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High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) Tutorial

What is HDCP?
 (High-Bandwidth Digital-Content Protection)

HDCP stands for High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection. HDCP encrypts the digital signal to prevent it from being recorded. HDCP encryption / decryption takes place within your equipment. Check your equipment documentation to see if it offers HDCP. Cables simply pass the digital signal between the HDCP compliant equipment.

High-Bandwidth Digital-Content Protection (HDCP) was created by Intel. With HDCP, content can be transferred from a computer, satellite television receiver, or DVD player to a television screen or computer monitor while the original image remains clear of any static or snow. HDCP is meant to transfer graphic images over high bandwidths without losing any of the pristine quality of the original graphic content. A series of protection controls keeps the images from becoming distorted or cross contaminated with other high bandwidth machines in the area. As more people throughout the world utilize wireless Internet, wireless phones, and similar modes of technology, HDCP is becoming an increasingly important means of protecting information.

DVD players and satellite television receivers have used HDCP for years. Not all computers are HDCP compatible, but more computer manufacturers are turning to HDCP to ensure additional protective measures are in place. With WiFi becoming a hot trend, many computer manufacturers are considering HDCP more carefully.

When a DVD is placed in a computer or DVD player, or when a satellite receiver is turned on, the video content immediately checks to ensure that the machine is licensed with HDCP controls. If the machine does not have the proper license in place, it will not be allowed to show HDCP material. If the proper HDCP controls are in place, however, the DVD or video content will be displayed on the computer monitor or television screen. These HDCP controls ensure that no other machine in the general vicinity can add content to the images seen by the viewer. In general, HDCP controls allow for friendly interchanges between the machine and the display.

HDCP works the same way. The DVD player, satellite box, or computer checks for HDCP content. If it isn't there, the images will not appear. Once HDCP content has been found, the HDCP licensed machine is the viewer's "ticket" to see the show on the computer monitor or television screen.

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