News Column

Patent Issued for Peripheral Control System, Display Device, and Peripheral

June 17, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Information Technology Newsweekly -- Sharp Kabushiki Kaisha (Osaka-shi, JP) has been issued patent number 8743286, according to news reporting originating out of Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews editors.

The patent's inventors are Hasegawa, Hiroshi (Osaka, JP); Oda, Mamoru (Osaka, JP); Kimura, Kenichi (Osaka, JP); Yoshida, Tatsuya (Osaka, JP); Satoh, Yoshinori (Osaka, JP).

This patent was filed on August 23, 2010 and was published online on June 3, 2014.

From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "Up until now, it has been performed to operate peripherals such as a recorder, a player, an STB (Set Top Box), and an AV amplifier through a television apparatus (TV) by connecting the peripherals to the television. For example, Patent Document 1 describes a television set capable of displaying, on its screen, operation panels for operating the peripherals. In the case of the television set described in Patent Document 1, when a menu display key of a remote control is depressed, there appear selectably on the screen a VTR, a VHD, a BS tuner, a teletext receiver, etc., as peripherals connected to the television set. Then, when the user operates the remote control to selectively specify one of the peripherals, an operation panel corresponding to the specified one appears on the television screen."

Supplementing the background information on this patent, VerticalNews reporters also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "Problem to be Solved by the Invention

"In the method described in Patent Document 1, however, the television prepares in advance the operation panels for the peripherals and changes over the operation panels in response to a specification from the user, and therefore, the television is merely allowed to connect to only the predetermined peripherals at all times. That is, the television retains in advance operation panels for specified peripherals, and hence, if the specified peripherals are connected, the television can display operation panels corresponding thereto, but if a peripheral other than the specified ones is connected, the television cannot display any operation panel since it retains no corresponding operation panel.

"In this manner, when operating peripherals through the television, the operation has hitherto been limited to peripherals corresponding to operation panels retained in advance by the television, as a result of which even if the user tries connecting a new peripheral to the television, the operation through the television may be difficult to perform, leading to a problem of lacking in the expandability in the operation of the peripherals.

"The present invention was conceived in view of the above circumstances, and it is an object thereof to provide a peripheral control system, a display device making up the system, and a peripheral, the peripheral control system capable of enhancing the expandability in the operation of peripherals, by enabling the customization and display of operation panels for each of the peripherals irrespective of whether the display device retains the operation panels.

"Means for Solving the Problem

"In order to solve the above problem, a first technical means of the present invention is a peripheral control system having at least one peripheral and a display device capable of displaying an operation panel of the peripheral connected thereto, wherein the display device comprises a first memory portion that stores operation panel information containing array information for arraying on a screen image data for operation buttons making up the operation panel of the peripheral, the peripheral comprises a second memory portion that stores the image data for operation buttons and an image data sending portion that sends the image data for operation buttons stored in the second memory portion to the display device in correspondence with the array information depending on the operation panel information acquired from the display device, and the display device disposes and displays the image data for operation buttons sent from the peripheral at a position corresponding to the array information when displaying the operation panel of the peripheral.

"A second technical means is the peripheral control system as defined in the first technical means, wherein when one of the image data for operation buttons is selectively specified by a user, the display device sends the array information of the selectively specified image data to the peripheral, and wherein the peripheral comprises a data table that correlates the array information sent to the display device with functions allocated to each of the image data for operation buttons, specifies from the data table a function corresponding to the array information of the image data sent from the display device, and executes the specified function.

"A third technical means is the peripheral control system as defined in the first technical means, wherein the display device scales an input video signal such that a display region of the input video signal does not overlap with a display region of the operation panel of the peripheral.

"A fourth technical means is the peripheral control system as defined in the first technical means, wherein when sending the image data for operation buttons correlating to the array information to the display device, the peripheral sends attribute information indicative of an attribute of each of the image data for operation buttons to the display device.

"A fifth technical means is the peripheral information display system as defined in the fourth technical means, wherein the attribute information is information indicative of whether the image data for operation buttons have a function as an operation button or have a function of a display only.

"A sixth technical means is the peripheral information display system as defined in the first technical means, wherein the operation panel information includes display size information indicative of a display region size and a display position of the operation panel, and a display size of the image data for operation buttons, the array information containing arrayable positions and number of the image data for operation buttons.

