A system developed by the Intel Corporation, HDCP stands for High Bandwidth Digital Content Protection.
A form of DRM ( digital rights management ), HDCP is a technology to prevent the duplication and replication of copyrighted material, transmitted and accessed using HDMI and Hi definition equipment such as DVD devices.
HDCP encrypts the transmitted digial data between the video source i.e a DVD player or computer and the receiving device i.e the television, monitor or projection system.
The system relies on the manufacturer of digital equipment complying with HDCP licensing rules to prevent the transmitted data being duplicated ( because it is encrypted ) rather than stopping the actual data itself being copied.
HDCP is actively used and supported by the Motion Picture Association of America ( MPAA ) to prevent copying and duplication of High Bandwidth Digital Content.
The Encryption technology works by devices exchanging encryption keys between the source and displaying systems. This allows the source system to ensure that the displaying system is regarded as 'Safe' before the encrypted material can be played out.
Typical devices that will incorporate this HDCP encryption system are Set-top boxes ( STB ), HD-Televisions, satellite decoders and computer video cards that support HDMI outputs. and those that need to be able to understand the protocol ( so that the data may be forwarded correctly rather than decoded ) are Switchers, Upscalers, Signal Splitters.