Any support awarded under the IDEAS Performance Series program will include access to performance space, facilities or services on an in-kind basis by the Qualcomm Institute. All facilities and services are normally available on a recharge basis to both UC and external groups, so the awards can only be “spent” on resources supplied by the institute and its staff, per the details of each recipient’s award. Following are the primary spaces and facilities available as needed to stage performances in or around Atkinson Hall, the Qualcomm Institute’s headquarters building on the UC San Diego campus. (For information on recent dance-and-music performance and the internal and external spaces used to execute the artists’ vision, visit the 2014 IDEAS Performances page.)


Calit2 Auditorium

The digital-cinema-equipped Calit2 Auditorium is a state-of-the-art theater/conference facility with 200 comfortable seats and the latest in communications technologies. Each seat has AC power and 1 Gb/s Ethernet jacks. This dual production-and-research facility allows it to be used for anything from standard PowerPoint presentations and HD video screenings, to innovative visual and performance art, or ultra-high-resolution (4K) digital cinema and videoconferencing. The hall has a 12.1 Mayer Cinema multichannel surround-sound system, an 18x32-foot screen, and Sony SXRD-S110 projector for 4K video. The 4K projector provides 4,096 x 2160 pixels, or 8 megapixels per frame – four times the resolution of HDTV. For 4K playback, the Sony SXRD projector is driven by an NTT hardware codec for JPEG 2000; or a custom-built PC with top-of-the-line graphics cards. The auditorium also features: a built-in, four-camera HD recording and webcasting system; theatrical light board; conventional 1600x1200-pixel Christie projector; 16-channel digital audio console and a remote-control system by Crestron, which allows presenters to connect their laptops to control video and audio directly from the podium. For full details on equipment and technical specs available for performances in the Calit2 Auditorium, click here. Detailed specs are here, and a floor plan of the two-story space is here.

Calit2 Theater

The Calit2 Theater is a multipurpose room and ‘Black Box’ space available for research, exhibitions or events. It is a 2-story, reconfigurable space with reconfigurable risers and movable seating for up to 90 people. Equipment includes a multi-channel Meyer Cinema Surround Sound system, a Sony SKRD-R110 4K projector and a fully digital controlled lighting with smart light fixtures. The Theater also features Vroom (short for “Virtual room”), a large-scale, tiled visualization display system covering one wall of the Black Box space. Vroom is a next-generation, reconfigurable tiled display environment that features four rows of eight displays for a total of 32 narrow-bezel NEC LCD displays, each with a 55" screen diagonal. The displays have full HD resolution (1920x1080 pixels), adding up to 66 million pixels on the entire wall (15,360 x 4,320 pixels). Vroom also supports multi-channel audio, and uses a multi-camera optical tracking system from Vicon. All displays have been attached in 2x2 patterns to mounting structures, which are either installed in movable containers (OptiPortables) or suspended from above. The displays are driven by 16 rendering PCs running Linux, each with dual Nvidia Geforce 580 graphics cards. Additionally, there are three separate control PCs (head nodes), each of them set up for one of the three supported software environments, Mediacommons, CalVR and SAGE. For more information on the Calit2 Theater’s state-of-the-art capabilities, click here. A floor plan for the theater is here. Performance video in front of the Vroom display can be seen here (starting at 14:00).

Engineering Courtyard

The Engineering Courtyard is an outdoor event space useful for large receptions and meals for conferences. It can also be used as an overflow area for larger events needing more reception space for outside events. The Engineering Courtyard is part of the shared space referred to as the Engineering Quad. All events must be approved in collaboration with the Jacobs School of Engineering.

Pre-Function Area

The Pre-Function Area (PFA) is an open, naturally-lit gathering space with direct access to the Calit2 Auditorium and Calit2 Theater. With a seating capacity of 80-100 or standing room capacity of 150-200, the PFA is most commonly used for receptions before and after events, or meals during conferences.


HD Production Facility

The Qualcomm Institute’s advanced HD video production facility supplies visual content for scientific, artistic and communications purposes. The facility consists of five spaces for video editing, audio booth, machine room and full-scale live and/or recorded studio shoots and more. The Main Studio is equipped with one Professional JVC GY-HD250 studio camera, two Sony BRC-H700 HD Pan-Tilt-Zoom cameras, a Sony HXRNX5U camcorder, one Sony PXWZ100 4K camcorder, and two Panasonic 55-inch plasma displays. Audio equipment includes 7 Shure MX185 Microflex Lavaliers, ClearOne Intercom, JBL Playback speakers, AKG C1000 Condenser mics, etc. Lighting fixtures include 6 Brightline SeriesOnes with honeycomb filters, 4 Arri Arrilite 1000s, an 8-pod Elation Octopod 80 Alkalite LED system, and 9 ETC Source Four Ellipsoidals and PARNELs with barndoors. Other equipment includes Manfrotto and Libec tripods, ULTRALITE Teleprompter, VariZoom FlowCam DV Sportster steadicam, and a Green Screen system. Other rooms in the HD Production Facility include a Control Room for real-time, live-switching program recording; a Server Room, for recording/playback, quality control and videoconferencing; an Audio Booth for voice-over recording, and an Editing suite for HD/4K post production services. More information on the HD Studio’s capabilities can be viewed here.


