PatentDe  


Dokumentenidentifikation EP0309269 01.06.1994
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 0309269
Titel Verfahren und Gerät zur Ermittlung des Empfangskanals eines Empfängers.
Anmelder A.C. Nielsen Co., Northbrook, Ill., US
Erfinder Kiewit, David A., Palm Harbor Florida 33563, US
Vertreter Boeters, H., Dipl.-Chem. Dr.rer.nat.; Bauer, R., Dipl.-Ing.; Koepe, G., Dipl.-Chem., Pat.-Anwälte, 81541 München
DE-Aktenzeichen 3889272
Vertragsstaaten BE, DE, FR, GB, IT, NL
Sprache des Dokument En
EP-Anmeldetag 23.09.1988
EP-Aktenzeichen 883088510
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 29.03.1989
EP date of grant 27.04.1994
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 01.06.1994
IPC-Hauptklasse H03J 9/00
IPC-Nebenklasse H03J 1/04   H04N 5/50   

Beschreibung[en]

This invention relates generally to a method and apparatus for monitoring a receiver to determine the channel to which a receiver is tuned, and more particularly to a method and apparatus for determining the channel reception of a remotely controlled receiver.

Various arrangements have been employed to determine the channel to which a television receiver is tuned. A disadvantage of many known monitoring arrangements is that an internal connection to the television receiver is required. For example, United States patent 3,973,206 issued to Haselwood et al., on August 3, 1976 discloses a method of determining channel tuning by monitoring the varactor diode tuning voltage and thus, required internal connections in the television receiver.

Another method for determining channel tuning disclosed in United States patent 4,425,578 issued to Haselwood et al., on January 10, 1984 utilizes a signal injection source and a detector/receiver arranged to detect the combined signal from the injection signal source and a video carrier to which the video receiver is tuned. A significant drawback of signal injection monitoring arrangements is the potential interference with the functional operation of the video receiver being monitored.

United States patent application Serial Number 893,183 to Fulmer et al., filed on August 5, 1986 and assigned to the same assignee as the present application, discloses another method for determining channel tuning utilizing a local oscillator frequency measurement of the monitored receiver. The disclosed method and apparatus while effective for its intended purpose generally requires that a probe be positioned at a selected location in the monitored receiver and thus, requires physical access to the receiver.

Access to the tuning mechanism is becoming increasingly difficult with the advent of cable and pay television systems that utilize various converters and decoders, many of which are difficult to access.

In US-A-4 658 290 access is made in the cable converter.

Often a remote control system is used with the receiver enabling remote operation by a viewer for channel selection and turning the receiver ON and OFF. Additionally, remote control systems generally are available with cable tuners. Due to the increasing use of remote control systems with various receivers, such as broadcast radio receivers and video cassette recorders and cable converters used with a television receiver, at least one commercially available transmitter device, such as a General Electric device Model RRC600 Consumer Control Center, is used for remotely controlling multiple receivers. The RRC600 transmitter device learns and stores the infrared control signals used in various existing remote control systems of multiple devices so that this single transmitter is used instead of a separate transmitter for each remotely controlled device.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, it is an important object of the present invention to provide a method and apparatus for determining the channel of a plurality of predetermined channels to which a receiver is tuned that overcome many of the disadvantages of prior art systems. Other principle objects of the present invention are to provide such improved method and apparatus that accurately identifies the channel reception of a remotely controlled receiver and without requiring physical access to the monitored receiver and to provide such improved method and apparatus to determine both the channel reception and a selected broadcast satellite of a remotely controlled receiver.

The present invention is apparatus for monitoring a remotely controlled receiver to determine the channel of a plurality of predetermined channels to which the receiver is tuned comprising: first wireless transmitter means for receiving a plurality of viewer entered selections and for transmitting a first unique predetermined control signal for each of said viewer entered selections; receiver means for receiving said transmitted first predetermined control signals; processor means coupled to said receiver means for processing said first received predetermined control signals, said processor means including means for identifying said viewer entered selection, means responsive to said identified viewer entered selection to identify the tuned channel, and means for generating a second unique predetermined control signal for each of said identified viewer entered selections; and second wireless transmitter means coupled to said processor means for receiving and transmitting said generated second predetermined control signal.

The present invention is also a method of determining the channel of a plurality of predetermined channels to which a monitored remotely controlled receiver is tuned comprising the steps: receiving one of a plurality of viewer entered selections; transmitting by a wireless transmission a first unique predetermined control signal responsive to said received one of said viewer entered selections; receiving said transmitted first predetermined control signals; processing said first received predetermined control signals to identify said viewer entered selection; identifying the tuned channel responsive to said identified viewer entered selection; generating a second predetermined control signal for each of said identified viewer entered selections; and transmitting said generated second predetermined control signal by wireless transmission.

