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HDCP compliant DVI output on PC

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Ray, Feb 17, 2005.

  1. Ray

    Ray
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    Hi,

    I want to go down the HCPC route and have a question about the HD content available in the future. If I use a DVI output to the projector (or receiver) how do I know that it is HDCP compliant ? DVD player manafacturers tell you this info but do PC card manafacturers do the same ? Or do you think it might be just a driver update that would provide this functionality on PC cards with DVI output ?

    Any thoughts ? :thumbsup:

    Cheers

    Ray
     
  2. cwick

    cwick
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    Is supect HDCP support requires hardware on the card to handle the crypto, so a driver update wont do it.

    The latest ATI cards are already HDCP compliant (or HDCP-ready, as they call it) - so presumably those cards just need a driver update as-and-when.
     
  3. Ray

    Ray
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    Re: ATi cards - is this a feature they shout about on the box or is it just buried in the small print somewhere ?

    Cheers for the quick response

    Ray
     
  4. cwick

    cwick
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    It's part of the specs .. see under 'Display Features'.

    I suspect it's 'HDCP-Ready' because, AFAIK, there isn't a Hi-Def playback chain (i.e. HD-DVD/Bluray drive & suitable player) available yet - so it's 'ready' for when they are.

    Cheers, Carl.
     
  5. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    Why are you concerned about HDCP compliance, it has no bearing on the ability to connect to a projector with or without HDCP support, nor does it have any bearing on a DVD player's ability to play SD material, and by definiton no current player can play HD discs.

    The only time HDCP will be needed in the PC will be when .. or IF, it's far from certain that HD DVDs will be playable on PCs in the immediate future, DVD-As can't .. HD player software becomes available it's a racing certainty that the DVI output will have to be infested with HDCP, but that's some time off I think.
     
  6. cwick

    cwick
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    I dare say that the whole machine will have to become infested before it'll work - that whole 'trusted computing' malarkey - too many potential back doors without it. So you're video card might be good to go, but you'll probably have to toss out the rest of the box before it'll work.
     
  7. Ray

    Ray
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    Shouldn't I be concerned about future proofing ? I asked the question because I assume that at some point in the future both BluRay and HD-DVD drives will be available for PCs and therefore if I am going to get a graphics card I may as well make sure it can handle any HDCP content thrown at it (and it appears the card manafacturers are making them HDCP ready).

    This may be a lttle way down the line but I can afford to wait until things become a little clearer and just use a DVD player for now. I certainly won't be buying 2 different DVD players for the HD stuff !

    Cheers

    Ray
     
  8. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    Ah! I'm glad I'm not alone, whenever I suggest that Palladium/TCPA will be a requirement before Hollywood allow HD DVD playback I'm told b*ll*x. :)

    Indeed, but remember in this market-place 6 months is about as far ahead as is reasonable to look. :)

    The point here is what cwick and I are talking about, and that is just what hardware will have to be in place to support HD playback, if our view is right then it'll need a damn sight more than just a graphic cards capable of handling HDCP. In that environment it's quite possible that any graphics card today, even IF it claims some sort of HDCP-capability won't be any use.

    To understand this you'd need to understand what Palladium and TCPA is all about, but in a nutshell it's a 'trusted' environment, where 'trust' is placed by the content providers that users can't do what they [the providers] don't allow them to to and a crucial part of that is having total control over what software is used to process data .. in this case an HD DVD.

    Current grpahics cards are not secure as far as TCPA is concerned and thus could well not be usable, it's far too early to tell or make plans IMHO, buy what will see you through to the end of the year, then the landscape may become clearer.
     
  9. cwick

    cwick
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    Isn't Palladium dead already ? But something like it will be shoe-horned into Longhorn, I'm sure. They'll just give it a consumer-friendly name instead, try and sell it as some kind of anti-spyware/virus type tech (just spin the 'trusted' aspect a different way), and hope no-one notices that you're now enthralled to Hollywood, and whatever it decides is 'fair-use' ... including, no doubt, the ability to revoke your rights the playback that material that you thought you'd bought and payed for.

    Or maybe I'm just too cynical .....
     
  10. KraGorn

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    No, Palladium isn't dead, they just chose to cease talking about it by that name. They scaled back some of their more grandiose ideas, but the core concepts of TCPA are still there in WNGSCB, Windows Next Generation Secure Computing Base (the last acronym I recall seeing in this context).

    The central idea of having an execution environment where debuggers and the like just won't run, period, coupled with 'secure' hardware connections to prevent logic analysers et. el. Note that Intel are already producing chips that will form part of the 'Nexus', the protected heart of a TCPA-based system.

    And yes, key revocation is a core concept whereby software that's discovered to be hacked can be disabled.

    And that will apply to CE equipment too. One of the central concepts of HDMI/HDCP is that the source will read a recovation list off the media and then extract the keys from all devices in the signal chain looking for revoked devices. Thus if a specific brand of say, scaler, is discovered to breach HDMI license rules and allow access to unprotected data that device can be added to the revocation list and all users of that device won't be able to play that material. Users will have to take it up with the equipment supplier, the DVDCCA will wash their hands.
     
  11. Ray

    Ray
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    Ok I see where you're going with this now. HDCP could be a right can o' worms :thumbsdow . I had a look around the MS site for HDCP references but there didn't appear to be much other than some blurb about Digital Rights Management. Still it gave me the opportunity to download some of the HD WMV stuff - looks pretty good even on my 19" iiyama.

    I'll take your earlier advice and forget all about this for the time being.

    Do you know if PC card manafacturers are planning cards with HDMI output ?

    Ray
     
  12. KraGorn

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    I don't know of any but I would expect they will, both ATI and nVidia produce component outputs for home cinema applications and since CE equipment is likely to rapidly switch to HDMI and HD players will use HDMI then it makes sense to PC cards to do likewise.

    It's also not impossible I suspect that there could be some coupling between HD DVD playback and the HDMI chipset to ensure compliance .. I haven't read anything to that effect but given the MPAA's paranoia about not repeating the critical mistake of gambling on a software-only implementation of a weak encryption system it's a distinct possiblity.

    Apart from chips for PCs, Intel is also developing chips to go into CE equipment to implement a TCPA-like core environment there, the object of this among other things is to prevent the equivalent of SDI modding, firmware hacking and other user-friendly features.
     

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