In an article to appear June 2 in GRIDtoday, Ahmar Abbas gives us his thoughts about how digital video manipulation might bring grid computing in our homes.
A preview of this article, "Grid Computing For You and Me," is available from his website.
Abbas says that with the proliferation of digital video cameras, we need faster tools to encode "the raw digital video data in order to make transmission and storage more practical."
Some of the most popular encoding schemes are those developed by the Moving Pictures Expert Group (MPEG). MPEG-4 is the most recent of the commonly implemented MPEG standards. Like other encoding schemes, the MPEG4 encoding process is computationally intensive and takes a frustratingly long time. But should it?
With 31 million homes having more than one PC and half of those homes having local area networks, it wouldn’t be too outrageous to want to distribute the encoding process to the other (presumably idle) PCs in our home.
GridIron Software, based in Ottawa, Canada is one of the companies already thinking along these same lines. They recently announced that they have successfully encoded MPEG-4 video using multiple computers with its GridIron XLR8™ software for distributed computing.
For more information, you can read GridIron Software press release or download a white paper after registration.
And what about the results?
[GridIron] published test results indicate that a 60 second NTSC broadcast was compressed from a raw file size of 923 Mbytes to an MPEG4 encoded file of 13 Mbytes -- a 98.75% reduction in size. The encoding time was reduced by a factor of 20 on a system of 12 nodes and decreased from 2 hours 33 minutes to 7 minutes and 4 seconds.
Most importantly, the test result showed a linear reduction in encoding time. So even if the video encoding process is distributed amongst just two home PCs, the encoding time will be reduced by a half.
So are you ready to use distributing computing at home? I am.
Source: Ahmar Abbas, Grid Technology Partners, for GRIDtoday, June 2, 2003
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