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United States Patent Application 20170019715
Kind Code A1
Hundemer; Hank J. January 19, 2017

MEDIA PRODUCTION SYSTEM WITH SCHEDULING FEATURE

Abstract

In one aspect, an example method is disclosed. The method includes (i) accessing, by a first computing system, a program schedule for a media program; (ii) identifying, by the first computing system, a second computing system, wherein the identifying is based on the second computing system being associated with an event scheduled in the accessed program schedule; (iii) determining, by the first computing system, an estimated time period remaining until the event is scheduled to begin; and (iv) causing, by the first computing system, the identified second computing system to present, via a user interface of the second computing system, the determined estimated time period remaining until the event is scheduled to begin.


Inventors: Hundemer; Hank J.; (Bellevue, KY)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Tribune Broadcasting Company, LLC

Chicago

IL

US
Family ID: 1000002070164
Appl. No.: 15/213126
Filed: July 18, 2016


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
62194171Jul 17, 2015
62242593Oct 16, 2015

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: H04N 21/47214 20130101
International Class: H04N 21/472 20060101 H04N021/472

Claims



1. A method comprising: accessing, by a first computing system, a program schedule for a media program; identifying, by the first computing system, a second computing system, wherein the identifying is based on the second computing system being associated with an event scheduled in the accessed program schedule; determining, by the first computing system, an estimated time period remaining until the event is scheduled to begin; and causing, by the first computing system, the identified second computing system to present, via a user interface of the second computing system, the determined estimated time period remaining until the event is scheduled to begin.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the first computing system is a video production system, and wherein the media program is a video program.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein the event comprises an event of live broadcasting video content captured by the second computing system.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein identifying the second computing system comprises: identifying a video stream associated with the event; and using the identified video stream as a basis to identify the second computing system.

5. The method of claim 1, wherein the event is a later event, and wherein the program schedule indicates that a set of linear events are scheduled between a current event and the later event, and wherein determining the estimated time period remaining until the later event is scheduled to begin comprises (i) for each event in the set of linear events, determining a respective estimated duration of that event, and (ii) determining that the estimated time period remaining until the later event is scheduled to begin is a sum of the determined durations.

6. The method of claim 1, wherein causing the identified second computing system to present the determined estimated time period remaining until the event is scheduled to begin comprises causing the identified second computing system to display the determined estimated time period remaining until the event is scheduled to begin.

7. The method of claim 1, wherein causing the identified second computing system to present the determined estimated time period remaining until the event is scheduled to begin comprises transmitting, to the second computing system, an instruction that causes the identified second computing system to present the determined estimated time period remaining until the event is scheduled to begin.

8. A non-transitory computer-readable medium having stored thereon program instructions that upon execution by a processor, cause performance of a set of acts comprising: accessing, by a first computing system, a program schedule for a media program; identifying, by the first computing system, a second computing system, wherein the identifying is based on the second computing system being associated with an event scheduled in the accessed program schedule; determining, by the first computing system, an estimated time period remaining until the event is scheduled to begin; and causing, by the first computing system, the identified second computing system to present, via a user interface of the second computing system, the determined estimated time period remaining until the event is scheduled to begin.

9. The non-transitory computer-readable medium of claim 8, wherein the first computing system is a video production system, and wherein the media program is a video program.

10. The non-transitory computer-readable medium of claim 8, wherein the event comprises an event of live broadcasting video content captured by the second computing system.

11. The non-transitory computer-readable medium of claim 8, wherein identifying the second computing system comprises: identifying a video stream associated with the event; and using the identified video stream as a basis to identify the second computing system.

12. The non-transitory computer-readable medium of claim 8, wherein the event is a later event, and wherein the program schedule indicates that a set of linear events are scheduled between a current event and the later event, and wherein determining the estimated time period remaining until the later event is scheduled to begin comprises (i) for each event in the set of linear events, determining a respective estimated duration of that event, and (ii) determining that the estimated time period remaining until the later event is scheduled to begin is a sum of the determined durations.

13. The non-transitory computer-readable medium of claim 8, wherein causing the identified second computing system to present the determined estimated time period remaining until the event is scheduled to begin comprises causing the identified second computing system to display the determined estimated time period remaining until the event is scheduled to begin.

14. The non-transitory computer-readable medium of claim 8, wherein causing the identified second computing system to present the determined estimated time period remaining until the event is scheduled to begin comprises transmitting, to the second computing system, an instruction that causes the identified second computing system to present the determined estimated time period remaining until the event is scheduled to begin.

15. A first computing system configured for performing a set of acts comprising: accessing, by a first computing system, a program schedule for a media program; identifying, by the first computing system, a second computing system, wherein the identifying is based on the second computing system being associated with an event scheduled in the accessed program schedule; determining, by the first computing system, an estimated time period remaining until the event is scheduled to begin; and causing, by the first computing system, the identified second computing system to present, via a user interface of the second computing system, the determined estimated time period remaining until the event is scheduled to begin.

16. The first computing system of claim 15, wherein the first computing system is a video production system, and wherein the media program is a video program.

17. The first computing system of claim 15, wherein the event comprises an event of live broadcasting video content captured by the second computing system.

18. The first computing system of claim 15, wherein identifying the second computing system comprises: identifying a video stream associated with the event; and using the identified video stream as a basis to identify the second computing system.

19. The first computing system of claim 15, wherein the event is a later event, and wherein the program schedule indicates that a set of linear events are scheduled between a current event and the later event, and wherein determining the estimated time period remaining until the later event is scheduled to begin comprises (i) for each event in the set of linear events, determining a respective estimated duration of that event, and (ii) determining that the estimated time period remaining until the later event is scheduled to begin is a sum of the determined durations.

