Meeting notes from past ISDCF meetings are going to be posted here. Visit for more information on the activities.
User avatar
By japierce
#2014 ISDCF Main Meeting Notes – November 11, 2015

Upcoming Meetings

Thursday January 21, 2016 main meeting - Probably NOT WB - probably Universal
Wednesday March 2 or 9, 2016 main meeting (maybe a SMPTE week problem)
Wednesday April 27, 2016
Plugfest Monday/Tuesday Mayish?

Part 1: General Reporting

• Antitrust Disclaimer – The official antitrust guidelines are posted on our website and are linked from the main ISDCF page. A short verbal overview of guidelines was given.
• Thanks to Paramount for lunch.
Upcoming: CineCert January ’16, Dolby March ’16, Fox April ‘16
• Thank you to Warner Bros. for the facilities and parking.
• Thank you to Universal for support of the Chairman.
• Thank you to Inter-Society for providing the funding for notes, travel, general expenses and admin support.
• Thank you to Sony/for the coffee and bagels
• Wednesday April 27, 2016 was selected for next meeting on the schedule
• Plugfest will be planned for sometime in May (detail dates next time)
• Meeting notes from October ‘15 was reviewed and approved.
• Note that we will have a new location for our normal meetings to replace the WB 5th floor adventure in a Warner Bros. facility. January will probably be held at Universal Pictures.
* Chatham House Rule:
* When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.

Attendance is at end of these notes.

Action Items from November 11, 2015

1. Confirm date for March meeting (depending on SMPTE)
2. Chis W. will update SMPTE-DCP material in Test Package B Version 2.02 after final MCA info has been updated and fix the images to reflect V2.02 and B1/B2 (and send a USB stick to Jerry).
3. Jerry will get a VOIP bridge so we can use the Polycom
4. Jerry to arrange for a HPA Tech Retreat Round table on DCP
5. It would be nice to get a real HD projector for ISDCF meetings since the 800x600 projector sucks (technical term)
6. Let TMS non-participants know about the mixed drive testing.
7. Get updated Eikon 3D variable Z comparison
8. Assigned to Chris Witham and Nick Mitchel - to prepare a draft recommended practice for ingest behavior for TMS/Servers. (Jerry’s draft below.)
9. Update Website to give detailed info on SMPTE-DCP Test package A, B, and C. ( )
10. Test content to show the difference between font rendering color and expectations. i.e. create a font color that should match the background and blend in - this would show the issue. Mike Radford?
11. Create new HFR test content that exceeds the specification - up to 3D120fps/4K - clearly marked as NON STANDARD CONTENT. (What bit rate?)
12. Paul Jenson (Movielabs) has agreed to work on the additional pages for digital cinema naming convention with the xml code examples.
13. Add to the CPL metadata the use of lower case subtitles are burned in subtitles and upper case is rendered. Dean

Unresolved Action Items from prior meetings
1. Create new test content - Test Content B - with Atmos style data (Dean)
2. ISDCF should have a recommended practice for zip / tar content to create drives - for test purposes - NOT for distribution to theaters. Dean? Nick? Steve?
3. Ioan to provide the latest version of feature sound level measurement for posting on-line after September TC meeting. Dean
4. Update “Recommended Practices for SMPTE-DCP Authoring” document to include in posted technical papers at ISDCF (Jerry, John H, Steve L)
5. Bill Hogan and Ernie Sheldon will work with Academy to change their description of aspect ratios - away from full container.
6. Jerry to liaison with USC for education for making DCP - Elizabeth Daly?

Part 2: Real Work

Plugfest Review
Held 9/10 November 2015 at Deluxe 900 Seward

Very productive plugfest, most things worked so we were finding second order problems/issues. Seem to have positive response from participants.

The discussion over the first 90 minutes of the meeting was a detailed review of the plugfest and what happened and what might have been expected. It is very tough to take notes on these random discussions - some of which just confirmed current actions and other made minor modification to expected behavior. To summarize here is my overview:

Chair Comments designed for wider distribution:

“The Digital Cinema community is about ready to embrace SMPTE-DCP as the primary format for the release of digital cinema movies. The ISDCF plugfest was as an opportunity to test one of the key aspects of the transition–ingesting unknown content via hard drive.

Deluxe provided a hard drive with many different kinds of content some of which were recognizable to digital cinema system and much that was unrecognizable. This included a drive that was formatted on Macintosh, SMPTE and Interop DCP's, SMPTE content that was nonstandard including Barco escape, DTS, and Atmos.

Most systems tested preformed very well with this content. This is a vast improvement over the last round of testing. ISDCF is concerned with those NOT participating in the Plugfest since the transition appears to begin in earnest starting January 2016.

While ISDCF cannot mandate performance for either a server or TMS it was apparent that there could be some guidelines.

