StEM

In 2004 the Standard Evaluation Material was created by the ASC (American Society of Cinematographers) and DCI to assess the quality of possible digital cinema picture compression systems and formats against the best that film can offer. It is about 25 minutes of material from multiple film formats. At that time the most widely used compression system for video was MPEG-2 and some said the StEM film was an ‘MPEG breaker’ with smoky scenes and movement that would challenge that compression system. The next year DCI recommended JPEG 2000, an entirely different compression system to the established DCT-based JPEG.