Real-Time Compression For High-Resolution Content

May 14th, 2007

Categories: Applications, Networking, Visualization


Renambot, L., Jeong, B., Leigh, J.


Higher resolution content is collected or generated everyday by domain scientists, such as remote sensing imagery, large scale simulations and computer graphics animations. In the meantime, high-resolution devices are becoming extremely affordable: high-definition (1920 by 1080 pixels) displays and cameras are available for $1000, a very small fraction of their costs a few years ago. Super-high-resolution (SHD) is already being deployed from manufacturers’ laboratories to the professional market (Sony 4k SXRD projector, Sharp 4k LCD panel, Red and Dalsa 4k cameras, 4k film scanners, …).

Since today’s science relies heavily on collaborative exploration involving distributed groups of researchers, collaborative environments must allow the interactive sharing and analysis of such large content. To achieve interactive speed, realtime compression techniques play a key role. Even in this day of exponential increase of networking bandwidth (i.e. deployment of multi-10Gbps networks), compression is required to alleviate the next bottlenecks in modern computer systems: storage speed and memory bandwidth.

In this paper, we introduce the use of software DXT compression for high-resolution content at an interactive speed. DXT compression allows to stream full HD video over a gigabit connection where multiple gigabits were required. Moreover, it enables 4K streaming without the need for an high-end storage system or an expensive codec [7] (dedicated hardware system for encoding and decoding frames). This work will enable the AccessGrid community to stream video and visualizations at much higher resolutions while minimizing bandwidth requirements.

The contributions of this paper are as follows:

  • Compression of HD and SHD in real-time using a commodity PC at a ratio of 6:1, with a good quality
  • A low bandwidth requirement for high-resolution content
  • The integration of DXT compression in the streaming environment SAGE




Renambot, L., Jeong, B., Leigh, J., Real-Time Compression For High-Resolution Content, Proceedings of the Access Grid Retreat 2007, Chicago, IL, May 14th, 2007.