to a user. Brief Description of the Drawings

[1005] FIG. 1 is a system overview of a client-side communication base station connected via a communication network to a set of client communication adaptors, according to an embodiment

[1006] FIG. 2 is a system overview of a control station connected via a communication network to a set of client-side communication base stations, according to an embodiment.

[1007] FIG. 3 is a schematic block diagram of a client communication adaptor, according to an embodiment.

[1008] FIG. 4 is a flow chart illustrating a method for communication using a client communication adaptor and a multimedia device, according to an embodiment.

[1009] FIG. 5 is a flow chart illustrating a method for communication using a client communication adaptor and a multimedia device, according to an embodiment.

[1010] FIG. 6 is a representation illustrating screen overlay in a multimedia device, according to an embodiment.

Detailed Description

[1011] In some embodiments, an apparatus includes hardware (and/or software executing on hardware) that allows an individual to use an application on a mobile device to access interactive services connected to the Internet while receiving and viewing live digital video broadcast (DVB) content. The apparatus described in one embodiment includes a control station connected to a communication system via a communication network. The communication system includes a client-side communication base station wirelessly connected to set of multiple client communication adaptors via another communication network. The client communication adaptor receives and processes at least two different data communication signals from the client-side communication base station. The processing at the client communication adaptor involves combining two different data communication signals into a combined (and/or integrated) data communication signal. The client communication adaptor sends the combined (and/or integrated) data communication signal to a connected multimedia device (such as smartphone, tablet, laptop, and/or the like). The multimedia device (e.g., smartphones) has software that provides streaming services and in some instances, the streaming services are overlaid on the broadcasted content.

[1012] FIG. 1 is a system overview of a communication system 100, according to an embodiment. Communication system 100 includes client-side communication base station 110 operatively connected via a communication network 150 to multiple client communication adaptors 120a-120d. The communication system 100 also includes multiple multimedia devices 130a, 130b connected to client communication adaptors 120b and 120c, respectively. The client-side communication base station 110 can be connected to the network security controller 160.

[1013] The client-side communication base station 110 is configured to receive at least one data communication signal (Signal 1 - Signal n in FIG. 1) from at least one external source (not shown in FIG. 1) and retransmit the signal via communication network 150. As such, the client-side communication base station 110 can be any suitable device configured to perform base station functions. For example, the client-side communication base station 110 can be and/or include a server, a compute device, a general purpose processor, a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA), an Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC), a Digital Signal Processor (DSP), a memory, one or more antennas, and/or other structure to allow the client-side communication base station 110 to receive and retransmit signals as described in further detail herein.

[1014] The data communication signals Signal 1 - Signal n can be different types of communication signals such as Internet, data, digital video broadcast, and/or the like. For example, Signal 1 can be a first type of data communication signal and Signal 2 can be a second type of data communication signal different than the first type of data communication signal. The client-side communication base station 110 includes at least one communication antenna 140a, 140b to transmit the received data communication signals to multiple client communication adaptors 120a-120d via different methods, channels, protocols, frequencies and/or the like. The operation of the client-side communication base station 110 in the communication system 100 is described further herein. Moreover, further details regarding the structure and function of the client-side communication base station 110 are described in U.S. Patent Application No. 62/505,474, filed on May 12, 2017 and titled "Methods and Apparatus for Receiving and Transmitting both Video and Data Signals over Separate Frequency Bands," which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

[1015] In some embodiments, the communication system 100 includes a network security controller 160. The network security controller 160 can be a hardware device and/or software implementation (executed in hardware) for providing network security features such as, for example, client communication adaptor authorization, automatic log-in and/or log-off, network intrusion detection, content restriction, and/or the like, as described in further detail herein. In some embodiments, the network security controller 160 can be an integral part of the client-side communication base station 110, for example, a network security software code stored and executed by the client-side communication base station 110. In other embodiments, the network security controller 160 can be a separate hardware device (shown as dashed lines in FIG. 1). The network security controller 160 can be further configured to manage the data communication signal (and/or traffic). The functions of the network security controller 160 are described in further detail herein.

[1016] The communication network 150 provides connection between the client-side communication base station 110 and the client communication adaptors 120a-120d. The communication network 150 can be any suitable network or combination of networks. For example, in some embodiments, the communication network 150 can be a local area network (LAN), a wide area network (WAN), a metropolitan area network (MAN), a worldwide interoperability for microwave access network (WiMAX®), an intranet, the Internet, an optical fiber (or fiber optic)-based network, a virtual network, and/or any combination thereof. Moreover, at least a portion of the communication network 150 can be implemented as a wireless network. In some instances, the communication network 150 can use different communication protocols for establishing connection between the client-side communication base station 110 and client communication adaptor 120a-120d (such as frequencies used in digital video broadcasting (DVB), other wireless communication frequencies (such as for drones, cellular networks), Wi-Fi® and/or the like).

