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A Standard for the Digitization of Cinematographic Film


In March this year, the German Institute for Standardization (DIN) published its DIN SPEC 15587 'Guidelines for digitization of cinematographic film'. The standard document itself, in German only, is paywalled and can be obtained via online sources for DIN publications, including this one.

However, there is a good summary in this article, by Egbert Koppe and Jorg Houpert, recently translated into English.

The standard, this article states, defines minimum requirements for sustainable digitisation of analogue film. It describes four fundamentally separate processing steps - which it calls packages: Raw Scan, Processing, Distribution and Deliverable. The first two focus on conservation requirements, the last two on usage of the digital outputs. The standard addresses digitisation rather than digital preservation - it refers to file formats only in an appendix, which is described as 'not normative', as a result.

The standard was developed by the DIN working group NA 149-00-03 AA "Production, playback and preservation of motion picture and sound".

That group is also the secretariat for the broader European CEN Technical Committee for preservation of digital cinema, CEN/TC 457, which launched in 2017, with the third call to tender in December 2018.

The placeholder page for that CEN/TC 457 is here.

And if all this European standards and policy stuff around digital cinema is of interest, there's a policy summary page here.


Stephen McConnachie

Head of Data and Digital Preservation, BFI National Archive

A Standard for the Digitization of Cinematographic Film


In March this year, the German Institute for Standardization (DIN) published its DIN SPEC 15587 'Guidelines for digitization of cinematographic film'. The standard document itself, in German only, is paywalled and can be obtained via online sources for DIN publications, including this one.

However, there is a good summary in this article, by Egbert Koppe and Jorg Houpert, recently translated into English.

The standard, this article states, defines minimum requirements for sustainable digitisation of analogue film. It describes four fundamentally separate processing steps - which it calls packages: Raw Scan, Processing, Distribution and Deliverable. The first two focus on conservation requirements, the last two on usage of the digital outputs. The standard addresses digitisation rather than digital preservation - it refers to file formats only in an appendix, which is described as 'not normative', as a result.

The standard was developed by the DIN working group NA 149-00-03 AA "Production, playback and preservation of motion picture and sound".

That group is also the secretariat for the broader European CEN Technical Committee for preservation of digital cinema, CEN/TC 457, which launched in 2017, with the third call to tender in December 2018.

The placeholder page for that CEN/TC 457 is here.

And if all this European standards and policy stuff around digital cinema is of interest, there's a policy summary page here.


Stephen McConnachie

Head of Data and Digital Preservation, BFI National Archive