We recommend that on TMSs all content be ingested based on a CPL reference as a minimum and ignore all other content that is not in either a packing list or has a CPL reference. This is true for content that the TMS recognizes or does not recognize. This will handle situations where downstream systems may recognize this content. Distributors will need to create “dummy” CPLs that identified content that may not be needed at that time (well named).

A server should ingest recognized content based on the CPL reference and to provide feedback to the user of content that it does not recognize so the user can “see” content on the drive that is not recognized by the server i.e. a Dolby Vision file that should not be played on a non-Dolby vision projector.

The recommendation is to ingest as much as possible so a load failure of one piece of content prevents the loading of other content.

One reason for this behavior is that some distributors are beginning to experiment with early distribution of track file content that is not immediately used in a CPL at that site. Such as providing on one OV drive all image and audio for the main feature and international inserts for a title and “unlocking” the appropriate content as needed by CPL delivery later. This would really streamline the delivery of supplemental material - to the point of downloadable delivery of VF files. [An issue of garbage collection was discussed and will be continued to be discussed in future meetings.]

The second issue surrounds the digital cinema naming and the automation of systems based on content attributes. As the transition to SMPTE-DCP occurs we anticipate more authoring support for CPL Metadata which will contain more detailed and machine readable content for the particular CPL. Servers and TMS should explore the use of the CPL metadata for user displays and automation assistance - i.e. the selection of a 5.1 or 7.1 theater configuration or the automation of the lights up credit roll based on metadata.”

Below are the detail discussion points with embedded opinions…

Goals and mission:

• The primary goal is to help manufacturers of DCPs and systems that can create and play back SMPTE-DCP packages, including closed captions.
• A number of experiments were planned to help the industry (no one focus - some for SMPTE-DCP, HFR3D, new load methods, etc.)
• To help authoring system evaluations
• To help TMS systems in the transition - Make sure no problems
• We help test things that don’t seem to be working


Mixed drives SMPTE/Interop/Atmos/Barco Escape, .pdf, Fox HFR test, etc.
SMPTE DCP Test content B1, B2 (version 2.02)
JDCF Subtitle version
Dolby Atmos Content
Barco Escape - DDActionCenter
DTS-X (not tested very well)
OV version of Lava/Dino
Fox HFR format tests 2D
Fox HFR format tests 3D
Eikon 3D variable Z comparison
Race - 3D60 content (including 3D30 same frame)
3D Supplemental of Lava/Dino

OV and Supplemental package scheme for 2D/3D
(Radaslov - Sub Sync Test - 6 files)

The Players:
Dolby/Doremi IMS2000
Dolby DMB DSS200
Fraunhofer - Easy DCP
Sony (remotely)

TMS Theater Management Systems
Hollywood Software / Cinedigm
Sony (remotely)

Projectors: Christie 2K, (2) Barco 4K

The Results:

Can we easily load complex content in folders on a single drive?
Very few problems found (if the systems have been updated - but seem to be either released versions or soon-to-be-released)
Different behavior for servers vs TMS - TMS should ingest everything, a server might only ingest things it recognizes. ?
Recommendation: create (dummy) CPL that references all assets that need ingesting. The title could be “LOAD ME - DON’T PLAY ME”
Discussion: CPL ingesting was helpful since PKL had too much for all systems. Seems ALL systems can load by CPL.
Playing of non-standard content. “Main picture” should conform to standard. For something like EDR it should not use the “main picture” name.

Is the new SMPTE-DCP Test Package B1/2 v2.02 ready for release?
Yes, but an update is needed to fix minor cosmetic issues
The image says “C1/2” and “V1.04” - should say “B1/2” and “V2.02”
Discussion of what should be on the ISDCF website now and in the future. Action item to make the changes.
Update on JDCF subtitle testing
Recordings made to send to JDCF - looks good, but most systems do not follow the JDCF recommendations (not SMPTE standard). One system does try to meet the JDCF recommendations. HOWEVER since the JDCF suggested changes (in SMPTE process) if a manufacturer implements these changes they will NOT be in compliance with the SMPTE spec for subtitle rendering. (See Catch 22.)
(Did not try on Projector Rendered - TI software is at version 4.2.1 will have problems with JDCF content.)
o 3 renderers demonstrated playback of the JDCF subtitle test reel using current software versions.
== Positioning ==

o Top(bottom) alignment of vertical text (with ruby):
o Left(right) alignment of horizontal text (with ruby):
- Some of test spots were rendered properly.

o Horizontal positioning of vertical text with ruby
- No renderer processed properly.
== Synchronization ==

o Multi-layer subtitle rendering:
- 1 renderer exposed "blink" at the beginning/ending of another subtitle layer

o Subtitle rendering delay:
- 1 renderer exposed noticeable delay in PNG rendering.