These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will become readily apparent upon consideration of the following detailed description and attached drawing wherein:

  • FIG. 1 is a block diagram of the channel detection apparatus according to the present invention;

    and
  • FIGS. 2A - 2C are flow charts illustrating the logical steps performed by the apparatus of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring now to the drawing, with particular attention to FIG. 1, there is illustrated a block diagram of a new and improved channel detection apparatus according to the invention generally designated by the reference numeral 10. While the channel detection apparatus 10 is depicted and generally described herein for monitoring a television receiver, the principles of the present invention are also applicable to broadcast radio receivers, video cassette recorders and other receivers.

An existing remote control receiver 12 receives transmitted control signals for controlling a tuner 14 that may be an internal television tuner or an external cable tuner used in conjunction with a television display 16. A signal source 18 is connected to the television tuner 14, such as, for example, a receiving antenna or a television cable system. Alternatively, a satellite antenna 18A used in conjunction with a satellite selector 19 provides a selected broadcast satellite signal to the television tuner 14. The satellite selector 19 is controlled by the remote control receiver 12 for aiming the satellite antenna 18A at a particular one of a plurality of broadcasting satellites. The channel detection apparatus 10 includes a first remote control transmitter 20 that includes a keyboard 22 for receiving viewer tuning and ON/OFF selections. An existing transmitter 24 having a keyboard 26, originally provided for use with the remote control receiver 12, is used for an initialization procedure when the channel detection apparatus 10 is first installed. The initialization procedure is described with respect to FIG. 2A.

A remote control receiver 28 of the channel detection apparatus 10 receives the transmitted control signals from the transmitters 20 and 24 during the initialization procedure. During normal monitoring operation of the channel detection apparatus 10, the receiver 28 receives the transmitted control signals from the transmitter 20 and the existing transmitter 24 is not used. A processor device such as a microprocessor 30 receives the control signals from the remote control receiver 28. Associated memory devices, such as a random access memory RAM 32 for data storage, and a read only memory ROM 34 for program storage are used in conjunction with the microprocessor 30. Various commercially available microprocessor devices can be utilized for the microprocessor 30, such as an eight-bit Motorola microprocessor device HCMOS MC68HC11. The MC68HC11 microprocessor 30 includes a programmable timer system that advantageously can be used to maintain a real time reference for storing with the channel reception data. On-chip peripheral functions including a serial communications interface (SCI) subsystem and an 8-channel analog-to-digital (A/D) converter are provided by MC68HC11 microprocessor 30.

The channel detection apparatus 10 includes a second remote control transmitter 36 coupled to the microprocessor 30 for transmitting control signals having a predetermined format of the existing transmitter 24 for controlling the tuner 14. An ON/OFF probe 38 is used for monitoring the ON/OFF operational modes of the monitored television including the tuner 14 and the display 16. Various conventional detectors can be employed for the ON/OFF probe 38, for example, the probe 38 may include tuned circuitry for detecting a characteristic frequency of the horizontal retrace oscillator in the television display 16. An ON/OFF threshold circuit 40 is used in conjunction with the ON/OFF probe 38 to provide a signal to the microprocessor 30 corresponding to the ON and OFF operational functions of the television 16.

A power-off probe 42 of the channel detection apparatus 10 provides a signal to the microprocessor 30 indicative of the monitored television tuner 14 being disconnected from the power source or other power outage. When the television is turned ON after power is restored to the monitored tuner 14 , a default channel is initially tuned by the tuner 14. Thus the signal of power-off probe 42 is utilized by the microprocessor 30 to accurately identify this initial channel reception.

The channel detection apparatus 10 further includes a keyboard 44 coupled to the microprocessor 30 for manual operation by the viewer. The keyboard 44 is used instead of an existing keyboard (not shown) typically included with the television tuner 14. In response to a viewer entry made by way of the keyboard 44, the microprocessor 30 applies the corresponding control signals to the transmitter 36 for controlling the tuner 14. The channel reception is identified for a viewer selection entry via keyboard 44 by the same logical steps performed by the microprocessor 30 as for an entry via transmitter 20.

A data storage and communication device 46 takes the data from the microprocessor 30 via one of various known communication methods and stores the data for subsequent retrieval, usually via a telephone line connected to the public switched telephone network, by a central computer (not shown). A terminal 48 is coupled to the microprocessor 30 for use during the installation procedure and for testing.

The operation of the channel detection apparatus 10 will now be described with reference to the flow charts shown in FIGS. 2A - 2C. Referring first to FIG. 2A, the logical steps performed by the microprocessor 30 during the initialization procedure is illustrated. The initialization procedure includes sequentially correlating and storing corresponding entry selections via the existing transmitter 24 and the first transmitter 20 for each of possible viewer selections. A first predetermined control signal format of the existing transmitter 24 is stored with a different predefined control signal format of the transmitter 20 for each of the channels that may be received by the television receiver. The corresponding control signal pairs of two different formats are sequentially stored to form a channel list.

When a satellite antenna 18A and associated satellite selector 19 are used with the television receiver, then the corresponding control signal pairs are sequentially stored to form a broadcast satellite list.

