Ultra High Definition Imaging distributed on optic network (UHD-NET)


This activity provides facilities for European scientists for experimentations in the state-of-the-art Ultra High Definition (4K or 8K) platforms in Europe. The infrastructure built around ultra high definition facilities is an attempt to address more and more demanding needs of end users. This is one of the few networks connected ultra high definition facilities in the world (e.g. University of Essex is equipped with the first 8K accessories in Europe). The facility is capable of supporting very high quality distributed visualisation applications. The unique capability is offered by the combination of advanced visualisation technologies and network services. The network services enable multiple high-resolution digital-media streams to be transported among global sites, including University of Essex, Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center, i2CAT and University of Twente, using dynamically provisioned optical light paths across multiple domains, which can be used on a scheduled or on-demand basis. In order to find contact details for each VISIONAIR member and to explore suitable facilities please visit the resources e-map. Additionally, further information about the associated members is provided below.


The infrastructure offered by the partners in UHD-NET provides facilities for visualization of scientific experiments. Among the others, the following research projects have been identified as potential users of the infrastructure:

  • Telemedicine, e.g. experiments with streaming from hospitals (operating rooms) for remote diagnosis and support,
  • Radio-astronomy, e.g. experiments with streaming high resolution pictures to remote participants for analysis,
  • Chemistry/Biology, e.g. live streaming from experiments to remote audience,
  • Cultural sector and sport, e.g. experiments with real time transport and visualization of important cultural and sport events, enabling research and innovation in cultural interchange experimentation by combining culture and high-technology,
  • Physics, e.g. real-time and offline scientific visualization using high resolution, e.g. remote rendering of scientific processes and simulations.

Other potential services and appliances of the infrastructure could be:

  • Telepresence and videoconferencing in very high resolution, excellent quality and low latency (uncompressed HD streaming),
  • Education and e-learning, e.g. high resolution transmission of lectures and presentations to the remote audience,
  • Entertainment, e.g. digital cinema with on-demand video transmission from remote location, gaming and immersion in virtual reality (3D).

The list of potential users and appliances is not closed. Users are welcome with their ideas on how the visualization infrastructure can be applied to other research areas to stimulate its use.


Click on a partner to read more information about them

Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center (Poland)

PSNC facilities include vast number of resources – networking, high performance computers and has capabilities to create, process and present 4K video content. An own 4K 3D node containing devices for image acquisition, coding, processing and playback is used to test the emerging new media applications in the networking environment.

In 2008 PSNC has started a creation of the 4K node in Poznan. In 2009 PSNC established new initiative to promote the use of ultra high definition facilities among scientists and researchers. The initiative has been called "4K Initiative". The main goals and areas of interests of this initiative are to disseminate the knowledge about the 4K technology in scientific community, enable production and post-production processing of the 4K content for researchers and scientists, live and non-live streaming of the UHD content over optical networks, visualization of scientific experiments and, finally, to create a platform for cooperation and collaboration for Digital Cinema and television. The international research cooperation is realized via the GÉANT network with 10Gbps connection and through own cross border fiber (CBF) connections.

In 2010 the infrastructure was upgraded to process and display 4K 3D using passive polarization technology for stereoscopy. PSNC is also pioneering in hardware FPGA research, for instance the use of 4K RED cameras to provide 4K live streaming from various events. This device will be used to transmit over the high speed networks 4K-quality pictures from scientific experiments. The infrastructure is open for cross-disciplinary research, starting from telemedicine (e.g. live streaming from hospitals for remote diagnosis), through radio-astronomy, biology, chemistry and others (streaming high quality pictures over network).


University of Essex (UK)

The University of Essex is one of the UK's leading academic institutions. Founded in 1964 when it opened its doors to a cohort of just 122 students at Wivenhoe Park in Colchester, the University has grown in both reputation and size, developing a worldwide reputation for top quality teaching and research. The High Performance Networks group (HPNG: http://hpn.essex.ac.uk/) at the University of Essex specializes in the application of advanced technologies to future communication network infrastructures together with the study of control, node architectures, and technologies best suited for future application requirements. The group offers a unique facility with capabilities for validating research and developments on network and service architectures. The facility integrates local leading edge test beds high performance media test-beds and provides dedicated, high speed network connectivity to a number of strategic locations within the UK, Europe, North America and Asia.

