10H: 62C 62
USO0RE37881E
(19) United States
(12) Reissued Patent
(10) Patent Number:
US RE37,881 E
(45) Date of Reissued Patent:
Oct. 15,2002
Haines
(54)
SINGLE DECK DUAL TAPE PATH VCR
4,673,992 A
4,768,110 A
SYSTEM
4,772,969
*
*
6/1987 Kincheloe et al. .......... .. 360/15
8/1988 Dunlap et al. ........... .. 360/33.1
A
*
9/1988
Grant
(75) Inventor: Curtis D. Haines, Houston, TX (US)
4,851,940 A
*
7/1989
Saito ............ ..
5,124,807 A
*
6/1992
Dunlap et al.
......
(73) Assignee: ReplayTV, Mountain View, CA (US)
5,144,505
*
9/1992
Kaneko et al.
.....
(*)
Notice:
This patent is subject to a terminal dis
claimer.
. . . ..
358/316
. . . . . ..
360/85
* 11/1992
* 2/1993
Mosher et al. .... ..
360/85
Kono et al. .............. .. 386/92
5,247,405
*
Mitani
A
5,442,390 A
5,479,302 A
9/1993
* 8/1995
* 12/1995
.. ... ... ... .
. . . . ..
360/84
Hooper et al. ..
..... .. 386/83
Haines ...................... .. 360/69
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
JP
JP
Reissue of:
(64) Patent No.:
Issued:
Nov. 24, 1998
Appl. No.:
08/577,833
Filed:
Dec. 22, 1995
62-184652
63-201953
*
*
8/1987
8/1988
* cited by examiner
5,841,940
Primary Examiner—Robert Chevalier
(74) Attorney, Agent, or Firm—Blakely Sokoloff Taylor &
Zafman
US. Applications:
(57)
(
(51)
360/85
360/84 X
Nov. 22, 2000
Related US. Patent Documents
(63)
. . . . ..
5,164,868 A
5,187,589 A
(21) Appl. No.: 09/721,789
(22) Filed:
A
. . . . . . . . . . . . .
ABSTRACT
Asingle deck dual tape path videocassette recorder/playback
Continuation of application No. 08/162,500, ?led on Dec. 3,
system enabling near simultaneous multiple functions with
1993, now Pat. No. 5,479,302.
respect to a broadcast or cable communicated television
Int. c1.7 ........................ .. H04N 5/92; H04N 5/761;
G11B 15/18
(52)
US. Cl. ............................ .. 386/92; 386/46; 360/69
(58)
Field of Search ............................ .. 386/92, 46, 81,
386/83, 95, 52, 55, 4, 1, 360/32, 15, 13,
69; 369/83, 84; H04N 5/92, 5/761
signal. The system consists of standard elements which
allow the receipt of a videocassette, the extracting and return
of video tape from and to the videocassette, and the record
ing of a broadcast or cable communicated signal. The system
also consists of two tape path assemblies and a videotape
compartment consisting of a tape feed channel, a storage
assembly, and a vacuum system. All elements are included
References Cited
within a single housing utilizing a common power supply,
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
simultaneous multiple functions using both tape paths, as
(56)
3,041,417 A
*
6/1962 Stroud et al. ........... .. 360/75 X
3,360,613 A
3,942,190 A
* 12/1967
* 3/1976
tuner, controls, and switching and control circuitry enabling
well as additional function selections.
Cooper ....... ..
Detwiler .................... .. 360/63
26 Claims, 5 Drawing Sheets
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US RE37,881 E
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US RE37,881 E
1
2
SINGLE DECK DUAL TAPE PATH VCR
SYSTEM
Setting or programming the recording time for a broadcast
has also been made easy With the invention of user friendly
on-screen commands and With the neW “VCR Plus” codes.
In many cases the user has only to input a feW numbers to
Matter enclosed in heavy brackets [ ] appears in the
original patent but forms no part of this reissue speci?
cation; matter printed in italics indicates the additions
made by reissue.
program the VCR. Many other inventions have also
enhanced the overall quality and usefulness of the standard
This is a continuation of application Ser. No. 08/162,500,
?led Dec. 3, 1993 now US. Pat. No. 5,479,302.
user to have near total vieWing control of the transmitted
VCR.
VieWing recorded programs through a VCR enables the
10
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
through a VCR has so many advantages, it still appears that
most people Watch the majority of their broadcast programs
as the program is being transmitted. Why, for example,
should a vieWer sit through lengthy commercials When they
1. Field of The Invention
This invention pertains to videocassette recorder (“VCR”)
systems, and more particularly to a single deck dual tape
path videocassette recorder (“VCR”) system that enables
15
reason, and the biggest disadvantage of prior art, is the time
it takes to record and subsequently playback the desired
(single chassis, single videocassette platform, single tuner,
program. There is no system described that alloWs the user
single poWer supply, single control set,) dual tape path VCR
20
monitor, tuner) enabling recording of an off-the-air broad
25
set or monitor.
2. Background Information
Video cassette recorders (VCR) are currently in Wide
spread use and have several operable modes. In a record
mode, the VCR is operable for recording a television broad
to playback a program during recording. If the vieWer Wants
to utilize the VCR playback functions While vieWing a
recorded program, the vieWer must Wait until the program
has ?nished and the VCR has stopped recording. Only then
cast or a cable transmitted signal to a videocassette tape from
one tape path of the dual tape path VCR system, While
alloWing near simultaneous playback of the same videocas
sette tape from the other tape path to an associated television
can record a program and then subsequently Watch the
program on playback Without commercials? One major
utilization of tWo tape paths for selective simultaneous
functions. The present invention provides an integrated
system usable With a fully featured television set or With one
or more components of a video system (eg antenna,
program. Even though the vieWing of recorded programs
can the recorded program be played back.
