|Veröffentlichungsdatum||15. Apr. 2004|
|Eingetragen||15. Sept. 2003|
|Prioritätsdatum||3. Okt. 2002|
|Veröffentlichungsnummer||PCT/2003/10232, PCT/EP/2003/010232, PCT/EP/2003/10232, PCT/EP/3/010232, PCT/EP/3/10232, PCT/EP2003/010232, PCT/EP2003/10232, PCT/EP2003010232, PCT/EP200310232, PCT/EP3/010232, PCT/EP3/10232, PCT/EP3010232, PCT/EP310232, WO 2004/032511 A1, WO 2004032511 A1, WO 2004032511A1, WO-A1-2004032511, WO2004/032511A1, WO2004032511 A1, WO2004032511A1|
|Erfinder||Stefano Giuseppe Quintarelli|
|Antragsteller||Garden Ventures S.R.L.|
|Zitat exportieren||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patentzitate (4), Referenziert von (83), Klassifizierungen (23), Juristische Ereignisse (6)|
|Externe Links: Patentscope, Espacenet|
"REMOTE-SETTABLE TV PROGRAM RECORDING SYSTEM AND PROGRAMMING
* § * § * § *
The present invention concerns a remote-settable recording system of a TV programme and its relevant programming method. In particular, it concerns a system of the type using a combination of latest-generation devices in an original way to achieve a completely innovative result which is easily accessible to any user.
It is a well-known fact that it has been possible for a long time for any domestic user to record television programmes that can subsequently be played back or kept for a certain time for documentary purposes or to be viewed later.
It is also known that devices of this type, commonly called video cassette recorders (VCRs) , mostly use videotapes as a recording means, i.e. magnetic tapes on which suitable magnetic heads analogically define a video and audio track.
These devices, however, are showing more and more signs of obsolescence when faced with the new emerging digital technology, especially in view of some notable limitations that are listed below.
First of all, as they use just one linear recording carrier, such as a magnetic tape, they cannot playback (i.e. read) while recording at the same time.
Furthermore, the recording quality in analogical mode is not always satisfactory. This is partly due to the fact that analogical signal quality inevitably deteriorates every time it is reproduced and every time the tape is handled by an electronic device, which makes cascade-copying of video and audio recordings impracticable. This limitation also makes analogical devices completely inadequate compared with the signal quality available today from digital television providers .
Finally, as far as processing, and control capability is concerned, analogical signals available from traditional video cassette recorders cannot be even compared to digital signal quality.
Therefore, the first digital video recorders have appeared on the market relatively recently, in which the recording carrier is a device completely equivalent to a conventional hard disk installed on personal computers . This technology makes it possible, for example, to record up to 20 hours of television broadcastings on a 40-GB hard disk.
Obviously, due to its very nature, a digital video recorder is best employed recording digital television programmes, which are currently accessible through so-called television decoders.
A decoder is a device suitable for receiving a digital signal transmitted via satellite or via cable and for converting it into an analogue signal which is later input into an ordinary tv set.
Consequently, decoder receivers are now appearing on the market which are already provided with an integrated hard disk, whose capacity can range from 20 to 60 GB. These hard disk decoders are also equipped with operating systems (in the future it is likely that the operating system LINUX or a version of the Microsoft8 Windows operating system will commonly be used) which allow to develop an application system with a number of functions and suitable to manage a variety of digital interfaces .
Due to this feature, the decoder can be employed as a digi- tal VCR in its own right, with a series of additional advantages .
First of all, this technology makes it possible to read recorded data while a new recording is in progress . This operating mode, as it can be gμessed, can dramatically modify the behav- iour and habits of the average user. In fact it is surprising what can be done with a decoder of this type: for example, launching the recording when the programme is on air, even while watching it, one can employ a great deal of functions, such as "immediate replay", or "stop and go"; it is also possible to stop the programme being watched at any time, for example to open the door to callers or to answer the phone, or to finish having dinner, and then resume watching it later from the exact point at which the programme was stopped, as in the meantime the decoder hard disk was set to record simply pushing on a button. What's more, using a connection to a personal computer, for example via a USB or i.Link (firewire) port, the recorded images can be transferred to the PC, where they can be compressed and saved onto a high-capacity portable means, such as a CD-ROM or a DVD, in a similar way to a traditional videotape, but providing the quality and durability of a digital recording.
