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Selection Of Optimal Tuners For Use With A Media Application

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000177080D
Original Publication Date: 2008-Dec-04
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2008-Dec-04
Document File: 6 page(s) / 194K

Publishing Venue

Microsoft

Related People

Danny Ton: INVENTOR [+2]

Abstract

Technology has been created to rank tuners in computing devices by preferred capabilities, thereby ensuring the smallest tuner hardware footprint with the most possible tuner capabilities. A first ranking of tuner devices might be based on the number of signal types detected by the tuner devices. A second ranking might be based on the number of tuners with signal detected by the tuner devices. A third ranking might be based on the number of tuners supported by the tuner devices. A fourth ranking might be based on the number of signal types supported by the tuner devices.

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SELECTION OF OPTIMAL TUNERS FOR USE WITH A MEDIA APPLICATION

Tuners are electronic components that receive media signals and are often used in computing devices.  Specifically, TV tuners receive various forms of television signals from various types of television sources.  Examples of television sources include cable,  antenna, and satellite, and examples of television signals include analog and digital of various signal types (such as Analog PAL, Analog NTSC, Digital ATSC, Digital DVB-T, etc).  Different TV tuners have different capabilities as some TV tuners might only receive one signal type from one source (e.g. only analog cable) while other TV tuners can receive various signal types from more than one source (e.g. analog cable + digital cable + digital antenna).  TV tuners are housed on tuner cards, which are a hardware component for use with computers.  Moreover, TV tuners are often used in concert with media applications running on a computing device. 

Media applications often limit the number of tuners that may be configured, even though the computing device may have tuners in excess of the limit.  Therefore, when limiting the number of tuners that are useable, media applications need to be able to select tuners that provide the most capabilities, as opposed to arbitrarily selecting tuners.  Technology has been created to rank tuners by preferred capabilities, thereby ensuring the smallest tuner hardware footprint with the most possible tuner capabilities.

The technology includes a series of rankings or determinations that might be carried in a variety of ways, e.g., an algorithm.  If after each ranking or determination the limit set by the media application is not met, subsequent rankings or determinations are made.  One ranking of tuner devices is based on the number of signal types detected by the tuner devices.  Another ranking is based on the number of tuners with signal detected by the tuner devices.  A further ranking is based on the number of tuners supported by the tuner devices.  Also, tuner devices might be ranked based on the number of signal types supported by the tuner devices.

  The technology allows media applications to select the greatest number of sources and signals with the smallest number of distinct tuner cards, thereby working to achieve the smallest hardware footprint with the most capabilities.  In an illustrative aspect (as explained below), the technology is applied in an operating environment in which a media application has set a limit of one tuner per signal type. 

Ranking #1 – Detected Signal Type

Tuner devices might be ranked from highest capability to lowest capability according to the number of signal types that a tuner device detects.  Figure 1 (shown below) provides an illustration of a first determination in which Tuner Device A detects Analog...