Ask a Pro
Q. Why Can’t I Watch Blu-ray Movies on TV Via My Computer?
One of the components likely isn't HDCP compliant, says Bryant Moore.
July 29, 2008 by Bryant Moore

Q. When I connect my HP notebook (with Blu-ray drive and HDMI output) to my 42-in. Olevia 242t LCD TV, I get a “content protected” and “not allowed to play in current display mode” message when trying to watch Blu-ray movies (from Blockbuster). HP says some movies are copyright protected and will only play on the notebook screen. Have you ever heard of this before? Is there a way around or do I have to buy new player? - Ted

A. Welcome to the world of HDCP, or High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection! HDCP is a specification developed by Intel Corporation to protect digital entertainment content across the DVI/HDMI interface. Your issue is most likely because the HDMI output of your notebook is not HDCP compliant (the HDMI inputs on the Olevia are). Every piece along the digital chain must be HDCP compliant and adoption by computer manufacturers (across the video card, monitors and output ports) has been scarce, to say the least. This is done to prevent unauthorized copying of protected, digital content. Also, make sure the cable you are using is HDCP compatible as well. You may be able to view HDCP-protected content on your notebook’s internal display, but not on your LCD TV. Try playing a normal (unprotected, non-HD) DVD and see if you get a picture on the Olevia, if so, then it is the HDMI output on the notebook.


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A classically-trained musician and former network administrator, Bryant Moore has turned a lifelong passion for music and A/V equipment into a thriving business with Charlotte, NC based Moore Audio Design. He has over a decade of experience in designing and implementing home electronics systems.

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