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4826 results about "Set top box" patented technology

A set-top box is a device that enables a television set to become a user interface to the Internet and also enables a television set to receive and decode digital television (DTV) broadcasts. DTV set-top boxes are sometimes called receivers.

Method and apparatus for scheduling presentation of digital content on a personal communication device

A method and apparatus wherein a software scheduling agent resides on a communication network and/or client device, such as location-aware wireless communication appliances, television set top boxes, or other end user client devices is disclosed. The software scheduling agent is part of a probabilistic modeling system in which the scheduler operates to perform constrained random variation with selection. Digital content is generated, organized, and stored on the communication network and/or the client devices. An electronic digital content wrapper, which holds information in the form of data and metadata related to the digital content is associated with each item of digital content. Contextual profiles for each user and each item of digital content are established by the users and the network and maintained by a service provider on the communication network. The software scheduling agent compares the contextual digital content profile for each item of digital content to the contextual user profile for each user to determine which digital content should be offered for presentation to each user. The comparison and determination of which items of digital content should be offered for presentation to which users is performed by a process of constrained random variation. After the software scheduling agent determines which items of digital content would most likely be relevant or interesting to the user, the digital content is transmitted, either in whole or in part, at predetermined times over the communication network to the appropriate client devices. The digital content is then stored, either in whole or in part, in cache memory on the client device until an appropriate time when the digital content is digitally packaged and presented to particular users over those user's client devices.
Owner:WIRELESS AGENTS

Method and apparatus for content protection in a personal digital network environment

In some embodiments, the invention is a personal digital network (“PDN”) including hardware (sometimes referred to as Ingress circuitry) configured to transcrypt encrypted content that enters the PDN. Typically, the transcryption (decryption followed by re-encryption) is performed in hardware within the Ingress circuitry and the re-encryption occurs before the decrypted content is accessible by hardware or software external to the Ingress circuitry. Typically, transcrypted content that leaves the Ingress circuitry remains in re-encrypted form within the PDN whenever it is transferred between integrated circuits or is otherwise easily accessible by software, until it is decrypted within hardware (sometimes referred to as Egress circuitry) for display or playback or output from the PDN. Typically, the PDN is implemented so that no secret in Ingress or Egress circuitry (for use or transfer by the Ingress or Egress circuitry) is accessible in unencrypted form to software or firmware within the PDN or to any entity external to the PDN. Other aspects of the invention are methods for protecting content in a PDN (e.g., an open computing system) and devices (e.g., multimedia graphics cards, set top boxes, or video processors) for use in a PDN.
Owner:OPTIMUM CONTENT PROTECTION

On-demand data system

Disclosed is a system for allowing on-demand delivery of data, such as MPEG-2 compressed video data, to a subscriber from a content server. The system utilizes a managed IP network that is coupled to the one or more content servers that allows the content servers to deliver data such as video, audio, and textual data with a guaranteed quality of service that is at least as good as broadcast quality service. The managed IP network is connected to a head end or other local cable service provider where video is delivered locally to subscribers. The IP transport data is translated to MPEG transport data, multiplexed onto an MPEG transport system, digitally modulated onto an rf carrier and up-converted to a specific frequency channel. The signal is then applied to the cable for delivery to the subscriber. Upstream signaling occurs through a set top box or computer that is connected to the cable and subsequently to a digital modulator/demodulator and ISP to a managed IP network 66. Low band signals can also be transmitted from the content servers back to the set top box or computer indicating confirmation of an order. Also, control signals such as stop, rewind, fast-forward, and slow can be transmitted back to the content server to control the transmission of data from the content server to the subscriber.
Owner:CABLE TELEVISION LAB

Trusted transactional set-top box

A set top box (STB) includes a trusted transactional cache and associated transactional protocol and enables e-commerce transactions to be securely committed to a remote server extremely quickly and with little network overhead. The invention does away with the user concern of whether the transaction was successful. The STB operates equally well on robust private networks as on unpredictable Internet or wireless networks, and avoids upsetting users who would otherwise have to wait in front of a display screen for confirmation of completion of the transaction after a temporary communication failure with the central site. The method may advantageously be used to provide cost-effective micro-payments solutions. The STB may include a dual headed display capability in which data and video maybe be directed to separate displays. The STB may feature an embedded ticket printer, as well as an embedded barcode scanner. This enables non computer literate users to more conveniently track transactions committed via the STB, or to take advantage of promotional coupons. The STB features an embedded hardware true Random Number Generator to produce maximum entropy encryption keys, therefore providing maximum secure and fool-proof means to protect private data using government authorized encryption schemes.
Owner:MUDALLA TECH INC THOITS LOVE HERSHBERGER & MCLEAN

