Title:
Detachable display unit for portable video player device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A video player assembly comprises a video player device and a video display unit detachable from the video player device. The video player device includes a casing provided with at least one support slot formed thereon. In turn, the video display unit includes a video display panel including a viewing surface provided with a display screen and a base member pivotally mounted to the video display panel. The base member is detachably disposed within the display support slot of the player casing thereby forming a selectively releasable collection between the player casing and the video display panel. The video display panel is rotatable relative to the base member so that the video display panel has a deployed position and a stowed position. The video display unit may be removed from the video player device and independently supported by the base member on any substantially flat surface.



Inventors:
Hussaini, Saied (Miami, FL, US)
Iacovelli, Marc (Miami, FL, US)
Application Number:
10/864802
Publication Date:
04/14/2005
Filing Date:
06/10/2004
Assignee:
HUSSAINI SAIED
IACOVELLI MARC
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
G9B/33.025
International Classes:
G11B33/10; (IPC1-7): A63F9/24
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SHIBRU, HELEN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LINIAK, BERENATO & WHITE;Suite 240 (6550 Rock Spring Drive, Bethesda, MD, 20817, US)
Claims:
1. A video player assembly comprising: a video player device having a player casing provided with at least one display support slot formed thereon; and a video display unit including: a video display panel including a viewing surface provided with a display screen; and a base member mounted to said video display panel, said base member being disposed within said at least one display support slot of said player casing thereby forming a selectively releasable connection between said player casing and said video display panel; said video display member being pivotally mounted to said base member for pivoting between a stowed position wherein said video display panel is substantially parallel to a top panel of said video player device and a deployed position wherein said video display panel projects outwardly from said top panel of said video player device with said display screen in a disposition which is viewable by a user of said video player assembly.

2. The video player assembly as defined in claim 1, wherein said player casing includes a rear panel substantially orthogonal to said top panel, said at least one display support slot is formed adjacent to said rear panel of said player casing.

3. The video player assembly as defined in claim 2, wherein said rear panel of said player casing has two extensions each forming a support slot provided to receive said base member of said video display unit therein to support the video display panel.

4. The video player assembly as defined in claim 3, wherein said base member of said video display unit includes a stand portion and a pair of hinge portions formed at opposite ends of said stand portion; said hinge portions provided for pivotally mounting said video display panel to said base member through a continuous resistance device.

5. The video player assembly as defined in claim 4, wherein opposite end portions of said stand portion of said base member are disposed in said support slots formed in said extensions of said rear panel of said player casing.

6. The video player assembly as defined in claim 5, further including a locking mechanism provided to relesably positively secure said base member of said video display unit to said casing of said video player device.

7. The video player assembly as defined in claim 6, wherein said locking mechanism includes at least one release lever provided with a locking tab that engages a complementary locking recess formed in said base member of said video display unit to positively connect said player casing to said base member of said video display unit.

8. The video player assembly as defined in claim 7, wherein said release lever is formed as a flexible cantilever formed integrally with said rear panel of said player casing and extending along said rear panel of said player casing to facilitate bending of said release lever into said player casing to remove said locking tab from said locking recess in said base member of said video display unit and release said video display unit from said video player device.

9. The video player assembly as defined in claim 8, wherein said release lever has a ribbed button surface adapted to be pressed upon to release said locking tab from said complementary locking recess in said base member.

10. The video player assembly as defined in claim 9, wherein said base member of said video display unit has an opening therethrough formed to provide an access to said button surface of said release lever when said video display unit is attached to said video player device.

11. The video player assembly as defined in claim 2, wherein said top panel of said player casing is provided with a plurality of control buttons for operating said video player device.

12. The video player assembly as defined in claim 4, wherein said video display panel pivots at least 180° relative to said player casing of said video player device.

13. The video player assembly as defined in claim 1, wherein said base member is adjusted relative to said video display panel to an angular position allowing said base member to independently support said video display panel on a substantially flat surface.

14. The video player assembly as defined in claim 1, wherein said video player device is electrically connected to said video display unit thereby permitting communication of audio and video signals between said video player device and said video display panel.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This Application claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. 119(e) of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/509,918 filed Oct. 10, 2003 by S. Hussaini et al.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to consumer electronics in general, and more particularly to a detachable, compact screen apparatus for a PORTABLE, electronic video-processing device, such as a DVD player.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Video entertainment devices are becoming increasingly popular. VCRs, DVDs, and similar electronic devices are commonly found in most households today, particularly households having young children and teenagers. These devices generally have a box-shaped housing with a plurality of plugs for interfacing with multiple complementary devices. Typically, these electronic devices do not have a dedicated video display screen, and are adapted to work with conventional TV monitors. Thus the portability of these devices is often limited to the video display device to which they are connected. Moreover, most households have a limited number of televisions, and when one family member uses the television as a video display device, other family members are unable to watch conventional televised entertainment. Thus there is a need for a compact, detachable, portable video display device adapted to be used with electronic video-processing devices. Such a need particularly exists for video players, such as the DVD or VCD players and VCRs.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a video player assembly comprising a video player device and a detachable video display unit designed to be removably attached to the video player device.

