Systems and methods for providing a scan transport bar

US008407737B1
(12) Ulllted States Patent
(10) Patent N0.:
Ellis
US 8,407,737 B1
(45) Date of Patent:
(54)
SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR PROVIDING
A SCAN TRANSPORT BAR
(75)
Inventor:
(73)
Asslgnee: Rovi Guides, Inc., Santa Clara, CA (US)
.
4,052,719 A
4,079,419 A
4,081,753 A
.
1/1979 Campioni
4,139,860 A
2/1979 Micic et a1.
4,150,254 A
4/1979 Schussler et al.
2
.
,
patent 1s exltertded ordadjusted under 35
Seller J
,
eyers,
4,161,728 A
U-S-C-154( ) Y674 ays-
(22) Filed:
4,162,513 A
7/1979 Beyers, Jr. etal.
10/1979 Miller
4,186,413 A
1/1980 Mortimer
4,189,781 A
2/1980 Douglas
Jul. 11, 2007
(51) lGnott-iglé/oo
(Continued)
(2006 01)
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
'
G06F13/00
(200601)
H04N 5/445
(2006.01)
CA
1196082 A1
10/1985
CA
1217269 A1
1/1987
(Continued)
(52)
US. Cl. .............. .. 725/38; 725/37; 725/39; 725/43;
(58)
Field of Classi?cation Search .................. .. 725/38,
725/52; 348/569; 348/570
725/52
OTHER PUBLICATIONS
“A New Face for Spreadsheets.” PC Magazine, Dec. 22, 1987.
See appl1cat1on ?le for complete search h1story.
(56)
r.
7/l979 Insam
4,170,782 A
(21) Appl. No.: 11/827,246
Jackson
6/1978 Scott
4,134,127 A
Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this
_
3/1978
4,096,524 A
_
( * ) Notice:
10/1977 Hutt et al.
3/1978 Siegle et al.
3/1978 Miller
4,081,754 A
Michael D. Ellis, Boulder, CO (US)
Mar. 26, 2013
(Continued)
References Cited
Primary Examiner * Robert Hance
(74) Attorney, Agent, or Firm * Ropes & Gray LLP
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
3,440,427 A
3,492,577 A
4/1969 Kammer
1/1970 Reiter et a1.
(57)
3,493,674 A
2/1970 Houghton
A scan transport bar is disclosed. The scan transport bar
includes a number of cells indicating programs within the
3,833,757 A
3,848,193 A
3,891,792 A
9/1974 Kirk, Jr. et a1.
11/1974 Martin etal.
6/1975 Kimura
3,893,049 A
3,936,868 A
scan. The scan transport bar is displayed with the currently
tuned program. The scan transport bar includes tuning
sequence numbers for allowing users to easily tune to pro
grams within the scan. A countdown timer is also provided
that indicates the amount of time until the next tune in the
7/1975 Bray
2/1976 Thorpe
3,956,745 A
3,996,583 A
4,004,085 A
5/1976 Ellis
12/1976 Hutt et a1.
1/1977 Makino et a1.
4,016,361 A
4/1977 Pandey
4,026,555 A
4,031,548 A
5/1977 Kirschner et al.
6/1977 Kato et al.
ABSTRACT
scan.
87 Claims, 8 Drawing Sheets
,_...C.2.t.3.q .... ..
5
F290
Additional
_ _
5 programs
1
Z
Add|tional
in queue
offscreen
programs
m queue
................ .7
offscreen
:
(230
9 KUSA @272
210
K240
52 WEN @
272
F260
0:05 s9 GoLF©
292
272’
73 OLN go
272
Hockey
MLB Baseball
Golf
Bicycling
Stanley Cup Playoffs
Arizona at SF
BMW Charity Pro-Am
Giro d’ltalia
US 8,407,737 B1
Page 2
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7,047,547
7,055,166
7,058,135
7,062,777
7,096,185
7,100,185
7,151,886
7,165,098
7,187,847
7,206,892
7,209,640
B1
B2
B1
B2
B2
B1
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B2
B2
B2
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B2
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11/2005
12/2005
2/2006
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2002/0075402
2002/0078453
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7,363,645
7,380,263
7,386,871
7,458,093
7,460,050
7,477,832
7,546,623
7,603,685
7,610,010
7,617,511
7,620,968
7,689,556
7,738,765
7,748,017
7,748,018
7,783,632
7,793,319
7,818,763
7,840,112
7,895,193
7,974,962
7,984,467
7,984,468
B2
B2
B1
B2
B1
B2
B1
B2
B1
B2
B2
B2
B2
B2
B2
B2
B2
B2
B2
B2
B2
B2
B2
B2
B2
B2
B2
B2
B2
9/2007
10/2007
11/2007
11/2007
12/2007
2/2008
4/2008
5/2008
6/2008
11/2008
12/2008
1/2009
6/2009
10/2009
10/2009
11/2009
11/2009
3/2010
6/2010
6/2010
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2/2011
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4/2004
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11/2004
12/2004
12/2004
12/2004
1/2005
1/2005
2/2005
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3/2005
3/2005
4/2005
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* cited by examiner
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30
Receive user input 310
to perform scan
l
—’
320
Display scan
transport bar
J
4—_—___—
330
340
YES I Tune_to next program
In sequence
NO
Receive
user_navigation
Input?
