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1. (EP1908293) VIDEO GAME SYSTEM USING PRE-ENCODED MACRO-BLOCKS
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Claims

1. A method, comprising:

at a video game system comprising one or more video game servers (116):

receiving (210) a request to initiate a video game;

receiving (410) a command corresponding to a user action in the video game;

in response to the command corresponding to the user action in the video game, generating (212) a first frame of video corresponding to content of the video game using both macro-blocks encoded after receiving the request or command and a plurality of pre-encoded macro-blocks (612) stored in a bank (610) of pre-encoded macro-blocks (612), wherein the first frame of video is compatible with an MPEG compression standard, and wherein the plurality of pre-encoded macro-blocks (612) are pre-encoded and stored in the bank (610) prior to receiving (210) the request to initiate the video game; and

transmitting the first frame of video to a user device (140) for display.


  2. The method of claim 1, wherein a respective pre-encoded macro-block (612) corresponds to a set of pixels, the method including:

pre-encoding (710) the respective pre-encoded macroblock (612), including performing discrete cosine transformation (712), quantization (714) and run-length encoding operations (716), wherein the generating (720) includes inter-relating (722) adjacent pre-encoded macro-blocks (914) in the first frame (910) of video.


  3. The method of claim 2, wherein the pre-encoding includes calculating (718) a motion vector and correction data.
  4. The method of claim 2, wherein the inter-relating (722) includes determining a first DC-coefficient value (814) for a first block (810) including luminance information, a second DC-coefficient value (816) for a second block (812-1) including chrominance information and a third DC-coefficient value (816) for a third block (812-2) including chrominance information.
  5. The method of claim 1, wherein the bank (610) of pre-encoded macro-blocks (612) is a bank (610) of individually addressable pre-encoded macro-blocks (612) and a subset of the plurality of pre-encoded macro-blocks (612) are shared between two or more video games.
  6. The method of claim 1, wherein a subset of the plurality of pre-encoded macro-blocks (612) are shared between two or more frames of video.
  7. The method of claim 1, wherein the plurality of pre -encoded macro-blocks (612) are shared between two or more instances of a video game.
  8. The method of claim 1, wherein:

generating the first frame of video further comprises assigning the plurality of pre-encoded macro-blocks (612) to respective positions in a grid (614);

the grid (614) comprises a 2-dimensional array, each position in the grid (614) is assigned a corresponding macro-block (612) when generating a frame of video, and wherein at least a plurality of positions in the grid (614) are assigned to corresponding pre-encoded macro-blocks (612); and

the generating includes comparing a previous state of the grid (614) with a current state of the grid (614) and selectively including in a data stream corresponding to the first frame of video intra macro-blocks and predictive macro-blocks in accordance with the comparing.


  9. The method of claim 1 or 8, wherein a subset of the plurality of pre-encoded macro-blocks (612) includes uncompressed pixel information.
  10. The method of claim 9, further comprising dynamically generating (312) a plurality of macro-blocks, wherein the dynamically generated plurality of macro-blocks include a combination of the subset of the stored plurality of pre-encoded macro-blocks (612) that include un-compressed pixel information and image information corresponding to an object.
  11. The method of claim 1, wherein the first frame of video is generated using the plurality of pre-encoded macro-blocks (612) and a plurality of post-request-encoded macro-blocks encoded after receiving (210) the request and prior to receiving (410) the command.
  12. The method of claim 11, wherein generating (412) the first frame of video further comprises using a plurality of dynamically encoded macro-blocks encoded after receiving (410) the command.
  13. An apparatus for generating video, comprising:

a memory (1822);

a processor (1810); and

a program (1846), wherein the program (1846) is stored in the memory (1822) and configured to be executed by the processor (1810), the program (1846) including:

instructions for receiving (210) a request to initiate a video game;

instructions for receiving (410) a command corresponding to a user action in the video game;

instructions for generating (212), in response to the command corresponding to the user action in the video game, a first frame of video corresponding to content of the video game using both macro-blocks encoded after receiving the request or command and a plurality of pre-encoded macro-blocks (612) stored in a bank (610) of pre-encoded macro-blocks (612), wherein the first frame of video is compatible with an MPEG compression standard, and wherein the plurality of pre-encoded macro-blocks (612) are pre-encoded and stored in the bank (610) prior to receiving (210) the request to initiate the video game; and

instructions for transmitting the first frame of video to a user device (140) for display.


  14. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein instructions for generating the first frame of video further comprise instructions for assigning the plurality of pre-encoded macro-blocks (612) to respective positions in a grid (614).
  15. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein:

the instructions for generating the first frame of video comprise instructions for using the plurality of pre-encoded macro-blocks (612) and a plurality of post-request-encoded macro-blocks encoded after receiving (210) the request and prior to receiving (410) the command.


  16. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein the instructions for generating the first frame of video are further arranged to generate (412) a frame of video using the plurality of pre-encoded macro-blocks (612), the plurality of post-request-encoded macro-blocks, and a plurality of dynamically encoded macro-blocks encoded after receiving (410) the command.