DTCP is a "link protection" technology that protects audio and audiovisual content, when transmitted between digital entertainment products, against unauthorized copying, interception and tampering within the home, while ensuring that content can be viewed and copied on home networked devices. DTCP enables audio and audiovisual content to be transmitted, in an encrypted form, only to those devices along the home network or personal network that have authenticated compliance with DTCP.

DTCP technology is defined in a Specification, with supplements mapping DTCP to particular protocols. "Informational" (non-confidential) versions of the specifications can be downloaded here. Full versions of the Specification are available upon execution of an Adopter Agreement.

DTCP2 is an advanced version of DTCP, developed to protect enhanced image content (such as 4K, 8K, HDR). "Informational" (non-confidential) versions of the specifications can be downloaded here. Full versions of the Specification are available upon execution of a DTCP2 Adopter Agreement.

What are DTCP and DTCP2?

DTCP and DTCP2 are methods of protecting audio and audiovisual entertainment content over high-speed, high-bandwidth bidirectional digital interfaces on consumer electronics entertainment and information products. Using DTCP or DTCP2, content can travel between these devices or across a digital home or personal network. Content that arrives to your home in protected form remains protected against unauthorized retransmission and copying.

DTCP was developed in 1998 to fulfill the need to protect digital content (such as content received from digital broadcasts and on DVD), initially over IEEE1394 output. Since then, DTCP has been mapped to Internet Protocol (DTCP-IP) and other digital interfaces such as MOST, USB, op i.LINK.

To meet the need to protect enhanced image content such as 4K, 8K, and HDR content, DTLA developed an advanced version of the technology known as "DTCP2". DTLA began licensing DTCP2 in 2017. DTCP2 was designed to co-exist with DTCP; however, DTCP and DTCP2 are not interoperable. The new DTCP2 Specification is licensed under a new and separate DTCP2 Adopter Agreement with additional Compliance Rules and Robustness Rules.

Balanced Protection for Content Owners and Consumers

Content owners (such as motion picture studios and television production companies) license their movies and shows for transmission over cable and satellite services, or for distribution on media like Blu-Ray and DVD discs. All of these digital services and media apply some form of protection for the content. Some, like pay-per-view services or purchased disc media, require payment to view particular content -- typically, these are protected against retransmission outside the home and against copying. Other services, like pay subscription TV channels such as HBO or Showtime, are protected against retransmission outside the home but permit the consumer to make a copy for personal or home use. But without any protection, these content owners would be reluctant to release content in digital and High Definition formats, within just a few months after theatrical release.

DTCP/DTCP2 gives these content owners the protection that encourages the early release and licensing of high-value motion picture content. And, DTCP/DTCP2 helps ensure that consumers retain in the digital world the kind of flexible personal use we all have enjoyed for decades:

  • View Content Anywhere in the Home

    When you network your devices together, either one to one or across a home network, DTCP/DTCP2 enables you to share content anywhere and everywhere in the home. The protection is there, but it's not a barrier to your network.

  • Record for Personal Enjoyment

    DTCP/DTCP2 established "Encoding Rules" that set a ceiling on the level of protection. In countries such as Japan, EU, Australia and New Zealand, Terrestrial broadcast channels can be copied without restriction. You should always be able to record a copy of programming from Basic and Premium subscription channels, though you may not be able to make more copies from that copy. Programming that you pay separately to view at your convenience, such as video on demand or pay per view, can be set as "Copy Never" (since the price to view may be less than the price to own).

  • Move Recorded Content Between Devices

    DTCP/DTCP2 provides device manufacturers the ability to move a single copy from one device to another. For example, if you have made a single copy on a DVR of a subscription channel program, you can move that single copy from the DVR to a DVD recordable disc. Or, from a DVR in the family room to a different DVR in the bedroom. Or, from a DVR to a portable player.

  • A High Degree of Interoperability

    DTCP/DTCP2 works with other technologies to create a seamless experience for the consumer. For example, content protected with DTCP/DTCP2 can be "handed off" to a different digital technology for recording, or to your television set, or to another type of digital output on your home products. In this way, DTCP/DTCP2 helps to promote interoperability among many types of devices, and many technologies, from many manufacturers.

  • Keeping Consumers in Mind

    DTCP/DTCP2 let consumers enjoy their reasonable and customary viewing and recording practices at home. Through interoperability, DTCP/DTCP2 help to promote digital networking of your media throughout the home and on personal media devices. In countries where it is customary, under the Encoding Rules, DTCP/DTCP2 assures consumers the ability to time-shift and record programming in digital formats, as they have done for decades with analog programming. Indeed, most consumers will never know DTCP/DTCP2 are there. But because DTCP/DTCP2 provide robust protection, motion picture producers have better incentives to get more compelling programming into consumers' homes, sooner, through a variety of media and services. And enjoying great content at home, when and how you want it, is ultimately what DTCP/DTCP2 are about.

More details? See our Overview presentation.