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Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Image Processing Apparatus and Control Method Thereof", for Approval

January 29, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors LEE, Sang-eun (Seoul, KR); CHOE, Ju-hyun (Hwaseong-si, KR); KIM, Eun-young (Seoul, KR); KIM, Hyun-ho (Seoul, KR), filed on May 10, 2013, was made available online on January 16, 2014.

The patent's assignee is Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Apparatuses and methods consistent with the exemplary embodiments relate to an image processing apparatus, which is connected to an external device and processes various signals received from the external device, and a control method thereof, more particularly to an image processing apparatus having an improved configuration for inspecting a state of a connector connected with a plug of an external device, and a control method thereof.

"An image processing apparatus processes an image signal received from an external source in various methods to display an image. The image processing apparatus may not include a display panel or may include its own display panel. An image processing apparatus without a display panel outputs a processed image signal to a display apparatus so that the image signal is displayed as an image on the display apparatus, which is for example a set-top box. An image processing apparatus with a display panel displays a processed image signal as an image on its own display panel, which is, for example, a television (TV) or a monitor.

"An image processing apparatus may include an embedded image processing board which processes not only an image signal but various characteristics of signals, and a connector or jack provided for connection to various external devices via a cable. A wire plug electrically connected to an external device is connected with a connector of the image processing apparatus, and accordingly a signal from the external device is transmitted to the image processing board in the image processing apparatus. The image processing board processes the signal received through the connector.

"However, when signal transmission between the external device and the image processing apparatus fails, it may be difficult to detect and inspect a cause of the signal transmission failure among components electrically connecting the device and the apparatus. For example, signal transmission failure may be due to problems in the external device, a wire plug connected to the external device, a connector in the image processing apparatus, or a wire condition between the connector and the image processing board. In particular, it is difficult for an ordinary user who does not have knowledge about an internal structure of the image processing apparatus and is not equipped with an inspection device to determine a signal transmission state in the image processing apparatus. Thus, there is a need for a configuration for easily determining a signal transmission state in the image processing apparatus."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "According to an aspect of an exemplary embodiment, there is provided an image processing apparatus including: a signal reception unit including a connector that is configured to connect to a plug of an external device and includes a first terminal and a second terminal, the connector being configured to receive a signal from the external device through the plug connected to the connector; a signal processor that processes the signal received by the signal reception unit according to a preset process; a storage that stores a test signal; and a controller that transmits the test signal stored in the storage to the first terminal when the first terminal and the second terminal are electrically connected to each other, and that determines a signal transmission state of the connector to the signal processor based on a change in signal characteristics of the test signal fed back through the second terminal.

"The controller may transmit a determination result of the signal transmission state of the test signal to be displayed on a display unit.

"The image processing apparatus may further include a display unit.

"The image processing apparatus may be connected to a display apparatus including the display unit, and the controller may transmit the determination result of the signal transmission state of the test signal to the display apparatus.

"The controller may compare the signal characteristic of the test signal stored in the storage and the fed back test signal, and based on a result of the comparison, may determine that the signal transmission state is normal when a level difference is within a preset range, and may determine that the signal transmission state is abnormal when the level difference is out of the preset range.

"The signal characteristics may include at least one of a voltage, a frequency, synchronization timing, a brightness level, and a color level.

"The first terminal and the second terminal may be configured to be electrically isolated from each other when the plug is connected to the connector, and may be configured to be electrically connected to each other when the plug is not connected to the connector, and the controller may determine the signal transmission state of the connector when the plug is not connected to the connector.

"The test signal may include an analog signal, and the controller may determine the signal transmission state of the connector based on a change in at least one of a voltage and a frequency of the fed back test signal.

"The test signal may include an audio signal, and the controller may determine the signal transmission state of the connector based on a change in at least one of a voltage and a frequency of the fed back test signal.

"The test signal may include an image signal, and the controller may determine the signal transmission state of the connector based on a change in at least one of a brightness level, a color level, and synchronization timing of the fed back test signal.

"The test signal may include a digital signal, and the controller may determine the signal transmission state of the connector based on a change in a digital code of the fed back test signal.

"The first terminal may include a signal reception terminal with respect to an external network, the second terminal may include a signal transmission terminal with respect to the external network, and the controller may determine the signal transmission state of the connector when the first terminal and the second terminal are connected to each other.

