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Windows 7: Understanding HDCP -- Blu-Ray copy protection and its h


07 Feb 2010   #1

windows 7
 
 
Understanding HDCP -- Blu-Ray copy protection and its h

Computers that play Blu-Ray discs have to deal with High-Definition Copy Protection (HDCP). This is a system involving both software but also hardware chips that are placed in equipment that might be used to play Blu-Ray content. Because the manufacturers of blue Ray discs do not want unauthorized copy of their material, and because digital copying is the worse for them since no quality is lost and mass copying is easier to accomplish, manufacturers place HDCP on Blu-Ray discs frequently. These should HDCP copy protection is more common at this time than when Blu-Ray first came out.
The HDCP system is easy to understand and it is annoying. If a Blu-Ray disc is manufactured with HDCP copy protection, then when it is played the Blu-Ray disc asks the player whether the player, and every other device in the signal transmission train has a little HDCP chip in it. This is something the manufacturer had to build in. The devices that must have this chip are the Blu-Ray player itself, video card, any switches that switch the video before it gets to the monitor or the TV, and the monitor or the TV itself. If a Blu-Ray disc with HDCP is played on a simple set top Blu-Ray player then that player as well as a TV also must to have this chip.
If an HDCP encoded disc is played on equipment without the chip-that is not "HDCP compliant"- the disc either will not play or will play with reduced video resolution,or may play without the fancier types of audio-play in simple two channel stereo rather than 7.1
Additionally the single chain must be all digital. If HDCP compliant equipment is connected together with any analog connectors then Blu-Ray's with this copy protection will not play. The most common place this will occur is connecting into the monitor. If playing from a computer, using the DVI or HDMI cable is necessary. The old-fashioned analog computer monitor cable will transmit the image to the monitor well but will disrupt the copy protection. Similarly set top Blu-Ray players which are connected to the monitor or TV using the composite connectors-the three red blue and green jacks-will disrupt the copy protection. The high-definition image will get through on non-copy protected material however. If all of the equipment is HDCP compliant than switching over to a DVI or HDMI cable is all that is needed under these two circumstances.
The situation is a little bit more complicated if there are two monitors. Most of the time as long as one of these is HDCP compliant -- and is connected with a digital cable -- the discs will play. Sometimes the window playing the Blu-Ray material can even be played on the analog monitor.
Usually the documentation of each piece will state that it is HDCP compliant. Sometimes checking that is what's needed to determine which part might need to be replaced.
Please help me with additional comments, improvements, or suggestions on this.
Kevin



My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Jul 2010   #2

Windows 7 Retail
 
 

Thank you so much!!!!

I asked about HDCP in another thread, and not one person could provide a legitimate explanation. And they closed the thread claiming it had been already solved. Yet concrete legitimate explanation of HDCP was nowhere to be found in the thread. And, at the time, it was impossible to find a clear explanation about it online. My graphics card said HDCP, and I had no clue how that worked. I have times explaining stuff to somebody, and I did not stop, complain, or insult them like was done to me in the other thread. I only continued to explain it until they actually got it.

It doesn't matter how much we feel we have already explained something. If the person we are explaining it to says they still do not understand, then the issue has not been solved.


So here:
We know that HDCP is meant for copy protection, but all the explanations about the mechanics were very unclear until you started this thread.

So it appears there are 2 things:
1. HDCP encoded content.
2. HDCP compliant devices.

We know if a HDCP Disc is put into a disc drive. If the disc drive is not HDCP compliant, then the disc won't play properly or won't play at all. If the graphics card is not HDCP, the disc won't play properly or won't play at all.

So say that the disc drive and the graphics card are HDCP compliant. Then the video will not play if the monitor is not HDCP correct?

What about computer files on the hard drive? I'm not talking about a physical disc inserted into a drive. Say a movie that is a *.avi file. Or a virtual blue-ray *.iso file. Or some other similar file types. Is it possible for those files to be HDCP encoded content (thus, in order to play those files, the monitor and video card would have to be HDCP)?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jul 2010   #3

Windows 7 Retail
 
 

FYI: Here is the thread I started awhile back with people claiming that my question has been answered by simply telling me that HDCP is meant for copy protection, and that's it: What is HDCP?. I started that thread because there was no clear explanation of HDCP in practice online as there is in the OP of this thread. Yet nobody in that other thread was able to answer the question clearly. Then, they started claiming that I was out of line for insisting on a proper clear explanation. Then the admin closed it.

All members should make sure that if your questions aren't being answered to your satisfaction, you need to insist on getting a clear explanation. It's frustrating as hell enough when you look all over the internet for simple information pertaining to a product, and can't find it. That's what this forum is meant for. You can ask a question, and hopefully somebody has the answer, and is willing to explain it. Not make it even worse by putting you down for not understanding something (especially when it was never clearly explained), and admins allowing that to happen. Even supporting that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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02 Jul 2010   #4

XP / Win7 x64 Pro
 
 

Here's a pretty good run-down of how it all works when things get a bit more complicated in using your computer as an HTPC:

HDCP: The graphic card and monitor nightmare. (page 1: HDCP : misery for monitors and graphic cards) - BeHardware
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jul 2010   #5

windows 7
 
 

