Digital Cinema Package

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A Digital Cinema Package (DCP) is a collection of digital files used to store and convey Digital cinema (DC) audio, image, and data streams.

The term has been defined[1] by Digital Cinema Initiatives, LLC in their recommendations for packaging of DC contents. General practice adopts a file structure that is organized into a number of usually multi-gigabyte size Material eXchange Format (MXF) files, which are separately used to store audio and video streams, and auxiliary index files in XML format.

The MXF track files contain image and audio essence that are compressed and encoded in order to reduce the huge amount of required storage. Encryption is an optional solution and is used to protect from unauthorized use. The image track file contains compressed JPEG 2000 essence and the audio is a wrapped 24bit linear PCM multichannel WAV file. The adopted (optional) encryption standard is AES 128 bit in CBC mode.

The newer SMPTE standards are used to conform the recommendations among different tool vendors and producers. Interop, the legacy DCP standard, is still required to be supported by DCP players.[2][3]

Technical specifications[edit]

The DCP root folder (in the storage medium) contains a number of files, some used to store the image and audio contents, and some other used to organize and manage the whole playlist.[4]

Picture MXF files[edit]

Picture contents may be stored in one or more reels corresponding to one or more MXF files. Each reel contains pictures as MPEG-2 or JPEG 2000 essence, depending on the adopted codec. MPEG-2 is no longer compliant with the DCI specification. JPEG 2000 is the only accepted compression format.

  • Supported frame rates are:
    • SMPTE (JPEG 2000)
      • 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, and 60 fps @ 2K
      • 24, 25, and 30 fps @ 4K
      • 24 and 48 fps @ 2K stereoscopic
    • MXF Interop (JPEG 2000) – Deprecated
      • 24 and 48 fps @ 2K (MXF Interop can be encoded at 25 frame/s but support is not guaranteed)
      • 24 fps @ 4K
      • 24 fps @ 2K stereoscopic
    • MXF Interop (MPEG-2) – Deprecated.
      • 23.976 and 24 fps @ 1920×1080
  • Maximum frame sizes are 2048×1080 for 2K DC, and 4096×2160 for 4K DC. Common formats are:
    • SMPTE (JPEG 2000)
      • Flat (1998×1080 or 3996×2160), ~1.85:1 aspect ratio
      • Scope (2048×858 or 4096×1716), ~2.39:1 aspect ratio
      • HDTV (1920×1080 or 3840×2160), 16:9 aspect ratio (~1.78:1) (although not specifically defined in the DCI specification, this resolution is DCI compliant per section 8.4.3.2).
      • Full (2048×1080 or 4096×2160) (~1.9:1 aspect ratio, official name by DCI is Full Container. Not widely accepted in cinemas.)
    • MXF Interop (MPEG-2) – Deprecated
      • Full Frame (1920×1080)
  • 12 bits per pixel precision (36 bits total)
  • XYZ colorspace
  • Maximum bit rate is 250 Mbit/s (1.3 MBytes per frame at 24 frame/s)

Sound MXF files[edit]

Sound contents are stored in reels, too, corresponding to picture reels in number and duration. In case of multilingual features, separate reels are required to convey different languages. Each file contains linear PCM essence.

  • Sampling rate is 48,000 or 96,000 samples per second
  • Sample precision of 24 bits
  • Linear mapping (no companding)
  • Up to 16 independent channels.

Asset map file[edit]

List of all files included in the DCP, in XML format.

Composition playlist file[edit]

Defines the playback order during presentation. The order is saved in XML format in this file; each picture and sound reel is identified by its UUID. In the following example, a reel is composed by picture and sound:

<Reel>
 <Id>urn:uuid:632437bc-73f9-49ca-b687-fdb3f98f430c</Id>
 <AssetList>
  <MainPicture>
   <Id>urn:uuid:46afe8a3-50be-4986-b9c8-34f4ba69572f</Id>
   <EditRate>24 1</EditRate>
   <IntrinsicDuration>340</IntrinsicDuration>
   <EntryPoint>0</EntryPoint>
   <Duration>340</Duration>
   <FrameRate>24 1</FrameRate>
   <ScreenAspectRatio>2048 858</ScreenAspectRatio>
  </MainPicture>
  <MainSound>
   <Id>urn:uuid:1fce0915-f8c7-48a7-b023-36e204a66ed1</Id>
   <EditRate>24 1</EditRate>
   <IntrinsicDuration>340</IntrinsicDuration>
   <EntryPoint>0</EntryPoint>
   <Duration>340</Duration>
  </MainSound>
 </AssetList>
</Reel>

