HDCP 2.2 – What You Need to Know About the Forthcoming 4K Data Security

Over the sense and senselessness of copyright protection devices can one really debate. The industry, as shown over the decades, has not tired of denouncing acts of theivery in regards to intellectual property nor has it tired of lamenting the imminent demise of an entire industry.  Many creative people feel as though they are encroached upon by such measures, patronised and placed under general suspicion. That this situation is not just here to stay but also the future -- a feeling which is shared by a coup of 100 existing industry that the Digital Protection Consortium. The HDCP 2.2 is designed to protect well into the future especially 4K material in terms of piracy. We have compiled all the important facts for you.

Content and Interfaces

Even after quite a long time there was uncertainty about whether HDCP 2.2 would ever establish itself as the new copy protection standard for Ultra HD content, now this question without doubt can be answered in the affirmative. Concrete is that this mechanism is used solely for the protection of such material (4K Blu-ray, 4K Streams).  Conventional Full HD content is therefore not affected by the restrictions and if you don’t currently intend to upgrade to 4K then you can look forward to the implementation of HDCP 2.2 feeling relatively relaxed.

Otherwise, it is first important to know that HDCP 2.2 and HDMI 2.0 are indeed often mentioned in the same breath, but not mutually dependent. Thus implies an existing HDMI 2.0 interface is not necessarily the HDCP 2.2 support and vice versa copy protection is not bound to the interface. Only by a special hardware chip devices HDCP 2.2 compliant and are then able to send the corresponding encrypted and receive signals. In addition to the HDMI 2.0 interface that can be a whole range of other interfaces (DisplayPort, DVI, USB, WirelessHD, Miracast, …) concern. Since HDMI 2.0 interface is relevant but currently in the transmission of 4K video data, it is of course particularly the focus of the discussion.

How does HDCP 2.2 function exactly?

In order to prevent unauthorized access to 4K content, HDCP 2.2 is an encryption of the data while its transferred as opposed to the transfer itself being regulated between different devices and authorized only under certain circumstances. Assuming you have your Blu-ray player via HDMI 2.0 which connects directly to your TV and play in the future 4K Blu-ray from, the data is only transmitted when both players and televisions are equipped with the appropriate HDCP 2.2 chips and mutual authentication key was successful. In addition, the transmission of data packets must not exceed a certain period of time (20 ms), otherwise the connection will also ineligible or suspended. For additional devices are in the signal chain, these must meet the HDCP 2.2 specifications. So you want the video and audio data on the way to the display or projector for example, by an AV receiver or a soundbar be looped, so must it necessarily HDCP 2.2 compliant.

What problems come with the HDCP 2.2?

Currently no means all information relevant for the playback of audiovisual content components (TV, media players, AV receivers, sound bars, graphics cards, …) are equipped with HDCP 2.2 chips, and it may lead to problems when playing 4K content in future  suppose that our above shown set-up Blu-ray player and 4K TV HDCP 2.2 is already capable. We now add a current AV receiver, it is very likely in view of the market situation, that it has no integrated HDCP 2.2 chip, and thus would block the transmission of 4K content. If our player has two HDMI 2.0 outputs, there is still the possibility of a workaround: while the image is transmitted to the receiver directly past our display provides the second output of the AV receiver to the sound information. Really comfortable, this solution is not, however, and also contradicts the very idea that all video and audio information bundled made available through a channel.

Final Thoughts

If you already upgrade your setup for the next generation ultra high definition content, it is worth it to study the product specifications closely and pay attention to the HDCP 2.2 support. Meanwhile, it is common practice that has become available technologies be submitted via software update. This is not possible with HDCP 2.2, since the copy protection is dependent on the aforementioned hardware chip. While some newer Ultra HD TVs have already implemented HDCP 2.2, there are other devices currently the choice not available. This applies, for example, to the AV receiver. A ray of hope on the horizon since the days of these newly available Denon AVR-X7200W, expected to be released in Spring this year with an installable HDCP 2.2 hardware upgrade.

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