You can send files in any resolution up to 4K DCI (4096x2160).
We also support upon request:
Color space and gamma have to be referred to in each file name. In any other case, we will not be sure how to read and interpret the color space of your film as the result of inaccurate color reproduction.
It is considered to be a good practice to ZIP your files before uploading! We suggest using the tool Keka for Mac OS and 7zip or Windows. This ensures that an error message appears if something went wrong in the transfer.
Below you will find the suggested file specifications for image, sound and subtitle files.
Once your resolution is different from the DCI specifications we can letterbox, pillarbox, or rescale (fit) in the closest resolution. We don’t mess with the original image apect ratio (crop or squeeze).
SMPTE DCP supports 24, 25 and 30fps. Drop framerates (DF) like 23.98fps, will convert to 24 fps without any extra charge. Not compatible framerates will fail to work on most common servers and need testing.
If your file is interlaced (48i, 50i) we will first need to convert it into progressive with an extra cost.
In case your film is divided into reels, the audio files must have the same duration as the image files. It's usually preferred to embed the audio in the video file.
The answer is clear … 5.1 or even more!
Usually, in movies, dialogues come from the “Center” channel. These speakers are usually located behind the screen. With this setup speech and other key information, seem to come right from the screen where the audience is looking.
A DCP with a stereo mix can be confusing in some venues. It could sound like the dialogue is coming from two places at once, even from behind the audience.
In case there is only a stereo mix present, it is advised to have an “upmix” to 5.1 by professional sound experts. If it is not possible, we create the DCP with audio track on channel “Left” and “Right” and we leave all other channels empty.
Timed text style guidelines are mandatory for a proper screening. Netflix and BBC guidelines are international standards.
We support modern Timed Text as Open Subtitles. If more subtitle languages need to be added to your film in the future, it can be achieved with the process of “Timed Text Versioning” with a small extra cost (unless the subtitles are burnt-in, in which case we have to create the DCP from scratch). Some festivals require the subtitles to be burnt-in the image. We can arrange that. Just inform us in your order.
We can create DCPs that are compliant with both SMPTE systems and InterOP (IOP). We usually choose SMPTE conformity as it is the new standard with great support from cinema venues. SMPTE DCP packaging allows for an expanded set of features, including higher frame rates, immersive sound, 3D subtitle support, and embedded metadata that makes it easier for the theater operator to understand the technical aspects of the DCP. The SMPTE DCP provides a great foundation for further innovation, automation, cost-saving and presentation quality.
If you wish to screen your film in a Digital Cinema with old equipment (more than 10 years) then you should need interOP conformity. Please inform us in the comments field. If for any reason you need an extra backup copy of your SMPTE DCP in InterOP that could be arranged at an extra cost.
InterOP supports 24fps and 48fps at 2K and 24fps at 4K. If your film has a different framerate we can transcode your film in a supported framerate (picture, sound, and subtitles) at an extra cost. Please choose “conform framerate” in the Services page. InterOP does not support OSUB timed-text encryption.
In our lab, we follow all the recommended guidelines of the Digital Cinema Initiatives LLC. DCI was created in March 2002, and is a joint venture of 5 Hollywood major Studios. DCI's primary purpose is to establish and document voluntary specifications for an open architecture for digital cinema that ensures a high level of technical aspects. The SMPTE DCP provides a great foundation for further innovation, automation, cost-saving, and presentation quality.
All the projection systems can upscale or downscale a DCP with a different resolution than the projector has. FLAT (or F) stands for 1.85:1 aspect ratio and SCOPE (or S) stands for 2.39:1 aspect ratio.
If your film is 2K there is no reason for a 4K DCP delivery. For example, if a film is 2K FLAT with a bitrate of 250Mbits/s that would mean 4.694bits/pixel.
The DCP of the same film in 4K FLAT at the maximum allowed bitrate of 250Mbits/s would be 1.173bits/pixel. One could observe that each pixel of a 4K DCP has the ¼ of the data compared to the 2K version of the same film. The bitrate remains the same but the compression factor is 4 times bigger.
As a result, screening the 4K version of this 2K film in 2K cinemas, would mean a 75% loss of the initial data information.
We always recommend the closest resolution and aspect ratio for your film.
You don’t have to include a sync leader as long as the duration of sound and subtitles is the same as the picture duration and both have the same sync point at the start. However, it is advised to use an 8” academy sync leader as a good practice. You should check synchronization and other possible errors before delivering your film to create a DCP.
We always recommend at least 1” second of black frames at the beginning and the end of the film. This is a must if the screening starts “parked on pause”.
Encrypted DCPs make sure that your content can only be played back on specific servers. No one will be able to read the unencrypted data. Every single Track (i.e. picture, sound or subtitle) can either be encrypted or unencrypted. So you have the ability to only encrypt the pictures, while the sound is unencrypted or vice versa. Another possibility is that you encrypt all reels of a single composition except the first reel so that the first reel (e.g. a trailer or advertisement) can be played back on every d-cinema server while the rest of the composition can only be played back with the right KDM.