Method for setting up a personal channel in multi-channel digital television

FIELD: engineering of client receiving systems for multi-channel digital television, in particular, automated system for setup and demonstration of personally preferred television broadcasts.

SUBSTANCE: in accordance to method, on basis of combined consideration of one or several available information sources - user preferences concerning viewing of television broadcasts, measurements of actual viewings of television broadcast, recommendations of broadcaster concerning the viewing of television broadcasts - a set of broadcasts is continuously created with denoting of numeric preference value for each broadcast, while for consideration of actual television broadcast viewings a viewing history database is created. On basis of data about preferred program schedule, digital television broadcast receiver under control of module for setting up personal channels continuously records most interesting broadcasts to hard disk. Personal channel is created - an automatically updated video buffer containing broadcasts of the last few hours which are most interesting for the user. At any time by means of friendly interface the user may choose a personal channel for viewing preferred broadcasts.

EFFECT: improved setup quality of preferred program schedule.

4 dwg


The invention relates to the field of user reception systems multi-channel digital television, in particular, to an automated system for building and displaying personally preferred TV shows.

In his development of modern television is directed to switch to the digital multi-channel broadcasting, which can give the audience not only a large variety of information, but also to pose the problem of choosing the most preferred TV shows. To date, there are known various systems aimed at simplifying procedures for selecting television programs for viewing. Some of them used the term "virtual channels"means a mode of TV viewing, which (unlike real channels) automatic switching of the user's receiver to the channel, current TV program which is closest to the interests of that user.

A well-known system and method (U.S. patent No. 6088722), consisting in the creation of virtual channels. Virtual channels are formed from transmission of broadcast channels according to the user preferences on the side of the broadcaster. This means that the virtual channels are not stored in the memory of the receiver. Responsibility for their relevance lies with the broadcaster. The user switches between the virtual and the reality is ranked on the channels in the usual manner. The interface is simplified. The number of switches is reduced. However, this method does not allow you to take advantage of storage gear in memory of the receiver. For example, re-watching during the evening.

A well-known system and method (U.S. patent No. 6725215), which consists in the fact that virtual channels are placed on the hard drive and meaningful complement conventional broadcast channels. Transfer of virtual channels are broadcast schedule on the real time axis. In other words, the transfer of virtual channels have a start and end time exactly the same as the transmission of broadcast channels. The user interface is designed so that differences in navigation when viewing conventional and virtual channels is minimized. However, the full identity is achieved. The user must distinguish between switching from channel to channel switching within a virtual channel. These differences complicate the user interface, to the same virtual channels may contain transmission that has lost its relevance.

Other systems known in the market as personal digital recorders allow the user to plan using electronic program guide (EPP) record future programs on the receiver's hard drive and view them at a convenient time. A well-known system and method (patentsa No. 6721954), selected as a prototype, according to which the extension of the functionality of a digital recorder is the use of libraries guide for preferred view. This method allows you to create personal libraries transmission according to a search result transmission in the EPP, which is carried out in accordance with the specified criteria. The criteria can be explicitly set by the user or determined based on user activity. To transfer that meets the criteria, it will record at a specified time. Time is tracked, and at the specified time, the show is recorded and placed in the library of the transmission so that the user can select a recording from the library and view it at a convenient time.

The drawback of this approach is that television quickly lose their relevance. This often happens before they will be viewed by the user of the library.

In General, the known systems do not relieve the audience from switching channels (virtual or real) or sections of the library while watching TV. However, the concept of personal libraries and virtual channels is difficult to implement a user friendly interface that contains a single list of current preferred transmission, the last broadcast is to start watching TV, transmission, which is transmitted in a given time, as well as programs that will be broadcast in the near future.

One of the major challenges in the formation of a virtual or personal channels is accurate formation of user profiles, that is the exact definition of user preferences. Typically, the user is prompted to answer a series of questions about his favorite gear, genres, artists and so on, and to put a check mark in points in the corresponding menus. This manual procedure is the formation of preferences requires the user rather time-consuming and often causes considerable difficulty. The user may not finish it. In addition, it is known that the user's answers to various questions contained in the questionnaires, then not always correspond to its real audience preferences.

