FreshPatents.com Logo
stats FreshPatents Stats
n/a views for this patent on FreshPatents.com
Updated: October 26 2014
newTOP 200 Companies filing patents this week


    Free Services  

  • MONITOR KEYWORDS
  • Enter keywords & we'll notify you when a new patent matches your request (weekly update).

  • ORGANIZER
  • Save & organize patents so you can view them later.

  • RSS rss
  • Create custom RSS feeds. Track keywords without receiving email.

  • ARCHIVE
  • View the last few months of your Keyword emails.

  • COMPANY DIRECTORY
  • Patents sorted by company.

Follow us on Twitter
twitter icon@FreshPatents

Systems and methods for recording programs of lesser interest when convenient

last patentdownload pdfdownload imgimage previewnext patent


20120301116 patent thumbnailZoom

Systems and methods for recording programs of lesser interest when convenient


Systems and methods for recording a program are provided. Alternate transmissions of a program with a “when convenient” recording priority may be recorded in whole or in portions whenever recording does not interfere with other uses of the user's equipment. When the recording device is out of space to record programs, recorded programs having a “when convenient” deletion priority may be deleted and scheduled for re-recording at a later time.

Browse recent Rovi Guides, Inc. patents - Santa Clara, CA, US
Inventor: Michael D. Ellis
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120301116 - Class: 386292 (USPTO) - 11/29/12 - Class 386 


view organizer monitor keywords


The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120301116, Systems and methods for recording programs of lesser interest when convenient.

last patentpdficondownload pdfimage previewnext patent

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a divisional of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/237,839, filed Sep. 27, 2005, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention is related to systems and methods for recording and deleting programs and more particularly, systems and methods for recording and deleting programs that are of lesser importance to the user.

Recording devices, such as digital video recording (DVR) devices, are well known in the art but still have deficiencies. A user of a DVR device may schedule recordings for a number of programs that he or she may not have the same level of interest in. Should a scheduling conflict occur, the user may be forced to choose to record the program or programs he or she is most interested in, and then search for another broadcast of the other program or programs to record. This may be burdensome and complicated, or perhaps just undesirable, for some users.

A user of a DVR device may experience a similar, undesirable experience when, for example, the user tries to record a program and finds that the DVR device has insufficient space remaining. The user is then forced to either cancel the recording, or select and delete one or more recorded programs to make room for the new program. This experience may even be more frustrating if the user\'s DVR has space available when the user schedules the recording, but does not have enough space when the program is transmitted. In such cases, unless the user fortuitously checked the DVR device and made space before the broadcast time, the requested program may not be recorded. When the user is more interested in the program he or she wanted to record than in programs already recorded, the experience can be quite frustrating.

As yet another example of a potentially undesirable experience, a DVR device may automatically delete programs in order to make room for a new recording. If the DVR deletes a program that the user is more interested in than the program being recorded, such a result may frustrate the user.

Accordingly, it would be desirable to provide systems and methods for recording programs for which a user has lesser interest at a convenient time.

SUMMARY

OF THE INVENTION

This and other objects of the present invention are accomplished in accordance with the principles of the present invention by providing an interactive television application coupled with a recording device. The interactive television application automatically designates, or receives a user\'s designation for, recording priorities for its recordings. Among the priorities is a “when convenient” priority (others may be, for example, “high” and “low”). In some embodiments, the only recording priority option is “when convenient” or not. The “when convenient” priority indicates that no particular transmission of the requested program is preferred for recording, and that a copy of the requested program should be recorded at the first opportunity in which the recording would not conflict with other user requests.

Prior to recording a program, the interactive television application determines whether recording the program will conflict with current, anticipated or scheduled uses of resources in the user\'s equipment. For example, the interactive television application may determine whether a tuner will be available for the recording, or whether there will be enough space available to record the program. If a conflict exists or will exist, the interactive television application examines the recording priority of the program. If the recording priority is “when convenient,” the interactive television application searches for another transmission of the program at a time when there are no conflicts, and schedules that transmission for recording.