Packing list file or PKL Package key list[edit]

All files in the composition are hashed and their hash is stored here, in XML format. This file is generally used during ingestion in a digital cinema server to verify if data have been corrupted or tampered with in some way. For example, an MXF picture reel is identified by the following <asset> element:

<Asset>
 <Id>urn:uuid:46afe8a3-50be-4986-b9c8-34f4ba69572f</Id>
 <Hash>iqZ3X7TdAjAqniOxT2/hj66VCUU=</Hash>
 <Size>210598692</Size>
 <Type>application/x-smpte-mxf;asdcpKind=Picture</Type>
</Asset>

The hash value is the Base64 encoding of the SHA-1 checksum. It can be calculated with the command

openssl sha1 -binary "FILE_NAME" | openssl base64

Volume index file[edit]

A single DCP may be stored in more than one medium (e.g., multiple hard disks). The xml file VOLINDEX is used to identify the volume order in the series.

3D DCP[edit]

The DCP format is also used to store stereoscopic (3D) contents. In this case, 48 frames exist for every second - 24 frames for the left eye, 24 frames for the right.

Depending on the projection system used, the left eye and right eye pictures are either shown alternatively (double or triple flash systems) at 48 fps or, on 4k systems, both left and right eye pictures are shown simultaneously, one above the other, at 24 fps. In triple flash systems, active shutter glasses are required whereas optical filtering such as circular polarisation is used in conjunction with passive glasses on polarised systems.

Since the maximum bit rate is always 250 Mbit/s, this results in a net 125 Mbit/s for single frame, but the visual quality decrease is generally unnoticeable.

DCP creation[edit]

Most film producers and distributors rely on digital cinema encoding facilities to produce and quality control check a digital cinema package before release. Facilities follow strict guidelines set out in the DCI recommendations to ensure compatibility with all digital cinema equipment. For bigger studio release films, the facility will usually create a DCDM (Digital Cinema Distribution Master).

A DCDM is the post-production step prior to a DCP. The frames are in XYZ TIFF format and both sound and picture are not yet wrapped into MXF files. A DCP can be encoded directly from a DCDM. A DCDM is useful for archiving purposes and also facilities can share them for international re-versioning purposes. They can easily be turned into alternative version DCPs for foreign territories. For smaller release films, the facility will usually skip the creation of a DCDM and instead encode directly from the DSM (Digital Source Master) the original film supplied to the encoding facility. A DSM can be supplied in a multitude of formats and colour spaces. For this reason, the encoding facility needs to have extensive knowledge in colour space handling including, on occasion, the use of 3D LUTs to carefully match the look of the finished DCP to a celluloid film print. This can be a highly involved process in which the DCP and the film print are "butterflied" (shown side by side) in a highly calibrated cinema.

Less demanding DCPs are encoded from tape formats such as HDCAM SR. Quality control checks are always performed in calibrated cinemas and carefully checked for errors. QC checks are often attended by colourists, directors, sound mixers and other personnel to check for correct picture and sound reproduction in the finished DCP.

DCP encryption[edit]

The AES encryption is applied to all MXF files. The encryption keys are generated and transmitted via a KDM (Key Delivery Message) to the projection site. KDMs are XML files containing encryption keys that can be used only by the destination device. A KDM is associated to each playlist and defines the start and stop times of validity for the projection of that particular feature.

DCP delivery methods[edit]

The most common method uses a specialist hard disk (most commonly the CRU DX115) designed specifically for digital cinema servers to ingest from. These hard drives were originally designed for military use but have since been adopted by digital cinema for their hard wearing and reliable characteristics. The hard drives are usually formatted in the Linux EXT2 or EXT3 format as D-Cinema servers are typically Linux based and are required to have read support for these file systems. Usually the iNode is set to 128 bits to avoid compatibility issues with some servers. Also, NTFS and FAT32 are occasionally used. Hard drive units are normally hired from a digital cinema encoding company, sometimes in quantities of thousands. Drives are commonly shipped in protective hard cases. The drives are delivered via express courier to the exhibition site. Other, less common methods adopt a full digital delivery, using either dedicated satellite links or high speed Internet connections.