The SunCAVE (an upgrade of the previous StarCAVE) is a 360-degree, virtual reality space outfitted with 70 3D stereo ultra-high definition 4K panels (45 screens in front and another 25 behind) driven by 70 Nvidia 1080 GPUs. The 500 megapixel display tilts at both the top and the bottom for an encompassing experience that gives the space a sphere-like appearance. Wearing lightweight passive glasses, visitors can interactively engage with presentation through the use of an ART optical tracking system.

Immersive Visualization Lab

The Immersive Visualization Lab (IVL) is home to a number of advanced virtual-reality devices, some of them still in development. The StarCAVE 360-degree, virtual reality environment is the principal system of potential use by artists seeking to showcase 3D VR multimedia. The room operates at a combined resolution of over 68 million pixels - 34 million per eye - distributed over 15 rear-projected walls and two floor screens. Each side of the pentagon-shaped room has three stacked screens, with the bottom and top screens titled inward by 15 degrees to increase the feeling of immersion (while also reducing the ghosting, or ‘seeing double’, that bedevils VR systems). Visuals are rear-projected on each screen with two HD projectors to permit HD in 3D. Two separate projectors beam 3D imagery on the room’s floor. Each pair of projectors is powered by a high-end, quad-core PC running on Linux, with dual graphics processing units and dual network cards to achieve gigabit Ethernet or 10GigE networking. Thus, the StarCAVE supports 20/40 vision and the images are very high contrast, thanks to the room’s unique shape and special screens that allow viewers to use 3D polarizing glasses. Adding to the virtual reality in the StarCAVE is the surround sound system, which harnesses recent advances in wave field synthesis – a way to maximize the perception of many channels of sound emanating from different sides of the room. Calit2 also worked closely with Meyer Sound, Inc., to customize the installation of three arrays of five conventional high-quality speakers to provide 5.1 surround sound or up to 15 channels of discreet audio diffusion (with a subwoofer channel built into the floor structure).

Performative Computing Lab

Equipment currently available in the Performative Computing Lab includes a projection system; a 24-channel analog mixing console; and an 8.1 surround speaker system.

Audio Spatialization Laboratory

A dark, cave-like space with high walls and rows of audio mixing boards, the Audio Spatialization Laboratory (or Spat Lab, for short) is ground zero for the Qualcomm Institute’s Sonic Arts R&D group, directed by UCSD music professor Peter Otto. The group does much of its development work in audio spatialization and sonification in the lab, which has been one of the institute’s signature labs devoted to audio research and music composition. “Our focus is on auditory realism,” says Otto. “We are able to simulate, emulate, reproduce or predict the auditory signature of a particular acoustic or architectural environment, or spatially isolating or highlighting particular sound sources while suppressing others.”

Recombinant Media Laboratory (RML)

The Recombinant Media Lab includes several black-box spaces that can be used to display 360-degree participative work. For an example, a Surround Cinema exhibition featured a 10-screen, 10-projector design, featuring 10-channel audio and lots of speakers. For samples, visit or


Event Technology Support

The Media Technology Resources (MTR) team is the only group authorized to provide Audio-Visual support for the activities taking place in Atkinson Hall's public spaces. If you are organizing an event in the Calit2 Auditorium, a performance in the Calit2 Theater or any internal or external space around Atkinson Hall, please contact the MTR team for assistance well in advance. After gathering information about your technical needs, the team can provide an estimate of the equipment and labor costs related to a proposed event (for inclusion in your proposal).


The Calit2 Auditorium is equipped with the latest Sony video technology and includes up to 4 remote-controlled Pan-Tilt-Zoom cameras, switched live for a more engaging experience, including screenshots of presentation materials. For all events that take place in the Calit2 Auditorium, the MTR team can provide HD video recording for later viewing, as well as real-time webcasting, offered for $50-$85 per hour plus editing time.

A/V Equipment

The Qualcomm Institute’s Media Technology Resources (MTR) group makes available equipment for use at Atkinson Hall events and related projects, in addition to the webcasting, videotaping and other a/v technical support referenced above. For equipment available, click here.