SMPTE 21DC meetings were starting to become boring, so much so that your author’s 21DC30 Exhibition Working Group completed its December meeting in under an hour. What a difference three months can bring. In February, the same working group met for over two hours, reviewing a host of documentation errors and changes, a few of which were in response to the NIST problem reported earlier, but most due to other issues. With changes coming in from multiple activities, lead SMPTE digital cinema chairman, Dave Schnuelle, asked that the committee reorganize its work so that there would be confidence that each document was getting the fixes it may need. To a fair extent, the large number of changes are testament that DCI compliance testing is finally moving forward, and, as a result, standards now being thoroughly tested. The bad news is that the technology is so complex that even the most expert group cannot get it right the first time.
Documents now under review or will be under review:
- SMPTE 430-1 Key Delivery Message
- SMPTE 430-2 Digital Certificate
- SMPTE 430-4 Log Record Format
- SMPTE 430-5 Security Log Event Class and Constraints
- SMPTE 430-6 Auditorium Security Message (changes now in ballot)
- SMPTE 430-7 Facility List
- SMPTE 430-9 Key Delivery Bundle
- SMPTE 430-11 Auxiliary Resource Presentation List
- SMPTE 433 XML Data Types
On the 21DC10 Mastering side, things were more settled. The addition of standards to address additional frame rates beyond 24 fps is now completing. Updates to DCDM Metadata continue to be discussed, and 428-5 DCDM TIFF Mapping may finally advance as a standard (5 years after TIFF mapping in MXF files became the norm). The subject of audio formats was raised, due to the proposal by Pixar for Toy Story 3. (See Pixar Introduces a New Audio Format.)
The next plenary meeting of the 21DC Technology Committee for Digital Cinema will be on March 5 in San Jose.