In Cinema, the 35mm film format is dead.



With the world turning digital at every opportunity it’s no surprise that the film industry is fully onboard.

Cinema in particular has been revolutionised with the introduction of Digital Projectors and Digital Cinema Packages (DCPs) – the modern day delivery format for cinemas worldwide.

The ubiquitous 35mm film projector that we all know and love is fast being replaced by its digital cousin, with time and cost factors playing a major part in its downfall. It is expected that by 2015 almost all cinema screens will be digital and ready for the DCP age.

The Digital Cinema Package, most commonly distributed on rugged CRU hard drives, can contain multiple playlists with a variety of video, audio and additional data / subtitle streams. Each of these playlists has a specific combination of files, composed for a particular territory. This means only one set of files needs to be produced for worldwide release. A big cost saving.

Further to this, and one of the most pleasing aspects for content creators, is that Digital Cinema Packages can be encrypted so that only the intended cinema screen can view the content. The AES encryption prevents any illegal copying and distribution.

The creator of the encrypted DCP has full control over who can decrypt / view the DCP by issuing a KDM (Key) specific to each cinema server. This key gives time specific access to a particular server / cinema screen, controlling exactly what time period and where the film can be viewed.

As one of Australia’s leading creators of DCPs, FATS Digital has many years of experience and their knowledgeable staff are fully on board the DCP train.

Says Phill Adam (head of multimedia for FATS):

“The costs and timescales involved in creating and delivering cinema content worldwide have been drastically reduced with DCP technology, together with the safety net of encryption and the ability to add content to ready made DCP packages it really is the future of cinema distribution”

The technology has also made it possible for smaller low budget companies to get their content on the big screen, as Phill continues:

“We are now seeing many independent films come to FATS requiring DCP conversions. They may have a HDCAM master, or they may only have a digital file such as a high quality Quicktime file. This can be all that we need to get a video converted ready for the Cinema – it’s as easy as that”

Cinema Advertising is also prolific with this new technology. DCP advertising is now in full flow and with the internet now playing such a large part in file distribution it is possible to create short duration DCPs (such as advertisements) and deliver them to the cinema all within the same day.

FATS Digital has invested in a wide array of equipment enabling them to offer the best DCP creation service possible, from fully compliant 2D and 3D DCP creation software to the cinema servers needed to replicate how a cinema screens the content.

FATS fully equipped broadcast QC (quality control) rooms are used to thoroughly QC the finished DCP ensuring the XYZ colour space transfer has been successful – these QC rooms are also offered to those on a tight budget needing to QC their own content.

This setup, together with the highly skilled staff who are trained to both create and quality control the end product, ensures that the process runs smoothly and that the DCP created is the perfect package to distribute to the cinemas.

Learn more about FATS Digital’s DCP services, here.