In this regard, there is a need to develop methods to automatically generate user profiles. In the above-mentioned U.S. patent No. 6088722 with this purpose it is proposed such a procedure. Pre-set a certain time interval. Then noted, looked whether the user or other transfer or not. If real-time view of the transfer was more of the above-mentioned time interval is about this transfer refers to the number of "favorite". In the future, analyzing the characteristics of your favorite gear, automatically determines which characteristics of the transmission (genres, Directors, actors, themes and so on) are most preferred for this user. This technique can significantly improve the process of forming a custom profile compared to its "manual" formation, but it has a significant drawback. The fact that with this procedure, all data are divided only into two categories: transmission, favorites and other gear. This procedure is too rough and does not take into account the fact that in reality there is a more subtle division transmission into categories of varying degrees of preference. For example, it is impossible to equally evaluate the transfer, from which the user sees only the first ten minutes, and transfer, which the user watched from beginning to end.

Another important issue is the actualization of the personal channel. Due to a number of reasons for the transfer recorded in the personal channel you want to delete. This need arises, for example, when the entire volume of the storage devices allocated to the personal volume, exhausted. You must remove and obsolete, lost its relevance account. Is it desirable to do so automatically.

In the patent the SHA No. 6324338 described example systems for automatic updating. From personal channel removed transmission with the lowest priority level and/or the old transmission. The disadvantage of this system updating is that it does not take into account the fact that different transmission are losing their relevance for different time intervals. For example, yesterday's news release today may not be interesting to the user, while interesting film may not lose its relevance in a week.

Thus, there is an urgent need to develop a way to create a personal channel, which would allow

- firstly, to automatically determine the real user preferences based on the quantitative analysis of the history of viewing TV shows

- second, to automatically select to record the transfer, the most interesting for the user,

thirdly, automatically select for removal from the personal bearer, has lost its relevance and/or has lower priority than the transmission of candidates for the entry.

The presented invention solves these problems.

The presented invention is a method for ensuring implementation of the personal channel. Personal channel contains the most interesting for the user of the transmission, which have already been aired on m is the moment of the beginning of television viewing transmitted in a given time and those that will be broadcast in the near future. Thus, to view the user is presented with a set of the most interesting of his gear.

The claimed method is implemented using a device for forming and displaying personal channel in multi-channel digital television, presented in figure 1, which includes:

mediacomponent 100 connected to the source broadcast metadata 40 and to the source of the audio / video broadcasting channels 50, and connected in series with him

the management module view 200,

database browsing history, 400,

database user profile 500,

the module forming the preferred program guide 600,

module create a personal channel 700 and connected with it by the link management database personal channel 800, also connected two-way communication with mediacomponent 100, with

database metadata 300 is connected to mediacomponent 100, database browsing history 400, a database of user profile module 500 and the formation of the preferred program guide 600,

module create a personal channel 700 is connected by a link management mediacomponent 100 and database personal channel 800,

mediacomponent 100 is connected with a display device in which the video signal 20,

in addition, the management module view 200 is connected by a link management mediacomponent 100 and

the remote control device 30 are connected by a communication control module controlling the display 200, the metadata database 300 and the database user profile 500.

These components are necessary and sufficient to determine the architecture of the set-top box user 10 that implement the functionality of the personal channel.

1 shows a diagram of the interaction of the functional modules, the control and data flow for implementing the inventive method of forming and displaying personal channel (PC) for the user terminal. The user terminal is a digital interactive television receiver, which is the ultimate digital device TV broadcast, which is located in the home user connected to the communication channels and displays the received audio - video on the TV screen. The user terminal may be a television set-top box 10 attached to the TV 20 and/or other similar audiovisual display device. Alternatively, the components of the set top box can be integrated directly into the TV 20, thus eliminating the console 10. In addition, options and consoles can be equivalent implemented in a personal computer PC-TV configuration. All features of the implementation of the present invention are concentrated in the set-top box and can be easily extended to other types of user terminal, therefore the discussion applies equally to all these devices.