[1017] For example, in some implementations, the client-side communication base station 110 can be in communication with the communication network 150 via a wireless access point or the like (not shown in FIG. 1) that is operably coupled to the communication network 150. Similarly, multiple client communication adaptors 120a-120d can be in communication with the communication network 150 via a wired and/or wireless connection. In some instances, the client-side communication base station 110 can create, support, and/or define the communication network 150. For example, in such instances, the client-side communication base station 110 can act as a wireless base station and/or access point to define communication network 150.

[1018] The client communication adaptors 120a-120d are configured to receive data communication signals transmitted by client-side communication base station 110 via the communication network 150 and/or otherwise broadcast by the client-side communication base station 110. The client communication adaptors 120a-120d are configured to transmit data communication signals to the client-side communication base station 110 via the communication network 150. The client communication adaptors 120a-120d can be hardware devices that can interface with a multimedia device 130a or 130b. For example, client communication adaptors 120a-120d can be specific hardware devices including a processor and a memory, as described in further detail with respect to FIG. 3. By processing video and/or data via a specific hardware client communication adaptor 120a-120d (e.g., rather than a processor of a multimedia device 130a or 130b), the latency of the video and/or data signals can be reduced.

[1019] In some embodiments, a client communication adaptor 120a-120d can interface with a single multimedia device 130a, 130b using a physical interface. For example, the client communication adaptor 120a-120d can interface with a multimedia device 130a or 130b using a universal serial bus (USB) interface, a lightning port, a high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) interface and/or any other suitable interface. In other instances, the client communication adaptor 120a-120d can interface with a multimedia device 130a or 130b using wireless communication protocol (such as Near-Field Communication (NFC), Bluetooth, and/or the like).

[1020] In some embodiments, the client communication adaptor 120a-120d can possess attributes such as small form factor, light weight and/or portable size. The client communication adaptor 120a-120d can interface with multimedia devices 130a, 130b. For example, the client communication adaptor 120a-120d can be dongle-shaped and/or have a similar form factor that can interface with different types of multimedia devices 130a, 130b (e.g., smartphone, tablet, laptop and/or the like). In other instances, the client communication adaptor 120a-120d can have a shape encompassing (and/or enclosing) the multimedia device 130a, 130b (such as smartphone cover, flip-cover for tablet and/or the like). [1021] The client communication adaptors 120a-120d can receive multiple and/or different types of data communication signals (e.g., a video signal via one frequency, channel and/or protocol and a data signal via another frequency, channel and/or protocol). The client communication adaptor 120a-120d is a hardware device that plugs into a multimedia device (for e.g., mobile, tablet, laptop, personal computer PC device, and/or the like). The client communication adaptor 120a-120d provides the user with interactive services such as but not limited betting, group chat, live news feed, and/or similar real-time interactive services. The client communication adaptors 120a-120d can overlay the output (or representation) of the interactive services on the screen of the video broadcast. This enables the user to view the video broadcast and simultaneously use the interactive services. For example, in an Android™ operating system (OS) based multimedia device, a software (and/or application) can run the live DVB video as one Activity and run a messaging window as another Activity. The software (and/or application) can be programmed to overlay (and/or superimpose) the messaging window Activity over the live DVB video Activity. The message window Activity can be overlaid in a way that the text in the messages are visible and does not significantly reduce the ability to view the live DVB video. For example, the background used in the message window can be transparent with the text in the message partially transparent so that the ability to view the live DVB video is not significantly reduced.

[1022] In some instances, the client communication adaptor 120a-120d can store an executable (and/or the installation) file of the software (and/or the application) to be implemented by the multimedia device 130a, 130b. Upon interfacing with the multimedia device 130a, 130b, the client communication adaptor 120a-120d can prompt the multimedia device user an option to install the software (and/or application). In other instances, the client communication adaptor 120a-120d can automatically initiate the installation of the software (and/or application) on the multimedia device 130a, 130b. In yet another instances, the client communication adaptor 120a-120d can be plug-n-play device requiring no additional software (and/or application) installation on the multimedia device 130a, 130b.

