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On June 25, 2013, in a special demonstration prepared for the participants of U.S. Ignite Application Summit in Chicago, ultra high resolution 4K 3D movies were streamed from PSNC to the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).

A global consortium of network owners and providers, known as the Global Lambda Integrated Facility (GLIF), makes network capacity available for this long-range video streaming experiment. Using the GLIF infrastructure, 4K 3D uncompressed multimedia streams were transmitted between Poznan and Chicago at an average rate of 3.4 Gbit/s over a 10 Gbps dedicated network path created just for this event. Data went from PSNC, over PIONIER network, to NetherLight, then over the transatlantic network ACE (America Connects to Europe) to StarLight, and then directly to EVL. The total length of the fiber link connecting PSNC and EVL was around 10.000 km.

Because EVL does not have a large auditorium with the necessary equipment typically used to stream and display stereo movies a more unconventional approach was needed. Using unique software being developed by the global research community – UltraGrid and SAGE, PSNC and EVL were able to stream the movies from PSNC servers to a large stereo-capable tiled display wall in EVL’s visualization room. Originally, each of the transmitted 3D movies consisted of two separated streams for the left and right eye, which are typically displayed using two projectors with polarizing filters. However, to stream to EVL’s 3D tiled display wall it was required to interleave the rows of each frame of the two streams and create one 3D movie file. Transmitted multimedia streams were received by the UltraGrid client and then sent directly to EVL’s SAGE (Scalable Adaptive Graphics Environment) software, which formatted and pushed the movie frames onto the tiled display wall. SAGE is a high-performance windowing environment, so in addition to displaying the movie, SAGE was also used to create windows with supporting information about the films as well as a HD videoconference session with PSNC team, enabling interaction with the U.S. Ignite audience.

In view of the context of  the U.S. Ignite conference three historically and culturally relevant films about Poland were selected to share with the audience: a 3D animated “History of Poland” and “Jan Matejko’s ‘The Battle of Grunwald’” - both created by Platige Image Studio and a 3D movie of modern-day Poznan created by PSNC. The special demos for U.S. Ignite took place over a three-hour period and there were 10 sessions (around 15 minutes each) for more than 250 attendees in total. For all 10 shows, the network streaming worked flawlessly, enabling audiences to enjoy the films’ artistry and stories.

 

Maciej Strˇ┐yk, PSNC

 

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