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UltraGrid: A High Definition Collaboratory

The goals of the UltraGrid project are to enhance the state of the art in high quality, large scale, telepresence systems and to enable flexible and ad-hoc remote collaboration.

The UltraGrid video conferencing system enables high-definition (HD) interactive video conferencing with minimal latency. UltraGrid, supports full rate uncompressed HD video at over 1.2 Gbps. In combination with AccessGrid, UltraGrid provides a complete HD video conferencing experience, utilizing AccessGrid's venue server infrastructure and audio services.

The UltraGrid system can also be utilized as a general purpose HD data distribution system. UltraGrid nodes convert SMTPE 292M high-definition video signals into RTP/UDP/IP packets which can then be distributed across a variety of network infrastructures. UltraGrid's architecture seeks to minimize system induced latency. This enables UltraGrid to be utilized for a variety of real-time applications which are latency sensitive such as video conferencing and real-time interactive 3D visualization.

For uncompressed HD, UltraGrid operates in two different modes: one at just under 1 Gbps (for environments limited to 1 Gbps transport) and another at full rate HD mode of over 1.2 Gbps. UltraGrid also supports video compression schemes, including standard definition Digital Video (DV) and Motion JPEG.

Uncompressed HDTV over IP, GigE environment

Uncompressed HDTV over IP

  • Not truly HDTV — color is subsampled to 8bits
  • Performance is at the mercy of best-effort IP network
  • UltraGrid processing introduces some latency
Topic revision: r3 - 2009-04-08 - ChrisTracy
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