HDCP 2.2 vs 2.3-Explained with buying guide

Think HDMI 2.2 is all you need for a 4K TV to work? Guess again, please. If you want to keep your content safe, you have to use a new technology called HDCP 2.3 that isn’t backwards compatible. Many new 4K devices don’t even work with it.

In other words, you may not be able to watch all future 4K programming on your current 4K TV or even the receiver you purchased this year.

It’s important to keep copyrighted material safe. You have to choose between HDCP 2.2 and 2.3 because that’s what you need to do. Which one is better?

Let’s find out what this is.

A Quick Intro to HDCP

HDCP was first created by Intel engineers but has now spread across the computer and entertainment sectors. It’s very uncommon for HDCP to be mistaken for HDMI, although while the two are linked, they are not the same. In addition to HDMI, HDCP protects and prevents piracy in three of the most common connection methods. DVI and DisplayPort are the additional options. Just remember that all of your devices and HDMI connections must be HDCP-compliant if you want to watch 4K material, as HDMI has been almost universally used. As far as we’re concerned, “devices” includes both the source (such as a streaming box or Blu-ray player), as well as a cable that connects the source to the receiving device (such as a projector or TV). Content won’t play in 4K or may not play at all if even one component does not have HDCP certification. In addition, all components must use the same version of HDCP, otherwise you will only get full HD and not 4K video. As at the time of this writing, HDCP 2.2 is the applicable version.

HDCP doesn’t apply if you’re using a smart TV or projector and streaming material directly from the operating system (i.e. through built-in applications) instead than through an external device or cable. As long as you’re using cables to connect many devices, it doesn’t matter.

Another point to keep in mind is that the video game industry hasn’t adopted HDCP, preferring to build alternative security techniques like Denuvo. There’s no need to worry about HDCP if you’re just going to use a 4K monitor to play games.

What Is HDCP For?

It is necessary to create handshakes in order to verify that the content has been accurately generated and protected from unauthorized reproduction. The HDCP security key is aggressively sought after by devices configured for HDCP communication. This means that if any of the keys are not there, devices think that security has been breached or that you’re attempting to play pirated copies of movies, television series, and other content kinds.

Content owners have found HDCP to be a valuable tool in copy protection during the last 15 years. 4K has made the intricacy of the protocol all the more evident to consumers, which is a good thing.

Are There Different Versions of HDCP?

Yes. HDCP 1.4 and HDCP 2.2 are the most widely used standards as of early 2020. That’s why the protocol is confused with HDMI in the first place. HDCP 1.4 and HDCP 2.2, on the other hand, were released at around the same time as HDMI 1.3/1.4 and HDMI 2.0, respectively. When it comes to 4K projectors and TVs, “HDCP 2.2” is usually always written on the HDMI connectors.

There are two different versions of HDCP: HDCP 2.3 and HDCP 2.2. HDCP 2.2 is still necessary for 4K pleasure even after HDMI 2.1 becomes widely available in 2020. Additionally, in 2018 for HDMI and 2019 for DisplayPort (which is used in USB Type-C), the HDCP 2.3 protocol was introduced to increase the degree of security protection.

How Does HDCP Affect 4K?

If you want to watch 4K content on multiple devices, you must ensure that all of your components are HDCP 2.2 compliant. For example, connecting a 4K streaming box to a non-HDCP certified HDMI connection on a cheap 4K TV, monitor, or projector is the most straightforward case. The screen will go blank and an error message will appear. Even if you get to the main menu, some apps, such as Netflix, won’t run and will display an error code or message when you try to run them. As previously said, HDCP has not yet been adopted by gaming consoles, so you’ll be able to play games on them, but entertainment applications will not work.

If you can’t obtain 4K but instead have to settle for 1080p full HD, this is a more prevalent and frustrating situation. The problem arises when you have a 4K projector, TV, or monitor that doesn’t support HDCP 1.4. In contrast to the previous instance, in which there was no handshake, we now have a handshake that is only partially complete. When a handshake cannot be completed, HDCP senses that something is amiss with the content yet believes it is authentic. Only 1080p full HD, not 2160p super HD, or 4K, will be available if this happens. You’ll be wasting your money if you buy 4K hardware and content.

What is HDCP 2.3?

It’s HDCP, a connection security standard created by Intel and licensed by Digital Content Protection LLC, that’s extensively used (DCP). In order to ensure the integrity of digitally protected audio and video material, HDCP is designed to be used. Source devices like set-top boxes or dongles may be connected to sync devices like DTVs or other display devices through a network connection.

What is HDCP 2.2?

For non-4K material, you don’t need to bother about HDCP 2.2 at all.

