Title:
Video matrix system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A modular video matrix system for selectively interconnecting a plurality of audio, visual and optionally game controller signals from media source devices to display to or play on any one or all connected audio visual receiving display monitors or display stations. The video matrix allowing the user to decide which sources such as video games or DVD are to be displayed to or played on which monitors without disturbing or reconfiguring signal cabling interconnecting the source, receivers and the video matrix. The video matrix provided with a remote control to provide remote configuration of inputs to outputs.



Inventors:
Palermo, Ronald (Staten Island, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/209240
Publication Date:
03/08/2007
Filing Date:
08/23/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
SYED, NABIL H
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Raymond M. Galasso (Galasso & Associates LP P.O. Box 26503, Austin, TX, 78755-0503, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A video matrix system for selectively interconnecting a plurality of audio video source signals to a plurality of display stations, the system comprising: a video matrix device body, the body having a top face, a bottom face, a rear face, a front face and two opposing side faces; a plurality of input source groups secured to a face of the device body, each group configured to receive signals from a media source, each group comprising: a video connector to detachably engage and electrically connect a video input cable from the media source to the video matrix; and two audio connectors to detachably engage and electrically connect audio input cables from the media source to the video matrix; a plurality of display monitor output groups secured to a face of the device body, each output group to convey signals to a display station, each group configured to interface to one display station, each monitor output group comprising: a video connector to detachably engage and electrically connect a video output cable from the video matrix to the display station; and two audio connectors to detachably engage and electrically connect audio output cables from the video matrix to the display station; and a means for selectively electrically interconnecting a user chosen input source group to a user chosen display monitor output group, the means comprising: a plurality of input source selection means secured to a face of the video matrix device body, wherein there is a one to one relationship between each input source selection means and each input source group; and a plurality of display monitor selection means secured to a face of the video matrix device body, wherein there is a one to one relationship between each display monitor selection means and each display monitor output group; and electronic circuitry to electrically interconnect selected input source group to chosen display monitor group.

2. The video matrix system of claim 1, wherein the video matrix device further comprises an all displays selection means, said all displays selection means interconnecting and relaying audio and video signals from the selected input source group to all display monitor groups.

3. The video matrix system of claim 2 wherein the selection means comprises momentary contact pushbuttons.

4. The video matrix system of claim 2 wherein the selection means comprises touch sensitive membrane switches.

5. The video matrix system of claim 2, wherein each of one or more input source groups further comprise a game controller connector to detachably engage and electrically connect an electrical cable terminated to a game controller input on a electronic game machine; and wherein each of one or more display monitor output groups further comprise a game controller connector to detachably engage and electrically connect an electrical cable terminated to a game controller.

6. The video matrix system of claim 5, wherein the electronic interconnection circuitry comprises electrically operated relays for game controller signals.

7. The video matrix system of claim 5, wherein the electronic interconnection circuitry comprises solid state switching circuitry and solid state amplifiers for audio and video signals, and electrically operated relays for game controller signals.

8. The video matrix system of claim 5, further comprising one or more game controller adapter sets, each set configured to interface the game controller of a specific game system type to the video matrix device, each adapter set comprising: a game controller input adapter having two electrical connector ends, the adapter configured on one end to detachably mate with and electrically connect to a specific game system game controller connector type, the adapter configured on remaining connector end to detachably mate with and electrically connect to game controller connector of display monitor output group; and a game controller output adapter having two electrical connector ends, the output adapter configured on one end to detachably mate with and electrically connect to a specific game system game controller input connector type, the adapter configured on remaining connector end to detachably mate with and electrically connect to the game controller connector of input source group.

9. The video matrix system of claim 5, wherein the video matrix device video connectors are RCA type phono plugs; and wherein the video matrix device audio connectors are RCA type phono plugs.

10. The video matrix system of claim 5, wherein the video matrix device game controller connectors are computer USB type connectors.

