SIGGRAPH @ UC San Diego Offers Glimpse of Future in Super High Definition Video


Zaxel Systems, Toshiba, Sony, RED, Meyer Sound, JVC, and CineGrid Participate in 4K Demos

San Diego, CA, July 27, 2007 -- Technologies to serve and display video in 4K -- at more than four times the resolution of high-definition TV -- as well as a short movie by Academy Award-winning director Peter Jackson shot entirely with a 4K video camera, are among the highlights on display at the University of California, San Diego in early August. The demos will complement digital performances and installations at UCSD that are part of SIGGRAPH, the premier computer graphics and interactive technologies conference, which will attract an estimated 25,000 people to San Diego from August 4 through 9.

RED frame from Peter Jackson movie
Frame of 4K video from short movie directed by Peter Jackson and shot with prototype RED Digital Cinema 4K cameras. The movie will be streamed from Zaxel servers to a prototype JVC S4K projector, and to a Sony SXRD 4K projector (as part of the planned CineGrid demonstrations).

Working with a handful of high-profile partners, the UCSD-based California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) and Center for Research in Computing and the Arts (CRCA) will treat visitors to demonstrations of the cutting-edge visualization technologies during SIGGRAPH @ UC San Diego Aug. 4-6. The demos will also play daily from 3-6pm August 7-9, for the benefit of visitors who want to make the trek to UCSD from the main SIGGRAPH location at the San Diego Convention Center. [For the week-long program at a glance, click here or go to the conference website at .]

UCSD’s Atkinson Hall is the official venue for many of the digital art performances and installations at SIGGRAPH this year. “SIGGRAPH attracts many of the world's leading experts and artists in computer graphics and new media arts, and they will appreciate the exciting display, server and capture technologies that are, in some cases, not even on the market yet,” said Shahrokh Yadegari, a professor of theater and dance at UCSD who chairs the SIGGRAPH Art Gallery Performances Subcommittee.

“People will remember this as the year that SIGGRAPH went 4K,” predicts Tom DeFanti, Calit2’s Director of Visualization and one of the pioneers of SIGGRAPH. “While only a modest number of performances and installations will be able to take advantage of this new technology in 2007, our ability at Calit2 to showcase what 4K can mean to Hollywood and to the science community will inspire SIGGRAPH attendees, who are themselves filmmakers, research scientists, educators, videogame developers, artists and technology pioneers, to go back home and begin to produce programming – in 4K – for next year’s SIGGRAPH.”

Calit2 CRCA

Regular demonstrations at UC San Diego during SIGGRAPH will be scheduled for Aug. 4-9*: Faculty, staff and students admitted with UCSD ID, but seating is limited. Members of the public must register with SIGGRAPH at :

   Saturday, August 4:                5pm – 10pm

   Sunday, August 5:                 11am – 9pm

   Monday, August 6:                11am – 5pm

   Tuesday, August 7:                 3pm – 6pm

   Wednesday, August 8:            3pm – 6pm

   Thursday, August 9:                3pm – 6pm

 * Shuttle buses to/from the San Diego 
    Convention Center will only be provided
    August 4, 5 and 6; for details, click here.

4K offers approximately 4,000 horizontal and over 2,000 vertical pixels – or roughly four times the total number of pixels in the widely used 1080i HDTV format (and 24 times that of a standard broadcast TV signal). 4K and the lower-resolution 2K format are expected to be widely used for future digital-cinema theatrical distribution under new specifications proposed by Digital Cinema Initiatives, LLC, a consortium of the major Hollywood studios. The formats are currently being standardized by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE).

The focus of 4K during SIGGRAPH @ UC San Diego will be on three spaces in Atkinson Hall: Calit2 Auditorium, which opened nearly two years ago with one of the first Sony SXRD™ 4K projectors installed anywhere in the United States and where the CineGrid @ SIGGRAPH 2007 presentations are being hosted; the Calit2 HD Studio, which will be turned into a screening area for 4K digital cinema; and CRCA’s Performative Computing Lab, which will offer a side-by-side comparison of 4K and HD video and animations.

Partners collaborating on the event include:

CineGrid: CineGrid is a non-profit international membership organization administratively based in California . CineGrid’s mission is to build an interdisciplinary community focused on the research, development and demonstration of networked collaborative tools, enabling the production, use and exchange of very high-quality digital media over high-speed photonic networks. CineGrid @ SIGGRAPH 2007 will feature 4K motion picture and surround audio presentations of computer animation, scientific visualization, movie scenes scanned from 65mm film, and the American premiere in 4K of “Era la Notte,” a live operatic performance recorded at the Holland Festival in June 2007. CineGrid presentations in the Calit2 auditorium will use a  Sony SXRD 4K projector, an NTT JPEG 2000 real-time 4K decoder, and a Meyer Sound 8.1 surround sound system.