It may be that there is no time when a single transmission of a “when convenient” program can be recorded in its entirety without a resource conflict. In this situation, the interactive television application schedules recordings for the portions of the different transmissions of the “when convenient program” that are not conflicted. As each portion is recorded, or after all of the portions are recorded, the interactive television application will stitch the pieces of the program together to produce a complete recording. Alternatively, the interactive television application may leave the portions unstitched, and simply play them back in order when the user requests that the program be played back.

In response to determining that a scheduled recording is not designated “when convenient”, the interactive television application determines whether any other scheduled recordings having a “when convenient” priority can be rescheduled. If not, the interactive television application may alert the user that there is an irreconcilable conflict, and request that the user choose between the recordings or automatically choose between the recordings. For example, the interactive television application may automatically cancel a “low priority” recording in favor of a “high priority” recording.

In some embodiments, the interactive television application may automatically designate, or receive a user\'s designation for, a deletion priority for recorded programs. When a conflict occurs due to a lack of space on the recording device, the interactive television application uses the deletion priority to determine which, if any, program or programs to delete in order to make room for the new recording. The deletion priorities include a “when convenient” priority (which may be the only option in some embodiments). Other priorities may be, for example, “save until I delete,” “high,” and “low.” In response to determining that a recorded program has a “when convenient” deletion priority, the interactive television application deletes the recorded program to make room for the new program if the recorded program can be recorded later when space is available and there are no other conflicts (the interactive television application may use stitching to accomplish re-recording the entire program).

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above and other features of the present invention, its nature and various advantages will be more apparent upon consideration of the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a diagram of an illustrative interactive television system in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 shows an illustrative display screen showing television program listings in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 shows an illustrative display screen showing information relating to a television program in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 shows an illustrative display screen showing a television program in full screen after a recording has commenced in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 shows an illustrative display screen showing recording options in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 6 shows an illustrative display screen showing a scheduling conflict notice in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 7 shows an illustrative display screen showing a recording space conflict notice in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 8 shows an illustrative display screen showing a list of recorded programs in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 9 shows a flow chart of an illustrative process for recording programs having a “when convenient” recording priority in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 10 shows a flow chart of another illustrative process for recording programs having a “when convenient” recording priority in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 11 shows a flow chart of an illustrative process for deleting and scheduling for re-recording programs having a “when convenient” deletion priority in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 shows illustrative interactive television system 1 in accordance with the principles of the invention. User equipment 10 receives content in the form of signals from content source 20 over communications path 22. In practice there may be multiple content sources. For clarity, only one is shown in FIG. 1. Also in practice, there may be multiple instances of user equipment 10 coupled to content source 20 and data source 24. For the clarity of the figure, the user equipment of only a single user is shown.

Content source 20 may be any suitable content source such as, for example, a cable system headend, satellite television distribution facility, television broadcast facility, on-demand server (e.g., video-on-demand (VOD) server), or any other suitable facility or system for originating or distributing content. Content source 20 may be configured to transmit signals over any suitable communications path 22 including, for example, a satellite path, a fiber-optic path, a cable path, or any other suitable wired or wireless path. The signals may carry any suitable content such as, for example, television programs, music, news, web services, or any other suitable content. The signals may be transmitted as a broadcast, multicast, unicast, or any other suitable transmission stream.

User equipment 10 may include any equipment suitable for providing an interactive television experience. For example, user equipment 10 may include computer equipment, such as a personal computer with a television card (PCTV). User equipment 10 may include television equipment such as a television, set-top box, recording device, video player, user input device (e.g., remote control, keyboard, mouse, touch pad, touch screen, voice recognition interface, etc.) or any other device suitable for providing an interactive television experience. For example, user equipment 10 may include a DCT 2000, 2500, 5100, 6208 or 6412 set-top box provided by Motorola, Inc.