20. The first computing system of claim 15, wherein causing the identified second computing system to present the determined estimated time period remaining until the event is scheduled to begin comprises causing the identified second computing system to display the determined estimated time period remaining until the event is scheduled to begin.
Description



RELATED DISCLOSURES

[0001] This disclosure claims priority to (i) U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 62/194,171, titled "Video Production System with Social Media Features," filed on Jul. 17, 2015, and (ii) U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 62/242,593, titled "Video Production System with Content-Related Features," filed on Oct. 16, 2015, both of which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety.

USAGE AND TERMINOLOGY

[0002] In this disclosure, unless otherwise specified and/or unless the particular context clearly dictates otherwise, the terms "a" or "an" mean at least one, and the term "the" means the at least one.

SUMMARY

[0003] In one aspect, an example method is disclosed. The method includes (i) accessing, by a first computing system, a program schedule for a media program; (ii) identifying, by the first computing system, a second computing system, wherein the identifying is based on the second computing system being associated with an event scheduled in the accessed program schedule; (iii) determining, by the first computing system, an estimated time period remaining until the event is scheduled to begin; and (iv) causing, by the first computing system, the identified second computing system to present, via a user interface of the second computing system, the determined estimated time period remaining until the event is scheduled to begin.

[0004] In another aspect, an example non-transitory computer-readable medium is disclosed. The computer-readable medium has stored thereon program instructions that upon execution by a processor, cause performance of a first set of acts including (i) accessing, by a first computing system, a program schedule for a media program; (ii) identifying, by the first computing system, a second computing system, wherein the identifying is based on the second computing system being associated with an event scheduled in the accessed program schedule; (iii) determining, by the first computing system, an estimated time period remaining until the event is scheduled to begin; and (iv) causing, by the first computing system, the identified second computing system to present, via a user interface of the second computing system, the determined estimated time period remaining until the event is scheduled to begin.

[0005] In another aspect, an example computing system is disclosed. The computing system is configured for performing a set of acts including (i) accessing, by a first computing system, a program schedule for a media program; (ii) identifying, by the first computing system, a second computing system, wherein the identifying is based on the second computing system being associated with an event scheduled in the accessed program schedule; (iii) determining, by the first computing system, an estimated time period remaining until the event is scheduled to begin; and (iv) causing, by the first computing system, the identified second computing system to present, via a user interface of the second computing system, the determined estimated time period remaining until the event is scheduled to begin.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0006] FIG. 1 is a simplified block diagram of an example computing device.

[0007] FIG. 2 is a simplified block diagram of an example video system.

[0008] FIG. 3 is a simplified block diagram of an example video production system.

[0009] FIG. 4A is a simplified diagram of an example frame of video content, without content overlaid thereon.

[0010] FIG. 4B is a simplified diagram of an example frame of video content, with content overlaid thereon.

[0011] FIG. 5 is a simplified block diagram of an example program schedule.

[0012] FIG. 6 is a flow chart of an example method.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

I. Overview

[0013] A video-production system (VPS) can generate video content that can serve as or be part of a video program (e.g., a news program). The VPS can then transmit the video content to a video-broadcast system (VBS), which in turn can transmit the video content to a first end-user device for presentation of the video content to an end-user.

[0014] The VPS can include various components to facilitate generating video content. For example, the VPS can include a video source, a DVE system, a scheduling system, and a sequencing system. The video source can generate video content, and can transmit the video content to the DVE system. The DVE system can use the video content and a DVE template to execute a DVE, which can cause the DVE system to generate new video content that is a modified version of the received video content. For example, the generated video content can include the received video content with local weather content overlaid thereon.

[0015] The scheduling system can create a program schedule, perhaps based on input received from a user (e.g., a producer or technical director) via a user interface. The sequencing system can process records in the program schedule, and based on the processed records, can control one or more components of the VPS, such as the video source and the DVE system, to facilitate generating video content.

[0016] In one example, the VPS can also include a second end-user device, a content system, and a character generator. The second end-user device can transmit media content to the content system. For example second end-user device can capture video content (e.g., using a camera) and can transmit the captured video content to the content system.

[0017] After the content system receives media content, the content system can then forward the received media content to the character generator. Alternatively, the content system can store the media content and later can retrieve and transmit the media content to the character generator.

[0018] The character generator can receive the media content from the content system. The character generator can then use the received media content to generate video content that includes the received media content. Further, the character generator can transmit the generated video content to the DVE system.

[0019] The DVE system can receive the video content and can execute a DVE, which causes the DVE system to generate video content that includes the received video content. The generated video content can serve as or be part of a video program. Thus, in this way, the VPS can integrate captured video content into a video program.

[0020] As discussed above, the second end-user device can transmit video content to the VPS, which the VPS can integrate into a video program. In one example, the second end-user device can capture video content and, at or about the same time that the video content is being captured (i.e., without significant delay), can transmit the captured video content to the content system. This is can be referred to as a live transmission. As with other events in a video program, this type of event can be scheduled in the program schedule for the video program.

[0021] In the case where the VPS is scheduled to, at some later time, receive a live transmission of video content provided by the second end-user device and live broadcast that video content to an audience, certain issues can arise. For example, although some users (e.g., those at the site of the VPS) can have access to the relevant program schedule for this event, the user of the second end-user device may not have access to the program schedule. As a result, the end-user can become frustrated by not knowing when the user's video content will become part of a live broadcast. In addition, the user can grow tired and become unprepared when the time comes and the live broadcast is supposed to begin.

[0022] To help avoid these issues, it may be desirable to provide the user with an estimated time period remaining until the live broadcast (or another event) is scheduled to be begin. The VPS, the VBS, and/or components thereof can perform various acts and/or functions to help provide this feature. First, the sequencing system can access a program schedule for a video program. The sequencing system can then identify the second end-user device, based on the second end-user device being associated with a later event scheduled in the accessed program schedule. As noted above, the event can be an event where video content captured by the end-user device is live broadcast to an audience.

