German electronics company Spatz offers two new devices that seem to not have received the attention they deserve. As German IT magazine c't reports in its current issue, the "DVI HDCP" and "DVI MAGIC" hardware converters foil the movie studios' attempts to deliver HDTV signals over "secured" lines only in order to prevent high quality video copying.
The converters don't do anything to the "High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection" (HDCP) technology, licensed by Digital Content Protection, LLC, which works by modifying both display devices and host graphics systems to provide a protected link between the host (video transmitter) and the display device (video receiver) - see Wikipedia definition.
Instead, it uses the HDCP chips ususally built into high definition displays, so that HDCP "protected" signal sources uncomplainingly deliver their signal to the boxes. They then convert them to RGBHV or unprotected DVI signals.
c't reports that when testing the boxes, a LCD TV set without HDCP support displayed pictures in all modi and resolutions, from PAL/PAL Progressive to NTSC/NTSC Progressive and 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixels) without problems. The built in HDCP chips' labels had been removed, so that it was impossible to find out where they came from. c't also reckons that chip supplier Silicon Image and its licencees will look more closely at whom they sell their parts in the future.
Which would be a pity, I might add.Posted by Matthias Spielkamp at 09.07.05 18:12