Applicant’s invention addresses the need for a VCR
system that provides the user With near simultaneous record
ing and playback of a broadcast or cable communicated
television signal in addition to all of the standard controls of
existing videotape systems.
30
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention is a videocassette recorder/
playback system enabling near simultaneous recording and
cast on a suitable videocassette tape. In a playback mode, the
VCR is operable for transmitting a previously recorded
playback of a broadcast or cable communicated television
television broadcast to a conventional television receiver 35 signal. The system consists of standard elements Which
Where it may be played back at the convenience of the
alloW the receipt of a videocassette, the extracting and return
of video tape from and to the videocassette, and the record
ing of a broadcast or cable communicated signal. The
vieWer. The use of VCRs has therefore provided a means for
vieWers of television broadcasts to control their vieWing
habits by, for example, recording a television program at the
time of its broadcast and then vieWing the recorded program
at some point in time after the broadcast.
VieWing a recorded program through the VCR enables the
vieWer to take full advantage of many useful VCR functions,
including pause, fast-forward, and reWind. The pause func
tion enables the user to stop the prerecorded program and
40
channel, a storage assembly, and a vacuum system. The ?rst
tape path is for recording a television signal or for playing
a recorded television signal and the second tape path is for
playback of a recorded television signal from videotape
45
resume vieWing the program at any time. The vieWer can
reWind selective scenes and, more importantly, fast-forward
The system of the present invention minimizes the time
delay betWeen recording a program and subsequently play
50
tions automatically eliminates commercials from the
recorded program. Most of these systems (“commercial
killers”) focus on the detection of certain signals, fades, or
pauses in the original broadcast. As a result the recorded
programs can be subsequently vieWed on playback Without
commercials.
Other prior disclosures describe means for enabling the
vieWer to record tWo broadcast programs simultaneously
extracted from the storage assembly or for recording a
television signal on videotape extracted from the storage
assembly.
through any unwanted commercials.
Several prior inventions have provided an additional
degree of vieWer convenience over and above the standard
VCR functions described above. One such class of inven
system, hoWever, also consists of tWo tape path assemblies
and a videotape compartment consisting of a tape feed
ing back the recorded program, alloWing near simultaneous
playback of a transmitting broadcast program. The unique
simultaneous record/playback feature of the present inven
tion alloWs the vieWer to take full advantage of the many
useful VCR functions Without interrupting the recording of
55
the program.
It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to
overcome the prior-art drawbacks associated With standard
recording and subsequent playback techniques and appara
such a system is that the vieWer can record tWo programs at
the same time While vieWing a third program on a TV
tus. The system of the present invention minimizes the time
delay betWeen recording a broadcast program and subse
quent playback of the recorded program. The present inven
tion alloWs the vieWer near simultaneous record and play
monitor. The circuitry for dual simultaneous recording and
back of a broadcast program as it is transmitting.
through the use of dual recording decks. One advantage of
It is also an object of Applicant’s invention to provide a
playing Was disclosed in detail in US. Pat. No. 4,124,807,
issued Jun. 23, 1992, to Dunlap et al. The Dunlap invention
enables simultaneous recording/playback onto tWo separate
video cassette tapes.
65
VCR system Which, by incorporating dual tape paths and a
storage assembly permits the simultaneous recording of tWo
programs on a single videocassette.
US RE37,881 E
4
3
path videocassette system (9) providing broadcast recording
Another object of Applicant’s invention is to provide an
and playback control and utiliZing playback features here
enhanced videocassette recorder (VCR) system Which, by
incorporating a variety of record, playback, and videotape
inafter described is shoWn. System (9) is contained Within a
single housing (7) and, as Will be described, includes a dual
tape path arrangement for receiving a conventional video
cassette tape therein.
storage features, allows commercial free vieWing as Well as
replay vieWing during simultaneous recording and playback.
Every program can noW be vieWed commercial free. The
vieWer may fastforWard through an unWanted commercials.
Tape path-A (10) and tape path-B (11) are connected to
built in storage assembly (18) and single access port (16).
“Tape path” as used herein comprises hubs, for engaging
Sporting events may be vieWed in a Whole neW manner With
the vieWer having total control over the creation and vieWing
of instant replays. The user, for example, may reWind, pause,
or sloW motion his favorite football play Without interrupt
10
ing the recording of the broadcasting program.
In addition, the present invention is an ideal “safety net”
for vieWing all programs. If the present invention is consis
tently used, the vieWer Will never miss parts of a broadcast
program due to personal interruptions. If the vieWer is
15
playing-back a videocassette tape located-in access port
(16). Thus, control panel (21) enables the user of the present
invention to reWind, fast forWard, stop, pause, play, record,
vieWer can, through Applicant’s invention, simply hit the
pause button, attend to the interruption and then begin
vieWing the program again Without interrupting the record
ing and Without missing any part of the transmitting broad
and eject a videocassette tape located in access port (16). In
turn, control panel (23) is used to control tape path-B (11),
speci?cally for recording/playing-back video tape located in
cast program. The present invention enables the vieWer near
storage assembly
instant playback of the recording broadcast program through
25
assembly (18).
