How to Test for HDCP

By David Lipscomb

High Definition Content Protection, or HDCP, is the protocol that protects copyrighted movies and games from unauthorized duplication. HDCP protects this content by enabling hardware and software with the technology, forcing the disc, display and media player into what is known as a "handshake." You can perform a quick test to verify your display is HDCP-compliant.

Things You'll Need

  • Blu-ray or DVD player
  • Copy protection-compliant movie
  • HDMI or DVI cable
  • Monitor or television

Step 1

Locate the Digital Video Interface (DVI) or High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) connector port on the back of your Blu-ray or DVD player. Plug the cable in to the output port.

Step 2

Insert a commercially-sold Blu-ray or DVD. These most often contain digital copy protection. Press play to begin.

Step 3

Connect the other end of the DVI or HDMI cable to a free port on your display. Failure to see a picture indicates possible HDCP failure, either from the media or the equipment failing HDCP verification.

Tips & Warnings

  • If all else fails, use the component video connections. As long as the source device does not limit resolution over these analog connections, there is a possibility that you can still display high-definition video to a non-compliant display.
  • Remember that all digital media and hardware must be HDCP compliant for the signal to remain intact. If any one part of the chain is broken, no picture will be displayed.