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Patents Media Television

TiVo Wins Appeal On Patents For Pause, Ffwd, Rwd 215

Posted by kdawson
from the satellites-descending dept.
Lorien_the_first_one writes "After years of wrangling, TiVo has won its day in court against Dish Network, formerly known as the EchoStar, when the Supreme Court declined to take up Dish Network's appeal, forcing the satellite television company to pay $104 million in damages. According to the article, 'TiVo originally won a patent infringement case in 2004 against Dish, which was then named EchoStar Communications. It charged that Dish illegally copied its technology, which allows people to pause, rewind, and record live television on digital video recorders.' Despite an injunction, Dish continued distributing its set-top boxes in the belief that the work-around they had implemented avoided infringing TiVo's patents. Now the case goes back to the lower court for review to determine if they did indeed steer clear of those patents."
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TiVo Wins Appeal On Patents For Pause, Ffwd, Rwd

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  • by Arimus (198136) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @08:26AM (#25298085)

    For $DEITY sake stop tagging stories with story tag or the gets it!

    To tag a story with story once is misfortune, to tag a story with story twice is annoying, to do it three its enemy action!

    • by Gewalt (1200451)

      For $DEITY sake stop tagging stories with story tag or the gets it!

      To tag a story with story once is misfortune, to tag a story with story twice is annoying, to do it three its enemy action!

      You're right. Obviously, they should tag stories with the "comment" tag and vice versa. Fucking ingenious!

    • by stinerman (812158)

      Or at least fix the damn options to turn tags off. I turned them off when they first came on the scene but now they return even though I haven't changed any options.

    • If you are looking at the front page, which only shows stories. There's no point displaying the story tag. Similarly if you are filtering submissions on the firehose by any other specific tag.
    • Dish Network is a product. Echostar Satellite LLC is the company. There is no former, only formal.

  • Go TiVo (Score:3, Informative)

    by m0s3m8n (1335861) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @08:27AM (#25298087)
    As someone who still owns two Tivo's (not being used presently), this is a good day for them. At least they will get a bit of cash. Unfortunately my move to DirecTV, and TiVo's change of focus to Cable and OTA only, I have been forced to use the DirecTV DVRs. While adequate, other DVRs are in NO WAY as feature complete.
    • Hang in there! (Score:4, Informative)

      by BLKMGK (34057) <morejunk4me&hotmail,com> on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @08:46AM (#25298225) Homepage Journal

      Direct and TIVO have inked another deal and there will be new HD hardware for Direct from TIVO coming in a year or so. FWIW - I left DISH for Direct to get TIVO and left Direct to FIOS to keep TIVO. Now I'm stuck on COX but I've got my TIVO!

      Anyway, hang in there - relief from that POS "DVR" they provided you is coming!

      http://www.engadget.com/2008/09/03/hell-freezes-over-new-directv-hd-tivo-on-the-way/ [engadget.com]

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Dun Malg (230075)

      nfortunately my move to DirecTV, and TiVo's change of focus to Cable and OTA only, I have been forced to use the DirecTV DVRs.

      That's DirecTV's doing, not Tivo's. Rupert Murdoch shut them out because he thought they could do better in house. Now that Murdoch's gone, they can admit defeat, and are actually working with Tivo to make an DTV HD Tivo, to be released next year.

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        Nope. That's Tivo's doing.

        They would rather be part of the DRM cabal than give it's
        end users free access to their content. This includes poor
        support for alternative OSes, trying to obscure the content
        you've bought and paid for and refusing to support the open
        HD wire protocols out there.

        Yes, it's Tivo's fault that they can't suport DirecTV HD.

        I'm recording off of an HD DirecTV reciever RIGHT NOW.

        Split hairs. Make excuses if you like.

        I'm enjoying full access to my directv content now.

  • by alexhs (877055) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @08:28AM (#25298097) Homepage Journal

    It's about the TiVo Multimedia time warping system [google.com] patent.

  • Tomek Z. (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @08:31AM (#25298129)

    It's great nobody patented car turning right yet. Imagine all those left-turn only cars...

  • How the hell?? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @08:58AM (#25298339) Homepage

    How in the hell can you hope to patent this?

    Is this really a novel technology, or a slapping together of a bunch of existing things in a fairly obvious manner. I mean, really, the very first applications on the internet that allowed streaming video and audio supported pause, rewind, and fast forward. I distinctly remember pushing pause on things to allow the buffer to fill up over a slow dialup line. Sometimes, the slow dialup line would enforce a pause for you. ;-)

    Other than the fact that it's TV, I don't see this as being any different from real player or a bunch of things which predated it.

    This patent really should be vacated, I just can't see how "a buffer with forward and backward access" is actually a novel invention. I'm of the opinion that if you can show any application which streamed multimedia ever had pause etc then the whole patent is invalid.

