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Ultra HD 4K products are here.  What do you need to know?  

There's often a lag time between the introduction of a new format like UltraHD 4K, and transition of hardware functions manufacturers implement with that format.  While new HDTV's have already hit the market, the standard used to connect is still slowly being rolled out, the most critical requirement being HDCP2.2 content encryption method.

So what exactly did that mean?

Using any HDMI cable/device has some implementation of HDCP content protection system in the video chain, from the Blu-Ray player, X-Box, or AppleTV, etc. to your HDTV, ranging from HDCP1.0/1.4 to 2.2, the last version being one that added UltraHD4K and HDR features.   Now, if you are a user that doesn't know or care what resolution you're watching your Netflix, you can stop reading here.

When is HDCP2.2 necessary?  When you're hankering for a new 4K resolution HDTV, and want to watch your videos in the full resolution glory.  While there are currently very few ways you can watch true 4K video, there are internet streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, Sony, and even YouTube offering 4K streaming of many of their titles, and while Blu-Ray is not available yet in 4K, there are players coming. 

Now, like everything having to do with HDCP, there will be plenty of angst among the enthusiast getting everything properly wired.  What should you expect?  For one, everthing in the video chain must be HDCP2.2 compliant.  And I mean everything.  The player, the receiver where audio and video are routed, the switch or splitter that controls delivery, and the TV you're using. 

You can surmise from my comments that HDCP 2.2 is not backwards compatible with all previous versions, and that would be correct.  Even worse, many 4K HDTVs sold early on may not meet the content protection standard.  And beyond the 4K video, there's the new HDR format.......

So what to do? 

If you use a switch or receiver between your video player source and your TV, HDCP2.2 devices will have to hooked up directly to get the proper resoltuion.  

If you're currently in the market for an A/V Receiver or a Switch/Distribution Amp/Matrix Switch, you may want to wait a little longer for equipment with HDC2.2 compatiblity.

Key Digital's Mike Tsinberg explain HDR.

Here's a highly imformative white paper on the HDR system by the founder and holder of 41 patents, Mike Tsinberg.  

High Dynamic Range (HDR) technology introduced by HDMI2.0 for ProAV


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