Recommendations for DCP Conversion
The Digital Cinema Package (DCP) format is designed for ultimate sound and picture quality. While CineSend can convert a wide range of file formats into a DCP, we've put together some basic recommendations:
- ProRes 422 HQ (most common)
- ProRes 422
- ProRes 4444
- ProRes 4444 XQ
- DNxHR (all types)
- H.265 (accepted, not recommended)
- H.264 (accepted, not recommended, preferably over 20 Mbps)
Tip! You can't "add" quality to a video file by exporting it to a higher codec. So for example, if your master is a ProRes 422 HQ file, you will not gain quality by converting that file to a larger ProRes 4444,
Aspect Ratio + Resolution
DCPs can be one of two aspect ratios:
- Flat 1.85:1 (1998×1080 for 2K, 3996×2160 for 4K)
- Scope 2.39:1 (2048×848 for 2K, 4096×1716 for 4K)
If your film is finished in HD (1920×1080), and the picture fills the entire frame, CineSend can either pad the left and right of the image with black to maintain your original 1.77:1 (16:9) frame, or "zoom and crop" the image to fully fill the 1.85:1 Flat cinema frame. In either case, the difference is quite minimal and is purely a matter of personal preference.
If your film is finished in HD (1920×1080), and the picture is letterboxed, CineSend will scale the image without changing the aspect ratio to fit in the most suitable cinema resolution.
DCPs must always be "whole" progressive frame-rates (24, 25, 30, or 48fps).
If your film is in a video rate (24p/23.98fps, 30p/29.97fps), CineSend will automatically convert to the nearest whole frame rate.
If your film is interlaced (30i, 60i, etc), you must properly de-interlace the file before uploading.
We recommend 5.1 audio whenever possible, though stereo is just fine too.
Audio can be embedded with your video, or supplied as separate .wav stems. If you supply separate audio, ensure that it the .wav stems are identical in duration to your video. Otherwise, make sure there's a 2-pop present on both the audio and video files to aid with sync.
Tip! Don't bother up-converting stereo to 5.1 - this never results in good quality surround sound.
In most cases, source files should be provided in the Rec.709 color space. If you're not sure what this means, your file is likely already in Rec.709. If you have mastered your film in P3 or any other color space, please contact CineSend prior to pacing your order.