Two new documents went to ballot this month, a third was accepted, and a few others are stuck in a bickering match prior to publication. A revision to SMPTE 430-6 Auditorium Security Message updates the protocol so that a digital cinema server can request multiple certificates from a TI Series 2 projector. This revision is not yet incorporated into the DCI specification, nor is it incorporated in DCI’s compliance test plan, both of which will require updating. Servers lacking this update will not be able to drive TI Series 2 projectors when the Authorized Device List in the KDM is populated with projector certificates. Such KDM configurations, however, do not exist today. Further, it could be a long time, if ever, before studios feel comfortable that KDM with active Authorized Device Lists will not create dark screens.
Also in ballot at this time is SMPTE 428-19 SDI-Alternative Frame Rates. To complete the utility of digital cinema projectors for both international applications and archival content, a family of specifications has been added to the standards that describe the implementation of frame rates other than 24 and 48fps. This new document describes how to transmit such alternative frame rates from server to projector over the SDI link.
As if waiting for the day when it would no longer make a difference, TI balloted a Registered Disclosure Document (RDD) with SMPTE to disclose how Cinelink 2 operates. With many projectors moving to 4K, and media blocks moving inside of projectors, the desire to incorporate Cinelink 2 in competing products is now moot. In this new environment, the new “cinelink” will be the interface between media block and external storage and software, a task now undertaken by a group called CoMBI (Common Media Block Interface).
The last report for SMPTE is that two standards got stuck in the pre-publication process. The closed caption standards, SMPTE 430-10 Aux Content Synchronization Protocol (CSP) and SMPTE 430-11 Aux Resource Presentation List (RPL), have been held up for publication over placement of a forward slash (“/”). It was discovered that a reference standard, SMPTE 433 Data Types, has an incorrectly defined XML namespace – it has an extraneous “/” at the end of its namespace name. The 433 standard itself is ambiguous, as the XML schema file that accompanies the standard does not show the “/”, and it is this code that most vendors use in their implementations. It has been noted that other SMPTE documents also reference 433 without the trailing slash. It would seem that 433 is the document in need of change, but after a month, no consensus was reached. Such is the kind of detail that occupies the time of committee participants.