    Cheers

    • by wiredog (43288)

      Being able to pause a live video stream on the home TV? Then fast forward to catch up to the live stream? No one else was doing that in the late 90's.

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        Being able to pause a live video stream on the home TV? Then fast forward to catch up to the live stream? No one else was doing that in the late 90's.

        If I was doing it with any form of media prior to Tivos patent, the ability to buffer and play an incomplete stream as a concept should be void.

        You can't take something that someone is already doing, and add "with TV" to it, and expect that "with TV" is magically different from "with a video file on the internet".

        If Tivo truly patented this before anyone demon

        • by Cro Magnon (467622) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @09:38AM (#25298701) Homepage Journal

          As I understand it, if Tivo used a different technique of doing on TV than was used in other media, it's patentable. If Dish used a different technique of doing it on TV than Tivo did, Dish should be okay. But if Dish just copied Tivo's patented technique, then Tivo was right to stomp them.

          • by gstoddart (321705)

            As I understand it, if Tivo used a different technique of doing on TV than was used in other media, it's patentable. If Dish used a different technique of doing it on TV than Tivo did, Dish should be okay. But if Dish just copied Tivo's patented technique, then Tivo was right to stomp them.

            Maybe, but without knowing the details, unless it is more than "patent for a circular buffer with random access", then I just don't get it.

            Essentially, once the concept of a buffered stream with pause, rewind, fast forwar

          • by Klaruz (734) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @10:02AM (#25299041)

            What's the technique difference?

            Realplayer (before tivo): video bits get sucked off the internet (which may be digitized in real time on the other end) and stuck into a ring buffer, pointer streams data off buffer, decodes and displays it. You can move the pointer around the buffer.

            Tivo: video bits get sucked off a video digitizer and stuck into a ring buffer, pointer streams data off buffer, decodes and displays it. You can move the pointer around the buffer.

            Dish (after tivo): video bits get sucked off a video digitizer and stuck into a ring buffer, pointer streams data off buffer, decodes and displays it. You can move the pointer around the buffer.

            Maybe I'm dumb, but I fail to see how using a ring buffer to store video is worthy of a patent.

            • Realplayer (before tivo): video bits get sucked off the internet [...]

              Tivo: video bits get sucked off a video digitizer [...]

              Maybe I'm dumb, but I fail to see how using a ring buffer to store video is worthy of a patent.

              Unlike video in RealPlayer, video on a TiVo DVR is 1. digitized locally and 2. ring-buffered in rotating magnetic media, not solid-state RAM. If I remember correctly, the buffer in RealPlayer was usually small enough to fit in RAM, which is why you usually couldn't buffer more than a minute.

              • by Klaruz (734)

                Bah, digitizers that streamed to disk were out way before tivo. I remember throwing an old one for a mac in a dumpster around the time tivo came out.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by spire3661 (1038968)
                Digitized locally is irrelvant as is where the ring buffer is stored is too, considering patents are METHODS, not specific implementations.
        • by PenguiN42 (86863)

          You can't take something that someone is already doing, and add "with TV" to it, and expect that "with TV" is magically different from "with a video file on the internet".

          There definitely were some major differences between streaming video on the internet and on TV at the time that certainly could have technological implications.

          Bandwidth, for one thing -- the TV video stream has a lot more data. Also, the TV stream is being captured, digitized, compressed, and put into the buffer all in real time by the re

  • Sure, the notion of fast forward, pause, and reverse is obvious, but the methodology and working device was, at the time, non-trivial it took some work to get it good, and dish network did "steal" their technique.

    Now, are all patents bogus? I tend to think so. There is too much historical account of inventors "rushing to the patent office" to beat their competitor. Now, too me, that seems terribly unfair, one will get the benefit of their research, and another will not.

    On the other hand, if you spend a good

    • by Aphoxema (1088507) *

      Or occasionally the better funded business makes up something and then those evil free software lovers come and STEAL the idea of close buttons, scroll bars, and a menu to access the software on a computer in one location. They even stole 'file managers' and 'media players' and 'email clients'.

      Damn you GNUheads!

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      Sure, the notion of fast forward, pause, and reverse is obvious, but the methodology and working device was, at the time, non-trivial it took some work to get it good, and dish network did "steal" their technique.

      As other people have pointed out, they are essentially describing a DVD PLAYER.

      That's all that a Tivo ultimately is. It's a DVD player but minus the optical media.

      Playing MPEG2 or MPEG1 is pretty simple. There were tons of PC applications to do just this when this patent was filed. Once the TV signal is converted to MPEG2, everything else is trivial.

      Infact, you can rip content off of a Tivo and treat
      it just like any other video file. You don't even
      have to transcode it if you didn't have to deal
      with Tivo DRM

  • Do not try to rewind the TiVo. That's impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth: there is no spool.

    TiVo calls those functions "Fwd" and "Back".

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