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UltraGrid Researchers Demonstrate 8K Ultra High Definition Digital Media Streaming

May 2012

On October 11th, 2012, at the 12th Annual Global LambdaGrid Workshop in Chicago, sponsored by the Global Lambda Integrated Facility (GLIF), an international ultra-high-definition, high-performance, digital streaming application was showcased by CESNET researchers at the SITOLA laboratory in the Czech Republic.

To elevate digital media resolution to match the capabilities of human vision, which traditional media does not, 8K digital media (ultra-high-definition video with 16 times the resolution of common Full-HD video) was demonstrated. The size of these data streams is much higher than those that can be supported by today’s networks. To address this challenge, SITOLA researchers are developing new capabilities for video compression and processing using graphical processors and advanced protocols for video distribution in the computer networks. An implementation of this research, shown at GLIF, is the open-source UltraGrid framework.

More specifically, at the GLIF workshop, SITOLA streamed an 8K movie from the International Center for Advanced Internet Research at Northwestern University in Chicago to the SITOLA laboratory in Brno, Czech Republic, and to the site of the demonstration—the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Participants on both receiving locations could control the streaming interactively. UltraGrid used JPEG compression at 2 Gb/s, on-the-fly recompressed to DXT5-YCoCg compression at 6.5 Gb/s and displayed the images on a high-resolution tiled-display walls using EVL’s SAGE middleware, which is interoperable with UltraGrid. Currently, such capabilities can be used for specialty venues, such as conferences, and for advanced research applications, such as medical training, but in the future services such as this will be available to consumers. Because of the resolution limitation of human vision, 8K or ultra-high-definition video is perceived as the ultimate technology for broadcasting and cinematography applications. It is 16 times the resolution of standard Full-high-definition, and enables the viewer to be better immersed in the scene. This standard was demonstrated during the Summer Olympic Games 2012 in London by NHK and BBC, where custom hardware and networks were used to transmit the content from the stadiums. The format has been standardized and is expected to be deployed in production around the year 2020.

This demonstration was supported by CESNET, the Czech national research and education network, the International Center for Advanced Internet Research at Northwestern University, the Electronic Visualization Lab at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the StarLight International/Na­tional Communications Exchange Facility. The 8K movie was originally produced by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for Adler Planetarium’s domed ceiling..

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UltraGrid 1.5. "The one with the mouse support" Release

October 2018

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 1.5 and is available for download for all supported platforms at http://www.ultragrid.cz/.

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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.