null  User manual
US007493078B2
(12) Ulllted States Patent
(10) Patent N0.:
Perlman
(54)
(75)
(45) Date of Patent:
5,608,412 A *
3/1997 Welles et a1. .............. .. 342/457
WIRELESS SERVICES
5,640,386 A
6/1997 Wiedeman
Inventor:
Stephen G. Perlman, Palo Alto, CA
(Us)
.
(73) Ass1gnee: OnLlve, Inc., Palo Alto, CA (US)
.
.
Nome:
.
.
5,654,747 A
8/1997 Ottesen et al.
5,732,076 A
5,742,680 A
3/1998 Ketseoglou et al'
4/1998 Wilson
5,815,146 A
9/1998 Youden et al.
5,870,428 A
2/1999
B
3/1999
Chu et al.
5,870,665 A
.
5,890,055
A
sublectlo any dlsclalmeritheterm Ofthls
patent 15 extended or adjusted under 35
5,915,020 A *
5,959,592 A
U.S.C. 154(b) by 29 days.
6,009,060 A
(21) Appl.NO.Z 10/315,694
(
)
F1 d:
1e
D
(65)
6/1999 Tilford etal. ............ .. 455/3.02
9/1999 PetruZZelli
12/1999 Kim
7/2000 GladWin et al.
6,132,306 A
10/2000 Trompower
6,148,142 A
11/2000 Anderson
.10 2002
ec
’
(Continued)
PI‘IOI‘ Publication Data
US 2004/0110463 A1
tt t l.
21999 Uglriiajjaa
6,092,117 A
22
Feb. 17, 2009
ANTENNAASSEMBLY FOR SATELLITE AND
.
(*)
US 7,493,078 B2
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
Jun. 10, 2004
EP
1 094 642 AZ
(51) Int. Cl.
40001
(Continued)
H04H 20/71
H04H 40/00
(2008.01)
(200801)
OTHER PUBLICATIONS
(52)
H043 7/185
(2006-01)
US. Cl. ................... .. 455/3.01; 455/12.1; 455/427;
Jack Boulware, “Power Houses”, Wired Nov. 2002, Issue 10.11,
(electronic copy, 11 pages), Wired Digital, 1110, US
(58)
Field of Classi?cation Search .............. .. 455/3.02,
455/306
455/3.04, 12.1, 513, 428, 429, 450, 427,
455/430, 13.1, 3.01, 3.06
See application ?le for complete search history.
(56)
References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
4,539,706 A
5,058,199 A
5,129,096 A
9/1985 Mears et a1.
10/1991 Grube
7/1992 Burns
74 A”
A
I
F- iTh L
Om
fB d1 J
gerlznaoliney’ gen ’ or m”
e aw
Ceso m ey '
(57)
ABSTRACT
An antenna assembly includes a re?ector dish and a unit
attached at a distal end of an arm to receive satellite signals
re?ected from the re?ector dish. The unit includes at least one
loW-noise block converter (LNB) to receive the satellite sig
5,222,246 A *
6/1993
5,408,679 A
4/1995 Masuda
5,509,028 A
4/1996 Marque-Pucheu
5,574,979 A
.
Primary ExamineriTllahun B Gesesse
Wolkstein ................ .. 455/13.4
nals and a Wireless communication transceiver that operates
to transmit and receive video and data information Within a
surrounding range.
48 Claims, 6 Drawing Sheets
11/1996 West
III)
0 SATELLITE CARRIER
O WIRELESS DATA/
VIDEO (RECEIVE)
o
0
0
O
POWER TO LNBS / XCVR
LNB CONFIGURATION SIGNALS
XCVR COMMAND / CONTROL SIGNALS
WIRELESS DATA / VIDEO (SEND)
(E.G., DSL, CABLE SERVICES
PAY-PER-VIEW ON-DEMAND
INTERNET ACCESS, ETC.)
NETWORK
SATELLITE / 30
INTERFACE
RECEIVER
US 7,493,078 B2
Page 2
US. PATENT DOCUMENTS
2002/0028655 A1
_
6,160,993 A *
12/2000 W1ls0n .................... .. 455/12.1
6,166,703 A * 12/2000 Muterspaugh -
6,188,571 B1
~343/840
2/2001 Rofgfmti er a1
3/2002 Rosener et a1.
2002/0038459 A1*
3/2002
gun/0046285 A1
4/2002 Yasushietal‘
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6,205,185 B1*
3/2001 Kaj1wa1a .................. .. 375/316
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6,263,503 B1
7/2001 Margulls
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2002/0106119 A1
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Green et a1. ............. .. 455/3.02
6,347,216 B1
2/2002 Marko
2002/0115409 A1
6,397,038 B1
5/2002 Greén eta1~
2002/0152303 A1* 10/2002 Dispensa .................. .. 709/224
6,404,775 B1
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2002/0154055 A1
2002/0181189 A1
10/2002 Davis
12/2002 Yang etal.
6,424,817 B1
7/2002 Heldden et a1. ........... .. 455/3.02
gun/0188955 A1
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6430233 131*
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3/2003
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2003/0124977 A1
4/2003 Tsao et a1.
7/2003 Smith et a1.