Moreover, once videos are transferred to a computer, they may be modified and processed, employing the tools and calculating capabilities of the pc. Decoders with a hard disk of this type are available on the market, for example under the trade names Auriga Topfield TF4000PVR, Emtech EM300PWR40, Nokia Mediamaster 9902 S, and many others .
However, all receivers/recorders, both analogue and digi- tal, need to be adequately set by the user according to his or her wishes in order to record television programmes at a later time. The user sets the recording by operating on the controls found on the VCR console or on a nearby remote control, defining the tv channel and the beginning and ending time of each record- ing. To find one's way among available tv programmes and to programme the recording at least a few hours in advance, various publications can be found at newsagents ' or online over the Internet .
A particularly interesting service is offered by some Internet portals which allow to gain access to a complete set of television programmes spanning over a few days, making them accessible for consultation over the Internet. Moreover, registered users will be able to set up a personal profile and so view only TV listings they are interested in (for example west- ems, nature documentaries, and news only) or, in some cases, receive alert e-mails which advise in good time (for example at the beginning of the week) about the listing one is interested in.
Such a system is implemented for instance by PersonalTV on the Internet website www.personaltv.it.
However, the actual recording programming, despite being assisted by these systems available online, still occurs in the traditional way, carrying a significant disadvantage: the user still needs to take personal action - or act through a third party - next to his or her digital VCR to set the recording of the desired TV programmes .
This also implies certain organisational skills, because being away from home all day or even several days in a row requires remembering to set the VCR in advance on the programming basis already available through paper publications or online.
The present invention aims at solving the above disadvantage by providing a recording system and a programming method therefor that- fully exploits the capabilities provided by digi- tal technology, while allowing the user to set the recording of tv programmes in a convenient, simple, and intuitive way, and - above all - without wasting precious time to look up tv listings and without being tied to proximity operating the video recorder well in advance of the intended recording time. Such' object is achieved through a system and method as is substantially described in the attached main claims .
Other inventive aspects of the system and method are described in the dependent claims .
Further characteristics and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of some preferred embodiments of it, which are given as an example.
A decoder with a hard disk, of the type commonly known per se, is designed to be connected to a tv set. Although a digital receiver is particularly preferable, as it offers a series of further advantages, it is understood that, for the teaching of the invention, any video recorder may be suitable too, provided it is of a digital-control type, i.e. it is equipped with at least one (digital or analogical) TV-signal receiver, with a control operating system loaded onto memory means (for example a hard disk, but it may be an EPROM, too) , a recording section with mass storage means, such as a hard disk or a traditional magnetic tape, and a time reference or clock in order to establish the correct time to start and to stop the recording.
According to an embodiment of the invention, the decoder with hard disk is also equipped with a communication device connected to the Internet network and controlled by the operating system installed on the hard disk.
The communication device is typically a network interface which should be connected to a network node (regardless of it being an Access Gateway, Access Point, Network Terminator, Network Interface, or a router) through an Ethernet card; this device may be preferably of the remote wake-up type, i.e. capable of receiving signals from the communication network - and further activating a series of functions - even when it is in stand-by mode .
The operating system itself, or an application system implemented on it, also incorporates a management mode of the recording section which may be set by digital signals coming from said communication device, as well as in the traditional way by acting on local decoder controls. Since any programmer can properly define this management mode of the recording section, based on the characteristics of the installed operating system, we shall not enter into further detail about such implementation, which can be carried out in many different ways .
Furthermore, the system comprises a remote server on which a tv listing portal is implemented of the type broadly described earlier, which is easily accessible and configurable by a user. The server is interfaced with the user's decoder through the communication device accessing a communication network (for example the Internet, or the satellite digital system employed to broadcast tv programmes) .
To that aim, according to the invention, the tv listing server stores in a database, together with each user's profile, the IP address, or equivalent, of the communication device installed on-board of the video recorder owned by the user. Preferably, together with the IP address, other data are stored in the database relating to the user's access codes (for example user ID code and password) and decoder type. These data are re- quired to gain access to said communication device and to properly operate on the specific operating system and/or application system of the user's decoder respectively.
