IBC: US Digital Cinema BigWig details the US vision

The keenly anticipated Keynote at this morning’s d-cinema day at IBC was from Chuck Goldwater of the Digital Cinema Initiative (DCI) outlined the areas that were of importance to them.

The US and Europe have a significantly different view on what digital cinema is all about. The US want to take it to the high end and make it an ‘experience’ that can’t be sampled in anywhere but a new form of 1,000 plus seater venues. The European’s see it as a way to make cinema more democratic, enabling people to see a wide variety at even the smallest venue, eg a small village hall. The difference between these visions lead them at different ends of the projection quality, which could mean that Hollywood studios would not allow their films to be distributed to lower resolution projectors.

Chuck Goldwater told the audience that Hollywood are committed to making d-cinema a “better experience than a 35mm print” currently gives, which translates to content being projected at a 4k resolution. They are also mindful that the currently availability of 4k projectors is restricted so are considering _allowing_ scalable resolution solutions for 2K projection but only until 4k is economically viable. To ensure their aim of 4k is attained they are actively working with the projector industry.

The DCI also see their role as encompassing considering and evaluating the packaging of the content use MXF, content security including key management systems and the exploration of compression schemes.

The DCI are keen that their views of standards are applied across the World. These standard including a common format, compatibility & interoperability and reliable & secure distribution.

It’s not clear yet how this high-end approach will work with the more inclusive European approach.