US RE28598 E
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United States Patent Baer et al.
l l TELEVlSlON GAMING APPARATUS AND METHOD Primary ExaminerDavid L. Trafton Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Louis Etlinger; Richard I,
 Inventors: Ralph H. Baer. Manchester; William s I T. Rusch; William L. Harrison, both 6 of Hollis, all of NH.
 Assignee: Sanders Associates, Inc., Nashua.  ABSTRACT N.H. Apparatus and methods are herein disclosed for use in  Flled' conjunction with standard monochrome and color tel- [2l] Appl. No: 464,023 evision receivers, for the generation. display and manipulation of symbols upon the screen of the television Related Patent Documents receivers for the purpose of playing games. training Reissue of: simulation and for engaging in other activities by one  Patent No.: 3,659,285 or more participants The invention comprises in one Issued: Apr. 25, 1972 embodiment a control unit. connecting means and in Appl. No.: 851,865 some applications a television screen overlay mask uti Filed: Aug. 21, 1969 lized in conjunction with a standard television receiver. The control unit includes the control means. US. 340/324 AD; 178/68; 250/549; switches and electronic circuitry for the generation, 273/85 R; 315/377 manipulation and control of video signals representing  Int. Cl? .1 G08B 5/36 ymbo s which are to be di played on the tele ision  Field of Search 340/324 AD; 315/377 screen. The symbols are generated by voltage con trolled delay of pulses and coincidence gating. The  References Cited connecting means couples the video signals to the re UNITED STATES PATENTS ceiver antenna terminals thereby using existing elec- 2.45s,992 l2/l948 Goldsmith et al. t. 315/22 f "f f"i: h en km gr hccs anglxdis- 2595,6461 5/1952 Doba et .340/324 AD PAY e mgr") "/i w L 284766! 8/1958 Amwuse r V V p g V V 315/22 X movably attached to the television screen may deter- 3011625 H1962 Evans eta] y 340/334 AD mine the nature of the game to be played. Control 3,046,676 7/1962 Hermann et all. 35/25 units may be provided for each of the participants. Al- 3.l5l.248 9/1964 Glaser et al 250/227 ternatively. games may be carried out in conjunction 1 3 H964 g el 340/334 AD with background and other pictorial information origi- 3'l891889 6/1965 s? -340/324 AD nated in the television receiver by commercial TV. 3,249 796 5/1966 MOffIIL... .1 315/222 ciosed circuit TV or a CATV Station. 3,334,236 8/1967 Bacon 11 250/217 CR 3,497,760 2/1970 Kiesllng 1. FIB/6.8 X 17 Claims, 37 a g gures FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS l l80,47O 6/l959 France l-- 6315 #s -l 33 4 SEC HOR. SYNC PULSES l l I P DOTI HI DOT DOTl VIDEO OR- T. COINCIDENCE VDEO z MOD DELAYED 1 T 1 GATE SIGNAL AND H RF PULSES l A. osc.
I DOT 2 v1DEo DOT 2 HQR DOT 2 DELAYED I COlNClDENCE w P --GATE PULSES l' l6.66MS *l m VERT /1 s 2330 WV VERT. SYNC PULSES T l 4 :l:l i 32 VERT v DELAYED l 1 To TV Wv P I l VI ANTENNA PULSES i TERMlNALS l v 88E? g fi -1 DELAYED V2 V vz PULSES Reissued Oct.28,1975 Sheet 1 of 17 Re. 28,598
INVENTORS g RALPH H. BAER WELLJAM T. RUSCH WILLIAM LHARRISON Rei ssued 0a. 28, 1975 63. 5 SEC.
Sheet 2 of 17 I666 MS.
