News Column

Patent Issued for Recording Additional Channels of a Shared Multi-Channel Transmitter

July 8, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Technology -- According to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews journalists, a patent by the inventor Martch, Henry Gregg (Parker, CO), filed on October 31, 2011, was published online on June 24, 2014.

The assignee for this patent, patent number 8763027, is EchoStar Technologies L.L.C. (Englewood, CO).

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Conventional content transmission networks can be configured to provide a data stream from a source transmitter (e.g., cable hub, satellite, etc.) to a receiver (e.g., cable receiver, satellite dish, etc.). A conventional transmitter can be configured to handle a certain amount of bandwidth (e.g., 40 megabits per second), which may be determined (e.g., limited) by the physical technology used to facilitate the transmissions. Traditional content streams may consume a smaller amount of data, e.g., a single high definition digitally encoded channel may consume an average of 4 megabits per second. Thus, a conventional content provider can transmit a plurality of channels on a single transmitter, e.g., a 40 megabit transmitter can transmit approximately ten 4 megabit channels. Conventional video encoding sizes can depend on the video content, not only the resolution and format of the underlying video, and therefore, fluctuate in the amount of bandwidth each channel consumes at any given moment. Conventional averaging, load-balancing, and/or statistical analysis can be used to configure the channel loads of each transmission stream and determine the exact number of channels on a transmission stream. Regardless of the exact number, each conventional transmission stream can be configured to carry a plurality of channels.

"For a particular transmission stream, a plurality of channels can be encoded with a codeword or some other encryption method, multiplexed together and transmitted to a receiving arrangement. The receiving arrangement can include a tuner that selects which of the plurality of channels a user is 'tuned' to and decode that particular channel to present on a video output device (e.g., television) and/or record to a storage device (e.g., digital video recorder). The receiving arrangement can conventionally receive one (or some small number of) transmission streams, and can conventionally decode one (or some small number of) channels within the one transmission stream. In one example, a conventional operation can include transmitting eighty channels on ten streams, with eight channels per stream. When a user tunes to or records a particular channel, the receiver arrangement (e.g., a user's satellite dish and receiver box) can tune to the particular data stream having that channel and then decode the particular channel. When a user changes channels within the same transmission stream, the receiving arrangement can immediately begin decoding the new channel. When a user changes channels to a channel on a different transmission stream, the receiving arrangement can tune to the new data stream, and begin decoding the particular channel. Conventional arrangements typically provide one tuner or two tuners, sometimes four tuners, but could provide any other number. Typically however, the number of channels that can be recorded and/or viewed at any one time is a very small subset of all available channels, and each tuner can typically decode only one channel at a time, limiting the number of recordable channels to the number of independent tuners included in the conventional receiving arrangement."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "One or more exemplary embodiments can include systems and methods of the present disclosure for recording additional channels without requiring additional tuner hardware. For example, one exemplary method of the present disclosure can include receiving from a user a request to record a particular piece of content from a content delivery network. The content delivery network is configured such that it delivers a plurality of pieces of content organized into a plurality of content subsets on a plurality of channels that are organized into a plurality of channel subsets on a plurality of bands. The exemplary method can include identifying a particular channel associated with the particular piece of content, identifying a particular band associated with the particular channel, and informing the user of other channels associated with the particular band. The exemplary method can include receiving from the user a request to record another particular piece of content associated with one of the other channels associated with the particular band. Further, the exemplary method can include concurrently recording the particular piece of content and the other particular piece of content with a single tuner.

"In alternative or additional exemplary embodiments of the present disclosure, the particular piece of content and the other particular piece of content are delivered concurrently in a pre-scheduled temporally linear manner. Alternatively or additionally, informing the user of other channels can include informing the user of a plurality of particular pieces of content scheduled to be delivered on the other channels associated with the particular band concurrently with the particular piece of content on the particular channel. Alternatively or additionally, the particular piece of content is a streaming audio-video transmission.

"In another exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure, an exemplary system for displaying and/or recording multiple content streams on a single tuner is provided and includes a transponder-receiver configured to select and receive a band of channels from a plurality of bands over a channel distribution network. The exemplary system includes an electronic processor in communication with the transponder-receiver and in communication with an electronic storage medium. The exemplary electronic processor is configured to receive user-input for displaying and/or recording a particular piece of content; identify a particular channel associated with the particular piece of content; and identify a particular band associated with the particular channel. The exemplary electronic processor can also be configured to provide the user information of other channels associated with the particular band; and receive from the user a request to display and/or record another particular piece of content associated with one of the other channels associated with the particular band. The exemplary electronic processor can be configured to, responsive to occurrence of a pre-scheduled content start time, tune the tuner to the particular band; and then concurrently record the particular piece of content and the other particular piece of content with a single tuner.

"In alternative or additional exemplary embodiments of the present disclosure, the particular piece of content and the other particular piece of content are delivered concurrently in a pre-scheduled temporally linear manner. Alternatively or additionally, being configured to inform the user of other channels includes informing the user of a plurality of particular pieces of content scheduled to be delivered on the other channels associated with the particular band concurrently with the particular piece of content on the particular channel. Alternatively or additionally, the particular piece of content is a streaming audio-video transmission. Alternatively or additionally, configured to concurrently record includes storing the particular piece of content and the other particular piece of content to the electronic storage medium as a single encoded file. Alternatively or additionally, configured to concurrently record includes storing the particular piece of content and the other particular piece of content to the electronic storage medium as separate decoded files. Alternatively or additionally, each piece of content is encoded with a control word, and configured to concurrently record if facilitated by the particular piece of content and the other particular piece of content being encoded with the same control word."

For more information, see this patent: Martch, Henry Gregg. Recording Additional Channels of a Shared Multi-Channel Transmitter. U.S. Patent Number 8763027, filed October 31, 2011, and published online on June 24, 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=8763027.PN.&OS=PN/8763027RS=PN/8763027

Keywords for this news article include: EchoStar Technologies L.L.C..

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Source: Journal of Technology


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