DCP and KDM creation tools[edit]

DCP creation tools
Name GUI CLI JPEG 2000 XYZ MXF XML Frame size 3D Frame rate (frame/s) Sampling rate (kHz) Multi-threaded Input formats Notes OS License
2DCP_GUI Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 2K, 4K Yes 24, 48 48, 96 Yes Multiple Picture scaling Windows Freeware
CineCert AS-DCP File Access Library No Yes No No Yes No 2K, 4K Yes 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60 48, 96 Yes[5] J2K, WAV, XML Needs separate codec Windows, Mac OS X, Linux BSD-like
Doremi CineAsset Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 2K, 4K Yes 16, 18.18, 20, 21.82, 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 47.95, 48, 50, 59.94, 60, 72, 96 48, 96 Yes (plus parallel network computing architecture) Multiple formats,[6] TIFF, DPX, and others CinePlayer (Software DCP player) is included for Windows and Mac users
CineExport (DCP and KDM creation tool) is included for Mac users
Can generate encrypted DCP’s and KDM’s for encrypted content
Еvaluation version
API
Windows, Mac OS X Commercial license
Cinemaslides No Yes Yes[7] Yes[8] Yes[9] Yes 2K, 4K No 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60 48, 96 No All known image[8] and audio[10] formats Encryption, KDM generation, Theater Key Retrieval element (TKR), Composition Metadata Linux GPLv3
DVS Clipster Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes 2K, 4K Yes 24, 48 48 Multiple formats Windows Commercial license
CuteDCP Yes No Yes[7] Yes Yes[9] Yes 2K Yes 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60, 72, 96 48, 96 Yes Multiple formats Plug-in for Adobe After Effects Windows, Mac OS X Commercial license
CuteDCP_Pr Yes No Yes[7] Yes Yes[9] Yes 2K, 4K Yes 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60, 72, 96 48, 96 Yes Multiple formats Plug-in for Adobe Premiere Pro Windows, Mac OS X Commercial license
DCP Builder Yes Yes Yes[7] Yes Yes[9] Yes[11] 2K, 4K Yes 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60 48, 96 Yes BMP, TIFF, DPX, PNG, SGI, TGA, multiple video formats[6] No encryption Windows, Mac OS X, Linux Freeware
DCPC – Digital Cinema Package Creator Yes No Yes[7] Yes[8] Yes[9] Yes 2K, 4K Yes 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60 48 Yes Multiple formats Encryption, Subtitle, MPEG2 DCP, 7.1, 3D HFR Windows
MEL - Online KDM Generator Yes No No No No No 2K, 4K Yes 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60 48 No NA A web based KDM generator for UK cinemas Web based Commercial license
Prism DCP Encoder Yes No Yes[7] Yes[8] Yes[9] Yes 2K, 4K Yes 24, 48 48 Yes DPX, CIN, TIFF, PNG, BMP, TGA, JPG Picture scaling presets Windows Commercial license
Inition DCP Pro Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes 2K Yes 24 48 Multiple formats Network encoding of JPEG 2000 files Windows Commercial license
DCP Tool Yes No Yes[12] Yes Yes Yes 2K, 4K Yes 24, 48 48 Yes TIFF, DPX, WAV, AIFF Two separate tools Windows Commercial license
Dietrich No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 2K, 4K Yes 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60 48, 96 DCDM, DCP, MXF, XML Encryption, key management, KDM generation, package validation, subtitles Linux
YADEtech DCP encoder[citation needed] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 2K, 4K Yes 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60 48, 96 Yes TIFF, PNG, BMP, DPX, J2K, XML, DCP, DCDM, MXF Encryption; KDM and key management; Interop/SMPTE subtiltes; uses ultra fast, proprietary jpeg2000 codec (jade2k); highly scalable Windows, Linux, Web Commercial license
DCP-o-matic Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 2K, 4K Yes 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 48 48, 96 Yes Multiple Upload to TMS[disambiguation needed]; network J2K rendering Windows, Linux, Mac OS X GPL
easyDCP Creator Yes No Yes[12] Yes Yes[9] Yes 2K, 4K No 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60 48 Yes DPX, TIFF, J2K, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP Windows, Mac OS X Commercial license
easyDCP Creator+ Yes Yes Yes[12] Yes Yes[9] Yes 2K, 4K Yes 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60 48 Yes DPX, TIFF, J2K, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, QuickTime Supports KDM and encryption with included easyDCP KDM Generator Windows, Mac OS X Commercial license
FinalDCP Commercial Edition

