The term was popularized by Digital Cinema Initiatives, LLC in its original recommendation for packaging DC contents. However, the industry tends to apply the term to the structure more formally known as the composition. ("You PLAY a composition, You do NOT play a Digital Cinema Package".) A DCP is a "packing crate" for compositions, a hierarchical file structure that represents a title version. The DCP may carry a partial composition (e.g. not a complete set of files), a single complete composition, or multiple and complete compositions.
The composition consists of a Composition Playlist (in XML format) that defines the playback sequence of a set of Track Files. Track Files carry the essence, which is wrapped using Material eXchange Format (MXF). Two track files at a minimum must be present in every composition (see SMPTE ST429-2 D-Cinema Packaging - DCP Constraints, or Cinepedia): a track file carrying picture essence, and a track file carrying audio essence. The composition, consisting of a Composition Playlist and associated track files, are distributed as a Digital Cinema Package (DCP). It must be underscored that a composition is a complete representation of a title version, while the DCP need not carry a full composition. However, as already noted, it is commonplace in the industry to discuss the title in terms of a DCP, as that is the deliverable to the cinema.
The Picture Track File essence is compressed using JPEG 2000 and the Audio Track File carries a 24-bit linear PCM uncompressed multichannel WAV file. Encryption may optionally be applied to the essence of a track file to protect it from unauthorized use. The encryption used is AES 128-bit in CBC mode.
In practice, there are two versions of composition in use. The original version is called Interop DCP. In 2009, a specification was published by SMPTE (SMPTE ST 429-2 Digital Cinema Packaging - DCP Constraints) for what is commonly referred to as SMPTE DCP. SMPTE DCP is similar but not backwards compatible with Interop DCP, resulting in an uphill effort to transition the industry from Interop DCP to SMPTE DCP. SMPTE DCP requires significant constraints to ensure success in the field, as shown by ISDCF. While legacy support for Interop DCP is necessary for commercial products, new productions are encouraged to distribute in SMPTE DCP.
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.
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.
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.
List of all files included in the DCP, in XML format.
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>
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> <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>
openssl sha1 -binary "FILE_NAME" | openssl base64
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.
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 alternately (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 polarized 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.
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 color spaces. For this reason, the encoding facility needs to have extensive knowledge in color 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 colorists, directors, sound mixers and other personnel to check for correct picture and sound reproduction in the finished DCP.
The distributor can choose to encrypt the media (MXF) files with AES encryption to stop unauthorised access. The symmetric AES keys used to encrypt the content essence must be carefully protected, so they are never distributed directly. Instead the AES keys are themselves encrypted using asymmetric 2048 bit RSA. Each playback system has its own unique public/private key pair. The private key is never shared and is buried in the playback systems within secure hardware meeting FIPS-140 security standards. The matching public key is shared with the distributor, who can then create Key Delivery Messages (KDMs) which control access to the encrypted content for each playback system. KDMs are XML files containing the RSA encrypted AES keys that can be decrypted only by the private key within the destination device. A KDM is associated to the particular compositions (CPLs) which may include multiple encrypted picture, sound and subtitle assets, and each playback system requires a uniquely generated KDM. KDMs also provide the ability to define date/time windows within which the KDM is valid. Playback systems will not allow playback outside of this validity window, allowing distributors to ensure that content cannot be unlocked prior to release date and to enforce the rental agreement period agreed with the exhibitor.
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 disk drives are usually formatted with the Linux ext2 or ext3 file system as D-Cinema servers are typically Linux-based and are required to have read support for these file systems. Usually the inode size is set to 128 bytes to avoid compatibility issues with some servers. NTFS and FAT32 are also 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 methods adopt a full digital delivery, using either dedicated satellite links or high-speed Internet connections.
For example, theaters received Cats before opening day, Friday 20 December 2019. When the film received poor reviews after its world premiere on 16 December, Universal notified theaters on 20 December that an updated version of the film with "some improved visual effects" would be available for download on 22 December and on hard drive by 24 December.