[1023] In other embodiments, the client communication adaptor 120 can be hardware included in a multimedia device 130a or 130b. In yet other embodiments, the functions of the client communication adaptor 120a-120d can be software executed by a processor of a multimedia device 130a, 130b. The operation of the client communication adaptor 120 in the communication system 100 is described in further detail herein. [1024] Each of the multimedia devices 130a and 130b can be, for example, a computing entity (e.g., a personal computing device such as a desktop computer, a laptop computer, etc.), a mobile phone, a monitoring device, a personal digital assistant (PDA), a standard mobile telephone, a tablet PC, a smartphone, a TV set top box, and/or so forth. In the example of FIG. 1, the multimedia devices 130a and 130b are operatively coupled to client communication adaptors 120b and 120c, respectively. The multimedia devices 130a and 130b can include a visual display and a user interface (not shown in FIG. 1). For example, the visual display can be a cathode ray tube (CRT) display, a liquid crystal display (LCD) display, a light emitting diode (LED) display, and/or the like. In some instances, the visual display can provide on display the user interface for user interaction. The operation of the multimedia devices 130a and 130b in the communication system 100 is described in further detail herein. Moreover, while shown in FIG. 1 as not being coupled to a multimedia device, client communication adaptors 120a and 120d can be coupled to a multimedia device similar to multimedia devices 130a and 103b.

[1025] The multimedia devices 130a and 130b can have a software implementation (e.g., mobile application, PC application) to display the content and/or data received by the client communication adaptor 110. The software (and/or application) can provision the streaming services and are optionally overlaid on the broadcast content as described with respect to FIG. 6. The services provided by the software (and/or application) can include but are not limited to chat/instant messaging between friends and group of friends, betting and/or fantasy sports, food and/or drink ordering, e-commerce (e.g., merchandising), advertising and brand promotion and/or the like. In some instances, the software (and/or application) can run and connect to the internet the additional services which the user can operate via the software (and/or application).

[1026] In use, the client-side communication base station 110 receives a first data communication signal, Signal 1, and a second data communication signal, Signal n, from at least one external source (not shown in FIG. 1). For example, the first signal can be a signal from a DVB provider and second signal used to establish connection with an internet service provider (ISP).

[1027] The network security controller 160 can then determine the compliance of the received data communication signals Signal 1 through Signal n using the pre-defined network security standards. The network security controller 160 can authenticate a connection between the client communication adaptor 120a-120d and client-side communication base station 110 using a predefined protocol and authentication parameters. The network security controller 160 can ensure that a secure channel is established between the client communication adaptor 120a-120d and client-side communication base station 110 such that the using the secure channel, the content can be accessed on the multimedia device 130a, 130b using an application. In other embodiments, a network security controller is not used.

[1028] After the data communication signals are identified as compliant by the network security controller 160, the data communication signals are then analyzed and processed by the client-side communication base station 110. The data communication signals are then transmitted to the client communication adaptors 120a-120d via the communication network 150 as described in further detail herein. For example, in the present embodiment, a DVB signal can be transmitted by the client-side communication base station 110 using one protocol and/or frequency via antenna 140b. The data communication signal of the interactive services (such as texting, group chats, live news feed, advertisements, and/or the like) can be sent and received using different protocol and/or frequency via another antenna 140a. The DVB signal and the interactive services (and/or internet signal) are transmitted independently to mitigate (and/or overcome) the transmission lag of the live DVB to the multimedia device 130a, 130b. Moreover, the independent transmission of the DVB signal and the interactive services (and/or internet signal) are synchronized and displayed on the multimedia device (or the data associated with the DVB and interactive services signals is displayed on the multimedia device). For example, the interactive services (and/or internet signal) can be superimposed (and/or overlaid) on the live video so that the user can keep abreast of the broadcast content whilst operating the interactive services.

[1029] In other instances, when the data communication signal is found to be non- compliant on security standards by the network security controller 160, the data communication signal is not transmitted further.

[1030] The use of client communication adaptor 120a-120d as an external data communication signal receiver and a dedicated hardware device for processing video broadcast mitigates the amount of delay in the transmission of the live video broadcast to the multimedia device 130a, 130b. The delay otherwise would be caused due to additional routing of the video broadcast signal in the communication system 100. For example, a visible lag can be observed between the multimedia device (e.g., smartphone) receiving an internet-based live video feed and another multimedia device (e.g., smartphone) receiving a live DVB signal. Moreover, the text message (and/or the data of the interactive services) can be transmitted and/or received along with DVB signal without any visible lag. For example, the multimedia device in FIG. 6 shows a group chat overlay screen on the live DVB game (FIG. 6 shows a soccer game). The group chat messages exchanged among the group chat participants can be in synchronization with the live event happening without much of a visible delay. Thus, during the game if a player scores a point, the messages (e.g., cheering) can be exchanged with less or negligible delay and displayed on the screen that overlays on the live DVB.