11. The video matrix system of claim 8, further comprising one or more remote mountable audio video connection plates, said plate having: connectors for an one input source group secured to the plate, the input source group configured to receive signals from a media device, the input source group comprising: a RCA type video connector to detachably engage and electrically connect a video input cable from the media source to the plate; two RCA type audio connectors to detachably engage and electrically connect audio input cables from the media source to the plate; and a USB type game controller connector to detachably engage and electrically connect an electrical cable terminated to a game controller input on a electronic game machine; connectors for one display monitor output group secured to the plate, the display monitor output group configured to interface to one display station, the monitor output group comprising: a RCA type video connector to detachably engage and electrically connect a video output cable from the plate to the display station; two RCA type audio connectors to detachably engage and electrically connect audio output cables from the plate to the display station; and a USB type game controller connector to detachably engage and electrically connect an electrical cable terminated to a game controller, said plate sized and configured to mount as a cover plate over a standard electrical receptacle box.

12. The video matrix system of claim 8, further comprising a remote control device, said remote control device to provide remote modification of input and output group interconnections as well as video matrix device setup, said remote control comprising: a thin substantially rectangular housing having a top face; a touch operated input keypad comprising: an input means for inputting numbers 1 through 9 by use of said keypad; an input means for inputting alphabet letter A through Z by use of said keypad; a connect key; a label key; and a radio frequency wireless communication means whereby the remote control device can communicate commands to the video matrix device.

13. The video matrix system of claim 12, wherein the video matrix device further comprises alphanumeric liquid crystal displays associated with and secured in proximity to the input source selection means and the display monitor selection means, the liquid crystal displays displaying user programmable labels to selection means identifying devices, monitors to which each is connected, the liquid crystal display text labels programmable from the remote control device.

14. A modular video matrix system for interfacing to and routing media signals between a plurality of media source devices and media consumer devices, the video matrix system comprising: a connector board having signal back plane and buss; a plurality of modular media signal interface cards of a plurality of types, each card type configured and adapted to connect with and electrically interface to one or more media device types selected from the group consisting of video game systems, television receivers, video recording devices, video playback devices, DVD players, DVD recorders, video recorders, computer systems, computer monitors, stereo receivers, stereo amplifiers, home theater systems, video surveillance cameras, video surveillance monitors, video game controllers, USB devices, cable television receivers, SCART equipped audio visual equipment, S-video equipped audio visual equipment, and satellite television receivers, each card configured to interface to one or more device related media signals, the group also referred to as a media signal group; a chassis having card slots for receiving two or more modular signal interface cards, the connector board secured within said chassis; a mounting means for removably securing a modular signal interface card in the chassis card slot; a plurality of card connectors secured to the connector board, the card edge connectors sized, positioned and adapted to supportively receive and electrically connect with the modular media interface cards; a programmable microprocessor based logic system secured within said chassis, the logic system providing user programmable interconnection of media source devices to media consumer devices through the media signal interface cards; and a user input means for selectively electrically interconnecting through the logic system a user chosen modular interface card source media signal group to a user chosen modular interface card consumer media signal group.

15. The modular video matrix system of claim 14, wherein the electronic interconnection circuitry comprises microprocessor controlled electrically operated relays for game controller signals.

16. The video matrix system of claim 14, wherein the electronic interconnection circuitry comprises microprocessor controlled solid state switching circuitry and solid state amplifiers for audio and video signals, and electrically operated relays for game controller signals.

17. The video matrix system of claim 14, further comprising one or more remote mountable media device connection plates in a plurality of configurations, each plate configuration having media signal interface connectors configured to adapt to the one or more media device types, said plates mountable on a wall surface in a remote room; and electrical connectors and electrical cables to connect said remote media connection plate signals to the modular video matrix system.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not applicable.

FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE

The disclosures made herein relate generally to apparatuses designed to switch audio and video signals between televisions, and more particularly to expandable modular apparatuses designed to accept and interface with paired audio and video output signals and cabling originating from a plurality of media sources such as DVD players and electronic game systems and then provide for the connection of any chosen audio/video paired media signal input to any chosen connected media consumer such as a monitor or television as the user may select.

BACKGROUND

Frequently a home may have two or more television receivers, perhaps including LCD or large screen monitors used for DVD playback, and perhaps a large screen or full wall projection home theater setup. It is typical for homes, especially those with children and young adults, to own more than one electronic game system, such as the Microsoft X-Box or the Sony Play Station II to name a few examples.