YES
in response to user
360
navigation input, tune J
to selected program
within scan
FIG. 3
US. Patent
Mar. 26, 2013
Sheet 4 of8
US 8,407,737 B1
492
Receive user input 3110
to perform scan
V
Identify next asset in 420
scan sequence
J
l
Assign tuning
sequence number
430
J
i
Retrieve information 440
from guide data
‘J
V
450
Display scan
‘J
transport bar cell
with retrieved
information
A
l
Highlight cell
460
J
i
Display countdown 370
timer
l
Tune to program
FIG. 4
480
J
US. Patent
Mar. 26, 2013
Sheet 5 of8
Tuning
Increment tuning 504
sequence number
sequence number
= max?
Assign tuning
YES
+
Reset tuning
sequence number
to 1
numbers +1
503
J
i
Assign initial
US 8,407,737 B1
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FIG. 5
306
US. Patent
Mar. 26, 2013
Sheet 8 of8
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1
2
SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR PROVIDING
A SCAN TRANSPORT BAR
vieWed, and upcoming programs of the scan. For example, a
single roW of cells may be provided that shift from one side of
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
the screen to the other. As the scan progresses, the cell for the
program vieWed earliest in the scan drops off the screen to
make room for additional cells, and a cell for a current or
This invention is directed to systems and methods for pro
viding a scan transport bar in video entertainment systems.
Interactive media guidance applications, such as interac
tive television program guides, are Well knoWn in the art. One
future program appears. In approaches Where multiple roWs
of cells are provided, a serpentine approach may be used to
rotate cells much like the rotation of players on a volleyball
knoWn guidance feature is a channel scan. Channel scan
In some embodiments, the interactive media guidance
application intelligently orders programs Within the scan. For
example, programs may be ordered based on hoW soon they
Will end. Or, as another example, programs may be sorted
court4one corner cell drops off as another enters and the
other cells shift in an “S” pattern.
features generally alloW users to initiate a tuning sequence
that proceeds from channel to channel Without requiring the
user to repetitively issue channel change commands. During
a channel scan, a guidance application pauses on each chan
nel for a period of time to alloW the user to see What is on.
Some scans do not tune sequentially, and instead alloW users
Within the scan based on other characteristics, such as
Whether they are HD, hoW much time is remaining, and
Whether the program is a rerun.
to scan programs that are, for example, only of a certain
category or based on user criteria. Regardless of the type of
The interactive media guidance application may indicate
scan, users may ?nd scanning unWieldy because, for
example, there are too many channels in the scan. Thus, What
is needed is a mechanism for alloWing users to easily navigate
20
ments, the countdoWn timer is included in the cell of the
Within a scan.
current program of the scan.
The transport control bar may also provide the user With the
ability to adjust the speed and/or direction of the scan. For
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
25
In accordance With the principles of the present invention,
systems and methods are provided for enhanced scan naviga
tion in interactive media guidance applications, such as inter
active television program guides. The invention is an
onscreen scan transport bar, provided by an interactive media
example, on-screen or remote-control based fast-forWard and
reWind buttons may be provided. In response to the user
selecting the fast-forWard button, the interactive media guid
30
guidance application, that alloWs users to navigate more eas
ily Within a scan While vieWing contents of the scan. The
ance application speeds up the time to the next tune and, if the
button continues to be pressed or selected, makes the next
tune. As the fast-forWard progresses, the countdoWn timer
advances accordingly. In response to the user selecting the
reWind button, the interactive media guidance application
transport bar includes a plurality of cells, each of Which
indicates a program that is part of the scan. The cells may
indicate programs using any suitable approach. In some
hoW much time remains before it tunes to the next program in
the scan. For example a countdoWn timer may be included in
the transport bar or elseWhere on the display. In some embodi
35
embodiments, titles, channel numbers and text descriptors of
Will reverse the scan and, if the button continues to be pressed
or selected, Will tune back to the last program in the scan. As
the reWind progresses, the countdoWn timer reverses accord
ingly.