[0023] In one example, the program schedule can include, as data associated with the later event, an identifier of the second end-user device and/or information such as an IP address of the second end-user device that can allow the sequencing system to communicate with the second end-user device. The sequencing system can then determine an estimated time period remaining until the later event is scheduled to begin. The sequencing system can do this in various ways. For example, for each event in a set of linear events between a current event and the later event, the sequencing system can determine a respective estimated duration of that event. Then, the sequencing system can determine that the estimated time period remaining until the later event is scheduled to begin is a sum of the determined durations.

[0024] Also, in the case where one or more commercial breaks are scheduled to fall in between the current event and the later event, the sequencing system can determine the duration of each of the one or more commercial breaks and can add these one or more durations to the sum of the durations of the events as discussed above, to arrive at the estimated time period remaining until the later event is scheduled to begin.

[0025] After the sequencing system determines the estimated time period remaining until the later event is scheduled to begin, the sequencing system can then cause the identified second end-user device to present the determined estimated time period. As such, in one example, the sequencing system 314 can cause the end-user device 304 to display "ESTIMATED TIME REMAINING UNTIL YOU ARE ON THE AIR LIVE: 2 MINUTES, 30 SECONDS." In some cases, the sequencing system can periodically or continuously perform one or more of the acts described in connection with this feature to allow the second end-user device to periodically or continuously display an updated estimated time period remaining until the later event is scheduled to begin.

[0026] These features and related features are described in greater detail below.

II. Example Architecture

A. Computing Device

[0027] FIG. 1 is a simplified block diagram of an example computing device 100. The computing device can be configured to perform and/or can perform one or more acts and/or functions, such as those described in this disclosure. The computing device 100 can include various components, such as a processor 102, a data storage unit 104, a communication interface 106, and/or a user interface 108. Each of these components can be connected to each other via a connection mechanism 110.

[0028] In this disclosure, the term "connection mechanism" means a mechanism that facilitates communication between two or more components, devices, systems, or other entities. A connection mechanism can be a relatively simple mechanism, such as a cable or system bus, or a relatively complex mechanism, such as a packet-based communication network (e.g., the Internet). In some instances, a connection mechanism can include a non-tangible medium (e.g., in the case where the connection is wireless).

[0029] The processor 102 can include a general-purpose processor (e.g., a microprocessor) and/or a special-purpose processor (e.g., a digital signal processor (DSP)). The processor 102 can execute program instructions contained in the data storage unit 104 as discussed below.

[0030] The data storage unit 104 can include one or more volatile, non-volatile, removable, and/or non-removable storage components, such as magnetic, optical, and/or flash storage, and/or can be integrated in whole or in part with the processor 102. Further, the data storage unit 104 can take the form of a non-transitory computer-readable storage medium, having stored thereon program instructions (e.g., compiled or non-compiled program logic and/or machine code) that, upon execution by the processor 102, cause the computing device 100 to perform one or more acts and/or functions, such as those described in this disclosure. These program instructions can define and/or be part of a discrete software application. In some instances, the computing device 100 can execute program instructions in response to receiving an input, such as from the communication interface 106 and/or the user interface 108. The data storage unit 104 can also store other types of data, such as those types described in this disclosure.

[0031] The communication interface 106 can allow the computing device 100 to connect with and/or communicate with another other entity according to one or more protocols. In one example, the communication interface 106 can be a wired interface, such as an Ethernet interface or a high-definition serial-digital-interface (HD-SDI). In another example, the communication interface 106 can be a wireless interface, such as a cellular or WI-FI interface. In this disclosure, a connection can be a direct connection or an indirect connection, the latter being a connection that passes through and/or traverses one or more entities, such as a router, switcher, or other network device. Likewise, in this disclosure, a transmission can be a direct transmission or an indirect transmission.

[0032] The user interface 108 can include hardware and/or software components that facilitate interaction between the computing device 100 and a user of the computing device 100, if applicable. As such, the user interface 108 can include input components such as a keyboard, a keypad, a mouse, a touch-sensitive panel, and/or a media capturing device (e.g., a microphone and/or a camera), and/or output components such as a display device (which, for example, can be combined with a touch-sensitive panel), a sound speaker, and/or a haptic feedback system.

[0033] The computing device 100 can take various forms, such as a workstation terminal, a desktop computer, a laptop, a tablet, a mobile phone, a set-top box, and/or a television.

B. Video System

[0034] FIG. 2 is a simplified block diagram of an example video system 200. The video system 200 can perform various acts and/or functions related to video content, and can be implemented as a computing system. In this disclosure, the term "computing system" means a system that includes at least one computing device. In some instances, a computing system can include one or more other computing systems.

[0035] The video system 200 can include various components, such as a VPS 202, a VBS 204, and an end-user device 206, each of which can be implemented as a computing system. The video system 200 can also include a connection mechanism 208, which connects the VPS 202 with the VBS 204; and a connection mechanism 210, which connects the VBS 204 with the end-user device 206.

[0036] FIG. 3 is a simplified block diagram of an example VPS 202. The VPS 202 can include various components, such as a video source 302, an end-user device 304, a content system 306, a character generator 308, a digital video-effect (DVE) system 310, a scheduling system 312, and a sequencing system 314, each of which can be implemented as a computing system. The VPS 202 can also include a connection mechanism 316, which connects the video source 302 with the sequencing system 314; a connection mechanism 318, which connects the video source 302 with the DVE system 310; a connection mechanism 319, which connects the end-user device 304 with the sequencing system 314; a connection mechanism 320, which connects the end-user device 304 with the content system 306; connection mechanism 322, which connects the content system 306 with the sequencing system 314; a connection mechanism 324, which connects the content system 306 with the character generator 308; a connection mechanism 326, which connects the character generator 308 with the sequencing system 314; a connection mechanism 328, which connects the character generator 308 with the DVE system 310; a connection mechanism 330, which connects the DVE system 310 with the sequencing system 314; and a connection mechanism 332, which connects the scheduling system 312 with the sequencing system 314.