Absolutely crimson. The reason I posted this was it really isn't complicated but I had enough time figuring it out that I posted this summary into a computer forum. It is sort of a computer issue and is also a home audiovisual issue which may be one reason computer forums don't have a lot on it. To address your question is really do have the information correct. It all starts with the disk. Because blue Ray has taken over as the one principle type of high definition disc (HD DVD has failed) that is the type I am talking about. It all starts with the desk. If the disk was created with HDCP protection when you place it in the blue Ray reader in your computer the disk forces the software and hardware which reads it to check whether every part of the hardware chain the computer uses to display video is HDCP compliant. That means the blue Ray player itself, the graphics card, and the monitor. It also makes sure that the connecting cables among these are digital. That really only matters when it comes to connecting your video card to your monitor. If you use a digital connector-which would be HDMI or DVI. Then the blue Ray will play. It will not play however if the connectors are analog . Such as-component which are the three jacks which are red blue and green or composite which is usually yellow. These types are analog and cannot transmit the extra copy protection checks which the computer runs all the way out to the monitor because they travel on the digital connector. Therefore if a HDCP compliant graphics card connects to a HDCP compliant monitor through either a component or composite connector the checkup of the computer fails because the graphics card cannot find a HD CP compliant monitor through a connection. I know this is a bit of a repeat it's just that those are the rules and they are not too complicated if you lay them out that way.
You have also asked good questions about other video files or copies of a blue Ray disc which reside on the hard drives. The answer comes in several parts. Again it is easier to think of it starting with the disk. If you place a blue Ray disc in a player was the computer looks at it and checks the protection. If copy protection has been placed on the disk .not allow you to view it that copy protection will also prevent you from copying the disc onto your hard drive. For that reason therefore anything you have on your hard drive does not have copy protection on it. Therefore you can play anything that you have on your hard drive whether it is the file or a copy of a blue Ray without having to worry about HD CP. Certainly your monitor and the computer have to be high enough resolution to play the high definition content but most modern machines are. People are interested in copying Blu-Ray discs to their hard drive for several reasons. One is that some people feel they have a right to copy their own disk to back it up or to reprocess it to a format that they can play on their portable player or iPhone. Another unfortunately is that as a hobby some people will copy commercial movies to their computers and then post them on the Internet so that others can watch them for free-not paying the people who create the movies. Understandably the movie copyright holders feel this is a giant ripoff. I am sure you are aware that there has been tension on this issue started back in the 1990s when people figured out they could copy the songs off their CDs and pass them around the Internet. There are programs available which operate on the computer and actually change the way that the blue Ray discs interacts with a blue Ray player in the hard drives. These programs simply fool the system on the computer which checks for copy protection into thinking that the Blu-Ray disc is not copy protected. Therefore the user can play it on a computer system which either has non-HDCP components or is not connected with digital cables to the monitor. The user can also simply duplicate the Blu-Ray disc onto the hard drive or process it into a video file. The point here is that if you managed to get a blue Ray disc onto your hard drive at all in any format you have already bypassed the copy protection process or you have copied a blue Ray that was made without it-neither from a commercial source or one that a hobbyist burned on their own. Again, when a blue Ray disc is created the creator decides whether or not to add copy protection. Including HDCP
Let me point out that in the discussion regarding copying Blu-Ray discs to a hard drive there are other copyright protection schemes in place on a blue Ray disc which prevent copying to a hard drive. Not specifically HDCP which is dedicated to preventing playback even on the screen. Again the creator of the Blu-Ray disc decides what type of copy protection to place on the desk. I blurted these together a little bit but want to be clear.
I hope this helps. Absolutely. Let me know if I have missed anything. It seems a little confusing but the rules are fairly basic.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jul 2010   #6
NoN

Windows 7 Professional SP1 - x64 [Non-UEFI Boot]
 
 

Thank you guys for those discuss here and there, very interessting matter HDCP talks & links. I knew some of it, just cleared my mind.

My prob is, i'm either a computer based support Hdcp through Hdmi plug. The first time i'd got the computer, i plug it onto the Hdmi to a HDTV (don't think Tv is Hdcp compliant) and it of course the Audio sound switched to HDMI. I went to the parameters to config the properties of HDMI output and saw that was displaying "Hdcp capable" in the connectors information. Played my dvd at 1080p with no probs at all as it wasn't a Blue ray disc.

Later time done exactly the same with another dvd, but in the mean while updated the graphic card from the manufacturer drivers...and it says it wasn't "Hdcp capable" Compressed driver no found anymore in the Hdmi properties.
Thought it was the driver update, so revert it back to original, but still the same. No big matter.

So, anyway as i'm not using it with blue-ray disc at the moment, let it for a while and updated the Graphics Card drivers.

I was wondering if do insert a blue-ray disc with Hdcp compliant materials, it will be back again in the chain.

One thing i noted is that i've got only Microsoft drivers listed (see attached thumbnail) as it was provided with the computer.
Looks missing in it the HDaudBus.sys (it is present in System32\drivers!!) and when i do update the driver it won't load... but looks it triggers anyway when it needs and is started.

I know either i can install some ATI HDMI drivers (got a M-Radeon Ati HD Card), as some are doing & saying they do works better than MS one.

Any of you had this one prob? No hurry!


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