DCP Requests - Overview

This information can also be found here

How do I submit a DCP request?

  1. Login to wbtvd.com using your domain 0 credentials
  2. Click “REQUESTS” > Categories > DCP Requests
  3. Complete the requested fields and submit.

What is needed to create a DCP?

  1. Video file with audio at the following preferred specs:
    1. 1920x1080p23.98 (UHD resolution also accepted)
    2. ProRes422 HQ Quicktime (or comparable)
      • Files should start with the first frame of program and contain no commercial breaks.  WWTVM will remove unnecessary black, bars, tones, slates, commercial blacks and often end credits for DCPs.
    3. Audio
    • 5.1 Surround sound (stereo audio is acceptable but not preferred)
    • Channel config: ch1/L, ch2/R, ch3/C, ch4/LFe, ch5/Ls, ch6/Rs
  2. Dates and times of event screening (and rehearsal/test)
  3. PEM Cert for KDM encryption key creation (this is provided by the theater technical staff).  See attached example of a PEM Cert.
  4. Theater or event technical contact.
  5. Standard turn around for DCP requests is 2 weeks.

WWTVM DCP specs (what we will deliver to theater):

  • Standard, Phase 1 Interop DCP. 
  • 1920x1080p24fps in a 2k wrapper.
  • 5.1 surround (L, R, C, LFe, Ls, Rs)

General DCP info:

What is a DCP?

DCP (Digital Cinema Package) is more complex to create and view than a standard video file. It is the worldwide standard for high-quality, secure delivery and playback of video content at theaters and event screenings worldwide.   DCPs are typically encrypted for security, requiring a key (called a KDM) that authorizes playback of specified content, on a specified DCP server, during a specified time window.  A typical DCP system includes a DCP playback server (usually made by Doremi, Dolby or Christie) and a DCP compatible projector that is “bound” to that playback server. 

Why DCP?

Since 2015, all event screenings of unreleased Warner Bros. TV content must be done via an encrypted DCP (Digital Cinema Package).  Using encrypted DCP files enables the ability to screen protected content in a reasonably secure manner. Since the DCP files can only be played at a certain time, on a certain projector system, the window of opportunity for pirating of content is reduced. In most cases, a window is opened for a test period for the screening location, and then a separate window for the actual screening.

Any material that has not yet aired is considered protected content. This includes but is not limited to: unaired pilots, unaired episodic content, unreleased theatrical titles, unreleased behind-the-scenes material, unaired promos and EPKs, etc. This includes material shown at internal screenings as well as for prospective buyers or vendors.  In general, If an asset/title has not aired, an encrypted DCP is required.

How long will it take to get a DCP?

In general, please allow 2 weeks lead time when requesting a DCP screening if there are no subtitles or special processing needed, and 3 weeks if subtitles are requested.

What is a PEM Cert?

A PEM certificate is a unique identification file that must be exported from each DCP Playback server and sent to WWTVM so we can create the necessary encryption keys (KDMs) to unlock and play the DCP for an event.  While every theater should have PEM certs for all of their systems ready to share, sometimes, in place of a PEM cert file, theaters will simply provide a serial number for their DCP server(s).  For your screening, the projectionist MUST export a proper PEM cert or we will NOT be able to generate KDMs for your screening.

What is a KDM?

A KDM (Key Delivery Message) is a “key” used to “unlock” an encrypted DCP file. KDMs are specifically tied to one DCP server during a specified period of time. Because all DCPs from WWTVM are created in house, we maintain the “master keys”.  WWTVM can usually generate KDMs within one hour during business hours.  KDM Keys will be sent via email to the recipients listed on the request.  In order for WWTVM to generate a KDM for your event, we need:

What– The exact name of DCP file being requested. We often have dozens of versions of the same show/episode.  We need the exact file name, or a link to the file in WBITV.com

Where–We need the DCP server PEM Certificate on which this DCP will be playing.

When – When will the DCP be played? Date, start and end time, and city (for time zone). Please include the times for both testing and the event itself.

How does a DCP get delivered to the theater?

  1. Mail a hard drive.  A CRU drive is the preferred type of hard-drive used for DCP content delivery, although a standard USB3.0 drive may also be used in most cases.  A CRU Drive typically is transported in a hardshell case with a USB3.0 cable, and a power cable, allowing the drive to operate as a standard NTFS drive volume on Windows computers, as well as DCP player servers/systems.  While a DCP can be played directly from the drive, copying to the projector’s local hard drive is recommended.  For territories doing a lot of screenings, we highly recommend purchasing your own CRU drive kit, using a 1TB or larger SSD
  2. Aspera.  It has become increasingly common to send DCPs to territories via Aspera.  While this is much faster, it requires whoever is downloading the DCPs via Aspera to have good internet speeds (HD DCP is about 100GB per hour of content) and a suitable hard drive (preferably a CRU drive properly formatted)

What problems should I expect with DCPs?

Screening from DCPs requires detailed planning and timed execution of screening events.  Since DCPs are encoded to a specific DCP server, at a very specific time and date, last minute changes in timing or venue can be problematic.  New KDM files have to be generated, sent and ingested.

Another potential downside is while DCP servers are the standard in traditional screening venues, there is the possibility that non-traditional venues will not have a capable DCP system for playback.  If your chosen venue does NOT have DCP capability, you must escalate your request and expect delays as approval for unsecured content presentation is approved.

Test screening (event rehearsal)

Best practices call for scheduling test time at the venue during your screening planning. When submitting your DCP Request, you will be asked for a test date/time as well as the actual screening date and time. It is highly recommended your testing date be at least 1-2 days before your screening date to allow for resolving any issues with the KDM or DCP file.

Security Requirements

Warner Bros. employees are required to adhere to Warner Bros. official requirements for screening Protected Content

For public screenings of protected content dedicated security personnel is required. Typical requirements call for one guard for every 100 seats in the theater. These guard(s) must be free to “wand” or inspect bags entering the screening facility, as well as use night-vision goggles during the screening to spot illegal piracy of the content.  If a venue has over 600 seats, wand and bag checking is not practical, however a minimum of two (2) guards with night-vision goggles must supervise and stop any attempts at piracy.