Control panels (21) and (23) may be operated simulta
neously. LCD time display (26) and optical sensors (not
videocassette recorder unit Which is easy to understand and
use, adaptable With current and future circuitry, reliable and
multi-functional, With a range of useful operations available
for entertainment, educational and/or business purposes.
The system of the present invention can be adapted to most
shoWn) in conjunction With a standard microprocessor Well
knoWn in the art determine Which functions on control panel
(21) can operate simultaneously With the functions on con
VCRs manufactured today, as Well as neW developments
currently in progress With minimal modi?cations and cost to
35
trol panel (23) by keeping track of the location of the video
tape in path-A (10) and path-B (11) and the amount of tape,
if any, in storage assembly (18). For example, the fast
forWard, playback and record functions of control panel (23)
Will only operate if there is video tape in storage assembly
(18) and Will automatically stop operating once storage
assembly (18) is empty.
minimiZing manufacturing costs.
Further objects and advantages of the present invention
Will become apparent from the folloWing description in light
Input selection sWitches (20) and (22) are located on the
front of housing (7) beloW port (16). Input selection sWitch
(20) is provided for selecting the input signal line from
of the attached draWings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
LikeWise, control panel (23) enables
the user of the present invention to reWind, fast forWard,
stop, pause, play and record video tape located in storage
loW cost, mass-market single deck, duel taping system
the manufacturers. Because of the ?exibility of the storage
assembly’s shape, the present invention can be custom
designed to ?t into almost any type of VCR system. Most of
the standard VCR parts Will not require modi?cation thus
electrostatic, and/or optical transducer heads for exchange of
control signals and information With the videotape medium
of the videocassette. Built-in storage assembly (18) and its
connection to tape path-A (10) and tape path-B (11) are
described in conjunction With FIG. 4. Control panel (21) is
used to control tape path-A (10), speci?cally for recording/
interrupted during the program or needs to take a break from
the program and cannot Wait until a commercial appears, the
the VCR.
It is a further object of Applicant’s invention to provide a
drive Wheels of the videocassette, motor means for driving
one or both hubs, motor controls and electromagnetic,
Which a program Will be recorded onto a blank videocassette
tape that has been inserted into access port (16). Input
45
selection sWitch (22) is provided for selecting the input
FIG. 1 is a front vieW of the control panel and housing of
signal line from Which a program Will be recorded onto
a single deck dual tape path VCR system utiliZing features
of the present invention, according to a preferred embodi
ment thereof;
video tape in storage assembly (18). Output selection sWitch
FIG. 2 is a circuit block diagram of a dual tape path VCR
system of the present invention Which can be associated With
line Which Will be connected to the video monitor (not
(24) is located on the front of housing (7) beloW and to the
right of port (16) and, as Will be described, selects a signal
shoWn) for vieWing. Input selection sWitches (20) and (22),
output selection sWitch (24), and other VCR functions, i.e.,
play, record, reWind, fast forWard, could also be operated
the FIG. 1 control panel and housing;
FIG. 3 is a diagram of a standard tape path of VCR
systems Well knoWn in the art;
FIG. 4 is a detailed vieW of the dual tape path of the
55
videocassette system (9) (shoWn in FIG. 1) according to the
preferred embodiment therefor is schematically illustrated
present invention Which can be associated With the FIG. 1
control panel and housing; and
and in this connection it is understood that the electrical
components, as illustrated in block diagram form, are com
FIG. 5 is a diagram of the dual tape path and storage
assembly of the preferred embodiment of the present inven
tion Which can be associated With the FIG. 1 control panel
posed of conventional circuitry Well knoWn in the art except
as otherWise speci?ed herein. As shoWn in FIG. 2, electrical
inputs into system (9) (shoWn in FIG. 1) include a TV
antenna signal or cable TV input (29) that is directed through
and housing.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE
PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
Referring noW to the draWings and particularly to FIG. 1,
the housing (7) and front panel (8) of a single deck dual tape
from a remote control device (not shoWn).
Referring noW to FIG. 2, the single deck dual tape path
65
TV tuner (28), video input (31) that is directed through
isolation ampli?er (30), and camera video input (32). Port
(16) provides video cassette tape access to path-A (10) and
path-B (11), both of Which have VCR play and record
US RE37,881 E
6
5
capabilities. Switch positions 1—3 of selector sWitch (20)
direct the signals from inputs (29), (31), and (32) into VCR
tape path-A (10). Therefore, position #1 on selector sWitch
(20) directs the signal from the TV tuner (28) into path-A
(10). Position #2 on sWitch (20) directs the signal from
-continued
SWITCHES
20
isolation ampli?er (30) into path-A (10), and sWitch position
3
#3 directs the signal from camera video (32) into path-A
CAPABILITIES
To record a camera video signal through
storage assembly.
To record a transmitting broadcast
10
program through path-A onto
videocassette tape located in access
inputs (29), (31), and (32) into VCR tape path-B (11). Thus,
the input signal from TV tuner (28) is directed to path-B (11)
through sWitch position #1 on selection sWitch (22), While
the signal from isolation ampli?er (30) is directed to path-B
(11) through sWitch position #2 on selection sWitch (22), and
sWitch position #3 on selection sWitch (22) directs the signal
from camera video (32) to path-B (11). In addition, the
24
path-B onto video tape located in
(10). Selector sWitch (22) and sWitch positions 1—3 therefor
are disposed in parallel relation With respect to sWitch (20)
and the sWitch positions thereof and direct the signals from
22
port While recording another
transmitting broadcast program through
path_B onto video tape located in
storage assembly.