In the preferred embodiment, the video display unit comprises video display panel including a viewing surface provided with a display screen, and a base member pivotally mounted to the video display panel. In turn, the video player device includes a player casing provided with at least one display support slot formed thereon. The base member is disposed within the at least one display support slot of the player casing thereby forming a selectively releasable connection between the player casing and the video display panel.

Furthermore, a rear panel of the video player device is provided with a release lever including a locking tab that engages a complementary recess formed in the base member of the video display unit to positively connect the video player device to the base member of the video display unit. Preferably, the release lever is formed as a flexible cantilever formed integrally with and extending along the rear panel of the video player device to selectively facilitate bending the release lever into the video player device to remove the locking tab from the complementary recess in the base member of the video display unit and release the video display unit from the video player device. The release lever has a ribbed button surface adapted to be pressed upon to release the locking tab from the complementary recess in the base member.

The video player device is adapted for pivotally supporting the video display unit between a stowed position and a deployed position.

The video display unit may be removed from the video player device and independently supported by the base member on any substantially flat surface.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from a study of the following specification when viewed in light of the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a video display unit attached to a separate video player device in a deployed position;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the video display unit attached to the separate video player device in a stowed position;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the video player device;

FIG. 4 is a right side view of the video player device;

FIG. 5 is a left side view of the video player device;

FIG. 6 is a top view of the video player device;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the video display unit;

FIG. 8 is a front view of a stand portion of a base member of the video display unit;

FIG. 9 is a side view of the stand portion of a base member of the video display unit;

FIG. 10 is a front view of a video display panel of the video display unit;

FIG. 11 is a rear view of the video display unit attached to the separate video player device in a stowed position;

FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional view as seen from the plane indicated by the line A-A in FIG. 11;

FIG. 13 is an enlarged partial sectional view of a latch mechanism shown in a circle “B” in FIG. 12;

FIG. 14 is a perspective view of the video display unit separated from the video player device;

FIG. 15 is a perspective view of the video display unit removed from the video player device and independently supported on a flat surface.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The preferred embodiment of the present invention will now be described with the reference to accompanying drawings.

FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings illustrate an exemplary embodiment of a video player assembly 5 comprising an electronic video player device, such as a digital video disc (DVD) player 10, and a separate video display unit 30 removably attached to the video player device 10. It will be appreciated that other appropriate electronic video player devices, such as video CD (VCD) players, VCRs, etc., are within the scope of the present invention. The video player device 10 is adapted for pivotally supporting the video display unit 30 between a stowed position (shown in FIG. 2) and a deployed position (shown in FIG. 1).

The video display unit 30 comprises a base member 32 adapted to be removably attached to the video player device 10, and a video display panel 42 pivotally mounted on the base member 32, as illustrated in FIG. 7.

The DVD player device 10 of the particular exemplary embodiment of the present invention illustrated in detail in FIGS. 3-6, includes a substantially box-like casing 12 having a top panel 12T and a bottom panel, a front panel 12F, a rear panel 12R, and opposite side panels 12RS and 12LS. The right side panel 12RS of the casing 12 is provided with a slot 14 for inserting digital video discs (DVDs), shown in FIG. 4. As illustrated in FIG. 5, the left side panel 12LS of the casing 12 is provided with ventilating openings 15, two monitor connecting sockets 16, an S-video output socket 17, a video output socket 18a, two audio output sockets 18b and a socket 20 for a DC/AC adapter (not shown). The sockets 17, 18a and 18b define a DVD player electrical interface adapted to be operably connected to an electrical interface of the video display unit 30 and communicate electrical signals therebetween. The top panel 12T of the casing 12 is substantially flat and includes a plurality of control buttons 22 provided to operate the DVD player device 10 and magnetic inserts 29, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 6.

Furthermore, the rear panel 12R of the casing 12 has two opposite extensions 24a and 24b each forming an open support slot 25a and 25b, respectively, provided to receive the base member 32 of the video display unit 30 therein to support the video display panel 42.

Moreover, as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3, the rear panel 12R of the casing 12 is provided with a release lever 26 including a locking tab 27 that engages a complementary recess formed in the base member 32 of the video display unit 30 to positively connect the video player device 10 to the base member 32 of the video display unit 30. Preferably, the release lever 26 is formed as a flexible cantilever formed integrally with and extending along the rear panel 12R of the casing 12 to selectively facilitate bending the release lever 26 into the player casing 12 to remove the locking tab 27 from the complementary recess in the base member 32 of the video display unit 30 and release the video display unit 30 from the player casing 12. The release lever 26 has a ribbed button surface 28 adapted to be pressed upon to release the locking tab 27 from the complementary recess in the base member 32.