"A seventh technical means is the peripheral information display system as defined in the sixth technical means, wherein the array information indicates in a form of a matrix pattern the arrayable positions and number of the image data for operation buttons.

"An eighth technical means is the peripheral information display system as defined in the seventh technical means, wherein the peripheral, stores and has plural types of array patterns of the image data for operation buttons, determines whether one of the plural types of array patterns coincides with a matrix pattern indicated by the array information sent from the display device, selects the coincident array pattern, if coincides, and, if not, selects a maximum array pattern accommodated within the matrix pattern indicated by the array information.

"A ninth technical means is the peripheral information display system as defined in the sixth technical means, the peripheral has a first display size of the image data for operation buttons, and wherein if the first display size does not coincide with a second display size indicated by the display size information sent from the display device, then the peripheral sends, to the display device, offset information for adjusting a position to array the image data of the first display size so as to fit the second display size when sending the image data for operation buttons in correspondence with the array information to the display device.

"A tenth technical means is the peripheral information display system as defined in the sixth technical means, wherein the peripheral has a first display size of the image data for operation buttons, and wherein if the first display size does not coincide with a second display size indicated by the display size information sent from the display device, then the peripheral resizes the image data of the first display size so as to fit the second display size when sending the image data for operation buttons in correspondence with the array information to the display device.

"An eleventh technical means is the peripheral information display system as defined in the sixth technical means, wherein the peripheral sends, to the display device, combination information for combining a plurality of array positions indicated by the array information when sending to the display device the image data for operation buttons by correlating to the array information.

"A twelfth technical means is the peripheral information display system as defined in the first technical means, wherein the display device stores and has the image data for operation buttons sent from the peripheral together with identification information of the peripheral by correlating to the array information, and wherein at the time of next connection with the peripheral, the display device specifies the image data for operation buttons stored in the display device, based on the identification information of the peripheral, the display device disposing and displaying the specified image data at a position corresponding to the array information.

"A thirteenth technical means is the peripheral information display system as defined in the first technical means, wherein the peripheral sends to the display device a plurality of image data differing for each operation status for one operation button, and wherein the display device changes over and displays the plurality of image data of the operation button sent from the peripheral, depending on the operation status of the operation button.

"A fourteenth technical means is the peripheral information display system as defined in the first technical means, wherein the display device determines whether the peripheral supports operation panel display function provided by the peripheral control system, if supports, sends the operation panel information to the peripheral, and, if not, displays a default operation panel corresponding to the peripheral held by the display device.

"A fifteenth technical means is the peripheral information display system as defined in the first technical means, wherein the peripheral notifies the display device of substituting some of the operation buttons making up the operation panel of the peripheral with operation buttons of a default operation panel corresponding to the peripheral held by the display device, depending on the operation panel information sent from the display device, and simultaneously sends to the display device remaining image data for operation buttons making up the operation panel of the peripheral by correlating to the array information.

"A sixteenth technical means is the peripheral information display system as defined in the fifteenth technical means, wherein when, based on a notice from the peripheral, substituting some of the operation buttons making up the operation panel of the peripheral with operation buttons of a default operation panel corresponding to the peripheral held by the display device, if the substituted operation button is selectively specified by the user, then the display device sends an operation command corresponding to the selectively specified operation button to the peripheral.

"A seventeenth technical means is a display device making up the peripheral control system as defined in the first technical means.

"An eighteenth technical means is a peripheral the peripheral control system as defined in the first technical means.

"Effect of the Invention

"According to the present invention, the operation panel can be customized and displayed on a peripheral-by-peripheral basis irrespective of whether the display device retains the operation panel, to thereby enable the expandability to be enhanced in the operations of the peripherals. This enables domestic peripherals to be linked to the television, allowing more peripherals to be operated through the television."

For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Hasegawa, Hiroshi; Oda, Mamoru; Kimura, Kenichi; Yoshida, Tatsuya; Satoh, Yoshinori. Peripheral Control System, Display Device, and Peripheral. U.S. Patent Number 8743286, filed August 23, 2010, and published online on June 3, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8743286.PN.&OS=PN/8743286RS=PN/8743286

Keywords for this news article include: Information Technology, Sharp Kabushiki Kaisha, Information and Data Tabulation.

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Source: Information Technology Newsweekly


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