The user can interact with the terminal using the remote control device, which may preferably be an infrared or other wireless remote control (RC) 30 or keyboard. In addition, you can use the device control on the front panel of the STB or TV, as well as the mouse and keyboard for a personal computer. To interact with the software console program is used browser, with which the menu is called window interface software module, and remote commands are translated into control commands for this module.

Software architecture modern set-top box includes several levels: lower levels of interface hardware, then the operating system level, "middleware" - middleware and finally, the top level user applications through middleware can operate on a variety of platforms, regardless of the hosted operating system is neither. Because the essence of the present invention is concentrated in the functional features that are implemented in the application software, the present invention can be used on any software and hardware platform consoles.

In this regard, accurate to conventions understood by the specialist, and for ease of description the hardware set-top box 10 presents a single mediacomponent 100. The functional features in accordance with the claimed method implemented software modules and databases that are placed in memory mediacomponent.

As mediacomponent set top box, you can use the well-known hardware platform interactive digital receiver, typically including:

several digital tuner

- built-in hard disk

- random access memory (RAM),

- flash memory for storage of the operating system real-time (RTOS),

- single or dual-processor system,

receiver commands the remote control,

receivers smart card conditional access and/or payment for services

reverse channel

- audio-video output on the display device,

interfaces for connecting peripheral devices (optional).

Mediacomponent is designed to receive compressed digital television signals, d is the modulation demuxing on certain TV channels, selection of audio, video and metadata flows, decoding the selected channel and display them on the TV screen. A preferred feature of mediacomponent is providing simultaneous processing of multiple input transport streams, which, after separation on a separate television channels are routed to the hard disk for the implementation of the functions in your personal channel, or when the user selects one of them, is supplied to the display device. To implement the functions of a personal channel hard drive interface must provide the bandwidth required for the simultaneous recording of the available input channels television and reading of recorded transmissions personal channel for display on the display device.

The source of the broadcast metadata 40 transmits the metadata in the local metadata database 300 at certain intervals of time. Metadata 40 represent information about the advanced program guide: television channels and the transmission characteristics (name, start and end time of the show, genre, brief announcement, information about parental control, the names of actors and Directors, the array of time "presence" of the actors in the transfer, recommendations broadcaster for watching and Dr. who.). Updated metadata can be obtained regularly on the channel, based on one or more alternative means of communication (Internet, satellite, station, cable or terrestrial television broadcasting) using subscriptions or without it. In a preferred implementation, the database 300 metadata is stored on the hard disk. Alternatively, it may be stored on a remote server.

Audio-video broadcast 50 accepted for any environment broadcasting: satellite, cable, terrestrial communication, or combinations thereof. The user interface management module view 200 using the remote controller 30 selects to view one of the many real TV channels broadcast or assigns to review the personal channel, the transition which can be accessed through the same interface. Module create a personal channel 700 according to the preferred program guide Epps' module 600 is planning to record your preferred programs and manages the current resources tuners when writing to the database buffer PC 800. If the actual channels are not visible by the user (for example, in the standby mode), the resources tuners fully configured on the formation of a personal channel. If the user chooses to view the real-time channels, the resources involved tuners are excluded and the consideration in the personal channel.

The formation of the preferred program guide Epps' in module 600 is automatically combined consideration of one or more existing sources of information about viewing future transmission: stated preferences of the user, measurement of actual user views and recommendations of the broadcaster.

