Digital Cinema Naming Convention


Expect a change in the way Atmos content is labeled! IAB (Immersive Audio Bitstream) is the SMPTE standard for Immersive Audio. All Atmos systems can play the IAB track. Many authoring companies are planning to stop labeling Atmos and using the IAB label only.

If you are already familiar with the Digital Cinema Naming Convention (DCNC), Click Here for general tips and updates.

This site is designed to help everyone involved in Digital Cinema exhibition understand how to use the Digital Cinema Naming Convention when naming (or locating) Digital Cinema Packages.

The information in this site is used to create a text string that describes a particular CPL for a particular version of a movie. (The 5.1 or 7.1 audio version, the French or English version, etc.) This text string is used to populate the “ContentTitleText” of the CPL. Today most servers and theater management systems present this text string to the user and the user uses this site to decode the ContentTitleText string. This will continue but some systems will read the CPL Metadata directly to better inform the user of the specifications of a particular version of the movie.

This text string goes lots of other places, too. In addition to the entry of the naming convention in the ContentTitle Text of the CPL, it must also appear in the Annotation text of the CPL and in the annotation text of the PKL. ALL these entries should MATCH EXACTLY. If they do not, confusion may result with end users.

There MUST be an entry in EVERY field. Some systems count the number of “_” (underscores) to parse the information (NOT RECOMMENDED – BUT it’s done). If you have a non-relevent field, fill it with the letters “NULL”.

We are transitioning to the use of SMPTE Standard CPL metadata instead of reliance on this naming convention. All items that are included in this naming convention must also be included in the CPL metadata. CPL metadata is being populated in distributed movies today (Jan 2018). In fact more details are included in the CPL metadata than are included in the naming convention AND it’s machine readable and actionable. This website contains information for both the naming convention and CPL metadata.

The digital cinema naming convention is evolving with the addition of new terms and modifications to existing terms. ISDCF is the arbiter of modifications to the convention. In general, requests are made to and are reviewed at the next ISDCF meeting. No significant modification is made without discussion at ISDCF. Some seem to have problems with the on-line version.  The official version is always on-line.

URIs and Universal Labels that are found in D-Cinema Packages in general, and in Composition Playlist Metadata (SMPTE ST 429-16) in particular, but are not otherwise specified by SMPTE engineering are described at

Do you want to SEARCH the site? Use Google Search “site: (search term)” and it should work!! (Thanks Bill E.!)

Digital Cinema Naming Convention V.9.6.2

The Digital Cinema Naming Convention is a voluntary industry recommendation, designed to provide HUMAN READABLE information.  This should not be depended upon for AUTOMATION.  Systems SHALL NOT reject content based on real or perceived errors in the use of the Naming Convention.

The Problem

Some Digital Cinema servers only show a limited number of characters on their display screens.  If the title of a composition is long, much of the information may be cut off or not visible unless you scroll to a second page.  This makes locating a specific composition difficult if you have multiple titles.  It’s especially confusing when you have multiple trailers as well as the feature with the same name.

If a feature composition were labeled:


Then Digital Cinema Servers that only display 40 characters would only see:


     Is this the feature or a trailer?  Is it flat or scope?  What language is it?  No one can tell if the information is cut off.

The Solution

The studios and the Inter-Society Digital Cinema Forum created a “Digital Cinema Naming Convention” to be used for the text that goes into the “ContentTitleText” element of a composition playlist. 

 For those of you not familiar with the Naming Convention, it has two primary objectives:  1) to make as much information visible as possible, and 2) to display the information in a specific order — in assigned fields — so theatres will know where to look for specific information.  To achieve these ends, most of the information is abbreviated — including the movie title if necessary — and most of the abbreviations are standardized.  (See the illustration chart above.)

Legend: Yellow Boxes indicate the equivalent information that may be included in the SMPTE-DCP CPL Metadata.

In the Composition Playlist


The Title of the DCP is listed at //ContentTitleText: (Historically this has been the digital cinema naming convention string.)

<CompositionPlaylist xmlns=””>





Alternatively, the Title may be listed at //Reel[1]//FullContentTitleText (not meant to house the DCNC):

<CompositionMetadataAsset xmlns=””>


     <FullContentTitleText language=”en”>Alice In Wonderland</FullContentTitleText>



Additional Notes:

The difference between ContentTitleText and FullContentTitleText is that the former may contain technical information, whereas the latter should contain the actual title of the composition. The language attribute is optional.

  • 20200924 – Updated chart to 9.6.2 to add MOS to chart
  • 20200625 – Replacement of facilities list as a google sheet to a GitHub registry
  • 20200625 – MIgration to WordPress site for DCNC
  • 20190220 – Updated chart to 9.6 with addition of IAB audio. Added Appendix 12 CPL Metadata, updated Appendix 3 Content types
  • 20190714 – Changed D-Box to DBox in appendix 4 and main chart – DCNC Chart V9.6.1
  • 20180912 – Add pdf of site.
  • 20180103 – Changed first section to show transition to CPL metadata is underway, examples updated, clarity that this is a convention, not a standard. (updated chart to version 9.5 with adition of Elcairecolor Identifier and spelling correction)
  • 20171021 – Added Sign Language identifier (updated chart to version 9.4)