The group consists of the following labs and experimental facilities Photonic Network Lab (PNL), Networked Media Lab (NML) and Future Internet Experimental Facility.

The University has recently made an investment of more than M€2 to extend the HPN group activity with anew Networked Media Laboratory (NML) which operates as an interdisciplinary laboratory focused in research & development for efficient deployments of Ultra-High Definition Multimedia Applications over Photonic Networks. The Networked Media Laboratory offers high performance multimedia production and presentation facilities for ultra high definition media (4K, 8K), 3D immersive environments, very high quality data visualization capabilities, massive data storage and content management facilities as well as cluster computing.

The High Performance Networked Media Laboratory comprises advanced media acquisition and presentation facilities (4K, 8K, 3D) combined with a high performance experimental network which aims to design, develop and implement services specifically created for high quality, large-scale digital media, including support for extremely high volume media streams. By using advanced concepts, architecture, and technology, this Laboratory is providing an open test-bed for future digital media service innovation, as well as for other data-intensive applications with advanced visualization requirements.


i2CAT (Spain)

Description of the infrastructure:

The distributed Media Lab Team of i2CAT, in tight collaboration with different institutions (Citilab, Barcelona the Lab, Fabra i Coats, etc.), spread and connected through high performance networks around the Barcelona Metropolitan Region (Barcelona, Cornellà and Castelldefels), is involved in several projects related with the remote visualization of HD/UHD media content in Scientific and Cultural environments. Our research topics address High resolution media content capture, real time and offline transport over IP networks and visualization.

The infrastructure design has been user driven, with the involvement of different Scientific and Cultural sectors and agents (e.g.: public bodies, artists, SMEs, etc.). Also, thanks to the high performance network connectivity between the distributed visualization facilities, it has been possible to bring parts of the global infrastructure close to the user.

The i2CAT’s infrastructure consists of 2 different laboratories:
• 1 in the university more related to scientific research and education
• 1 in an hospital / knowledge center directly related to the e-Health sector

The combination of this 2 own labs, with the locations and infrastructures provided by the collaborative partners, makes of the DML-ES one of the largest, versatile, adaptive and advanced audiovisual distributed research facilities in Europe.

Importance of the Infrastructure for European Research:

All i2CAT laboratories are equipped with HD/UHD Visualization facilities and interconnected through optical networks. The i2CAT’s infrastructure enables the Real Time and Offline transmission and visualization of any kind of Ultra High Definition multimedia content, really important in Scientific Simulations visualization. Also, thanks to the real time distribution and the interconnection between facilities, the infrastructure itself promotes the creation of collaborative environments for research and experimentation.

University of Twente (Netherlands)

The University of Twente is an entrepreneurial research university. It is one of 3 technical universities in the Netherlands, the only campus University in the Netherlands and provides academic education and research in a wide variety of fields. The main research fields of the department include design technology, design engineering, manufacturing technology, industrial design engineering, production management and surface technology. The main focus of the research of the department is on the development of methods and tools for view dependent support of the design process. Views include, among others, end user involvement, virtualisation, 3D visualization, collaborative design, manufacturability, complexity, information & knowledge management and logistics.

The ultra high definition facilities offered by the project partners and its related activities comprise infrastructure that is designing, developing and implementing international high-performance services specifically created for high-quality, large-scale digital media, including support for extremely high-volume media streams. The services represent a major departure from traditional Internet-based digital media systems, which have limited capabilities for supporting very-high-capacity streams.

The infrastructure is a unique open test-bed for future digital media innovation, as well as for other data intensive applications with advanced visual requirements. Currently, it offers experimental services to the medical (remote diagnosis) and scientific communities (Radio-astronomy and Biology) where there is the need for real time transfer of ultra high resolution images. The infrastructure also offers support to entertainment and creative industries (digital cinema, broadcasting, performance schools) and is currently constructing an immersive, ultra high definition video conference environment for remote teaching/learning applications.


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