What is DCP?

A DCP (Digital Cinema Package) is a package of audio, video, and metadata files (e.g. subtitles) configured for cinema servers. These servers connect to the digital projectors in digital cinema exhibition systems. Every single frame of a film is a separate folder within the DCP. A typical DCP includes XML files for metadata and MXF (Material Exchange Format) files. MXF is a video file container that wraps the track files according to Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) standards. DCP playback systems are most often Unix-based, proprietary playback systems that link into the full “show control” automation system of a theater, setting the projection lens, audio playback system, even the lighting. DCP’s can be encrypted for copy protection, such that the projectionist will need to enter a key code, usually received by email.

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