innovative pixel FinalDCP

Yes No, but batch processing Yes Yes Yes Yes 2K, 4K Yes 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60, 96, 100, 120, all SMPTE and InterOp 48 Yes (plus parallel network computing architecture) AVI, QuickTime, Apple ProRes, AVID DNxHD, Edius HQX, RED R3D, GoPro-CineForm, GoPro-CineForm3D, DPC (DPX-C), DPX, TIFF, MPEG4, JPEG2000, MXF, etc. Easy to use drag'n'drop User Interface, automated ISDCF compliant Digital Cinema Naming Convention support, zero configuration massive parallel network rendering architecture, preview editor, cropping, scaling, padding, color preprocessing, audio rate conversion Windows, Mac OS X Commercial license
FinalDCP FREE Edition

innovative pixel FinalDCP FREE Edition

Yes No, but batch processing Yes Yes Yes Yes 2K, 4K Yes 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60, 96, 100, 120, all SMPTE and InterOp 48 Yes (plus parallel network computing architecture) AVI, QuickTime, Apple ProRes, AVID DNxHD, Edius HQX, RED R3D, GoPro-CineForm, GoPro-CineForm3D, DPC (DPX-C), DPX, TIFF, MPEG4, MXF, etc. Easy to use drag'n'drop User Interface, Automated ISDCF compliant Digital Cinema Naming Convention support, zero configuration massive parallel network rendering architecture, unlimited render nodes, preview editor, cropping, scaling, padding, color preprocessing, audio rate conversion Windows, Mac OS X Commercial license Demo, superimposes logo, needs registration
Extron J2KENC Yes No Yes Yes Yes No 2K Yes 24 48 No BMP, DPX, PNG, TGA, TIFF Windows Commercial license
Marquise Technologies MIST (Media Ingest Stream Transcode) Yes No Yes[13] Yes Yes[13] Yes[13] 2K, 4K Yes 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60 48 Yes Multiple formats Interop and SMPTE subtitles.
Automated ISDCF compliant Digital Cinema Naming Convention support.
Windows Commercial license
EVS O3 DCP Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 2K, 4K Yes 24, 30, 48, 50, 60 48 DPX, Cin, Tiff 8, Tiff 16, TGA, BMP, SGI, RAW, RGB, YUV, Wave Linux Commercial license
opencinematools Yes Yes Yes[7] No Yes[9] Yes 2K, 4K Yes 24, 48 48 No TIFF Windows, Mac OS X, Linux BSD
OpenCubeDCP Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes 2K, 4K Yes 24, 48 48 DPX, CIN, TIFF, TGA, BMP, SGI, RAW, RGB, YUV, WAV Rack mounted unit Linux Commercial license
OpenDCP Yes Yes Yes[7] Yes Yes[9] Yes 2K, 4K Yes 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60 48, 96 Yes TIFF, DPX, BMP, CIN XML file generation with digital signatures. Naming Convention support. SMPTE subtitles. Windows, Mac OS X, Linux GPL
intoPIX PRISTINE J2K Accelerator No Yes Yes No No No 2K, 4K Yes 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60 Multiple formats Up to 100 fps in 2K, up to 24 fps in 4K, PCIe board, Accelerate any DCP opensource tool, Direct Interop with EasyDCP Creator Windows, Linux Commercial license
QubeMaster Pro Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes 2K, 4K Yes 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60 48, 96 Yes Multiple formats DPX, CIN, TIFF, TGA, BMP, AVI, QT, ASF, AUD, WAV, TXT Windows Commercial license
Doremi Rapid & RAPID2x Yes Yes Yes Yes[14] Yes Yes 2K, 4K Yes 24, 48, 23, 25, 29, 30, 47, 50, 59, 60 48, 96 Yes TIFF, DPX, WAV, J2c HD-SDI Capture capabilities (licensed option), KDM Generation, Image Sequencing Tool Red Hat Linux Commercial license
Dolby SCC2000 Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes 2K, 4K Yes 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60 48, 96 All common D-Cinema master file formats Standalone unit, render farm Linux Commercial license
CineCert Wailua DCP Mastering System No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 2K, 4K Yes 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60 48, 96 Yes[15] TIF, DPX, J2K, MXF, WAV, XML DCP testing (individual assets and entire packages), Support for creating partial ("supplemental") DCPs, Encryption, KDM creation, Extensive Python API; Kii add-on module required for JP2K compression, colorspace conversion, and pixel array resizing Mac OS X, Linux Commercial License
QuVIS Wraptor Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes 2K No 24 48 Multiple formats Plugin for Compressor in Final Cut Studio. Works well with all versions of FCP and Compressor. Mac OS X Commercial license
QubeMaster Xpress Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes 2K No 24 48 Yes Multiple formats Windows Commercial license
QubeMaster Xport Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes 2K, 4K Yes 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60 48 Yes Multiple formats Plugin for Compressor in Final Cut Studio. Mac OS X Commercial license