[1031] Returning to FIG. 1, the client communication adaptors 120a-120d can combine the multiple received data communication signals (or the data associated with and/or transmitted in the multiple data communication signals) into a combined (or integrated) data communication signal. For example, the video signal can be received using a DVB transport stream (TS) encapsulated stream that can be combined with IP data received in a WI-FI® stack format via a Wi-Fi® network. These signals (or the data associated with these signals) can be combined to define a single IP data stream communication signal with the video content to be delivered over a predefined multicast address. The combined (and/or integrated) data communication signal is transmitted to a multimedia device 130a or 130b associated with that client communication adaptor 120a-120d via a communication interface (described in further detail herein). For example, as shown in FIG. 3, the processor 310 of the client communication adaptor 120b can receive a DVB signal through an input interface 312b via an antenna 350b and another internet-based signal through an input interface 312a via an antenna 350a. The processor 310 is configured to combine the two received signal i.e. the DVB signal and the interactive services (and/or internet signal) into a combined (and/or integrated) data communication signal. The two signals can be combined using different methodology such as but not limited to time division multiplexing (TDM), frequency division multiplexing (FDM), modulation techniques, and/or similar other methods. In some instances, the combined (and/or integrated) data communication signal can be a signal belonging to different protocol than the signal(s) being combined (modulation, frequency and/or the like). While in other instances, the processor can transmit the signal(s) to the multimedia device(s) without combining the signal(s). [1032] The multimedia device 130a or 130b then processes the combined (and/or integrated) data communication signal and performs an intended operation (for example, the DVB signal (or the data associated with the DVB signal) is displayed as a video on the display of the multimedia device 130a, 130b, a text message signal (or the data associated with the text message signal) is displayed as text on the display of the multimedia device 130a, 130b, and/or the like).

[1033] For example, the client-side communication base station 110 can receive two data communication signals: a live television (TV) DVB signal broadcast and an Internet data communication signal. The network security controller 160 determines compliance of the live television (TV) DVB signal and the Intemet data communication signal based on pre-defined security standards (rules, polices and/or the like). If the received live television (TV) DVB signal and the Intemet data communication signal are compliant to the security standards, then both are analyzed and processed by the client-side communication base station 110. Both data communication signals (TV and intemet signals) are then transmitted to the client communication adaptors 120a-120d (e.g., using two different frequencies, protocols, channels, and/or the like). The client communication adaptors 120a-120d receive the two signals and combine the two signals to form a combined (and/or integrated) data communication signal. The combined (and/or integrated) data communication signal is transmitted to the multimedia device (e.g., 130b).

[1034] In some instances, the multimedia devices 130a and 130b can transmit data using an associated client communication adaptor 120a-120d to the client-side communication base station 110. During communication from client communication adaptor (e.g., 120b) to the client-side communication base station 110, the client communication adaptor (e.g., 120b) can have pre-defined threshold values to limit and/or optimize the use of communication network 150. Such thresholds can be defined by, for example, a network administrator of the communication system 100. The threshold values can be defined to restrict the transfer of large sized file (and/or data) over the communication network 150. This allows smaller sized data (such as text messages) to be quickly sent via the communication network 150 without being delayed by larger data transfers. In some instances, the threshold values can be different and/or vary based on the category of the content being transmitted. For example, the (data-limiting) threshold value defined for content such as an image file can be different from the (data-limiting) threshold value defined for content such as text file. Further, in some instances, the client communication adaptor (e.g., 120b) can stop, prevent and/or hold the transmission of the data to the client-side communication base station 110 if the data exceeds a threshold value for the content, the data does not belong to pre-defined category of content, and/or the like. For example, the client communication adaptor (e.g., 120b) can stop, block, and/or hold video files from being transmitted but allow text messages to be transmitted. This allows text messages to be transmitted in near real-time without the network becoming clogged and/or overburdened with transmission of larger files such as videos. Moreover, in some instances data is transmitted over communication network 150, but is not transmitted over the frequency and/or channel over which the client-side communication base station 110 is broadcasting video. This allows this frequency and/or channel to be dedicated to the video stream and reduces latency in the video stream. For example, the data signal (e.g., IP data) can be transmitted over a 5 GHz network and the video signal can be transmitted over a 2.4 GHz network and thus not conflict/interfere with the data signal.