2003/0139150 A1*
7/2003 Rodriguez etal. .......... .. 455/90
6,473,858 B1
6,584,080 B1
13111011 er a1- -------------- -- 375/316
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6/2003 GanZ eta1~
6,597,891 B2
7/2003 Tmlmwyet a1~
9/2003
9/2003
10/2003
Schmidl et a1. ........... .. 455/450
6,600,730 B1*
6,614,768 B1
6,650,869 B2*
7/2003 Davis et a1. ............... .. 370/343
9/2003 Mahany eta1~
11/2003 Kellyet a1. .............. .. 455/13.2
2003/0181162 A1
2003/0181229 A1*
2003/0199247 A1
Matula
Forster et a1. .......... .. 455/575.7
Striemer
6,671,186 B2
12/2003 KOPf
2003/0207684 A1* 11/2003 Wesel ....................... ..455/427
6,684,058 B1
V2004 Karacaoglu eta1~
2003/0216144 A1
6690657 B1
6,690,926 B2
2/2004 Lauét 912/2004 Tawll et 91
2003/0220072 A1* 11/2003 Cof?n, 1111 ............... .. 455/3.02
2003/0231774 A1
12/2003 Schildbach et :11.
6,728,541 B2
4/2004 Ohkura eta1~
2003/0234804 A1
6,741,841
6,745,050
6,757,913
6,788,882
5/2004
6/2004
6/2004
9/2004
2004/0034865
2004/0094194
2004/0110469
2004/0121648
B1
B1
B2
B1
Mltchell
Forsythe etal
KIIOX
Geer er a1~
A1
A1
A1
A1
11/2003 Roese et al.
12/2003 Parker etal.
2/2004
5/2004
6/2004
6/2004
Barrett et a1.
Aldoretta et a1.
Judd et a1.
Voros
6,811,113 B1*
11/2004 Silanskyet a1. ............. .. 244/30
2004/0125820 A1
6,832,071 B1
12/2004 Nakamura eta1~
2004/0203694 A1
10/2004 Wong et a1.
6836658 B1
12/2004 511F911 eta1~
2004/0204102 A1*
10/2004 Kuehnel et a1. ........ .. 455/562.1
2005/0286448 A1
2006/0098592 A1
2006/0183421 A1
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5/2006 Proctor, Jr. et a1.
8/2006 Proctoretal.
6,842,617
6,845,090
6,847,625
6,850,285
6,853,197
6,856,786
B2
B1
B2
B2
B1
B2
6,886,029 B1
6,925,285 B2
1/2005
1/2005
V2005
2/2005
2/2005
2/2005
*
6,968,153 B1
7,072,627 B2*
wllllams
Takabatake eta1~
Helnonen eta1~
Eaton etal.
McFarland et a1.
Belostotsky et a1.
4/2005 Pecus et a1.
8/2005
.
KlIn ........................ .. 455/3.02
.
11/2005 He1n0nen et a1.
7/2006 Cof?n, 111 ................. .. 455/137
7,215,660 B2
5/2007 Perlman
7,239,698 B2*
7/2007 Phillips et a1. ....... .. 379/413.03
7,289,478 B1
10/2007 Kim et a1.
EP
7/2004 Rios
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
1202472
50002
JP
2001111575
4/2001
JP
2001244864
9/2001
WO
W0
W0
00/04840
W0 02/078369 A
WO 30032666
* cited by examiner
8/2000
10/2002
400%
US. Patent
Feb. 17, 2009
Sheet 1 of6
~34
US 7,493,078 B2
US. Patent
Feb. 17, 2009
Sheet 2 0f 6
US 7,493,078 B2
US. Patent
Q,5
Feb. 17, 2009
Sheet 3 of6
US 7,493,078 B2
4/
»>
K 60a
(U i‘ 0) [60D
(U i 0) 60¢
((< il )))
—<
FIG 4
2 GHz /
SATELLITE
1.2 GHz
\ WIRELESS XCVR.
FIG. 5
2-WAY DATA SOURCE
MEDIA SOURCE
CABLE TV, ETC.
US. Patent
Feb. 17, 2009
Sheet 4 of6
US 7,493,078 B2
11b
16
I8
17 Q L ‘Q ) ) 17
2O
0 POWER TO LNBS / XCVR
:
. LNB CONFIGURATION SIGNALS
\/|DEO (RECEWE)
Q XCVR COMMAND / CONTROL SIGNALS
O WIRELESS DATA / VIDEO (SEND)
(E.G., DSL, CABLE SERVICES
PAY-PER-VIEW ON-DEMAND
INTERNET ACCESS, ETC.)
NETWORK
INTERFACE
SATELLITE f 30
RECEIVER
——<DSL
FIG. 6
US. Patent
Feb. 17, 2009
US 7,493,078 B2
Sheet 5 0f 6
( 150
r68
66
§%
67
64
/ 60d
(6152?)
Z-WAY DATA SOURCE
MEDI
URCE
CABL
FIG. 7
, ETC.
US. Patent
Feb. 17, 2009
Sheet 6 of6
US 7,493,078 B2
W110
Solar Panel
115
77
US 7,493,078 B2
1
2
ANTENNA ASSEMBLY FOR SATELLITE AND
WIRELESS SERVICES
mounted opposite a parabolic antenna dish. The LNB may be
con?gured, for example, to detect the horizontal or vertical
polarized signals re?ected from the antenna dish. The LNB
RELATED APPLICATIONS
This application is related to co-pending applications Ser.
No. 10,315,788, ?led Dec. 10, 2002, entitled, “MASS STORAGE
REPOSITORY FOR A WIRELESS NETWORK”; Ser. No. 10,315,460,
connects to the satellite receiver unit or set-top box located
inside the subscriber’s home via a coaxial cable.
In some receiving systems tWo LNBs are provided to
receive both channel sets so that multiple television sets
Within a home may vieW different program channels simul
?led Dec. 10, 2002, entitled, “APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR
WIRELESS VIDEO GAMING”; and Ser. No. 10,315,624, ?led Dec.
tems are found in US. Pat. Nos. 6,424,817 and 5,959,592.
10, 2002, entitled, “WIRELESS NETWORK PROVIDING DISTRIBUTED
VIDEO/DATA SERVICES”; each of Which is assigned to the
is that they generally require an unobstructed line-of-sight
taneously. Examples of different satellite data receiving sys
One of the problems With satellite communication systems
assignee of the present application.
betWeen the orbiting satellite and the receiving antenna dish.