You cannot play or view 4K UHD/HDR material without an HDCP 2.2 compatible source (TV stick/box, blu-ray player or console, etc.) and an HDCP 2.2 compliance receiver (TV, projector, monitor, etc.).

Splitters, switches, matrices and AVRs, as well as your soundbar or home theater, are all included in this category. Streaming 4K material necessitates the use of an HDCP 2.2-protected interface, so any devices you use must comply.


It is a way to protect the copyright of the video. Most commercial UHD videos use HDCP 2.2 or higher. It would also need to be part of the HDMI implementation on any device you plan to use to play commercial 4K or higher sources, pass the video through, process the video, or show that video. There are a lot of things you need to do to get the 4K video that comes with a UHD disc, like make sure that your player, AV receiver, and TV are all at least HDCP 2. You wouldn’t be able to get more than 1080p or none at all at all from the source without this compliance.

Most sources are not encoded to take use of the latest capabilities of HDMI 2.1, therefore HDCP 2.3 compliance is unlikely unless you’re dealing with 8K sources. If your receiver doesn’t support HDMI 2.1, you won’t have any problems using HDCP 2.2 instead of 2.3, because your receiver doesn’t support HDMI 2.1.

Different types of TVs can support HDCP 2.22 or 2.2.3 protocols. This depends on what kind of TV you have and when it was made. When it comes to HDCP 2.3, it is backwards compatible with the previous version, however HDCP 2.2 is not.

What’s new about HDCP version 2.2 ?

It’s expected that when UHD content becomes more widely accessible over the following several years, HDCP 2.2 – the most recent version – will enable 4K video transmissions.

Theoretically – HDCP 2.2 is a more secure protection system for all of the new material that filmmakers and TV production firms are investing in to safeguard 4K UHD video.

HDCP uses a series of encryption keys to verify that all devices in an AV system are HDCP 2.2 compliant (think of it, maybe, as a series of digital ‘handshakes’ between devices) and that they are not ‘rogue’ HDCP non-compliant recording devices.

Additionally, HDCP 2.2 includes a ‘locality check,’ which prevents long-distance sharing of HDCP 2.2-protected media. To authenticate the signal, the locality check delivers a random number from the Transmitter that must be received by the Receiver within 20 milliseconds.

The Newest HDCP 2.3 specification

Errata updates to the locality check protocol, responsible for certifying the distance between receiving devices and transmitting devices, were published in July 2021 and are supported by Synopsys’ DesignWare HDCP 2.3 IP embedded security modules (ESMs).

Customer options are available with DesignWare HDCP 2.3 IP for customers that wish to use the pre-errata version for compatibility with current field installations.

Users of DesignWare HDCP 2.3 ESMs may quickly and perhaps without the need for RTL modifications update to newer standards. Allows for a less-invasive update that eliminates the need for silicon re-spins.


Digital media and display technologies are going through a lot of changes. More important video and audio content is now being streamed between a wide range of large, high-resolution devices that are becoming more common. System designers and content creators want to make sure that this content is properly protected. For HDCP 2.2, it is important to keep 4K UHD digital content safe as it moves between HDCP-protected digital interfaces on both the transmitter and the receiver, so that it doesn’t get stolen. On the other hand, the HDCP 2.3 security protocol is widely used in the industry for a wide range of interfaces, such as HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB Type-C. It is also changing with the technology. For the interfaces, security solutions are needed, not only to meet the most up-to-date standards but also to protect against malicious attacks.

Flexible and future-proof HDCP solutions need to be able to quickly adapt to new threats, and they need to be ready to work with new specification changes as much as possible without having to re-spin the chips that make them.


This FAQ is here to solve some of your problems that that may arise while walking in the pavement of this sound system.

Is HDCP 2.2 the same as Arc?

Because your TV has an HDMI jack marked “ARC,” you can’t use it to watch HDCP 2.2-protected content if you want to. It doesn’t matter if the TV has an HDMI port called “ARC.” If it doesn’t have an HDCP 2.2 port, connect the receiver to the HDCP 2.2 port on the TV with an HDMI cable.

Is HDMI 2.1 or 2.2 better?

It all comes down to how much bandwidth you have. HDMI 2.0 has a bandwidth capacity of 18Gbps. HDMI 2.1 has a bandwidth capacity of 48Gbps, which is a lot more than that. HDMI 2.1 can send a lot more information because it has a lot more bandwidth. In a nutshell, this means better video and faster frame rates.

Is HDCP 2.2 cracked?

On 16 September, Intel confirmed that the code had been cracked. Intel has threatened legal action against anyone producing hardware to circumvent the HDCP, possibly under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.