SMPTE TC-21DC officially met this month in Sydney, Australia, and simultaneously in Burbank, California. It was a productive month. At long last, TC-21DC put its revision of SMPTE DCP to bed. The revised ST429-2 DCP Operational Constraints was voted forward for publication this month. The revised document clarifies issues around caption packaging, and introduces two new sound configurations, one for 7.1DS sound, and the other a “wild track format,” the back room name for a 16-channel container of unspecified audio.
The “backwards slash” documents (finally) went to ballot this month, namely: ST430-4 Log Record Format Specification, ST430-7 Facility List Message, ST430-9 Key Delivery Bundle, and ST433 Datatypes. For those who use these standards, note that the only changes incorporated are in the namespace names defined. The fixes correct discrepancies in the namespace name found either in the informative schema file that accompanies the document, or in the document itself. It is a housekeeping fix that to date has not been claimed as the cause of interoperability issues in equipment.
For some odd reason, this journal did more reporting in June of the status of FIPS-related issues than the FIPS Revisions Study Group did to its parent committee. To summarize what’s going on, NIST’s publication SP 800-131A, released in January 2011, lists SHA-1 as acceptable for non-digital signature generation applications. The significance of this is that no changes are required of SMPTE standards to comply. Also, DCI Errata #66, released April 2011, introduced new requirements that in addition to SMPTE 430-5-2008 for solving the dual certificate problem in new media blocks. The solution accepted by DCI is that first made by Bill Elswick to the SMPTE Ad Hoc Group (and document in our June issue). The net effect of these two milestones is that changes invoked by NIST in FIPS 140-2 appear to be solved. The SMPTE group is hedging that further changes could occur when FIPS 140-3 is finalized, but your author thinks that is unlikely. Presumably, the changes were made to FIPS 140-2 to ease the eventual transition to FIPS 140-3.
Kommer Klein, a well known cinematographer in Europe, submitted a draft work statement for development of a high frame standard. It was noted in the meeting the many issues having to do with the introduction of higher frame rates, and the general feeling was that there is no urgency to working on a standard until more is learned in the field. It was suggested that a Study Group be formed to study the issue, and that a work statement be presented next work cycle.
The next meeting of TC-21DC will be on September 16.