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DCI advances digital cinema

At IBC, a powerful group of exhibitors call for international co-operation on d-cinema standards, writes Carolyn Giardina.

At IBC, a powerful group of exhibitors call for international co-operation on d-cinema standards, writes Carolyn Giardina.

Important developments occurred in the field of d-cinema this week, setting the stage for its theme day tomorrow. Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) – a joint venture of seven major Hollywood studios formed to establish and document voluntary specifications for an open architecture for d-cinema – announced the development of its compliance testing process for d-cinema. This follows the DCI spec that was unveiled roughly a year ago.

Following the DCI 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 d-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 representatives of 15 organisations.

Earlier this year, DCI contracted with the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits to develop standardised compliance testing procedures. As IBC began, DCI announced that these would be completed in November. Testing documentation will be made available by DCI, and Fraunhofer will be available to provide training to third parties interested in conducting 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 d-cinema systems comply with the specification; that studio’s required process to demonstrate that equipment complies with the specification; and which entities or testing companies/institutions are acceptable choices to conduct compliance testing.