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JUST SHOOT ME! - 7:00 - 7:30PM TUESDAY NOV. 16
CURRENT TIME: 6:50PM TUESDAY NOV. 16
PRESS ENTER TO GO BACK TO THE PREVIOUS SCREEN
METHOD FOR SELECTING A PROGRAM
DISPLAYED IN AN ADVERTISEMENT IN AN
APPLICATION SOFTWARE PROGRAM
This application claims the benefit of U.S. provisional 5 application Ser. No. 60/114,077 filed Dec. 28, 1998, which is hereby incorporated herein by reference, and which claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. §365 of International Application PCT/US99/30761, filed Dec. 22, 1999, which was published in accordance with PCT Article 21(2) on Jul. 6, 2000 in 10 English.
FIELD OF INVENTION
This invention generally relates to a method for operating a 15 video processing apparatus in response to selecting an advertisement, or the like, which is displayed in connection with a productivity or communication application software program.
BACKGROUND OF INVENTION
Electronic Program Guides (EPGs) allow viewers to select any channel at any time during some period into the future, e.g., up to seven days forward. (The data associated with the 25 EPG is typically broadcast in connection with a specified television channel at a certain time during the day.) Once a particular program is selected, for example, by highlighting, the viewer can perform audio/video processing like functions pertaining to that selected program. For instance, the viewer 30 could instantly switch to that program if it is currently being aired or initiate a one-touch videocassette recording (VCR) if the television is properly configured and connected to a recording device.
A communication application software program, such as 35 electronic mail ("e-mail") or electronic instant messaging, running on a computer connected by a network, such as, the Internet, permits a user to send and receive electronic messages to and from another user/computer. Proprietary "online" networks usually provide such services to users for a 40 monthly fee. Some on-line services display advertisements within the context of the communication application software program. Similar to advertisements on a typical "web-page", these advertisements may be selected to obtain more information concerning a product or service. Selection of an adver- 45 tisement usually connects the userto the web-page associated with the manufacturer of the product or the provider of the service.
There is consequently a need in the art for a convenient way to permit operation of an audio/video processing apparatus in 50 response to the selection of an advertisement, for a particular television program or movie, that is displayed in connection with a productivity or communication application software program.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention resides, in part, in recognition of the described problem and, in part, in providing a solution thereto. The present invention provides a convenient way of 60 permitting a video processing apparatus, such as a television, VCR, DVD, satellite receiver, set-top box, or the like, to be controlled in response to an advertisement displayed in connection with a productivity or communication application software program. The productivity or communication appli- 65 cation software program is operated on the video processing apparatus and, usually, connected to a network, such as the
Internet. Control information associated with the advertisement is used to operate the video processing apparatus in a typical video operating mode. The present invention links the traditional functions of a video processing apparatus with those of a personal computer.
Generally, the present invention defines a method for operating a video processing apparatus. The method comprises operating a computer software program, such as, a productivity or communication application, on the video processing apparatus. An advertisement associated with a broadcast or transmitted television program is received in connection with the computer software program; the advertisement is displayed. The video processing apparatus is operated in a video-operating mode in response to selecting an advertisement. This invention is applicable with any program transmission means, for example, terrestrial, cable, satellite or the like.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 shows an example of a television system in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 shows an example of a digital video processing apparatus in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 3 shows a software block diagram in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 4 shows an electronic message display according to an implementation of the present invention; and
FIG. 5 shows a subsequent electronic message display in accordance with the present invention.
Although the present invention is conveniently described in terms of a television apparatus, it is apparent to one skilled in the art that the present invention is applicable to any video processing apparatus that is capable of running a productivity or communication application software program and can generate or control a display device, for example, a VCR, DVD, satellite receiver, set-top box or the like.
The television receiver shown in FIG. 1 is capable of processing both analog NTSC television signals and Internet information. Descriptions of the remaining well-known functions of the television receiver shown in FIG. 1 are not provided except where necessary for understanding the present invention. Tuner 1105 and IF processor 1130 operate in a conventional manner for tuning and demodulating a particular television signal that is included in signal RF_IN. The system shown in FIG. 1 also includes a main microprocessor 1110 for controlling components of the television receiver such as tuner 1105, picture-in-picture processing unit 1140, video signal processor 1155, and Gemstar® data processing module 1160.
Main microprocessor 1110 also controls the operation of a communications interface unit 1113 for providing the capability to upload and download information to and from the Internet. Communication interface unit 1113 includes, for example, a modem for connecting to an Internet service provider, e.g., via a telephone line or via a cable television line. The communication capability allows the system shown in FIG. 1 to provide electronic message capability and Internet related features such as web browsing in addition to receiving television programming. The electronic message capability is provided using an e-mail program running on microprocessor 1110, which permits connection to the Internet. CPU 1112 controls functions included within microprocessor 1110, for example, auxiliary data processor 1115 and on-screen display
(OSD) processor 1117. Auxiliary data processor 1115 extracts auxiliary data such as Gemstar® data from video signal PIPV.
Gemstar® data, which provides program guide data (e.g., EPG) information in a known format, is typically received 5 only on a particular television channel and the television receiver must tune that channel to extract Gemstar® data usually during a time period when the television receiver is typically not in use (e.g., 2:00 AM). At that time, CPU 1112 configures decoder 1115 such that auxiliary data is extracted from horizontal line intervals such as line 16 that are used for Gemstar® data. For an EPG display, the display data included in the EPG display is produced by OSD processor 1117 and included in the output signal by VSP 1155 in response to fast switch signal FSW.