programs are used. In other embodiments, programs may be
represented by graphics or video clips. An additional advan
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
tage of the transport bar is that the user is presented, and may
retrieve, information about programs in the scan other than
the currently tuned-to program.
Users may navigate Within the scan by selecting a program
from the transport bar. In some embodiments, the transport
bar includes a highlight or other indicator that may be posi
tioned on a cell Within the transport bar for selection. In some
The above and other features of the present invention, its
nature and various advantages Will be more apparent upon
consideration of the folloWing detailed description, taken in
conjunction With the accompanying draWings in Which:
45
FIG. 1 is a diagram of an illustrative interactive media
system in accordance With one embodiment of the present
embodiments, the interactive media guidance application
invention;
assigns tuning sequence numbers to programs associated
With cells of the transport bar. The interactive media guidance
television programming in accordance With one embodiment
application tunes to a program in response to a user entering
of the present invention;
FIG. 2 shoWs an illustrative scan transport bar overlaid onto
the tuning sequence number. The interactive media guidance
FIG. 3 is a How chart of an illustrative process for alloWing
application may assign tuning sequence numbers using any
suitable approach. For example, numbers may be assigned
users to navigate a scan using a scan transport bar, in accor
dance With one embodiment of the present invention;
uniquely to each program Within a scan. Alternatively, a lim
ited number of tuning sequence numbers may be used and
reused. Such an approach, While limiting the user’s ability to
tune to all programs in the scan, may be more user friendly for
some users as it does not require a user to attempt to remem
FIG. 4 is a ?owchart of an illustrative process for building
the initial display of the scan transport bar;
55
FIG. 5 is a How chart of an illustrative process for assigning
tuning sequence numbers to the programs of the scan
sequence in accordance With one embodiment of the present
ber more tuning indicators than practical. The use of tuning
sequence numbers to easily navigate among assets may be
used in contexts other than scanning. For example, it may be
used in transport bar embodiments for navigating Within
implementing and providing user navigation Within a scan
transport bar in accordance With one embodiment of the
DVR or VOD assets to support chaptering, or in transport bar
present invention.
invention;
FIGS. 6A-C is a How chart of an illustrative process for
embodiments for navigating playlists.
The transport bar may have one or more roWs of any suit
DETAILED DESCRIPTION
able number of cells. The number of cells may be chosen to,
for example, accommodate different cell siZes. As the scan
Although the embodiments described beloW may refer to
progresses, the cells change to indicate the current, recently
scanning channels in broadcast digital or analog television
US 8,407,737 B1
3
4
systems, it is to be clearly understood that the systems and
methods of the invention may be used With any suitable video
ment 110 may include a ?xed electronic device such as, for
or audio content (e. g., on-demand or recorded content) in any
GameCube) or a portable electronic device, such as a portable
suitable media system (e.g., satellite, on-demand, and IPTV
DVD player, a portable gaming device, a cellular telephone, a
PDA, a music player (e.g., MP3 player), or any other suitable
?xed or portable device.
In the example of FIG. 1, user equipment 110 includes at
example, a gaming system (e.g., X-Box, PlayStation, or
system) having a de?ned sequence for accessing content
sources.
As used herein, the term “tune” or “tuning” refers to the
steps of acquiring and displaying a speci?c content stream or
selection accessible by a user’s user equipment. For tradi
least control circuitry 116, display device 112, user input
device 114, and recording device 118 Which may be imple
tional analog television systems, tuning may include acquir
mented as separate devices or as a single device.
ing or locking onto a particular channel carrier frequency. For
Display device 112 may be any suitable device such as, for
digital television systems, tuning may include demodulating
the digital carrier frequency, forWard-error correction (FEC)
example, a television monitor, a computer monitor, or a dis
play incorporated in user equipment 110 (e.g., a cellular
decoding the demodulated transport stream (TS), demulti
plexing the transport stream and ?ltering and separating out
telephone or portable music player display). Display device
particular packet identi?ers (PIDs). In sWitched digital video
(SDV) systems, it may also include determining the QAM
path 122, and the displays of the interactive media guidance
application. Display device 112 may also be con?gured to
provide for the output of audio.