In the example of FIG. 1, user equipment 10 includes at least control circuitry 18, display device 12, recording device 14, and user input device 16, which may be implemented as separate devices or as a single device. An interactive television application, such as an interactive television program guide, may be implemented on user equipment 10 to direct a tuner in control circuitry 18 to display, on display device 12, the content transmitted by content source 20 over path 22 and to provide interactive television application features.

Recording device 14 may be a personal video recorder (PVR), digital video recorder (DVR), video cassette recorder (VCR), DVD-recorder, or any other suitable recording device. Recording device 14 may include one or more tuners.

Display device 12 may be any suitable device such as, for example, a television monitor or a computer monitor. Display device 12 may also be configured to provide for the output of audio.

Control circuitry 18 is adapted to receive user inputs from input device 16, execute the instructions of the interactive television application, direct recording device 14 to record programs, and direct display device 12 to display transmitted programs, recorded programs, and interactive television application display screens. Control circuitry 18 may include one or more tuners (e.g., analog or digital tuners), encoders and decoders (e.g., MPEG encoders and decoders), processors (e.g., Motorola 68000 family processors), memory (i.e., RAM and hard disks), communications circuitry (e.g., cable modem circuitry), input/output circuitry (e.g., graphics circuitry), connections to the various devices of user equipment 10 (e.g., recording device 14), and any other suitable component for providing analog or digital television programming, program recording, and interactive television features. In some embodiments, control circuitry 18 may be included as part of one of the devices of user equipment 10 such as, for example, part of recording device 14, display 12, or any other device (e.g., a set-top box, television, video player, etc.).

Control circuitry 18 may include memory for storing interactive television application instructions or other programming logic, and database 104. Database 104 stores interactive television application data from data sources 24 (such as program scheduling data), and other data for use by the interactive television application (e.g., user profiles, recorded program lists, equipment settings, or other suitable information). Database 104 may also store deletion and recording priorities for scheduled and actual recordings. In some embodiments, database 104 is stored in other portions of user equipment 10, such as recording device 14, or may be stored across different devices inside or outside the home.

User equipment 10 may receive interactive television application data from one or more data sources 24. Data sources 24 may provide data for a particular type of content or for a particular application. For example, one data source 24 may provide data for non-on-demand assets (e.g., non-pay and pay-per-view television programs), and another may provide data for on-demand assets (e.g., VOD programs). Or, for example, a single data source may provide both of these types of data. In some embodiments, one data source 24 may provide data for an interactive television program guide, and another may provide data for another interactive television application running on user equipment 10 (e.g., a home shopping application). In some embodiments, data sources 24 may provide data to the interactive television application using a client/server approach. There may be one server per data source, one for all sources or, in some embodiments, a single server may communicate as a proxy between user equipment 10 and various data sources 24.

Content source 20 and data sources 24 are shown in FIG. 1 as separate elements. In practice, their functionality may be combined and provided from a single system at a single facility, or multiple systems at multiple facilities. For example, one content source 20 and data source 24 may be combined to provide VOD content and associated VOD data.

FIG. 2 shows an illustrative program guide screen 200 that the interactive television application may display on display device 12. The user may access program guide screen 200 by any suitable means such as, for example, pressing a “menu,” “guide,” or other suitable key or key sequence on user input device 16, navigating from another program guide screen or menu, or by any other suitable means. Illustrative program guide screen 200 contains a grid of program listings 210 which includes program titles, channels, scheduled broadcast times, and other suitable program information. In other embodiments, the program guide screen may include a list (i.e., a single column) of programs. The user may select a desired program listing with highlight region 212 using user input 16, or any other suitable means.

To schedule the recording of a program or other suitable video, a user may highlight a desired program (in the example of FIG. 2, listing 214 associated with “Biography” on channel 28 is highlighted), and press a “Record” key or key sequence, or select a “Record” option from the screen using user input device 16. A scheduled recording may be indicated, for example, by record icon 216.

