US 3858198 A
Time-controlled means independent of displayed stored character data for generating, as part of a raster-scan display, a pattern of crossed lines having predetermined locations which delineate individual areas of a standardized fixed format as in the display of a bowling score format.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Ross [ Dec. 31, 1974 I FIXED FORMAT VIDEO DATA DISPLAY EMPLOYING CROSSED-LINE PATTERN FORMAT DELINEATION Primary Examiner-Donald J. Yusko  Inventor: Walter Lee Ross, Simi, Calif. I
0 Assistant Examiner-Marshall M. Curtis I Asslgneei RCA Corporatlon, New York, Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Edward J. Norton; George 22 Filed: June 22, 1973 Sehgsohn  Appl. No.1 372,646
 ABSTRACT 340/324 273/54 Time-controlled means independent of displayed stored character data for generating, as part of a rast- L I Field of Search 2h3/ erscan display, a pattern of crossed lines having predetermined locations which delineate individual areas References Cited ggvalisrfgnsczrrtirigtrimfliied format as in the display of a UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,404,309 10/1968 Massell et a]. 340/324 AD 10 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures 302 READOUT CONTROL? T|M|NG CONTROL MEANS 300 H 8 V 30 SYNC DIGITAL DATA CROSSED LINE MEMORY PATTERN GEN,
@READOUT CONTROL VIDEO 304 DISPLAY DEVICE DIGITAL 308 To vmro CONVERTER SUMMER COMPOSITE VIDEO FIXED FORMAT VIDEO DATA DISPLAY EMPLOYING CROSSED-LINE PATTERN FORMAT DELINEATION This invention relates to a raster-scan display system for, displaying data in a standardized fixed format and, more particularly, to such a system which is suitable for displaying game-score or other similar game information in such a standardized fixed format.
Examples of such standardized fixed formats are the arrangements of the nine boxes in tic-tac-toe, a base ball box score, and a bowling score sheet. In all these cases, the display is divided into a plurality of separate regions in accordance with the standardized fixed format and different respective ones of predetermined items of variable data are displayed within the region with which that item of data corresponds. Normally, these different regions are delineated by a given pattern of lines determined solely by the standardized fixed format. Thus, this given pattern of lines is independent of the variable data to be presented within the spatial regions delineated by the given pattern of lines.
Automatic game scoring systems have been developed in which the game score information is displayed on a video display device, such as the face of a cathode ray tube. One such system, directed to the game of bowling, is disclosed in US. Pat. No. 3,589,725, issued to Ralph Townsend et al. on June 29, 1971. Although, in this patent, bowling game score information is in the conventional standardized format for bowling (the score for each of a plurality of bowlers being presented in a different row of the display with the bowlers name to the left and the pinfall and score information for each of the ten frames being presented to the right of the bowlers name), only the pinfall and game score information portion of the format is presented on the face of the video display device. The names of the players are provided on labels each of which is held by an appropriately located holder. More important, no pattern of lines is employed in the video display of this prior art system to delineate each of the ten frames for each of the various bowlers.
An improved automatic bowling score system has been developed in which the entire standardized bowling format, including both the bowlers names and the frame information, is displayed on the video display device. More important, from the point of view of the present invention, a crossed-line pattern delineating the various name regions and frame regions of the standardized bowling format is also displayed on the video display device.
Although this new automatic bowling score system is employed herein to illustrate the present invention, it should be understood that the present invention may be employed with equal benefit in the display of gamescore or other similar information in any type of game employing a standardized fixed format.
Briefly, the present invention is directed to a raster scan data display system incorporating storage means, and readout means coupled to the storage means for use in electronically displaying stored game-score or other similar data of a given kind of game on a video signal display device while the game is progressing. Readout means causes the scored data to be displayed in a standardized fixed format on the display device in which any of separate given portions of the data is compartmentalized within its own individual area of the display. In accordance with the present invention, the display system further includes time-controlled means independent of the storage means and any of the data for generating as part of the raster-scan display a pattern of crossed lines having predetermined locations with respect to each other which delineate each of the individual areas of the standardized fixed format.