In the United States, for instance, satellites typically orbit
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
above the equator and are therefore “seen” by the antenna
above the southern horizon. A home in a densely populated
The present invention relates generally to the ?eld of trans
mission of digital data; more speci?cally, to satellite commu
metropolitan region, hoWever, may have its vieW of the south
nication systems and netWorks for distributing video data and
for providing interactive services to geographically dispersed
20
clients.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
ern sky obstructed by a tall building. In other cases, apartment
dWellers living in units on the north side of a building may be
precluded from mounting an antenna anyWhere to receive
satellite transmissions from a satellite orbiting above the
southern horizon.
In other cases, landlords Who oWn apartment buildings
containing multiple units may be reluctant to permit tenants
Satellite communications systems have been Widely
deployed over the past several decades. By Way of example,
Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) services have increasingly
expanded to provide a variety of video program services
25
cable Wires through the exterior and interior of the building.
Routing of Wires is also a problem in homes, particularly
When multiple televisions are to receive programming ser
vices. The line-of-sight requirement and the problem of
directly to people’ s homes, apartments, and ol?ces. In a con
ventional direct-to-home (DTH) satellite communication
30
system, one or more telecommunications satellites in geosyn
chronous orbit receive media content from a broadcast
“uplink” center. The satellite then radiates microWave signal
beams to send the media content across a geographical region
of the planet. For example, in the case of satellite service
providers like DirectTV® video programs are broadcast
across a Wide region of the continental United States from
35
several satellites in geosynchronous orbit above the Earth’s
equator.
Subscriber homes in the US. typically utilize an outdoor
40
antenna dish mounted to their roof or an exterior Wall to
receive the satellite-transmitted signals. A satellite receiver or
set-top box Within the home is connected to the antenna for
45
is Well knoWn, the satellite receiver may include decompres
sion, decryption, decoder, demodulation and other circuitry
for converting the received signals into a format (e.g., high
de?nition television (HDTV), standard de?nition television
(SDTV), etc.) suitable for vieWing on a display device by the
subscriber. For example, for direct-to-home digital satellite
carriers Which conform to Digital Video Broadcast (DVB)
multi-dWelling units (MDUs) have therefore limited the num
ber of homes that can receive digital services from satellite
vendors.
An additional problem that satellite vendors generally face
is the dif?culty of providing interactive data services to their
customers. Some specialized satellite service providers offer
tWo-Way data services, but these systems require the sub
scriber to purchase a fairly large antenna dish (e.g., 3-5 feet
Wide) With increased poWer demands for uplink transmission
to the satellite. Another draWback is the inherent latency
associated With signal transmission from Earth to the orbiting
satellite, and then back doWn to Earth. This latency can pro
duce sluggish system performance as compared to terrestrial
cable systems, for example, When the user Wants to access a
acquiring the satellite carrier signal and displaying the video
program content received from the satellite transmission. As
to mount multiple antenna dishes on their structure or route
Web page containing large amounts of content and data.
Thus, there is a pressing need for neW apparatus and meth
ods for distributing satellite services and video content to the
general population on an expanded basis. There is also a need
for a communication netWork that provides additional ser
vices, such as interactive data services, to subscribers at a
50
competitive cost and at a high performance level.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
standards, the satellite receiver is con?gured to receive a set of
parameters that may include the polarization, symbol rate,
forWard error correcting (FEC) rate and frequency to acquire
the satellite digital carrier. US. Pat. Nos. 6,473,858, 6,430,
55
233, 6,412,112, 6,323,909, 6,205,185, and 5,742,680
explanation and understanding only.
describe various conventional satellite communication sys
tems that operate in this manner.
Satellite transmissions are often grouped in channel sets,
The present invention Will be understood more fully from
the detailed description that folloWs and from the accompa
nying draWings, Which hoWever, should not be taken to limit
the invention to the speci?c embodiments shoWn, but are for
60
FIG. 1 is a conceptual diagram of a satellite communica
tion system in accordance With one embodiment of the
Wherein each channel set spans a certain transmit band. The
present invention.
channel sets are typically isolated by different electromag
netic polarizations. For instance, channel sets may be trans
mitted With linear polarization (i.e., horizontal or vertical) or
circular polarization (i.e., left-hand or right-hand). These
FIG. 2 is a perspective vieW of an antenna assembly
according to one embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 3 is a more detailed vieW of the components compris
channel sets are detected on a polarization-sensitive antenna
ing the signal unit of the antenna assembly shoWn in FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is an example shoWing an application of the present
assembly through a loW-noise block converter (LNB)
invention to a multi-dWelling unit.
65
US 7,493,078 B2
3
4
FIG. 5 illustrates the spectrum band utilized for cable com
munications With the Wireless transceiver in accordance With
one embodiment of the present invention.
by one or more conductors 20 to a netWork interface unit 23 or
satellite receiver 24 Within home 14. Receiver 24, for
example, converts the satellite transmission signals into a
format for display on television 26.
With reference to FIG. 3, there is shoWn an exemplary
embodiment of signal unit 18 in accordance With the present
invention comprising a pair of loW-noise block converters
FIG. 6 depicts the type of information and signals trans
mitted betWeen the netWork interface/ satellite receiver device
and antenna assembly according to one embodiment of the
present invention.
FIG. 7 shoWs the example of FIG. 4 optionally including a
mass storage repository according to another embodiment of
the present invention.
(LNBs) 72 & 73 and a Wireless transceiver 71 mounted in a
case or housing 76. Wireless transceiver 71 has an associated
antenna 77 to effectuate Wireless transmissions. Feed horns
FIG. 8 shoWs an alternative embodiment of the present
invention, Wherein a Wireless transceiver is incorporated in a
distribution box.
