ISDCF is getting some meat on its plate. Accessibility, TDL management, open management of keys and certificates in theatres using the CCM (cinema control message), and discontent over DCI’s mucking with its spec and test plan, all will be topics at ISCDF’s largest meeting ever on June 4. NATO invited people from across the industry to attend the accessibility session, scheduled to last 2 hours. Over 100 people have RSVP’d, breaking all records for ISDCF. Even if only half of these people remain for the other discussions, it will be a record breaking turnout.
The need for improved security certificate management, particularly if TDL’s are to be employed, is now getting attention in the studios. An introductory meeting was held this month, spear-headed by Disney. Of the approximately 10,000 digital cinema servers now in the field, approximately 25% of them are independently purchased. There are no deployment entities to turn to for these screens to obtain the certificates needed for generating security keys. For populating TDLs, there is no way to know which projectors are in the projection booths. It is a huge problem for studios, and one which the industry has largely ignored. The problem will not get better with time. When the deployment agreements expire, say within 10 years, today’s 25% figure for unruly installations will grow to 100%. Clever ones will smell a pony in this.
Work on the Cinema Control Message (CCM) for open communications between certificate management entities and exhibition sites, has renewed. It fell by the side as Technicolor reorganized its activities, but Technicolor is back, leading the effort solely as a certificate management entity. In support of the effort, Cinedigm’s VP of Operations, B. Scott Cassell, volunteered this month to co-chair the subgroup. Cinedigm’s support is significant, as without it, widespread adoption of the CCM is unlikely to succeed.
The need for the CCM is practical. While SMPTE has standardized message types for carrying keys and certificates back and forth between theatre and security entities, the messages need a standard envelope to travel in. The CCM will provide that envelope, and as such, will become an important step in open commerce for digital cinema security data.
The CCM effort is also significant in that it sets a new precedent for developing standards. By starting the work in the open and less formal environment offered by ISDCF, the work can later move fairly rapidly through SMPTE as consensus and experience with implementation is achieved.