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Publication numberUS20020047946 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/219,574
Publication dateApr 25, 2002
Filing dateDec 24, 1998
Priority dateDec 24, 1997
Also published asUS6452640, US6721015, US20020180889
Publication number09219574, 219574, US 2002/0047946 A1, US 2002/047946 A1, US 20020047946 A1, US 20020047946A1, US 2002047946 A1, US 2002047946A1, US-A1-20020047946, US-A1-2002047946, US2002/0047946A1, US2002/047946A1, US20020047946 A1, US20020047946A1, US2002047946 A1, US2002047946A1
InventorsHenry C. Yuen, Elsie Y. Leung, Eric Shalkey
Original AssigneeHenry C. Yuen, Elsie Y. Leung, Eric Shalkey
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Sound bite augmentation
US 20020047946 A1
Abstract
An audio description of a television program, i.e., a sound bite, is reproduced simultaneously with the display of the program at a television receiver. Specifically, the sound bite is embedded in a television signal that contains audio component and a video component. The television signal is transmitted to a plurality of television receivers and intercepted at one of the receivers. The video component is displayed on a monitor and the audio component is reproduced. On command the sound bite is reproduced instead of the audio component. An audio description of a television program, i.e., a sound bite, is also reproduced simultaneously with the display of a program listing of the program at a television receiver. Specifically, when the program listing is marked with an on-screen cursor, the sound bite is reproduced.
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Claims(4)
1. A method for augmenting the display of a television program comprising the steps of:
embedding a sound bite in a television signal that contains an audio component and an video component;
transmitting the television signal;
intercepting the transmitted signal at one of a plurality of television receivers;
displaying the video component;
reproducing the audio component; and
on command reproducing the sound bite instead of the audio component.
2. The method of claim 1 additionally comprising the step of displaying an icon with the video component to signal the presence of the sound bite.
3. A method for augmenting the display of a television program guide (EPG) comprising the steps of:
displaying a plurality of program listings of an EPG on a television monitor;
storing a plurality of sound bites relating to the program listings in a memory;
marking one of the displayed program listings with a cursor; and
reproducing the sound bite relating to the marked program listing.
4. The method of claim 3, in which the storing step stores sound bites relating only to some of the program listings, the method additionally comprising the step of displaying an icon with program listings to signal the presence of the sound bite.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims the benefit of provisional application Ser. No. 60/068,782 filed Dec. 24, 1997, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] This invention relates to the field of television, and more particularly, to the augmentation of the display of a television program or a television program guide.

[0003] For many years, it has been the practice to transmit textual data with a television signal in a teletext or XDS format. At the television receivers, the user has the option of displaying the transmitted textual material instead of the television program. The audio component of the television signal is either reproduced as sound or muted.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] According to one aspect of the present invention, an audio description of a television program, i.e., a sound bite, is reproduced simultaneously with the display of the program at a television receiver. Specifically, the sound bite is embedded in a television signal that contains an audio component and a video component. The television signal is transmitted to a plurality of television receivers and intercepted at one of the receivers. The video component is displayed on a monitor and the audio component is reproduced as sound. On command the sound bite is reproduced instead of the audio component.

[0005] According to another aspect of the invention, an audio description of a television program, i.e., a sound bite, is reproduced simultaneously with the display of a program listing of the program at a television receiver. Specifically, when the program listing is marked with an on-screen cursor, the sound bite is reproduced.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0006] The features of the specific embodiments of the best mode are illustrated in the drawings in which:

[0007]FIG. 1 is a schematic block diagram of a television distribution system incorporating the principles of the invention;

[0008]FIG. 2 is a schematic block diagram of one of the television receivers shown in FIG. 1;

[0009]FIG. 3 represents a typical television screen in one embodiment of the invention;

[0010]FIG. 4 represents a typical television screen in another embodiment of the invention; and

[0011]FIG. 5 represents a typical television screen in yet another embodiment of the invention.

DETAIL DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0012] As illustrated in FIG. 1, a source of television (tv) signals 2 is connected by a data inserter 3 to a tv transmitter 4. Source 2 comprises a plurality of audio-video programs. A sound bite source 5 is also connected to data inserter 3 to embed the sound bite data in the tv signal. It should be noted that the sound bites are in addition to the audio component of the tv signal. The sound bite data is preferable in coded digital form such as teletext or XDS format, but alternatively it could be embedded in the tv signal in analog form. In an analog tv signal transmission system, inserter 3 embeds the sound bite data in the VBI of the tv signal. In a digital tv signal transmission system, inserter 3 mixes the sound bite data in the digital data stream with the tv signal.