15
To record a transmitting broadcast
program thought path-A onto
videocassette tape located in access
port While dubbing a recorded program
output of tape path-A (10) is directed to path-B (11) through
located in another VCR through path-B
Witch position #4 on selection sWitch (22). Thus, a broadcast
onto video tape located in storage
assembly.
program recorded through path-A (10) can be played back,
before the completion of the transmitting broadcast, through
path-B (11) by moving selection sWitch (22) to position #4.
To record a transmitting broadcast
program through path-A onto
videocassette tape located in access
port While recording a camera video
The input signals may also be directed to TV monitor (not
shoWn) for video display thereon. For this purpose, output
selection sWitch (24) through the sWitch positions 1—7
thereof is moved to the appropriate position for selecting the
signal through path-B onto video tape
located in storage assembly.
25
desired signal among the seven outputs for connection to the
TV monitor. As shoWn in FIG. 2, TV tuner (28) is connected
directly to the TV monitor through sWitch position #1 on
To dub a recorded program located in
another VCR through path-A onto
selection sWitch (24). A video line through isolation ampli
videocassette tape located in access
port While recording a camera video
?er (30) is also connected to the TV monitor through sWitch
position #2 of selection sWitch (24). If the videocassette tape
located in access port (16) has been prerecorded, and it is
signal through path-B onto video tape
located in storage assembly.
To record a camera video signal through
desired to vieW this tape information on the TV monitor,
selection sWitch (24) is moved to sWitch position #6. If the
To dub a recorded program located in
another VCR through path-A onto
port While recording a transmitting
broadcast program through path-B onto
video tape located in storage assembly.
35
path-A onto videocassette tape located
in access port While recording a
video tape located in storage assembly (18) (shoWn in FIG.
transmitting broadcast program through
1) has been prerecorded, and it is desired to vieW this tape
information on the TV monitor, selection sWitch (24) is
moved to sWitch position #7.
path-B onto video tape located in
storage assembly.
To record a camera video signal through
path-A onto videocassette tape located
The combination of input selection sWitches (20) and (22)
in access port While dubbing a recorded
and output selection sWitch (24) enables a versatility of
operations that Was not available in the previously knoWn
single and dual deck VCR systems of the prior art. The
program located in another VCR through
path-B onto video tape located in
operations available through the combinations of input
selection sWitches (20) and (22) and by output selection
program on a TV monitor.
storage assembly.
To Watch a transmitting broadcast
45
sWitch (24) are illustrated beloW:
To Watch a transmitting broadcast
program on a TC monitor While recording
a transmitting broadcast program through
path-A onto videocassette tape located
in access port.
To Watch a transmitting broadcast
program on a TV monitor While dubbing a
SWITCHES
recorded program located in another VCR
2O
22
24
CAPABILITIES
through path-A onto videocassette tape
To record a transmitting broadcast
located in access port
To Watch a transmitting broadcast
program on a TV monitor While recording
program through path-A onto
videocassette tape located in access
port.
2
55
To dub a recorded program located in
access port.
another VCR through path-A onto
To Watch a transmitting broadcast
program on a TV monitor While recording
videocassette tape located in access
port.
3
a transmitting broadcast program through
path-B onto video tape located in
To record a camera video signal through
1
path-A onto videocassette tape located
storage assembly.
in access port.
To record a transmitting broadcast
To Watch a transmitting broadcast
program on a TV monitor While dubbing a
program through path-B onto video tape
located in storage assembly
2
a camera video signal through path-A
onto videocassette tape located in
recorded program located in another VCR
through path-B onto video tape located
in storage assembly.
To dub a recorded program located in
another VCR through path-B onto video
tape located in storage assembly.
65
To Watch a transmitting broadcast
program on a TV monitor While recording
US RE37,881 E
7
8
-continued
-continued
CAPABILITIES
CAPABILITIES
a camera video signal through path-B
onto video tape located in storage.
port.
videocassette tape located in access
To Watch a recorded program from another
VCR through a vide lone on a TV monitor
While recording a transmitting broadcast
program through path-B onto video
To Watch a camera video signal on a TV
monitor While dubbing a recorded program
10
located in another VCR through path-A
onto videocassette tape located in
tape located in storage assembly.
access port.
To Watch a recorded program from another
VCR through a video line on a TV monitor
To Watch a camera video signal on a TV
monitor While recording a camera video
signal through path-A onto videocassette
While recording a camera video signal
through path-B onto video tape located
in storage assembly.
15
tape located in access port.
To Watch a camera video signal on a TV
While recording a transmitting broadcast
monitor While recording a transmitting
broadcast program through path-B onto
video tape located in storage assembly.
program through path-A onto
To Watch a camera video signal on a TV
To Watch a recorded program from another
VCR through a video line on a TV monitor
videocassette tape located in access
monitor While dubbing a recorded program
port and While recording another
located in another VCR through path-B
transmitting broadcast program through
onto video tape located in storage
path-B onto video tape located in
assembly.
storage assembly.
