MPEG Interop Initiative Releases Digital Cinema Specification Document

Los Angeles, CA September 26, 2003 – The members of the MPEG Interop Initiative, Avica Technology Corp. of Santa Monica, California, EVS Digital Cinema of Belgium, and the newest member GDC Technology Private Ltd. based in Singapore, today announced the completion and publication of their Digital Cinema Packaging Specification 1.04 that defines standards for interoperable mastering, content delivery, security and theatre playout.

The purpose of the MPEG Interop Initiative is to specify an industry-wide standard for the exchange of MPEG encoded Digital Cinema content between the member companies. The announcement, made in conjunction with the opening of ShowEast in Orlando, Florida, signals a major step in providing customers with a competitive range of product choices that are interchangeable within large distribution networks.

The specification, developed with the participation of former interop member Grass Valley Group, will be delivered to representatives of DCI and SMPTE DC28. Copies may be obtained by contacting any of the MPEG Interop member companies.

“It is always a landmark event when established companies put aside their competitive differences and come together in the interest of moving an entire industry forward,” says Don Bird, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Avica. “Avica is pleased to be able to participate in this effort to establish interoperable practices for distribution and exhibition of Digital Cinema content.”

Building on the Interop group’s previous success in demonstrating interchangeable compressed image and audio files, the MPEG Interop Packaging Specification now establishes standards and guidelines for creation of a common Digital Cinema Package (DCP) that will facilitate transport and playout of compressed image data and multi-channel uncompressed audio. The DCP specification includes support for interchangeable “reels” and playlists, encryption and key management.

According to EVS’ Jean-Francois Nivart, Product Manager for Digital Cinema, “Our commitment to interoperability is critical in establishing confidence amongst exhibitors, studios and delivery providers that Digital Cinema content can be exchanged from network to network, providing a cost-effective and efficient method of encoding and delivering movies.”

In addition to their efforts with interchangeable files and packaging, the MPEG Interop Initiative member companies’ products have all been upgraded to support Texas Instruments’ CineLink™ security management, which provides an encrypted link between servers and projectors, and CineCanvas™ subtitling and watermarking capabilities.

“GDC is passionate to contribute to the Digital Cinema development through the MPEG Interop Initiative.” says Dr. Man Nang Chong, CEO of GDC Technology Private Limited, “We are firmly convinced that the new MPEG Interop specifications will significantly speed up the process of delivering digital content in theatres around the world and achieve rapid progress toward increased availability of digital content.”

All three companies plan to have their implementation of the specification completed during Q4 of 2003. The result will be premiered in a series of public and private demonstrations that will initially be scheduled to take place in the Los Angeles area.

Media Contact: Don Bird

SOURCE: GDC Technology