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Ability to watch media “edited” or “personalized” or “enhanced” for arbitrary (online and offline) movie players.

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000223192D
Original Publication Date: 2012-Nov-07
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2012-Nov-07

Publishing Venue

Linux Defenders

Related People

Roger Deloy Pack: AUTHOR

Abstract

The invention described here can ascertain the “current playback time” from any arbitrary video player while it is playing on a device (ex: Netflix instant, hulu, hulu plus, VLC, amazon VOD, etc.,) and then use that information to perform any number of reactions, for instance “muting” profanity during a known timestamp, or skipping/obscuring a scene known to be offensive, etc. The invention also describes some playback/quality enhancements that can be used for any player’s arbitrary playback.

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Title: Ability to watch media "edited" or "personalized" or "enhanced" for arbitrary (online and offline) movie players.

Abstract:

The invention described here can ascertain the "current playback time" from any arbitrary video player while it is playing on a device (ex: Netflix instant, hulu, hulu plus, VLC, amazon VOD, etc.,) and then use that information to perform any number of reactions, for instance "muting" profanity during a known timestamp, or skipping/obscuring a scene known to be offensive, etc. The invention also describes some playback/quality enhancements that can be used for any player's arbitrary playback.

Details:

Basically this invention is a computer program that can track/monitor another arbitrary video player, during playback of its video. It can determine the player's "current" playback time, then react if the playback time is related to timestamps of interest described somewhere and applicable to the given media. It can determine current playback time by using several methods. One is the API of a player in question (for instance, the youtube SDK in HTML/javascript, or the VLC movie player's libvlc API which provides callbacks providing current video time). The other is that it can determine current playback time by taking a "screen snapshot" of a playing movie player, then using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to determine the digits being currently displayed in the player's on-screen playback timestamp, thus inferring the current playback position from the digits' values (figure 1, in red-it takes a snapshot of those digits, then OCR's them to discover current playback position, without having need of an API of the player available):

This is novel since (as far as I'm aware) there is no content edited playback for various online players like Netflix Instant/hulu (nor blu-ray), and it also introduces some new aspects to content edited playback that are not yet present in today's marketplace.

It also includes some methods for "video enhancement" when playing back a video.

It is mostly based on the "sensible cinema" software project [8] which began in June of 2010 with some experimental features, including DVD -> edited movie file type conversion, then added some other features described here.


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Figure 1

OCR techniques:

To achieve the screen snapshot and OCR, player "descriptors" are created which describe where to expect timestamps, given a certain player (alternatively, it could just OCR the entire monitor/screen). The descriptors can specify clues to detect which windows "contain" a currently playing video player, for instance specifying a window class ID, or a window title or regular expressions, which can be used within the Operation System's window hierarchy to identify a window that contains a player. Or it can specify to extract from the "full screen" (i.e. based on full screen size). It can also specify absolute or relative position of coordinates for the known location of the on-scre...