Interacting with the set top box using the remote control 30, the user through a graphical window interface database user profile 500 specifies its name, which is subsequently used as the user ID on the terminal. Here he indicates his / her demographic data, asserting its interests in leisure activities, preferences watching TV, buying products, and other information. Interface settings viewing preferences based on two-level classifier genres transmission and is shown in figure 2. Based on theme of the classifier transmission, the user selects the preferred genre gear boxes 502 and 504 and then in the window 506 indicates the corresponding preferred channels. The user in window 508 shows the model name of the selected transmission channel and genre. This contributes to a better understanding of the viewer selected genre/subgenre. On other pages of the configuration interface viewing preferences, the floor is the same user can specify their favorite actors, leading, time and country of production of films and other characteristics (entity) TV shows. According to the results of user characteristics (entity) TV determines the corresponding a priori numerical values of preferences, which are stored in the database 500 user profile.

To determine the actual preferences of the user for viewing in the module 200 is measured while changing channels and watching programs and their characteristics (entities). This is the main source of information about user preferences. Database browsing history 400 generates the next measurement, "connecting" features (entities) viewed transmission of the metadata database 300 with information about the actual time view of the transmission module 200. Measurements of user preferences are formed and stored for each characteristic (entity) viewed the transfer as a real channel broadcast, and personal channel.

On the basis of accumulated measurements and a priori information about the values of preferences in database 500 is a quantitative evaluation of user preferences for all attributes (entities) viewed transmission for your entire browsing history. When the initial viewing period measurements are still missing, the evaluation will contain only priorie information about user preferences. Moreover, the a priori information that is not confirmed by the measurements, each time reducing its value. If the viewer looks transmission, no a priori information about preferences, evaluation preference will be based on the incoming measurements of the actual views of the transmission. Thus, in the database 500 user profile will develop a real picture of his preferences.

Further, in the module 600 is preferred formation program guide Epps' taking into account the generated estimates of the preferences of the user characteristics (entities) transmission. To do this, using the metadata from the database 300 and evaluation of user preferences for each of the transfer characteristic from the database 500, for each transmission in accordance with the list of its characteristics (entity) is determined by the total value of the preferences.

Another source of information about user preferences in the module 600 is the interface Epps associated with the database 300, which involves entry by the user using the remote control discrete and periodic transmission of the subset of Epps'. While the user interface Epps, he in the search result explicitly indicates the transmission, which would be good to see. If it's a one-time transfer it directly to sinusits is in the array Epps' module 600 with a maximum value of preferences. If the transmission of periodic (daily, weekly, etc), then after the user selects a menu pop-up window options "periodic" entry characteristics of the transmission are stored in the database 500 user profile. Entering periodic transmission of the subset of Epps' module 600 will be made to reflect the actual views of this user transmission. The first time the value of preferences is assigned a maximum, and then either remains the same if the transfer looks, or decreases and is reduced to zero in the absence of the views of this transfer.

Thus, in the module 600 according to the stated preferences and actual views of the transmission by the user is formed by the preferred program Epps' as a subset of the full program guide Epps. Here based on the recommendation of view of the transmission of the metadata database 300, which comes from the broadcaster. These recommendations relate to individual programmes, have a numerical value, divided by demographic groups of users and include information for parental control. The recommendations may be different. They can be combined with the value preferences of the user on the transmission within the scope of his preferences, strengthening or suppressing his preferences, and/or to expand the sphere of what his views outside the scope of preferences. Significantly, accounting for weighted estimates broadcaster can improve the quality of formation of the preferred program guide, eliminating the randomness of choice when there is insufficient knowledge about the preferences of the user. It is clear that in the absence of user preferences in the formation of many preferred transmission Epps' will be made only upon the recommendation of the broadcaster.

The formation of the preferred program guide Epps' according to this invention takes into account the combination of all possible sources of preferences that need for more flexible planning personal channel in the module 700. This helps to ensure that the required amount of buffer PC to take into account explicitly expressed habits of looking and at the same time does not require mandatory user manual forming their preferences.

Module implementation of a personalized channel 700 involves cyclically sequential execution computing system of three procedures: planning 720, updating 750 and record 710 preferred transmission buffer of the personal channel. Figure 3 shows the functional diagram of the module create a personal channel according to the present invention.