[0013] Transmitter 4 is connected to a cable feed 6 for transmission of the tv signal through a cable network. The cable network has a large number of cable drops 7 each connected to a tv receiver 8 to deliver the tv signal thereto. Alternatively, the tv signal and sound bite data could be transmitted to the tv receivers by wireless terrestrial or satellite links.

[0014] In general, the sound bites could be transmitted in different ways. One way is to transmit a single sound bite for each tv program in real time as the tv program is being broadcast. Another way is to transmit a number of different sound bites in a continuously repeating carousel such that the desired sound bite is selectively grabbed from the tv signal for reproduction at a tv receiver. Yet another way is to set up a backlink from each tv receiver 8 to sound bite source 5 (FIG. 1). The backlink could be by telephone, cable, or pager. The sound bites transmitted in the tv signal depend on the command signals sent back by the particular tv receiver. Thus a separate sound bite could be earmarked for each tv receiver.

[0015]FIG. 2 represents one of tv receivers 8 in an embodiment of the invention that augments display of a television program with a sound bite. Cable drop 7, or other means for intercepting the tv signal, is connected to a tuner 12, which selects the channel to be displayed. Tuner 12 is coupled by an IF amplifier 14 and a picture detector 16 to a TV monitor 18. A sound detector 20 is coupled by a switch 22 to an audio amplifier 24. A speaker 26 reproduces the audio signal from amplifier 24. Digital data is embedded in the tv signal, e.g., in the VBI, as a sound bite. The sound bite is preferably related to the television program. A VBI detector 28 or other means to extract the sound bite data recovers the sound bite and a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) 30 converts the sound bite to an analog signal suitable for reproduction by speaker 26. As illustrated in FIG. 3, an on-screen icon 34, shown as a pair of lips, signals the presence of the sound bite. When the user of the television receiver issues an appropriate command by clicking on the icon or pushing a prescribed key on a controller, switch 22 transmits the output of DAC 30, rather than sound detector 20, to speaker 26. The length of the sound bite depends on the amount of space available in the tv signal for this purpose. If desired, part or all of the sound bite could be stored temporarily at the television receiver before being reproduced.

[0016] If a number of different sound bites are transmitted in a carousel, the appropriate sound bite for each particular user could be selectively grabbed. The selective grabbing could be based on a user profile as described in application Ser. No. 60/104,008, filed on Oct. 13, 1998, the disclosure of which is incorporated fully herein by reference, or on the location of the tv receiver such as its zip code. In the former case, the reproduced sound bite could be customized to the profile of the user. In the latter case, the reproduced sound bite could be customized to the location of the user so users in different geographic locations receive different sound bites. For example, if the tv program is an advertisement, the sound bite could be the street address of the nearest retail establishment where the advertised product can be purchased. The sound bites are tagged with codes identifying different themes or locations (zip codes), which are compared with a code at each receiver. When a match occurs, the sound bite is reproduced at the particular receiver.

[0017] In another embodiment, the invention augments display of a television program guide (EPG). The invention is incorporated into a television schedule system such as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,353,121, issued on Oct. 4, 1994, the disclosure of which is incorporated fully herein by reference. As illustrated in FIG. 4, upon command a program note 52 is overlaid on a television program guide. Program note 52 relates to the television program highlighted by a cursor 32. As cursor 32 moves, the program note changes accordingly. Sound bites relating to the television programs of the guide are stored in local memory, i.e., RAM. The stored sound bites could be downloaded with the EPG data on a regular basis. On-screen icons 38 are located in the cells of programs that have sound bites. When such a cell is highlighted, the user can issue a command, i.e., by clicking on the icon, to reproduce the sound bite, either instead of a program note 52 or in addition to program note 52.

[0018] In another embodiment, the invention augments display of another television program guide (EPG). The invention in incorporated into apparatus for displaying television programs and related text such as disclosed in PCT International Application W096/07270, published on Mar. 7, 1996, the disclosure of which is incorporated fully herein by reference. As illustrated in FIG. 5, a detail window 44 is permanently displayed as part of a television program guide. The description in detail window 44 relates to the television program highlighted by a cursor 48. As cursor 38 moves, the description changes accordingly. Sound bites relating to the television programs of the guide are stored in local memory, i.e., RAM. On-screen icons 54 are located in the cells of programs that have sound bites. When such a cell is highlighted, the user can issue a command, i.e., by clicking on the icon, to reproduce the sound bite, either instead of a program description or in addition to a program description.

[0019] To increase the capacity to reproduce sound bites with the highlighted cells of an EPG, a backlink could be utilized. When the viewer at a tv receiver clicks on the icon, a command is sent on a dedicated backlink channel to the sound bite source with a tag identifying the program displayed in the highlighted cell and the particular tv receiver. The sound bite is sent in a dedicated channel either with or without a tv signal. Along with the sound bite is a tag identifying the particular tv receiver so the sound bite is selectively grabbed only by that receiver.