The features and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description taken together with the accompanying drawing, in which:
FIG. 1 is a functional block diagram of an automatic bowling scoring system which incorporates the present invention; I
FIG. 2 shows the standardized fixed format of the bowling score display together with the displayed data of a typical bowling game;
FIG. 3 is a block diagram of the raster-scan display system which incorporates the present invention, and
FIG. 4 is a block diagram of an embodiment of the crossed-line pattern generator of FIG. 3.
As shown in FIG. 1, each lane of a bowling alley is provided with its own pinfall sensor and foul detector 102. Each group of four bowling lanes is provided with a single pinfall sensor logic means 104, which receives sensed pinfall information from the pinfall sensor 100 of each of the four lanes with which it is associated.
Each lane pair has a players-console 106 associated therewith. Players-console 106 includes manually operated means, such as a keyboard, thumbwheels and pushbuttons, for the players to enter appropriate data and other information into the system. In addition, the foul detector 102 of each of the lanes with which a players-console 106 is associated provides console 106 with foul information and pinfall center logic 104 provides each players-console 106 with coded pinfall data of each of the two lanes with which that console 106 is associated. All the data and information available at each players-console 106 is forwarded to a single central processor 108, which can handle as many as 32 lanes. Associated with central processor 108 is proprietor-console 110 through which the propreitor can exercise overall control of the lanes.
Central processor 108 includes time control means, a specialpurpose computer, data storage means which may comprise a RAM, a digital-to-video converter which may comprise a ROM and, in accordance with the present invention a crossed-line pattern generator associated with the time control means thereof.
Output means associated with central processor 108 include a single printer-console 112, a single proprietor-display 114 and a players'display 116 for each line pair. These displays are modified television monitors employing a raster scan. The present invention is primarily concerned with the generation of the playersdisplay.
In operation, the players employ the manually operated means at a players-console to enter each of their respective names. This data is forwarded to central processor 108 and stored at appropriate addresses of the RAM data storage means. As the game progresses, game score data is forwarded to central processor 108 and, after appropriate arithmetical processing, is stored for display in appropriate addresses of the RAM. This game score data includes pinfall information sensed by pinfall sensor 100, foul information detected by foul detector 102 and, in case of error or otherwise, data which may be manually entered by the player with the manual data entry means of players-console 106.
The proprietor, with his console 110, may cause a permanent copy of any bowling score to be printed out on printer 112 or may display various types of data on proprietors display 114. However, the embodiment of the present invention is mainly directed to the means for providing the type of bowling-score display shown in FIG. 2 on the players display 116, by employing the appropriate stored data in central processor 108. Because the present invention is not directed to the overall automatic bowling-scoring system, but only to the display portion thereof, the overall automatic bowlingscoring system will not be discussed in any further detail.
Referring now to FIG. 3, there is shown in block diagram a display system incorporated in the overall automatic bowling system of FIG. 1 for providing the stanrepresented by the display of FIG. 2, a conventional data display terminal is not capable of deriving the display l'ormat shown in FIG. 2.
Specifically, the display format includes the predetermined pattern defined by the crossed vertical and hori zontal lines in FIG. 2. This pattern is fixed and is independent of the display character data which defines the name of each player to the left of each row and score information in each of the ten frame areas to the right of player's name in each row. As is known, the score information includes both the cumulative frame score, which is presented in the lower line of each frame area, and pinfall information about that frame, which is presented in the upper line of that frame area. Both the upper line and lower line of each frame area may include up to three adjacent horizontal characters situated in three contiguous character spacesfThe horizontal dimension of each character space within the frame area is the same, regardless whether the character is an upper-line character or a lower-line character. However, as shown in FIG. 2, the vertical dimension of a lower-line character in each frame area is larger than the vertical dimension of an upper-line character. An important feature of the preferred embodiment of the present invention is that the width of each of the crossed lines of the pattern is extrinsic from any character space. Thus, while adjacent character spaces within any frame are contiguous of each other, adjacent character spaces within two successive frames are separated from each other by the width of the intervening line of the line pattern. This makes for an irregular spacing between characters, rather than the regular spacing between characters provided by the conventional raster-scan data display terminal. The display system of FIG. 3, employing a crossed-line pattern generator of the type shown in detail in FIG. 4, provides the type of fixed format display shown in FIG. 2.
More specifically, digital data memory 300, which may be the RAM storage means referred to in the discussion of FIG. 1, has digital (binary) words stored at appropriate addresses thereof, each of which manifests the identity of the particular character, if any, to be displayed in each character space of the fixed format.
