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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » Recommend used gear for confidence monitoring DCPs

   
Author Topic: Recommend used gear for confidence monitoring DCPs
Perry Paolantonio
Film Handler

Posts: 3
From: Allston, MA, USA
Registered: Oct 2017


 - posted 10-23-2017 12:31 PM      Profile for Perry Paolantonio   Email Perry Paolantonio   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We currently use a couple of software QC tools when we make DCPs and would like to have a hardware server in the mix. There would be no projector, we'd just be hooking it up to an SDI monitor. Ideally the server could handle interop and SMPTE.

The older Dolby units (DCP100/DSS100) are in the range I'm looking to spend, but from what I gather they're not capable of playing SMPTE DCPs? Is that correct? What about audio? I see it has AES outputs, but does it really require Dolby's own boxes to extract the audio? Is that a generic AES/EBU signal that any old converter could work with, or is there something proprietary about it?

The goal here is not to QC color (we have other tools for that). We're looking for a reliable method of playing the film back with audio so that we can make sure everything is there, that it's in sync, etc. Just confidence monitoring, really.

So we don't need anything fancy or complex, and storage isn't a huge concern (if we can keep a couple features on it at a time, that would be fine). I want something like what an end user might be loading the drive into in a theater. Suggestions?

Thanks!

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12211
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 10-23-2017 01:02 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The DSS100/DSP100 can play back SMPTE content. If you are checking your own content then you can address the KDM issue yourself (create your own KDMs for the server).

The last software for the DSS100 was 4.7 (I forget what the last incarnation is but the last revisions were to allow it to work with the Doremi/Dolby TMS software. The DSS100/DSP100 don't have the fixes in the SMPTE encrypted captions (finally fixed in 4.8.10.4) and it does not handle any of the esoteric frame rates outside of the original DCI requirements (24 and 48fps 2D and 24fps 3D for J2K).

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Perry Paolantonio
Film Handler

Posts: 3
From: Allston, MA, USA
Registered: Oct 2017


 - posted 10-23-2017 01:18 PM      Profile for Perry Paolantonio   Email Perry Paolantonio   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks. that's helpful - in our case encryption isn't an issue. We're primarily making DCPs for clients who don't need it.

On the audio outputs - is the audio only on the AES outputs, or is also embedded in the HDSDI signal?

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12211
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 10-23-2017 03:08 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The audio is only on the AES outputs. Unlike broadcast, DCinema, to the best of my knowledge, never embedded it on the SDI lines. It is also possible to get all 16 channels of audio on the DSP100. It has been a while but one lets the DB25 handle channels 1-8 and the BNC connectors handle 9-16 (there is a configuration option for them).

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 3780
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 10-23-2017 03:27 PM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't think it's a particular good idea to use an outdated server for DCP QC. The Interop-SMPTE transition is still not over. The DSP100 also lacks 25fps capability.

I would try to get a second hand Doremi DCP2000 or DCP-2k4. They still receive software upgrades, and due to the common aspects with their show vault, probably also in the future. A DSS200 would probably also be useful, but I'd still opt for a DCP-2000 or DCP-2k4. Yes, they are more expensive than a DSS100/DSP100 combo, but there is an obvious reason for it, and you should think about that.

The AES outs of every server will work with the cheapest converters - occasionally, I use 10US$ S/P-DIF DACs for monitoring. A second hand DMA8/+ or Doremi AUD2DA are other possible options from the cinema segment. For most applications, 4AES/8 audio channels are enough, but sometimes you may need 10/12 (7.1, HI/VI-N) audio channels. There are software and hardware channel mapping options.

- Carsten

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Stephan Shelley
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 700
From: castro valley, CA, usa
Registered: Nov 2014


 - posted 10-25-2017 02:22 PM      Profile for Stephan Shelley   Email Stephan Shelley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
software version 4.7.8.7 does address the encrypted SMPTE subtitles. That is what Dolby Tech support told me. It does run on the DSS/DCP 100.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12211
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 10-26-2017 06:21 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'll take your word for it. Though worded differently, perhaps DC-13286 is the encrypted SMPTE caption fix for System 4.7.x.x (combined with DC-13254).

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