[0037] The video source 302 can take various forms, such as a video server, a video camera, a satellite receiver, a character generator, or a DVE system. An example video server is the K2 server provided by Grass Valley of San Francisco, Calif.

[0038] The character generator 308 can take various forms. An example character generator is the VIZ TRIO provided by Viz Rt of Bergen, Norway. Another example character generator is CASPAR CG developed and distributed by the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation (SVT).

[0039] The DVE system 310 can take various forms, such as a production switcher. An example production switcher is the VISION OCTANE production switcher provided by Ross Video Ltd. of Iroquois, Ontario in Canada.

[0040] The scheduling system 312 can take various forms. An example scheduling system is WO TRAFFIC provided by WideOrbit, Inc. of San Francisco, Calif. Another example scheduling system is OSI-TRAFFIC provided by Harris Corporation of Melbourne, Fla.

[0041] The sequencing system 314 can take various forms. A sequencing system is sometimes referred to in the industry as a "production automation system."

[0042] Referring back to FIG. 2, the VBS 204 can include various components, such as a terrestrial antenna or a satellite transmitter, each of which can be implemented as a computing system.

[0043] Each of the video-based entities described in this disclosure can include or be integrated with a corresponding audio-based entity. Also, the video content described in this disclosure can include or be integrated with corresponding audio content. More generally, the entities can be media-based entities such as a media production system (MPS) and a media broadcast system (MBS).

III. Example Operations

[0044] The video system 200 and/or components thereof can perform various acts and/or functions. These features and related features will now be described.

[0045] The video system 200 can perform various acts and/or functions related to video content. For example, the video system 200 can receive, generate, output, and/or transmit video content that can serve as or be part of a video program (e.g., a news program). In this disclosure, the act of receiving, generating, outputting, and/or transmitting video content can occur in various ways and/or according to various standards. For example, the act of receiving, outputting, and/or transmitting video content can include receiving, outputting, and/or transmitting a video stream representing the video content, such as over Internet Protocol (IP) or in accordance with the high-definition serial digital interface (HD-SDI) standard. Likewise, the act of generating content can include generating a video stream representing the video content. Also, the act of receiving, generating, outputting, and/or transmitting video content can include receiving, generating, outputting, and/or transmitting an encoded or decoded version of the video content.

[0046] The VPS 202 can perform various acts and/or functions related to video content production. For example, the VPS 202 can generate and/or output video content, and can transmit the video content to another entity, such as the VBS 204.

[0047] Referring back to FIG. 3, within the VPS 202, the video source 302 can generate and/or output video content, and can transmit the video content to another entity, such as the DVE system 310. In practice, the VPS 202 is likely to include multiple video sources and corresponding connection mechanisms, each connecting a respective one of the video sources with the DVE system 310.

[0048] As noted above, the video source 302 can take the form of a video server. A video server can record and/or store video content (e.g., in the form of a file). Further, the video server can retrieve stored video content and can use the retrieved video content to generate and/or output a video stream representing the video content. This is sometimes referred to in the industry as the video server playing out the video content. The video server 302 can then transmit the video stream, thereby transmitting the video content, to another entity, such as the DVE system 310.

[0049] The end-user device 304 can perform various acts and/or functions related to media content, perhaps based on input received from a user (e.g., a field reporter) via a user interface. For example, the end-user device 304 can obtain and/or generate media content. In one example, the end-user device can to this by using a video capturing device (e.g., a camera) of the end-user device 304 to capture video content. In one use case, this can allow the end-user device 304 to capture video content of a newsworthy event, such that it can be integrated into a news program. In another example, the end-user device 304 can download media content from a media source.

[0050] The end-user device 304 can then transmit the media content to another entity, such as the content system 306. In one example, the end-user device 304 can store the media content in a data storage unit (e.g., a data storage unit of the end-user device 304). At a later time, the end-user device 304 can select and/or retrieve the stored media content, and can transmit it to another entity, such as the content system 306. In one example, the end-user device 304 can use one software application to capture and store video content, and can then use another software application to select, retrieve, and transmit the video content.

[0051] In another example, the end-user device 304 can capture video content and, at or about the same time that the video content is being captured (i.e., without significant delay), can transmit the captured video content to another entity, such as the content system 306. This is sometimes referred to in the industry as a live video transmission or a live video stream. Notably, even when the end-user device 304 is transmitting video content in this manner, the end-user device 304 can still store, select, and/or retrieve the video content as part of this process. For instance, the end-user device 304 can store the video content in, and can retrieve it from, a memory buffer to facilitate the receipt and transmission of the video content. In one example, the end-user device 304 can use one software application to both capture and transmit video content in this manner.

[0052] In some cases, the end-user device 304 can determine data related to captured video content, which the end-user device 304 can transmit along with the video content (e.g., as metadata). For example, the end-user device 304 can determine a location of the end-user device 304 (e.g., in the form of global positioning system (GPS) coordinates) where it was capturing video content. As another example, the end-user device 304 can determine a date and/or time when the end-user device 304 was capturing video content.

[0053] Like the end-user device 304, the content system 306 can perform various acts and/or functions related to media content, perhaps based on input received from a user (e.g., a producer or technical director) via a user interface. For example, the content system 306 can receive media content and can do so in various ways. In one example, the content system 306 can receive media content from another entity, such as the end-user device 304.

[0054] The content system 306 can also store, select, and/or retrieve media content. As such, the content system 306 can store received media content in a data storage unit (e.g., a data storage unit of the content system 306), and can then receive the media content by selecting and retrieving it from the data storage unit. The content system 306 can also perform similar acts in connection with data relating to media content, such as data relating to video content, as discussed above.

