Thursday, March 23, 2006

A Place for Every Input and Every Input in Its Place

Do you have a home theater with cable/satellite, VCR, DVD, DVR and PS2 connected directly to your TV screen through different video inputs? I'm sure you know exactly which device is connected to each input, but did you ever have to leave a set of instructions for a house guest? If Hewlett-Packard has anything to say about the software on your TV (or computer screen you use as a TV), then the task of matching video inputs with devices will be greatly simplified.

Last week the US Patent & Trademark Office published Patent App. 20060059513, which is HP's filing for "User interface with tiling of video sources, widescreen modes or calibration settings" that it first filed in November 2004.

It's such a simple idea. When you press the input button on your remote, little preview boxes simultaneously appear on your screen showing the video being delivered to the TV through all inputs. Then just use your remote to navigate and select the appropriate preview box. Here's an artist's rendition from the patent filing for an embodiment with four video inputs:

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