An Introductory Guide to HDCP
High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection Explained
HDCP compliance has become more of an issue with the arrival of high definition Blu ray disc players and the availability of more HD programming from cable and satellite TV service provides. Yet it was the HD movie player that first forced many HDTV customers to face the realm of this security protocol.
Unfortunately, though customer awareness for the need of compliance is catching up, yet there is still a lot of confusion surrounding this area.
In this short series of articles, we look at the basics of High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection. We see why compliance is important — despite that over two years ago, its master encryption key was broken loose. We also explain how it works, and what are the implications on your HDTV viewing when it comes to non-compliant devices. We end this series of guides by discussing the use of HDCP strippers as a possible solution to non-compliant devices.
High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection - more commonly referred to as HDCP, is a form of Digital Rights Management (DRM) developed by Intel Corporation.
It is a content protection scheme designed to eliminate the possibility of intercepting digital video and audio data as it travels between source and display across Digital Visual Interface (DVI) and High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) connections.
In its basic operation, High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection encrypts the transmission of digital content between the video or audio source and the digital display or home theater receiver.
This means that this high-bandwidth digital content protection mechanism is not designed to prevent copying or recording of digital content, but to protect the integrity of content as it is being transmitted over the digital interconnect. Implementation of High-bandwidth DCP is carried out under a license obtainable from the Digital Content Protection, LLC.
The latest FCC and EICTA regulations make high-bandwidth DCP a compulsory requirement when it comes to high-definition video and DVD-audio. And it is not just high definition movie players such as Blu-ray and the former HD-DVD that come with this content protection mechanism on board.
So how does all this impact you as the end customer when we know that there are still millions of 'old' HDTV sets around that are not compliant with this content protection requirement?
We have therefore prepared a short series of articles that discuss the various aspects of High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection: What it is all about, how it works, how it impacts your HDTV viewing experience, and what alternatives exist - if any - for early adopters of HDTVs whose sets are not complaint with this digital content protection protocol.
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Articles appearing under this section:
What is High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection? Why did it turn out to be the worst consumer nightmare for early adopters of HDTV, and how does non-compliance impacts YOU as the end-customer?
Discover how HDCP attempts to eliminate the interception of encrypted digital content midstream between source and display. How does it achieve device authentication, and what is this 'red button' of key revocation?
Are 'old' HDTVs without High-bandwidth DCP support worthless? Can these become compliant? What about the use of converters and stripper boxes as a possible alternative?