Some owners of Apple’s latest MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro computers are reporting that certain iTunes Store-purchased videos will no longer play through their external displays, producing an error message blaming the displays’ lack of HDCP protection. HDCP, or High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection, is an Intel-developed form of copy protection that prevents copying of digital audio and video content that travels across HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI, or other video cables from a playback device to a display. While Apple has previously included HDCP protection in certain content displayed via the Apple TV’s HDMI port, it is only now locking down the external display functionality of its computers. According to a post on Ars Technica, it appears that older iTunes video files using Fairplay Version 2 or earlier DRM seem to work fine, while some files using Version 3 or later are protected, and will not work when played through a non-HDCP compliant monitor.

Charles Starrett

Charles Starrett was a senior editor at iLounge. He's been covering the iPod, iPhone, and iPad since their inception. He has written numerous articles and reviews, and his work has been featured in multiple publications.