HDCP and HDMI What, Why and How


What is HDCP and HDMI® and why do I need to have a license(s) to buy certain (transceiver) parts?

Parts like Analog Devices’ ADV7511WBSWZ-ND requires the customer have both HDCP and HDMI licenses to purchase. The ADV7511WBSWZ-ND like other parts are HDMI(High-Definition Multimedia Interface) and HDCP (High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection) compliant.

Let’s discuss what HDMI and HDCP are first. “HDMI technology is the global standard for connecting high-definition audio/video equipment.” The advantage of HDMI is that it combines multiple cables into one cable that supports both digital video, multichannel audio as well as control data. HDMI has become the “Standard” for connecting TVs to AV receivers, Disc players, game systems and set top boxed units. The list of HDMI adopters can be found here. https://www.hdmi.org/learningcenter/adopters_founders.aspx To become a HDMI adopter you can go here. https://www.hdmi.org/manufacturer/adopter_registration.aspx

HDCP is a security system to prevent pirating of copy write audio and video data. The devices that are HDCP compliant encrypt data send from a source like a Blu-Ray player to a TV. Both the transmitter of the Blu-Ray player and the receiver of the TV need to be HDCP compliant in order to view and hear the data. Here is a list of HDCP compliant companies. https://www.digital-cp.com/licensee-list. To become HDCP compliant start here. https://www.digital-cp.com/licensing

HDMI is the interface standard that interconnects our audio and video equipment and HDCP is the security system that prevents pirating of digital data. Many parts like ADV7511WBSWZ-ND use both HDMI and HDCP technology. This requires the designer to be compliant or have a license with both technologies in order to purchase the part.