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Understand the nuts and bolts of HDCP

Posted: 02 Dec 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:digital rights management  High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection  Digital Content Protection LLC 

As the digital distribution of television, movies and music expands, content providers are growing increasingly concerned about the simplicity with which content pirates can copy and share copyrighted material. Various digital rights management (DRM) schemes have been developed to ensure that television shows, movies and music can only be viewed by authorised parties. The content scrambling system used to encrypt DVDs and Apple's Fairplay technology are two widely-known DRM schemes.

To protect digital content as it's transmitted over cables between devices, Intel Corp. developed a DRM scheme known as the High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection system. Intel then handed licensing responsibilities over to its subsidiary, Digital Content Protection LLC. HDCP is widely adopted in the CE space, but has been plagued by interoperability issues. This article from Creston Elctronics provides a technical interpretation of the HDCP specification and then explores the reasoning behind some of the problems.

View the PDF document for more information.

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