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Digital cinema moves towards compliance

5 October 2006

Digital Cinema Initiatives has introduced its compliance testing process for digital cinema, writes Carolyn Giardina, while a group of international exhibitors has also penned an open letter calling for an international certification body.

DCI – a joint venture of Disney, Fox, Paramount, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal and Warner Bros. Studios, formed to establish and document voluntary specifications for an open architecture for digital cinema – unveiled its d-cinema spec a year ago with an aim to ensure a uniform and high level of technical performance, reliability and quality control.

Earlier this year, it contracted with the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits to develop a standardised set of compliance testing procedures. As IBC began in September, DCI announced that the development of these test procedures is scheduled to be completed in November. When finished, testing documentation will be made available by DCI to all interested parties, and Fraunhofer will be available to provide training to third parties interested in conducting ongoing compliance testing. DCI as an entity will not certify any equipment as being compliant with the DCI specification. Instead, each studio member in DCI will individually and independently decide whether or not and to what extent it will require that digital cinema systems comply with the DCI specification; that studio’s required process to demonstrate that equipment complies with the DCI specification; and which entities or testing companies/institutions are acceptable choices to conduct compliance testing.

Following its announcement, a group of international exhibitor associations signed a joint letter supporting the formation of a unified, international body for the purpose of creating a certification program for digital cinema equipment.

A portion of the letter reads: “Important and significant work has been accomplished and continues to evolve in digital cinema. Several bodies have developed, or are developing, technical specifications and standards for digital cinema equipment. While this work promises to provide the tools for a high quality and secure experience for movie patrons, it alone is not sufficient to guarantee a minimum level of performance for digital cinema equipment. Therefore, we make this statement of support for a unified, international program for digital cinema equipment certification.”

The letter is signed by a group by representatives of UNIC (International Union of Cinemas), National Association of Theatre Owners (US), Fachverband Lichtspieltheater Und Audiovisionsveranstalter (Austria), A.S.B.L F_d_ration des Cin_mas de Belgique – Federatie van Cinema’s, Motion Picture Theatre Association of Canada, The Danish Cinema Association, The Finnish Cinema Owner’s Association, F_d_ration Nationale Des Cin_mas Francais (France), H.D.F. (Germany), ANEC (Italy), ANEM (Italy), NVB (The Netherlands), K.K.L. National Association of Municipal Cinemas (Norway), Federacion de Cines de Espana (Spain), ACS (Switzerland), and Cinema Exhibitors Association (UK).

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