112 displays the media transmitted by media source 120 over
associated With a channel, or requesting a channel be
sWitched into the system. For IPTV, tuning may include open
ing a socket and joining a particular multicast group. For
recorded content, tuning includes locating content on a stor
age device (e.g., by reading a ?le access table (FAT) for
information stored on the storage device).
As also used herein, content or channel “scanning” refers
to automatically tuning through a series of content selections
Recording device 118 may include a hard drive (e.g., one or
20
more ATA, SCSI, IDE, or IEEE 1394 drives), digital video
recorder (DVR), personal video recorder (PVR), or any other
device capable of storing media content. Control circuitry
116 may access stored content (e.g., programs and movies) on
recording device 118 and cause the content to be presented on
25
or channels (e.g., an automatic progression up, doWn, or in a
random, a dynamically, or a statically determined sequence
display device 112 at any suitable time. Recording device 118
may include one or more tuners. In some embodiments,
equipment 110 receives media in the form of signals from
media source 120 over communications path 122. In practice
recording device 118 may be omitted.
Control circuitry 116 is adapted to receive user inputs from
input device 114 and execute the instructions of the interac
tive media guidance application (e. g., a 68000 series proces
sor to perform the instructions corresponding to elements of
the ?oWcharts shoWn in FIGS. 3-6c and described beloW).
there may be multiple media sources 120 and user equipment
Control circuitry 116 may include one or more tuners 130 and
through a number of channels).
FIG. 1 shoWs illustrative interactive media system 100 in
accordance With one embodiment of the invention. User
30
110, as Well as multiple communication paths 122, but only
one of each has been shoWn in FIG. 1 to avoid over-compli
35
cating the draWing.
132 (e.g., analog or digital tuners), encoders and decoders
(e.g., MPEG decoders), processors (e.g., MIPS family pro
cessors), memory 117 (e.g., RAM and hard disks), commu
nications circuitry (e. g., cable modem circuitry), input/ output
circuitry (e.g., graphics circuitry), connections to the various
Media source 120 may be any suitable media source such
as, for example, a cable system headend, satellite media dis
tribution facility, media broadcast facility, intemet protocol
devices of user equipment 110, and any other suitable com
tional VOD server or a remote recording server), Website,
ponent for providing analog or digital media programming,
program recording, and interactive media guidance features.
game service provider (e.g., for online gaming) sWitched
In some embodiments, control circuitry 116 may be included
digital video server, or any other suitable facility or system for
originating or distributing media. Media source 120 may be
con?gured to transmit signals over any suitable communica
example, part of display 112 or any other device (e.g., a
television (IPTV) headend, on-demand server (e.g., a tradi
40
as part of one of the devices of user equipment 110 such as, for
45
set-top box, television and video player).
tions path 122 including, for example, a radio-frequency
Tuners 130 and 132 may include one or more analog or
broadcast path, a satellite path, a ?ber-optic path, a cable path,
digital tuners, netWork sockets (for IPTV systems), MPEG
an Internet path, or any other suitable Wired or Wireless path.
encoders/decoders, or other suitable audio/video circuitry for
The signals may carry any suitable media such as, for
example, television programs, games, music, neWs, Web ser
vices, video, or any other suitable media. In some embodi
ments, media source 120 may include control circuitry for
executing the instructions of an interactive media guidance
application such as, for example an online interactive media
guidance application Which includes a scan feature.
User equipment 110 may include any equipment suitable
performing a scan under the control of an interactive media
50
ers 130 and 132 may also include decoding/encoding cir
cuitry for converting over-the-air or cable analog signals to
MPEG signals for storage or for decoding digital audio and
video signals. The tuning and encoding/decoding circuitry
55
for providing an interactive media experience. User equip
ment 110 may include television equipment such as a televi
sion, set-top box, recording device, video player, user input
device (e.g., remote control, keyboard, mouse, touch pad,
device suitable for providing an interactive media experience.
For example, user equipment 110 may include a DCT 2000,
2500, 5100, 6208 or 6412 set-top box provided by Motorola,
television card (PCTV). In some embodiments, user equip
may be used by user equipment 110 to receive and display,
play, or record a particular television, music, or on-demand
channel or any other desired audio and video content (e.g.,
video requested from netWork-based or local digital video
recorders).
