ISDCF Technical Documents

All these documents are to be used at your own risk, strictly voluntary, not to be used for implementing products, no warranty expressed or implied. These are provided for convenience only.


ISDCF supported and encouraged the documentation of a constrained set of restrictions for creating DCP packages. This became SMPTE RDD document 52 based on ISDCF Test Content B2.1. It is now freely available at 

ISDCF Document 1 – Digital Cinema Content Naming Convention

ISDCF maintains the recommendation for naming DCP files. The current version is posted on-line at:

ISDCF Document 3 – Hard Disc Drive formats

ISDCF – Distribution Device File System Recommendations
Latest pdf version:

ISDCF Document 4 – Audio Channel Assignments

16‐Channel Audio Packaging Guide for both Interop-DCP and SMPTE-DCP. Interop DCP does not have a standardized way of sending multichannel packages. The attached documents describe a common way of transporting multi-channel and the labeling to be consistent with SMPTE-DCP packages.
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ISDCF Document 5 – Guideline formulations for SMPTE-KDMs

Actual DCI-compliant systems are now starting to appear in the field. Some KDM providers have been sending KDMs containing ContentAuthenticator to be used with Interop content. This will not work on a DCI-compliant system. This document describes formulations for successful KDMs.
Latest pdf version:

ISDCF Document 7 – Language Codes

Latest pdf version:

ISDCF Document 12 – Ingest Behavior (a document under development)

NOT YET APPROVED. Under consideration only:

ISDCF Document 13 – Sign Language Video Encoding for Digital Cinema

Latest pdf version:
To submit comments and corrections, go to:

ISDCF Document 14 – Digital Delivery of DCPs – Informational

This is an informational document on the safe transfer and delivery of DCPs between facilities. Due to the security built into the DCP structure the basic transfer can be based on cost and efficiency. Updated October 2018.
Latest pdf version:

ISDCF Document 15 – SMPTE ST 2098-2 Immersive Audio Bitstream Constraints – IAB Application Profile 1

Latest pdf version:

SMPTE Documents needed for SMPTE-DCP packages:

A presentation on the differences between Interop DCP and SMPTE DCP is available:

Informational Documents

Dolby Immersive Audio Bitstream Guidelines
Following the Immersive Audio Plugfest held in February 2019 it was suggested to have a TEMPORARY constraint document for AUTHORING of immersive audio streams (restricting SMPTE ST2098-2 and SMPTE ST429-18) due to the current non-upgraded rendering systems in the field. We anticipate this restriction to be lifted within a year (By February 2020). As requested during ISDCF Immersive Audio discussion at the June 2019 meeting. Here is a link to a Dolby branded immersive audio bitstream guidelines document developed with the Dolby team – it covers latest “generally available” CP850 and IMS3000 software versions: Dolby Immersive Audio Bitstream Guidelines (you will have to create a free account to access the document)
ISDCF Document 2 – SMPTE-DCP compared to Interop-DCP Informational only

The Digital Cinema industry is moving from Interop-DCP to SMPTE-DCP, hopefully starting in April 2012. Posted here is the comparison between these two delivery packages.
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ISDCF Document 6 – Composition Metadata Guidelines
Now in SMPTE and published. SMPTE members can go to: ST 429-16:2014 Additional Composition Metadata and Guidelines (
ISDCF Document 9 – Closed Caption Authoring Best Practices

Closed caption devices have some strange and unusual behavior – from limited number of display characters to limited number of lines to unique fonts. Captured here are some suggestions to maximize the quality of closed captions.
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ISDCF Document 10 – Subtitles and Captions in Digital Cinema

Subtitles and Captions in Digital Cinema. Digital cinema provides for subtitles and captions, both on the main screen and off. This paper provides a brief description of these capabilities.
Latest pdf version: Digital-Cinema-20160211.pdf

Harold Hallikainen has created a document for recommended practices for SMPTE ST430-10. For convenience is it provided here. This is not an official ISDCF document, but may help authoring services in understanding how to prepare content.
Latest pdf version:

ISDCF Document 11 – How Loud is a Movie? – a New Measurement Procedure

Leq(m10)2.0 A procedure is introduced to measure the subjective loudness of an entire movie and to develop a suitable metric. Leq(m) has been used for over 15 years to measure and then control the level of trailers and commercials, both in the US and overseas. The method to be described takes a ten-minute rolling average of Leq(m) throughout an entire movie, and then integrates the values above a given threshold. The procedure is not intended to constrain the levels of movies, simply to come up with a metric to describe the subjective loudness. A suggested descriptive is Leq(m10). Reposted Accepted for publication and copyright SMPTE – reproduced by permission. Ioan Allen Author.

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The Following are documents that are out of date and not approved and not being worked on at this time

DRAFT-ISDCF Document 8 – Theater Key Retrieval (a work in progress)

Tired of using Email to send KDMs to theaters? Here is a very rough proposal for a TKR that uses open standards to deliver Keys. This is a WORKING DRAFT.
Latest pdf version:

ISDCF – High Frame Rate (a work in progress)

A high frame rate movie was distributed in SMPTE-DCP at the end of 2012. To facilitate the interoperability of the release, here is a very drafty specifications for 48 FPS per eye distribution.
Latest pdf version:

Other Technical Background Documents that are out of date

DCI Compliance Update
There are now many projector products that have passed the DCI compliance test plan. These are posted to the DCI website:
NIST/FIPS-140-2 Update (June 21, 2010 update)
There has been considerable conversation at ISDCF over the NIST update to FIPS-140. The question included the DCI-Specification, the Compliance Test Plan, and SMPTE documents referring to a soon-to-not-exist (or recently changed) standard. Posted at the NIST site are draft NIST publications ( and in particular are public comments ( of most interest are DCI comments that were submitted – go to for the DCI comments.
Screen Luminance Measurement (updated June 2010)

How to measure the screen brightness of a 3D screen came up in a discussion in the January 2010 time frame. A discussion thread has been underway with no conclusions, but some good input. Peter Wilson put the thread together into a .pdf document. It’s posted at

NIST Security Standards (Subject to change)

Digital cinema security, per the DCI specification, relies on a series of NIST standards that, due to their complexity and nature, are perpetually in amendment. NIST documents that affect digital cinema are listed below.

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