Blog

How to deliver DCPs over the Internet to theaters at scale

By Meg Cater | Jun 2, 2016

Film production is an arduous process. From the moment of inception to the final edits, hundreds or even thousands of people contribute their talent (like the 3,310 credited for working on Iron Man 3).

However, when the culmination of so many large and small creative acts is achieved and the final edits are done, the film has one more journey to make before the world can watch for the first time.

Delivering Digital Cinema Packages (DCPs) to theaters

Almost all modern movie theaters today are digital only. Despite Quentin Tarantino’s prediction that the move away from film would mark the death of cinema — calling digital projection and DCPs “television in public” at Cannes 2014 — digital has become the clear standard.

DCPs are given to commercial theaters for film screening. They are the images, audio and data files that collectively produce the cinematic experience we know today, from surround sound to special effects. Unlike 35mm, DCPs don’t age, collect dust, get scratched or break, so they are far superior over the long term.

However, DCP files contain a ton of data (typically at least 100GB and commonly over 400GB). And — even though the information in them is digital and they will eventually be projected digitally — the pathway they typically follow to get to theaters has been a world away from those strings of 0’s and 1’s.

Think trucks and airplanes vs. the Internet. DCPs are typically put on hard drives and mailed to theaters, because the amount of data they contain cannot reliably transfer over standard IP networks.

Sending DCPs over the Internet has been a goal of many media companies, especially those that work with multiple national and international theaters like Japan-based Broadmedia.

Broadmedia’s case study details how they use Signiant to transfer DCPs

After much research and months of crafting their workflow using Signiant technology, Broadmedia was successful. They’ve developed a DCP delivery system that works reliably and at scale.

We recently had the opportunity to speak with Broadmedia and publish a case study detailing how they’re using Signiant technology to deliver DCPs locally and internationally.

“BROADMEDIA’S ACHIEVEMENT HAS PROVEN THAT DCP DELIVERIES OVER THE TERRESTRIAL INTERNET ARE NOT ONLY POSSIBLE BUT THE FUTURE OF THE INDUSTRY, AND WE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO DO IT WITHOUT SIGNIANT TECHNOLOGY.”

– Toshihito Kubo, Executive Officer of Broadmedia

Here’s their full story.