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Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Apparatus for Receiving Broadcast and Method of Managing File Used for Time Shift", for Approval

May 21, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventor LEE, Hee-jung (Suwon-si, KR), filed on October 25, 2013, was made available online on May 8, 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 exemplary embodiments generally relate receiving a broadcast and managing a file used for a time shift, and more particularly, to a broadcast receiving apparatus for managing a file used for time shift to divide real-time broadcasting data for performing a time shift function into a plurality of files and to manage the plurality of files, and a method of managing the file used for the time shift.

"A recently supplied broadcast receiving apparatus provides a time shift function of storing and playing real-time broadcast data (e.g., data storing an image, a voice, and content information).

"If the time shift function is used, a user may return to a past arbitrary time according to a request of the user during viewing of a real-time broadcast to view the broadcast. Also, the user may pause the real-time broadcast, and replay and view the real-time broadcast after an arbitrary time lapses.

"For example, if the user misses a scoring goal scene during viewing of a football game, the user may rewind the football game to a different position in the game e.g., 5 minutes before a current time to watch the scoring goal. If the user temporarily steps away from watching a TV, which happens during an important scene, the user may pause a broadcast that the user is currently viewing and re-input a play command to view the broadcast when he or she returned to watching the TV.

"Differently from general recording of a particular TV program or general recording performed only for a predetermined time, in a time shift mode, broadcast data is continuously recorded in a storage device until an operation is explicitly stopped. However, since broadcast data is to be recorded in a storage device having a finite capacity, a part of a content recorded previously is erased or overwritten to secure capacity.

"A related art method of recording broadcast data transmitted in real time to provide a time shift function to a user in a storage includes a circular buffer method and a linear buffer method.

"FIG. 1 is a view illustrating a method of recording data according to a circular buffer method.

"In the circular buffer method, broadcast data is recorded in a space allocated as a storage area used for a time shift. If the broadcast data reaches an end of an available space, and thus there is no more free storage space to continue recording, the broadcast data is recorded to a front part of a buffer.

"In other words, new content overwrites content previously recorded in the front part of the buffer, and thus the content written in the front part of the buffer automatically disappears.

"In order to record broadcast data according to the circular buffer method, a storage space 10 is divided into a time shift storage area 11 and a recording area 12.

"Real-time broadcast data is recorded in the time shift storage area 11, and a general content or recording is stored in the recording area 12.

"If a time shift function is enabled, the broadcast data is stored in the time shift area 11 in the frame unit. If the time shift area 11 is filled, frames #1 and #2 stored in the beginning of the buffer 10 are sequentially deleted, and new broadcast data frame #n+1 and frame #n+2 are recorded in the part of the time shift area 11 instead of the frames #1 and #2. Accordingly, frames #1 and #2 are deleted.

"If broadcast data is recorded according to the circular buffer, the broadcast data is repeatedly recorded only in the time shift area 11. Therefore, there is a high probability that a bad sector will occur and thus a problem will occur in durability of a storage device. Also, chronological order of contents written in a file may be reversed.

"FIG. 2 is a view illustrating a method of recording data according to a linear buffer method.

"If broadcast data is recorded in excess of an available capacity in the linear buffer method, data stored in a front part of a file is deleted according to chronological order, and data is sequentially recorded in a back part of the file.

"A portion of a storage storing frames #1 through #n is referred to as an area in which broadcast data used for a time shift is stored.

"Here, if frame #n+1 23 is received in excess of available space of a time shift storage area, frame #1 21 stored in the beginning of the storage area is deleted to secure storage space for the subsequent frames, and the frame #n+1 23 is stored in the end part of the storage area.

"If frame #n+2 24 is received, frame #2 22 is deleted, and the frame #n+2 24 is stored.

"If data is recorded according to the linear buffer method as described above, the data is recorded in a whole area of a storage space, and thus a problem occurring in the circular buffer method is solved. However, if a part of a file is repeatedly cut, and a new space is allocated to an end part to record data in the new space, an internal structure is complicated.

"An operation of cutting the part of the file is not supported in a generally used file system.