[1035] In other implementations, the processor of the client communication adaptor 120a-120d (e.g., processor 310 of FIG. 3) can analyze and determine whether the incoming data communication signal of the interactive services (and/or internet signal) from a multimedia device 130a or 130b exceeds pre-defined threshold values. If the data communication signal has data size exceeding the pre-defined threshold limit, then the client communication adaptor can block (restrict, hold, pause and/or the like) the incoming data. The threshold values can be defined to restrict the transfer of large sized file (and/or data) belonging to the interactive services (and/or internet signal) over the communication network 150. This allows smaller sized data (such as text messages) to be quickly sent via the communication network 150 without being delayed by larger data transfers. In some instances, the threshold values can be different and/or vary based on the category of the content being transmitted. For example, the (data-limiting) threshold value defined for content such as a video file, image file, bulky attachment in an email and/or the like can be different from the (data-limiting) threshold value defined for content such as text file. This allows text messages to be transmitted in near real-time without the network becoming clogged and/or overburdened with transmission of larger files such as videos.

[1036] In some instances, the pre-defined threshold values used during communication from client-side communication base station 110 to client communication adaptor 120a-120d can be similar to the aforementioned pre-defined threshold values during communication from client communication adaptor 120a-120d to the client-side communication base station 110. In other instances, the pre-defined threshold values can differ.

[1037] FIG. 2 is a system overview of multiple communication systems 100 operatively coupled to a control station 210, according to an embodiment. The control station 210 is connected to at least one communication system 100 via a communication network 250.

[1038] A control station 210 can be a compute device, a server, a group of servers, a controller and/or other suitable device controlled by a network provider, an internet service- provider, a digital media broadcast provider, a data content management services and/or the like. In some instances, the control station 210 can function as a centralized control station connected to multiple communication systems 100. The data managed by the control station 210 can include data belonging to the communication system 100, communication network (both 150 and 250) and also can contain data related to multimedia devices (such as a user device identifier such as a telephone number, IP address, MAC address, location identifier, and/or the like). In another instance, the control station 210 can be implemented as software stored on and/or executed by a compute device, a server, a group of servers, a controller and/or other suitable device controlled by a network provider, an internet service-provider, a digital media broadcast provider, a data content management services and/or the like. The control station 210 can manage one or many of the communication systems 100 to which the control station 210 is connected via a communication network 250. For example, orchestration of various services, collation of transactions, service monitoring and access for remote management and configuration.

[1039] In another instance, the control station 210 can distribute media data (such as digital channels, internet-based communication) to the communication systems 100. As such, in some instances, the control station 210 can be a media data generator. The control station 210 can transmit the media data to at least one communication system 100 using the communication network 250. For example, the control station 210 can be TV station, internet service provider along with Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) provider and/or the like.

[1040] The communication network 250 can be constructed similar to and/or can function the same as or similar to the communication network 150 described in FIG. 1. Thus, significant details regarding the communication network 250 are not described below. The communication network 250 can be any suitable network such as local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), metropolitan area network (MAN), and/or the like. In some instances, the communication network 250 can be construed to be geographically diverse in comparison to the communication network 150, which can be a more local -based network (e.g., from the client-side base station 110 acting as a single Wi-Fi® hotspot).

[1041] In use, the control station 210 transmits media data through communication network 250 to at least one communication system 100. For example, the control station 210 transmits signals carrying (or representing) at least one television channel and Internet services via the communication network 250 to a communication system 100 installed in restaurants, sports bar, clubs, lounge, other public places and/or the like. In some instances, the control station 210 can be network access point for multiple communication systems 100. In addition, the control station 210 can transmit software updates and/or other configuration information to the client-side communication base stations 110 of communication systems 100.

[1042] FIG. 3 is a schematic block diagram of a client communication adaptor 120, according to an embodiment. The client communication adaptor 120 includes input interfaces 312a and 312b, a processor 310, a memory 318 and communication interface 320. The client communication adaptor 120 also includes two antenna 350a and 350b. In other instances, the client communication adaptor 120 can also include more than two antennas to receive the data communication signals from the client-side communication base system 110.

[1043] The input interfaces 312a and 312b of the client communication adaptor 120 can be any suitable component, subsystem, and/or device that can communicate with the communication network 150. More specifically, the input interfaces 312a and 312b can include one or more wired and/or wireless interfaces, such as, for example, Ethernet interfaces, optical carrier (OC) interfaces, asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) interfaces, analog interfaces and/or the like. In some instances, the input interfaces 312a and 312b are operatively coupled to the antennas 350a and 350b, respectively, for the reception of data communication signal. In some embodiments, the input interfaces 312a and 312b can be, for example, a network interface card and/or the like that can include at least a wireless radio (e.g., a Wi-Fi® radio, a Bluetooth ® radio, etc.). As such, the input interfaces 312a and 312b can receive signals from the client-side communication base station 110 via the communication network 150. For example, in present embodiment, antenna 350a is used to receive a two-way communication signal through input interface 321a (e.g., to transmit data such as text messages), and the other antenna 350b is used to receive unidirectional broadcast signal and then forward to the input interface 312b.

