What is HDCP? Abbreviation decoding

HDCP is an acronym and stands for “High-bandwith Digital Content Protection”. From English, this translates as “Protection of broadband digital content.”

HDCP: Mandatory for HD devices

  • The film industry has made HDCP a mandatory technology for all HD devices. HDCP prevents high definition copying and recording over digital video interfaces.
  • The system was developed in 2003 by Intel.

How does HDCP work? We explain in a simple way

Take Blu-ray as an example: the digital content of an AES128 disc is protected with a 128-bit key. The key is considered safe, but it has already been cracked. Part of the disk with the key is called “Media Key Block”. In order for the player to decrypt the data, another part of the key called “Device Key Block” is stored on the device itself.

At the moment, TV stations usually send out an unencrypted signal, but this should change in the next few years. Then, probably, all content will be broadcast in encrypted form.

What is HDCP 2.2?

Since 2015, there is a new copy protection – HDCP 2.2.

This encryption has been optimized to work with 4K content. And here’s the problem: HDCP 2.2 is not backward compatible with the old HDCP 1.x encryption. To play movies in 4K format, all devices used must be able to handle this encryption standard.

What is HDCP and how it prevents you from watching pirated movies

For example, if you want to play 4K content, different components can play their role in the playback chain. This could be a Blu-ray player, satellite receiver, or set-top box that streams content to a TV. Similarly, we can talk about a monitor, a graphics card and a game console.

If at least one component from this chain does not support the HDCP 2.2 standard, you will not be able to play 4K content. As a result, the screen will remain black. However, the soundbar that you connect and through which the signal will pass can also become such a “stopper” for the signal.

If your playback source supports HDCP 2.2 and your TV only supports older HDCP 1.x, you can bypass copy protection using a two-way HDCP converter.

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