HDCP Converters and Strippers Boxes
Do these represent a solution ?
Surely, many early adopters of HDTV feel screwed up with the present situation. These have paid top-dollar for the first HDTVs or any other “technically capable” display that hit the market, and now, just a few years down the line, their expense is doomed to early retirement!
In these circumstances, it is only logical to look around and try to find possible solutions that would hopefully serve as a safety valve that will extend by as much as possible, the usability of your HDTV till you will be in a position to upgrade your gear.
As already noted earlier, there is no way a non-compliant HDCP device can become compliant. This means that there is no way you can use some ‘magical’ HDCP converter. (Except HDfury !)
Similarly, you cannot use an HDCP/HDMI enabled A/V receiver to switch an HDCP source to a non-compliant display via HDMI (or DVI). The only possibility to connect an HDCP/HDMI source to a non-HDCP one is simply by stripping away the HDCP encryption and then sends a bit-perfect copy of the original signal to your display device – either through a component video connection, or through a non-HDCP DVI or HDMI port. In this manner, you will be re-creating an exact restriction-free replica of the original high definition content. This is exactly what HDCP strippers do!
How do HDCP Strippers work?
An HDCP stripper box is placed between your playback device (e.g. HD-DVD or Blu-ray player, etc) and your non-HDCP compliant display. It then behaves in a similar manner to a secure device. In order to achieve this, HDCP strippers use the same HDCP chips built into high definition displays. The HDCP source will see a compliant device, so after the authentication process, it will simply proceed to deliver its signal to the HDCP stripper, which will then create the non-restricted copy to forward to the sink device.
This means that an HDCP stripper can effectively enable HDCP sources like HDTV, HD DVD or Blu-ray Discs, to work at full high definition resolution with equipment using either analog or ‘unprotected’ DVI and HDMI inputs.
Probably, the first company that came out with such a device was the German company Spatz-Tech, with its DVIMAGIC HDCP stripper. This HDCP stripper was selling online at just under $500 US. It first appeared some time in mid-2005 and was sold and marketed as a DVI amplifier, yet its main attraction was its application as an HDCP stripper.
It seems that the DVIMAGIC is no longer available (all product links seems to have been removed from the company’s website). However, whatever is the case, we are sure that as long as there is a demand for these boxes, other electronics manufactures will come up with similar solutions as well.