SMPTE 21DC next meets in September. Five ballots representing five new standards will be discussed. Each of the ballots passed, but with comments to be resolved. If the comments are easily resolved and the parent committee agrees that another ballot is not required, these documents will move forward for publication as standards.
The balloted standards are:
1) 429-13 DCP OP constraints AFR. Presumably the last of a series of standards describing how Alternative Frame Rates (AFR) other than 24 and 48 are to be implemented by complying digital cinema products. (The use of frames rates other than 24 and 48 are not mandated by the DCI specification, which makes support for alternative frame rates optional.)
2) 428-5 DCDM Mapping TIFF. Describes the used of the TIFF format in post production for uncompressed images.
3) 428-4 DCDM Audio Constraints. Describes fundamental constraints for sample rate and such with 24 frame rate and 48 frame rate images. Includes the requirement for the post house to remove audible pops between digital reels. (This is has been a controversial issue. There isn’t an ideal way to remove pops in the playback server. Having the post house do it, however, is also not ideal. But it is easier to agree on.)
4) 430-10 Aux Content Synchronization Protocol. The protocol between a server and a closed caption system. This standard allows 3rd party devices to hook up to compliant servers.
5) 430-11 Aux Resource Presentation List. A supporting element for the protocol between server and closed caption system.
430-6 Auditorium Security Messages (ASM), a SMPTE standard and a requirement of the DCI spec, is intended to communicate the digital cinema certificate of the projector to the security manager in the digital cinema server. With the upcoming TI Series 2 design, there is a need to communicate to the security manager that two certificates reside inside the projector. The ASM was not designed for this task. An update to the standard was proposed that would not be backwards compatible, which is not acceptable. A friendlier proposal was made that allowed the ASM to perform the Series 2 task without change by introducing certain constraints in the system, but this reportedly has been rejected by DCI. At the present rate, the problem may never be solved, or worse, solved by creating much pain for users. No doubt this will be discussed further in the September meetings.
21DC is the parent Technology Committee under which all digital cinema standards are developed. Under this committee exists two Working Groups one titled Mastering, the other Exhibition. Under all three groups are a number of Ad Hoc Groups, where early development work takes place. John Wolski, formerly VP Sound and Projection at Lowes Cineplex, and now VP of Exhibition Services for Deluxe, stepped down as chairman of the 21DC-30 Exhibition Working Group. John completed his work, having successfully chaired the Working Group through contentious times. Your author, who has been working alongside John in various Vice-Chair, Co-Chair, and Secretarial roles since the founding of the original SMPTE Digital Cinema Exhibition sub-committee in 2000, was asked to now chair 21DC-30.