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I WH I DOT 2 VIDEO 38; 2 'I:I: DOT 2 DELAYED I gglNEclDENCE WH Hz PULSES I I656 MS 60H VER'IZ' 7I- I I SYNC l w I VERT. SYNC PULSES GEN. I v
IEET' 32 T DELAYED J Y'. L To Tv Bil WV I PW ANTENNA PuLsEs I TERMINALS I v DOT 2 -]L VERT. I'+ T DELAYED P I INVENTORS ,Q Y v2 RALPH H. BAER WILLIAM T. RUSCH FIG4 WILLIAM L. HARRISON AT TORNEY Reissued 0a. 28, 1975 Sheet 4 of 17 Re. 28,598
HOR. 44 4? SYNC PULSES t CONTROL E 48 SIGNAL H 555 PULSES CONTROL SIGNAL FIG. 8A
CONTROL SIGNAL INVENTORS RALPH H. BAER WILLIAM T RUSCH WILLIAM L. HARRISON Reissued Oct.28, 1975 Sheet 5 of 17 Re. 28,598
/.3 7| a) (f (r HIT DOT GEN. as i 72 7 T HITTING DOT GEN. f
73 G 9 HITTING DOT GEN. 77 VCC T cc 8| HIT GEN.
CONTROL VOLTAGE INVENTORS RALPH H. BAER WILLIAM T RUSCH WILLIAM LHARRISON Reissued 0m. 28, 1975 Sheet 6 of 17 Re. 28,598
mm mwEEDm nwavmns RALPH H. BAER WILLIAM T. RUSCH WILLIAM L. HARRISON BY 3 D/ Reissued Oct. 28, 1975 Sheet 9 of 17 Re. 28,598
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I L L VER SYNC GEN Reissued Oct.28, 1975 Sheet 10 of 17 Re. 28,598
SUMMER o TV R F OSCILLATOR HOR. gERT. T SYNC GYNC N.
FIGI5A I I55 I54 I56 F l G B INVENTORS RALPH H. BAER WILLIAM T. RUSCI-I WILLIAM L. HARRISON Reissued Oct.28, 1975 Sheetllof 17 Re. 28,598
INVENTORS RALPH H. BAER WILLIAM T. RUSCH WILLIAM L HARRISON BY J ii,
.EDUEO Reissued Oct. 28, 1975 Sheet 12 of 17 Re. 28,598
329w 6Ezoo $32 uz w Em; n 2206 lNVE/VTORS RALPH I-I. BAER WILLIAM T. RUSCH WILLIAM L. HARRISON ATTORNEY Reissued Oct. 28, 1975 Sheet 14 0f17 Re. 28,598
TO MULTIVIBRATOR (-)2IO E H2 o- 1 2 8 FIGIQC TO MULTIVIBRATOR ()ZII INVENTORS RALPH H. BAER WILLIAM T. RUSCH WILLIAM L. HARRISON Reissued Oct. 28, 1975 Sheet 15 of 17 Re. 28,598
INVENTORS RALPH I-I. BAER WILLIAM T. RUSCH WILLIAM L. HARRISON :N A moEmmsfiaz 9.
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1U Ll VERT. I-IoRIz. SYNC SYNC GEN. GEN.
I-I in. I DOT suMIAER GENERATOR R F oscILLAToR MODULATOR F l 2 v E To Tv ANTENNA I63] TERMINALS GUN ELECTRONICS oNE SHOT PRIMARY MULTIVIBRATOR FLIP FLOP 52 HOR. SYNC PULSES 7 VIDEO SIGNAL CONTROL SIGNAL 53 VERT. I SYNC PULSES T INVENTORS T RALPH H. BAER WILLIAM T RUSCH 6 WILLIAM L HARRISON "MW SIGNAL TELEVISION GAMING APPARATUS AND METHOD Matter enclosed in heavy brackets I II appears in the original patent but forms no part of this reissue specification; matter printed in italics indicates the additions made by reissue.
REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This invention relates to the subject matter of Application Ser. No. 126,966 filed Mar.22, I97] a continuation of Application Ser. No. 697,798 filed Jan. 15, i968, now abandoned; and application Ser. No. 828,154 filed May 27, I969.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to apparatus and methods by means of which standard television receivers can be utilized as active rather than passive instruments or, alternatively, to special television receivers constructed for active operation by participants. This is accomplished in certain embodiments by having participants manipulate controls of a control unit connected to the television receiver to cause a symbol, such as a square, or a plurality of symbols, to be displayed upon the television screen by means of which the participants can play a variety of games, participate in simulated training programs, as well as carry out other activities. By way of example, modified versions of the well-known game of ping-pong may be played by two participants by physically or electronically placing an appropriate mask representing the net upon the screen of the television receiver. Three displayed dots represent two paddles and a ball wherein the ball is moved in a particular direction when hit" by a paddle.
