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Validating a DCP; dcp_inspect plus DCP Validator

Posted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 10:27 am
by cjflynn
A few months ago the question came up during an ISDCF meeting asking whether anyone had experience with dcp_inspect, one of the tools in Wolfgang Woehl's Digital Cinema Tools excellent toolset.

At the time my experience with dcp_inspect was running a few experiments after getting Digital Cinema Tools working on a Raspberry Pi (versionB). I had been using Wolfgang's cinemaslides for years with excellent results, but never thought to validate them. (An article detailing cinemaslides: The DCP USB on a Mac; CineTechGeek to Digital Cinema Tools]

The company zweiB has gone through the time and expense to write and make available a front end to dcp_inspect.

As their website points out, zweib is not only a DCP preparation house, but they also are one of the most experienced teams in the most hostile of dcinema arenas. They have long been the tech team that gets festivals such as the Berlinale running without black screens. To understand the challenge, imagine entering a city where several cinema facilities have offered their auditoriums and equipment for part of the day, but need to continue to play their regular schedule during the rest of the day. They are not friendly to the idea of upgrading their systems firmware/software, or attaching other network tools with their systems.

Meanwhile, zweiB is handling over 200 DCPs that arrive for the festival from all parts of the world, some made professionally and many not. They might be able to QC a few minutes with the director, but there are good odds that the QC room will be different than the auditorium that the movie is assigned to. Hilarity ensues, happy couples have intelligent children, film at 11. ...or maybe they find at the last minute that the director want to show a cut that was just finished last night and sure, the keys are somewhere...oops, she's on the plane...what do you mean it won't play, our entire lives are hanging on this one showing...

I write this because a lot of people don't understand the enormous range of problems that can and do occur at any of the 100's of festivals held around the world. But it is a digression.

The article Validating a DCP details the installation of the zweiB DCP Validator front end to Digital Cinema Tools dcp_inspect

The resulting report is pure magic. That zweib uses it for all of their work says a lot for it. That they are giving it to the community is a nice gift.