The typical video game system has a video and at least one audio output terminal that is connected to a display unit such as a television set or monitor, as well as an input terminal that receives a cable from a video game controller. A game controller is a hand operated input devices to the game system, equipped with button switches and some form of joystick or manipulator controls. The video game device generates dynamic graphic images and sounds from software and ROM or CDROM game software and data stores as well as user interaction with the game software. The video game device dynamically generates image data in response to control signal inputs thereto as provided by the game user manipulating the controls provided on the game controller. The video game controller signal can be bi-directional, comprising not just the manipulator inputs from the controller to the video game, but can also comprise outputs from the game device to the controller, say to vibrate the video controller handset or flash lights or perform tactile feedback. Accordingly, a video game player can participate in the game displayed on the display station by manipulating the buttons on the controller while watching and listening to the video game device generated image and audio data on the display unit, such as a television.

Often it can be the case that a user may wish to or need to disconnect a game system from one monitor and relocate the game system to another television, say for example the family is watching a movie on the home theater and so the would-be game user needs to move elsewhere to play the game system. When a family owns multiple televisions, monitors, and game systems, along with media sources such as DVD players, VCRs and the like, it is inconvenient to move devices around from room to room so that they can be reconnected to another television or monitor. Additionally the process of connecting and reconnecting a tangle of video, audio and game controller wiring is a frustrating and time wasting task that would be a benefit to eliminate.

Therefore, a video matrix system that provides a convenient means of electronically connecting or routing any media input device to any display through the video matrix, that eliminates the labor and time in moving media sources such as DVD players, electronic games from room to room to play to alternate display station or monitor locations, as well as overcomes the limitations of connecting and disconnecting a plurality of audio, video and game controller wires and cables to each, such a video matrix system would be useful and novel invention.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

Embodiments of the inventive disclosures made herein comprise a video matrix system designed to interface with and route and relay video and audio signals from media sources such as DVD players and electronic game systems to a selected media consumer or display station chosen from a plurality of connected displays. A media consumer is a device having signal interface connections and capabilities suitable for interfacing to the video matrix and receiving at least one of the video, audio or game interface signals. A display station comprises a television receiver or video monitors, and may also have associated with it and in proximity to it one or more video game controllers for use with an electronic game system. Display stations may be located near the video matrix, or alternately may be located remotely, for example in another room of the home, with cabling interconnecting the remote display station to the video matrix. A single media input source group which may comprise a composite video, one or two analog audio signals, and optionally up to four game controller signals (if the input device is an electronic game system) is cabled to and connected to an input channel on the video matrix. A single display station, which comprises a composite video signal, one or two audio signals, and optionally game controller signaling, is cabled to and connected to an output channel of the video matrix.

In one embodiment, a video matrix system, in accordance with the inventive disclosures made herein, comprises a body having a generally rectangular top appearance, a top face of the body having a plurality of input source selector inputs, and a plurality of display monitor selector inputs. The input source and display monitor selector inputs may be mechanical pushbutton switches, or may be touch sensitive membrane switches, or other suitable input means. In one embodiment, the pushbuttons are configured such that the signal input selection pushbuttons are in one row or group, and the monitor selection pushbuttons are in another row or group, the rows arranged, aligned and configured for easy identification by the user when choosing the input and output pushbutton pair to be selected for routing a desired media source to a desired display station. Additionally, the video matrix is provided with an “all displays” monitor selection pushbutton. The “all displays” pushbutton can be selected, together with an input media source pushbutton, to route the selected media source input video, audio channels to all video matrix connected display stations/monitors, thereby allowing all video matrix monitors to view the same DVD or recorded program, or perhaps to have all monitors view a game system being played. The video matrix system is configured with industry standard audio and video input and output connector types for easy interfacing to standard DVD players, games systems and television monitors. The video matrix signal connectors are grouped in blocks according to input channel and output channel for easy identification by the user. When the video matrix system is applied to game systems, some or all video matrix input and output channels are each provided with up to four game controller connectors for interfacing and switching games controllers at display stations to electronic game systems connected to the video matrix inputs. Current game systems utilize a variety of interconnection schemes between the game controller and the game system. As a way to accommodate electronic game systems from various manufacturers utilizing different game controller wiring pin outs and interface signals, embodiments of the video matrix can provide specific adapters to interconnect between the video matrix and game controller and game systems from specific manufacturers.

