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System and method for automatically recording television programs in television systems with tuners external to video recorders

Image Number 11 for United States Patent #5515173.

A system capable of automatically recording television programs broadcast on different cable television channels. The system includes a cable box, a video recorder and a cable programmer. The consumer enters sets of channel, date, time-of-day and length commands ("CDTL information") or compressed codes representative of such sets of commands into the video recorder. From each set of commands, subsets of date, time-of-day and length ("DTL information") are stored in the video recorder's memory. At the same time or shortly thereafter, a subset of channel, date and time-of-day commands ("CDT information") from the same set of commands is transmitted to the cable programmer. The cable programmer and video recorder have independent control circuits the control certain aspects of the recording process according to the subsets of commands stored in their memories. The control circuits of the video recorder control the starting and stopping of recording while the control circuits of the cable programmer tune the channel on the cable box. Information is transferred from the video recorder to the cable programmer and from the cable programmer to the cable box via IR links or other remote control technique.

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