|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|
|AutoDCP||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||2K||No||24||48||Yes||Multiple||Cloud based encoder running on Amazon Web Services||Any supported by Dropbox||No license|
|2DCP_GUI||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||2K, 4K||Yes||24, 48||48, 96||Yes||Multiple||Picture scaling||Windows||Freeware|
|Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve||Yes||No||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||Multiple, bas on Resolve Toolset||Resolve is still compatible with an EasyDCP plugin but has now implemented native DCP/XML export utilising the kakadu encoder||Windows, MacOS, Linux||Studio version, watermark in Free version|
|CineSend||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||2K, 4K||Yes||24, 25, 30, 48||48||Yes||Multiple||Azure encoding with web app interface||Web Based||Commercial License|
|CineCert AS-DCP File Access Library||No||Yes||No||No||Yes||No||2K, 4K||Yes||24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60||48, 96||Yes||J2K, WAV, XML||Needs separate codec||Windows, Mac OS X, Linux||BSD-like|
|Dolby/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, 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
|Windows, Mac OS X||Commercial license|
|Cinemaslides||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||2K, 4K||No||24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60||48, 96||No||All known image and audio formats||Encryption, KDM generation, Theater Key Retrieval element (TKR), Composition Metadata||Linux||GPLv3|
|CineFutureDCP||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||2K, 4K||Yes||24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60, 96, 100, 120||48,96||Yes||Multiple formats,||Linux||Commercial license|
|CineFutureKDM||Yes||No||No||No||No||No||SMPTE Web based KDM Generator for Hungarian, Romanian, Slovakian, Czech cinemas. With database update to any country.||Web Based||Commercial license|
|Rohde & Schwarz Clipster||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||2K, 4K||Yes||24, 25,30, 48, 50, 60, 96, 100, 120||48, 96||Multiple formats||Windows||Commercial license|
|CuteDCP||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||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||Yes||Yes||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|
|CuteDCPTools||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||2K, 4K||Yes||24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60, 72, 96||48, 96||Yes||Multiple formats||DCP Mastering Plug-in for Adobe After Effects||Windows, Mac OS X||Commercial license|
|DCPC - Digital Cinema Package Creator||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||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||Yes||Yes||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||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||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||24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60||48, 96||Yes||Multiple||Upload to TMS; network J2K rendering||Windows, Linux, Mac OS X||GPL|
|easyDCP Creator||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||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||Yes||Yes||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||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||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||Yes||Yes||Yes||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.
|DCP Format[permanent dead link]||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||No||Yes||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||Yes||Yes||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|
|Dolby/Doremi Rapid & RAPID2x||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||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||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|
|Name||DCP support||Supplemental DCP support||DCP ingest||Able to place intermissions into the middle of CPLs||Encrypted MXF||Subtitles||Closed captioning||KDM||Full-screen||Enforced HDCP or DPCP link encryption||Frame size||3D||Deep color||ICC profiles for display devices||HD-SDI||Frame rate (frame/s)||Sampling rate (kHz)||MXF Multichannel Audio Labeling (SMPTE 377-4:2012)||Input formats||GUI||OS||License|
|Archimedia Atlas & Iris||Yes||No||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||2K, 4K||No||Yes||No||Yes||all frame rates||48, 96||No||DCP, MXF, XML||Yes||Windows||Commercial license|
|Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve||Yes||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||Yes||No||2K, 4K||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||all frame rates||48, 96||No||DCP, MXF, XML||Yes||Windows, MacOS, Linux||Studio and Free version|
|DCP-o-matic Player||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||2K, 4K||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||all frame rates||48, 96||Yes||DCP||Yes||Windows, Linux, Mac OS X||GPL|
|Dolby/Doremi CineAsset Player||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||2K, 4K||No||Yes||No||Yes||all frame rates||48, 96||No||DCP, MXF, XML||Yes||Windows, Mac OS X||Commercial license|
|dcpPlayer||Yes||No||No||No||No||Yes||No||No||Yes||No||2K, 4K||Yes||Yes||No||No||1-100||48, 96||No||DCP, MXF, XML||Yes||Windows||Commercial license|
|easyDCP Player+||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||2K, 4K||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||1-100||48, 96,99||Yes||DCP, MXF, XML||Yes||Windows, Mac OS X||Commercial license|
|easyDCP Player||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No||2K, 4K||No||Yes||No||Yes||1-100||48, 96||Yes||DCP, MXF, XML||Yes||Windows, Mac OS X||Commercial license|
|FinalDCP Player||Yes||No||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No||2K, 4K||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||1-100||48, 96||No||DCP, MXF, XML||Yes||Windows, Mac OS X||Commercial license|
|NeoDCP Player Professional||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||2K, 4K||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||all frame rates||48, 96||Yes||DCP, MXF, XML, NEP||Yes||Windows||Commercial license|
|NeoDCP Player Ultimate 4K||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||2K, 4K||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||all frame rates||48, 96||Yes||DCP, MXF, XML, NEP||Yes||Windows||Commercial license|
|NeoDCP Player Ultimate 2K||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||2K||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||all frame rates||48, 96||Yes||DCP, MXF, XML, NEP||Yes||Windows||Commercial license|
|NeoDCP Player Classic||Yes||No||No||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No||2K, 4K||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||all frame rates||48, 96||Yes||DCP, MXF, XML, NEP||Yes||Windows||Commercial license|
|NeoDCP Player Basic||Yes||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||2K||No||No||Yes||No||all frame rates||48, 96||Yes||DCP, MXF, XML, NEP||Yes||Windows||Commercial license|