JVC North America R&D Center, ILA Technology Group: JVC will provide a variety of equipment, including its prototype S4K projector (which was shown for the first time at InfoComm in June). At UCSD, the projector will display interactive scientific visualizations, video and still images in 4K alongside JVC’s DLA-QX1, which will simultaneously display similar content in high definition. JVC is also supplying other equipment, including switches and controllers.

Meyer Sound Laboratories:  Professional audio manufacturer Meyer Sound will provide a 10.1 surround sound system for the 3D Varrier auto-stereoscopic tiled display system and a 15.1 system for the StarCAVE, in addition to two 8.1 surround sound systems acquired by Calit2 for the Calit2 Auditorium and Calit2 Theater. “We are dedicated to advancing the state of the art in audio, just as SIGGRAPH is devoted to the advancement of graphics,” says Meyer Sound’s LCS Series Applications Director, Steve Ellison. “We are excited to see UCSD push the boundaries of surround sound at SIGGRAPH, and are pleased to support these efforts."

The projectors from JVC will take advantage of the NVIDIA Quadro® Plex 1000 visual computing system (VCS). Available in desk side and rack configurations, Quadro Plex offers a quantum leap in visual compute density, providing breakthrough levels of graphics capability and productivity for professional applications such as digital content creation and design to geosciences and medical visualization, while delivering up to 1.5 GB frame buffering per GPU.

RED Digital Cinema: RED will provide the 12-minute movie “Crossing the Line,” directed by Peter Jackson, which resulted from a two-day shoot in New Zealand using alpha prototypes of RED’s 4K camera system, with 180-degree shutter at 24 frames per second. The World War I-themed movie – shot on the ground and in the air – was recorded using the company’s REDCODE RAW 4K codec on onboard media.

Sony Electronics : In September 2005, Calit2 became one of the first U.S. institutions to install a Sony SXRD 4K projector to showcase 4K-quality scientific visualizations, ultra-broadband videoconferencing and other content. The SXRD will be used in connection with digital performances of SIGGRAPH @ UC San Diego , as well as for CineGrid 4K demonstrations to groups of visitors from around the world. The Sony projector will be fed by an NTT server using realtime JPEG2000 decompression in 4K.

Toshiba Display Systems: Toshiba’s 56-inch P56QHD flat panel is one of the highest-resolution LCD displays in the world. Panel inputs can be four separate DVI inputs in conjunction with a videowall processor, or individual sources that will be seamlessly butted together on the screen. For the demos at UC San Diego, the display will use a quad graphics card to show full screen 4K imagery and video across the display’s 3840x2160 pixel area.

Zaxel Systems: Zaxel is providing support at SIGGRAPH for the two Zaxtar 4K high-performance server systems recently purchased by Calit2 for deployment in a new high-definition video production facility and in the Calit2 Auditorium. The Zaxtars will be used to play back content on JVC, Sony and Toshiba 4K display devices. The system boasts the industry’s first 4K video server with lossless compression. Using the company’s patented Zaxel Lossless Compression (ZLC™), the server enables customers to capture, edit, and playback the highest resolution images, including 2K (2048x1080 and 2048X1556) and 4K (4096x2160 and 4096X3112). Video streams from the 4K servers at 6 gigabits per second (RGB 4:4:4).

Other corporate partners who will be involved in CRCA demos during SIGGRAPH include Intel, High Moon Studios, Vicon, Sun Microsystems, RedBull and IBM. 

For more about SIGGRAPH @ UC San Diego, see news release at

Related Links

SIGGRAPH @ UC San Diego 
Conference Program PDF
RED Digital Cinema  
Zaxel Systems  

Media Contacts

Media Contacts: Brett Armstrong/Toshiba Display Systems, 661-257-7901 ext 108,; Helena Bristow,; Darcy Gerbarg,; Andre Floyd/Sony Electronics Inc., 201-358-4358,; Doug Ramsey, 858-822-5825,; Ted Schilowitz/RED Digital Cinema, 949-206-7900,; Rod Sterling/JVC, 714-229-8033,; Norihisa Suzuki/Zaxel Systems, 408-541-9488,; Mark Visconti/nVidia,; Susanna Corcoran,