HDCP Pro 2.2 Could Lead to Black Screens

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InfoComm’s Future Trends sessions generally flag up new opportunities for the pro-AV industry, rather than dire warnings. In Tuesday’s event, however, L. William Nattress, Director of Channel Strategy at Biamp, advised delegates that failing to observe the requirements of HDCP Pro 2.2 content protection could lead to displays going black across entire campuses.

The new standard, he said, acknowledges that the pro-AV presentation community has “justifiable and legal reasons to distribute content and materials to multiple displays simultaneously.” To this end, the standard removes the limitations on the number of HDCP keys that can be distributed within a system. But, he added, there’s a catch. Systems must be periodically updated with the DCP’s “whitelist” and “blacklist” of manufacturers, so that only the DCP can ensure that only compliant equipment has been used.

For systems without a constant internet connection this means that “once a quarter, the licensed integrator must come on site and upload the new blacklist to the facility. If that does not occur, [DCP] are threatening that the entire facility could go black”—potentially an entire campus of AV presentation systems, he said.

Elsewhere in his wide-ranging presentation, Nattress reflected that always-on connectivity and on-the go communications are bringing us closer to “the golden ring of unified communications.” Rather than the communication channel being chosen by the initiator—who needs to know the recipient’s phone number, email address or social profile—“you’re just going to reach out to Bill Nattress and I, as the receiver, am going to choose how I wish to communicate with you at that instant in time.”

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