Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) is a consortium of the 6 major Hollywood studios: Disney, Fox, Paramount, Sony, Universal Studios, and Warner Bros. Formed in 2002, DCI issued version 1.0 of its Digital Cinema System Specification (DCSS) in July 2005. Numerous changes to the specification have since been issued, known as “errata.” DCI also publishes a Compliance Test Plan (CTP), based on its DCSS. Several testing agencies are authorized to conduct DCI Compliance Testing based on the CTP and DCSS. The latest versions of the DCSS and CTP, as well as a list of authorized testing agencies, are available at the DCI website.
The DCSS is the top-level document for baseline digital cinema system design. It comprises over 150 pages, nearly half of which specify the mechanisms of digital cinema security. To meet DCI’s specification, a Media Block must pass NIST FIPS 140-2 Level 2 testing, as constrained by the DCSS, in addition to DCI’s CTP. DCI also specifies or recommends compliance to numerous SMPTE standards. However, not all SMPTE standards employed in digital cinema are identified by DCI.
DCI Recommendations target new practices in cinema where distributors and exhibitors benefit from uniformity. While enforcement of DCI Compliance is enacted through the Trusted Device List, there is no enforcement mechanism for DCI Recommendations.
SMPTE stands for the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, and is the standards body where the majority of digital cinema standards work takes place. (The JPEG 2000 profiles specified by SMPTE are standardized by ISO.) Standards group activity is managed online and available to SMPTE standards committee members at the SMPTE website. The SMPTE standards effort for digital cinema was initiated in January 2000, and continues to this day.