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Thursday, February 23, 2006

From the not-dead DCI: A test for adherence

I thought the studios' Digital Cinema Initiatives group had closed up shop last year. (In fact, I was in DCI's offices in Hollywood the last week they were open.) But apparently, someone is still there issuing press releases.

So today, in cooperation with Germany's Frau Blücher Institute (whoops, I mean the Fraunhofer Institute), DCI will create a program for verifying that a digital cinema system is "DCI compliant" -- that is, that it adheres to the standards for image quality, security, and equipment interoperability that the group outlined last year.

    Cinema Initiatives (DCI) has signed an agreement with the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS in Erlangen, Germany to collaborate and jointly produce a certification test plan comprised of test procedures and data to validate compliance with the Digital Cinema System Specification published by DCI in July of 2005.

    Development of the test procedures and data is expected to take place over a four-month period, followed by a three-month period of testing and validation. Once complete, the procedures and data will enable equipment manufacturers to validate their compliance with the Specification and promote interoperability between key digital cinema theatrical equipment components. DCI hopes to encourage an established process to test Specification compliancy in order to gain certification of digital cinema equipment.

    "As the transition from conventional 35mm film to digital projection systems continues, many industry entities and manufacturers have been anticipating a DCI supported methodology to provide certification for DCI compliant components," the DCI member studios jointly declared, "the Fraunhofer IIS is a world-respected entity with demonstrated imaging and
    technology expertise that will develop these robust and comprehensive test procedures."