How Xfinity Hotspots Could Drive Comcast Mobile Video Service

Comcast offers a glimpse at how it may be able to turn millions of WiFi hotspots in subscriber homes into a mobile video distribution platform.

In a patent application obtained by The Donohue Report on Thursday, the MSO how details how it could deliver video programming to subscribers in automobiles by caching video in multiple “content access points.”

dave-ohare
Inventor Dave OHare is now principal engineer at Charter Communications.

Comcast veteran Dave OHare is named as lead inventor on the patent application, titled, “Distributed content delivery for moving devices.” The former Comcast and Cedar Point Communications engineer is now principal engineer at Charter Communications.

Comcast filed the patent application, which was published on Thursday, in March 2015.

Abstract: Methods, systems, computer-readable media, and apparatuses for providing distributed content to a mobile device (e.g., in a mobile vehicle) through multiple content access points along a particular route are presented. In some embodiments, a computing device may receive a selection of media content and a selection of a particular route from a plurality of routes to enable navigation of a mobile vehicle from a start point to an end point calculated based on at least a number of content access points along each route. A computing device may divide the media content into a plurality of segments and send each segment to a respective planned content access point of a plurality of planned content access points along the particular route. In some embodiments, a mobile computing device within a mobile vehicle may receive a segment from each planned content access point to enable continuous uninterrupted playback of the media content.

Patent Application

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Trademark Watch: 1Cast, Bingee, Wi-Streams, Out Channel

Claims:
1. A method, comprising: receiving, by a computing device, a selection of media content and a selection of a particular route from a plurality of routes to enable navigation of a mobile vehicle from a start point to an end point calculated based on at least a number of content access points along each route; and dividing the media content into a plurality of segments and sending each segment to a respective planned content access point of a plurality of planned content access points along the particular route.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the sending each segment to the respective planned content access point along the particular route further comprises: sending a first segment of the plurality of segments to a first planned content access point of the plurality of planned content access points along the particular route at a first time associated with a first anticipated time the mobile vehicle is expected to be within range of the first planned content access point; and sending a second segment of the plurality of segments to a second planned content access point of the plurality of planned content access points along the particular route at a second time associated with a second anticipated time the mobile vehicle is expected to be within range of the second planned content access point.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein the sending each segment to the respective planned content access point along the particular route is sent prior to an anticipated time that the mobile vehicle is expected to be within range of the respective planned content access point.

4. The method of claim 1, further comprising: when a mobile computing device within the mobile vehicle has connected to the respective planned content access point, sending from the respective planned content access point a segment received at the respective planned content access point to the mobile computing device.

5. The method of claim 1, further comprising: determining an approximate geographic location of the mobile vehicle based on a geographic location of a last planned content access point with which a mobile computing device within the mobile vehicle registered and the particular route; and in response to a determination that a difference between the approximate geographic location and an original predicted geographic location at a specific time is greater than predetermined threshold value, sending one of the segments initially designated for a later planned content access point to an earlier planned content access point along the particular route.

6. The method of claim 1, wherein the sending each segment to the respective planned content access point along the particular route further comprises: sending to each respective planned content access point an assigned segment for that particular planned content access point; and sending to each respective planned content access point at least a portion of another segment assigned to another particular planned content access point along the particular route geographically adjacent to the particular planned content access point along the particular route.

7. The method of claim 1, wherein the dividing the media content into the plurality of segments is based on the number of the plurality of planned content access points along the particular route, a distance between two adjacent planned content access points along the route and a plurality of predicted locations of the mobile vehicle along the route at respective predicted times.

8. The method of claim 1, further comprising: prior to the sending each segment to the respective planned content access point along the particular route, assigning each segment in chronological order to the respective planned content access point based on an order in which the plurality of planned content access points will be traversed by the mobile vehicle as the mobile vehicle moves along the particular route.

9. The method of claim 1, wherein the media content is associated with a first broadcast content provider, the method further comprising: caching an advertisement associated with a second broadcast content provider at a particular planned content access point; and inserting the advertisement into the segment received at the particular planned content access point.

10. A method, comprising: determining that a mobile vehicle is at an approximate geographic location different from a predicted geographic location at a specific time as the mobile vehicle traverses a particular route; and in response to the determining, sending at least one segment, of a plurality of segments of a media content item, assigned to be sent to a first planned content access point to a second planned content access point along the particular route.

11. The method of claim 10, further comprising: prior to the sending, dividing the media content into the plurality of segments; and sending at least one segment to each planned content access point of a plurality of planned content access points along the particular route.

12. The method of claim 10, further comprising: determining the approximate geographic location of the mobile vehicle based on a geographic location of a last planned content access point with which a mobile computing device within the mobile vehicle registered and the particular route.

13. The method of claim 10, further comprising: sending a first portion of a particular segment of the plurality of segments to a third planned content access point and a second portion of the particular segment to a fourth planned content access point, wherein a transmission range of the third planned content access point overlaps at least a portion of a transmission range of the fourth planned content access point.

14. The method of claim 10, further comprising: sending an instruction to a mobile computing device within the mobile vehicle to connect to a particular planned content access point of a plurality of planned content access points along the particular route according to an 802.11x standard irrespective of whether another content access point has a signal stronger than a signal of the particular planned content access point.

15. The method of claim 10, wherein the media content item is associated with a first broadcast content provider, the method further comprising: caching an advertisement associated with a second broadcast content provider at a particular planned content access point; and inserting the advertisement into the segment received at the particular planned content access point.

16. The method of claim 10, further comprising: receiving a selection of the media content item and a selection of the particular route from a plurality of routes to enable navigation of the mobile vehicle from a start point to an end point calculated based on at least a number of a plurality content access points along each route.

17. A method, comprising: receiving, at a mobile computing device within a mobile vehicle, a segment of a plurality of segments of media content from each planned content access point of a plurality of planned content access points as the mobile vehicle traverses a particular route determined based on a location of each planned content access point to enable continuous playback of the media content.

18. The method of claim 17, further comprising: connecting the mobile computing device with a particular planned content access point from the plurality of planned content access points along the particular route according to an 802.11x standard irrespective of whether another content access point has a signal stronger than a signal of the particular planned content access point.

19. The method of claim 17, further comprising: displaying a plurality of routes to enable navigation of the mobile vehicle from a start point to an end point; and displaying with each route an available resolution for each service selected by one or more occupants of the mobile vehicle, wherein the available resolution is determined based at least on a number of a plurality of content access points along each route and a plurality of anticipated time periods during which the mobile computing device will be connected to each respective content access point.

20. The method of claim 17, further comprising: storing, at the mobile computing device, a plurality of service set identifiers (SSIDs) respectively associated with the plurality of planned content access points along the particular route.

 

 

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