[0055] The content system 306 can also modify media content and/or related data, and can do so in various ways. In one example, the content system 306 can modify video content using a video-editing software application. Among other things, this can allow the content system 306 to removing vulgarities, personal information, and/or extraneous information that is not suitable or desirable for integration into a video program. In another example, the content system can modify the related data by adding a unique identification (ID) number to the data to facilitate managing the corresponding media content. In another example, the content system can add a tag, keyword, or description to the corresponding media content.

[0056] The content system 306 can also transmit media content to another entity, such as the character generator 308. In some cases, receiving and transmitting media content can include forwarding the media content. In other cases, receiving and transmitting media content can include receiving the media content and transmitting a copy of the media content. As such, in one example, the content system 306 can receive video content from the end-user device 304, and can transmit a copy of the video content to the character generator 308.

[0057] In one example, the content system 306 can receive media content from the end-user device 304 and, at or about the same time that the media content is being received (i.e., without significant delay), can transmit the media content to another entity, such as the character generator 308. Notably, even when the content system 306 is transmitting media content in this manner, the content system 306 can still store, select, and/or retrieve the media content as part of this process. For instance, the content system 306 can store the media content in, and can retrieve it from, a memory buffer to facilitate the receipt and transmission of the media content.

[0058] The content system 306 can also perform various acts and/or functions related to SM content. In this disclosure, "SM content" is content that has been published on a SM platform, which is a computer-based tool that allows users to create, share, and/or exchange content (e.g., in the form of text, images, and/or videos) in virtual communities on a computer-based network such as the Internet. Examples of SM platforms include TWITTER, YOUTUBE, FACEBOOK, PERISCOPE, INSTAGRAM, MEERKAT, LINKEDIN, and GOOGLE+.

[0059] The content system 306 can receive SM content and can do so in various ways. For example, the content system 306 can receive SM content by obtaining it from another entity, such as a SM platform. In one example, the content system 306 can obtain SM content directly from a SM platform. In another example, the content system 306 can obtain SM content from a SM platform via a SM dashboard application (e.g., TWEETDECK, CYFE, or HOOTSUITE). In some instances, a SM dashboard application can provide additional searching and browsing functionalities (e.g., based on trend analysis or analytics) that may not be provided by the SM platform itself, and/or can provide access to multiple SM platforms through a single user interface.

[0060] SM content can include various elements such as (i) data indicating the SM platform from which the SM content was received, (ii) data identifying the publisher of the SM content (e.g., an account identifier, such as a username), (iii) a profile image corresponding to the publisher of the SM content, (iv) text published by the publisher in connection with the SM content, (v) an image published by the publisher in connection with the SM content, (vi) audio content published by the publisher in connection with the SM content, (vii) video content published by the publisher in connection with the SM content (viii) a timestamp indicating a time and/or date at which the SM content was published on the SM platform, (ix) a location (e.g., represented by global positioning system (GPS) coordinates) of the publisher when the SM content was published, (x) a location at which an aspect of the SM content occurred (e.g., where video content was recorded or where a photograph was taken), (xi) a timestamp indicating when an aspect of the SM content occurred, (xii) a number of other users associated with the publisher on a SM platform (e.g., a number of friends or followers), (xiii) an indication of how long the publisher has been a user of a SM platform, (xiv) a number of times the SM content has been shared (e.g., retweeted) by other users of a SM platform, (xv) a number of posts by the publisher on a SM platform, and/or (xvi) any other data that can be integrated into a video program.

[0061] The SM system can also store, select, and/or retrieve SM content, perhaps based on input received from a user (e.g., a producer or technical director) via a user interface. As such, the content system 306 can store obtained SM content in a data storage unit (e.g., a data storage unit of the content system 306), and can then receive the SM content by selecting and retrieving it from the data storage unit.

[0062] In some instances, the content system 306 can select and modify SM content. The content system 306 can select SM content in various ways. For example, the content system 306 can select SM content responsive to the content system 306 performing an action in connection with the SM content (e.g., responsive to the content system 306 receiving or storing the SM content). In another example, the content system 306 can select SM content based on the SM content being associated with a particular characteristic (e.g., based on the SM content being scheduled to be integrated into a video program). In another example, the content system 306 can, periodically or based on a schedule, select SM content for routine processing. As yet another example, the content system 306 can select SM content based on input received from a user via a user interface.

[0063] The content system 306 can then modify the selected SM content by identifying a first element of the selected SM content based on the first element being associated with a particular characteristic, and then modifying the selected SM content by modifying the identified first element of the selected SM content item.

[0064] The character generator 308 can perform various acts and/or functions, perhaps based on input received via a user interface. For example, the character generator 308 can receive media content and can use a character generator template and received media content to generate and/or output video content that includes the received media content. The content system 306 can receive media content in various ways. In one example, the content system 306 can receive media content from another entity. For example, the content system 306 can receive video content (e.g., video content originally captured by the end-user device 304) from the content system 306. In another example, the character generator 308 can receive SM content from the content system 306. In another example, the character generator 308 can receive media content by selecting and retrieving it from a data storage unit (e.g., a data storage unit of the content system 306).

[0065] The character generator template specifies the manner in which the character generator 308 uses the received media content to generate and/or output the video content. The character generator 308 can create and/or modify a character generator template. Further, the character generator 308 can store, select, and/or retrieve a character generator template. As such, the character generator 308 can store a character generator template in a data storage unit (e.g., a data storage unit of the character generator 308), and can then receive the character generator template by retrieving it from the data storage unit.

[0066] The character generator template can specify how the character generator 308 is to receive media content. In one example, the character generator template can do so by specifying that the character generator 308 is to receive media content on a particular input of the character generator 308 (e.g., an input that maps to a particular entity, such as the content system 306). In another example, the character generator template can do so by specifying that the character generator 308 is to receive media content by retrieving it from a particular location of a particular data storage unit (e.g., a data storage unit of the character generator 308).