Prior to choosing to record a program, the user may request additional information regarding the program. For example, the user may highlight a listing using highlight region 212 and press an “Information” key or key sequence on user input device 16. In response to receiving the user request, the interactive television application may display an information screen. FIG. 3 shows illustrative information screen 300, which includes detailed information section 302, program description area 304 (including the program title, time and channel), and video window 306.

Screen 300 also includes selectable icons 310, some or all of which may include text descriptions. The screen may include options for recording, series recording, parental control locks, or any other suitable interactive television application action. If a user decides to record the program, the user may schedule the recording by pressing a “Record” key or key sequence, selecting a “Record” option from the screen using user input device 16, or by any other suitable means.

In some embodiments, the user may be watching a program on display device 12 in a full screen view, for example full screen view 400 shown in FIG. 4, and decide to record the program. To record the program being viewed, the user may press a “Record” key or key sequence on user input device 16, or use any other suitable means. A pop-up notice, such as pop-up notice 402, may appear to confirm that recording has begun. The interactive television application may also display the notice in response to receiving a user confirmation to record the program. In some embodiments, the interactive television application may direct pop-up notice 402 to appear automatically when a scheduled recording begins.

In response to receiving a user request to record a program (e.g., from any of screens 200, 300 or 400), the interactive television application automatically designates, or prompts the user to designate, a recording priority for the selected program (e.g., high, low, “when convenient,” etc.). The interactive television application may automatically designate a priority for a recording using any suitable approach. For example, if a user pays for viewing or recording a program, it is likely that the user has a high interest in the program and the interactive television application may set its priority as high. As another example, the interactive television application may determine how desirable a program will be to the user based on the user\'s viewing history. The application may, for example, designate the program high priority in response to determining that the program is of a type that the user is very interested in and very likely to watch. It may designate a program as “when convenient” when it determines, for example, that there are other programs of more interest at the same time that the selected program is transmitted and there are other transmissions of the selected program. As yet another example, the interactive television application may, as a default, set recordings of currently-watched programs to high.

In some embodiments, the interactive television application may attempt to predict when the user is likely to watch recordings and set the recording priority accordingly. This prediction may be based on, for example, the time the user typically waits between recording a program and watching it (a “waiting period”). The waiting period may be determined by the guide or, alternatively, set by the user. The interactive television application may determine waiting periods for different categories or genres of programs to better predict when the user will watch a given recording. In some embodiments, the interactive television application may automatically update recording priorities as time approaches when a user is likely to watch a recording.

The following example will demonstrate how an interactive television application may automatically determine the recording priority for a program in some embodiments of the present invention. Assume the user on Monday selects for recording a Tuesday prime time program every week (such as for a series recording). The interactive television application, based on the user\'s viewing and usage history, determines that this is a program the user is very interested in, and that the user typically waits until Saturdays to watch this recording. The interactive television application also examines its schedule data and determines that repeats of the program will occur three times before Saturday. After determining that there are no conflicts for any of the transmissions, the interactive television application sets the priority to “when convenient”. As the week progresses, the user schedules more recordings, causing resource conflicts for the first and third transmissions. In response, the interactive television application will update the recording priority to high, and schedule the second transmission for recording.

The interactive television application may, instead of or in addition to automatically setting a recording priority for a recording, prompt the user for a priority designation for a recording. For example, the interactive television application may display a screen or pop-up, such as pop-up menu 502 shown in FIG. 5, for the program. Pop-up menu 502 includes a plurality of recording options 504. Recording options 504 include the number of copies to record, which transmissions to record if multiple transmissions are available (e.g., analog, digital, high-definition, etc.), recording priority, when the user intends on viewing the program, start buffer length, and how long to save the copy. These are only illustrative, as any other suitable recording options may also be used. In some embodiments, the recording options pop-up menu may include any other suitable recording option (e.g., resolution, which channel to record, bit rate, recording size, end buffer length, etc.) in addition to or instead of the options shown in FIG. 5. In the example of FIG. 5, the user has set a “when convenient” recording priority for “Biography,” the program selected for recording in FIG. 2.

