Patent Number: 6,683,630

Title: Methods and arrangements for allowing independent program modules to access shared display device resources

Abstract: Virtual display layers are associated with each process within a programmable set top box requiring access to a shared front panel display therein. An ordered set of virtual display layers is used to determine the information that is ultimately displayed on the shared display device. The shared display device includes a plurality of selectively controllable light emitting diode (LED) elements located on the front panel of the set top box. These LED elements correspond to data defined in the virtual display layers. The data includes flag data that associates certain properties with an element, mask data that identifies if the element is visible (e.g., opaque) or not visible (e.g., transparent) to the process, and context data that sets the state or status of the element (e.g., ON/OFF). A composite display layer is created using applicable data from the ordered set of virtual display layers. The resulting composite display layer provides the data that defines the information displayed via the display device.

Inventors: Shoff; Daniel J. (Issaquah, WA), Cooper, III; John T. (Bellevue, WA), Liu; Jun (Redmond, WA), Gibson; Robert S. T. (Monroe, WA)

Assignee: Microsoft Corporation

International Classification: G09G 5/00 (20060101); G09G 005/00 ()

Expiration Date: 01/27/2021