To Watch a camera video signal on a TV
To Watch a recorded program from another
VCR through a video line on a TV monitor
monitor While recording a camera video
While recording a transmitting broadcast
25
signal through path-B onto video tape
located in storage assembly.
program through path-A onto
To Watch a camera video signal on a TV
videocassette tape located in access
monitor While recording a transmitting
broadcast program through path-A onto
port and While dubbing a recorded
program located in another VCR through
path-B onto video tape located in
videocassette tape located in access
port and While recording another
storage assembly.
transmitting broadcast program through
To Watch a recorded program from another
VCR through a video line on a TV monitor
path-B onto video tape located in
While recording a transmitting broadcast
To Watch a camera video signal on a TV
program through path-A onto
monitor While recording a transmitting
broadcast program through path-A onto
videocassette tape located in access
port and While recording a camera video
signal through path-B onto video tape
located in storage assembly.
storage assembly.
35
port and While dubbing a recorded
program located in another VCR through
path-B onto video tape located in
To Watch a recorded program from another
VCR through a video line on a TC monitor
storage assembly.
While dubbing a recorded program located
To Watch a camera video signal on a TV
in another VCR through path-A onto
monitor While recording a transmitting
broadcast program through path-A onto
videocassette tape located in access
port and While recording a transmitting
broadcast program through path-B onto
video tape located in storage assembly.
videocassette tape located in access
port and While recording a camera video
signal through path-B onto video tape
located in storage assembly.
To Watch a recorded program from another
VCR through a video line on a TV monitor
While dubbing a recorded program located
videocassette tape located in access
To Watch a camera video signal on a TV
45
monitor While dubbing a recorded program
in another VCR through path-A onto
located in another VCR through path-A
videocassette tape located in access
port and While recording a camera video
onto videocassette tape located in
access port and While recording a
signal onto video tape located in
transmitting broadcast program through
storage assembly.
path-B onto video tape located in
To Watch a recorded program from another
VCR through a video line on a TV monitor
To Watch a camera video signal on a TV
storage assembly.
While recording a camera video signal
monitor While dubbing a recorded program
through path-A onto videocassette tape
located in another VCR through path-A
located in access port and While
onto videocassette tape located in
recording a transmitting broadcast
program through path-B onto video tape
access port and While recording a camera
55
located in Storage assembly.
video signal through path-B onto video
tape located in storage assembly.
To Watch a recorded program from another
VCR through a video line on a TV monitor
To Watch a camera vide signal on a TV
While recording a camera video signal
signal onto videocassette tape located
through path-A onto videocassette tape
in access port and While recording a
monitor While recording a camera video
located in access port and While dubbing
transmitting broadcast program through
a recorded program located in another
path-B onto video tape located in
VCR through path-B onto video tape
located in storage assembly.
To Watch a camera video signal on a TV
storage assembly.
monitor While recording a camera video
To Watch a camera video signal on a TV
To Watch a camera video signal on a TV
monitor While recording a transmitting
broadcast program through path-A onto
signal through path-A onto videocassette
65
tape located in access port and While
dubbing a recorded program located in
US RE37,881 E
9
10
taining adequate blank tape on the videocassette for the
recording of the two desired programs.
Referring now to FIG. 3, a typical prior art path taken by
tape (37) as it moves from supply reel table assembly (36)
located in video cassette (34) to take-up reel table assembly
-continued
SWITCHES
2O
22
24
CAPABILITIES
(100) located in video cassette (34) is illustrated. Tape (37)
another VCR through path-B onto video
is extracted from cassette (34) and passes supply tension
tape located in storage assembly.
6
regulator arm assembly (38) and (40). Supply tension regu
lator arm assembly (38) and (40) changes the forward
direction of tape (37) toward drum (42). Tape (37) then
To watch/playback on a TV monitor a
recorded program located in
videocassette tape that is inserted in
access port.
To watch/playback on a TV monitor a
passes full-width erase head (44). Tape (37) runs approxi
mately 180 degrees around drum (42) where rotary video
heads (not shown) make contact with it during record and
recorded program located in
videocassette tape that is inserted in
access port while recording a
transmitting broadcast program through
15
path-B onto video tape located in
storage assembly.
(54). Capstan assembly (52) rotates at a constant speed,
advancing tape (37) at a ?xed rate into take-up reel (100)
located in cassette (34). The present invention utilizes this
basic standard tape path arrangement with minor modi?ca
To watch/playback on a TV monitor a
recorded program located in
videocassette tape that is inserted in
access port while dubbing a recorded
program located in another VCR through
tions when combining tape path-A (10) (shown in FIG. 1)
with a second tape path, tape path-B (11) (shown in FIG. 1).
path-B onto video tape located in
storage assembly.
To watch/playback on a TV monitor a
recorded program located in
videocassette tape that is inserted in
access port while recording a camera
playback. Tape (37), having passed drum (42), passes ACE
(Audio, CTL and Erase) head (50). Tape (37) is squeezed
between capstan assembly (52) and pinch roller assembly
25
video signal through path-B onto video
tape locate in storage assembly.
TV watch/playback on a TV monitor a
recorded program located on video tape
that is in storage assembly while
recording a transmitting broadcast
program through path-A onto
FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic plan view of Applicant’s inven
tion. It is understood that the mechanical components illus
trated in FIG. 4 and in FIG. 5 are composed of conventional
mechanical components well known in the art except as
otherwise speci?ed herein. It is further understood that the
electrical components in FIGS. 4 and 5 are composed of
conventional circuitry well known in the art except as
videocassette tape located in access
otherwise speci?ed herein. According to the present
invention, tape path-A(10) and tape path-B (11) are identical
port.
to one another, except where noted, and are connected by
To watch/playback on a TV monitor a
recorded program located on video tape
that is in storage assembly while
means of built-in storage assembly device (18), which will
be described in detail later.