FIG. 9 shoWs an example of a Wireless transceiver func
tioning as a free-standing repeater in accordance With an
embodiment of the present invention.
re?ector dish 16. Alternatively, the signal unit 18 may utiliZe
DETAILED DESCRIPTION
ciated pair of Wireless transceivers, each having its oWn Wire
74 and 75 associated With LNBs 72 & 73, respectively, pro
trude from a side of housing 76 that is positioned nearest to
a single feed horn coupled to one or more LNBs. Other
embodiments may include multiple transceivers, each having
its oWn associated Wireless antenna. For instance, an altema
tive embodiment may comprise a pair of LNBs With an asso
less antenna.
The present invention is a pioneering advancement in the
?eld of multimedia communication systems. By integrating a
Wireless transceiver into a satellite antenna assembly, the
present invention provides, for the ?rst time, a Wireless local
20
mission signals. Cable 20 connects With the LNBs and trans
ceiver 71. (It should be understood that Within the context of
area netWork (WLAN) Which both distributes a Wide range of
video services (digitally-encoded broadcast services, pay
per-vieW television, and on-demand video services, etc.) and
provides tWo-Way (i.e., interactive) data services to individu
this disclosure, the term “cable” is used to refer to one or more
25
30
35
ent implementations and applications. Therefore, the folloW
ing description should not be considered as limiting the scope
of the invention.
With reference to FIG. 1, a conceptual diagram of a satel
lite communication system in accordance With the present
invention is shoWn comprising a telecommunications satellite
12 positioned in a ?xed, geosynchronous orbital location in
the sky over the particular geographical region of the Earth.
Satellite 12 utiliZes standard solar panels to generate poWer
It is appreciated that in other embodiments unit 18 may
comprise a single LNB and a Wireless transceiver. In still
other embodiments, unit 18 may include four or more LNBs
and one or more Wireless transceivers mounted together.
According to one embodiment of the present invention,
Wireless transceiver 71 operates in compliance With IEEE
invention. However, persons having ordinary skill in the sat
ellite and communication arts Will appreciate that these spe
ci?c details may not be needed to practice the present inven
tion. It should also be understood that the basic architecture
and concepts disclosed can be extended to a variety of differ
Wires, and that such Wires may comprise coaxial Wires of a
type knoWn as RG-6, or a similar type.)
als located across a Wireless coverage region.
In the folloWing description numerous speci?c details are
set forth, such as frequencies, circuits, con?gurations, etc., in
order to provide a thorough understanding of the present
In this example, LNBs 72 & 73 may be con?gured to
receive horiZontally and vertically polariZed satellite trans
40
speci?cation 802.11a, 802.1 lb, 802.11g, etc., to provide
high-speed netWorking and communication capability to
computers, televisions, and other devices compatibly
equipped to receive such Wireless signals. Other embodi
ments may operate in compliance With variant speci?cations
that are compatible With IEEE speci?cation 802.11a,
802.11b, or 802.11g, and Which provide for Wireless trans
missions at high-bandWidth video data rates (e.g., about 2
Mbps or greater). For the purposes of the present application,
IEEE speci?cation 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, and Indus
trial, Scienti?c, and Medical (ISM) band netWorking proto
45
cols are denoted as “802.11x”. Other non-ISM bands Wireless
netWork protocols could be utiliZed as Well. Transceiver 71
for the satellite’s resources Which includes one or more tran
sponders that provide telecommunication links (i.e.,
facilitates netWork connectivity to users located Within a sur
“uplinks” and “doWnlinks”) to Earth-based stations and
rounding range, alloWing them to receive satellite broadcast
receivers.
For example, FIG. 1 shoWs a large antenna 10 that broad
programs, pay-per-vieW services, on-demand video, Internet
50
access, and other interactive data services, thus obviating the
casts video programs from an uplink center to satellite 12.
need for a Wired connection to individual users.
This uplink signal is represented by arroW 11a. Satellite 12
In the example of FIG. 1, transceiver 71 operates over the
license-free 5 GHZ band (e.g., 5725 MHZ to 5850 MHZ) to
transmits the broadcast signal (e.g., doWnlink 11b) across a
coverage region of the Earth, Where it may be received at a
home 14 equipped With an outdoor antenna assembly coupled
to electronics for displaying the video programs. The antenna
assembly, Which is also shoWn in FIG. 2, includes a support
provide upWards of 54 Mbps of bandWidth in good transmis
55
miles, depending on impediments, materials, and line-of
sight. 802.11a has tWelve channels (eight in the loW part of the
21 attached to a parabolic or concave re?ector dish 16, Which
is aimed to the location in the sky Where satellite 12 is posi
tioned in geosynchronous orbit above the earth. Support 21
may include a base plate 13 to facilitate mounting of the
antenna assembly to the exterior (e.g., roof) of house 14. An
arm 15, attached to either dish 16 or support 21, extends to
position a signal unit 18 at a focal point of the re?ector dish
16. An antenna 77 for Wireless transmissions is also shoWn
attached to unit 18. Unit 18 converts the electromagnetic
radiation re?ected from dish 16 into electrical signals carried
sion conditions. IEEE speci?cation 802.11a alloWs for a high
speed Wireless transmission of raW data at indoor distances of
up to several hundred feet and outdoor distances of up to ten
60
65
band for indoor use and four in the upper for outdoor use)
Which do not overlap, alloWing for dense installations.
According to the present invention, individual users may
receive transmissions from transceiver 71 using hardWare
equipment available from a number of vendors. For example,
Proxim, Inc. manufactures and sells the Harmony 802.11a
PCI card that provides Wireless broadband netWorking at a
data rate of 54 Mbps.