Heretofore, color and monochrome television receivers have been used generally by the home and other viewers as passive devices; i.e., the television receiver is used only as a display means for programming originating at a studio. The viewer is limited to selecting the presentations available for viewing and is not a participant to the extent that he can control or influence the nature of, or add to the presentation displayed on the receiver screen.
A standard receiver employed with auxiliary equipment to provide an active form of home entertainment is described in patent applications for Television Gaming and Training Apparatus" Ser. No. l26,966 filed Mar. 22, 1971, a continuation of Ser. No. 697,798, filed Jan. 15, 1968 and Television Gaming Apparatus and Method" Ser. No. 2 ,1 filed May 27, 1969, both assigned to the assignee of this application. Since most homes are equipped with television receivers, the only expense required to provide added family enjoyment as well as training means is the expense of a control unit of one type or another.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide apparatus and methods for displaying video signals on the screen of a television receiver, where some or all of the video signals are both generated and controlled by apparatus external to the television receiver.
It is another object of the present invention to provide an apparatus and method wherein a standard color or monochrome television receiver is utilized as an active instrument for playing various types of games in volving one or more participants.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a device whereby an individual may pit his alertness, skill, manual dexterity and visual acuity against automatically controlled video displays.
It is yet a further object of the present invention to provide an apparatus which will generate dots such as squares which may be controlled by one or more participants for playing various types of games.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a cathode ray tube apparatus for displaying symbols to be manipulated by participants.
It is yet another object of the present invention to provide an apparatus which will allow one or more participants to actively use a standard television set while receiving background and other pertinent pictorial information from a cooperative commercial TV, closed circuit TV, or CATV station, thus combining or alternating studio and home-generated information on the TV screen.
It is still another object of the present invention to allow the use of a standard TV set for gaming or other activities without the need for any kind of internal electrical connection to the TV set for the introduction of video and/or chroma signals, connections being required to be made only to the externally accessible an tenna terminals.
In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, a television gaming apparatus is provided for generating video signals in accordance with the stan dardized television format, which signals may be controlled by an individual operator by means of a joystick or other manually operative means. The television gaming apparatus comprises control apparatus having included therein the necessary electronic circuits to produce video signals which are compatible with standard television receivers.
The control apparatus has video signal control means mounted thereon for easy access and connecting means are provided for coupling the video signals generated within the control box to the television receiver.
By way of illustration, the television gaming apparatus can be used for playing a game of ping-pong by providing on a TV screen two dots which represent paddles. Means are provided for enabling the players to control the vertical movement of the paddle dots. Means are also provided for generating on the screen of the television receiver a third dot which represents the ping-pong ball. This dot can be made to move from an off-screen left position to an off-screen right position and vice versa unless "hit by a paddle dot whereupon the ball dot will change direction. The players have further controls for changing the vertical position of the ball dot.
Suitable overlays or presentations from a cooperative TV station may be used in conjunction with said games to enhance the asthetic appeal thereof. Alternatively, presentations such as a ping-pong net may be generated by controls in the hands of the participants.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The above-mentioned and other features and objects of this invention will become more apparent by reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. I is a pictorial view illustrating the principle components of an embodiment of the invention includ ing a television receiver and a control unit;
FIG. IA is a pictorial view illustrating an alternate embodiment for the control unit of FIG. 1;
FIG. 2 is a sketch illustrating a typical TV screen and overlay mask as employed in an embodiment of this invention;
FIG. 3 is a sketch illustrating the manner in which dots are formed on a TV screen;
FIG. 4 is a block diagram illustrating the general the ory of dot generation;
FIG. 5 is a block diagram of the preferred mode of generating dots on a TV screen;
FIG. 6 is a schematic of a sync generator employed in the embodiment of FIG. 5;
