NEW YORK, July 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The US Patent and Trademark Office today is scheduled to issue U.S. Patent 8,767,031 for the Video Call Center (VCC) to Media Executive and Inventor Tom Wolzien. The Video Call Center is a unique approach to creating television programs from multiple web video callers using systems such as Skype®. The patent relates to technology and production systems for the efficient creation of TV's version of talk radio, but where viewers can see the callers, and whatever the callers want to show. With the rapid proliferation of connected devices, such as smartphones and tablets, TV and cable networks could produce live shows centered on video callers that puts the on-camera host in complete control – without a traditional control room.
"The patented Video Call Center technology allows the first new TV content genre since the inception of reality TV, two decades ago," said Tom Wolzien. "VCC is right at the intersection of social and mass media, TV and the web. What's unique is that the system doesn't just handle a single IP video call, but it's designed to handle multiple video calls simultaneously, each with the power of its own computer--essential for any live caller-based TV program."
VCC technology works in a production facility that encompasses inbound, studio, and outbound technologies. The VCC technology allows the TV host to take the reins of a show without the normal control room, something unheard of in TV, but typical in caller-based talk radio. Automation assists the video switching and audio mixing so that the host can focus on the content of the conversation without having to worry about changing cameras. VCC handles multiple video callers at the same time, with many screened and simultaneously ready for the TV host to select for air.
Operating costs for VCC are extremely low for a live TV show since there are no content costs for the video callers, and the staffing requirement is minimal. The live shows can be produced with a total of five or six production and technical personnel: the host, a show producer, two call screeners, and one or two video/IT technicians.
"The ability to produce fresh, always-new content not only resets the bar on live TV costs but actually becomes competitive with reruns," Wolzien added. "This works economically in any time slot, and that means it opens up live content for secondary networks that are increasingly being criticized by cable and satellite distributors for not providing much original content."
Since early 2013, Wolzien and his team have been creating laboratory shows under the TalkCenterAmerica® name (www.talkcenteramerica.com), which serves as a test bed for developing content and working out technical and production system issues. To date, nearly 50 TV content hours of TalkCenterAmerica shows have been produced live to the web with topics including politics, veterans, crime and justice, sports, comedy, garage bands, and even cats. Broadcast reporter Diane Dimond was TalkCenterAmerica's first host and ran the air for most of the lab shows.
Wolzien wrote the first generation of software and built the inventor's prototype. Development of the second generation has been overseen by NBC veteran and CEO of Positive Flux LLC, Larry Thaler.
Wolzien LLC is the intellectual property owner. Steptoe & Johnson provides intellectual property legal services to Wolzien LLC. Harold Fox is the lead patent attorney on the project. Rachael Hofstetter is the lead trademark attorney.
About Tom Wolzien: This is the latest patent for Tom Wolzien in nearly 20 years of active inventing. He holds multiple patents that cross between the internet and mass media. He is a 45 year veteran of local, broadcast network, and cable television, was a highly ranked Wall Street analyst, and most recently a consultant working with senior managements of large media organizations through his company, Wolzien LLC. He spent 15 years at NBC, rising from White House producer to show runner at NBC News, and then to corporate business development. He spent 14 years as the Senior Media Analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein (now Alliance/Bernstein). He is the lead independent director for TiVo, Inc. More at www.wolzien.com.
SOURCE Wolzien LLC