US 7,493,078 B2
6
5
In another embodiment, transceiver 71 operates in compli
as a repeater on an around-the-clock basis. Solar cell panel
ance With IEEE speci?cation 802.11g over the license-free
2.46 GHZ band.
115 may be dimensioned su?iciently large enough, and may
be coupled to a storage cell battery (not shoWn) mounted on
As shoWn in FIG. 1, Wireless signals 17 may be transmitted
the pole or in back of the panel so as to provide poWer “24x7”
to the antenna assembly based on minimum daily solar radia
from unit 18 of the antenna assembly mounted on house 14 to
a nearby laptop computer 25 installed With a PC card or a PCI
tion averages for the particular geographic location.
card that is 802.11x compliant. Similar equipment may be
FIG. 4 shoWs a large apartment building 50 With a satellite
installed into slots of a personal computer 38 or a television
37 to provide connectivity to netWork services in a house 36
antenna assembly that includes a re?ector dish 56 and a
Wireless transceiver mounted in signal unit 58. (The electron
ics that provides poWer and command/control signals for the
antenna assembly is not shoWn in FIG. 4 for clarity reasons.)
that is located Within the neighboring range of the Wireless
transceiver, despite the fact that house 36 does not have a
satellite antenna dish or is not otherWise Wired to receive such
services. This means, for example, that someone may access
A series of repeaters 60a-60e are located on various ?oors
their electronic mail from any location Within the full extent
to/from the transceiver of unit 58 to each of the multiple
apartment units Within building 50. A tWo-Way data service
connection (e.g., DSL) is provided to an 802.11x Wireless
throughout the building to distribute signal transmissions
of the Wireless netWork since the transmission signals pass
easily through Walls and glass.
transceiver/repeater 60e. Thus, subscribers located anyWhere
In the example of FIG. 1, house 36 may be located outside
of the signal range of Wireless transmission signals 17, but
Within the range of the Wireless signals 27 from the trans
ceiver mounted in unit 28 of antenna assembly 26 on top of a
neighboring house 34. In such a case, the transceiver Within
20
of building 50 (or to anyone in a neighboring region reached
via roof-hopping signal repeating). In a metropolitan region a
single satellite antenna assembly With integrated Wireless
unit 28 may function as a repeater or hub for house-to-house
transmissions; that is, to relay the media content and interac
tive services provided at home 14 to users at home 36 and
elseWhere. Through the use of transceivers 71 functioning as
Within building 50 may connect to the DSL service via this
Wireless transmission. Similarly, tWo-Way data service con
nectivity is provided to others Within the range of the trans
ceiver of unit 58 of the antenna assembly mounted on the roof
25
transceiver can therefore distribute high bandWidth services
repeaters, content and tWo-Way data services may be distrib
to residents of neighboring buildings, even though those
uted to end users located at considerable distances from the
neighboring buildings may not have a satellite antenna or be
otherWise Wired to receive those services.
original service connection source. In other Words, a neigh
borhood of antenna assemblies that include Wireless trans
ceivers can be used to create a netWork that provides distrib
Additionally, Wireless transceiver/repeater 60e may be
30
connected to receive video content from some media source,
uted video program and interactive data connectivity. Homes
installed With an antenna assembly according to the present
e.g., a Digital Versatile Disk (“DVD”) player, or cable televi
invention may still act as a house-to-house repeater for the
transceiver/repeater 60e may include a cable modem
equipped With an 802.11x transmitter. These alternative or
neighborhood as part of a “roof-hopping” scheme, even
though they may not have an immediate need for Wireless
communications, Later on, those homes may simply add the
sion programming. In the later case, for instance, Wireless
35
additional services may then be distributed in a similar man
ner described above.
appropriate hardWare (e.g., Wireless communication card,
FIG. 1 also illustrates another extension of the netWork
netWork interface box, etc.) to take advantage of the addi
tional services such as interactive data provided by Wireless
provided by the present invention, Wherein media content
connectivity.
It is appreciated that Wireless transceiver 71 need not be
physically located on or inside of signal unit 18. In FIG. 8, for
example, a Wireless transceiver connected to Wireless antenna
111 is incorporated into a distribution box 110. Distribution
box 110 may splice into cable 20 at any point, and therefore
may be remotely located some distance from the antenna
40
may be distributed to an 802.11x compliant receiver unit 40
installed in the trunk of an automobile 39, or other mobile
vehicle. Unit 40, for instance, may include a hard disk drive to
store video programs received from Wireless transmission
signals 17 When automobile 40 is parked, say, overnight in a
garage. These programs can then be vieWed by rear-seat pas
assembly comprising re?ector 16, arm 15, and signal unit 18.
sengers on a trip the folloWing day.
With continued reference to the example of FIG. 1, tWo
Way data service is shoWn being provided by cable 19 con
In addition to providing a point for Wireless transmissions,
nected to a netWork interface unit 23. Cable 19 may provide a
45
direct subscriber line (DSL) connection, for instance, Which
distribution box 110 may also function as a splitter or sWitch
ing device for the signals carried on cable 20.
It should be further understood that according to the
present invention, the individual satellite antenna assemblies
need not be located on homes or other buildings; instead, they
may be positioned on existing telephone poles, or mounted on
other structures With dedicated, stand-alone hardWare. Addi
tionally, a plurality of stand-alone Wireless transceivers that
function solely as signal repeaters may be distributed in a
50
range of Wireless signals 17. Thus, according to the present
invention a user of laptop computer 25, Who may be located
outdoors or at a nearby cafe, can access the Internet, Watch a
55
associated solar cell panel 115. Solar cell panel 115 provides
poWer to support the 802.11x Wireless transceiver operating
pay-per-vieW ?lm, or receive a multitude of other multimedia
services.
