What Is HDCP ? How HDCP Works ? Why It Shows HDCP Unauthorized ?

what is hdcp


Content creators and broadcasters always wants to protect their content before delivering it to their subscribers. Which is very important part of their business model. For that they spend lot of money to scramble or encrypt their content for protection.

So that any unauthorized user can not access their hard work content. As we all knows streaming media industry is growing rapidly so there are very DRM solutions available for protection of content.

Where HDCP is also a form of DRM. Where DRM Stands for Digital Rights Management.

What Is HDCP ?

what is hdcp

HDCP stands for High bandwidth Digital Content Protection. It is a secure communication protocol between two HDCP compatible devices. Which establish a connection between them to start transfer of media from media source to display devices in a secure medium.

Where communication ports can be HDMI , DVI , GVIF and UDI. HDMI known for High Definition Multimedia Interface , DVI for Digital Visual Interface , GVIF for Gigabit Video Interface and UDI for Unified Display Interface.

HDCP was developed by the Intel and licensed by the Digital Content Management LLC. Every manufacturer who wants to make HDCP compatible devices needs to have license from Digital Content Management LLC.

What Are Versions Of HDCP ?

1.32006HDMI , DVI , UDI & GVIF
2.02008Not dependent On Interface

What Are HDCP Compatible Devices ?

(1) HDCP Sources

HDCP Sources are devices which gives media output to be displayed on Television or screen. These Media Sources can be STB , Roku Box , DVD Players and Blu-Ray devices etc.

All of these Media Sources have HDCP Compatible License Information. Where HDCP Version of their HDMI or DVI ports can be different.

(2) HDCP Repeaters

HDCP Repeaters are used in between Media Sources and Display Devices. These Repeaters are used to perform various things. It is used for to convert one HDMI input into multiple HDMI outputs to display in various screens.

Repeaters are also used to remove the audio and up-conversion of video resolution etc.

These HDCP Repeaters gets the input media information from media Sources at their HDMI Input port. Then they decrypt the media. After performing required tasks in media they again encrypt the media.

Then after this media is sent to display devices via HDMI port.

(3) HDCP Sinks

HDCP Sinks are called the display devices which receive signal from Media Sources and then they display it. Where HDCP Sinks needs to render the media before displaying it on the screen.

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These display devices can be Digital Signage , Video Walls , Projectors and Televisions.

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How HDCP Works ?

how hdcp works

A STB is connected with Television with HDMI cable. Where STB works as media source and TV works to display media information to subscribers.

First we connect the HDMI cable between STB and TV when both device are in power off mode. Then we first start the TV and wait for few seconds then we start the STB,

Now STB sends his HDCP Compatible license information to the television and request him to share his HDCP compatible License Information. If TV’s HDMI Port is having the Compatible License information then it sends to STB for verification.

After both end verification of HDCP Compatible License information then connection is established to share media information.

Thus a encrypted content is send from STB to Television where at receiving end it is decrypted and then displayed on the screen to subscriber. This kind of Encryption is done by the Stream Ciphere.

What Is HDCP Unauthorized Connection ?

hdcp unauthorized error

There can be various reasons for displaying this message on your screen.

Reason 1

Your Connection is not established in proper manner. Which can be due to Loose Connection of HDMI Cable between HDCP Compatible ports. You need to switch off the devices then plug in HDMI cable again then restart your devices.

Reason 2

One or more than one of your devices is not HDCP Compatible.

For Example,

If you are using a Roku Box into your TV via HDMI Port for accessing a media in 4K Resolution. Now your Roku HDMI Port is HDCP Version 2.2 compatible. But the HDMI port of your TV is not HDCP Version 2.2 compatible then you can face this problem.

Because your television’s HDMI port can be HDCP Version 2.0 compatible which creates a problem for displaying a media. In this case your Roku device allows you to access the media in 720 p or 1080p resolution only.

Reason 3

You are using a Low Quality or very Old HDMI Cable. You need to always use premium quality HDMI Cable to get rid of these kind of problems.

How To Check My Device Is HDCP V2.2 Or Not ?

If you wants to check your device is having HDCP version 2.2 or not then you can check it below your device’s HDMI ports. This version number is mentioned there.

If in case it is not mentioned there then you can check it,

Check My Device’s HDCP Version

Where you need to enter your product details then it will let you know your HDMI Port’s version number..


HDCP is a secure communication protocol between two devices. Where both the devices should have HDMI port. For better performance both HDMI port should be same HDCP Versions only specifically in case of 4K Video playing.

Thus it is a content protection scheme which prevent the copying of media for unauthorized use. The latest HDCP version is 2.3 which was introduced in February 2018.

Suggested Articles

Difference Between HDMI & SDI ?

What Is DRM ?

What Is Roku Device ?

reference : dcp

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