Next the user entry selections for controlling the ON/OFF operational mode of the monitored receiver are sequentially entered and the resulting control signals transmitted by the transmitters 24 and 20 are correlated and stored as a corresponding signal pair to form an operational mode list.

Then special user entry selections, such as channel scan up and down, are sequentially entered using only the transmitter 20 and the resulting control signals of the transmitter 20 are stored as to form a special function list. The corresponding channel scan up and down control signal of the transmitter 24 are not stored because these signals cause the television tuner 14 to scan toward a higher or lower channel number until a video signal is found on a receivable channel. Use of such control signals could result in channel reception identification errors by the channel detection apparatus 10. Each of the corresponding viewer selections entered via the keyboard 44 are identified and stored with corresponding signal pairs of the channel list and operational mode list and with the corresponding signals of the special function list.

Next the default channel tuned by the tuner 14 after a power loss is identified and stored. Then one of the predetermined channels of the tuner 14 is entered as a viewing selection and the channel reception is stored as the last on channel. Finally, the monitoring mode of the channel detection apparatus 10 is selected and the initialization procedure is completed.

Referring to FIGS. 2B - 2C, there is illustrated the logical steps performed by the microprocessor 30 during the monitoring operation by the channel detection apparatus 10. The microprocessor 30 monitors the signals from both the remote control receiver 28 and the keyboard 44 to identify viewer selections. When a viewer selection is detected, the microprocessor 30 monitors the ON/OFF signal applied by the ON/OFF threshold circuit 40 to determine if the television is ON.

When the television is OFF, the detected viewer selection is compared with the stored turn ON signal of the transmitter 20 or the keyboard 44 depending on the source of the detected signal. When a match is found corresponding to an entered turn ON selection by the viewer, the microprocessor 30 monitors the power-off probe 42 to determine if a power loss has occurred prior to the detected turn ON selection. When a power loss to the monitored receiver is indicated, the channel reception is set to the stored power-off default channel. Otherwise, when a power loss is not indicated, the channel reception is set to the stored last on channel. Then the corresponding stored turn ON signal of the transmitter 24 is applied by the microprocessor 30 to the transmitter 36 for transmitting to the remote control receiver 12. Otherwise, when the compared signals do not match, the detected signal is ignored. The microprocessor 30 continues to monitor the signals from the receiver 28 and the keyboard 44.

When the television is ON, the detected viewer selection is compared with the stored channel selection signals of the transmitter 20 or the keyboard 44 of the channel list. When a match is found corresponding to an entered channel selection by the viewer, the channel reception is set to the thus identified channel from the channel list. Then the stored corresponding signal of the transmitter 24 is applied by the microprocessor 30 to the transmitter 36 for transmitting to the remote control receiver 12. The microprocessor 30 continues to monitor the signals from the receiver 28 and the keyboard 44.

Otherwise when a match is not found in the channel list, then the detected viewer selection is compared with the stored turn OFF signals in the operational mode list of the transmitter 20 or the keyboard 44 depending on the source of the detected signal. When a turn OFF viewer selection is identified, the current channel reception is stored as the last on channel. Then the corresponding stored turn OFF signal is applied to the transmitter 36 by the microprocessor 30. The microprocessor 30 continues to monitor the signals from the receiver 28 and the keyboard 44.

When a turn OFF viewer selection is not identified, the detected viewer selection signal is compared with the special function list starting, for example, with the channel-up viewer selection. If the channel-up user selection is identified, the channel reception is set to the next higher channel than the current set channel. The corresponding control signal is applied to the transmitter 36 for transmitting to the remote control receiver 12. Then the microprocessor 30 continues to monitor the signals from the receiver 28 and the keyboard 44.

When the detected viewer selection signal does not match the channel-up viewer selection, then it is compared with the next entry within the special function list, for example, the channel-down viewer selection. If the channel-down user selection is identified, the channel reception is set to the next lower channel than the current set channel. Then the corresponding control signal is applied to the transmitter 36 for transmitting to the receiver 12. The microprocessor 30 continues to monitor the signals from the receiver 28 and the keyboard 44.

After comparing the detected viewer selection signal with the last entry of the special function list without finding a match, then the detected viewer selection is compared with the stored satellite selection signals within the broadcast satellite list. When a match is found corresponding to an entered satellite selection by the viewer, the satellite reception is set to the thus identified broadcast satellite. Then the stored corresponding signal of the transmitter 24 is applied by the microprocessor 30 to the transmitter 36 for transmitting to the remote control receiver 12. Then the microprocessor 30 continues to monitor the signals form the receiver 28 and the keyboard 44.

Otherwise when a match is not found, then the detected viewer selection signal is ignored. Then the microprocessor 30 continues to monitor the signals from the receiver 28 and the keyboard 44.