FIG. 7A is a schematic of a dot generator employed in the embodiment of FIG. 5;
FIG. 7B are waveforms illustrating operation of the circuit of FIG. 7A;
FIGS. 8A-8C are schematics of controls used to generate control signals for the dot generator of FIG. 7;
FIG. 9 is a schematic of a primary flip-flop arrangement used in many of the gaming applications;
FIG. 10 is a schematic of a secondary flip-flop arrangement used in certain ones of the gaming applications;
FIG. IIA is a diagram of apparatus for a simulated ping pong type game;
FIG. IIB is a sketch of a television screen illustrating the manner of play of the ping-pong game of FIG. 11A;
FIG. 12A is a diagram of apparatus for a simulated handball type game;
FIG. IZB is a sketch of a television screen illustrating the manner of play of the handball game of FIG. 12A;
FIG. 13A is a diagram of apparatus for a simulated volleyball type game;
FIG. 13B is a sketch ofa television screen illustrating the manner of play of the volleyball game of FIG. 13A;
FIG. [4A is a diagram of electronic apparatus for a simulated golf putting game;
FIG. 14B is a sketch of the input control for the apparatus of FIG. 14A;
FIG. 14C is a sketch ofa television screen illustrating the manner of play of the golf putting game of FIG. 14A;
FIG. ISA is a diagram of apparatus for a pumping game;
FIG. 15B is a sketch ofa television screen illustrating the manner of play of the pumping" game of FIG. ISA;
FIG. 16 is a diagram of apparatus for a target shooting game;
FIG. 17 is a schematic of a chroma signal generator;
FIG. 18A is a schematic of another embodiment of a dot generator;
FIG. 18B is a sketch of illustrative video signals of the dot generator of FIG. I8A;
FIG. 19A is a block diagram of apparatus for controlling a "hit" dot;
FIG. 19B is a sketch illustrating the manner in which the apparatus of FIG. 19A controls a "hit" dot;
FIG. 19C is a schematic of the horizontal gated differentiator of FIG. 19A;
FIG. 19D is a schematic of the bilateral switch, integrator and wall bounce of FIGv 19A;
FIG. 20A is a diagram of electronic apparatus for a simulated race game;
FIG. 20B is a schematic ofa dot generator having position controlled clot size;
FIG. 20C is a sketch of a television screen illustrating the manner of play of the race game of FIG. 20A; and
FIG. 21 is a diagram of electronic apparatus for a left-right shooting game.
DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The principal components of one embodiment of a television gaming system configured according to the invention are illustrated in FIG. 1 which is a pictorial view showing a television receiver 10, a control unit I4 and means 12 for connecting control unit I4 to receiver 10. The television receiver 10 employed can be any of the standard commercially available models that are generally used for home entertainment. Either a monochrome or color television set may be used with the present invention since the basic principles of the invention apply to both types. The connection means I2 is in this embodiment a cable, for example, shielded or unshielded twin-lead, and is attached to the antenna terminals of receiver 10 in conventional fashion.
Control unit 14 generates video signals shown as dots 20,, 20 and 21. The dots 20, and 20 are positioned on the receiver screen 18 by knobs 16,, 17,, and 16 17,, respectively.
Knob 16, controls the vertical position of dot 20,, while knob 17, controls the horizontal position thereof. Thus, it can be seen that the dot 20, many be positioned at any point on the screen by the proper manipulation of knobs l6, and 17,. Dot 20, is positioned in like manner by knob 16,, 17 In this embodiment dot 21 can be automatically positioned on screen 18 without manual control. This will be described more fully hereinafter. A pair of serve/reset switches 11, 13 are shown on the control unit 14 and are used to reset the picture on the television screen or serve" a simulated ball. For example, a game may be played in which one dot is to be positioned over the other and when this is accomplished one dot will disappear and/or the background will change color. When games of this nature are played, a reset means is required before play can be resumed. Serve reset switches II, 13 can perform this function as well as other functions to be described hereafter.
A knob 15 controls background color for color TV receiver applications wherein a chroma generator is employed in the manner set forth in said application Ser. No. l26,966.
Alternatively, control unit I4 may be broken up into a master control unit containing the electronic circuits and individual control units containing control knobs 16,, 17, and 16 I7 and switches 11 and I3, whereby each participant may operate from a position away from the other and so not to interfere with other players. This is illustrated in FIG. IA wherein control unit 14 is broken up into a master control unit 27 and individual control units 22 and 23. The master control unit 27 contains the electronic circuitry found in control unit 14 and control knob 15. Knobs 16,, 17, and 16,, and 17, which position the dots 20, and 20 and switches 11 and 13 are situated on individual control units 22 and 23, respectively. More than two control units may be provided when additional participants are to take part.