CenturyLink patent proposes using set top box for home monitoring

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) has applied for a patent with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office that proposes providing home monitoring using a customer's existing set top box (STB). The telco said that its invention is intended to simplify home security for consumers.

The patent filing says the method will provide consumers who have STBs and wireless devices a way to get security content from wireless cameras. Users would be able to get security content in the home and from remote locations.

"Existing systems for viewing security content while in the home or at a remote location are often complex and unreliable," CenturyLink wrote in its patent filing. "In many cases, a user may be required to use specialized security equipment that is not easily incorporated into a home environment."

CenturyLink has proposed a number of possible scenarios to provide security notifications.

In one instance, security content could display security content from a STB to a TV set. It would receive media content from one or more wireless cameras in the home.

Security content could also be displayed on the STB itself by recording security content from a wireless camera in response to camera activity. The security content would then be communicated to a display.

Offering home monitoring services over an STB makes sense for CenturyLink, especially as it continues to expand its IPTV and home services footprint. While it only offers TV in select markets within its footprint, it could use it as another bundle element to lure new customers and enhance its relationship with existing ones that being wooed by cable competitors.  

The inventors named on patent #8,619,136 are Jamie C. Howarter, video product development manager at CenturyLink, and Charles Lesher. It was published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office on Dec. 31, 2013 and was filed in 2006.

For more:
- see the patent application

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