[0067] In one example, the character generator 308 can use an ordered set of media content items to generate video content that includes the media content items in the specified order. This type of generated video content is sometimes referred to in the industry as a "ticker." The media content items can include various types of content, such as text and/or images. The ordered set of media content items can be stored in various forms, such as in the form of an Extensible Markup Language (XML) file.

[0068] After the character generator 308 generates and/or outputs video content, the character generator 308 can transmit the video content to another entity, such as the DVE system 310, and/or can store the video content in a data storage unit (e.g., a data storage unit of the character generator 308).

[0069] As such, in one example, the character generator 308 can receive media content, can use the media content to generate and/or output video content that includes the media content, and can transmit the video content to the DVE system 310.

[0070] The DVE system 310 can use a DVE template to generate and/or output video content. This is sometimes referred to in the industry as the DVE system "executing a DVE." In some instances, the DVE system 310 can execute multiple DVEs in serial or overlapping fashion.

[0071] The DVE template specifies the manner in which the DVE system 310 generates and/or outputs video content. The DVE system 310 can create and/or modify a DVE template, perhaps based on input received from a user via a user interface. Further, the DVE system 310 can store and/or retrieve a DVE template, perhaps based on input received from a user via a user interface. As such, the DVE system 310 can store a DVE system template in a data storage unit (e.g., a data storage unit of the DVE system 310), and can then receive the DVE template by selecting and retrieving it from the data storage unit.

[0072] In some instances, the DVE system 310 can use the DVE template and media content to generate and/or output video content that includes the media content. The DVE system 310 can receive content in various ways. For example, the DVE system 310 can do so by receiving it from another entity, such as the video source 302 and/or the character generator 308. In another example, the DVE system 310 can do so by selecting and retrieving it from a data storage unit (e.g., a data storage unit of the DVE system 310).

[0073] The DVE template can specify how the DVE system 310 is to receive media content. In one example, the DVE template can do so by specifying that the DVE system 310 is to receive media content on a particular input of the DVE system 310 (e.g., an input that maps to a particular entity, such as the video source 302 or the character generator 308). In another example, the DVE template can do so by specifying that the DVE system 310 is to receive content by retrieving it from a particular location of a particular data storage unit (e.g., a data storage unit of the DVE system 310).

[0074] A DVE template can be configured in various ways, which can allow the DVE system 310 to execute various types of DVEs. In one example, a DVE template can specify that the DVE system 310 is to receive video content from the video source 302 and other media content (e.g., local weather content) from a data storage unit of the DVE system, and is to overlay the other media content on the video content, thereby generating a modified version of the video content. As such, in one example, the DVE system 310 can generate video content by modifying video content.

[0075] FIGS. 4A and 4B help illustrate this concept of overlaying other content on video content. FIG. 4A is a simplified depiction of an example frame 400 of video content. Frame 400 includes content 402, but does not include other content overlaid on content 402. For comparison, FIG. 4B is a simplified depiction of another example frame 450 of video content. Frame 450 includes content 452 and other content 454 overlaid on content 452.

[0076] In another example, a DVE template can specify that the DVE system 310 is to receive first video content from the video source 302 and second video content from the character generator 308, and is to overlay the second video content on the first video content, thereby generating a modified version of the first video content.

[0077] In another example, a DVE template can specify that the DVE system 310 is to receive first video content from the video source 302 and second video content from the character generator 308, and is to scale-down and re-position the first video content and the second video content, each in a respective one of two windows positioned side-by-side. As such, the DVE system 310 can generate video content by scaling and/or re-positioning video content.

[0078] After the DVE system 310 generates and/or outputs the video content, the DVE system 310 can transmit the video content to another entity, such as the VBS 204, or can store the video content in a data storage unit (e.g., a data storage unit of the DVE system 310).

[0079] As such, in one example, the DVE system 310 can receive first video content including video content, can use the first video content to generate and/or output second video content that includes the video content. This is an example way in which the VPS 202 can integrate video content into a video program.

[0080] The VPS 202 can also integrate video content into a video program in other ways. For example, in the case where the video source 302 is a video camera, the content system 306 can include a display device that is located within a field of the view of the video camera while the video camera records video content that serves as or is made part of the video program. In one example, the display device can be touch-enabled, which can allow a user (e.g., a news anchor) to interact with the video content. To facilitate the user's interaction with the video content, the display device and/or other components of the content system 306 can be programmed with instructions that cause particular actions in response to particular touch commands.

[0081] The scheduling system 312 can perform various acts and/or functions related to the scheduling of video content production. For example, the scheduling system 312 can create and/or modify a program schedule of a video program, perhaps based on input received from a user via a user interface. Further, the scheduling system 312 can store and/or retrieve a program schedule, perhaps based on input received from a user via a user interface. As such, the scheduling system 312 can store a program schedule in a data storage unit (e.g., a data storage unit of the scheduling system 312), and can then receive the program schedule by selecting and retrieving it from the data storage unit. The scheduling system 312 can also transmit a program schedule to another entity, such as the sequencing system 314.

[0082] The sequencing system 314 can process records in the program schedule. This can cause the sequencing system 314 to control one or more other components of the VPS 202 to facilitate the VPS 202 generating and/or outputting video content, which can serve as or be part of a video program. For example, the sequencing system 314 can control the video source 302, the content system 306, the character generator 308, and/or the DVE system 310 to perform the various acts and/or functions described in this disclosure.

[0083] The sequencing system 314 can receive a program schedule in various ways. For example, the sequencing system 314 can do so by receiving it from another entity, such as the scheduling system 312. In another example, the character generator 308 can do so by selecting and retrieving it from a data storage unit (e.g., a data storage unit of the scheduling system 312).

