EchoStar Develops Solution for 3D Sports Bars

Inventors at Dish Network sibling EchoStar have come up with a solution that could one day allow patrons at a sports bar to strap on 3D shutter glasses, and watch multiple live baseball or football games produced in 3D.

“A sports bar or the like may have many televisions (TVs) presenting a variety of different sporting events in the 3D format. Since the LCD shutter glasses must synchronize to a single synchronization signal, the viewer is limited to viewing only the sporting event that is associated with the synchronization signal. The viewer cannot satisfactorily view other sporting events that are being displayed on the other TVs since those other sporting events are synchronized to a different synchronization signal,” EchoStar noted in a patent application published Thursday.

The invention could also allow consumers at an automobile dealership to view multiple video presentations in 3D, according to EchoStar. Senior engineer Jon Richardson is named as lead inventor on the patent application, titled, “Apparatus, Systems and Methods for Synchronization of 3D Shutter Glasses to One of a Plurality of Presentation Devices.”

Abstract: Three dimensional (3-D) program content viewing system in a media environment with different media presentation devices detects a first synchronization signal transmitted from a first synchronization signal source, wherein the first synchronization signal is associated with first 3-D program content and includes a first signal identifier. The system detects a second synchronization signal transmitted from a second synchronization signal source, wherein the second synchronization signal is associated with second 3-D program content and includes a second signal identifier. The system then receives a selection of one of the first synchronization signal and the second synchronization signal and discriminates between the first synchronization signal and the second synchronization signal based upon the first signal identifier and the second signal identifier. The system then controls a left lens and a right lens of 3-D shutter glasses in accordance with the selected one of the first synchronization signal and the second synchronization signal.

Claims:

