Frequently Asked Questions.

What is a DCP?

Digital Cinema Package, or DCP, is the name given to the collection of files sent to a cinema. The DCP files are comprised of video, audio, and data streams. A DCP is usually made up of MXF (Material Exchange Format) and XML (Extensible Markup Language) files. DCPs can be encrypted or unencrypted.

What are DCP services?

The term DCP Services refers to the mastering, versioning, localization, and distribution elements related to the DCP theatrical format.

What is DCDM?

DCDM (Digital Cinema Distribution Master) is the primary set of files created within the Post Production workflow, usually referred to as the DI (Digital Intermediate) process, from which a distribution DCP is created.

What is a KDM?

KDM is the acronym for Key Delivery Message. A KDM is required to play an encrypted DCP. Each KDM enables one version of the movie to play on a target playback device for a limited duration, which could be hours, weeks, or months.

What is DKDM?

A DKDM (Distribution Key Delivery Message), is a security passcode that enables post and finishing facilities to unlock DCPs within their mastering stations for the purposes of localizing content. An example of this would be DCU sharing a DKDM with another lab to allow them access to the encrypted DCP for the purposes of adding localization assets like distributor logos, XML files and even editing the content.

What is a CPL?

The manner in which DCP files and tracks are to be played back is specified in a playlist called the Composition Playlist, or CPL.

Interop vs. SMPTE DCP?

Interop and SMPTE are different standards for DCP. They are not cross-compatible. Interop was deployed in 2001 and SMPTE in 2009. SMPTE allows more flexibility on mastering due to the inclusion of newer audio, frame rate, and other formats, but the majority of the world was deployed on Interop systems during the initial rollout and thus both formats have their advantages.

What is the DCI?

DCI (Digital Cinema Initiatives) is the consortium of all six major Hollywood studios responsible for the DCI Digital Cinema System Specification and the DCI Compliance Test Plan.

What is a TDL?

The TDL (Trusted Device List) is a database of security-related information collected from equipment manufacturers and exhibitors. The TDL database marries manufacturer public-key certificates and serial numbers with location information received from exhibitors. TDLs are used by fulfillment entities when generating KDMs against encrypted DCPs and needs to be 100% accurate for content to play at cinemas.

What is CopyCat?

CopyCat is a proprietary DCP duplication software deployed by DCU across all 12 of its international facilities. This software allows DCU to centralize content and duplicate localized DCP versions in any market around the world for global or local distributors. CopyCat consolidates distribution fragmentation for DCU clients, reduces time to markets, and drives enormous efficiencies across our business.

How does Digital Cinema United differ from its competitors?

DCU (Digital Cinema United) is the first vertically integrated lab with global distribution capability. Our operations support producers, sales agents, and theatrical and downstream distribution all within the same supply chain. DCU is the definition of a one-stop-shop, and our clients benefit from great cost savings through single vendor management by working with our labs.


Digital Cinema United® looks forward to serving you.


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