AT&T Preps Mobile Virtual Entertainment Service

The Donohue Report has obtained a patent application that offers a glimpse at the customer premise equipment and software that will power the DirecTV-branded over-the-top subscription video services that AT&T will launch later this year.

AT&T will supply consumers nationwide with HDMI sticks, also known as dongles, which are similar to Google Chromecast and Roku streaming video devices, a patent published on Thursday indicates.

AT&T Entertainment Group Senior Network Design Engineer Brian Wilson is named as lead inventor on the patent, titled, “Mobile Virtual Communication And Entertainment Service.”

The technology platform also appears similar to the MobiTV Connect streaming video stick that AT&T technology vendor MobiTV plans to launch later this year.

Related:
MobiTV Hits Manufacturing Delays for Streaming Stick
Sprint Poised to Launch Boost Pay TV Service
D-Link, Sequans Build LTE Broadcast TV Stick For Verizon
AT&T, Verizon Hit Accelerator on Toll-Free Content

Abstract: Aspects of the subject disclosure may include, for example, a method including providing, by a processor in a dongle coupled to a display device, a graphical user interface at the display device, and transmitting a message to an authentication server in accordance with authentication information stored in a storage device of the dongle and an input via the graphical user interface. The method also includes obtaining an authentication confirmation; obtaining content from a content server; and recording the content in accordance with a second input via the graphical user interface. The recorded content is transmitted for storage at a storage server. The display device communicates with equipment of a video provider that is associated with a service area. In accordance with the authentication confirmation, the processor is authorized to obtain the content based on the location of the dongle relative to the service area. Other embodiments are disclosed.

Patent Application

Claims: 

1. A device comprising: a memory that stores instructions; a controller coupled to the memory, wherein responsive to executing the instructions, the controller performs operations comprising: providing a graphical user interface at a display device; transmitting an authentication message to a remote authentication server in accordance with authentication information stored in the memory and a first input via the graphical user interface; obtaining an authentication confirmation from the authentication server; obtaining content from a remote content server; recording the content in accordance with a second input via the graphical user interface; and transmitting the recorded content for storage at a remote storage server; and a global positioning system for determining a location for the device, wherein the device comprises a dongle having a connector for connecting to the display device, wherein the display device is a subscriber device communicating with equipment of a video provider, the video provider being associated with a service area, wherein the authentication information comprises information regarding specified media channels, wherein, in accordance with the authentication confirmation, the device is authorized to obtain content via the specified media channels based on the location of the device relative to the service area, and wherein the device communicates with the content server and the storage server via the internet.

2. The device of claim 1, wherein the device is provided with the authentication information upon purchase of the device, wherein the authentication confirmation is obtained subsequent to connection to the display device, and wherein the device remains authenticated subsequent to disconnection from the display device.

3. The device of claim 2, wherein the device is authorized to obtain content while located outside the service area.

4. The device of claim 2, wherein the display device is a first display device located within the service area, and wherein the device remains authenticated subsequent to connection to a second display device located outside the service area.

5. The device of claim 1, wherein the connector comprises a USB connector.

6. The device of claim 1, wherein the display device comprises a mobile device.

7. The device of claim 1, wherein the operations further comprise obtaining the recorded content from the remote storage server for display at the display device, in accordance with a third input via the graphical user interface.

8. The device of claim 1, wherein the authentication information stored in the memory comprises personal identifying information of a user of the device.

9. The device of claim 8, wherein the user is a subscriber to a network that includes equipment of the video provider, and wherein the memory comprises a subscriber identity module (SIM) card for storing the personal identifying information.

10. A computer-readable storage device comprising instructions which, when executed by a processor, cause the processor to perform operations comprising: providing a graphical user interface at a display device, the storage device being coupled to the display device; transmitting an authentication message to a remote authentication server in accordance with authentication information stored in the storage device and a first input via the graphical user interface; obtaining an authentication confirmation from the authentication server; obtaining content from a remote content server; recording the content in accordance with a second input via the graphical user interface; transmitting the recorded content for storage at a remote storage server; and obtaining a location for the storage device, wherein the display device is a subscriber device communicating with equipment of a video provider, wherein the authentication information comprises information regarding specified media channels, and wherein in accordance with the authentication confirmation, the processor is authorized to obtain content via the specified media channels based on the location of the storage device.

11. The computer-readable storage device of claim 10, wherein the storage device is coupled to the display device by a USB connector.

12. The computer-readable storage device of claim 10, wherein the video provider is associated with a service area, and wherein the processor is authorized to obtain the content based on the location of the storage device relative to the service area.

13. The computer-readable storage device of claim 12, wherein the display device is a first display device located within the service area, and wherein the storage device remains authenticated subsequent to being coupled to a second display device located outside the service area.

14. The computer-readable storage device of claim 10, wherein the operations further comprise obtaining the recorded content from the remote storage server for display at the display device, in accordance with a third input via the graphical user interface.

15. The computer-readable storage device of claim 10, wherein the display device comprises a mobile device.

16. A method comprising: providing, by a processor in a dongle coupled to a display device, a graphical user interface at the display device; transmitting, by the processor, an authentication message to a remote authentication server in accordance with authentication information stored in a storage device of the dongle and a first input via the graphical user interface; obtaining, by the processor, an authentication confirmation from the authentication server; obtaining, by the processor, content from a remote content server; recording, by the processor, the content in accordance with a second input via the graphical user interface; transmitting, by the processor, the recorded content for storage at a remote storage server; and obtaining, by the processor, a location for the storage device, wherein the display device is a subscriber device communicating with equipment of a video provider, the video provider being associated with a service area, wherein in accordance with the authentication confirmation, the processor is authorized to obtain the content based on the location of the dongle relative to the service area.

17. The method of claim 16, wherein the authentication information comprises information regarding specified media channels, and wherein the processor is authorized to obtain the content via the specified media channels.

18. The method of claim 16, wherein the dongle is coupled to the display device by a USB connector.

19. The method of claim 16, wherein the dongle is provided with the authentication information upon purchase.

20. The method of claim 16, wherein the display device is a first display device located within the service area, wherein the dongle remains authenticated subsequent to disconnection from the first display device and connection to a second display device located outside the service area.