60
touch screen or voice recognition interface), or any other
Inc. In some embodiments, user equipment 110 may include
computer equipment, such as a personal computer With a
guidance application executed by control circuitry 116. Tun
65
Control circuitry 116, under the control of interactive
media guidance application logic, may scan video by direct
ing tuners to sequentially or successively tune, acquire, and
decode any suitable content accessible by user equipment
110. For example, user equipment 110 may include tuner 130,
a ?rst analog tuner used to acquire analog television signals,
and tuner 132, a second digital tuner used to acquire and
decode digital television signals. Control circuitry 110 may
US 8,407,737 B1
5
6
store or buffer one or more frames of video from tuners 130
Scans may be initiated by the interactive media guidance
application in response to any suitable event. For example, the
interactive media guidance application may receive a key or
key sequence entered by the user With input device 114 (FIG.
and 132 to memory 117 or recording device 118.
In some embodiments, user equipment 110 may also
include graphics circuitry (e.g., incorporated Within control
circuitry 116). The graphics circuitry may include video and/
or audio transcoding circuitry, one or more graphics proces
1) associated With a “scan” instruction, or the interactive
media guidance application may receive a user selection of an
sors, memory, and various display outputs (e. g., S-Video and
appropriate option from an interactive media guidance appli
composite video outputs). The graphics circuitry may also
cation screen.
include video compression and scaling codecs or circuitry to
scale the input from tuners 130 and 132 (or from some other
Upon initiating a scan, the interactive media guidance
application Will, in some embodiments, determine Which
device, such as recording device 118) to a resolution or siZe
sources should be included in the scan. In some embodi
other than the input’s native resolution or siZe. For example,
ments, the interactive media guidance application may select
using the graphics circuitry, the input to tuners 130 and 132
the programs based on some criteria provided or selected by
may be displayed at a smaller siZe on display device 112 than
their native siZe in order for program listings information to
be presented With the tuner content on the same display
the user, or automatically employed by the interactive media
guidance application. Approaches for alloWing users to
specify scan criteria are described, for example, in Ellis et al.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,986,650, Yuen et al. U.S. Pat. No. 5,673,089,
and Kunkel et al. U.S. patent application Ser. No. ll/43 l , 143,
screen. As another example, the graphics circuitry may
present full-motion or still frame thumbnail WindoWs corre
sponding to one or more tuner inputs on the same display
screen. The graphics circuitry may scale one video input at a
time or scale more than one video input simultaneously. For
?led May 8, 2006, Which are hereby incorporated by refer
20
media guidance application may identify the programs cur
rently available from media source 120 (FIG. 1) using the data
provided by data source 124 (FIG. 1), and select the programs
example, the inputs of both of the tuners may be scaled
simultaneously so that these inputs may be displayed together
on the same display screen in real-time (perhaps With pro
gram listings information, content suggestions, or other suit
able information). Or, for example, cells of the scan transport
bar may include video frames captured from the sources
25
of media source 120 having data that satis?es the applicable
criteria (e. g., a theme, actor, Whether a program is available in
HD, etc.). The programs that the interactive media guidance
application selects may be currently available programs such
as, for example, broadcast/ satellite programs, on-demand
included in the scan.
In some embodiments, the interactive media guidance
application may provide features to the user With a client/
server approach. There may be one server for each instance of
ence herein in their entireties. For example, the interactive
programs, recorded programs, or any other current program.
30
The interactive media guidance application then, in some
embodiments, sets a scan sequence for the selected programs
user equipment 110, one for multiple instances of user equip
(e.g., orders the programs by channel number, start-time,
ment 110, or a single server may serve as a proxy for each
end-time, program length, or proximity of program to crite
ria). In some embodiments, the interactive media guidance
application determines all of the programs for one iteration of
instance of user equipment 110.
Any suitable number of users may have equipment, such as
user equipment 110, connected to media source 120 and data
35
the scan When a scan is initiated. In other embodiments, the
interactive media guidance application determines the “next”
sources 124. But for the clarity of the ?gure, the equipment of
only a single user is shoWn. The equipment of the plurality of
program of a scan just prior to making a successive tune.