Anspruch[de]
  1. Vorrichtung (10) zum Überwachen eines ferngesteuerten Empfängers (12) zwecks Feststellung desjenigen Kanals aus einer Mehrzahl vorbestimmter Kanäle, auf den der Empfänger eingestellt ist, mit:

       ersten drahtlosen Übertragungsmitteln (20) zum Empfangen einer Mehrzahl vom Betrachter eingegebener Optionen und Übertragen eines ersten charakteristischen vorbestimmten Steuersignals für eine jede dieser vom Betrachter eingegebenen Optionen,

       Empfangsmitteln (28) zum Empfangen dieser übertragenen ersten vorbestimmten Steuersignale,

       mit diesen Empfangsmitteln verbundenen Verarbeitungsmitteln (30) zum Verarbeiten der ersten empfangenen vorbestimmten Steuersignale, wobei die Verarbeitungsmittel Mittel zum Identifizieren der vom Betrachter eingegebenen Optionen, von den identifizierten vom Betrachter eingegebenen Optionen abhängige Mittel zum Identifizieren des eingestellten Kanals und Mittel zum Erzeugen eines zweiten charakteristischen vorbestimmten Steuersignals für eine jede der identifizierten vom Betrachter eingegebenen Optionen aufweisen, sowie

       mit den Verarbeitungsmitteln verbundenen zweiten drahtlosen Übertragungsmitteln (36) zum Empfangen und Übertragen des erzeugten zweiten vorbestimmten Steuersignals.
  2. Vorrichtung (10) nach Anspruch 1, gekennzeichnet durch mit den Verarbeitungsmitteln verbundene Mittel (46) zum Speichern der dem identifizierten eingestellten Kanal entsprechenden Daten.
  3. Vorrichtung (10) nach Anspruch 2, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß die Verarbeitungsmittel (30) des weiteren Mittel zum Identifizieren eines Jetztzeit-Bezugssignals und Mittel (46) zum Speichern des identifizierten Jetztzeit-Bezugssignals zusammen mit den Daten entsprechend dem identifizierten eingestellten Kanal aufweisen.
  4. Vorrichtung (10) nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß die Verarbeitungsmittel (30) des weiteren auf die identifizierte vom Betrachter eingegebene Option ansprechende Mittel zum Identifizieren eines ausgewählten Rundfunksatelliten aufweisen.
  5. Vorrichtung (10) nach Anspruch 2, gekennzeichnet durch mit den Verarbeitungsmitteln (30) verbundene Mittel zum Kommunizieren mit einem Zentralrechner zwecks Übertragung der gespeicherten Daten entsprechend identifizierten eingestellten Kanälen.
  6. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, gekennzeichnet durch mit den Verarbeitungsmitteln (30) verbundene Tastenfeldmittel (44) zum Empfangen der Mehrzahl vom Betrachter eingegebener Optionen.
  7. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß der ferngesteuerte Empfänger (12) ein Kabeltuner (14) ist.
  8. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß der ferngesteuerte Empfänger (12) ein Fernsehtuner (14) ist.
  9. Vorrichtung (10) nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß die Verarbeitungsmittel (30) des weiteren Mittel (32, 34) zum Speichern eines jeden der ersten und zweiten charakteristischen vorbestimmten Steuersignale sowie Mittel zum Zuordnen der gespeicherten ersten und zweiten Signale zu einer vorbestimmten vom Betrachter eingegebenen Option enthalten.
  10. Vorrichtung (10) nach Anspruch 9, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß die Mittel zum Identifizieren der vom Betrachter eingegebenen Option Sensormittel (38) zum Identifizieren eines Betriebszustandes des überwachten Empfängers (12), Mittel (32, 34) zum Vergleichen der ersten empfangenen vorbestimmten Steuersignale mit den gespeicherten ersten vorbestimmten Steuersignalen und Mittel (32, 34) zum Identifizieren der zugeordneten vorbestimmten vom Betrachter eingegebenen Optionen aufweisen.
  11. Vorrichtung (10) nach Anspruch 10, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß die vorbestimmten vom Betrachter eingegebenen Optionen eine Einschaltoption aufweisen und daß die auf die vom Betrachter eingegebenen Optionen ansprechenden Mittel (32, 34) zur Identifizierung des eingestellten Kanals und die Mittel zum Erzeugen eines zweiten charakteristischen vorbestimmten Steuersignals für eine jede der identifizierten vom Betrachter eingegebenen Optionen Mittel (32, 34) zum Speichern eines Spannungsausfallkanals, Sensormittel (42) zum Erkennen eines Spannungsausfalls an dem überwachten Empfänger und sowohl auf die identifizierte Einschaltoption als auch den festgestellten Spannungsausfall ansprechende Mittel zum Identifizieren des gespeicherten Spannungsausfallkanals aufweisen.
  12. Vorrichtung (10) nach Anspruch 10, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß die vorbestimmten vom Betrachter eingegebenen Optionen eine Ausschaltoption enthalten und daß die auf die identifizierte vom Betrachter eingegebene Option ansprechenden Mittel (32, 34) zum Identifizieren des eingestellten Kanals und die Mittel zum Erzeugen eines zweiten charakteristischen vorbestimmten Steuersignals für eine jede der identifizierten vom Betrachter eingegebenen Optionen auf die identifizierte Ausschaltoption ansprechende Mittel zum Identifizieren des gegenwärtigen Kanals und auf den identifizierten gegenwärtigen Kanal ansprechende Mittel zum Speichern eines zuletzt eingestellten Kanals enthalten.
  13. Vorrichtung (10) nach Anspruch 12, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß die auf die identifizierte vom Betrachter eingegebene Option ansprechenden Mittel (32, 34) zum Identifizieren des eingestellten Kanals und die Mittel zum Erzeugen eines zweiten charakteristischen vorbestimmten Steuersignals für eine jede der identifizierten vom Betrachter eingegebenen Optionen auf die identifizierte Einschaltoption ansprechende Mittel zum Identifizieren des gespeicherten zuletzt eingestellten Kanals enthalten.
  14. Vorrichtung (10) nach Anspruch 10, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß die auf die identifizierte vom Betrachter eingegebene Option ansprechenden Mittel zum Identifizieren des eingestellten Kanals und die Mittel zum Erzeugen eines zweiten charakteristischen vorbestimmten Steuersignals für eine jede der vom Betrachter eingegebenen Optionen Mittel zum Zuordnen und Speichern eines jeden der Mehrzahl vorbestimmter Kanäle enthalten, auf welchen der überwachte Empfänger mit den ersten und zweiten Steuersignalen eingestellt ist.
  15. Verfahren zum Bestimmen desjenigen Kanals aus einer Mehrzahl vorbestimmter Kanäle, auf die ein überwachter ferngesteuerter Empfänger eingestellt ist, mit folgenden Schritten:

