Cox Wins Patent for Playlist Scheduling

Cox Communications won a U.S. patent for an invention that could allow subscribers to schedule viewing of video-on-demand playlists.

“The user may schedule to have ABC News turn-on at: 5:30 a.m. so that they can wake up to the news … The user may set up a schedule of viewing. This may be useful, for example, for a waiting room environment or commercial establishment, where the desired viewing content may change over time (e.g. ESPN until the game comes on the local channel),” Cox states in the patent that was published on Tuesday.

Cox Principal Engineer Keith Rothschild is named as lead inventor on the patent, titled, “Creating client-based playlists with scheduling functionality.”

Abstract: Content scheduling may be provided. First, a media guide may be displayed. Next, a plurality of asset selection input data respectively corresponding to a plurality of assets selected from the displayed media guide may be received. Then the plurality of asset selection input data may be stored in a playlist database. The playlist database may then be executed.

Claims:

1. A method for providing scheduling, the method comprising: displaying a media guide; receiving a plurality of asset selection input data respectively corresponding to a plurality of assets selected from the displayed media guide; receiving an indication from a user classifying each of the selected plurality of assets into a generic playlist and a scheduled playlist, wherein receiving the indication classifying the plurality of assets into the scheduled playlist further comprises: receiving a schedule of execution of the scheduled playlist, receiving a time of execution and a duration of execution from the time of execution for each of the plurality of assets selected into the scheduled playlist, and receiving, when a selected asset is a video on demand (VOD) asset comprising a serial asset, an indication of at least one of the following: a serial play and a random play during the duration of execution; storing the plurality of asset selection input data in a playlist database; executing the plurality of asset selection input data from the playlist database, wherein plurality of asset selection input data comprises: reading the plurality of asset selection input data from the playlist database, executing the plurality of asset selection input data read from the generic playlist in response to an input from an user for playing the generic play list, and executing the plurality of asset selection input data read from the scheduled playlist automatically at the time of execution indicated by the user, wherein executing the scheduled playlists further comprises displaying at least one of the plurality of assets from the scheduled playlist based on a time associated with the received schedule of execution at a display device; wherein executing the plurality of asset selection input data further comprises: displaying, at an onset of the scheduled playlist, a notification that the scheduled playlist is about to be executed and to enter a personal identification (PIN) to override the execution of the scheduled playlist, and disabling a trick mode during the execution of the plurality asset selection input data.

2. The method of clam 1, wherein receiving the plurality of asset selection input data comprises receiving the plurality of asset selection input data wherein at least one of the plurality of asset selection input data indicates, for a one of the plurality of assets corresponding to the at least one of the plurality of asset selection input data, a linear television channel, a start time, and an end time.

3. The method of clam 1, wherein receiving the plurality of asset selection input data comprises receiving the plurality of asset selection input data wherein at least one of the plurality of asset selection input data indicates, for a one of the plurality of assets corresponding to the at least one of the plurality of asset selection input data, a linear television channel, a start time, and a duration time.

4. The method of clam 1, wherein receiving the plurality of asset selection input data comprises receiving the plurality of asset selection input data wherein at least one of the plurality of asset selection input data indicates, for a one of the plurality of assets corresponding to the at least one of the plurality of asset selection input data, a program recorded on a digital video recorder.

5. The method of clam 1, wherein receiving the plurality of asset selection input data comprises receiving the plurality of asset selection input data wherein at least one of the plurality of asset selection input data indicates, for a one of the plurality of assets corresponding to the at least one of the plurality of asset selection input data, a volume level.

6. The method of clam 1, wherein receiving the plurality of asset selection input data comprises receiving the plurality of asset selection input data on one of the following: a set top box, a mobile device, and a computer.

7. The method of clam 1, wherein storing the plurality of asset selection input data in the playlist database comprises storing the plurality of asset selection input data in the playlist database wherein the playlist database is configured to be executed at a time indicated by one of the following: a user and by the playlist database.

8. The method of claim 1, wherein executing the scheduled playlist further comprises displaying, in response to selection of random play for the serial asset, a randomly selected episode from the serial asset.

9. The method of claim 1, wherein receiving the plurality of asset selection further comprising receiving an indication of displaying a caption.

10. The method of claim 1, wherein receiving the plurality of asset selection comprises receiving the plurality of asset selection from a portable computing device.