* There is no documented operational constraints (or guideline) on rendering performance in the standard yet. Should a renderer encounter critical difficulty in rendering subtitles at specified timing in this test reel, raise your voice NOW.

Dolby content (Atmos, EDR, Atmos+EDR) most played the first, some played all (is that OK?), some ingested all, but didn’t present non-useable stuff in user interface. (Need for new track ID of - “this is non-standard, see metadata” This overview was asked to be included on the website.)
Barco Escape 3 screen content. Some played the center screen only. (Should they play it?)
DTS-X (we got this late) Same as other unusual content. Some played (should they?)
Variable Z subtitles
Content from Eikon shows promise. Good format with a few needed mods (variable z data needs mods, set a fixed z at midpoint when system can’t do variable z, color of rendered font issues (?), set drop shadow)
An issue of what color of the font and the difference between color space interpretation. We need to get test content that will show off this difference. The general feeling was that this had been talked about A LOT, but we didn’t create a uniform solution in the field. Most subtitle designers have created colors that will render good-enough on all systems (even with the different color rendering engines).
While the documents state that rendering should be in sRGB color space, some systems render in XYZ others in P3. Buyer beware! See above. We think the right answer should be sRGB or maybe it should be changed. This would initiate yet another round of weeks of discussion in the SMPTE group charged with the spec with the anticipated outcome no different than what we already have.

HFR Examples
“Race” content at 3D60 - looking good on all systems
Fox format tests - running to 3D60 2K - will get new content that pushes to 3D120 4K - but mark as non-standard and may not be supported. Working well - except issues with 96K audio sample rate.
There was an interesting polarity swap with some 3D subtitle content.

KDM solution for both image media block and Atmos external media block. One company tested a dual-key solution. It had problems, but we think it might have been an operational error.

OV / Supplemental - shows promise. Most systems were able to ingest the OV that contained extra parts and then the supplemental had a new CPL that used the extra parts. One system could not play the supplemental CPL (being studied).
How to delete unused content? Distribution is trying to solve a real problem - this could address, but might have unintended consequences.
Didn’t test sync/data transfer ST430-14

There was discussion on the details of the CPL metadata extensions. The discussion was for clarification and how the audio pointers are being applied - like to the ISDCF audio channel configuration. There was some discussion that we might take the audio channel assignments to SMPTE for standardization … or something like that (????)


HPA Tech Retreat
The group decided that we don’t need to have a spot on the main program for malformed DCP creation. We will have a round table on one of the days.

DCP Content Pipeline Equipment (e.g. TMS/Catch Servers) and playback servers (CPE)
In the discussion of recommended practice for behavior of TMS and servers it was pointed out that the DCP Content Pipeline also includes catchers, satellite “pipes”, hard drives, internet connections, zip files, repositories, vaults, TMS, and servers (to name a few). We should address the classes of devices with recommended behavior, if needed.

Disney’s movie “Finest Hours” in January is planned to be issued in SMPTE-DCP over DCDC locations. Norway and Holland for “Finest Hours” SMPTE-DCP as well. This should be with feature set similar to Test Package B (including CPL metadata and markers).

Warner Bros. is going to release “How to be Single” on Valentines Day. - hard drive and DCDC - fairly wide release - US for sure, probably Canada, not International. Plan for NO Interop-DCP (except in emergency). First drive out 2 weeks prior WITH ISDCF Test content B1/B2 with instructions for playback on all screens.

All other studios interested, but nothing planned at this time.

Naming Convention

There is a desire to help folks to move away from full reliance on the Digital Cinema Naming Convention. Pierre created new pages for the website that includes description of the appropriate metadata (see ... intro.html for an example). Paul Jenson (Movielabs) has agreed to work on the additional pages. BTW ISDCF (Jerry) is going to host the website (Disney will continue to own the domain name).

We need to clarify the upper/lower case for subtitling. It seems that “Lower case text indicates burned in subtitles, upper case text indicates subtitles rendered in server/projector.” This information is NOT included in the CPL metadata and it is used in the field. Many in the room were not aware of this naming aspect! Clearly we need to make it more noticeable on the naming convention site (see for an updated version).

Making DCP’s - What can go wrong?
Ernie has posted another list of problems that have occurred with making DCP’s in the field. (Posted to the meeting folder. “Digital Cinema for Independent Filmmakers.pdf”) Adding these to the ISDCF forum would be a good place to post and get responses.

Immersive Audio
SMPTE: Very active - can not be discussed in this public forum. Contact Pete Lude or a participant in the SMPTE working group 25css.

Plugfest Breadcrumbs:
Testing sync / data transfer testing.
All content submitted be tested for validity (Deluxe offered to preform the analysis)