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Communication & collaboration:

The key to KDM success

EY DELIVERY MESSAGES, OR KDMs, play a crucial part in securing digital cinema content. They have been a daily part of cinema operators’ lives since the digital switchover over a decade ago. They are also one of the main causes of lost shows, often on Friday mornings when new releases get their first play. From personal experience, if it’s not lost shows, then at the very least they have heightened stress and anxiety to answer for. Tens of millions of them are created each year, so why do they still cause exhibitors and content distributors such a headache? In the mid-2000s the Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) group laid out specifications to standardise the quality and security of digital cinema content. It specified that assets (the picture and audio files which make up the movie) are

encrypted to AES 128 standards. Even at the rate technology has been evolving, the world’s fastest computer would still need millions of years to crack just one of these keys. Only the master key used to encrypt video and audio data can restore it back to its original form, making it playable; and that is kept secure by the content mastering house. This presents a problem. If the decryption key is sent to one cinema, they could easily send it on to any other and they too could decrypt content, even without the content owner’s permission to do so. You’d have to have a completely

Danny Jeremiah, head of cinema products at Arts Alliance Media, gives a glimpse into an automated future for KDM delivery — and data collaboration Words: Danny Jeremiah

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secure supply chain all the way from the content services company to the playback device, which just isn’t feasible. The solution to this is to encrypt that master key again. RSA2048 encryption, a clever asymmetric cryptography method, is used to ensure that only the intended recipient

Profile for Cinema Technology

Cinema Technology Magazine - December 2018