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GARR, Network, Research

Advanced multimedia services

This activity was born out of a close collaboration with the live arts community (in particular music and theatre), which led to the exploration of two main areas of activity that contributed to the emergence of new scenarios of use and creative research involving digital infrastructures:

  • decrease in latency of ultra-HD a/v transmission by eliminating compression operations and using ultra-wide bandwidth for real-time uncompressed signal transmission;
  • use of direct optical transport for audio and video streams.

The first approach is the result of more than 10 years of collaboration with the Tartini Conservatory of Trieste, which led to the creation of the LOLA (LOw LAtency) for the transmission of high definition audio and video signals between two locations, with a latency so low that it can even be used during musical performances. Continuous research and experimentation has enabled us to bring a number of improvements and introduce new features into the system. The latest version, now in pre-release stage, also permits the simultaneous connection of multiple locations, while a new set of innovative teaching and learning services is under development, as well as a cutting edge study for the reproduction and simulation of complex sound environments, in collaboration with the Tartini Conservatory, the Vienna Music and Performing Arts University and the Sennheiser Research Division.

The second approach was the subject of a recent collaboration with theatre director Giorgio Barberio Corsetti and his team, who performed a live show distributed between two sites, after successful testing; the innovative element in this case was the transmission of the audio / video signals directly over the optical fibre, without using the IP level. The sites were interconnected through a dedicated lightpath, allowing the signal to approximate the speed of light on optical fibre (about 200 thousand km per second) and maintain latency well below the threshold of human perception (50ms), all in a completely transparent way for the theatrical team.
GARR also participated in the eMUSIC project

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