Internet, or any other suitable means. In some embodiments,
The interactive media guidance application provides a scan
transport bar for alloWing a user to easily navigate Within a
scan. FIG. 2 shoWs illustrative display 200 having scan trans
port bar 210 overlaid onto television programming (i.e., a
the equipment of the plurality of users may be connected to
each other using any suitable means.
substantial portion of the program is simultaneously dis
played With the transport bar). It should be noted that in other
users may be connected to media source 120 and data source
124 using a cable television netWork, a satellite television
netWork, a local area netWork (LAN), a Wireless netWork, the
User equipment 110 may receive interactive media guid
40
45
ance application data (e.g., titles, descriptions, rating infor
embodiments, the television programming may be displayed
in a video WindoW. In this example, the interactive media
mation, etc.) from one or more data sources 124. Data sources
guidance application performs the scan in accordance With
124 may provide data for a particular type of media or for a
particular application. For example, one data source 124 may
user-supplied criteria, namely “sports,” as indicated by indi
provide data for non-on-demand media (e.g., non-pay and
pay-per-vieW programs), and another may provide data for
on-demand media (e.g., VOD programs). Or, for example, a
single data source may provide both of these types of data. For
example, one data source 124 may provide data for an inter
active television program guide. Another data source 124
cator 220.
50
Scan transport bar 210 has a number of cells, in this
example four displayed cells 230, 240, 250 and 260, but any
suitable number of cells may be used. Each cell includes
information identifying or relating to a program in the scan,
Which in this example includes title, description, channel
55
may, for example, provide data for another interactive appli
number and call letters. In some embodiments the cells may
include other program-related information, or information
that is independent of the program. For example, the interac
cation (e.g., a home shopping application). In some embodi
ments, data sources 124 may provide data to the interactive
tive media guidance application may display information
media guidance application using a client/server approach.
about the scan criteria, advertisements, or program listings. In
There may be one server per data source, one for all sources 60 embodiments Where the transport bar cells contain scan cri
teria, indicator 220 may not be necessary.
or, in some embodiments, a single server may communicate
as a proxy betWeen user equipment 110 and various data
sources 124. In some embodiments, data sources 124 may
The interactive media guidance application may build the
scan transport bar 210 by displaying one cell at a time upon
successive tunes until the maximum number of cells is
provide data as an online interactive media guidance applica
tion. In such embodiments, data source 124 may include
control circuitry for executing the instructions of the online
media guidance application.
65
reached. Alternatively, the interactive media guidance appli
cation initially displays the maximum number of cells. After
displaying the ?rst cell or initial group of cells, subsequent
US 8,407,737 B1
7
8
cells may enter the display from one side, and already-dis
played cells may shift right to left (or left to right) to make
highlight from cell 240) and the interactive media guidance
room for the neW cell. In yet another embodiment, the scan
application Would direct tuner 130 or 132 (FIG. 1) to tune to
channel 9.
transport bar includes multiple roWs of cells. In such embodi
ments, a serpentine approach may be used to rotate cells much
sequence number “3.” This indicates to the user that the scan
In the example of FIG. 2, the left-most cell contains
like the rotation of players on a volleyball court4one corner
cell drops off as another enters and the other cells shift in an
transport bar contained tWo other cells and subsequently
“S” pattern.
In other embodiments the interactive media guidance appli
cation may display indicator 280 (shoWn off screen in FIG. 2)
shifted them off the screen to make room for additional cells.
In some embodiments the scan transport bar may include a
timer 292. Timer 292 counts doWn the remaining time the
current program Will be displayed. Or, put another Way, the
to indicate that programs of the screen have already been
vieWed. Additionally, the interactive media guidance appli
time until the next tune occurs. When the scan timer times out
cation may add indicator 290 (shoWn off-screen in FIG. 2) to
(e.g., reaches Zero), the interactive media guidance applica
indicate that there are more programs in the scan. In some
tion tunes to the next source of the next program in the scan
embodiments the interactive media guidance application may
sequence and displays the next program in video area 270.
In some embodiments the interactive media guidance
application may alloW the user to set the timer duration. For
display the exact number of programs currently off the screen
in indicators 280 and 290 When such indicators are included
in the display.
FIG. 3 shoWs illustrative general process 300 for providing
example, the interactive media guidance application may
alloW the user to enter a timer duration using input device 1 14.
In other embodiments the interactive media guidance appli
a scan transport bar in accordance With some embodiments of
20
cation sets the timer duration to some predetermined default
the application receives a user input to perform a scan. At step
(e.g. ?ve seconds).