[1044] The communication interface 320 of the client communication adaptor 120 can be any suitable component, subsystem, and/or device that can communicate with a multimedia device (such as 130a, 130b in FIG. 1). More specifically, the communication interface 320 can include one or more wired and/or wireless interfaces, such as, for example, Ethernet interfaces, optical carrier (OC) interfaces, asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) interfaces, analog interfaces, USB interface, lightning port and/or the like. The communication interface 320 is operatively coupled to a multimedia device (such as 130a, 130b in FIG. 1) and can send combined (and/or integrated) data communication signal from the client communication adaptor 120a-120d. Furthermore, the communication interface 320 can receive data from the multimedia device (such as 130a, 130b in FIG. 1). In some instances, the communication interface 320 can also receive signals from the multimedia device (such as 130a, 130b; shown in FIG. 1). In other instances, the communication interface 320 can be, for example, a network interface card and/or the like that can include a wireless radio (e.g., a Wi-Fi® radio, a Bluetooth® radio, etc.).

[1045] The memory 318 can be, for example, a random access memory (RAM), a memory buffer, a hard drive, a read-only memory (ROM), an erasable programmable readonly memory (EPROM), and/or the like. In some instances, the memory 318 can store, for example, one or more software modules and/or code that can include instructions to cause the processor 310 to perform one or more processes, functions, and/or the like. For example, in some instances, the memory 318 can include a software module and/or code that can include instructions to cause the processor 310 to combine at least two data communication signal (s). The memory 318 can further include instructions to cause the input interface (such as 312a, 312b) and communication interface 320 to send and/or receive one or more data communication signals associated with the input to or output from, respectively, the processor 310, as described in further detail herein. In some instances, the memory 318 can also store a set of rules and/or predefined policies that can be implemented (e.g., to ensure large files are not sent via the Wi-Fi® network). Such set of rules and/or predefined policies can be implemented by the processor 310.

[1046] The processor 310 can be any suitable processing device configured to run and/or execute a set of instructions or code such as, for example, a general purpose processor, a central processing unit (CPU), an accelerated processing unit (APU), an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC), a field programmable gate array (FPGA), and/or the like. As such, the memory 318 can store instructions to cause the processor 310 to execute the instructions and/or other modules, processes, and/or functions associated with managing data communication signals such as, for example, to combine one or more data communication signal(s). The function and operation of the processor 310 is as described in further detail herein.

[1047] The power supply 340 is an energy source to provide electrical energy to remaining portions of the client communication adaptor 120. The power supply 340 can be a cell, battery, an arrangement of multiple cells and/or batteries and/or the like. The power supply 340 can include, for example, Lithium-Ion (Li-ion) batteries, Ni-Cd batteries, Lithium-polymer (Li-Po) batteries, alkaline batteries and/or other types of batteries. The power supply 340 included in the client communication adaptor 120 can possess attributes such as small form factor, light weight and/or portable size. In some instances, the batteries can be liquid batteries, flexible batteries and/or the like. In other instances, client communication adaptor 120a-120d does not have a power supply but instead receives power from the multimedia device via 320 (e.g., USB, lightning port, etc.)

[1048] The signal antenna 350a and 350b are coupled to the input interfaces 312a and 312b, respectively. The client communication adaptor 120 can have one or more signal antennas (such as 350a, 350b) for receiving and/or transmitting multiple data communication signals. For example, the first antenna (e.g., 350a) can be used to send and/or receive signals over a Wi-Fi® network (e.g., defined by a client-side communication base station 110 as shown in FIG. 1) and the second antenna (e.g., 350b) can be used to receive transmitted digital video broadcasting (DVB) signals (e.g., transmitted by a client-side communication base station 110 as shown in FIG. 1).

[1049] In use, the signal antenna (e.g., 350a) receives wireless data communication signals (e.g., internet signal for interactive services) and the signal antenna (e.g., 350b) receives wireless data communication signals (e.g., television broadcast signal) transmitted by client-side communication base station 110 via the communication network 150. The data communication signals received at the antenna 350a and antenna 350b pass through the input interface 312a and input interface 312b, respectively, to be sent to the processor 310. The processor 310 using the instruction code stored in the memory 318 processes the data communication signals to generate a combined (and/or integrated) data communication signal. For example, in the present embodiment, the processor can combine two different data communication signals, television broadcast and internet signal for interactive services, into a combined (and/or integrated) data communication signal. The combined (and/or integrated) data communication signal is the sent to the multimedia device via the communication interface 320. Additionally, the data communication signal can belong to interactive services such as but not limited to group chat, text message, e-commerce, and/or the like.