  1. A method that enables selected viewing of different three dimensional (3-D) program content presented on a plurality of media presentation devices, the method comprising: receiving a specification at a synchronization signal source, wherein the specification corresponds to one of a first one of the plurality of media presentation devices and a second one of the plurality of media presentation devices, and wherein the specification is associated with a first unique synchronization signal identifier that uniquely identifies a first synchronization signal that controls synchronization of first 3-D program content being presented by the first one of the plurality of media presentation devices when the specification is for the first one of the plurality of media presentation devices, and wherein the specification is associated with a second unique synchronization signal identifier that uniquely identifies a second synchronization signal that controls synchronization of second 3-D program content being presented by the second one of the plurality of media presentation devices when the specification is for the second one of the plurality of media presentation devices; receiving at the synchronization signal source, when the specification for the first one of the plurality of media presentation devices, first synchronization timing information associated with the first 3-D program content, wherein the first synchronization timing information is configured to control a left lens and a right lens of a pair of 3-D shutter glasses to enable viewing of the first 3-D program content presented by the first one of the plurality of media presentation devices; receiving at the synchronization signal source, when the specification is for the second one of the plurality of media presentation devices, second synchronization timing, information associated with the second 3-D program content, wherein the second synchronization timing information is configured to control the left lens and the right lens of the pair of 3-D shutter glasses to enable viewing of the second 3-D program content presented by the second one of the plurality of media presentation devices; generating at the synchronization signal source, a synchronization signal comprising a first portion with the synchronization timing information and a second portion with a unique synchronization signal identifier, wherein the first portion of the synchronization signal is the first synchronization timing information and the second portion of the synchronization signal is the first unique synchronization signal identifier when the specification is for the first one of the plurality of media presentation devices, and wherein the first portion of the synchronization signal is the second synchronization timing information and the second portion of the synchronization signal is the second unique synchronization signal identifier when the specification is for the second one of the plurality of media presentation devices; and transmitting the synchronization signal from the synchronization signal source to the 3-D shutter glasses, wherein the left lens and the right lens of the 3-D shutter glasses are controllable by the first synchronization timing information when the 3-D shutter glasses are configured to operate based upon the first unique synchronization signal identifier, and wherein the left lens and the right lens of the 3-D shutter glasses are controllable by the second synchronization timing information when the 3-D shutter glasses are configured to operate based upon the second unique synchronization signal identifier.
  1. The method of claim 1 wherein receiving the specification at the synchronization signal source comprises: receiving a source signal comprising the first unique synchronization signal identifier and the first synchronization timing information when the specification is for the first one of the plurality of media presentation devices, and receiving the source signal comprising the second unique synchronization signal identifier and the second synchronization timing information when the specification is for the second one of the plurality of media presentation devices.
  1. The method of claim 1, further comprising: retrieving the first unique synchronization signal identifier from a memory of the synchronization signal source when the specification is for the first one of the plurality of media presentation devices; and retrieving the second unique synchronization signal identifier from the memory of the synchronization signal source when the specification is for the second one of the plurality of media presentation devices.
  1. The method of claim 1, further comprising: receiving a wireless signal transmitted by a remote control, wherein the received wireless signal includes information corresponding to the first unique synchronization signal identifier when the specification is for the first one of the plurality of media presentation devices, and wherein the received wireless signal includes information corresponding to the second unique synchronization signal identifier when the specification is for the second one of the plurality of media presentation devices.
  1. The method of claim 4, further comprising: retrieving the first unique synchronization signal identifier from a plurality of synchronization signal identifiers stored in a memory of the synchronization signal source when the specification is for the first one of the plurality of media presentation devices; and associating the first unique synchronization signal identifier with the first 3-D program content.
  1. A three dimensional (3-D) program content synchronization system, comprising: a controller that generates a selection signal for a pair of 3-D shutter glasses, wherein the selection signal corresponds to a user specification selecting at least one of first 3-D program content presented by a first one of a plurality of media presentation devices or second 3-D program content presented by a second one of the plurality of media presentation devices, wherein the selection signal includes at least one of a first unique synchronization signal identifier when the first 3-D program content is selected and a second unique synchronization signal identifier when the second 3-D program content is selected, wherein the first unique synchronization signal identifier uniquely identifies a first synchronization signal transmitted from a first synchronization signal source that controls synchronization of the first 3-D program content being presented by the first one of the plurality of media presentation devices, and wherein the second unique synchronization signal identifier uniquely identifies a second synchronization signal transmitted from a second synchronization signal source that controls synchronization of the second 3-D program content being presented by the second one of the plurality of media presentation devices; a first synchronization signal source configured to wirelessly transmit the first synchronization signal associated with first 3-D program content presented by a first media presentation device, wherein the first synchronization signal includes the first unique synchronization signal identifier; and a second synchronization signal source configured to concurrently wirelessly transmit the second synchronization signal associated with second 3-D program content presented by the second media presentation device, wherein the second synchronization signal includes the second unique synchronization signal identifier, wherein at least one pair of 3-D shutter glasses are configured to detect the first synchronization signal and the second synchronization signal, are configured to discriminate between the detected first synchronization signal and the detected second synchronization signal based upon the selection signal that specifies one of the first unique synchronization signal identifier and the second unique synchronization signal identifier, and are configured to enable viewing of one of the first 3-D program content and the second 3-D program content based the upon the specified one of the first unique synchronization signal identifier and the second unique synchronization signal identifier.
  1. The 3-D program content synchronization system of claim 6, wherein the first synchronization signal source further comprises: a processor system configured to receive the first synchronization signal associated with the first 3-D program content presented by the first media presentation device; and a memory communicatively coupled to the processor system, and configured to store a plurality of unique synchronization signal identifiers, including at least the first unique synchronization signal identifier, wherein the processor system is configured to retrieve the first unique synchronization signal identifier from the memory, and is configured to generate the first synchronization signal based upon the first unique synchronization signal identifier and synchronization timing information configured to operate the 3-D shutter glasses to enable viewing of the first 3-D program content.
  1. The 3-D program content synchronization system of claim 7, wherein the processor system of the first synchronization signal source is further configured to incorporate the first unique synchronization signal into the first 3-D program content presented by the first media presentation device.
  1. The 3-D program content synchronization system of claim 7, wherein the processor system of the first synchronization signal source further comprises: a synchronization signal transmitter communicatively coupled to the processor system, wherein the synchronization signal transmitter is configured to wirelessly transmit the first synchronization signal to the 3-D shutter glasses.
  1. The method of claim 1, wherein the specification is received at the synchronization signal source prior to presentation of the first 3-D program content and the second 3-D program content.
  1. The method of claim 10, further comprising: storing the first unique synchronization signal identifier and the second unique synchronization signal identifier in a memory of the synchronization signal source, wherein the first unique synchronization signal identifier is retrieved from the memory of the synchronization signal source when the specification is for the first one of the plurality of media presentation devices; and wherein the second unique synchronization signal identifier is retrieved from the memory of the synchronization signal source when the specification is for the second one of the plurality of media presentation devices.
  1. The method of claim 11, wherein receiving the specification at the synchronization signal source comprises: retrieving the first unique synchronization signal identifier from the memory of the synchronization signal source when the specification is for the first one of the plurality of media presentation devices; receiving a source signal comprising the first synchronization timing information when the specification is for the first one of the plurality of media presentation devices; retrieving the second unique synchronization signal identifier from the memory of the synchronization signal source when the specification is for the second one of the plurality of media presentation devices; and receiving the source signal comprising the second synchronization timing information when the specification is for the second one of the plurality of media presentation devices.
  1. The method of claim 1, wherein the specification is received at the synchronization signal source prior to presentation of the first 3-D program content and the second 3-D program content.
  1. The method of claim 1, wherein the first unique synchronization signal identifier is a binary number that is uniquely associated with the first one of the plurality of media presentation devices.
  1. The 3-D program content synchronization system of claim 7, wherein the first synchronization signal source is a component of the first media presentation device.
  1. The 3-D program content synchronization system of claim 7, wherein the first synchronization signal source is an electronic device remotely located from the first media presentation device.
  1. A method that enables selected viewing of different three dimensional (3-D) program content presented on a plurality of media presentation devices, the method comprising: receiving, at a synchronization signal source, specification for one of the plurality of media presentation devices; associating a unique synchronization signal identifier that uniquely identifies the specified one of the plurality of media presentation devices; receiving, at the synchronization signal source, synchronization timing information associated with 3-D program content being presented on the specified one of the plurality of media presentation devices, wherein the synchronization timing information is configured to control a left lens and a right lens of a pair of 3-D shutter glasses to enable viewing of the 3-D program content presented by the specified one of the plurality of media presentation devices; generating, at the synchronization signal source, a synchronization signal comprising a first portion with the synchronization timing information and a second portion with the unique synchronization signal identifier; and transmitting the synchronization signal from the synchronization signal source to the 3-D shutter glasses, wherein the left lens and the right lens of the 3-D shutter glasses are controllable by the synchronization timing information only when the 3-D shutter glasses are also configured to operate based upon the unique synchronization signal identifier.
  1. The method of claim 17, further comprising: retrieving the unique synchronization signal identifier from a memory of the synchronization signal source, wherein the memory stores a corresponding unique synchronization signal identifier for each one of the plurality of media presentation devices.
  1. The method of claim 17, further comprising: receiving the unique synchronization signal identifier from the specified one of the plurality of media presentation devices.