The base member 32 of the video display unit 30, illustrated in detail in FIG. 8, includes a stand portion 34 and a pair of hinge portions 36a and 36b formed at opposite ends of the stand portion 34. The stand portion 34 of the base member 32 has a through opening 38 configured so that provide an access to the button surface 28 of the release lever 26 when the video display unit 30 is attached to the video player device 10, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 10. The stand portion 34 is also provided with a locking recess 35 complementary to the locking tab 27 of the release lever 26 formed on the rear panel 12R of the casing 12 of the video player device 10.

The video display panel 42 of the video display unit 30, illustrated in detail in FIG. 10, includes a hollow display casing 44 made of, preferably, appropriate plastic material. The display casing 44 houses a display screen 46. Preferably, the display screen 46 is a substantially flat liquid crystal display (LCD) screen. The display casing 44 further houses a pair of built-in stereo speakers 48 located on both sides of the LCD screen 46 for providing a stereo sound. Also, a plurality (preferably four) of elastic, such as rubber, pad members 50 are provided on a viewing surface 45 of the display casing 44 adapted to provide a small clearance between the video display panel 42 and the top panel 12T of the player casing 12 when the video display unit 30 is in the stowed position. Moreover, the display casing 44 includes magnetic inserts 68 oriented so as to register with the magnetic inserts 29 on the top panel 12T of the casing 12 when the video display unit 30 is in the stowed position. Thus, the magnetic inserts 29 and 68 act as a locking means for retaining the video display unit 30 is in the stowed position.

The display casing 44 also includes various audio and video controls 52 and a pair of stereo headphone jacks 54a and 54b. The display casing 44 may also include other controls and integration ports to allow the video player device 10 to connect and interface with multiple auxiliary devices.

As further illustrated in FIG. 5, the video display unit 30 is provided with an audio/video/power signal port 58 provided within the hinge portion 36a of the base member 32, an S-video input socket 60, a video input socket 62a, two audio input sockets 62b and a socket 64 for a DC/AC adapter (not shown) provided in the display casing 44 of the video display panel 42. The audio/video/power signal port 58 is adapted to be connected to one of the monitor connecting sockets 16 of the video player device 10 via an electric cable (not shown). Preferably, a single cable is employed to form an all-in-one connection (video, audio L/R, voltage source, etc.) to increase the ease in which the video display unit 30 may be manipulated independently of the video player device 10. Additional audio/video sockets 60, 62a and 62b define the electrical interface of the video display unit 30 adapted to be operably connected to the electrical interface of the video player device 10 and communicate electrical signals therebetween to provide independent connection to any video player device.

As shown in FIGS. 7 and 11, a lower end of the display casing 44 is pivotally mounted to the hinge portions 36a and 36b of the base member 32 through a continuous resistance device. The pivotal connection allows the video display panel 42 to pivot at least 180° relative to the base member 32. A latch mechanism includes the cantilevered release lever 26 provided with the locking tab 27 to engage the locking recess 35 in the stand portion 34 of the base member 32, thus providing releasable connection between the video player device 10 and the video display unit 30.

As best shown in FIGS. 2 and 11, when the video display unit 30 is attached to the video player device 10, opposite end portions of the stand portion 34 of the base member 32 are disposed in the support slots 25a and 25b formed in the extensions 24a and 24b of the casing 12 of the video player device 10. In the installed position, the locking tab 27 of the cantilevered release lever 26 positively engages the locking recess 35 in the stand portion 34 of the base member 32 as illustrated in FIGS. 12 and 13, thus firmly securing the video display unit 30 to the video player device 10.

A user can easily disengage the video display unit 30 from the video player device 10 by simply depressing the ribbed button surface 28 of the release lever 26 by his finger (as the button surface 28 is accessible through the through opening 38 in the stand portion 34) to bend the release lever 26 away from the stand portion 34 of the base member 32 into the casing 12 of the video player device 10. This action disengages the locking tab 27 from the locking recess 35 in the stand portion 34 of the base member 32. At the same time, the user should lift the stand portion 34 upward to slide the base member 32 out of the support slots 25a and 25b in the casing 12 of the video player device 10.

If the user intends to leave the video display unit 30 attached to the video player device 10, the video display panel 42 can be pivoted downward so that the video display panel 42 is oriented downward adjacent to the top panel 12T of the video player device 10 in the stowed position (shown in FIG. 2), or the video display panel 42 can be pivoted upward so that the video display panel 42 projects outwardly from the top panel 12T of the video player device 10 in the deployed position (shown in FIG. 1)wherein the display screen 46 is viewable by the user of the video player assembly.