35
dubbing a recorded program located in
another VCR through path-A onto
Tape path-A (10), tape path-B (11) and storage assembly
(18) are contained in single housing VCR unit (7) (shown in
FIG. 1). Video tape (37), by way of tape path-A (10), moves
from supply reel table assembly (36) located in video
cassette (34) to storage assembly (18).
videocassette tape located in access
port.
To watch/playback on a TV monitor a
recorded program located on video tape
that is in storage assembly while
Tape (37) is extracted out of cassette (34) and passes
recording a camera video signal onto
videocassette tape located in access
same videocassette tape on a TV monitor
supply tension regulator arm assembly (38) and (40) of tape
path-A(10). Supply tension regulator arm assembly (38) and
(40) changes the forward direction of tape (37) toward drum
(42). Tape (37) then passes full-width erase head (44). Tape
(37) runs approximately 180 degrees around drum (42)
To record a camera video signal onto
where rotary video heads (not shown) make contact with it
videocassette tape located in access
during record and playback. Tape (37), having passed drum
(42), passes ACE (Audio, CTL and Erase) head (50). Tape
(37) is squeezed between capstan assembly (54) and pinch
roller assembly (52). Capstan assembly (54) rotates at a
port.
To record a transmitting broadcast
program onto videocassette tape located
in access port while playing back the
45
port while playing back the same
videocassette tape on a monitor.
By utilizing the single deck dual tape path VCR system of
the present invention, it is now possible by use of selection
switches (20) and (22) to record a TV program through TV
tuner (28) that is connected to switch position #1 of selection
switch (20), while at the same time playing back the
recording program on a TV monitor from tape path-B (11)
constant speed, advancing tape (37) at a ?xed rate through
Path-A (10) and into storage assembly (18). If desired, a
standard prior art tape path could be followed, tape (37)
55
bypassing storage assembly (18) being directly fed into
take-up reel (100) located in cassette (34) by way of capstan
assembly (92) and pinch roller assembly (94).
through switch position #4 of selection switch (22) by
activating record function on control panel (21) (shown in
FIG. 1) and the play function on control panel (23) (shown
Video tape (37) by way of tape path-B (11) moves from
storage assembly (18) to take-up reel table assembly (100)
located in videocassette (34). Speci?cally, tape (37) is
in FIG. 1) and movement of output switch (24) to position
extracted from storage assembly (18), and is passed between
#7.
capstan assembly (77) and pinch roller (76) to supply
tension regulator arm assembly (78) and (80) of tape path-B
(11). Supply tension regulator arm assembly (78) and (80)
Referring once again to FIG. 1, the system (9) can also be
used for simultaneously recording from a broadcast or
auxiliary input to the video tapes in both tape path-A (10)
and tape path-B (11). This is accomplished by feeding
enough blank tape into storage assembly (18) while main
65
change the forward direction of tape (37) toward drum (82).
Tape (37) then passes full-width erase head (84). Tape (37)
runs approximately 180 degrees around drum (82) where
US RE37,881 E
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rotary video heads (not shown) make contact With it during
consistent With the letter and spirit of the foregoing disclo
record and playback. Tape (37), having passed drum (82),
sure and Within the scope of this patent, Which is limited
passes ACE (Audio, CTL and Erase) head (90). Tape (37) is
squeezed between capstan assembly (92) and pinch roller
only by the folloWing claims, construed in accordance With
the patent laW, including the doctrine of equivalents.
assembly (94). Capstan assembly (92) rotates at a constant
speed, advancing tape (37) at a ?xed rate out of storage
assembly (18), through path-B (11), and into take-up reel
I claim:
1. A VCR system for near simultaneous multifunction
operations of at least one broadcast or cable communicated
(100) located in cassette (34).
television signal, comprising:
Capstan assembly (54) and pinch roller (52) feed tape (37)
(a) means for receiving a videocassette, for extracting
through tape path-A (10) into and out of storage assembly
videotape therefrom, and for returning the videotape
(18) and cassette (34), Capstan assembly (77) and pinch
roller (76) draW tape (37) through path-B (11), into storage
assembly (18) and cassette (34), While capstan assembly
(92) and pinch roller (94) draW tape (37) through path-B (11)
out of storage assembly (18) and into cassette (34). Capstan
assemblies (54) and (92) direct tape (37) through a tape path
thereto;
(b) means for receiving the at least one broadcast or cable
communicated television signal;
(c) ?rst tape path assembly for performing any of a ?rst
15
portion of the videotape extracted from the
videocassette, playing back a prerecorded signal from
enabling the recording of a program through Path-A(10) and
the play back of the same recorded program through Path-B
a portion of the videotape extracted from the videocas
sette; and reWinding, pausing, and fast forWarding a
portion of the videotape extracted from the videocas
sette;
(11).
