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Continuous rating system for broadcasts or recordings Disclosure Number: IPCOM000009146D
Publication Date: 2002-Aug-09

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database

Related People

Wayne Gramlich

Related Documents

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[ IPCOM000000003S originally published 2001-05-01 17:52 UTC ] Today's rating systems for television, radio shows, other broadcast media, songs, videos, and other stored performances are not sufficiently fine-grained. This disclosure describes a system that can provide ratings of small subsections, timeslices, or clips of broadcast or stored content. This can be used elsewhere to edit the content in real time, in order to avoid strong language, adult themes, commercials, or other undesirable content, while still delivering most of the content to the user. Variants of the technology can be used for market research or to obtain other feedback on a performance. The invention includes several parts. First, the ratings must be acquired in a way that associates them with particular portions of the content. Second, the ratings must be distributed to users of the service. Third, the users (or their playback devices) must use the ratings to edit the content--which may or may not be stored with special information to facilitate this task. There are many ways of assigning ratings to a particular timeslice of content. These include, among others: human data-entry; speech recognition and word-matching; interpretation of various signals such as the blank screen that separates television programming from commercials; various forms of image recognition and other signal processing, such as are used in Internet content filters. If the content was acquired from a broadcast, the WWV/NIST time base or any other universal time standard may be used to synchronize the ratings with the content. If the content is recorded, for example on CD-ROM or Digital Video Disc, the start of the track or performance may be used to synchronize. If the content is digital, specific bit patterns can be compared. If it is analog, a signature may be obtained by compressing or processing the signal and used to synchronize the ratings with the content. Ratings can specify strong language, adult themes, commercials, laugh track, etc. The ratings can specify degree of offensiveness, or mixed opinion if there are several raters, etc. Several rating files can be combined to produce a final rating. Ratings can be encoded in a compact digital file, so can be made available over almost any digital channel, including: floppy disk; web site download; CDROM or DVDROM track; TCP/IP, Internet, or other networking connection; television Vertical Blanking Interval data stream; inserted in the content using watermarking, steganography, or other technique for blending data with audiovisual content. (V-chip ratings may be inserted into TV programs.) Ratings may be quite compact, or may contain as much information as desired, or may be encoded in an existing format such as the Vchip format. Human data entry may be as simple as pushing a button to indicate that a particular form of content has just occurred. It may also use any of the techniques and interfaces used in editing systems for content. Humans may also confirm the results of automated ratings. A viewer might watch a broadcast (perhaps in real time) and hit a button whenever an objectionable word was said. The computer could then record that strong language was used at approximately that slice of the soundtrack. This rating could be edited later or used as created. Any of the technologies for distributing or accessing Web content, such as streaming media, peer-to-peer distribution, subscription services, "push" services, etc, can be used to deliver the ratings to the user; these and other technologies can deliver the ratings in near-real-time. The user can make use of the ratings to provide automatic editing of the content that he/she wishes to watch/listen. Edits may include suppressing or replacing part or all of the signal or deleting part of the content (e.g. skipping the commercials). The content may be acquired from radio or television broadcast (including cable, satellite, and Web), or from any recorded content available in any form to both the rater and the user. The user may listen to a broadcast in near-real-time (if ratings are produced fast enough), record a broadcast for later use, or use a recording at any time. For market research or similar uses, ratings could be gathered from many users (for example, over the Internet) and combined to provide rapid and detailed feedback on a performance. A playback device may search automatically for ratings applicable to the content being played. Ratings may be sold or given away as a service. The task of generating ratings may also be shared among a group of users, for example concerned parents. The rating service may include additional content to be synchronized with the original, such as subtitles, political commentary, parody, an additional audio channel, or additional information about the content such as URLs. This disclosure is continued and extended in the accompanying text file. [ 000000003S 03S 3S ]