       Empfangen einer aus einer Mehrzahl vom Betrachter eingegebener Optionen,

       Übertragen mittels drahtloser Übertragung eines ersten charakteristischen vorbestimmten Steuersignals auf die empfangene der vom Betrachter eingegebenen Optionen,

       Empfangen des übertragenen ersten vorbestimmten Steuersignals,

       Verarbeiten des ersten empfangenen vorbestimmten Steuersignals zum Identifizieren der vom Betrachter eingegebenen Option,

       Identifizieren des eingestellten Kanals in Abhängigkeit von der identifizierten vom Betrachter eingegebenen Option,

       Erzeugen eines zweiten vorbestimmten Steuersignals für eine jede der identifizierten vom Betrachter eingegebenen Optionen und

       Übertragen des erzeugten zweiten vorbestimmten Steuersignals mittels drahtloser Übertragung.
  16. Verfahren nach Anspruch 15, gekennzeichnet durch den Schritt Speichern des identifizierten eingestellten Kanals.
  17. Verfahren nach Anspruch 15, des weiteren gekennzeichnet durch Identifizieren eines Jetztzeit-Bezugssignals auf den identifizierten eingestellten Kanal hin sowie Speichern des identifizierten eingestellten Kanals zusammen mit dem identifizierten Jetztzeit-Bezugssignal.
  18. Verfahren nach Anspruch 15, gekennzeichnet durch die Schritte Identifizieren einer Rundfunksatellitenoption auf die identifizierte vom Betrachter eingegebene Option hin und Speichern der identifizierten Rundfunksatellitenoption.
  19. Verfahren nach Anspruch 15, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß die Schritte Verarbeiten der ersten empfangenen vorbestimmten Steuersignale und Identifizieren des eingestellten Kanals in Abhängigkeit von der identifizierten vom Betrachter eingegebenen Option die Schritte enthalten:

       Speichern der ersten und zweiten vorbestimmten Steuersignale für eine jede der Mehrzahl vom Betrachter eingegebener Optionen,

       Zuordnen der gespeicherten ersten und zweiten vorbestimmten Steuersignale zu einer entsprechenden vom Betrachter eingegebenen Option,

       Speichern eines jeden der Mehrzahl vorbestimmter Kanäle des überwachten Empfängers zusammen mit entsprechenden gespeicherten ersten und zweiten Signalen,

       Identifizieren eines Betriebszustandes des abgefragten Empfängers und

       Vergleichen der empfangenen vorbestimmten Steuersignale mit den gespeicherten ersten vorbestimmten Steuersignalen in Abhängigkeit vom dem identifizierten Betriebszustand.
  20. Verfahren nach Anspruch 19, gekennzeichnet durch die Schritte: Speichern eines Spannungsausfallkanals, Identifizieren einer vom Betrachter eingegebenen Einschaltoption, Feststellen eines Spannungsausfalls an dem abgefragten Empfänger und Identifizieren des gespeicherten Spannungsausfallskanals in Abhängigkeit von der identifizierten Einschaltoption und dem festgestellten Spannungsausfall.
  21. Verfahren nach Anspruch 19, gekennzeichnet durch die Schritte: Identifizieren einer vom Betrachter eingegebenen Ausschaltoption, Identifizieren des gegenwärtigen Kanals in Abhängigkeit von der identifizierten Ausschaltoption und Speichern eines zuletzt eingestellten Kanals in Abhängigkeit auf den identifizierten gegenwärtigen Kanal.
Anspruch[en]
  1. Apparatus (10) for monitoring a remotely controlled receiver (12) to determine the channel of a plurality of predetermined channels to which the receiver is tuned comprising:

