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HDCP Note

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A word about HDCP...

High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) is a form of digital copy protection developed by Intel Corporation to prevent copying of digital audio and video content as it travels across DisplayPort, Digital Visual Interface (DVI), or High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) connections.

HDCP does not allow copying. The system is meant to stop HDCP-encrypted content from being played on devices that do not support HDCP or which have been modified to copy HDCP content. Before sending data, a transmitting device checks that the receiver is authorized to receive it. If so, the transmitter encrypts the data to prevent eavesdropping as it flows to the receiver.

Manufacturers, such as RT COM USA, who want to make a device that supports HDCP must obtain a license from Intel subsidiary Digital Content Protection, pay an annual fee, and submit to various conditions. For example, devices cannot be designed to copy content; devices must "frustrate attempts to defeat the content protection requirements" ; high-definition digital video sources must not transmit protected content to non-HDCP receivers; and DVD-Audio content can only be played at CD-audio quality by non-HDCP digital audio outputs (analog audio outputs have no quality limits).

All RT COM USA product that are declared to be HDCP compliant are designed to support both the technical requirements of HDCP and the copy-prevention intent of HDCP. Therefor RT COM USA products cannot be used to defeat content protection.

A source device needs only one (1) HDCP Key to be part of a fully functional and HDCP compliant matrix or distributed AV system. The single key handshakes with the receiver chip within our device. The video signal is then passed within the device to a key generator (part of the licensed Silicon Image repeater chipset), which then creates a separate HDCP Key for each output. Each output then handshakes with the connected display. The resulting matrixed or distributed system outputs HDCP encrypted signals and cannot be used to defeat HDCP encryption nor can the signals be copied or captured in any way.

Source --> Distribution Device --> Displays.


Every system like this employs 3 types of digital video devices.

Sources - These devices encrypt and transmit digital video content based on HDCP requirements defined by the source material (Blu-ray disc).Sources utilize HDMI Transmitter chips which apply HDCP keys and encryption.


Sinks - These devices decrypt and display HDCP video using HDMI Port Processors chips.


Repeaters - These devices receive HDCP encrypted video, decrypt it, internally distribute it, re-encrypt it, and re-transmit to sinks. Repeaters employ both HDMI Port Processor and HDMI Transmitter chips.


RTCom Digital Extender HDMI distribution amplifiers and routers are repeater devices and so contain HDMI Port Processors chips and HDMI Transmitter chips as follows.

Since HDMI transmitter chips encrypt and supply HDCP Keys (see diagram below), it is clear that each output port on a DA or router is a self-contained key generator.

Inside the HDMI Transmitter Chip

This design can be costly, but if a manufacturer utilizes the correct chips for the job, then the product will be compliant. No tricks or shortcuts, just the proper application of the technology and HDMI and HDCP compliance specifications.

The general premise of "decrypt", "route" and "re-encrypt" is a fundamental design platform that can be seen in many HDCP compliant devices. This is the proper and compliant method for distributing the signals. 128 is the maximum number of keys possible in a routing sequence for a video network of this type. Such a routing sequence would require many HDMI chip sets, and it would be expensive, BUT IT WOULD WORK AND IT WOULD be HDCP Compliant.

 
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