TECH TIPS - HDCP EXPLAINED

WHAT IS HDCP?

The tech world loves its acronyms and initialisms, and here is another one for you. HDCP stands for High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection. The purpose of HDCP is to protect digital copyrighted content as it travels from a device to your TV, usually through an HDMI, DVI or DisplayPort connection. HDCP is required to stream content from services such as Netflix, Amazon Video, Virgin or from Blu-Ray discs.


WHY DO I NEED HDCP IT?

Simply put, it’s a legal requirement. Any AV devices such as converters, splitters, switches or extenders have to be HDCP compliant as it means the data is protected against video piracy.


WHAT HAPPENS IF A DEVICE IS NOT HDCP COMPLIANT?

When using non-compliant devices the source material wont be displayed. You will often see nothing, or maybe a blue screen.


WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT VERSIONS OF HDCP?

As of early 2020 the two main versions are HDCP 1.4 and HDCP 2.2. These names often end up being confused with HDMI specifications due to the similar naming conventions and with the arrival of HDCP 1.4 coinciding with HDMI 1.3/1.4, and HDCP 2.2 overlapping with the arrival of HDMI 2.0.

But all you need to know is HDCP 1.4 was designed for the protection of full HD content while HDCP 2.2 relates to 4K Ultra HD media. With the arrival of HDMI 2.1 in 2020, HDCP 2.2 remains essential for 4K content delivery. And, with 8k on the horizon, there will likely be a new version of HDCP to come in the future.