       first wireless transmitter means (20) for receiving a plurality of viewer entered selections and for transmitting a first unique predetermined control signal for each of said viewer entered selections;

       receiver means (28) for receiving said transmitted first predetermined control signals;

       processor means (30) coupled to said receiver means for processing said first received predetermined control signals, said processor means including means for identifying said viewer entered selection, means responsive to said identified viewer entered selection to identify the tuned channel, and means for generating a second unique predetermined control signal for each of said identified viewer entered selections; and

       second wireless transmitter means (36) coupled to said processor means for receiving and transmitting said generated second predetermined control signal.
  2. Apparatus (10) as claimed in claim 1, characterized by means (46) coupled to said processor means for storing said identified tuned channel data.
  3. Apparatus (10) as claimed in claim 2, characterized in that said processor means (30) further comprises means for identifying a current time reference, and means (46) for storing said identified current time reference with said identified tuned channel data.
  4. Apparatus (10) as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that said processor means (30) further includes means responsive to said identified viewer entered selection to identify a selected broadcast satellite.
  5. Apparatus (10) as claimed in claim 2, characterized by means (46) coupled to said processor means (30) for communicating with a central computer to transfer said stored identified tuned channel data.
  6. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, characterized by keyboard means (44) coupled to said processor means (30) for receiving said plurality of viewer entered selections.
  7. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that said remotely controlled receiver (12) is a television cable tuner (14).
  8. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that said remotely controlled receiver (12) is a television tuner (14).
  9. Apparatus (10) as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that said processor means (30) further includes means (32, 34) for storing each of said first and second unique predetermined control signals and means for correlating said stored first and second signals with a predetermined viewer selection.
  10. Apparatus (10) as claimed in claim 9, characterized in that said means for identifying said viewer entered selection includes sensor means (38) for identifying an operational mode of the monitored receiver (12), means (32, 34) for comparing said first received predetermined control signals with said stored first predetermined control signals and means (32, 34) for identifying said correlated predetermined viewer selection.
  11. Apparatus (10) as claimed in claim 10, characterized in that said predetermined viewer selections include a turn ON selection and wherein said means (32, 34) responsive to said identified viewer entered selection to identify the tuned channel and means for generating a second unique predetermined control signal for each of said identified viewer entered selections include means (32, 34) for storing a power-off default channel, sensor means (42) for detecting power off to the monitored receiver, and means responsive to both said identified turn ON selection and said detected power off for identifying said stored power-off default channel.
  12. Apparatus (10) as claimed in claim 10, characterized in that said predetermined viewer selections include a turn OFF selection and wherein said means (32, 34) responsive to said identified viewer entered selection to identify the tuned channel and means for generating a second unique predetermined control signal for each of said identified viewer entered selections include means responsive to said identified turn OFF selection for identifying the current channel, and means responsive to said identified current channel for storing a last on channel.
  13. Apparatus as claimed in claim 12, characterized in that said means (32, 34) responsive to said identified viewer entered selection to identify the tuned channel and means for generating a second unique predetermined control signal for each of said identified viewer entered selections include means responsive to said identified turn ON selection for identifying said stored last on channel.
  14. Apparatus (10) as claimed in claim 10, characterized in that said means responsive to said identified viewer entered selection to identify the tuned channel and said means for generating a second unique predetermined control signal for each of said identified viewer entered selections include means for correlating and storing each of the plurality of predetermined channels to which the monitored receiver is tuned with said stored first and second signals.
  15. A method of determining the channel of a plurality of predetermined channels to which a monitored remotely controlled receiver is tuned comprising the steps:

       receiving one of a plurality of viewer entered selections;

       transmitting by wireless transmission a first unique predetermined control signal responsive to said received one of said viewer entered selections;

       receiving said transmitted first predetermined control signals;

       processing said first received predetermined control signals to identify said viewer entered selection;

       identifying the tuned channel responsive to said identified viewer entered selection;

       generating a second predetermined control signal for each of said identified viewer entered selections; and

       transmitting said generated second predetermined control signal by wireless transmission.
  16. A method as claimed in claim 15, characterized by the step of storing said identified tuned channel.
  17. A method as claimed in claim 15, further characterized by identifying a current time reference responsive to said identified tuned channel; and storing said identified tuned channel with said identified current time reference.
  18. A method as claimed in claim 15, characterized by the steps of identifying a broadcast satellite selection responsive to said identified viewer selection; and storing said identified broadcast satellite selection.
  19. A method as claimed in claim 15, characterized in that said steps of processing said first received predetermined control signals and identifying the tuned channel responsive to said identified viewer entered selection includes the steps of:

