May 2007
Socializing Cyberinfrastructure: Networking the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Larry Smarr, Calit2; University of California, San Diego
Laurin Herr, Pacific Interface, Inc.
Tom DeFanti, Calit2; University of Illinois at Chicago
Naohisa Ohta, Keio University
Peter Otto, University of California, San Diego


The first public demonstration of CineGrid networking was held September 26-29, 2005, at iGrid 2005, an international event hosted at UCSD/Calit2 in conjunction with EVL.6 It featured the world’s first, real-time, international transmission of 4K digital motion pictures. Nearly six hours of live (Fig. 2) and pre-recorded 4K content was streamed in real time over a 15,000 km Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) VLAN from Tokyo7 via Chicago to San Diego, where the output was displayed on a Sony 4K digital projector installed in Calit2’s 200-seat auditorium.8 The content streamed at 250~500Mbps from Keio University’s Research Institute for Digital Media and Content (DMC) (Fig. 3) to Calit2 using prototype JPEG 2000 encoders and decoders from NTT Network Innovation Laboratories, which compressed and decompressed the 4K streams in real time. Content included 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.9

Figure 2

Figure 2. 4K teleconference in Calit2@UCSD auditorium at iGrid 2005 between Keio University (4K streaming video) and Calit2.

High quality, multi-channel spatialized digital audio is also an important research area for CineGrid. At iGrid 2005, and at the FirstMile conference on March 23, 2006 (also at Calit2), CineGrid was used for networked audio post-production experiments, performed in front of live audiences, that mixed geographically separated audio and video sources streaming into a theatre for a final mix of sound-to-picture. Professional-quality, uncompressed multi-channel digital music and sound effects originating from Skywalker Sound audio servers in the San Francisco Bay Area were synchronized over CENIC’s network with 4K motion pictures streaming from servers at Keio/DMC in Tokyo10 (at iGrid 2005) via Japan’s JGN2 and U.S. National LambdaRail (NLR) networks, or locally (at First Mile 2006).11

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Reference this article
Smarr, L., Herr, L., DeFanti, T., Ohta, N., Otto, P. "CineGrid: A New Cyberinfrastructure for High Resolution Media Streaming," CTWatch Quarterly, Volume 3, Number 2, May 2007. http://www.ctwatch.org/quarterly/articles/2007/05/cinegrid/

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