PALISADES, NY. MAY 17, 2017—The Video Call Center announced today the issuance of US Patent #9,654,731 by the United States Patent Office, expanding coverage of the VCC’s unique system for creating video caller-based television. This significant addition to the VCC’s patent portfolio, which now includes 120 claims, acknowledges the VCC’s leadership in the field and covers the VCC’s techniques and workflow for many areas including connecting, prioritizing and screening callers, managing caller information within the production team, and switching the production through automated hosting techniques.
The system, with its expanded patent coverage, is at the heart of services and solutions from the VCC that enable traditional and online media companies to create compelling new, live content formats that bring stars, experts, journalists, athletes, and everyday audience members to air directly from video calling apps on their phones and laptops.
"Video call reliability, host driven automation, and video call management workflow are fundamental to this latest patent for the Video Call Center,” said Tom Wolzien, executive chairman of the VCC. “We are very pleased that the US Patent Office has again recognized the originality of the VCC team's approach to creating efficient television programs that bring together many video callers on smartphones from anywhere in the world without the need for expensive control rooms, satellites, or field crews."
The VCC’s extensive patent portfolio highlights the difference between the VCC’s unique systems and services when compared to other methods of bringing multiple video over IP callers to air. The VCC is the only system that delivers the complete, multi-faceted production solution needed to utilize video over IP calling in professional live production with dozens of calls per hour. Only the VCC combines:
- ·The ability to connect multiple guests using any combination of standard video over IP applications such as Facetime, Skype, Facebook Messenger, and WebRTC.
- ·Comprehensive editorial control so producers can ensure that only the best callers are brought to air.
- ·Caller Queue™—the world’s first “Green Room in the Cloud” to enable producers to welcome, prioritize and retain video callers for air.
- ·“Never Look Down” technology that empowers the host to directly orchestrate the show instead of relying on an expensive broadcast control room and additional staff.
- ·Broadcast-quality results for any traditional or Internet-based distribution platform.
The VCC’s CEO Larry Thaler said, “Few realize just how difficult it is to bring even a single Skype caller to air and keep it connected reliably using standard broadcast techniques, let alone dozens of callers for a full program. Programmers need tools to make this easier and more reliable. The VCC tackles both ends of the equation. For content creators, the VCC provides the editorial tools for multiple video callers to join live programs, creating new opportunities that appeal to a social generation. On the reliability side, the VCC’s methodologies dramatically change the success rate of live caller television, providing an industry-leading on-air drop rate below 1%, while giving producers a choice of video applications from Facetime to Skype to Facebook Messenger, and many others.”
The VCC enables producers to receive remote video call-ins from the world’s 4 billion smartphones, as well as laptops and other devices, to connect reporters, celebrities and social media consumers in broadcast-quality programs for over-the-air, cable and new distribution platforms such as Facebook Live. With the VCC, callers become part of broadcast quality television programs that combine video calls, video clips, graphics and web content, all under the direct control of a host who can be located anywhere in the world.
Facebook has named the VCC both a Media Solutions Partner and a Broadcast Partner. Customers of the VCC have created a wide variety of program types using their tools including sports programming, news specials, weather, comedy and celebrity gossip. The VCC has incorporated nearly 5,000 live video calls in more than 450 shows, each of TV half-hour length or longer, that have been broadcast live on television, cable, and the Web.
Accompanying Wolzien and Thaler as inventors on this patent are Alex Maisey, Will Milne and Tom Porpiglia, all team members at the VCC. The VCC has additional patents pending in the US and internationally. (Link to US Patent 9,654,731 at uspto.gov )
The Video Call Center is represented by Harold Fox, Esq of Steptoe and Johnson LLP.
About The Video Call Center, LLC:
VCC is a technology and content development company devoted to handling large numbers of IP Video remotes-by-smartphone and putting them on the air through patented assistive automation approaches. VCC licenses its software and provides caller acquisition and production services. VCC is jointly owned by Wolzien LLC and TEGNA, which is a significant investor and customer. More at www.thevcc.tv.