       storing said first and second predetermined control signals for each of said plurality of viewer entered selections;

       correlating said stored first and second predetermined control signals with a corresponding viewer entered selection;

       storing each of the plurality of predetermined channels of the monitored receiver with corresponding stored first and second signals;

       identifying an operational mode of the monitored receiver; and

       comparing said received predetermined control signals with said stored first predetermined control signals responsive to said identified operational mode.
  20. A method as claimed in claim 19, characterized by the steps of: storing a power-off default channel; identifying a turn ON viewer entered selection; detecting a power source outage to the monitored receiver; and identifying said stored power-off default channel responsive to both said identified turn ON selection and said detected power-off.
  21. A method as claimed in claim 19, characterized by the steps of: identifying a turn OFF viewer entered selection; identifying the current channel responsive to said identified turn OFF selection; and storing a last on channel responsive to said identified current channel.
Anspruch[fr]
  1. Appareil (10) pour la surveillance d'un récepteur (12) à contrôle à distance, en vue de déterminer parmi une pluralité de canaux prédéterminés le canal pour lequel le récepteur est accordé, comprenant :

    un premier moyen de transmission (20) sans fil, pour recevoir une pluralité de sélections introduites par le spectateur et pour transmettre un premier signal de contrôle prédéterminé unique, pour chacune des sélections introduites par le spectateur;

    un moyen récepteur (28) destiné à recevoir lesdits premiers signaux de contrôle prédéterminés transmis;

    un moyen de traitement (30), couplé audit moyen récepteur, pour traiter lesdits premiers signaux de contrôle prédéterminés reçus, ledit moyen de traitement comprenant un moyen d' identification de ladite sélection entrée par le spectateur, un moyen réagissant à ladite sélection introduite par le spectateur et ayant été identifiée, en vue d'identifier le canal accordé et un moyen pour produire un second signal de contrôle prédéterminé unique pour chacune desdites sélections entrées par le spectateur et ayant été identifiées; et

    un second moyen de transmission (36) sans fil, couplé audit moyen de traitement, pour recevoir et transmettre ledit second signal de contrôle prédéterminé produit.
  2. Appareil (10) selon la revendication 1, caractérisé par un moyen (46) couplé audit moyen de traitement, pour stocker lesdites données de canal accordé identifié.
  3. Appareil (10) selon la revendication 2, caractérisé en ce que ledit moyen de traitement (30) comprend en outre un moyen pour identifier une référence de temps actuelle, et un moyen (46) pour stocker ladite référence de temps actuelle identifiée avec lesdites données de canal accordé identifié.
  4. Appareil (10) selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ceque ledit moyen de traitement (30) comprend en outre un moyen réagissant à ladite sélection introduite par le spectateur et identifiée, afin d'identifier un satellite émetteur sélectionné.
  5. Appareil (10) selon la revendication 2, caractérisé par un moyen (46) couplé audit moyen de traitement (30), pour communiquer avec un ordinateur central, pour transférer lesdites données de canal accordé identifié stockées.
  6. Appareil (10) selon la revendication 1, caractérisé par un moyen à clavier (44), couplé audit moyen de traitement (30), en vue de recevoir ladite pluralité de sélections introduites par le spectateur.
  7. Appareil (10) selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que ledit récepteur (12) contrôlé à distance est un synthoniseur de télévision à câble (14).
  8. Appareil (10) selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que ledit récepteur (12) contrôlé à distance est un récepteur synthoniseur de télévision (14).
  9. Appareil (10) selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que ledit moyen de traitement (30) comprend en outre des moyens (32, 34), pour stocker chacun desdits premiers et seconds signaux de contrôle prédéterminés uniques et des moyens pour opérer une corrélation entre lesdits premiers et seconds signaux stockés et une sélection prédéterminée du spectateur.
  10. Appareil (10) selon la revendication 9, caractérisé en ce que ledit moyen d'identification de ladite sélection introduite par le spectateur comprend un moyen capteur (38) destiné à identifier un mode de fonctionnement du récepteur (12) surveillé, des moyens (32, 34) destinés à comparer lesdits premiers signaux de contrôle prédéterminés reçus audits premiers signaux de contrôle prédéterminés stockés et des moyens (32, 34) pour identifier ladite sélection prédéterminée du spectateur, ayant été corrélée.
  11. Appareil (10) selon la revendication 10, caractérisé en ce que lesdites sélections prédéterminées de spectateur comprennent une sélection MARCHE et dans lequel lesdits moyens (32, 34) réagissent à ladite sélection identifiée de spectateur pour identifier le canal accordé, et des moyens pour produire un second signal de contrôle prédéterminé unique pour chacune desdites sélections introduites par le spectateur et identifiées, comprennent des moyens (32, 34) destinés à stocker un canal présentant un défaut consistant en une chute de courant, un moyen capteur (42) destiné à détecter la chute de courant du récepteur surveillé, et un moyen réagissant à la fois à la sélection MARCHE identifiée et à ladite chute de courant détectée, pour identifier ledit canal présentant la chute de courant et stocké en mémoire.
  12. Appareil (10) selon la revendication 10, caractérisé en ce que lesdites sélections de spectateur prédéterminées comprennent une sélection ARRET et dans lequel lesdits moyens (32, 34) réagissant à ladite sélection introduite par le spectateur et identifiée, pour identifier le canal accordé, et le moyen pour produire un second signal de contrôle prédéterminé unique pour chacune desdites sélections introduite par le spectateur et ayant été identifiées, comprennent un moyen réagissant à ladite sélection ARRET identifiée afin d'identifier le canal en cours d'utilisation, et un moyen réagissant audit canal en cours identifié pour stocker le dernier canal en utilisation.
  13. Appareil selon la revendication 12, caractérisé en ce que lesdits moyens (32, 34) réagissant à ladite sélection introduite par le spectateur et identifiée, pour identifier le canal accordé, et le moyen de production d'un second signal de contrôle prédéterminé unique pour chacune desdites sélections introduites par le spectateur et identifiées comprennent un moyen réagissant à ladite sélection MARCHE identifié, pour identifier ledit dernier canal utilisé stocké en mémoire.
  14. Appareil (10) selon la revendication 10, caractérisé en ce que ledit moyen réagissant à ladite sélection introduite par le spectateur et identifié, pour identifier le canal accordé, et ledit moyen pour produire un second signal de contrôle prédéterminé unique pour chacune desdites sélections introduite par le spectateur et identifiées comprennent des moyens pour assurer la corrélation et le stockage de chacun parmi les pluralités des canaux prédéterminés, pour lesquels le récepteur surveillé est accordé avec lesdits premiers et seconds signaux stockés.
  15. Procédé de détermination, parmi une pluralité de canaux prédéterminés, du canal pour lequel un récepteur contrôlé à distance est surveillé et accordé, comprenant les étapes de :

