Friday, 13 April 2018 11:20

Alibaba claims first 8K live stream via Internet


Chinese multinational e-commerce, retail, Internet, AI and technology conglomerate Alibaba claims to have streamed the world's first 8K live stream via the Internet.

In a statement, the company said its cloud-computing arm had used its own network to carry out a three-minute broadcast on 28 March from its headquarters in Hangzhou to its Cloud Computing Conference in Shenzhen, 1300 kilometres away.

The live stream delivered a definition of 33 million pixels per frame and a resolution of 7680 by 4320 pixels, double what is obtainable in a 4K stream. It is about 16 times that of a typical HD video.

The company said that while 8K broadcasts had been carried out before, they were done via satellite. Additionally, while Alibaba Cloud provided the network to deliver the 8K stream, separate 8K hardware, including both a camera and a display, was needed to achieve a successful broadcast.

It said it used proprietary software for video playback and live streaming, a dedicated live broadcast centre, high-speed video channels and elastic computing servers to provide end-to-end 8K streaming.

Uses for 8K technology range from gaming and entertainment to medicine. Japanese doctors are already using 8K instruments in some surgeries, while 8K live streaming is expected to enable doctors to conduct surgeries remotely.

“Alibaba Cloud’s 8K Internet live streaming heralds a new era for high-resolution video cloud solutions, just as 4K resolution did in 2013,” Zhaoyuan Zhu, head of Alibaba Cloud’s Content Delivery Network business, said.

“We will continue to develop our services to support these different applications,” Zhu said.


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.



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