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I2-NEWS: First Uncompressed Real-time Gigabit HDTV Transmission Across Wide Area IP Network

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  • From: Greg Wood <>
  • To:
  • Subject: I2-NEWS: First Uncompressed Real-time Gigabit HDTV Transmission Across Wide Area IP Network
  • Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2001 17:48:40 -0500
  • Organization: Internet2

First Uncompressed Real-time Gigabit HDTV Transmission Across Wide Area IP Network Made Possible by Tektronix, University of Washington, USC/ISI and Level 3

Unprecedented Demonstration Validates Next-Generation Internet Technology

DENVER, Nov. 12, 2001 - Working in collaboration with the University of Washington, the University of Southern California Information Sciences Institute (USC/ISI) and Level 3 Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq:LVLT), Tektronix, Inc. (NYSE:TEK), a market leader in video and telecommunications test equipment, last night successfully demonstrated the first transmission of uncompressed real-time gigabit high-definition television (HDTV) signals over an Internet Protocol (IP) optical network. The demonstration was conducted as part of SuperComputing 2001 at the National Coordination Office for Information Technology Research and Development booth.

The HDTV transmission demonstration proved that Universal Network Access System (UNAS) technology has met the critical requirements to distribute challenging high-speed streaming data (which requires that the entire data stream be sent together), such as uncompressed HDTV signals, over IP networks. Although large amounts of data are sent over proprietary or ATM networks today, IP transmission is expected to be the preferred method of delivery as it becomes the most cost-effective method of rapidly sending information - including voice, video and data - over the Internet. The UNAS project is supported by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency Information Technology Office's (DARPA/ITO) Next-Generation Internet (NGI) program.

"By participating in the Universal Network Access System project, Tektronix is not just enabling, but also creating next-generation Internet technologies," said Rick King, vice president, Optical Business Unit, Tektronix, Inc. "This successful demonstration incorporates Tektronix-developed technologies that are a springboard to the measurement and monitoring tools needed for tomorrow's optical networks and the Internet."

Joint Technology Development Key to Achievement
The technologies for the demonstration were jointly developed by Tektronix, USC/ISI, and the University of Washington (UW). These developments are a part of the DARPA NGI supported projects that include the UNAS project and USC/ISI's Next-Generation Internet Multimedia Applications and Architecture project. This demonstration builds on the work of UW who first pioneered real-time HDTV over IP at an unprecedented, record-setting demonstration at SC1999.

Leading up to the demonstration, the key enabling technologies were tested and refined using the high-performance networks of the Pacific Northwest Gigapop and Mid-Atlantic Crossroads, as well as the Internet2 Abilene backbone network. During the demonstration, the digital video content was sent from UW's laboratories in Seattle, Washington, to the receiver at the SuperComputing 2001 exhibition hall in Denver via Level 3's advanced IP fiber-optic network. The demonstration set a new standard for Internet performance by streaming digital video at 1.5 Gb/s--more than 25,000 times faster than a typical computer modem.

The ResearchChannel provided the streaming HD content via Pacific Northwest Gigapop's ultra-high performance 'Pacific Wave' exchange facilities, and along with the UW, the custom high performance multimedia server. Level 3 provided the network over which the transmission occurred. The Tektronix technology allowed video processed as data packets to be sent, received and compiled into play-out


streams. Tektronix technology was used to compare packets at the input and output
to determine if packets were lost or reordered during the transmission.

HDTV Transmission One of Many Uses for Universal Network Architecture
The DARPA/ITO UNAS project fosters the development of new rapidly-deployable, reconfigurable broadband interfaces for network-edge applications. UNAS is envisioned as a configurable network element that resides at the Internet's edge and adapts to the network's myriad protocols, hastening the deployment of new applications and services. UNAS technology will provide Internet "on-ramp" capability for applications ranging from distributed computing to telemedicine.

Tektronix took a primary engineering/design role in developing the Universal Network Access Engine (UNAE) for the system. The UNAE is a key building block for network edge devices such as terminal adapters, service multiplexers, edge switches, and Quality of Service monitoring equipment. The flexibility of the UNAE will aid Internet architects in designing and testing new protocols that are better optimized for optical networks.

HDTV signals in SMPTE-292M format were chosen to represent the many types of demanding broadband content that will be sent over IP-enabled wide area optical networks. While the data rate of the transported video payload and encapsulation was greater than 1.5 Gb/s, the current UNAS architecture can support rates up to 2.5 Gb/s.

About the Companies
Tektronix, Inc. is a test, measurement, and monitoring company providing measurement solutions to the telecommunications, computer, and semiconductor industries worldwide. With more than 50 years of experience, Tektronix enables its customers to design, build, deploy, and manage next-generation global communications networks and Internet technologies. Headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon, Tektronix has operations in 25 countries worldwide. Tektronix' Web address is

The University of Washington is one of the world's top research universities. Perennially among the top three American institutions in peer-reviewed research activities and related competitive contracts and grants, and with numerous top-ranked programs, UW is a university which truly embodies the ideals of "Learning @ the Leading Edge" ^(TM) and economic development through research and active technology transfer programs. For more information visit

Established in 1972 and widely regarded as one of the birthplaces of the Internet, the Information Sciences Institute is part of USC's School of Engineering. More than 325 staff, including faculty and post-doctoral researchers, graduate students and staff work on two campuses in Marina del Rey, Los Angeles, California and Arlington, Virginia. They carry on basic and applied research on all aspects of computing, including chip design, software design, artificial intelligence, natural language and networking. USC/ISI's designs and programs are found in numerous devices and applications worldwide.

ResearchChannel is a collaborative partnership of research universities and centers dedicated to broadening the access to, and appreciation of, our individual and collective activities, ideas, and opportunities in basic and applied research. ResearchChannel uses content, content creation, and manipulation processes as a workbench to test materials for our future analog and digital broadcast and on-demand multimedia offerings, thus providing an unusual opportunity to experiment with new methods of distribution and interaction on a global basis. ResearchChannel distributes research information 24x7 via satellite, direct-broadcast satellite (EchoStar's DISH Network), cable TV, webcast, on-demand library.

Pacific Northwest Gigapop (PNWGP) is the Northwest's Next Generation Internet, Internet2/Abilene applications cooperative, testbed, and point of presence. PNWGP connects together high-performance international and federal research networks with universities, research organizations, and leading-edge R&D and new-media enterprises throughout Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Canada, Australia and the Pacific rim. 'Pacific Wave' is a ultra high performance exchange/peering service of the PNWGP. For more information visit

Level 3 is a global communications and information services company offering a wide selection of services including IP services, broadband transport, collocation services, and the industry's first Softswitch-based services. Its Web address is

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Tektronix is a registered trademark of Tektronix, Inc. All other trade names referenced are the service marks, trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

Media Contact:
Jayne Scheckla

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  • I2-NEWS: First Uncompressed Real-time Gigabit HDTV Transmission Across Wide Area IP Network, Greg Wood, 11/13/2001

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