Timing control means 302 generates a first portion of readout control signals which are applied both to digital data memory 300 and digital-to-video converter 304.
Timing control means 302 also applies timing signals to crossed-line pattern generator 306. As will be described in more detail below, pattern generator 306 operating under the sole control of timing control means 302, generates a second portion of readout control signals which are applied to both digital data memory 300 and digital-to-video converter 304.
In response to both the first and second portions of readout control signals applied thereto, digital data memory 300 reads out the digital word sequentially and applies each of them as an input to digital-to-video converter 304. Converter 304 which may include a readonly memory addressed by the digital word from digital memory 300, as well as a video shift register coupled to the output of the read only memory, operates under the control of both portions of readout control signals supplied thereto generate as an output therefrom a video signal manifesting the characters to be displayed by a video display device employing a raster scan. Since digital data memory 300 and digital-to-video converter 304 may be similar to those employed by conventional data display terminals, they will not be discussed in further detail herein.
The output of converter 304 is applied as a first input to summer 308. Summer 308 also has horizontal and vertical sync signals applied as an input thereto, which is conventional. However, in addition, summer 308 has the pattern output from crossed-line pattern generator 306 applied as an input thereto. As described, crossedline pattern generator 308 operates under the sole control of timing control means 302 and is independent of digital data memory 300 and any of the data stored therein.
Video display device 310, which is a raster scan television monitor normally employing a cathode ray tube display, as is conventional, includes a sync separator and horizontal and vertical generating circuitry responsive to the horizontal and vertical sync portion of the composite video signal applied thereto for providing horizontal'and vertical scanning. Further, the display is intensity modulated by the composite video signal appearing at the output of summer 306. For reasons which have nothing to do with the present invention, the video display device 310 employed in the automatic bowling system of FIG. 1 is modified with respect to a conventional TV monitor only to the extent that the scanning yoke is rotated so that the line scan is in the vertical direction, rather than the horizontal as is conventional, and the field scan is in the horizontal direction, rather than in the vertical as is conventional. However, just as in NTSC television the display frame consists of two interlaced fields of 262.5 scan lines apiece, or a total of 525 scan lines per frame.
Referring now to FIG. 4, there is shown a preferred embodiment of crossed-line pattern generator 308. Timing control means 302 applies a vertical format line enable, scan line pulses, horizontal format line enable, bit k of each repetitive cycle of 36 bits, and bit (k 2) of each of the 36 bit cycles.
Scan line pulses, which occur sequentially at the scan line rate, are applied as an input to modulo 5 or 6 cyclic counting means 400. Every time that counting means 400 recycles, by being reset to count 1, it produces an output pulse which is applied as an input to modulo 3 cyclic counting means 402. Whether counting means 400 operates as a modulo 5 or as a modulo 6 counting means is determined by the binary value of the signal then present on the modulo 5-switching control input thereto, which is obtained from the third stage of cyclic counting means 402. In particular, counting means 400 will recycle in response to every fifth scan line pulse applied thereto when the count registered by counting means 402 is either one or two; i.e., binary value of the signal on modulo 5-6 switching control is ZERO. However, cyclic means 400 does not reset until the sixth successive scan line pulse is applied thereto when the count registered by counting means is three (i.e., the binary value of the signal on modulo 5-6 switching control is ONE). From the foregoing, it will be seen that the counting cycle of counting means 400 is 5, 5, 6, 5, 5,6,5,5,6....
Thus, counting means 400 provides an output from its sixth stage only during the occurrence of a single scan line pulse, which occurs every sixteen consecutive scan line pulses, which occurs only at the end of every third cycle of counting means 400. The output from each of the first five stages of counting means 400 constitute the second portion of the readout control, which is derived from crossed-line pattern generator 306.
The output of the sixth stage of counting means 400 is applied as a first input to AND gate 404 and the vertical format line enable from timing control means 302 is applied as a second input to and gate 404. The output from and gate 404 is applied as a first input to or gate Bit k, a predetermined ordinal l of each cycle of 36 consecutive bits, from timing control means 302 is applied as a first input to and gate 408 and horizontal format line enable from timing control means 302 is applied as a second input to and gate 408. The output from and gate 408 is applied as a set input to flip-flop 410 and (k 2) of each cycle of 36 consecutive bits is applied as a reset input to flip-flop 410. The output from flip-flop 410 is applied as a second input to or gate 406. The output from or gate 406 is applied as an input to summer 308, as shown in FIG. 3.
