High Definition digital video allows users to experience high resolution, near perfect video content. As more content is delivered digitally, the content creators are increasingly concerned with content piracy because digital content can be perfectly duplicated. Therefore anti-piracy safeguards such, as High Bandwidth Content Protection (HDCP) is necessary in order for original content creators to protect their assets. In this article we will touch on the key points of HDCP
What is HDCP:
High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection, HDCP, is an encryption scheme developed to defend against uncontrolled copying of digital content over high bandwidth digital interconnects such as DVI and the HDMI. The FCC approved HDCP as a “Digital Output Protection Technology” on August 4th, 2004.
A HDCP protected system consists of: 1) HDCP transmitter (DVD player for example), 2) the digital interface (DVI or HDMI), and 3) the HDCP receiver (your display monitor). In brief, the content is encrypted at the transmitter and the signal is passed to the HDCP receiver (display) via the DDC lines (in essence an I2C bus) where it is decrypted before viewing. HDCP requires that both the transmitter and the receiver comply with standards. If either one does not comply, the video will not be displayed properly. Incidentally, HDCP does not apply to analog interface such as component video although component video can be used to display high definition video.
Why should the consumer care about HDCP:
It is highly recommended that consumers be aware of HDCP and purchase sets that are HDCP compliant. Here is why. It has been speculated that the two competing high definition DVD standards HD DVD, and BLUE RAY, due out in 2006 will only deliver full resolution on HDCP protected outputs such as HDMI or DVI. If true, then users must have a HDCP monitor in order