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UltraGrid 1.4. "Number 5 is alive" Release

June 2017

CESNET and the Laboratory of Advanced Networking Technologies (SITOLA) are happy to announce a new stable release of the UltraGrid software for low-latency and high-quality video transmissions over IP networks. The current stable release is versioned 1.4 and is available for download for all supported platforms at http://www.ultragrid.cz/.

The major news in this release include:

  • We have added AJA capture cards (https://www.aja.com/) support.
  • We have added Magewell capture cards (http://www.magewell.com/) support.
  • UltraGrid supports for new libavcodec encoders, including Intel Quick Sync and Nvidia NVENC acceleration. The support for specific combinations of codecs and HW acceleration of video encoding may vary depending on operating system used.
  • We have added the support for H.265/HEVC codec including NVENC acceleration.
  • UltraGrid 1.4 includes up-to-date version of our own GPU accelerated JPEG codec (GPUJPEG) with significant performance improvements allowing for encoding of up to 8K 60fps videos on recent Nvidia GPUs with Pascal architecture.
  • We have added Reed-Solomon Forward Error Correction scheme (suitable e.g. for H.264 compressed video streams) and improved the performance of the LDGM Forward Error Correction scheme on the CPU.
  • UltraGrid 1.4 features significantly increased overall performance on MS Windows including Windows 10.
  • We have added Syphon (http://syphon.v002.info/) server support.
  • UltraGrid 1.4 features text and border postprocessors, grayscale, mirror, and flip capture filters allowing for video post-processing for different scenarios.
  • We have added videoconferencing mode and audio mixer to the packet reflector and UltraGrid respectively allowing to setup a Multipoint Control Unit (MCU) like videoconferencing environment.
  • UltraGrid 1.4 is updated to match recent versions of supported drivers and APIs.

To foster the involvement of the broader community in the UltraGrid development we have moved the development of the UltraGrid to the Github (https://github.com/CESNET/UltraGrid/). Everyone in welcome to contribute! The move also includes the wiki documentation for the users which is now available at https://github.com/CESNET/UltraGrid/wiki.

To follow the latest news on UltraGrid deployment at CESNET you can follow UltraGrid Facebook profile at https://www.facebook.com/UltraGrid/ and the news at http://www.ultragrid.cz/.

UltraGrid is being actively used by different user communities. The latest, most interesting UltraGrid demonstrations and deployments by CESNET and the UltraGrid users community include:

  • Demonstration of Live 8K video transmission using commodity HW and the UltraGrid platform at the TNC16 conference (http://www.ultragrid.cz/news/TNC16/).
  • UltraGrid deployments for the transmissions of live medical cases. One of the most outstanding cases were the transmissions of video assisted, non-intubated thoracic surgeries where the specialists from the National Taiwan University Hospital in Taipei were teaching the method to the team at he University Hospital Brno, Czech republic (http://www.ultragrid.cz/news/Nits/).
  • Using UltraGrid as a flexible platform for telematic music and mixed media productions. UltraGrid has been successfully deployed to implement a number of large scale artistic productions such as net:art near in the distance 2 (https://www.net25.at/net25_netart.html?&L=1) or the cyber performance Similarities (https://npapws.org/npapws-programme/). Being a very flexible and scalable platform, UltraGrid helps to make possible much lower-profile events with incredible impact such as teaching jazz music interactively to 500+ students in elementary and middle schools or in public libraries over the CENIC network in California (https://sfjazz.org/sites/default/files/documents/SchoolDayConcertCENIC.pdf).

To contact the UltraGrid team please use ultragrid-dev@cesnet.cz.

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Make your own kind of music with R&E networks

Make your own kind of music with R&E networks

November 2017

Another story featuring UltraGrid has been published by In the field blog. The authors go back to the net:art near in the distance production performed Brucknerhaus Linz in June 2017. The near in the distance 3 production connected multiple locations across Europe including Linz, Barcelona, Prague, and Rome. UltraGrid and LOLA were deployed and integrated into a single audio-visual performance. Read the whole story In The Field Stories blog.

In The Field blog is managed by the Media & Communications department of AARNet (Australia’s Academic and Research Network) in collaboration with marketing and communications professionals from the global network of research and education networks.

SFJAZZ MasterClass Demonstration

SFJAZZ MasterClass Demonstration

October 2017

We have participated on a three-site jazz masterclass , featuring artists – Robin Eubanks (SFJAZZ Collective) and Adam Theis (Jazz Mafia) as masters, a SFJAZZ Monday Night Band ensemble, and a Stanford University student musician as participants. The masterclass demonstration was held within the programme of the Internet2 2017 Technology Exchange event. For more information see the programme entry.

UltraGrid and Jacktrip was used to implement the masterclass demonstration using commodity hardware and networks as well as to connect SFJAZZ, Stanford University, CESNET and the Internet2 Technology Exchange event for remote presentations and a panel discussion on the topic.