Last updateTue, 30 Jun 2020 9am


Introducing – Tools for Cinema Quality Assurance


Cinema Test Tools for the Non-Technical Manager 

Cinema Test Tools is a free resource for the cinema industry, tuned most particularly for the non-technical manager. The tools include several DCPs, all with interesting means of testing the sound and picture quality for the interested by lightly trained staff. The lessons on sound and light are written to provide a foundation to communicate with the technician who must respond quickly and well to the information that they discover.

The key is a free Online Managers Online Walk Through Checklist that correlates with the many DCPs. It helps bring an understanding of the many nuances of the auditorium's situation in a straightforward way. 

DCinema Hearing and Visually Impaired Technologies: Documents and Links

Implementing Closed Caption and HI / VI in the evolving DCinema World

Closed caption technology for digital cinema took another step forward in 2009 with the successful standardization of SMPTE 430-10 and 430-11 for the SMPTE CC Output, the standardized closed caption output for digital cinema servers. The SMPTE CC Output is not proprietary and is free to implement. Because of this, the National Association of Theatre Owners encourages all digital cinema server manufacturers to include the SMPTE CC Output in their products. Wide-spread use of this protocol will allow multiple closed caption systems to emerge.

Summarizing the standards effort for accessibility in digital cinema:

  • SMPTE 429-2 describes labeling for the 5.1, 6.1, and 7.1 audio formats in the SMPTE DCP (DCP = Digital Cinema Package)
    Note: Each audio format prescribes how to package HI and VI-N accessibility audio, where HI = Hearing Impaired, and VI-N = Visually Impaired Narrative;
  • SMPTE 428-10 and 429-12 describe how to prepare and distribute closed caption content in the SMPTE DCP; and,
  • SMPTE 430-10 and 430-11 describe the SMPTE CC Output from the server.

The SMPTE standards for audio do not prescribe the media block outputs on which HI and VI-N should appear. If not specifically prescribed by exhibitor specifications, these channels may appear on different outputs when switching from 5.1 to another audio format. The chart below prescribes the recommended mapping of SMPTE 429-2 audio tracks to the audio outputs of the media block. Note that HI and VI-N audio are recommended to always be routed to outputs 15 and 16.

[Editor: Please read the rest of the article at the following link for the timeline being recommended, in coordination with the InterSociety Digital Cinema Forum (ISDCF), and aligned with the SMPTE DCP roll-out being implemented starting in April 2010

This and other technology and D-Cinema business updates can be found on Michael Karagosian's website. Subscribe to his monthly expertise.

Update on Digital Cinema Support for Those with Disabilities: December 2009

by Michael Karagosian
©2009 MKPE Consulting LLC  All rights reserved worldwide

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