Alternatively, netWork interface unit 23 may be connected
to a cable broadcast service provider (e.g., cable television)
geographic region or throughout a large building Wherever
poWer is available to provide netWork connectivity that
extends throughout the region or area.
For example, FIG. 9 shoWs a free-standing antenna assem
bly according to one embodiment of the present invention.
The antenna assembly, Which includes a signal unit 18 With
Wireless antenna 77 positioned at the distal end of arm 15
opposite re?ector 16, is mounted on a pole 113 along With an
may then be distributed to subscribers in the surrounding
through an Ethernet or Universal Serial Bus (USB), or similar
connection, thereby enabling Wireless access of those cable
60
services to subscribers Within the range of the Wireless net
Work. This means that a subscriber may Watch their favorite
television program or a pay-per-vieW movie from a laptop
computer or television While outdoors, in a cafe, or in some
65
the need for a direct-Wired cable connection. Distribution of
cable services may be implemented With a cable modem
device that includes an 802.11x transmitter. It is appreciated
other building, Within the Wireless coverage region Without
US 7,493,078 B2
7
8
that additional circuitry for encrypting the video and data
grams, etc.). This content can be accumulated over time in a
information may also be included to thwart pirates and inter
“trickle feed” manner from Wireless transceiver 66, Which
lopers.
may receive content from various sources such as satellite
Network interface unit 23 provides poWer to and commu
nicates With transceiver 71 of unit 18 via cable 20. Although
the embodiment of FIG. 1 shoWs netWork interface unit 23
connected to satellite receiver 24, alternatively both devices
may be integrated in to a single device 30, as shoWn in FIG. 6.
In either case, the netWork interface unit communicates With
the transceiver using spectrum that is not otherWise utiliZed in
cable 20. Since satellite receivers tend to operate in the spec
trum from about 1.2 GHZ to about 2 GHZ, the spectrum beloW
1.2 GHZ, doWn to about 40 MHZ, may be used for commu
nications With the Wireless transceiver. This spectrum band is
illustrated in FIG. 5.
It should also be understood that although FIG. 1 shoWs a
direct connection betWeen satellite receiver 24 and television
26, alternatively, video services may be provided to any
802.1lx compliant television (e.g., installed With an 802.1 lx
adapter card) located Within the house or surrounding Wire
transmissions, media players, cable television, Internet, etc.
Over time, repository unit 64 may store such large volumes of
video programming. Anyone having the capability to access
the Wireless netWork can pay a fee to receive a particular
shoW, movie, or vieWable program stored in repository unit 64
on an on-demand basis.
10
With unit 64 to provide commands such as “pause”, “fast
forWard”, “reWind”, etc. Indeed, because of the large storage
space available, live broadcast programs available through
the WLAN described previously may be manipulated using
such commands, thereby providing enhanced vieWing ?ex
ibility to the user. Hard disk drive failures, Which often plague
in-home digital video recorders (DVRs), are not a problem
20
less coverage region.
FIG. 6 depicts the type of information and signals carried
by cable 20 betWeen netWork interface/ satellite receiver
device 30 and unit 18 of the antenna assembly of the present
invention. Many techniques are Well knoWn in the electronics
and communications arts for transmitting such signals, such
as QPSK and QAM modulation. As shoWn, satellite signals
received by the antenna assembly are provided to device 30
tory unit can be serviced, at Which time the failed drive can be
Repository unit 64 may also function as an archive storage
25 apparatus for individuals Within a local area to utiliZe as a
storage facility for back-ups of personal data. For example,
personal data such as photographs, important documents,
books, articles, etc. may be transferred into a reserved space
in the RAID. Various Well-knoWn security features may be
30
poWer to the LNBs and transceiver, LNB con?gurations sig
nals, transceiver command and control signals, and Wireless
data via cable 20. By Way of example, FIG. 6 shoWs device 30
having a DSL connection that may provide Internet access to
users Within the surrounding range of the transceiver of unit
18.
FIG. 7 illustrates the MDU example of FIG. 4, but With a
specialiZed mass storage repository unit 64 installed on the
rooftop of building 50. Repository unit 64 comprises a num
ber of hard disk drives (HDDs) having a large total storage
capacity (e. g., 10 terabytes) arranged as a RAID (“Redundant
Array of Inexpensive Disks”) 65 that functions as a media
because of the redundancy protection built into the RAID.
Should a particular hard disk drive fail during operation, the
remaining disk drive units simply take over until the reposi
replaced.
via cable 20.Additionally, Wireless transmissions received by
transceiver 71 are coupled to device 30. Device 30 provides
Additionally, because of the interactive capabilities of the
Wireless netWork, the subscriber or user may communicate
35
built into repository unit 64 to maintain personal security of
the backed-up data for each user.
Repository unit 64 may communicate via Wireless trans
mission utiliZing Wireless transceiver 66 connected to a Wire
less antenna 68 mounted on top of unit 64. Alternatively, unit
64 may be coupled With signal unit 58 via a Wire connection
69 (e. g., CAT-5) to utiliZe the transceiver in signal unit 58 for
Wireless communications.
It is also appreciated that repository unit 64 may be physi
40
cally located someWhere other than on the rooftop of a build
ing of MDUs. For instance, instead of being attached to or
nearby a rooftop antenna assembly, repository unit may be
located in a top ?oor space, in a basement, or in a ground level
library apparatus. An 802.1lx compliant Wireless transceiver
66 is also included in repository unit 64 along With various
facility.
electronics 67 coupled to both RAID 65 and transceiver 66.