The recording priority (and other recording options), whether set by the user or automatically by the interactive television application, may be stored in a database such as database 104 of FIG. 1. The priority may be represented in database 104 using any suitable approach. For example, the entry may be a simple flag or an alphanumeric value.

Prior to recording a program, the interactive television application determines whether the recording will conflict with current, scheduled or anticipated uses of resources in user equipment 10. For example, the interactive television application may determine whether a tuner in control circuitry 18 or recording device 14 (FIG. 1) will be available for the recording, or whether there will be enough space to record the program on recording device 14. The interactive television application may predict or anticipate uses of resources in user equipment 10 based on, for example, the user\'s viewing or usage history. Whatever the approach used, the conflict check may occur just before recording the program, at the time the recording is set up, or any time between. In some embodiments, the interactive television application monitors its scheduled recordings for resource conflicts periodically or continuously.

If a conflict exists or will exist, the interactive television application examines the recording priority of the program. If the recording priority is “when convenient”, the interactive television application searches its schedule data (such as program guide data received from data source 24 and stored in database 104 of FIG. 1) for alternate (e.g., future) transmissions of the program, and determines whether recording any of the alternate transmissions will cause a resource conflict. If one or more conflict-free transmissions are found, the interactive television application will schedule one of the transmissions (e.g., the next in time transmission) for recording. If there is only one conflict free transmission, the interactive television application may set the recording priority of that transmission to high to ensure that it gets recorded. Alternatively, the priority of the single transmission may remain low. In some examples, no conflict-free transmissions may be available. In this case, the interactive television application may retain the request to record the program in memory, and may continue to search data for upcoming programs as it is received, until the requested program is finally recorded and viewed, or until the user cancels the recording request.



Download full PDF for full patent description/claims.

Advertise on FreshPatents.com - Rates & Info


You can also Monitor Keywords and Search for tracking patents relating to this Systems and methods for recording programs of lesser interest when convenient patent application.
###
monitor keywords



Keyword Monitor How KEYWORD MONITOR works... a FREE service from FreshPatents
1. Sign up (takes 30 seconds). 2. Fill in the keywords to be monitored.
3. Each week you receive an email with patent applications related to your keywords.  
Start now! - Receive info on patent apps like Systems and methods for recording programs of lesser interest when convenient or other areas of interest.
###


Previous Patent Application:
Processing of scalable compressed video data formats for nonlinear video editing systems
Next Patent Application:
Method for recording broadcast contents and broadcast receiving apparatus thereof
Industry Class:
Television signal processing for dynamic recording or reproducing
Thank you for viewing the Systems and methods for recording programs of lesser interest when convenient patent info.
- - - Apple patents, Boeing patents, Google patents, IBM patents, Jabil patents, Coca Cola patents, Motorola patents

Results in 0.87657 seconds


Other interesting Freshpatents.com categories:
QUALCOMM , Monsanto , Yahoo , Corning ,

###

Data source: patent applications published in the public domain by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Information published here is for research/educational purposes only. FreshPatents is not affiliated with the USPTO, assignee companies, inventors, law firms or other assignees. Patent applications, documents and images may contain trademarks of the respective companies/authors. FreshPatents is not responsible for the accuracy, validity or otherwise contents of these public document patent application filings. When possible a complete PDF is provided, however, in some cases the presented document/images is an abstract or sampling of the full patent application for display purposes. FreshPatents.com Terms/Support
-g2--0.4691
     SHARE
  
           


stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120301116 A1
Publish Date
11/29/2012
Document #
13570863
File Date
08/09/2012
USPTO Class
386292
Other USPTO Classes
386E05001
International Class
04N5/76
Drawings
8



Follow us on Twitter
twitter icon@FreshPatents