[1050] FIG. 4 is a flow chart illustrating a method 400 for communication using a client communication adaptor and a multimedia device, according to an embodiment. The method 400 includes receiving, at least two different communication signals at the input communication interface from the client-side communication base station, at 410. Signal processing is performed on the received data communication signals, at 420. The received data communication signals are combined into a combined (and/or integrated) data communication signal, at 430. The combined (and/or integrated) data communication signal is transmitted to a multimedia device through a compatible communication interface, at 440.

[1051] For example, the client-side communication base station 110 can transmit an internet signal and a DVB communication signal. The client communication adaptor 120b receives the internet signal and the DVB communication signal at the input interfaces 312a and 312b, respectively, through antennas 350a and 350b, respectively. Both received signals are sent to the processor 310 for signal processing. The processor 310 combines the received signals into combined (and/or integrated) data communication signal. The combined (and/or integrated) data communication signal is then transmitted to the multimedia device 130a using a communication interface 320.

[1052] FIG. 5 is a flow chart illustrating a method 500 for communication using a client communication adaptor and a multimedia device, according to an embodiment. The method 500 (e.g., performed by the processor in the client communication adaptor) includes receiving, a data communication signal from the coupled multimedia device at the communication interface, at 510. Signal processing is performed on the received communication signals from the multimedia device, at 520. For example, the processor 310 in the client communication adaptor 120a-120d can perform signal processing on the received signal involves analyzing the signal content, data size, determining if the signal satisfies the pre-defined condition and preparing the received signal for transmission. The method determines whether the data to be transmitted complies with the pre-defined conditions, at 530. If the data complies with the pre-defined conditions, the data communication signal is transmitted via appropriate antenna to the control station, at 540. If the data does not comply with the pre-defined conditions, the data communication signal is stopped from being transmitted, at 550.

[1053] For example, a data communication signal can be received from the coupled multimedia device 130a at the communication interface 320. The data communication signal can belong to interactive services such as but not limited to group chat, text message, e- commerce, and/or the like. The received data communication signal is processed by the processor 310. The processor 310 determines whether data communication signal to be transmitted complies with the pre-defined conditions. If the data complies with the predefined conditions, the data communication signal is transmitted via appropriate antenna 350a to the control station 210.

[1054] Returning to FIG. 1, in some embodiments, the client-side communication base station 110 can be deployed in any venue or environment with internet connection facility and DVB video output connection (e.g., HDMI interface and/or other communication interfaces supporting video). The client-side communication base station 110 can then wirelessly transmit the internet signal and the DVB signal using different frequencies, protocols, communication medium, modulation techniques and/or the like. A multimedia device (e.g., 130a) connected to the client communication adaptor 120b can access the content transmitted by the client-side communication base station 110. In some instances, the multimedia device (e.g., 130a) can access the content subject to the authentication by the client-side communication base station 110.

[1055] For example, a multimedia device user in a sports bar containing television displays showing live sport can use their smartphones to chat and place bets using software (or application) on a multimedia device while keeping an eye on the live match being received as a direct broadcast to their multimedia device. Fig. 6 depicts a screenshot of a multimedia device 130c (i.e., a smart phone) displaying a live soccer game 620. Overlaid on the broadcast is a group chat 610. The user can watch the live game and also interact with the group using group chat simultaneously. [1056] By using a communication system such as communication system 100 of FIG. 1, neither the text of group chat 610 nor the video of the soccer game 620 is significantly delayed. For example, by transmitting and/or broadcasting the video of the soccer game 620 via a dedicated channel (e.g., that does not send and/or receive other unrelated data) and processing the video signal in hardware separate from the multimedia device 130c (e.g., using client communication adaptor 120 of FIG. 3), the video signal is not significantly delayed. Thus, the video on the multimedia device 130c will be substantially synchronized with a video feed displayed on a television (or other monitor) at the venue. Thus, a user watching the soccer game 620 in a venue (e.g., a restaurant, bar, stadium, etc.) will be able to watch the soccer game 620 on their multimedia device 310c without significant delay from the soccer game being shown at the venue. Moreover, because the data associated with the group chat 610 is sent via a network different from the network via which the video is broadcast and because the size and/or type of data sent via this network is limited, the data associated with the group chat will not be significantly delayed (i.e., the network will have sufficient bandwidth to process smaller data files such as those related to the group chat). Thus, chats associated with the soccer game 620 will be timely and related to the current context of the soccer game 620.