In another embodiment the video matrix system comprising features disclosed in the first embodiment is further expanded to permit inputs and output signal routing to be configured from a personal computer. Input to output signal routing programming is provided by an RS232 serial port connection between the computer and a DB9 serial connector on the video matrix. The video matrix is programmed through the computer using ANSI or VT100 style character terminal emulation provided on the computer, interacting with VT100 style or ANSI forms menus driven by the video matrix controller computer present in the video matrix system. Alternately, the video matrix input to output channel signal routing may be configured via a network connection between the PC and the video matrix using TCP/IP transport protocol over a 10-base LAN or 100 base LAN connection, or alternately over a wireless LAN network such as provided by the 802.11a or 802.11b wireless LAN specification.

In another embodiment, a video matrix system comprising features disclosed in the embodiments discussed above is extended to provide a modular video matrix switching system for a home or office. The video matrix system comprises the video matrix unit, and additionally one or more modular connector plates for wall mounting in a location remote from the video matrix, as well as shielded signal cables designed to electrically interconnect the video matrix to the remote modular connector plates. The modular connection plate face is provided with audio, video and optionally game controller connector ports for use in interconnecting to a television/monitor and possibly one or more electronic game controllers.

In a further embodiment, a video matrix system is provided with a hand held wireless remote control, similar to a television or DVD remote controller, but transmitting user commands to the video matrix wirelessly over a radio frequency link. The video matrix is equipped with a radio frequency receiver component to accept media source to media consumer routing commands entered on the remote control by a user. The remote control is configured to duplicate the input to output channel selection and routing functionality of the input/output channel selector inputs or pushbuttons on the video matrix unit remotely, for instance, from another room in the building.

In some embodiments of the video matrix system having a wireless remote control, the video matrix system is provided with LCD alphanumeric displays above each input and output pushbutton. The displays being programmable from the wireless remote control to display a user determined device name on the LCD displays on each input and each output channel, aiding the user in determining which channels correspond to which connected device.

The embodiments discussed are preferentially implemented using a flexible modular chassis design configured to accept a variety of modular interface card. The modular chassis providing the interconnection back plane and signal buss, as well as connectors to receive each of the modular interface cards. The chassis can be built to accommodate various numbers of input and output cards. Video matrix chassis designs accepting 5, 10 or 20 input and output cards are currently intended. Each modular interface card provides the audio and video signal connection point for one video matrix input channel or output channel. The plug-in style modular interface cards are to be provided in a variety of types to interface to game systems, television receivers, DVD players, VHS video recorders, computers, stereo tuners and audio systems, and video surveillance systems. The cards provide interface connections and electronics to interface and electrically interconnect to widely used standards such as composite video, analog audio, component video, video game systems, game controller interfaces, S-video (or super video as used with Hi-8 and S-VHS systems), composite video, as well as the European SCART Audio/video connection system to BS 6552:1984 (EN 50-049).

Accordingly, it is a principal object of the inventive disclosures made herein to provide a novel, useful and beneficial replacement to the usual practice of manually disconnecting, physically moving and manually reconnecting audio/visual devices such as DVD players and electronic game systems when their use is desired in another room or at another monitor or television. Specifically, the video matrix system in accordance with embodiments of disclosures made herein utilize a fast pushbutton selection means of reconnecting or routing an audio/visual media input device to another television or monitor without the need to disconnect and move the media input device. Such a video matrix audio video switching device is ideal for use in a home or office.

It is another object of the inventive disclosures made herein to provide a video matrix system which incorporates routing and connection support for the majority of electronic game systems and their game controllers so as to support electronic game play on display stations located remotely from the game system.

It is another object of the inventive disclosures made herein to provide a video matrix system which is modular in design, one which can be easily configured with appropriate input and output interface cards to accommodate the audio and visual media devices to which it is to be connected.