Software DCP players[edit]

Software DCP players
Name DCP support Supplemental DCP support DCP ingest GUI JPEG 2000 with XYZ to RGB color transform Encrypted MXF Subtitles Closed captions KDM Full-screen v-sync Multi-monitor support Enforced HDCP or DPCP link encryption Frame size 3D Deep color HD-SDI Frame rate (frame/s) Sampling rate (kHz) MXF Multichannel Audio Labeling (SMPTE 377-4:2012) Input formats OS License
dcpPlayer Yes No No Yes Yes No Yes No No Yes Yes Yes No 2K, 4K Yes Yes No 1-100 48, 96 No DCP, MXF, XML Windows Commercial license
easyDCP Player+ Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No 2K, 4K Yes Yes Yes 1-100 48, 96 No DCP, MXF, XML Windows, Mac OS X Commercial license
easyDCP Player Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No 2K, 4K No Yes Yes 1-100 48, 96 No DCP, MXF, XML Windows, Mac OS X Commercial license
FFmpeg No No No No Yes No No No No No No No No 2K, 4K No No No 1-100 48, 96 No MXF Windows, Mac OS X, Linux GPL
FinalDCP Player

innovative pixel FinalDCP Player

Yes No No Yes Yes No No No No Yes Yes Yes No 2K, 4K Yes Yes Yes 1-100 48, 96 No DCP, MXF, XML Windows, Mac OS X Commercial license
NeoDCP Player Professional Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 2K, 4K Yes Yes Yes all frame rates 48, 96 Yes DCP, MXF, XML, NEP[disambiguation needed] Windows Commercial license
NeoDCP Player Ultimate 4K Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 2K, 4K Yes Yes Yes all frame rates 48, 96 Yes DCP, MXF, XML, NEP[disambiguation needed] Windows Commercial license
NeoDCP Player Ultimate 2K Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 2K No Yes Yes all frame rates 48, 96 Yes DCP, MXF, XML, NEP[disambiguation needed] Windows Commercial license
NeoDCP Player Classic Yes No No Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No 2K, 4K Yes Yes Yes all frame rates 48, 96 Yes DCP, MXF, XML, NEP[disambiguation needed] Windows Commercial license
NeoDCP Player Basic Yes No No Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No Yes Yes No 2K No No No all frame rates 48, 96 Yes DCP, MXF, XML, NEP[disambiguation needed] Windows Commercial license
Stereoscopic Player No No No Yes Yes No No No No Yes Yes Yes No 2K, 4K Yes No No 1-100 48, 96 No MXF Windows Commercial license

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "DCI Digital Cinema System Specification v. 1.2 with Errata as of 30 August 2012 Incorporated". Digital Cinema Initiatives. August 30, 2012 [2005]. p. 14. 
  2. ^ http://mkpe.com/digital_cinema/isdcf/transition/2011-3-2-SMPTE-Interop-DCP-Guidelines-with-Accessibility.pdf
  3. ^ http://isdcf.com/papers/ISDCF-Doc2-DCP-TransitionReview.pdf
  4. ^ "Digital Cinema Initiative Distribution Package (DCP), Version 1.0". Sustainability of Digital Formats Planning for Library of Congress Collections. Library of Congress. Retrieved 2013-08-24. 
  5. ^ Is thread safe.
  6. ^ a b Using FFmpeg
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Using OpenJPEG
  8. ^ a b c d Using ImageMagick
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Using CineCert AS-DCP File Access Library
  10. ^ Using SoX
  11. ^ Using opencinematools
  12. ^ a b c Using Kakadu
  13. ^ a b c "DCI Mastering Focus Sheet". Marquise Technologies. 2012. Retrieved 2013-08-24. 
  14. ^ With license
  15. ^ Concurrent operations use OS / Interpreter threading

External links[edit]