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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » ACS 2048 and HDCP

   
Author Topic: ACS 2048 and HDCP
Fernando Caldeira
Film Handler

Posts: 45
From: Lisbon , Portugal
Registered: Mar 2010


 - posted 10-15-2014 05:06 AM      Profile for Fernando Caldeira   Author's Homepage   Email Fernando Caldeira   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hello everyone,

Has anyone been having HDCP problems with the "new" Barco ACS2048?

We just got a new one and everytime I try to hook up an Imac through HDMI to DVI the ACS blocks it because of HDCP violation.

Projector is a Nec 3240S with doremi IMB, but the ACS is conected to the earlyer board so it can go via dual DVI. (yes We have both boards on the projector). I though this could be the problem, old board not HDCP complient, but non of the contend was HDCP protected... so...wy is the ACS blocking it?

Is there anyway to "turn off" the HDCP on the ACS?

Has anyone else been having this problem? How are you going around it?

Cheers
Fernando

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12539
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 10-15-2014 06:34 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Fernando,

The ACS2048 is absolutely a difficult device when it comes to HDCP. Due to the era in which it was made, it is bound to remain so. Barco has tried to improve its compatibility with various firmware updates. Make sure you are on the latest...1.11 since that will have all of the HDCP updates.

The next question I have is what is coming between the source and the ACS2048. If there is a switcher...which typically has to be a "repeater" then you are opening yourself to potential problems there too.

I would also start your troubleshooting by going down to 8-bit color on the output and using just a single DVI cable going to one of the NEC's DVI inputs (all of the NEC series 2 projectors used HDCP compliant input modules (Legacy Boards). You can prove this to yourself by plugging around the ACS2048 and going straight to the projector on the "other" DVI input. In fact, in our current designs, we only have the ACS2048 in use when either a seamless switch is required/desired or actual scaling is required (aspect ratio correction). For normal BluRay shows with no scaling, we go straight to the projector to avoid potential HDCP issues.

Anyone that deals with HDCP sources will get burned by them, sooner or later. You can be completely HDCP compliant and STILL get problems, as you have experienced.

If you are using a switcher ahead of the ACS...does that switcher act as a "sink" as well as a "source"? If not, then you need to use such a switcher...you want to avoid things that act as "repeaters." They will get you HDCP conflict issues. Newer/better switcher will act as a sink to what is plugged into it and as a source to the next device...thus the HDCP handshaking only is between two devices and not a chain of them. With devices like Extron's switchers, you can even have it tell the Apple product to deactivate HDCP (via the EDID) so that non-HDCP content will not check HDCP (HDCP content cannot be played in this mode).

If you are using a switcher or extender AFTER the ACS2048...you will want to avoid that too as the ACS2048 will perform better talking directly to the projector and again avoiding a repeater. If the device is a sink/source...then again, your results will be much better.

Unfortunately, the various manufacturers use different names for their devices that can act as a sink and source. Names like "Key Minder" or "Quick Switch" are clues (without the sink/source thing, you can't ever have a fast HDMI transition since the whole HDCP handshake would have to occur...if the device already acts as a sink...the source is already is "happy" and won't muck things up on the switch.

Lastly...there are devices out there that will "condition" an HDCP signal to make it much more reliable that you can seek out. I've found that those devices tend to come/go on the market though. But first things first...make sure your unit is running on the latest firmware and don't be afraid to bring your concerns/complaints to Barco to make them aware of the particular conflict. I will say, I have ACS2048s in numerous locations running without HDCP conflicts but I have DEFINITELY have seen conflicts with them and now take the precautions when using it (it IS the BEST DCinema scaler out there and one can get everything scaled just right when it comes to aspect ratios...we just integrated one with an Extron Touchlink system where the operator can seamlessly switch between most any source and scale it as necessary...it now supports multiple output frequencies so one can even eliminate motion artifacts).

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Fernando Caldeira
Film Handler

Posts: 45
From: Lisbon , Portugal
Registered: Mar 2010


 - posted 10-17-2014 04:57 PM      Profile for Fernando Caldeira   Author's Homepage   Email Fernando Caldeira   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Steve,

The ACS is on 1.10 I´ll upgrade ASAP.

As to the conecting the Mac, I used a simple HDMI to DVI cable direct to the ACS. (We use it to connect a WD Oplay witch I´m trying to avoid using but the cable is OK).

What is wierd for me is that non of the content on the Mac was HDCP protected but stll, everytime we got the resolution up to 1920*1080 the ACS would lock up.

Thanks
Fernando

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12539
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 10-17-2014 05:42 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Apple products DEFAULT to HDCP active for ALL content. Via EDID, one can tell an apple product to deactivate HDCP (only affects you if the Apple product is asked to play HDCP content so normally it isn't an issue). That said, you should be okay connecting the computer straight up. I would start first by changing the output of the ACS to 8-bit and making sure that your NEC is looking at just one of the DVI inputs rather than a DVI-Twin mode to get 10 or 12 bits.

Note, you can also put an EDID emulator on the MAC to "tell it" that the display is non HDCP compliant.

Don't forget, you can also inquire from Barco about the problem to see why it isn't handling HDCP correctly.

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