How to Choose the Right Oppenheimer DCP for Your Cinema Screen
If you are a projectionist or cinema manager, you might be wondering which Oppenheimer Digital Cinema Package (DCP) to use for your screenings. Oppenheimer offers two types of DCPs: F-220 and S-220. Both have an aspect ratio of 2.2:1, which is different from the standard Flat (1.85:1) and Scope (2.39:1) formats.
The best way to decide which DCP to use is to consider the shape and size of your screen, as well as the masking options available in your cinema. Masking is the process of covering the unused parts of the screen with even black borders, either physically or digitally, or both, to improve the contrast and appearance of the movie.
Some tips on how to choose the right DCP for your screen type:
Common width screen (Flat screen)
- If you have a common-width screen, where Flat movies fill the whole screen and Scope movies are smaller and have black bars on the top and bottom, you choose the F-220 DCP using the flat setting on the projector. This way, the movie will have small black bars on the top and bottom, but not on the sides.
- If you use the S-220 DCP in a common width cinema using the scope setting on the projector, the picture will look too small and have black bars on all sides.
Common height screen (Scope screen)
- If you have a common-height screen, where Scope movies fill the whole screen and Flat movies are smaller, you can use both F-220 and S-220 DCPs. If you use the S-220 DCP, the movie will fill more of the screen but have black bars on the sides which may be uneven if the projector is tilted or off-axis. If you use F-220 DCPs, the movie will be smaller but the sides will have the even Flat digital and physical side masking.
- If you want to show S-220 movies on a common-height screen with even digital masking on the sides, you could adjust the digital masking in a custom 2.2 setting. For example, if you have a Christie projector, you can create a custom screen file from the scope setting but with new side adjustments.
It is easy to fit the digital masking on the sides parallel to the physical masking.
- For the best results, you should also match the physical masking to the movie. This helps improve the perceived contrast. It is possible to make custom black physical masking for 2.2:1 on older masking systems by first going to scope and then going towards Flat for some seconds and stopping the masking when it reaches 2.2:1. On newer masking systems 2.2 should be installed since it has been used on films like Dunkirk, Nope, and Tenet.
Before making digital and physical masking in a common height cinema
The sides of the film are uneven before adjusting physical side masking and digital masking when using a tilted projector. This can be seen when playing the Oppenheimer framing chart for S-220 with the scope preset on the projector and side masking.
After making digital and physical masking in a common height cinema
After adjusting physical side masking and digital masking the sides are even. This can be seen when playing the Oppenheimer framing chart for S-220 with the custom s-220 scope preset on the projector and s-220 digital and physical side masking.