Knowledge Base

The HDMI Licensing Knowledge Base is a library of current information about the HDMI standard. Select an appropriate category from the pull down below, or, you may use your own search terms to obtain results.

If your question involves a specific product, please contact the manufacturer directly. The HDMI Knowledge Base does not contain information about specific products.

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Q. Is HDCP an option to implement over an HDMI connection?

While HDCP is optional in the HDMI specification, nearly every device that is designed to transmit or receive protected content such as movies has incorporated HDCP (e.g. TVs, STBs, A/V recievers). Manufacturers typically do not specifially call out HDCP  support. The only devices that do not regularly include HDCP are those that are not designed to transmit or receive protected content, such as camcorders and digital still cameras.

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Q. Does HDMI provide a secure interface?

While no security system is 100% secure, HDMI, when used in combination with HDCP, provides an audio/video interface that meets the security requirements of content providers and systems operators.

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Q. What is HDCP?

High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) is a technology developed by Digital Content Protection, LLC (a subsidiary of Intel) to protect digital entertainment content. HDCP has been implemented across both DVI and HDMI interfaces. The HDCP specification provides a cost-effective and transparent method for transmitting and receiving the highest quality digital entertainment content to DVI/HDMI-compliant digital displays.

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Q. If my digital monitor doesn’t have an HDCP-compatible connection (such as an HDMI connection with HDCP), will I be able to view HD DVD and Blu-ray content in high definition?

Content owners (i.e., a movie studio releasing a DVD) decide which technologies they will use to protect their content against unauthorized copying. Movie studios, that fear that high-definition versions of their movies will be pirated, are expected to use HDCP when releasing high-definition versions of their movies, though some may choose to release some titles without HDCP. To be safe, consumers who want to be able to play high-definition content should ensure that their HDTVs and other HD devices are able to decode HDCP-encrypted content.

There are also specific requirements on HDCP usage mandated by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission and by industry bodies in Europe and Asia. See below for more information.

With certain exceptions, nearly all HDMI devices on the market include HDCP support. DVI devices, in particular earlier versions of DVI, are more likely to lack HDCP support.

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Q. I’ve read that the Hollywood studios are using Advanced Access Content System (AACS) to protect their high-definition content. Is AACS an alternative to HDCP?

No, the two are complementary. AACS is the content protection for the video on the DVDs and HDCP is the content protection on the HDMI link between the DVD player and the TV. AACS is a stronger replacement for the current content protection on today's standard-definition DVDs (which has been broken). The DVD player will decrypt the AACS-encrypted content coming off the HD-DVD or Blu-ray disc and then send the content over the protected HDMI link (using HDCP) to the HDTV.

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