The operation of the display system of FIG. 3, including the crossed-line pattern generator of FIG. 4, for producing the bowling score format of FIG. 2 will now be described.
As mentioned earlier, the raster scan display producing the bowling score format shown in FIG. 2 employs vertical scan lines. Each scan line is composed of a fixed number of bits, a bit corresponding to vertical sides of the smallest resolvable picture element. In accordance with the bowling score format, the height of each lower line character, used for the bowlerss names and the bowling score, is 14 bits. The height of each upper line character, used for the pinfall data, is 10 bits. The vertical dimension of each horizontal line of the crossed-line pattern is 2 bits. The total number of bits for each player row, including a single one of the horizontal pattern lines, is 36 bits. Thus, the vertical spacing separataing characters have an overall value of 10 bits, made up of two bits below a lower-line character, 6 bits between lower-line and upper-line characters and 2 bits above upper-line character.
The size of the smallest resolvable picture element in the horizontal direction is determined by the width of each vertical scan line. Each character space of both upper and lower lines has a horizontal dimension of 10 scan lines, the first five of which occur during a first of two interlaced fields and the other five of which occur during the second of the two interlaced fields. The horizontal dimension of each display character is composed of four vertical scan lines for each of the two interlaced fields leaving a single vertical scan line for each of the two interlaced fields corresponding to the spacing between two horizontally adjacent characters which are not separated by a vertical pattern line. Each pattern line itself is composed of a single vertical scan line for each of the two interlaced fields, which is addition and extrinsic from the vertical scan lines forming the character spaces. Thus, the horizontal positioning of the character spaces, composing the upper and lower lines of each row is not regular.
Returning to FIG. 3, the first portion of the readout control applied directly from timing control means 302 to digital data memory 300 and digital-to-video converter 304 relates to the cyclic 36 bits within each vertical scan line which controls the vertical format of the display. Crossed-line pattern generator 306, which is described in more detail below, derives a second portion of readout control. This second portion is applied to digital data memory 300 and digital-to-video converter 304 to control the horizontal format of the display in a manner which provides the aforementioned irregular horizontal spacing of character spaces in each row of the display. As far as the present invention is concerned, the interval operation of the digital data memory 300 and digital-to-video converter 304 for deriving, under readout control, the video signal of the stored digital data in memory 300 for raster-scan display, may be the same as that conventionally employed in raster scan data display terminals.
As described above, counting means 400 and 402 operate to provide two successive count cycles of five scan lines followed by a cycle of 6 scan lines from counting means 400, after which the process is repeated. The second portion of the readout control, which is derived from the first 5 stages of counting means 400, which designate the vertical scan lines of the character space occurring during one field, provide three contiguous character spaces, as required. However, the occurrence of the 6" count between the 5 count of a third-successive cycle and the 1 count of the next cycle provides for the irregular horizontal spacing of character spaces, referred to above.
During each vertical line scan, the vertical format line enable is selectively present or absent in accordance with the position in the display in the upper bowling team and the lower bowling team, respectively. In particular, the vertical format line enable is absent during the portion of each vertical scan line below the lower-displayed team, the portion between the lower and upper displayed teams, the portion above the upper-displayed team shown in FIG. 2, and during the scan of the players-name section of the displayed field. Otherwise, it is present. During the presence of the vertical format line enable for that single one of each sixteen consecutive vertical scan lines which correspond with a binary ONE being present on the sixth stage of counting means 400, AND gate 404 applies an output through OR gate 406 to summer 308. This output, when applied to video display device 310, results in the vertical pattern line being displayed in its proper format position.
The displayed width of each vertical pattern line is equal to twice the width of a vertical scan line, because the vertical pattern line is composed of two contiguous vertical scan lines which individually occur during separate ones of the two interlaced fields.
