What is HDCP?
HDCP (High-handwidth Digital Content Protection), developed by Intel, is an anti-piracy feature adopted to work with the HDMI cable standard.
It’s not only used with HDMI but also with other digital video connections like DisplayPort and Digital Visual Interface (DVI).
If you’re familiar with DRM (Digital Rights Management), then you’ll understand HDCP.
The whole idea behind DRM is to protect copyrighted works from being illegally copied.
HDCP Means Encrypted HD Video Signal
With HDCP, a connection between a video source device like a Blu-ray player, a TV box or a cable TV set top box and a receptor device like an HDTV or a computer monitor is encrypted, making copying impossible.
Though it’s a noble idea in terms of intellectual property protection, it has its downside.
HDCP Error: Handshake Failure
When you use an HDMI connection the video source device and the video receptor device must both be HDCP compliant. Otherwise a ‘handshake’ would not be possible.
When the handshake fails, then you’ll get an HDCP error.
This is mainly due to one of the devices in the HDMI connection isn’t HDCP compliant.
You’ll end up with a blank display screen or an HDCP error message.
How to Fix HDCP Error
The obvious solution is to replace the non-HDCP compliant device with a compliant one. This is not always a sensible option owing to cost.
So, we’ll use an HDMI Splitter, which will act as an an HDCP stripper. Do not confuse an HDMI splitter with an HDMI switch.
Have the HDMI splitter connected between the video source device and the video receptor device.
The HDMI in port should be from your video source, your Blu-ray player, cable set top box etc. There will be at least two HDMI output ports, which you can connect to your HDTV or computer monitor.
Make sure to get a HDMI splitter which supports at least HDMI 1.4 and HDCP.
There are many HDMI splitter models out there. So, read the reviews first before forking out cash for one.