11. A method for providing scheduling, the method comprising: receiving a playlist database comprising a plurality of asset selection input data respectively corresponding to a plurality of assets, wherein receiving the playlist database comprising the plurality of asset selection input data further comprises receiving an indication from a user classifying each of the plurality of assets into a generic playlist and a scheduled playlist, wherein receiving the indication classifying the plurality of assets into the scheduled playlist further comprises: receiving a schedule of execution of the scheduled playlist, receiving a time of execution and a duration of execution from the time of execution for each of the plurality of assets selected into the scheduled playlist, and receiving, when a selected asset is a video on demand (VOD) asset comprising a serial asset, an indication of at least one of the following: a serial play and a random play during the duration of execution; executing the plurality of asset selection input data from the playlist database, wherein executing the the plurality of asset selection input data from comprises: reading the plurality of asset selection input data from the playlist database, executing the plurality of assets read from the generic playlist in response to an input from an user for playing the generic play list, and reading the time of execution of each of the plurality of assets in the scheduled playlist, displaying at least one of the plurality of assets from the scheduled playlist at the execution time, and executing the plurality of asset selection input data read from the scheduled playlist, wherein the scheduled playlist is executed automatically at a predetermined time, wherein displaying the at least one of the plurality of assets comprises: displaying, at an onset of the scheduled playlist, a notification that the scheduled playlist is about to be executed and to enter a person identification (PIN) to override the execution of the scheduled playlist, and disabling a trick mode during the execution of the plurality asset selection input data.

12. The method of clam 11, wherein executing the playlist database comprises turning on a display device prior to playing the plurality of assets.

13. The method of clam 11, wherein playing the plurality of assets comprises adjusting a volume level of a display device on which the plurality of assets are being played in accordance to asset selection input data for each of the plurality of assets being played.

14. The method of clam 11, wherein executing the playlist database comprises executing the playlist database from a set top box.

15. The method of clam 11, wherein executing the playlist database comprises executing the playlist database at a time concurrent with the reception of the user initiated input.

16. The method of clam 11, wherein executing the playlist database comprises executing the playlist database at a time indicated by a first one of the plurality of asset selection input data.

17. The method of clam 11, wherein playing the plurality of assets according to the read plurality of asset selection input data comprises playing a random episode from a series of episodes when the read plurality of asset selection input data indicates the random play.

18. The method of clam 11, wherein playing the plurality of assets according to the read plurality of asset selection input data comprises playing a next episode from a series of episodes when the read plurality of asset selection input data indicates the serial play.

19. The method of claim 11, wherein receiving the plurality of asset selection comprises receiving the plurality of asset selection from a portable computing device.

20. A system for providing scheduling, the system comprising: a memory storage; and a processing unit coupled to the memory storage, wherein the processing unit is operative to: receive a playlist database comprising a plurality of asset selection input data respectively corresponding to a plurality of assets, wherein receiving the playlist database comprising the plurality of asset selection input data further comprises receiving an indication from a user classifying each of the plurality of assets into a generic playlist and a scheduled playlist, wherein the processing unit being configure to receive the indication classifying the plurality of assets into the scheduled playlist comprises the processing unit further configured to: receive a schedule of execution of the scheduled playlist, receive a time of execution and a duration of execution from the time of execution for each of the plurality of assets classified into the scheduled playlist, and receive, when a selected asset is a video on demand (VOD) asset comprising a serial asset, an indication of at least one of the following: a serial play and a random play during the duration of execution; store the a plurality of asset selection input data in a playlist database; execute the playlist database, wherein executing the playlist comprises, read the plurality of asset selection input data from the playlist database, execute the plurality of assets read from the generic playlist in response to an input from an user for playing the generic play list, and execute the plurality of assets read from the schedules playlist automatically at the time of execution of the plurality of assets in the scheduled playlist indicated by the user; and play a first asset of the plurality of assets based on the time of execution of the plurality of asset selection input data, wherein the processing unit being operative to play the first asset comprises the processing unit being operative to tune to a first channel indicated by the first one of the plurality of asset selection input data and staying tuned to the first channel for a time period indicated by the first one of the plurality of asset selection input data, wherein the processing unit being configured to display the first asset of the plurality of assets comprises the processing unit further configured to: display, at an onset of the scheduled playlist, a notification that the scheduled playlist is about to be executed and to enter a person identification (PIN) to override the execution of the scheduled playlist; and disable a trick mode during the execution of the plurality asset selection input data.