"As described above, if data is recorded according to a circular buffer method or a linear buffer method to provide a time shift function to a user, there is a high probability that a bad sector will occur and thus a problem will occur in durability of a storage device. Also, if a part of a file is repeatedly cut, and a new space is allocated to an end part to record data in the new space, an internal structure is complicated. Therefore, a new method of recording real-time broadcast data is required."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "Exemplary embodiments address at least the above problems and/or disadvantages and other disadvantages not described above. Also, the exemplary embodiments are not required to overcome the disadvantages described above, and an exemplary embodiment may not overcome any of the problems described above.

"The exemplary embodiments provide a broadcast receiving apparatus for diving a storage file used for time shift into a plurality of files and storing the plurality of files, and a method of managing the file used for the time shift.

"According to an aspect of the exemplary embodiments, there is provided an apparatus for receiving a broadcast. The apparatus may include: a receiver which receives a broadcast signal; a signal processor which processes the broadcast signal to output broadcast data; and a controller which, in response to an execution of a time shift function, controls the signal processor to divide the broadcast data into a plurality of files and store the plurality of files in a storage area allocated to the time shift function, and which sequentially deletes the plurality of files to secure an additional storage area if a size of the storage area reaches a threshold value.

"The apparatus may further include a storage which may store the broadcast data, the plurality of files, and a file index table for the plurality of files. The controller may update the file index table based on time offset information of a deleted file to secure the storage area, and, in response to receiving a play command with respect to the stored broadcast data in the plurality of files, controls the signal processor to detect and play a file stored in the storage selected from the plurality of files based on the updated file index table.

"The controller may generate files and store subsequent data of the broadcast data in the generated files and store the generated files in the additional storage area. Sizes of the files may vary according to a bit rate of the broadcast signal.

"According to another aspect of the exemplary embodiments, there is provided a method of managing a file used for a time shift. The method may include: receiving a broadcast signal; processing the broadcast signal to output broadcast data; and in response to executing a time shift function, dividing the broadcast data into a plurality of files and storing the plurality of files in a storage area allocated to the time shift function, and sequentially deleting the plurality of files to secure an additional storage area if a size of the storage area reaches a threshold value.

"The method may further include: storing the broadcast data, storing a file index table for the plurality of files; updating the file index table based on time offset information of a deleted file to secure the additional storage area; and in response to receiving a play command with respect to broadcast data stored in the plurality of files, controlling the signal processor to detect and play a file used for the time shift selected from the plurality of files based on the updated file index table.

"The method may further include: generating files and storing subsequent data of the stored broadcast data in the generated files and storing the generated files in the additional storage area. Sizes of the files may vary according to a bit rate of the broadcast signal.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"The above and/or other aspects will be more apparent by describing in detail exemplary embodiments with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

"FIG. 1 is a view illustrating a method of recording data according to a circular buffer method;

"FIG. 2 is a view illustrating a method of recording data according to a linear buffer method;

"FIG. 3 is a block diagram illustrating a broadcast receiving apparatus according to an exemplary embodiment;

"FIG. 4 is a view illustrating a method of dividing real-time broadcast data into a plurality of files and storing the plurality of files according to an exemplary embodiment;

"FIG. 5 is a view illustrating a method of deleting a time shift file to secure a storage space if there is no available capacity in a storage space, according to an exemplary embodiment;

"FIG. 6 is a view illustrating an index table of a plurality of files according to an exemplary embodiment;

"FIG. 7 is a view illustrating a user interface (UI) for setting a time shift function according to an exemplary embodiment;

"FIGS. 8A and 8B are views illustrating processes of storing broadcast data according to a size of a unit file according to exemplary embodiments;

"FIGS. 9A and 9B are views illustrating processes of adaptively determining a size of a unit file according to a bit rate of a broadcast signal according to exemplary embodiments; and

"FIG. 10 is a flowchart illustrating a method of managing a file used for time shift according to an exemplary embodiment."

For additional information on this patent application, see: LEE, Hee-jung. Apparatus for Receiving Broadcast and Method of Managing File Used for Time Shift. Filed October 25, 2013 and posted May 8, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=159&p=4&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140501.PD.&OS=PD/20140501&RS=PD/20140501

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

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Source: Electronics Newsweekly


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