An exemplary embodiment of the features of the system 15 shown in FIG. 1 that have been described thus far comprises an ST9296 microprocessor produced by SGS-Thomsom Microelectronics; an M65616 picture-in-picture processor produced by Mitsubishi; and an LA7612 video signal processor produced by Sanyo. 20
FIG. 2 is an MPEG compatible system for receiving MPEG encoded transport streams representing broadcast programs and is also capable of processing Internet information, including electronic messages. User interface systems are also applicable to other types of digital signal processing devices 25 including non-MPEG compatible systems, involving other types of encoded datastreams (e.g., digital video disc (DVD) systems). The exemplary system described below is described as processing broadcast programs. The term 'program' is used to represent any form of packetized data such as 30 telephone messages, computer programs, Internet data, audio presentations (e.g., from a remote source or from a local source), visual presentations, audiovisual presentations (e.g., from a remote source or a local source), or other communications. Descriptions of the remaining well-known functions 35 of the television receiver shown in FIG. 2 are not provided except where necessary for understanding the present invention.
A carrier modulated with video data is received by antenna 10 and processed by input processor unit 15. The resultant 40 digital output signal is demodulated by demodulator 20 and decoded by decoder 30. The output from decoder 30 is processed by transport system 25, which provides compressed data outputs for storage, further decoding, or communication to other devices. Video and audio decoders 85 and 80 respec- 45 tively, decode the compressed data from system 25 to provide outputs for display.
The data provided to mux 37 from selector 35 is in the form of an MPEG compliant packetized transport datastream as defined in MPEG systems standard section 2.4 and includes 50 program guide information and the data content of one or more program channels. Packet Identifiers (PIDs) identify the individual packets that comprise particular program channels. The transport stream contains Program Specific Information (PSI) for use in identifying the PIDs and assembling 55 individual data packets to recover the content of all the program channels that comprise the packetized datastream. Transport system 25, under the control of the system controller 115, acquires and collates program guide information from the input transport stream, storage device 90 or an Inter- 60 net service provider via the communication interface unit 116. The individual packets that comprise either particular program channel content or Program Guide information, are identified by their Packet Identifiers (PIDs) contained within header information. 65
Packets received by decoder 55 from units 45 and 50 that contain program content including audio, video, caption, and
other information, are directed by unit 65 from decoder 55 to the designated application device buffers in packet buffer 60. Application control unit 70 sequentially retrieves the audio, video, caption and other data from the designated buffers in buffer 60 and provides the data to audio and video decoders 80 and 85 and high speed data port 75.
In addition, controller 115 is coupled to a communication interface unit 116 that operates in a manner similar to interface unit 1113 of FIG. 1. That is, unit 116 provides the capability to upload and download information to and from the Internet. Communication interface unit 116 includes, for example, a modem for connecting to an Internet service provider, e.g., via a telephone line or via a cable television line. The communication capability allows the system shown in FIG. 2 to provide electronic message capability and Internet related features such as web browsing in addition to receiving television programming. The electronic message capability is provided using an e-mail program running on microprocessor 115, which permits connection to the Internet.
Typically, however, the computer-related programs and operations, (such as, e-mail) are implemented independently of the television programs and operations. That is, composing, reading and/or sending e-mail is performed independent of any video processing operation, for example, tuning, recording, and/or replaying of audio, video, or television programs. Likewise, the audio, video, or television programming, tuning, recording and/or replaying is performed independent of the computer-related program that may be running on the digital television.
FIG. 3 is a software block diagram or flow chart of an exemplary program which, according to the present invention, may be executed by controller 1110 of FIG. 1, controller 115 of FIG. 2, or any other suitably programmed control arrangement of an electronic host device. The term "electronic host device" as used herein is not limited to television receivers, video recording devices or set-top boxes, but rather encompasses hybrids thereof (e.g., PCTVs), satellite television and/or data signal converters, program guide receiver units, and the like, regardless of whether incorporated into a television receiver or personal computer or connected externally thereto. The exemplary program will be described below only with respect to the exemplary hardware implementation of an electronic host device shown in FIG. 1.
According to the exemplary program 300, an advertisement for a program is presented within the display of a communication or productivity application software program 301. In response to a user's selection 302 of a displayed advertisement, a list of choices 310 may be provided. Alternatively, the receiver could operate based on a default mode, for example, immediately selecting the channel with the advertised program, or in response to the user desiring to record the program advertised (perhaps by activating a RECORD button), immediately set up a one-touch recording.
If the choice list is shown, the user selects one of the choices, and the receiver responds correspondingly. For example, if the choice is to tune to a channel 312, the receiver will immediately tune to the subject channel. This may be achieved by either presenting the video in a small window and the user may continue to use the application software program, or the video will take up the entire screen and the user must actively return to the application. The user's work is automatically saved regardless of the selected choice. Alternatively, a dialog box may appear asking the user whether to save the current work or not.
Another choice would be to control the receiver to tune to the subject channel just prior to the start of the program 316 and 318. Alternately, the user could choose to record the program 320. This would result in programming a timer, for example, in the television or the video recording apparatus 322.