Since the standard tape path is only slightly modi?ed,
prior art threading techniques can be utiliZed in the present
invention and therefore is not described in detail herein. The
folloWing patents are illustrative of tape threading and
guiding arrangements that could be adapted to the present
invention: US. Pat. Nos. 5,164,868, issued Nov. 17, 1992,
to Mosher et al.; and 5,144,505, issued Sep. 1, 1992, to
(d) videotape storage compartment de?ned by Walls form
ing an enclosure suitable for receiving and storing a
25
quantity of the videotape extracted from the videocas
sette after performing any of the ?rst set of functions in
the ?rst tape path;
Kaneko et al.
(e) means for storing a portion of the videotape extracted
from the videocassette in the videotape storage com
FIG. 5 is a diagrammatic plan vieW of the preferred
embodiment of the present invention. Storage assembly (18)
consists of ?oor (55), ceiling (not shoWn), and surrounding
partment;
Walls (57), (58), (59), (60), (61), (62), (63), and (64). The
height of storage assembly (18), the distance betWeen ?oor
(55) and the ceiling of storage assembly (18), is slightly
greater than the Width of tape (37) preventing tape damage
and tape entanglement. The siZe of storage assembly (18)
set of functions including recording the at least one
broadcast or cable communicated television signal on a
during record/playback at a constant ?xed speed thus
35
(f) means for extracting a portion of the videotape stored
in the videotape storage compartment; and
(g) second tape path assembly for performing any of a
second set of functions including recording a second
broadcast or cable communicated television signal on a
enables tWo hours of video tape (recorded at EP speed) to be
stored. When digital videocassette recording becomes stan
dardiZed and available to the general public, the siZe of
portion of the videotape extracted from the videotape
storage assembly (18) could be reduced in half since digital
extracted from the videotape storage compartment; and
reWinding, pausing, and fast forWarding a portion of the
videotape extracted from the videotape storage com
storage compartment; playing back the ?rst or second
television signal from a portion of the videotape
videocassette tape Will be half the length and Width as
standard videocassette tape.
Once tape (37) is fed in storage assembly (18), by capstan
assembly (54) and/or capstan assembly (77), optical sensors
(not shoWn) operating in conjunction With a microprocessor
partment at substantially the same time that the ?rst
45
(51) activate vacuum system (56). Vacuum systems such as
that utiliZed in Applicant’s invention are Well knoWn in the
(a) tape feed channel, having means for transferring the
videotape from the ?rst tape path assembly into a tape
Vacuum system (56) draWs air through perforated Walls
storage enclosure and means for transferring the vid
(61a), (62a), (63a), and (64a) causing tape (37) to be draWn
against perforated Walls (61a), (62a), (63a), and (64a). The
eotape betWeen the second tape path and the tape
storage enclosure,
perforations in Walls (61a), (62a), (63a), and (64a) are a
fraction above and beloW the edges of the Width of tape (37),
thus preventing tape (37) from blocking vacuum system
(56). As tape (37) forms slack in storage assembly (18),
manner, toWards Walls (61a), (62a), (63a), and (64a) thus
2. The VCR system of claim 1, Wherein the videotape
storage compartment comprises:
art and are thus not disclosed in detail here.
vacuum system (56) draWs tape (37), in a controlled random
tape path assembly is performing any one of the ?rst set
of functions.
55
(b) the tape storage enclosure having a ?rst dimension
approximately equal to a Width of the videotape.
3. The VCR system of claim 1, Wherein the videotape
storage compartment further comprises a vacuum system,
Wherein the vacuum system draWs the extracted videotape
(71) and (73) constantly rotate in a clockWise direction,
into the videotape storage compartment in random fashion.
4. The VCR system of claim 3, Wherein the videotape
While roller guides (67), (69), (70), and (72) constantly
storage compartment comprises:
effectively utiliZing storage space. Roller guides (66), (68),
rotate in a counter clockWise direction, preventing tape (37)
from prematurely storing betWeen Walls (57), (58), (59), and
(60). Vacuum system (56) is deactivated by means of sensors
(not shoWn) operating in conjunction With a microprocessor
once all of tape (37) is extracted from storage assembly (18).
It Will noW be apparent to those skilled in the art that other
embodiments, improvements, details, and uses can be made
(a) tape feed channel, having means for transferring the
videotape from the ?rst tape path assembly into a tape
storage enclosure and having means for transferring the
videotape betWeen the second tape path and the tape
storage enclosure;
(b) the tape storage enclosure having a ?rst dimension
approximately equal to a Width of the videotape, the
US RE37,881 E
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13
(c) vacuum enclosure, disposed in communication With
the tape storage enclosure through the Wall,
returning the replayed videotape from the second
tape path assembly to the videocassette, Wherein [the
step of] recording the ?rst or second television signal
by Way of the ?rst tape path and [the step of] storing the
extracted and recorded videotape in the tape storage
Wherein the vacuum system draWs air from the tape storage
compartment may occur substantially simultaneous to
enclosure thereby draWing the videotape from the tape feed
[the step of] reWinding the extracted and recorded
videotape through the second tape path and may
progress independently thereof.