[0084] A program schedule (sometimes referred to in the industry as a "rundown") serves as a schedule or outline of a video program. A program schedule can thus schedule one or more events associated with the production of a video program. A program schedule can include multiple records. A video program can be conceptually divided into multiple logically-separated portions (sometimes referred to in the industry as "stories"). As such, each portion of the video program can be represented by a separate record of the program schedule. In some cases, each record can also include one or more sub-records. Each record (including a sub-record) can include various types of data.

[0085] FIG. 5 is a simplified diagram of an example program schedule 500. The program schedule 500 includes ten records represented as ten ordered rows. Each record corresponds to a respective portion of a video program, except for one which corresponds to a commercial break. For each portion, the respective record specifies at least one data item that corresponds to that portion of the video program. In particular, each record specifies at least one of a story title, a video content item identifier, a duration, and a script.

[0086] In some cases, the duration can be an estimated duration, as discussed below. The script can include various instructions, such as (i) instructions for the video source 302 to playout video content, (ii) instructions for the character generator 308 to generate video content based on stored video content and/or video content received by content system 306 as a live transmission from the end-user device 304, and forwarded to the character generator 308, and (iii) instructions for the DVE system 310 to execute a particular DVE that overlays video content on other video content. The script can also include other information such as text scheduled to be displayed by a teleprompter and to be real aloud by a news anchor.

[0087] A video content item can consist of logically-related video content. For example, a video content item can be a commercial. As another example, a video content item can be a portion of a television program that is scheduled between two commercial breaks. This is sometimes referred to in the industry as a "program segment."

[0088] As shown in FIG. 5, the first record specifies a story title of STORY A, a video content identifier of VCI ID A, a duration of 00:02:00:00 (in hours::minutes::seconds::frames format), and a script of SCRIPT A. In this example, SCRIPT A includes instructions for the video source 302 to playout a first video content item identified by the identifier VCI A for two minutes, instructions for the character generator 308 to use a live transmission of a second video content item provided by the end-user device 304 to generate a third video content item that includes the second video content item, and instructions for the DVE system 310 to execute a particular DVE, which causes the DVE system 310 to overlay the generated third video content item on the generated first video content item to generate a fourth video content item.

[0089] The program schedule 500 has been greatly simplified for the purposes of illustrating certain features. In practice, a program schedule is likely to include significantly more data.

[0090] In some instances, the sequencing system 314 can process a next record (or a portion thereof) in the program schedule based on a trigger event. In one example, the trigger event can be the sequencing system 314 completing one or more actions related to a current record in the program schedule. In another example, the trigger event can be the sequencing system 314 receiving input from a user via a user interface.

[0091] Referring back to FIG. 2, the VBS 204 can receive video content from the VPS 202, which in turn can transmit the video content to the end-user device 206 for presentation of the video content to an end user. In practice, the VBS 204 can transmit video content to a large number of end-user devices for presentation of the video content to a large number of end users. The VBS 204 can transmit video content to the end-user device 206 in various ways. For example, VBS 204 can transmit video content to the end-user device 206 over-the-air or via a packet-based network such as the Internet. The end-user device 206 can receive video content from the VBS 204, and can present the video content to an end user via a user interface.

[0092] As noted above, the end-user device 304 can capture video content and, at or about the same time that the video content is being captured (i.e., without significant delay), can transmit the captured video content to another entity, such as the content system 306. In some cases, some or all of the other operations described in this disclose can also be performed at or about that same time, which can allow the VBS 204 to transmit the captured video content to the end-user device 206 as a live transmission.

[0093] In the case where the VPS 202 is scheduled to, at some later time, receive a live transmission of video content provided by the end-user device 304 and live broadcast that video content to an audience, certain issues can arise. For example, although some users (e.g., those at the site of the VPS 202) can have access to the relevant program schedule for this event, the user of the end-user device 304 may not have access to the program schedule. As a result, the user can become frustrated by not knowing when the user's video content will become part of a live broadcast. In addition, the user can grow tired and become unprepared when the time comes and the live broadcast is supposed to begin.

[0094] To help avoid these issues, it may be desirable to provide the user with an estimated time period remaining until the live broadcast (or another event) is scheduled to begin. The VPS 202 and/or the VBS 204 can perform various acts and/or functions to help provide this feature. These acts and/or functions and related features will now be described.

[0095] First, the sequencing system 314 can access a program schedule for a video program. The sequencing system 314 can then identify the end-user device 304, based on the end-user device 304 being associated with a later event scheduled in the accessed program schedule. As noted above, the event can be an event where video content captured by the end-user device 304 is live broadcast to an audience.

[0096] In one example, the program schedule can include, as data associated with the later event, an identifier of the end-user device 304 and/or information such as an IP address of the end-user device 304 that can allow the sequencing system 314 to communicate with the end-user device 304. Additionally or alternatively, the sequencing system 314 can include, as data associated with the later event, an identifier of a video stream (representing video content) that the end-user device 304 is already live transmitting to the VPS 202. In this case, the sequencing system 314 can use mapping data (which the content system 306 can maintain for all active video streams) to map the identifier of the video stream to an identifier of the end-user device 304. As such, in one example, the sequencing system 314 can identify a video stream associated with the later event, and can use the identified video stream as a basis to identify the end-user device 304.

[0097] The sequencing system 314 can then determine an estimated time period remaining until the later event is scheduled to begin. The sequencing system 314 can do this in various ways. For example, for each event in a set of linear events between a current event and the later event, the sequencing system 314 can determine a respective estimated duration of that event. Then, the sequencing system 314 can determine that the estimated time period remaining until the later event is scheduled to begin is a sum of the determined durations. In some instances, the sequencing system 314 can also add an estimated time period remaining in the current event to this sum.