Electronics 67 may comprise a microcomputer including a
processor (CPU), a ROM, a RAM, etc., to control the data
read/Write processing by the HDDs and to control the opera
tion of transceiver 66. Electronics 67 may also include data
45
compression/decompression circuitry for certain video and
50
Embodiments of the present invention include various
steps, Which have been described above. The steps may be
embodied in machine-executable instructions Which may be
used to cause a general-purpose or special-purpose processor
encryption/ decryption circuitry for receiving and sending
to perform the steps. Alternatively, these steps may be per
formed by speci?c hardWare components that contain hard
Wired logic for performing the steps, or by any combination
of programmed computer components and custom hardWare
transmissions in a secure manner. The RAID 65, transceiver
components.
data applications. Still other embodiments may include
66, and electronics 67 are all housed in rugged, Weather
resistant enclosure providing a suitable environment for the
HDDs and the other circuitry.
Repository unit 64 may communicate via Wireless trans
mission utiliZing Wireless transceiver 66 connected to a Wire
less antenna 68 mounted on top of unit 64. Alternatively, unit
64 may be coupled With signal unit 58 via a Wire connection
69 (e. g., CAT-5) to utiliZe the transceiver in signal unit 58 for
Wireless communications.
In an alternative embodiment, repository unit 64 may be
attached to the satellite antenna assembly to directly utiliZe
the Wireless transceiver installed in signal unit 58.
The purpose of RAID 65 is to store recorded media content
(e. g., pay-per-vieW movies, videos, DVDs, special event pro
55
Elements of the present invention may also be provided as
a computer program product Which may include a machine
readable medium having stored thereon instructions Which
may be used to program a computer (or other electronic
device) to perform a process. The machine-readable medium
may include, but is not limited to, ?oppy diskettes, optical
disks, CD-ROMs, and magneto-optical disks, ROMs, RAMs,
EPROMs, EEPROMs, magnet or optical cards, propagation
media or other type of media/machine-readable medium suit
able for storing electronic instructions. For example, the
65
present invention may be doWnloaded as a computer program
product, Wherein the program may be transferred from a
remote computer (e.g., a server) to a requesting computer
(e.g., a client) by Way of data signals embodied in a carrier
US 7,493,078 B2
10
14. The antenna assembly of claim 10 Wherein the unit
Wave or other propagation medium via a communication link
further comprises:
(e. g., a modem or network connection).
It should be understood that although the present invention
has been described in conjunction With speci?c embodi
a housing to enclose the at least one LNB and the Wireless
ments, numerous modi?cations and alterations are Well
a feed horn protruding from a side of the housing nearest
the re?ector dish.
15. The antenna assembly of claim 10 Wherein the Wireless
communication transceiver operates to transmit and receive
communication transceiver; and
Within the scope of the present invention. Accordingly, the
speci?cation and drawings are to be regarded in an illustrative
rather than a restrictive sense.
I claim:
1. Antenna apparatus for mounting outdoors at a ?xed
digital data to and from user devices located Within a sur
10
location comprising:
16. The antenna assembly of claim 15 Wherein the data
includes video programs.
17. The antenna assembly of claim 10 Wherein the satellite
transmissions occupy a ?rst frequency band and the Wireless
communication transceiver operates in a second frequency
a dish positionable to receive satellite transmission signals
from an orbiting satellite;
at least one loW-noise block converter (LNB) to receive the
satellite transmission signals re?ected off of the dish;
a Wireless communication transceiver mounted outdoors at
the ?xed location With the at least one LNB, the Wireless
communication transceiver operating as an 802.11x
compliant device, the Wireless communication trans
ceiver being operable to transmit/receive digital data at a
rate of 2 Mbps or greater to/from a plurality of devices
located Within a signal transmission range of the Wire
less communication transceiver.
2. The antenna apparatus of claim 1 Wherein the digital data
comprises video programs contained Within the satellite
rounding range.
band distinct from the ?rst frequency band.
18. The antenna assembly of claim 17 Wherein the second
frequency band is the 5 GHZ band.
19. The antenna assembly of claim 10 Wherein the at least
20
25
transmission signals.
one LNB comprises ?rst and second LNBs.
20. The antenna assembly of claim 10 Wherein the Wireless
communication transceiver operates as an 802.1 1x compliant
device.
21. An antenna assembly for mounting outdoors at a ?xed
location, comprising:
a re?ector dish
3. The antenna apparatus of claim 2 Wherein the Wireless
communication transceiver receives control signals transmit
an arm;
ted in a frequency range of about 40 MHZ to about 1.2 GHZ.
4. The antenna apparatus of claim 1 Wherein the satellite
a unit attached at a distal end of the arm, the unit including:
a ?rst loW-noise block converter (LNB) to receive satel
transmission signals occupy a ?rst frequency band and the
Wireless communication transceiver operates in a second fre
quency band distinct from the ?rst frequency band.
5. The antenna apparatus of claim 4 Wherein the second
frequency band is the 5 GHZ band.
6. The antenna apparatus of claim 1 further comprising a
30
lite signals re?ected from the re?ector dish, the ?rst
LNB having a ?rst polarization;
a second loW-noise block converter (LNB) to receive the
35
a Wireless communication transceiver that operates to
transmit and receive digital data at a rate of 2 Mbps or
greater to and from user devices located Within a
housing to enclose the at least one LNB and the Wireless
communication transceiver, and a feed horn protruding from
the housing.
7. The antenna apparatus of claim 1 Wherein the at least one
LNB comprises ?rst and second LNBs.
8. The antenna apparatus of claim 1 further comprising a
Wireless antenna coupled to the Wireless communication
transceiver.
9. The antenna apparatus of claim 1 Wherein the Wireless
communication transceiver operates in accordance With
IEEE 802.11a speci?cation.
10. An antenna assembly for mounting outdoors at a ?xed
40
45
further comprises:
50
an arm;
satellite signals re?ected from the re?ector dish; and
55
trially transmit digital video programs to end users via
a Wireless netWork that includes at least one repeater,
at least one end user being located a distance beyond
a transmission range of the Wireless communication
transceiver.
