Thursday, September 29, 2005

iGrid 2005 Showcases Super High-definition Video over Gigabit IP

Researchers from the University of California, San Diego, NTT Network Innovation Laboratories, and Keio University in Tokyo demonstrated super high-definition (SHD) 4K digital video transmitted over 15,000 kilometers of gigabit IP optical-networks.

4K images have roughly 4,000 horizontal pixels -- offering approximately four times the resolution of the most widely-used HD television format, and 24 times that of a standard broadcast TV signal.

At 8 megapixels per frame, uncompressed streaming of 4K video requires a data rate greater than 6 Gbps. At various points though the trans-Pacific connection the signal needed to be carried over 1 Gbps circuits. To do so efficiently, the iGrid demonstration utilized prototype JPEG 2000 codecs from NTT Network Innovation Labs, designed to compress and decompress 4K digital video in real time to 200-400 Mbps for direct connection to gigabit IP networks. NTT Labs also provided prototype Flexcast systems that enable multicast delivery of 4K video and audio over traditional unicast networks by just adding functions to existing networks.

The researchers said 4K video is a particularly significant new image format because it will be widely used for future digital cinema theatrical distribution under new specifications proposed by Digital Cinema Initiatives, a consortium of the seven major Hollywood studios.

Nearly six hours of live and pre-recorded 4K content will be streamed in real time via 1 Gbps IP networks from Tokyo to San Diego, where the video will be displayed on one of Sony 's Electronics' prototype SXRD 4K projectors installed in Calit2's new 200-seat auditorium. The content streamed from Keio/DMC to Calit2 includes pre-rendered computer animations, materials shot with 4K digital motion picture cameras and digital still cameras, real-time computer-generated visualizations, and digitally scanned 35mm and 65mm motion picture film.

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