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Systems and methods for recording programs of lesser interest when convenient

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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.

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Inventor: Michael D. Ellis
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120301116 - Class: 386292 (USPTO) - 11/29/12 - Class 386 


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

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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;



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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
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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



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