Operation requires the user to register in a manner known per se at the tv listing portal, and then supply all the data concerning his or her preferences, IP address (or other unique identification mechanism of one's decoder device, for example ICQ's Unique Identification Number), type of decoder, and ID and passwords. Through a "passive" selection mask, i.e. one which is voluntarily called up by the user (for example an HTML page appearing on one's Internet browser), or a "push" -type mask, i.e. one which is actively suggested by the portal (for example via e-mail or SMS) , the user can define his/her programme recording choices, for example ticking the dialogue mask next to the tv programmes he/she is interested in. On the server side, each tv programme selected by the user is associated with a tv channel, a recording starting time and a stopping time; these data are suitably encoded and transmitted as recording instruction signals to the decoder associated with the address (e.g. IP address) provided by the user.
Said channel data and recording starting and stopping time signals are subsequently processed by the decoder application system, as if they had been fed in locally through ordinary programming buttons. On the basis of these signals and of the lo- cally-generated clock signal, the recording section of the decoder may be set and activated.
Alternatively, it is possible to allow for instruction signals to be sent in the correct time order from the server itself, using another time reference (for example the Time Net- work) : in this case a digital signal is initially sent representing the channel and the starting instruction to the recording section, followed by a signal representing a stopping instruction.
With the invention system the user can act remotely (for example from the office) - accessing a readily available tool such as an Internet client - on the recording settings of his/her decoder (for example one which is installed at home) , choosing intuitively and without any time-consuming selection burden (as a first filtering out of programmes has been carried out by the server according to the preferences set by the user) the desired programme or programmes, even without having first arranged to set recording from home: the aims illustrated in the preliminary remarks have therefore been fully achieved.
Furthermore, due to the implementation of the invention, a further advantage can be achieved in terms of additional economic results obtained from the management of the user community; in other words, the various flows of information on user activity represent precious data that can be exploited in various ways that can immediately be guessed by somebody skilled in this field.
Instead of the decoder being directly connected to the Internet, an alternative embodiment of the invention includes an interface with a different communication system, which is reachable from the programming portal server all the same. For exam- pie, the communication device may include a GSM, GPRS or UMTS mobile transceiver, or other forms of digital telephony, through which the decoder application system can receive digital signals
(for example SMS format) , which are suitably acquired in order to set the recording section. In that case, for example, in the database implemented in the portal server, the telephone number of the GSM card mounted on the user's decoder is stored, instead of the IP address .
Assembling and running costs of this variant may be higher than those of the embodiment described above, but they may nevertheless be justified for those users who cannot or do not want to use a permanent Internet connection (e.g. ADSL) on the site where the decoder is installed.
In a further embodiment, the TV listing portal sends noti- fication of an available tv programme through the mobile network: the user can take notice and later access the portal via the Internet, or advantageously,, choose by the same means again, i.e. via SMS. He/she may, for example, answer with a digital message containing the ID of the programme received in the pre- vious notification: the server is then capable of associating that specific choice with that user by reading the calling line identifier (CLI) of the GSM card sending the message; the database in fact stores user CLIs too, so that the server can later associate programming with the user's CLI and with the address of the user's communication device, in order to subsequently control the setting of the correct video recorder in the way described above.
It is understood, however, that the invention is not limited to the specific configurations illustrated above, which represent only non-limiting examples of the scope of the invention. A number of changes may be made, all within the reach of a skilled person in the field, without departing from the scope of the invention.
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|Internationale Klassifikation||H04N5/00, H04N7/173, H04N5/782|
|Unternehmensklassifikation||H04N21/4227, H04N21/43622, H04N5/782, H04N7/17318, H04N21/6175, H04N21/4135, H04N21/4334, H04N21/4147, H04N21/4622, H04N21/47214|
|Europäische Klassifikation||H04N21/462S, H04N21/4227, H04N21/4147, H04N21/436R, H04N21/433R, H04N21/61U3, H04N21/41P7, H04N21/472R, H04N7/173B2, H04N5/782|
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