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old account Frank Eory
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re: Fun with HDMI/HDCP to DVI
old account Frank Eory   12/9/2011 11:02:57 PM
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Oddly enough, there are some displays -- mostly older HDTV sets -- that were made with DVI-D and HDCP support. My old Sony HDTV from 2003 is one of these. I was able to use a cheap HDMI-to-DVI-D cable to connect the HDMI output of the cable box to the DVI-D input on the TV, and this was actually the only way to achieve maximum picture quality by avoiding excess D/A and A/D conversions. But I have seen posts in other forums where people with my same model TV were unable to get an HD picture from other HDMI sources, like a Blu-ray player, even though, as far as I know, HDCP from 2003 is the same as HDCP today. Isn't it nice how Hollywood's fear of being Napsterized has obsoleted most early HD adopters' old equipment? I still have that TV and it still works beautifully. But in a world where HD video interfaces are almost exclusively HDMI with HDCP, I am fortunate to have an "old" Blu-ray player that will do 1080i or 720p on component analog video outputs. If/when that Blu-ray player breaks down, my old dinosaur HDTV will probably find its way to eBay, where maybe I could still get a few bucks for it :)

Rick_Hille
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CEO
re: Fun with HDMI/HDCP to DVI
Rick_Hille   12/9/2011 8:20:25 PM
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Frank, I think you're right about the legality; probably why the digital-only device I read about was only available in Japan for the brief time it appeared to be, and why it was termed a "PS3 game switcher". The item is called GAMESWITCH, which takes a DVI-D input cable adapter from the HDMI output plug of a PS3, and presents the digital HDCP-free stream on a DVI-D output. Ostensibly, GAMESWITCH muxes between two DVI-D input ports, so you can select between the PS3 and a PC video output to your monitor, but the real purpose (wink wink) was to strip HDCP out of the PS3 HDMI link to directly drive a non-HDCP DVI-D monitor. You've found basically what I too have uncovered, that the only legally available route is to go from HDMI to VGA, which effectively obsoletes any DVI-D only devices that didn't implement HDCP.

old account Frank Eory
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Rookie
re: Fun with HDMI/HDCP to DVI
old account Frank Eory   12/9/2011 4:46:42 PM
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Indeed, you have stumbled into the issue of HDCP on HDMI. Your source, the tuner, is enforcing HDCP encryption and handshaking, but your monitor does not support HDCP, so there's no way you are going to make a simple HDMI-to-DVI cable work with this setup. You need an active adapter that implements HDCP and outputs clear (unencrypted) video -- a device sometimes referred to as an HDCP stripper. An online search reveals several options, and $40 seems to be about the cheapest. Note that any of these devices is going to do the "comical domain hop" from digital to analog, and then your monitor will convert it back to digital for the LCD display. I have never seen a device that simply strips off the HDCP encryption and leaves the high-def video in digital form. Such a device would be of questionable legality and would most likely result in a lawsuit against its manufacturer.

Rick_Hille
User Rank
CEO
Fun with HDMI/HDCP to DVI
Rick_Hille   12/6/2011 9:26:05 PM
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Here's hoping some readers have some in-depth knowledge of this topic. I rescued a failed Viewsonic 22inch LCD monitor($5 at a yard sale) and got it working. Found a shorted ceramic cap on the LCD display panel card rather than the usual suspect electrolytics in the SMPS on the system interface board. That's another story. Anyways, I recently thought of using it as an LCD TV, fed from a tuner with HDMI output. Since the DVI input worked on the PC I originally hooked it up to, I bought a cheap HMDI to DVI cable adapter to use the tuner. No luck. I tried several different HDMI sources; still no luck. My laptop, which has HDMI, wouldn't even acknowleged a monitor was attached. I tested the adapter on a 2 year old ACER monitor (the Viewsonic's production year was 2006) and that worked fine from all sources, hence the cable and adapter are OK. After some intensive web searching, I've determined that I'm shaking hands with good ol' Mr. HDCP. There is no way I can get HMDI to stream into the DVI port of this monitor due to lack of HDCP support. Why Viewsonic would build such a nice display with DVI minus HDCP support is perhaps another story. My simple solution is to use the Viewsonic for my main computer monitor and use my newer ACER as a TV, the latter having a bit better aspect ratio for HD format. This works but it really burns me that the questionable underlying purpose of HDCP manifests in such silly device compatibility issues. So my hopes were raised by some chatter in archived forums, dating around 2008, about a game box adapter that was supposed to connect the Sony PS3 HDMI to non-HDCP DVI display monitors, but from what I can make of the discussions, was only sold in Japan. Do any of you readers have knowledge of this, and where one could aquire said fabled unit? Its gotta be a lot cheaper by now since all new production monitors support HDMI, and HDMI was supposed to support HDCP from day 1. I found a box for around $40 that converts HDMI to VGA, but this results in a comical domain-hop connection where digital source is converted to analog and then recaptured into digital by the monitor's VGA input ADC (thankfully it wasn't DVI-D only).



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