DCP Conversion Trouble Shooting

By November 22, 2013 Blog

Recently we invested in a Qube Digital Cinema encoding and packaging solution to service the independent screen sector with affordable DCP file for exhibition in the professional cinema environment.

With over 90% of the commercial cinema screens in Australia now using DCP, we have found a great opportunity to offer a great service at a great price. We have gathered some tips and facts to demystify this format for our audience.

According to Wikipedia, a “Digital Cinema Package (DCP) is a collection of digital files used to store and convey Digital cinema (DC) audio, image, and data streams. 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 standard nowadays is a 2K – 2048×1080 container size at 24.00 frames per second, with a JPEG2000 compression (XYZ color space) and 24-bit, 48 kHz uncompressed Stereo or 5.1. This standard usually produces files that are approximatively 1Gb/min. This is the cinematic standard used on all digital cinema servers systems: DoReMi Labs, Qube Cinema, Sony, DCinex, etc.

The most popular DCP server system in Australia is the DoReMi on which we test all our packages, thanks to our relationship with Palace Cinemas. We work hand-in-hand to make this technology accessible for independent filmmakers and festival screenings in commercial cinemas.

If you would like to have a DCP of your project made at Metro Screen, bring in your file in HD/2K/4K format or tape with a formatted media support either a hard drive or USB stick. You are also welcome to courier over your media support at your convenience. We do not download or upload files as it can cause corruption of the files.

When you receive your DCP we recommend that you send the original file package on the original media support to avoid mishandling issues. Alternatively you might want to have duplicates made at Metro Screen which have been tested.

We do not recommend that the DCP is delivered electronically via file transfer sites such as Drop Box. It is also not recommended to copy the DCP files onto another drive or USB. The best way to avoid technical issues with DCP files is to send the original physical media drive to the cinema. If one duplicate is not sufficient to meet this protocol we would recommend multiple duplicates be made to meet your screening needs.

It is also advisable not to store any other material on the hard drive or the thumb–drive as this can also corrupt the file.

Get a DCP quote anytime online.

DCP from digital file: $2 per minute
DCP from tape: $3 per minute
This is service is produced with Qube and tested on a DoReMi server within a cinema environment with the following specifications:

Video: 24.00 frames per second

Compression: JPEG2000

Color Space: XYZ

Video Format: 2K – 2048×1080 container size (1920×1080, 1998×1080, 2048×858 and other image sizes are acceptable)

Audio Format: 24-bit, 48 kHz uncompressed Stereo or 5.1

Audio Channel

Mapping: 1:Left 2:Right 3:Center 4:Subwoofer 5:Left Surround 6:Right Surround

Encryption: Unencrypted material only