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


After iGrid 2005, CineGrid arranged (through CENIC) a dedicated 1GigE circuit from San Diego, through Los Angeles, to the Bay Area and to Seattle so that CineGrid could provide 1GigE connections to research institutions and companies in those areas wanting to collaborate on networked media research and technology trials. CineGrid can also access EVL’s existing NLR capacity (called the CAVEWave) to upgrade CineGrid capacity to 10Gbps in order to leverage the 10GigE research links to Chicago, Washington DC, Toronto, Tokyo, Kyoto, Seoul, Taipei, Hong Kong, Amsterdam, Prague, Stockholm and, via GÉANT2, other locations in Europe.

Figure 3

Figure 3. Equipment located at the CineGrid node at Keio University in Japan.

The iGrid 2005 and subsequent demonstrations proved that networked production, post-production, and distribution of 4K digital cinema is not only technically feasible, but that the same infrastructure can be used to produce and distribute what Hollywood calls “other digital stuff,” or ODS, such as live music concerts, sports, and various content genres beyond traditional, theatrical-release feature movies. ODS is modestly named, but is actually a major growth market for 4K “beyond cinema,” destined to supplement Hollywood’s conventional movie-making. 4K is also expected to penetrate heavily into command and control, training simulation, collaborative computer-aided design, and product review engineering. CineGrid, in particular, will explore using networked 4K “nodes” for real-time, remote collaboration for training of next generation media professionals. In addition to the 4K SXRD projector available from Sony Electronics, in October 2006 Sharp announced a 64 inch 4K LCD panel, which will greatly accelerate wide adoption of 4K in conference rooms, classrooms, and laboratories.

A little over a year after the first CineGrid demonstrations, on October 8, 2006,* as part of the Audio Engineering Society (AES) annual conference, 2K and 4K digital motion pictures and 24-channel digital audio were streamed from three different locations (UCSD/Calit2, Keio /DMC, and USC/CNTV) in real-time using CineGrid networks, then mixed live for an audience of 200 audio and video professionals in the Premiere Theatre at the Letterman Digital Arts Center (LDAC) in San Francisco. This required extending CENIC’s CineGrid gigabit/sec optical circuit to the LDAC for the first time.

* The CineGrid@AES event was organized by a global alliance, including: Calit2; CENIC; Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound, both Lucasfilm Ltd. Companies; NTT Network Innovation Laboratories; Pacific Interface, Inc.; Research Institute for Digital Media and Content, Keio University; San Francisco State University, Institute for Next Generation Internet; Tokyo University of Technology Creative Lab; UIC’s EVL; UCSD Center for Research in Computing and the Arts (CRCA); and University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. Other credits--Digital Cinema Consortium of Japan; Immersive Media Research; National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (Japan); Meyer Sound Laboratories; Olympus Corporation; Recombinant Media Lab; San Francisco State University, Cinema Department; Sony Electronics, Inc; Tatsunoko Production Co., Ltd.; UIUC’s NCSA; Yamaha Corporation of America. Networking support included: CAVEwave; CENIC/CalREN; JGN2/NICT; National LambdaRail (NLR); PacificWave; Pacific Northwest GigaPOP; StarLight; and WIDE/IEEAF.

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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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