[0098] The sequencing system 314 can estimate the duration of a given event in various ways. For example, in the case where an event has a predefined duration (e.g., where the event involves playout of a video content item having a duration of 20 seconds), the sequencing system 314 can use the predefined duration as the estimated duration. Alternatively, in the case where the duration of an event has an unknown or variable duration, the sequencing system 314 can estimate the duration of the event based on data related to the event. In some cases, the sequencing system 314 can obtain this data from the program schedule. For instance, in the case where an event involves a news anchor reading text from a teleprompter, the sequencing system 314 can use the number of words in the text to estimate how long it will take anchor to read the text.

[0099] Also, in the case where one or more commercial breaks are scheduled to fall in between the current event and the later event, the sequencing system 314 can determine the duration of each of the one or more commercial breaks and can add these one or more durations to the sum of the durations of the events as discussed above, to arrive at the estimated time period remaining until the later event is scheduled to begin. In some cases, the sequencing system 314 can determine the number and/or duration of any applicable commercial breaks based on data specified in the program schedule and/or in a corresponding broadcast automation schedule (sometimes referred to in the industry as a "traffic log").

[0100] After the sequencing system 314 determines the estimated time period remaining until the later event is scheduled to begin, the sequencing system 314 can then cause the identified end-user device 304 to present, via a user interface of the end-user device 304, the determined estimated time period. The sequencing system 314 can cause the identified end-user device 304 to present the determined estimated time period in various ways. For example, the sequencing system 314 can cause this to happen by transmitting, to the end-user device 304, an instruction that causes the end-user device 304 to present the determined estimated time period. In one example, the instruction can include the determined estimated time period or other data that can allow the end-user device 304 to determine the same.

[0101] The end-user device 304 can present the determined estimated time period in various ways, such as by displaying it on a display screen of the end-user device 304 or by providing it audibly through a speaker of the end-user device 304. As such, in one example, the sequencing system 314 can cause the end-user device 304 to display "ESTIMATED TIME REMAINING UNTIL YOU ARE ON THE AIR LIVE: 2 MINUTES, 30 SECONDS." In some cases, the sequencing system 314 can periodically or continuously perform one or more of the acts described in connection with this feature to allow the end-user device 304 to periodically or continuously display an updated estimated time period remaining until the later event is scheduled to begin.

[0102] Additionally or alternatively, after the (now) current event begins, the sequencing system 314 can determine an estimated time period remaining until the current event is scheduled to end. The sequencing system 314 can do this in various ways. For example, where the program schedule specifies a predefined or target duration, the sequencing system 314 can use this duration and a time period that has passed since the current event began to determine an estimated time period remaining until the current event is scheduled to end.

[0103] The sequencing system 314 can then cause the identified end-user device 304 to present, via a user interface of the end-user device 304, the estimated time period remaining until the current event is scheduled to end. The sequencing system 314 can cause the identified end-user device 304 to present this determined estimated time period in various ways. For example, the sequencing system 314 can cause this to happen by transmitting, to the end-user device 304, an instruction that causes the end-user device 304 to present the determined estimated time period. In one example, the instruction can include the determined estimated time period or other data that can allow the end-user device 304 to determine the same.

[0104] As with the other determined estimated time, the end-user device 304 can present this determined estimated time period in various ways, such as by displaying it on a display screen of the end-user device 304 or by providing it audibly through a speaker of the end-user device 304. As such, in one example, the sequencing system 314 can cause the end-user device 304 to display "ESTIMATED TIME REMAINING UNTIL YOU ARE OFF THE AIR: 20 SECONDS." In some cases, the sequencing system 314 can periodically or continuously perform one or more of the acts described in connection with this feature to allow the end-user device 304 to periodically or continuously display an updated estimated time period remaining until the current event is scheduled to end.

[0105] Although some of the acts and/or functions described in this disclosure have been described in the context of the video system 200 and as video-related concepts (e.g., generating a video program), the acts and/or functions can also be applied in the context of an audio system and used as audio-related concepts (e.g., generating an audio program). More generally, the acts and/or functions described in this disclosure can be applied in the context of a media system and used as media-related concepts (e.g., generating a media program).

[0106] FIG. 6 is a flow chart illustrating an example method 600.

[0107] At block 602, the method 600 can include accessing, by a first computing system, a program schedule for a media program. In one example, the first computing system is the VPS 202 and/or a component thereof (e.g., the sequencing system 314).

[0108] At block 604, the method 600 can include identifying, by the first computing system, a second computing system, wherein the identifying is based on the second computing system being associated with an event scheduled in the accessed program schedule. In one example, the second computing system is the end-user device 304.

[0109] At block 606, the method 600 can include determining, by the first computing system, an estimated time period remaining until the event is scheduled to begin.

[0110] At block 608, the method 600 can include causing, by the first computing system, the identified second computing system to present, via a user interface of the second computing system, the determined estimated time period remaining until the event is scheduled to begin.

IV. Example Variations

[0111] Although some of the acts and/or functions described in this disclosure have been described as being performed by a particular entity, the acts and/or functions can be performed by any entity, such as those entities described in this disclosure. Further, although the acts and/or functions have been recited in a particular order, the acts and/or functions need not be performed in the order recited. However, in some instances, it can be desired to perform the acts and/or functions in the order recited. Further, each of the acts and/or functions can be performed responsive to one or more of the other acts and/or functions. Also, not all of the acts and/or functions need to be performed to achieve one or more of the benefits provided by this disclosure, and therefore not all of the acts and/or functions are required.

[0112] Although certain variations have been discussed in connection with one or more example of this disclosure, these variations can also be applied to all of the other examples of this disclosure as well.

[0113] Although select examples of this disclosure have been described, alterations and permutations of these examples will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art. Other changes, substitutions, and/or alterations are also possible without departing from the invention in its broader aspects as set forth in the following claims.

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