The horizontal format line enable is present except when the portion of a field to the left or the right of the location of the displayed format is being scanned. As long as horizontal line enable is present, flip-flop 410 is set in response to the occurrence of the predetermined one of each 36 consecutive bits and is then reset two bits thereafter. Thus, flip-flop 410 cyclically produces an output having a duration equal to twice that of a bit period with a length of a cycle being to 36 bit periods. The output from flip-flop 410, after passing through gate 406 and summer 308 to video display device 310, results in horizontal pattern lines being displayed in the format shown in FIG. 2.
What is claimed is:
1. In a raster-scan data display system incorporating storage means, and readout means coupled to said storage means for use in electronically repetitively generating successive raster-scanned fields displaying stored game-score or other similar data of a given kind of game on a video-signal display device while the game is progressing, said readout means causing said score data to be displayed in a standardized fixed format of said display device in which any of separate given portions of said data is compartmentalized within its own individual area of said display; the improvement wherein said readout means includes time-controlled means independent of said storage means and any of said data for generating as part of said successive raster-scanned fields a pattern of crossed lines having predetermined locations with respect to each other which delineate each of said individual areas of said standardized fixed format.
2. The system defined in claim 1 wherein each of said given portions of said data includes characters, wherein said storage means and said readout means are arranged to display the respective characters of any of said given portions within different ones of a number of separate contiguous character spaces into which the entire area of that given portion is divided, and wherein said time-controlled means is arranged to situate said predetermined locations of said pattern of crossed lines wholly outside of any of said character spaces, whereby adjacent character spaces of adjacent areas are not contiguous with each other but are separated by the display-width of a line of said pattern.
3. The system'defined in claim 1, wherein said given kind of game is bowling and said standardized fixed format is that of a bowling score sheet; and wherein said time-controlled means is arranged to provide a pattern display of crossed lines which includes a set of spaced horizontal lines defining separate horizontal regions respectively for the score of each one of a group of players and a set of spaced vertical lines defining a playername region toward the left of the display and ten adjacent frame regions to the right of said player name region, whereby the given compartment corresponding to any single frame of any single player delineated by said crossed horizontal and vertical lines constitutes one of said individual areas.
4. The system defined in claim 3, wherein said storage means and said readout means are arranged to display pinfall data within an upper row of each horizontal region and to display score data within a lower row of each horizontal region which is contiguous with said upper row thereof, the upper row of any given compartment being divided into a given plurality of identically-sized separate contiguous character spaces within any one of which a single character of pinfall data may be displayed, the lower row of any given compartment being divided into a given plurality of identically-sized separate contiguous character spaces within any one of which a single character of score data may be displayed, and wherein said time-controlled means is arranged to control the respective positions of said character spaces in said display and to situate said vertical and horizontal lines wholly outside of any character space, whereby adjacent character spaces of adjacent given compartments are separated by the display-width of a line of said pattern.
5. The system defined in claim 4, wherein said given plurality of the character spaces of both said upper and lower rows is three.
6. The system defined in claim 4, wherein the direction of a raster scan line is parallel to one of said horizontal lines or said vertical lines.
7. The system defined in claim 4, wherein the direction of a raster scan line is parallel to said vertical lines.
8. The system defined in claim 4, wherein a first given number of raster scan lines during each display field correspond with any character space, and wherein said time controlled means includes first cyclic counting means for counting raster scan lines and second cyclic counting means coupled to said first counting means for counting cycles of said first counting means, said first counting means having a count capacity equal to said first given number in a first mode thereof and equal to a second given number greater than said first given number in a second mode thereof, said second counting means having a count capacity equal to the number of contiguous character spaces aligned in a direction normal to a raster scan line which are situated within a given compartment, said second counting means being further coupled to said first counting means for maintaining said first counting means in its first mode when said second counting means manifests a count less than its count capacity and for maintaining said first counting means in its second mode when said second counting means manifests a count equal to its capacity, and means coupled to said first counting means for controlling the position of a character space in response to said first counting means manifesting any count up to and including said first given number and for causing a raster scan line to be displayed on said display device in response to said first counting means manifesting a count greater than said first given number, whereby displayed raster lines constitute one of said sets of crossed lines of said pattern.
9. The system defined in claim 8, wherein said raster scan lines are vertical, and said given plurality of contiguous character spaces of both said upper and lower rows is equal to said number of contiguous character spaces aligned in a direction normal to a raster scan.
10. The system defined in claim 9, wherein said raster scan display consists of two interlaced fields.