It is another objective of the inventive disclosures made herein to provide a video matrix system that provides a modular remote wall plate design providing remote wall mountable modular connection plates having the audio video and game controller interface connections for mounting near a display or television in another room or location remote from the video matrix.

These and other objects of the inventive disclosures made herein will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and associated drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The drawings show a form of the invention that is presently preferred, however the invention is not limited to the precise arrangement shown in the drawings.

FIG. 1 is an isometric view depicting a video matrix system in accordance with an embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein.

FIG. 2 is an interconnection single line cabling view of a video matrix system depicting the arrangement or routing of electrical audio visual and game controller cabling between the video matrix, display device and audio video media source device, as well as remote room wall mountable modular connection interface plates.

FIG. 3 is a back view of a video matrix system in accordance with an embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein, depicting one conceived general arrange and grouping of the electronic signal input and output connectors for audio, video and game controller connections. The arrangement and connector types are for illustration of an embodiment of the video matrix. This illustration is not intended to limit this inventive disclosure in regards to the connector grouping, number of groups, connector type and arrangement shown. The illustration provided for understanding of one specific embodiment of a video matrix having many embodiments.

FIG. 4 is a front view of one embodiment of remote audio-visual connection plate in accordance with an embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein.

FIG. 5 is depicts one embodiment of video matrix hand held remote control in accordance with the inventive disclosures made herein.

FIG. 6 depicts the face plates and signal interface connections of a sampling of the modular interface card types for the modular embodiment of the video matrix system in accordance with the inventive disclosures made herein.

FIG. 7 is a back view of a modular form of the video matrix system in accordance with an embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein, depicting one possible selection of modular input and output interface cards installed in a small size video matrix chassis accommodating 4 input and 4 output channels. I/O channel sizes of 20 or more are intended.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 depicts a video matrix in accordance with an embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein. The video matrix 1 includes a top face 2, front face 14, two side faces 15 and a rear face 5. The top face 2 includes a plurality of touch sensitive momentary switches, membrane switches, or pushbuttons provided on the top face, comprising a plurality of input source selector pushbuttons 3, a plurality of display monitor selector pushbuttons 4, as well as an “all displays” selector pushbutton 10. For example, to connect a DVD player at media input ‘1’ to a television connected to monitor display ‘B’, the key input sequence on the video matrix is ‘B’, ‘1’. To send the DVD player signal at media input 1 to all display monitors, the key sequence is ‘All’, ‘1’.

Higher end alternate embodiments include an LCD display 13 mounted in closely associated proximity to pushbuttons, the LCD provided to display the device name to which the pushbutton corresponds as an aid to the user. For example, an LCD display labeling an input selector pushbutton may be programmed to display ‘X-Box’, while a another LCD display labeling a display monitor selector pushbutton may identify the pushbutton as ‘Steve's bedroom’, as an example. The LCD displays are programmed from a remote control device described in more detail later below, or from a computer through a serial USB connection or over a TCP/IP connection as described earlier in the specification.

The video matrix replaces and eliminates the need to manually connect and disconnect media sources from media consumers such as televisions and monitor by providing a user selectable electronic interconnection or signal routing capability between any video matrix connected audio-visual input source device to any of the connected display stations or display devices. Display devices can include conventional television sets, large screen or projection televisions including home theater setups, or individual LCD or CRT monitors, any of which can be located near to the video matrix or located remotely in another room and connected to a remote modular audio video connection plate, described later below. The video matrix accomplishes routing of audio, video and game controller input media device signals to a selected output display station or to alternately all connected display stations without the need to move the devices, and without the need to disconnect cables, move the device to another display station, and reconnect the device. Audio visual and game controller device signals are re-routed on the fly and instantaneously by touch sensitive pushbutton selections entered by the user. Input audio video signal sources include video recorders, camcorders, DVD players, computer systems, security surveillance video systems, electronic game systems to name a few. Examples of display devices or display stations we discussed earlier in the paragraph.

