Top Things You Should Know About Digital Cinema

Q: What is Digital Cinema?
A: The term ‘Digital Cinema’ refers to both the mastering of content to a specific set of standards outlined by the DCI (with the emphasis being on 2K files which retain their quality from post production grading to projection in a cinema) and the cinema presentation of the mastered content using DCI compliant digital cinema projection equipment. The Digital Cinema rollout refers to the installation of DCI compliant digital cinema systems in cinema screens.

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Q: When is it going to happen?
A: The digital rollout is already well underway worldwide with America leading the way having installed approximately 5000 digital cinema systems in cinemas across the country. Australia has recently joined in the digital rollout and we have about 50 screens installed to date.

Q: How long is the rollout going to take?
A: It is expected that 50% of Australian cinema screens will be fully DCI compliant and capable of playing back digital cinema content within three years.

Q: Why use Digital Cinema?
A: Content which has been mastered for digital cinema will be the same each time it’s projected as it was at sign off from the grading process which basically means a digital print will always look exactly as it was intended to look by the Director and DOP. It is also a much cheaper process than 35mm, quicker to turn around and easier to transport.

Q: What is DP doing in terms of Digital Cinema?
A: Digital Pictures was one of the first companies in Australia to install a fully DCI compliant digital cinema mastering suite to ensure it was at the cutting edge of technology as well as to help any home-grown talent looking to benefit from digital cinema production/distribution and any Australian producers excited about the transition to Digital Cinema. Digital Pictures created the DCP used in the Metro 40th anniversary screening and Film Victoria screening for Mary and Max.

Q: What are the trends in Digital Cinema?
A: The latest trend for Digital Cinema is the transmission of live 3D events such as sporting events or concerts and other alternative content screenings

Q: Why is Digital Cinema essential for preview screenings?
A: When you showcase your latest feature, documentary, short film etc. you want to be sure what you’re showing is the best quality it can possibly be. As the digital cinema mastering process takes the raw files directly from the DI the end result is exactly as graded in post production and the quality will never degrade so your preview screening will look amazing!

Q: What are the benefits of Digital Cinema
A: Quality, cost, speed, worldwide standards for all, and ease – both in production and distribution.