Programming Selection Enhancements for Improving Television Search Functions
Original Publication Date: 2002-Jun-14
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-21
Disclosed are various ideas for enhancing television search functions. First, it may be advantageous to provide a method of entering the first letter or letters of the station, and permitting a means of jumping directly to that station. The entry method supporting this station-location mechanism may consist of a keyboard, a PDA-style scrawl tablet, or a mouse/track-ball/linear motion device which allows the user to select from an alphabetical list on an on-screen menu. Second, it may be advantageous to permit speech recognition at the remote, to allow the user to verbally specify the desired station, and to enable automated tuning to such desired station. This speech recognition can be applied in one of three ways, with speech digitization/recognition, cataloguing and selection intelligence maintained in either the remote control or in the set-top box/tuner. Today, users are now offered literally hundreds of programming options, catering to diverse taste with specialties ranging from old movies to news programming to sports and beyond. Inefficiencies of the current linear organization using current technologies and interface, the user must recall the station numbers to view a certain program. The procedure that is provided now is terribly inefficient, and does not promote rapid lookup of programming or efficient selection content. Proposed in this invention are other options such as a keyboard, a PDA-like scrawl tablet, or a linear motion device (mouse/track-ball/selection wheel). It may be advantageous to enter the first letter of a station, and have the tuner provide the user with a dropdown menu with choices beginning with that letter. For instance, if a user enters a "X" on the input device, a drop down menu appears on the television screen featuring a variety of channels and the user would have the ability to either enter a further letter to narrow down the search according to the second character in the desired string, or simply using the drop-down to select the desired station. This procedure would be enacted as follows: Cataloguing (1) Digital signals arrive continuously at the set-top box, per status quo implementations.