[mythtv-users] tivo patents cover mythtv?
linux at thehobsons.co.uk
Sat Mar 6 18:20:59 UTC 2010
Man Ak wrote:
>The patent in question : http://www.freepatentsonline.com/6233389.html
>sure sound a lot like Mythtv, but. I'm no lawyer. Does this mean
>mythtv (and any other PVR) is threatened by this?
If it was for a generic PVR (or for PVR functionality) then even
under the US system it would never have been granted.
If you read the patent then it's quite clear that it's a specific
technique for using buffers etc to offload the CPU from having to
handle the data. Ie, the data is shoved in a buffer, and all the CPU
has to do is instruct the readout hardware which bit of buffer to
Since Myth doesn't work like that, then in my opinion there would be
no case to answer - at least for Claim 1 :
>1. A process for the simultaneous storage and play back of
>multimedia data, comprising the steps of:
>accepting television (TV) broadcast signals, wherein said TV signals
>are based on a multitude of standards, including, but not limited
>to, National Television Standards Committee (NTSC) broadcast, PAL
>broadcast, satellite transmission, DSS, DBS, or ATSC;
>tuning said TV signals to a specific program;
>providing at least one Input Section, wherein said Input Section
>converts said specific program to an Moving Pictures Experts Group
>(MPEG) formatted stream for internal transfer and manipulation;
Myth doesn't do that.
>providing a Media Switch, wherein said Media Switch parses said MPEG
>stream, said MPEG stream is separated into its video and audio
Myth doesn't do that.
>storing said video and audio components on a storage device;
>providing at least one Output Section, wherein said Output Section
>extracts said video and audio components from said storage device;
>wherein said Output Section assembles said video and audio
>components into an MPEG stream;
>wherein said Output Section sends said MPEG stream to a decoder;
>wherein said decoder converts said MPEG stream into TV output signals;
>wherein said decoder delivers said TV output signals to a TV receiver; and
>accepting control commands from a user, wherein said control
>commands are sent through the system and affect the flow of said
Claim 32 seems to be the same, except describing an apparatus, rather
than a process.
Claim 62 could be more of a problem, since it's phrased in much more
generic language. I really can't see how they got this past any half
competent examiner since it's so vague - I can't help thinking it's
one of those "tack it on and see if it passes" clauses. Even so, I
think it's clear enough in it's talk of buffers that it shouldn't be
a threat to Myth which doesn't operate that way - though live TV
might be getting closeish.
In the DISH case, they probably do use hardware support in the manner
that the patent covers - for the simple reason that you need
something along those lines if you want to use a very low spec (and
hence cheap) processor etc.
But as already mentioned, patents are a money game. From what I've
read, it's a very expensive process to defend against a patent
violation action, so much so that most small outfits pay up to avoid
court - even in many cases where they believe they could win.
WANTED: "Software CD ROM Kit" for Canon CLBP 360-PS printer (Canon
part no RH6-3612, or possibly RH6-3810, or RH6-3610 might do). I've a
dead HD and need this CD so I can replace the disk and re-install the
printer OS on it.
This is NOT the same thing as the printer drivers to load on the
computer - there's no problem there.
If anyone knows where I might get hold of one I'd be grateful -
requests to Canon drew a blank, it's been out of support for years.
Alternatively, if anyone has one of these and would let me image
their hard disk ...
Visit http://www.magpiesnestpublishing.co.uk/ for books by acclaimed
author Gladys Hobson. Novels - poetry - short stories - ideal as
Christmas stocking fillers. Some available as e-books.
More information about the mythtv-users