Referring now to FIG. 2, the video matrix is shown in relationship to a few exemplary audio-visual or media devices that a user might electrically interconnect to it. The video matrix top face includes a plurality of touch sensitive selector pushbuttons comprising input source selector pushbuttons 3 and display monitor selector pushbuttons 4. An electronic game machine 18 is connected to the video matrix 1 via a cable group 30 running between the video matrix and the game machine. The cable group comprising one or two shielded coaxial audio cables having industry standard RCA type connectors on each end. For stereo sound, both the left and right channel cables and connectors would be used. For monaural audio, say from a security or some game systems, one audio cable would be used and connected. The cable group also comprises a composite video 75-ohm shielded cable having industry standard RCA phono type connectors on both ends. Composite video is a single video signal that is a composite of the black-and-white information and the color information signals, and is a widely supported and implemented video connection type on media source and display devices of the types described earlier. A cable group may also comprise one to four game controller extension cables. Electronic game machines from manufacturers use a variety of proprietary connectors and pin out arrangements, however to the number of conductors and are relatively few and easily connected and packaged. For example, the X-box system utilizes a variation on the computer USB port connection for the game controller while others use other configurations with a limited number of conductors per controller. To provide the video matrix with the ability to switch game controller signals from a game system to a remote game controller at remote display station the video matrix game system cable group is provided with a with a user game controller adapter mating to a game controller extension cable in the cable group. The game controller adapter is specific to each game system on the market, and provides a mating electrical connector type and pin out to mate to the game machine type specific game controller connector on one end of the adapter. The other end of the adapter provides a conventional computer universal serial bus, USB, receptacle. The cable group for a game system includes one or more shielded USB type cables to carry game controller signals. The game controller 7 plugs into and electrically interfaces with the game controller adapter 8. The game controller adapter is equipped with a USB receptacle that receives and electrically connects a shielded USB cable. The shielded USB cable traverses between the adapter and the video matrix. A number of channels on the video matrix may be equipped with up to 4 USB receptacles for each input or output channel. The video matrix receives the opposite USB plug equipped end of the game shielded game controller cable. Using this scheme, game controller signals are carried between the video matrix and the input device (game machine) and the output device (handheld game controller) over conventional shielded USB cables having USB plugs on each end. At the game controller cable end at the game machine (input device) as well as the game controller cable end at the handheld game controller (located at the display device), an adapter is provided to receive the USB cable plug of the video matrix game controller cable and convert the electrical pin out and provide a mating connector to the specific game machine and game controller being used. This is to say the game controller adapters are specific to the game machine being connected to the video matrix.

The cable groups, as envisioned, would be preferably provided as a single multi-cable package, pre-fitted with the proper connectors (RCA plugs for audio and video, and USB connectors for game controllers), the shielded cable group of sufficient one piece length to run between the video matrix and the device or devices to which it connects.

Remote modular audio video connection plate 16 provides a remote mountable connection interface. One example application is where video matrix cabling is provided in a building and runs from the video matrix location to various rooms. The cables run to and extend from the location of the video matrix in a star configuration. The cables terminate at the remote rooms on the backside of a modular interface plate. In one embodiment, modular interface plate is sized and fitted to mount as a cover plate over a single standard frame wall mountable electrical handy box, as would be used to mount a conventional 110V electrical receptacle.

The modular connection interface plate extends the audio, video and optionally game controller connection points from the back plate of the video matrix to the remote room connection plate by use of an interconnecting cable group comprising audio, video and game controller cables as discussed above. The connections on the modular connection interface plate replicate the connections on the back of the video matrix, but conveniently and advantageously provide these connections at a distant or remote room location.

Referring now to FIG. 3, the video matrix rear face is configured with connector groups 36, grouping audio, video and game controller inputs and outs according to input and output channel, corresponding to the numeric labels on the input source pushbuttons and the alphabetic labels on the monitor selector pushbuttons as discussed earlier. Each connector group is configured to receive audio, video and optionally game controller cable connections between the video matrix and the connected device. Audio connections on the video matrix are industry standard RCA female plugs adapted to receive and connect standard RCA phono style plugs on shielded audio cables. Audio connections for each input or output group include audio left 24, audio right 25. Video connections 26 are provided to receive composite video over 75 ohm shields coaxial cable having RCA type male connectors.

