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Method and apparatus for remote controlling of multimedia devices

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000180667D
Original Publication Date: 2009-Mar-13
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2009-Mar-13
Document File: 4 page(s) / 115K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Currently all media devices in homes use standard remote controls using infrared technologies or near-field radio including bluetooth or 2.4 GHz standards. TV sets, VCR, radio, CD and/or DVD players, digital (satellite) receivers and gaming consoles even use there own communication standards with proprietary protocols and techniques. Thus remote controls cannot be shared with each other and even so there are programmable general purpose (IR) remote controls available the use of them is mostly limited to single functions only. As complexity and intelligence is increasing and even the home entertainment scenarios require multiple devices to interact a standardized and flexible access and control of all available devices is needed. In this paper we describe a method to access and control old IR remote controlled devices with modern intelligent multimedia devices that may by configured and controlled by a web interface and webserver by using WLAN or LAN connectivity.

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Method and apparatus for remote controlling of multimedia devices

The increasing number of multimedia devices in modern homes with even improved capabilities and complexity require smart control for interacting with each other. On the other hand a modern gaming console can act as media home center or hard-drive recorders accessing IP TV allow many functions which must be controlled with an intuitive easy-to-use graphical interface. On the other hand PDAs, mobile phones allow to access the web and thus accessing and (remote) controlling the multimedia devices can be handled with those portable devices acting as universal remote control via WLAN communications. As future multimedia devices will naturally have (W)LAN connectivity and build-in web servers for configuration and control it might be natural to allow control by PDAs or mobile phone via wireless technologies. Thus it even is possible to handle complete scenarios all together like setting up a flat-screen TV or beamer, the digital audio system and house intelligence like dimming light or shutting jalousies for optimal cineastic setting. As the complete environment maybe controlled via html/xml even remote access via internet connectivity is possible.

The main concept and idea behind this scenario is a "centralized remote
device" (CRD) which allows to interact with the standard multimedia equipment via (one-way) infrared communications replacing the proprietary infrared remote control by a programmable database inside the device. The communication with the devices is enabled via PDAs or mobile phone over WLAN connections by means of a web server implemented in the device which provides a GUI with html/xml application. Using JAVA(script) the look and feel of the proprietary remote control can be adapted as interactive website shown on the PDA or mobile phone. Self-learning IR sequences or downloadable IR codecs from a worldwide database allow to include all available IR controllable devices in this concept. Instead of a proprietary remote control the (smart) devices are now controlled via a web interface provided by the centralized smart apparatus. Commands on the touch sensitive web surface are translated by means of a database including all IR codes for all available multimedia devices. The GUI interactions are translated via database lookup into infrared sequences which are sent to all devices by means of a high power infrared LED or repeaters. The access to the smart device will implement access control by authentication, firewall and/or VPN.

For including (future) smart devices into the concept the control device may act as gateway allowing to access the GUI of smart devices which already allow web-based setup and control. Thus all configuration and control is possible by connecting the PDA/mobile phone to just the centralized device.

The features of th...