Satellite TV security system

A satellite TV security system including a TV satellite operated by a satellite TV provider directed to a television set of a satellite TV subscriber that defends the satellite TV provider from illegal reception of TV signals from a TV satellite. An addressable integrated receiver/decoder (IRD) positioned in the TV set top box has an assigned identification number and a smart card positioned in the IRD has an assigned identification number. A security module is provided that is integrated with the IRD. Upon command of the satellite TV provider or automatically, the security module makes a periodic verification of a match of the two identification numbers. Lack of verification of a match triggers a signal from the security module to the IRD to stop transmitting TV signals to the subscriber television. As an alternative verification, the security module initiates periodic verifications of the operability of the telephone line connection between the satellite TV provider and the IRD of the subscriber. Lack of verification of the operability of the telephone line triggers a signal from the security module to the IRD to stop transmitting TV signals to the subscriber TV. The two systems of verification can be operated independently or simultaneously. The subscriber telephone number can be added as an assigned identification number, so that a three-way verification of identification numbers by the security module is required for continued transmission of TV signals to the subscriber television.
Owner:KIT JOHN +2

Interactive television system and method for displaying web-like stills with hyperlinks

A system and method for displaying still video images related to video content in an interactive broadcast television system. The system and method of the present invention may also be used for simulating an Internet home page on an interactive television system. The present invention thus supports hyperlinked web-like navigational capabilities in an interactive television system. According to the method of the present invention, the video delivery system provides or broadcasts one or more audio/video channels each comprising video content and also provides or broadcasts at least one still image channel comprising a plurality of still video images, preferably MPEG-2 compressed still images. The user or viewer can select options displayed on the television screen to view desired information. When the set top box receives user input selecting an option to view one of the linked still images, the set top box captures the requested image from the still image broadcast channel, stores the image in memory, and displays the captured still video image corresponding to the selection. The still image being displayed may have associated interactive program content for displaying further selections, wherein these selections may be for viewing other images or content, for ordering information, or purchasing products. The user can thus selectively navigate between the video content and stills in a web-like hyperlinked fashion. In one embodiment, when a user is navigating through still images, the television program or video content which was being viewed is displayed in a small window overlaid on the still image being displayed. Also, when the set top box captures a requested image from the still image broadcast channel, the set top box preferably also pre-caches or pre-loads other related still images based on the probabilty that these related images will be subsequently requested by the user. The invention also includes an embodiment which provides user requested still images "on demand" on a dedicated "search" channel.
Owner:OPEN TV INC

System and method for recommending items of interest to a user

A system and method is disclosed for recommending items to individual users using a combination of clustering decision trees and frequency-based term mapping. The system and method of the present invention is configured to receive data based on user action, such as television remote control activity, or computer keyboard entry, and when a new item data is made available from sources such as television program guides, movie databases, deliverers of advertising data, on-line auction web sites, and electronic mail servers, the system and method analytically breaks down the new item data, compares it to ascertained attributes of item data that a user liked in the past, and produces numeric ranking of the new item data dynamically, and without subsequent user input, or data manipulation by item data deliverers, and is tailored to each individual user. A embodiment is disclosed for learning user interests based on user actions and then applying the learned knowledge to rank, recommend, and/or filter items, such as e-mail spam, based on the level of interest to a user. The embodiment may be used for automated personalized information learning, recommendation, and/or filtering systems in applications such as television programming, web-based auctions, targeted advertising, and electronic mail filtering. The embodiment may be structured to generate item descriptions, learn items of interest, learn terms that effectively describe the items, cluster similar items in a compact data structure, and then use the structure to rank new offerings. Embodiments of the present invention include, by way of non-limiting example: allowing the assignment of rank scores to candidate items so one can be recommended over another, building decision trees incrementally using unsupervised learning to cluster examples into categories automatically, consistency with “edge” (thick client) computing whereby certain data structures and most of the processing are localized to the set-top box or local PC, the ability to learn content attributes automatically on-the-fly, and the ability to store user preferences in opaque local data structures and are not easily traceable to individual users.
Owner:FOURTHWALL MEDIA
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