[1057] While various embodiments have been described above, it should be understood that they have been presented by way of example only, and not limitation. Where methods and/or schematics described above indicate certain events and/or flow patterns occurring in certain order, the ordering of certain events and/or flow patterns may be modified. While the embodiments have been particularly shown and described, it will be understood that various changes in form and details may be made.

[1058] In some instances, the communication system 100 can be deployed at live sports stadiums. In such instances, for example, the attendees at a match would be able to access match highlights from other games and access the club's own coverage of the game. The software (and/or application) can provide interactive services like chat, betting, food online ordering and/or the like. In another example, university campuses can be equipped with live DVB broadcast combined with other interactive services. At shopping malls, for example, the shoppers can be provided with live event feeds and receive highly targeted and measureable brand promotion/advertising. During Olympic Games and/or festivals, for example, the spectators and/or attendees would be able to follow other events going on at the same time. The client communication adaptor coupled with the spectator's multimedia device can determine the location and guide the spectators and/or attendees towards upcoming event.

[1059] Although various embodiments have been described as having particular features and/or combinations of components, other embodiments are possible having a combination of any features and/or components from any of embodiments as discussed above. For example, the client communication adaptor can be implemented as software (and/or application) on the multimedia device. In such an implementation, the multimedia device then directly interacts with the client-side communication base station.

[1060] Some embodiments described herein relate to a computer storage product with a non- transitory computer-readable medium (also can be referred to as a non-transitory processor- readable medium) having instructions or computer code thereon for performing various computer-implemented operations. The computer-readable medium (or processor-readable medium) is non-transitory in the sense that it does not include transitory propagating signals per se (e.g., a propagating electromagnetic wave carrying information on a transmission medium such as space or a cable). The media and computer code (also can be referred to as code) may be those designed and constructed for the specific purpose or purposes. Examples of non-transitory computer-readable media include, but are not limited to, magnetic storage media such as hard disks, floppy disks, and magnetic tape; optical storage media such as Compact Disc/Digital Video Discs (CD/DVDs), Compact Disc-Read Only Memories (CD- ROMs), and holographic devices; magneto-optical storage media such as optical disks; carrier wave signal processing modules; and hardware devices that are specially configured to store and execute program code, such as Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs), Programmable Logic Devices (PLDs), Read-Only Memory (ROM) and Random-Access Memory (RAM) devices. Other embodiments described herein relate to a computer program product, which can include, for example, the instructions and/or computer code discussed herein.

[1061] Some embodiments and/or methods described herein can be performed by software (executed on hardware), hardware, or a combination thereof. Hardware modules may include, for example, a general-purpose processor, a field programmable gate array (FPGA), and/or an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC). Software modules (executed on hardware) can be expressed in a variety of software languages (e.g., computer code), including C, C++, Java™, Ruby, Visual Basic™, and/or other object-oriented, procedural, or other programming language and development tools. Examples of computer code include, but are not limited to, micro-code or micro-instructions, machine instructions, such as produced by a compiler, code used to produce a web service, and files containing higher-level instructions that are executed by a computer using an interpreter. For example, embodiments may be implemented using imperative programming languages (e.g., C, Fortran, etc.), functional programming languages (Haskell, Erlang, etc.), logical programming languages (e.g., Prolog), object-oriented programming languages (e.g., Java, C++, etc.) or other suitable programming languages and/or development tools. Additional examples of computer code include, but are not limited to, control signals, encrypted code, and compressed code.

Claims

What is claimed is:
1. An apparatus, comprising:
a memory; and
a processor operatively coupled to the memory, the processor configured to receive a first data communication signal via a first communication channel, the processor configured to receive a second data communication signal via a second communication channel different from the first communication channel,
the processor configured to combine the first data communication signal with the second data communication signal to define a combined data communication signal,
the processor configured to send the combined data communication signal to a multimedia device such that the multimedia device displays data associated with the combined data communication signal to a user.
2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first data communication signal is a digital video broadcast (DVB) signal and the second data communication signal is a text message signal,
the processor configured to send the combined data communication signal to the multimedia device such that the multimedia device displays the data associated with the combined data communication signal as a text message from the text message signal overlaid on video data from the DVB signal.
PCT/GB2018/051245 2017-05-12 2018-05-09 Methods and apparatus for allowing visual and/or interactive devices to receive dedicated broadcast video and separately receive and transmit data WO2018206946A1 (en)

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