Referring now to FIG. 4, depicting one embodiment of the remote modular audio video connection plate 16 as discussed earlier. The cover plate is configured to provide a remote set of audio visual media input connections and display or monitor output connection, The plate embodiment shown is configured to attach by screws 27 to a standard electrical trade handy box as used for single wall switches and duplex electrical receptacles.

Referring now to FIG. 5, certain higher end video matrix embodiments in accordance with inventive disclosures herein having LCD selector button labeling displays, as discussed above, are provided with one or more hand held remote control units 17. The remote control 17 utilizes conventional radio frequency digital communication techniques, similar to RF techniques as used in garage door openers for example, to communicate over a limited distance, say 50 to 200 feet, with the video matrix box. Garage door openers and some similar remote control RF devices in consumer homes operate at 390 MHz and use a digital coding scheme to prevent cross operation between other similar devices, as known to those skilled in the art.

The remote control device provides two functions. The first is that the remote control device 17 provide alpha numeric input keyboard capabilities to program an enter identifying text to the LCD displays labeling the input selection pushbuttons and video monitor selection pushbuttons, as discussed with FIG. 1 earlier above. The second function is that the remote control allows a user to select media inputs to be connected or routed to display station outputs from a remote location, without having to be physically near the video matrix box to make the selection. In this sense the remote control keyboard mimics the input select (numeric keys) and display select (alpha keys) of the face of the video matrix on the remote control and allows media input to be redirected to any display monitor output from the remote control. For example, to connect a DVD player at media input ‘1’ to a television connected to monitor display ‘B’, the key sequence on the remote control is ‘Connect’, ‘B’, ‘1’. To send the DVD player signal at media input 1 to all display monitors, the key sequence is ‘Connect’, ‘All’, ‘1’.

FIG. 6 depicts a partial set of modular input and output interface cards as pertains to the modular form or embodiment of the video matrix system. Game system interface card 31 is provided with analog audio RCA connectors, composite video connector, and up to 4 game controller connectors. Personal computer system or computer workstation interface cards 32 is provided with a VGA/SVGA standard 15 pin DIN connector for computer monitor video, as well as left and right channel analog audio ports. VCR or television/monitor interface card 34 is provided with a standard RCA type composite video connection point, as well as left and right audio channels. European SCART standard interface card 35. SCART stands for Syndicat frangais des Constructeurs d'Appareils Radio et Télévision. The connector is also known as a Euro-connector since it was imposed on manufacturers by EC directive. All TV and VCR equipment sold in the EC that have external video line connections have to be supplied with SCART connections by regulation. The 20 pin (21 pin counting the shield connection) connector provides for stereo audio in/out, C-video in/out, S-video, and RGB (in only). There is also provision for external mode and signaling, such as 4:3/16:9 (wide screen) selection, and auto-TV-switching when a cassette is inserted in the VCR. The SCART digital signaling functions may be ignored or not implemented by the video matrix system. The SCART connector also provides a convenient way to group signals into a single grouped plug-in cable for routing cabling from the video matrix to a remote room wall plate, these signals supported by the SCART standard include: left-right audio inputs, left-right audio outputs, composite video input, and composite video output.

FIG. 7 depicts a rear view of a modular chassis video matrix system in accordance with the inventive disclosures made herein. The modular chassis 40 has an end user selected set of modular interface cards installed into the chassis. The depicted chassis size of 4 input and 4 output cards is for easy illustration only, and is not to be understood as a limitation. Chassis locations which are not needed for interfacing to media devices can be left blank or unfilled, the unfilled card position covered by blank card face 41.

In the preceding detailed description, reference has been made to the accompanying drawings that form a part hereof, and in which are shown by way of illustration specific embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. These embodiments and certain variants thereof, have been described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention. It is to be understood that other suitable embodiments may be utilized and that logical, material, mechanical and electrical changes may be made without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. To avoid unnecessary detail, the description omits certain information known to those skilled in the art. The preceding detailed description is, therefore, not intended to be limited to the specific forms set forth herein, but on the contrary, it is intended to cover such alternatives, modifications, and equivalents, as can be reasonably included within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.





 
Previous Patent: Gaming network

Next Patent: Repositionable user input device