The video display unit 30 may be electronically connected to the video player device 10 by any method known in the art, such as by a single cable bundle connected through a single audio/video port in each of the video display unit 30 and the video player device 10. Such electronic connections are well within the knowledge of one of ordinary skill in the art and need not be elaborated further. The audio/video signal is thus transmitted to the video display unit 30. The video display unit 30 includes conventional circuitry and components to display the video images and broadcast audio. The video display panel 42 includes associated audio and video controls 52 on the display casing 44 to adjust the display screen 46 and speaker volume. Such video display panel 42 may include LCD display screen. However it is to be understood that any display device capable of displaying vide signals may be employed. An independent power supply may be employed to power the video display panel 42 or a battery compartment may be provided.

In operation, a user simply inserts the opposite end portions of the stand portion 34 of the base member 32 into the support slots 25a and 25b formed in the extensions 24a and 24b of the casing 12 of the video player device 10, as illustrated in FIG. 14. The stand portion 34 is dimensioned to fit in the support slots 25a and 25b formed in the extensions 24a and 24b of the casing 12. The front surface of the stand portion 34 substantially conforms to a corresponding portion of the rear panel 12R of the player casing 12 such that the two surfaces rest substantially flush against one another when connected. The locking tab 27 of the cantilevered release lever 26 projects outward from the rear panel 12R of the casing 12 such that as the base member 32 is inserted into the support slots 25a and 25b, the cantilevered release lever 26 is forced backwards until the locking tab 27 engages the corresponding locking recess 35. When the stand portion 34 of the base member 32 is inserted sufficiently into the support slots 25a and 25b, the cantilevered release lever 26 springs back due to the resiliency thereof and the locking tab 27 engages the locking recess 35. The overall arrangement provides a snug snap fit releasable connection between the video display unit 30 and the video player device 10.

The video display panel 42 may then be adjusted to pivot between the stowed position whereby the display panel 42 rests substantially flush against the top panel 12T of the video player device 10, and the deployed position suitable to be viewed by the user by manipulating the pivotal connection between the lower end of the video display panel 42 and the base member 32. When the video display panel 42 is stored flush against the top panel 12T of the video player device 10, the arrangement of the present invention provides a compact complete portable video player assembly.

As indicated above, the rotatable (pivotal) connection between the base member 32 and the video display panel 42 of the video display unit 30 includes the continuous resistance device that requires a threshold force to rotate the video display panel 42 relative to the base member 32, thus allowing the video display panel 42 to be infinitely adjustable between various angular positions between the stored position and an open position. Preferably, the video display panel 42 may be rotated in excess of 180°.

To release the video display unit 30 from the separate video player device 10, the user simply inserts a finger within the through opening 38 in the stand portion 34 of the base member 32, depresses the ribbed button surface 28 of the release lever 26 by his finger to bend the release lever 26 away from the stand portion 34 of the base member 32 into the casing 12 of the video player device 10 and force the locking tab 27 out of the corresponding locking recess 35 in the stand portion 34 of the base member 32. The video display unit 30 may then be simply pulled out of the support slots 25a and 25b in the casing 12 and thereby detached from the video player device 10. The overall arrangement provides a detachable yet secure connection between the video display unit 30 and the video player device 10 to positively retain the video display unit 30 to the video player device 10.

Moreover, the present invention allows the video display unit 30 to be removed from the video player device 10 and independently supported on any substantially flat surface. As illustrated in FIG. 15, the base member 32 is adjusted relative to the video display panel 42 to an angular position allowing the base member 32 to independently support the video display panel 42 on a substantially flat surface 70. In other words, when the base member 32 is rotated backward, away from the viewing surface of the video display panel 42, the base member 32 may function as an independent stand for the video display panel 42 of the video display unit 30, as shown in FIG. 15.

While the present invention is described in relation to the DVD player, the invention is equally suited for use with other electronic video player devices, such as CVD and VCR players, and other similar processing units producing an electronic video signal. Although the materials of construction are not described, they may include a variety of compositions consistent with the function of the invention.

The description of the preferred embodiments of the present invention has been presented for the purpose of illustration in accordance with the provisions of the Patent Statutes. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise forms disclosed. The embodiments disclosed hereinabove were chosen in order to best illustrate the principles of the present invention and its practical application to thereby enable those of ordinary skill in the art to best utilize the invention in various embodiments and with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated, as long as the principles described herein are followed. This application is therefore intended to cover any variations, uses, or adaptations of the invention using its general principles. Further, this application is intended to cover such departures from the present disclosure as come within known or customary practice in the art to which this invention pertains. Thus, changes can be made in the above-described invention without departing from the intent and scope thereof. It is also intended that the scope of the present invention be defined by the claims appended thereto.