8. The method of claim
6, further comprising [the
tape storage enclosure being disposed in communica
tion With the tape feed channel and having at least one
Wall through Which a vacuum may be draWn; and
channel into the tape storage enclosure, and Wherein the
vacuum system permits removal of the videotape from the
tape storage enclosure through the tape feed channel to the
10
second tape path.
steps of]:
5. The VCR system of claim 1 further comprising a
[(a)] fast forWarding the extracted and recorded videotape
from the tape storage compartment, through the second
tape path, to the videocassette;
resuming play of the extracted and recorded video
tape from the tape storage compartment, through the
second tape path, to the videocassette, Wherein [the step
of] recording the ?rst or second television signal by
Way of the ?rst tape path and [the step of] storing the
extracted and recorded videotape in the tape storage
microprocessor for controlling the ?rst tape path assembly,
the second tape path assembly, and the videotape storage
compartment, the microprocessor being adapted to deter
mine a quantity of videotape passed through the ?rst and
second tape paths and adapted to compare the quantity of
videotape passed through the ?rst and second tape paths to
determine a quantity of the videotape stored in the videotape
storage compartment.
6. A method for near simultaneous recording and multi
function operations of a ?rst broadcast or cable communi
cated television signal by a VCR system having a videotape
storage compartment de?ned by Walls forming an enclosure
suitable for receiving and storing a quantity of extracted
compartment may occur substantially simultaneous to
[the step of] fast forWarding the extracted and recorded
videotape from the tape storage compartment through
25
videotape, comprising the steps of:
(a) receiving a videocassette into the VCR system;
function operations of video signal by a recording system
(b) extracting videotape from the videocassette into the
comprising:
VCR system;
viewing and recording a ?rst video signal on a recording
(c) receiving the ?rst television signal;
media; and
simultaneously with viewing and recording the ?rst video
(d) recording the ?rst television signal on a portion of the
videotape extracted from the videocassette by Way of a
signal, recording a second video signal on the record
?rst tape path assembly Within the VCR system;
(e) storing a quantity of the extracted and recorded
videotape in the videotape storage compartment;
(f) extracting a quantity of the portion of the videotape
35
stored in the videotape storage compartment into a
second path assembly;
(g) performing any of a set of functions including record
ing a second broadcast or cable communicated televi
sion signal on a portion of the quantity of the videotape
extracted from the videotape storage compartment;
playing back the ?rst or second television signal from
a portion of the quantity of the videotape extracted
from the videotape storage compartment; and
reWinding, pausing, and fast forWarding a portion of the
quantity of the videotape extracted from the videotape
storage compartment by Way of the second tape path
the second tape path and may progress independently
thereof.
9. A method for near simultaneous recording and multi
45
ing media.
10. The method of claim 9, wherein the ?rst video signal
comprises a broadcast television signal.
11. The method of claim 9, wherein the ?rst video signal
comprises a cable communicated television signal.
12. The method of claim 9, wherein the second video
signal comprises a broadcast television signal.
13. The method of claim 9, wherein the second video
signal comprises a cable communicated television signal.
14. The method of claim 9, wherein the recording media
comprises a tape media.
15. The method of claim 9, wherein the recording media
comprises a removable recording media.
16. The method of claim 9, wherein the ?rst video signal
is recorded to a ?rst portion of the recording media, and the
second video signal is recorded to a second portion of the
recording media.
assembly at substantially the same time that the ?rst
tape path assembly is recording the ?rst television
signal; and
(h) returning the videotape from the second tape path
assembly to the videocassette,
17. A method for providing pass through or capture of
continuous streams of information in various formats while
providing the appearance of a locally stored stream, com
prising:
Wherein a time delay, controlled by a user of the VCR 55
system through control of the step of performing any of the
providing at least one media cache for copying blocks of
data from the continuous streams of information,
set of functions of the videotape, occurs betWeen the step of
wherein data in said media cache can be viewed as a
storing the videotape and the step of performing any of the
snapshot of said continuous streams of information,'
set of functions of the videotape.
7. The method of claim
and
6 further comprising [the steps
providing a playback pointer; wherein a playback pointer
of]:
position selects a portion of said media cache that is to
[(a)] reWinding the extracted and recorded videotape from
the videocassette through the second tape path and into
the tape storage compartment;
replaying the ?rst or second television signal from
the reWound videotape in the tape storage compartment
by Way of the second tape path assembly; and
be accessed to provide functions including any of
pause, rewind, fast forward, play, play faster; play
slower; and play in reverse.
65
18. An apparatus to near simultaneous record and to
perform multifunction operations of video signal compris
ing:
US RE37,881 E
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to view and to record a ?rst video signal on a recording
and the second video signal is recorded to a second portion
media,' and
to simultaneously with viewing and recording the ?rst
of the recording media.
26. An apparatus to provide pass through or capture of
continuous streams of information in various formats while
video signal, to record a second video signal on the
recording media.
providing the appearance of a locally stored stream com
19. The apparatus of claim 18, wherein the ?rst video
signal comprises a broadcast television signal.
20. The apparatus of claim 18, wherein the ?rst video
signal comprises a cable communicated television signal.
21. The apparatus of claim 18, wherein the second video
signal comprises a broadcast television signal.
22. The apparatus of claim 18, wherein the second video
signal comprises a cable communicated television signal.
23. The apparatus of claim 18, wherein the recording
10
media comprises a tape media.
15
24. The apparatus of claim 18, wherein the recording
media comprises a removable recording media.
25. The apparatus of claim 18, wherein the ?rst video
signal is recorded to a ?rst portion of the recording media,
prising:
a media cache for copying blocks of data from the
continuous streams of information, wherein data in
said media cache can be viewed as a snapshot of said
continuous streams of information, and
a playback pointer; wherein the playback pointer position
selects a portion of said media cache that is to be
accessed to provide functions including any of pause,
rewind, fast forward, play, play faster; play slower; and
play in reverse.
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