Serpens for Kepler
In 2008 the Poznań Supercomputing and Networking Center began the creation of a 4K node in Poznań. It consists of devices that enable:
- recording movies in the 4K resolution (the RED ONE video camera) and HD (SONY PMW EX3 video cameras)
- the post-production of recorded material (the Mac Pro workstation for video processing)
- storing and back-up of large amounts of 4K video data (Sun Fire x4540 servers)
- network streaming (network coder JPEG2000)
- the projection and presentation of movies in 4K resolution (Doremi DSV-J2 player, Sony SRX-T105 4K projector and Astro DM-3400 4K display)
The 4K Laboratory was built to meet the growing challenges of network and multimedia storage systems, such as:
- development of digital repositories for high resolution video material
- network configuration and testing during 4K transmission
- the use of new network protocols in order to ensure the best parameters of multimedia data transmission
- Popularization of the 4K technology:
- organizing presentations and movie shows with 4K resolution material
- participating in conferences, fair and meetings devoted to multimedia technologies
- supporting film schools and independent movie makers
- Creation and postproduction of 4K material:
- using digital techniques during production and processing of the film material
- recording 4K definition material using the RED ONE video camera
- Stream transmission of the 4K Video via network, coding and compression JPEG2000:
- the use of specialized 4K network coders
- the use and testing of JPEG2000 compression
- sending 4K material via fast optical 10 GbE network-HD and 4K videoconferences
- Cooperation platform for digital cinema and television:
- cooperating with film makers, film schools, TV stations, equipment manufacturers and research institutions (both in Poland and abroad)
- participating in international initiatives and projects
- fostering and supporting DCI (Digital Cinema Initiatives) standards
- 4096 x 2160
- 3840x2160 (SHD - 4x HD 1080)
- and others, depending on the ratio:
- Full Aperture 4K 4096 x 3112 (1.32:1)
- Academy 4K 3656 × 2664 (1.37:1)
- Digital cinema 4K 4096 × 1714 (2.39:1)
- 3996 × 2160 (1.85:1)
The 4K resolution is an equivalent of a 35mm film reel.
Comparison of SD, HD and 4K resolutions.
The term `digital cinema`, or `D-cinema`, refers to digital technology used in the processes of production, post-production, distribution and showing of the movie. Both images and sounds are registered with the use of digital technology. Not only are computers present during the edition of movies, but they are also used to create whole animated sequences, to correct colors, add visual effects or generate subtitles.
A compressed and ciphered movie can be delivered to the cinema on hard disks, capacious optical drives, or even transmitted via satellite and shown with the use of a digital projector connected to the server.
The main advantage of digital cinemas in comparison to traditional ones is the ability to transmit and project information without any loss of quality during the use. The digital form of information enables much more flexible processing of the image than the traditional cinemas (they use chemical substances and analog signals to register and project the image).
Digital Cinema is becoming more and more popular all over the world. `The da Vinci Code`, `The black Dahlia`, `Spider-Man 2`, or `Ocean's 12` are just examples of movies that were created the digital way. It's also worth mentioning that he Polish movie `Katyń` can boast about being the first European movie that was post-produced in the 4K technology.
The DCI standards
In 2005 the Digital Cinema Initiatives defined very detailed and comprehensive specifications. They were updated in 2008. They definitely say that:
- the size of the image should be 4K (meaning 4096x3112 or 4096x2160) or 2K (that means 2048x1556 or 2048x1080)
- the number of frames per second should equal 24 in case of 4K resolution, and 24 or 48 in case of 2K resolution
- the color of each pixel is registered by 36 bits
- the image compression is based on JPEG2000 (max. 250 Mb/s)
The node that’s placed at PSNC, consists of following equipment:
- the RED ONE camera:
The brand new movie camera working with 4K resolution, equipped with a 12-megapixels Mysterium image processor (the equivalent of Super 35 mm) of a 4520x2540 pixels resolution (progressive scanning). One of its features is module construction (which means you can easily change the location of many of its elements). The camera is capable of registering image at high definition with high framing ratio (for 2K it’s 120 fps, for 3K it’s 72 fps) working in 23.98, 24 , 25, 29.997, 30, 50, 59.94, 60 fps modes.
- the Sony SRX-T105 projector:
This is the device that enables the projection of image at a resolution of 4096x2160. Its contrast ratio is 2500:1, it’s brightness equals 5500 lumen. It uses two xenon lamps, and thanks to an intelligent cooling system – it’s also very quiet. It can be equipped with one of many exchangeable lenses and various card drives (DVI, HDSDI).
- the Astro DM 3400 display
This state-of-the-art device is the most impressive one from the whole range of Astro LCD displays. It was created in order to fulfill the requirements of digital cinema and the needs that are determined by television studios. DM -3400 lets you project the image 4Kx2K. It offers a resolution of 3840x2160, plugging via DVI-D (4 channels) and HD-SDI (4 channels). It fully supports 4:4:4 RGB signals.
- the Sun Fire x4540 file servers:
Another generation of Sun Fire servers. It offers processing with the use of 8 AMD Opteron cores and 48 TB of disk space; it only takes up 4 RU. It is based on the AMD Barcelona processor, which enables doubling its computational abilities in comparison to its predecessor (double number of cores, four times bigger memory, faster access to the memory).
- Doremi DSV-J2 Player
It gives you the ability of HD, 3D, 2K and 4K image projection. It was designed specifically for big screen use. It supports MPEG2 and JPEG2000MXF file playing in resolutions up to 4K (High Definition 1920x1080, 2K 2048x1080, and optionally 4K 4096x2160 through eight HD-SDI dual link or four DVI slots). 3D projection is supported for HD and 2K resolutions. It has a synchronizing output for peripheral devices and an output of high quality, uncompressed sound (AES/EBU and optionally analog output).
- JPEG 2000 network coder:
It enables real-time encoding of 4K image (24 frames per second). It also has an HD-SDI slot.
- the sound system:
Includes the TASCAM 3200 mixer and active JBL speaker columns (the 7.1 system).
During the ICT conference in Vilnius according to VISIONAIR projekt (6-8.11.2013) PSNC with cooperation of I2CAT and INRIA will show a streaming transmission demonstration.
During the TERENA Networking Conference, taken place in Maastricht (Netherlands) on 3-6 June 2013, Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center together with SURFNet, University of Twente and CIENA presented a long-distance human-robot interaction with multi-stream uncompressed stereoscopic UHDTV streaming. This was one of the first demonstration of streaming live 4K 3D streams over 2.000 km with seamless latency.
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).