On-line TV Guide Enhancements
Original Publication Date: 2000-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-12
It is difficult to find shows that interest you when you must scan through a vast array of channels, offerings, and times. Even when these offerings are collected into categories such as "sports," "movies," etc., it can still be difficult to find shows of your liking. In fact, many times you miss a show you would like to see because of the vast array of information and choices. One challenge is being aware of current offerings in real time. Often when the viewer is finished watching one show, and uses the on-line guide to find the next, the viewer does not complete this task before the next show has begun or is forced to select a channel before fully investigating his or her choices so that they do not miss the beginning of the show. This invention includes the following enhancements to the on-line TV Guide currently provided in many satellite and cable systems. These enhancements basically scan the information related to program scheduling and content that is contained in the on-line guide to quickly provide suggestions to the user that reduces the time spent staring at the guide. These suggestions are based on "key words" stored in a user profile which are compared to words in the guide's text descriptions of shows that are about to be aired. Once the user invokes this function the shows that have key word matches are displayed in a menu across the bottom of the screen from which the user can either select a show from a menu or press a button that will cycle through channels with shows that have key word matches and are likely to be interesting to the user. Keywords for a particular user profile are selected from a list provided by the set-top box provider.