The essence of the planning process 720 is the plan of record in the standards the first preferred channel transmission including time resources tuners - system processing channels. As background information, the procedure uses the preferred program Epps'generated in the module 600.

The plan of record is generated for the next time interval that includes one or more gear from Epps' within each channel. This interval determines the considered subset of Epps' and is called the scheduling window. The procedure begins with a search within the open planning of the transmission with a maximum value of preferences. The first step is selected, the transmission is placed in the schedule. Next is searched for transfer with the next highest preference. If selected, the transfer does not conflict in time with the already scheduled transmissions and time resources of the tuners is not exhausted, it is included in the plan account. In case of conflict, a transmission with a lower preference is excluded from consideration. The process is repeated until then, until you have considered all the preferred transmission in the current scheduling window. Next working procedure of updating 750, removes irrelevant transmission buffer PC and the decision to record the next scheduled transmission buffer PC. This is followed by a transition on the write procedure of the transmission, on which the decision of record. At the end of the write current transmission is started procedures the planning. As a result of implementation of procedures for planning personal channel continually generates a write preferred transmission in the personal channel in the near future, which necessarily includes the most preferred transfer window planning.

The procedure of updating the 750 is designed to maintain the contents of the personal channel up to date - ensuring that content is the most preferred gear for the time of their life in the personal channel. The lifetime transfer is the period of the demand for transmission by the user for viewing, this is the maximum time of the transfer in the personal channel, after which the transmission is removed from the personal channel. The life time of transmission can be selected based on various considerations. For example, based on theme of transmission. News this time can be one to two hours, for films - more than 7 days, and so on. You can define the lifetime of the transmission based on the limitations of the available disk space of the terminal. The most reasonable is to take the lifetime of the gear in the personal channel is equal to the day based on the natural rhythm of life. Another aspect limiting the amount of buffer of the personal channel is the total time of actual transmission from the point of view of the physical abilities of the user. P and unlimited technical possibilities of storing the user is not physically able to view the stored amount of personal gear of the channel in the allotted time and also will be forced to spend their time on tiresome gear selection to view. Therefore, the maximum amount of gear, we offer a personal channel, specified by the user in his personal profile.

So, the procedure of updating 750 personal channel comes in at the completion of the planning process 720 - frees the buffer PC from outdated gear and makes a decision on placement in the buffer PC transfer candidate, which is waiting in the entry or denial of the placement of the transmission candidate in the buffer of the PC. Thus, the updating procedure provides the content in the personal channel is the most preferred and actual transmission in each time a user accessing his view.

Figure 3 illustrates the process of managing the account assigned to transmission to the personal channel in a generic case to discuss the basic features of the considered method. Scheme without much difficulty can be modified by a specialist for the case management record using multiple tuners without changing the considered features. The procedure for controlling the recording starts at step 702 after the decision about the recording of the candidate at the output of the updating procedure. Tracked time to step 704 to determine at step 706 the occurrence of the recording time of the transfer. In the learn of the occurrence of recording time in step 710 recording a transfer candidate. After recording on one of the tuners on the results of the plan and record your preferred programs on the step 712 is creating a list of personal gear channel, which includes already recorded programs recorded transmission and transfer scheduled for recording in the near future. This list is saved in the database buffer PC 800 and is used to control the display of the personal channel in block 200. Then is the offset in step 708 open planning at the current time and the subsequent transition to the planning procedure 720.

Cycle planning-updating-recording is repeated continuously until, until you turned off the power to the set top box. As you can see from the diagram presented in figure 1, the formation of a personal channel does not end even when the termination of a user is viewing the TV, for example, in the standby mode. Indeed, in the absence of current views module 600 will continue to form Epps' according to the information available from the database of the user profile 500, formed in previous viewings. And the module 700, respectively, will form a plan of record in the buffer PC preferred gear and put on the record all of the resources available tuners. Thus, at any point, the user, enabling the console is TV, you may choose a personal channel and watch the preferred transmission buffer PC 800 or directly from the broadcasting source 50.