    réception de l'une des sélections parmi la pluralité introduite par le spectateur;

    transmission, sans fil, d'un premier signal de contrôle prédéterminé unique, suite à ladite sélection reçue parmi lesdites sélections introduites par le spectateur;

    réception desdits premiers signaux de contrôle prédéterminés transmis;

    traitement desdits premiers signaux de contrôle prédéterminés reçus pour identifier ladite sélection introduite par le spectateur;

    identification du canal réagissant à ladite sélection introduite par le spectateur et identifiée;

    génération d'un second signal de contrôle prédéterminé pour chacune desdites sélections introduites par le spectateur et identifiées; et

    transmission dudit second signal de contrôle prédéterminé, par une transmission sans fil.
  16. Procédé selon la revendications 15, caractérisé par l'étape de stockage dudit canal accordé identifié
  17. Procédé selon la revendications 15, caractérisé en outre par l'identification d'une référence de temps instantanée dépendant dudit canal accordé et identifié; et stockage dudit canal accordé et identifié avec ladite référence de temps instantanée identifiée.
  18. Procédé selon la revendications 15, caractérisé par les étapes d'identification d'une sélection de satellite émetteur réagissant auxdites sélections de spectateur identifiées; et stockage de ladite sélection de satellite émetteur identifié.
  19. Procédé selon la revendications 15, caractérisé en ce que lesdites étapes de traitement desdits premier signaux de contrôle prédéterminés reçues et d'identification du canal accordé en réponse à la sélection introduite par le spectateur est identifiée à ladite sélection comprennent les étapes de :

    stockage desdits premiers et seconds signaux de contrôle prédéterminés pour chacune desdites sélections introduites par le spectateur dans ladite pluralité de sélections;

    corrélation desdits premiers et seconds signaux de contrôle prédéterminés stockés avec une sélection introduite par le spectateur correspondante;

    stockage de chaque canal parmi la pluralité des canaux prédéterminés du récepteur surveillé avec les premier et second signaux correspondant stockés;

    identification d'un mode de fonctionnement du récepteur surveillé; et

    comparaison entre lesdits signaux de commande prédéterminés reçus et lesdits premiers signaux de contrôle prédéterminés stockés en réponse audits modes de fonctionnement identifiés.
  20. Procédé selon la revendications 19, caractérisé par les étapes : stockage d'un canal présentant le défaut d'une chute de courant; identification d'une sélection MARCHE introduite par le spectateur; détection d'un manque de courant du récepteur surveillé; identification dudit canal à défaut de manque de courant stocké en fonction à la fois de la sélection MARCHE identifiée et dudit manque de courant.
  21. Procédé selon la revendications 19, caractérisé par les étapes : identification d'une sélection ARRET introduite par le spectateur; identification du canal actuel en réponse à ladite sélection ARRET identifiée; et stockage du canal en service en réponse audit canal actuel identifié.






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A Täglicher Lebensbedarf
B Arbeitsverfahren; Transportieren
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G Physik
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