After the interactive media guidance application tunes to a
source (e.g., channel), displays the program, and includes a
cell for the program in the transport bar, the scan length timer
the present invention. Process 300 begins at step 310, Where
320 the application displays an onscreen transport bar having
one or more cells of information regarding programs on
sources that are part of the scan. In some embodiments the
25 application creates one cell at a time as the scan progresses,
begins to count doWn. The interactive media guidance appli
cation also highlights the cell associated With the program (in
forming the transport bar one cell at a time. In other embodi
ments the application creates the transport bar multiple cells
at a time (e.g., ?ve). At step 330, the interactive media guid
this example, cell 240).
that Was in cell 260 moves into cell 250. The program that Was
in cell 250 moves into cell 240. The program that Was in cell 35
240 moves into cell 230. The program in cell 230 moves off
ance application determines Whether it is time to make the
next tune in the scan (e.g., by determining that countdoWn
timer 292 (FIG. 2) hits 0). In response to determining it is time
to tune, the application directs tuner 130 or 132 (FIG. 1) to
tune to the next program in the sequence (step 340) and
returns to step 320. At step 350 the application determines
Whether a user navigation input for the transport bar is
received. The input may be, for example, the sequence num
screen. The interactive media guidance application keeps the
ber for a cell as illustrated in FIG. 2, or a command position
highlight on cell 240, but noW the program is different. Also,
timer 292 is reset. This process continues until all the pro
ing the highlight on another cell in the transport bar. At step
360 the interactive media guidance application tunes to the
After timer 292 counts doWn to Zero, the interactive media
guidance application also shifts the transport bar. In this
example, the interactive media guidance application shifts in
a neW program into cell 260 (e.g., channel 75, ESPN, Which
30
carries “NFL: Giants vs. Patriots” (not shoWn)). The program
grams in the scan are previeWed or until the user requests the
transport bar to end. In some embodiments, the scan may
40
begin again automatically after the last program in the
the present invention. The process begins at step 410, Where
sequence is vieWed.
Alternatively, the interactive media guidance application
may shift in cells only after all the programs indicated in the
current cells of the bar are displayed. In such an embodiment,
selected program, and returns to step 320.
FIG. 4 shoWs an illustrative process 400 for generating the
scan transport bar in accordance With some embodiments of
45
the interactive media guidance application receives a user
input to perform a scan. In response, the interactive media
guidance application identi?es the next asset (i.e., program or
the application moves the highlight and timer over to the next
source) in the scan timing sequence (step 420). At step 430,
cell and starts the timer again in the next cell Without shifting
the interactive media guidance application assigns a scan
tuning sequence number to alloW quick navigation to assets
Within the scan. At step 440, the interactive media guidance
application retrieves information from its program guide data
(e.g., program guide data stored in memory 117 of FIG. 1) for
populating the cell of the scan transport bar for the asset. The
in more programs. Once all the programs are displayed for the
current set of cells another set of program cells are shifted in.
50
For example, four programs may be shifted into transport bar
210.
At any time While the scan transport bar is displayed the
user may easily navigate to a program in the scan in a number
of different Ways. The user may highlight a cell using navi
information may include, for example, identifying indicia for
55
gation keys (e.g., right and left arroWs) on the input device
or unrelated information (e.g., advertisements). At step 450,
the interactive media guidance application displays the scan
114. Or, the user may select a program to vieW in video area
270 by inputting a sequence number 272 into input device 1 14
(FIG. 1). In such embodiments, the user may access addi
tional information about programs in the scan (Whether tuned
transport control bar cell With the retrieved information. The
60
or not) by highlighting and selecting cells of the transport bar.
In the example of FIG. 2, the interactive media guidance
application places sequence number 272 at the tops of the
cells. Alternatively, the application may put the sequence
number at the bottom of the screen or anyWhere else inside the
cells. In response to the user inputting sequence number
“three,” cell 230 Would become highlighted (removing the
the source and program (title, source name, call letters, etc.),
interactive media guidance application highlights the cell
(step 460), displays the countdoWn timer for the cell (step
470), directs the tuner (e.g., tuner 130 or 132 (FIG. 1)) to tune
to the asset (step 480), and returns to step 420 to display the
next cell.
65
The steps of FIG. 4 may be performed in any suitable order
depending on the chosen embodiment for displaying the scan
transport control bar. For example, steps 420-450 may be
performed for each cell of multiple cells before the interactive