[0020] Instead of clicking on an icon as described above, a microprocessor could be programmed to initiate a sound bite in the EPG when an on-screen cursor is moved to a cell that has an available sound bite and remains there for a prescribed period of time.

[0021] Another alternative is to provide a completely audio guide. While the user is watching television, the user can navigate about the screen with a cursor . In essence there is an invisible grid of cells with boundary lines, as in an EPG. As the cursor moves across an invisible boundary line, an audible signal such as a beep is given. In this way, the user can tell where he or she is in the guide while continuing to watch television full screen. When the cursor moves into a cell that has a sound bite, a different audible signal is given. If the cursor remains in the cell for a prescribed period of time, the sound bite is reproduced.

[0022] The content of the sound bites can be designed to elicit information from the television viewer from which a viewer profile can be developed. For example, the sound bites could be questions requiring yes or no answers about the television program being displayed or the program listing being highlighted in the EPG. The answers could be made by pressing specific keys on a remote controller or verbally, if speech recognition software is provided. Reference is made to a provisional application of Henry Yuen filed on Nov. 30, 1998, entitled “Smart Agent Based on Habit, Statistical Inforence, and Psycho-deomgraphic Profiling”, attorney docket Case 33791 for a description of the types of questions that might be asked and the way the profile might be generated.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8095953 *Mar 24, 2008Jan 10, 2012Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.User interface for the image processing apparatus
US8269889Nov 16, 2009Sep 18, 2012Sony United Kingdom LimitedTelevision apparatus
EP2209308A1 *Jan 19, 2009Jul 21, 2010Sony United Kingdom LimitedTelevision apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification348/738, 348/E05.122, 725/39
International ClassificationH04N21/482, H04N5/60
Cooperative ClassificationH04N21/482, H04N5/60
European ClassificationH04N5/60
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Feb 19, 2014FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 12
Sep 13, 2011ASAssignment
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:APTIV DIGITAL, INC., A DELAWARE CORPORATION;GEMSTAR DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION;INDEX SYSTEMS INC, A BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS COMPANY;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:027039/0168
Effective date: 20110913
Owner name: JPMORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A., AS COLLATERAL AGENT, NE
Oct 29, 2010ASAssignment
Owner name: INDEX SYSTEMS INC., CALIFORNIA
Owner name: TV GUIDE, INC., CALIFORNIA
Effective date: 20100317
Free format text: RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:JPMORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A. (A NATIONAL ASSOCIATION);REEL/FRAME:025222/0731
Owner name: ODS PROPERTIES, INC., CALIFORNIA
Owner name: APTIV DIGITAL, INC., CALIFORNIA
Owner name: GEMSTAR DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, CALIFORNIA
Owner name: ROVI DATA SOLUTIONS, INC. (FORMERLY KNOWN AS TV GU
Owner name: ROVI GUIDES, INC. (FORMERLY KNOWN AS GEMSTAR-TV GU
Owner name: ROVI TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION, CALIFORNIA
Owner name: UNITED VIDEO PROPERTIES, INC., CALIFORNIA
Owner name: ALL MEDIA GUIDE, LLC, CALIFORNIA
Owner name: ROVI SOLUTIONS CORPORATION (FORMERLY KNOWN AS MACR
Owner name: ROVI SOLUTIONS LIMITED (FORMERLY KNOWN AS MACROVIS
Owner name: STARSIGHT TELECAST, INC., CALIFORNIA
Owner name: TV GUIDE ONLINE, LLC, CALIFORNIA
Mar 3, 2010FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 8
May 15, 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: JPMORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A., NEW YORK
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNORS:APTIV DIGITAL, INC.;GEMSTAR DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION;GEMSTAR-TV GUIDE INTERNATIONAL, INC.;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:020986/0074
Effective date: 20080502
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNORS:APTIV DIGITAL, INC.;GEMSTAR DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION;GEMSTAR-TV GUIDE INTERNATIONAL, INC. AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:20986/74
Owner name: JPMORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A.,NEW YORK
Oct 9, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: GEMSTAR DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:E GUIDE, INC.;REEL/FRAME:019930/0214
Effective date: 20001220
Mar 16, 2006FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
Apr 1, 1999ASAssignment
Owner name: E GUIDE, INC., CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:YUEN, HENRY C.;LEUNG, ELSIE Y.;SHALKEY, ERIC T.;REEL/FRAME:009867/0889;SIGNING DATES FROM 19990215 TO 19990216