HDCP – high-bandwidth digital-content protection

Short for high-bandwidth digital-content protection, a specification developed by Intel for protecting digital entertainment content that uses the DVI interface. HDCP encrypts the transmission of digital content between the video source, or transmitter — such as a computer, DVD player or set-top box — and the digital display, or receiver — such as a monitor, television or projector. HDCP is not designed to prevent copying or recording of digital content but to protect the integrity of content as it is being transmitted.

Implementation of HDCP requires a license obtainable from the Digital Content Protection, LLC, which then issues a set of unique secret device keys to all authorized devices. During authentication, the receiver will only accept content once it demonstrates knowledge of the keys. Furthermore, to prevent eavesdropping and stealing of the data, the transmitter and receiver will generate a shared secret value that is consistently checked throughout the transmission. Once authentication is established, the transmitter encrypts the data and sends it to the receiver for decryption.

Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

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