"The first terminal and the second terminal may be electrically isolated from each other regardless of whether the plug is connected to the connector, and the first terminal and the second terminal may be connected to a connector configured to electrically connect the first terminal and the second terminal.

"The image processing apparatus may further including a user input unit, and the controller may determine the signal transmission state of the connector when a signal ordering the controller to determine the signal transmission state of the connector is received from the user input unit.

"According to an aspect of another exemplary embodiment, there is provided a control method of an image processing apparatus including a connector configure to connect to a plug of an external device and a signal processor configured to process a signal received by the connector, the control method including: determining whether a first terminal and a second terminal of the connector are electrically connected to each other; transmitting a test signal stored in the image processing apparatus to the first terminal and receiving the test signal fed back through the second terminal when the first terminal and the second terminal are electrically connected to each other; and determining a signal transmission state of the connector to the signal processor based on a change in signal characteristics of the received test signal.

"The determining the signal transmission state of the connector may include displaying a determination result of the signal transmission state of the test signal.

"The determining the signal transmission state of the connector may include comparing signal characteristic levels of the test signal stored in advance and the fed back test signal; and based on a result of the comparing, determining that the signal transmission state is normal when a level difference is within a preset range and determining that the signal transmission state is abnormal when the level difference is out of the preset range.

"The signal characteristics may include at least one of a voltage, a frequency, synchronization timing, a brightness level, and a color level.

"The test signal may include an analog signal, and the determining the signal transmission state of the connector may include determining the signal transmission state of the connector based on a change in at least one of a voltage and a frequency of the fed back test signal.

"The test signal may include a digital signal, and the determining the signal transmission state of the connector may include determining the signal transmission state of the connector based on a change in a digital code of the fed back test signal.

"The test signal may include an audio signal, and the determining the signal transmission state of the connector may include determining the signal transmission state of the connector based on a change in at least one of a voltage and a frequency of the fed back test signal.

"The test signal may include an image signal, and the determining the signal transmission state of the connector may include determining the signal transmission state of the connector based on a change in at least one of a brightness level, a color level, and synchronization timing of the fed back test signal.

"According to an aspect of another exemplary embodiment, there is provided an image processing apparatus including: a connector including a first terminal and a second terminal that are configured to be electrically connected in a testing mode; and a controller that transmits a first signal to the first terminal in the testing mode. The first signal is fed back to the controller from the second terminal as a second signal in the testing mode, and the controller compares the first signal and the second signal to determine a signal transmission state of the connector.

"The image processing apparatus may further include a storage that stores the first signal. The controller may read the first signal from the storage in the testing mode.

"The image processing apparatus may enter the testing mode when a connection member is coupled with the connector so as to electrically connect the first terminal and the second terminal.

"The image processing apparatus may further comprise a switch controlled by the controller. The controller may control the switch to electrically connect the first terminal and the second terminal in the testing mode.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"The above and/or other aspects will become apparent and more readily appreciated from the following description of exemplary embodiments, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

"FIG. 1 illustrates an image processing apparatus according to a first exemplary embodiment.

"FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view illustrating a main part of an internal structure of one connector when the plug is not connected to the connector in the image processing apparatus of FIG. 1.

"FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view illustrating the main part of the internal structure of the connector when the plug is connected to the connector in the image processing apparatus of FIG. 1.

"FIG. 4 is a block diagram illustrating a configuration of the image processing apparatus of FIG. 1.

"FIG. 5 is a block diagram illustrating a structure of determining a signal transmission state between a connector and a signal processor in the image processing apparatus of FIG. 1.

"FIG. 6 is a flowchart illustrating a method of determining a signal transmission state of one connector to the signal processor in the image processing apparatus of FIG. 1.

"FIG. 7 is a block diagram illustrating a structure of determining a signal transmission state between a connector and a signal processor in an image processing apparatus according to a second exemplary embodiment.

"FIG. 8 is a block diagram illustrating a structure of determining a signal transmission state between a connector and a signal processor in an image processing apparatus according to a third exemplary embodiment."

For additional information on this patent application, see: LEE, Sang-eun; CHOE, Ju-hyun; KIM, Eun-young; KIM, Hyun-ho. Image Processing Apparatus and Control Method Thereof. Filed May 10, 2013 and posted January 16, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=3852&p=78&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140109.PD.&OS=PD/20140109&RS=PD/20140109

Keywords for this news article include: Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.

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Source: Electronics Newsweekly


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