11. The antenna assembly of claim 10 further comprising a
60
support for mounting outdoors at the ?xed location, the
re?ector dish being mounted to the support.
12. The antenna assembly of claim 11 Wherein a proximate
end of the arm is attached to the support.
13. The antenna assembly of claim 10 Wherein a proximate
end of the arm is attached to the re?ector dish.
end of the arm is attached to the re?ector dish.
24. The antenna assembly of claim 22 Wherein a proximate
end of the arm is attached to the support.
25. The antenna assembly of claim 21 Wherein the unit
a unit attached at a distal end of the arm, the unit including:
at least one loW-noise block converter (LNB) to receive
a Wireless communication transceiver operable to terres
signal transmission range of the Wireless communi
cation transceiver.
22. The antenna assembly of claim 21 further comprising a
support for mounting outdoors at the ?xed location, the
re?ector dish being mounted to the support.
23. The antenna assembly of claim 21 Wherein a proximate
location comprising:
a re?ector dish;
satellite signals re?ected from the re?ector dish, the
second LNB having a second polarization;
65
a housing to enclose the ?rst and second LNBs and the
Wireless communication transceiver.
26. The antenna assembly of claim 25 further comprising a
feed horn protruding from a side of the housing nearest the
re?ector dish.
27. The antenna assembly of claim 21 Wherein the satellite
transmissions occupy a ?rst frequency band and the Wireless
communication transceiver operates in a second frequency
band distinct from the ?rst frequency band.
28. The antenna assembly of claim 27 Wherein the second
frequency band is the 5 GHZ band.
29. The antenna assembly of claim 21 Wherein the Wireless
communication transceiver operates as an 802.1 1x compliant
device.
30. The antenna assembly of claim 21 Wherein the Wireless
communication transceiver receives control signals transmit
ted in a frequency range of about 40 MHZ to about 1.2 GHZ.
US 7,493,078 B2
11
12
31. An apparatus comprising:
a solar cell panel coupled to provide poWer to the Wireless
communication transceiver.
40. The apparatus of claim 39 Wherein the satellite signals
include netWork services Which comprise interactive data
services.
41. The apparatus of claim 39 further comprising a hous
ing, the at least one LNB and the Wireless communication
a support for mounting outdoors at a ?xed location;
a re?ector dish attached to the support;
an arm
at least one loW-noise block converter (LNB) attached at a
distal end of the arm to receive satellite signals re?ected
from the re?ector dish:
transceiver being disposed Within the housing.
a unit con?gured for mounting outdoors, the unit including
42. The apparatus of claim 39 Wherein the satellite signals
occupy a ?rst frequency band and the Wireless communica
tion transceiver operates in a second frequency band distinct
a Wireless communication transceiver coupled to the at
least one LNB, the Wireless communication transceiver
operating to terrestrially distribute netWork services that
from the ?rst frequency band.
includes digital video programs to end users via a Wire
less netWork path that includes at least one Wireless
repeater, at feast one of the end users being located a
43. The apparatus of claim 42 Wherein the second fre
quency band is the 5 GHZ band.
44. The apparatus of claim 39 further comprising a support,
distance beyond a transmission range of the Wireless
communication transceiver.
32. The apparatus of claim 31 Wherein the netWork services
the re?ector dish and solar cell panel being mounted to the
support.
comprise satellite broadcast services.
45. The apparatus of claim 39 Wherein the Wireless com
munication transceiver operates according to IEEE 802.11a
33. The apparatus of claim 31 Wherein the netWork services
further comprise interactive data services.
20
an antenna unit that includes:
being disposed Within the housing.
35. The apparatus of claim 31 Wherein the satellite signals
occupy a ?rst frequency band and the Wireless communica
tion transceiver operates in a second frequency band distinct
from the ?rst frequency band.
36. The apparatus of claim 35 Wherein the second fre
quency band is the 5 GHZ band.
37. The apparatus of claim 31 Wherein the at least one LNB
a re?ector dish;
a loW-noise block converter (LNB) to receive satellite
25
LNB, the Wireless transceiver operating as an 802.1 1x
compliant device; and
30
35
a unit that includes:
the satellite signals to end users located in a signal trans
mission range of the Wireless communication trans
ceiver.
47. The apparatus of claim 46 Wherein the satellite signals
occupy a ?rst frequency band and the Wireless transceiver
operates in a second frequency band distinct from the ?rst
frequency band.
a re?ector dish;
48. The apparatus of claim 46 Wherein the Wireless trans
an arm;
40
re?ected from the re?ector dish;
ceiver is operable to distribute the satellite signals satellite
signals via a terrestrial Wireless netWork path that includes at
least one Wireless repeater, at least one of the end users being
located a distance beyond a transmission range of the Wireless
a Wireless communication transceiver that operates as an
802.11X compliant repeater to distribute digital data
contained Within the satellite signals to users located
in a surrounding range; and
a solar cell panel coupled to provide poWer to the Wireless
communication transceiver, the Wireless transceiver
being operable to distribute digital data contained Within
comprising:
at least one loW-noise block converter (LNB) attached at
a distal end of the arm to receive satellite signals
transmission signals re?ected from the re?ector dish;
a Wireless transceiver mounted With the at least one
comprises ?rst and second LNBs.
38. The apparatus of claim 31 Wherein the Wireless com
munication transceiver operates as an 802.11X compliant
device.
39. An apparatus for mounting outdoors at a ?xed location
speci?cation.
46. An apparatus comprising:
34. The apparatus of claim 31 Wherein the unit further
comprises a housing, the Wireless communication transceiver
transceiver.
45
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