Select channel for viewing by the user through the remote control can be produced from different interfaces. Typically, this is the remote control that contains the numeric buttons channel selection, or a graphical user interface with a list of channels, where channel selection is performed by the navigation buttons. Figure 4 shows the functional diagram of the management module view 200 personal channel. Implementation begins in step 202 to select a channel for viewing. In step 204 the decision to select a channel for viewing. In the case of the user selecting one of the television channels broadcast in step 210 is a display of the selected channel. Personal channel can be called on the view by selecting it directly from the channel list using the navigation buttons of the remote control, or press a call button personal channel on the remote control (for example, buttons, 0).

After selecting personal channel at step 206, the decision about how his view. If the user selects the automatic playing of transmissions of the personal channel list, ranked by preference, implements the procedure 220. If the decision is independent of the choice of the user guide for the view from the personal channel list, the implemented procedure 250. In accordance with this procedure, the user can sort the list of personal channel on a selected topic (genre, actor, preferences, and other), choose send to view, specify the order in which they view and view. The possible combination of these procedures: 1) after the user selects a genre of transmission is consistent demonstration of transmission within a given genre, 2) the sequential display of the transmission, the user can navigate in the list transmission (communication 240) and making the choice to continue browsing.

It should be noted that the process of displaying TV channels broadcasting or transmission of the personal channel is accompanied by a process of forming a personal channel described above. State personal channel all the time updated to take into account when building procedures show personal channel. Together with this, the modules 210, 220 and 250 is the collection of viewing information of the user, which is then passed to the database browsing history 400.

The method of forming personal channel in multi-channel digital television, in which a combined method of forming the preferred program of one or more steps, in accordance with which time is measured to view the selected transmission real-Kahn is La or transfer personal channel, shape preferences of the user based on pre-specified by the user of the preferred characteristics of the transmission, which, along with the choice of genre/subgenre transfer the user specifies these preferred channels with a demonstration of the model names of the selected transmission channel and genre, determine a quantitative assessment of user preferences based on the measurement of time watching with regard to pre-specified preferences, receive from the source of the broadcast metadata containing information about TV channels and transmission characteristics, including recommendations broadcaster in view of future transfers, receives from the user information about one-time or periodic entries in the personal channel-specific transmission and as a result preferred form program guide indicating the numerical values preferences for each transmission based on the combined consideration of one or more available sources of information from sources such as the recommendation of the broadcaster wishes of the user account specific programs and evaluation of user preferences based on the dimensions and/or pre-specified preferences, and the process of forming the preferred program guide is performed continuously, personalised form the first channel based on the constant stream of information about the preferred program guide, including scheduling entry in the personal channel of transmission of the preferred program guide according to the criterion of maximum preference taking into account the available resources of the processing system of broadcasting channels, maintaining the actual content and scope of the personal channel by deleting the recorded content with a lower preference than the transfer candidate, and overdue time of life, where the personal channel is specified by the user in his personal profile, write transfer candidate's personal channel and organization of the list of personal gear channel to view, and cyclically sequential execution computing system procedures schedule a recording, updating personal channel management account in the personal channel is continuously and provides guaranteed availability in the personal channel transmission with a maximum value of preferences.


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The invention relates to television, and in particular to a method and device for the transmission of additional signals on television channels, and can be used for any additional video and audio signals

The invention relates to a device output to a display device for display of information, such as a television, VCR, computer monitor, etc. and, more particularly, to a display device adjusting the level and the way the OSD menu

The invention relates to interactive video communication systems

The invention relates to the generation of sound and functions as a game device, image display, such as a TV

FIELD: technology for selective reproduction of television programs, primarily for chargeable television.

SUBSTANCE: system for processing a grid of television programs has on one side, information about offered available programs, and, on other side, information about certain group of users. To each group of users a set of parameters is assigned, which is divided on several sets, while each set corresponds to filter layer, allowing selection of category or categories of subject interesting program.

EFFECT: possible comfortable access to another programs with possible selection of categories of interesting programs.

7 cl, 2 dwg