Texas Instruments announced this month that it passed the DCI procedural test as administered by Cinecert. The remaining step is for its security system to pass a design review provided by a third party entity. At this point, the design review should be a formality. For this reason, TI deserves to boast its achievement. In one year, it has gone from Gore boards, to the fiasco of its 3-D license, to losing Regal to Sony, to being forced to announce 4K, and making its OEMs suffer through the premature introduction of Series 2. But to reach the holy grail of DCI compliance is one of those blessed events that will erase all of its sins.
It’ll also put Sony in the dog house. Sony has the unfortunate product strategy of incorporating a Sony-designed media block inside its projector such that the entire combo must pass DCI. For Sony, it’s all or nothing. And for some time yet, it could be a lot of nothing. It was much easier for TI to get its Series 2 design approved, because Series 2 doesn’t require the media block to be built-in. Series 2 projectors incorporate 3rd party media blocks by employing the secure component marriage rules described in the DCI spec. The result is that the TI projector can be tested without the media block installed, giving it a huge advantage when it comes to gaining approval. (Getting a media block approved is a much more complex task – and this is Sony’s biggest hurdle.)
Notably, Barco wasted no time to take advantage of the situation. Within days of TI’s announcement, Barco also announced its passing of the DCI procedural test as administered by Cinecert. No doubt a gold plated framed certificate will be sent to Knoxville so Regal knows what to look for from Sony.