HDCP vs. HDMI: What's the Difference?

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Two different technologies pinch akin names, but 2 technologies that activity intimately together anyway? What's nan quality here?

Key Takeaways

  • HDCP is simply a package protocol that protects copyrighted integer contented from being recorded, while HDMI is simply a beingness cablegram for transferring audio and video signals betwixt devices.
  • HDCP and HDMI activity together to guarantee that copy-protected contented tin beryllium displayed connected compatible devices without piracy.
  • Understanding nan quality betwixt HDCP and HDMI will thief you debar disorder and guarantee a seamless acquisition erstwhile enjoying integer content.

It's not uncommon to perceive group usage HDCP and HDMI interchangeably. However, these are 2 abstracted technologies that service different purposes—but they activity together to make it imaginable for you to bask integer content.

What Is HDCP?

HDMI and Ethernet ports

High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) is simply a connection protocol that protects copyrighted integer contented from being recorded. That means, if you're playing specified content, each instrumentality you have, from nan root to nan show and nan cablegram that connects them, must beryllium HDCP-compliant. Otherwise, you will get a blank surface aliases an correction message.

With HDCP, what happens is nan source, specified arsenic a Blu-ray player, cablegram box, aliases streaming box, transmits an encoded awesome done a cablegram to nan show device, specified arsenic a smart TV, projector, aliases monitor. Then, nan 2 devices initiate what's known arsenic a "handshake," wherever nan devices speech information codes to authenticate each different utilizing nan HDCP protocol. If successful, nan show instrumentality decodes nan awesome and displays nan contented to you.

One point to statement is that location are different versions of HDCP: HDCP 1.4 and HDCP 2.2. If you're viewing thing successful 4K value and above, you must guarantee your setup has HDCP 2.2-compliant devices and cables. Otherwise, if 1 of nan components is HDCP 1.4, you'll astir apt acquisition a downgrade from 4K (UHD) to 1080p (Full HD) since nan "handshake" will beryllium partially complete.

What Is HDMI?

TV HDMI ports

High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) is simply a integer interface (a measurement of connecting 2 integer devices), allowing nan transportation of audio and video. That's why erstwhile you perceive personification opportunity "HDMI," they're usually talking astir nan cable, which connects to nan HDMI ports of nan root and display. These cables guarantee nan awesome from nan root is compatible pinch nan display.

HDMI cables are HDCP-compliant, meaning you tin link 2 HDCP-compliant devices. Another HDCP-compliant cablegram is simply a Digital Visual Interface (DVI) cable, and it is besides disposable connected respective show equipment.

HDCP vs. HDMI: The Difference

Now that you cognize what HDCP and HDMI mean, nan quality is clearer: nan erstwhile is software-related, and nan second is hardware-related. HDCP is simply a information measurement that ensures copy-protected contented cannot beryllium captured erstwhile displayed. The second is simply a beingness medium, a cable, for transmitting signals betwixt integer devices.

Never Confuse HDCP and HDMI Again

HDCP is solely for nan use of contented owners who want to combat piracy regarding their integer content. It tin beryllium inconvenient for you successful immoderate scenarios, but if each nan components successful your intermezo setup, including nan HDMI cable, are HDCP-compliant, you should beryllium capable to bask nan contented without a hitch.

Knowing nan quality betwixt HDCP and HDMI will forestall you from utilizing them interchangeably, arsenic truthful galore group do.

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