Every year there are certain buzz words and specifications that get the industry into a frenzy. Certain fads come and go (3D) without the world ending but everyone wants to make sure they are prepared for whatever comes next in technology. For lack of a better term, “future proofing” a system becomes a top priority and rightfully so since hundreds and thousands of dollars are spent on equipment and labor on each job. I have never been much of a fan of the term “future proofing” as I feel there is no such thing. Through good design and installation practices, there can be “future prepping” which is what I would recommend. Install for today but be ready and have leeway in a system for the next “big” thing.
That brings us to HDCP 2.2. Currently, there are less than a handful of devices that require HDCP 2.2 for transmission. Everyone is saying they will have it but hardly anyone actually does. The more popular display companies are integrating it slowly but typically only on certain HDMI ports. Audio/Video receivers (AVR’s) are trickling into the action but again there are not many that have it right now. Much of this will change by the end of the year due to the huge demand for the specification but will there actually be that much more content to utilize it?
So what should an installer or system designer do in the meantime? Should the additional business be lost or remain a hostage to HDCP 2.2? Simply put, no. I personally have a whole-home A/V system and it’s fantastic, but that does not mean that it is right for all applications. If the customer wants a true home theater, it is ok to make dedicated for that purpose. If the majority of money and labor goes into a single room, then wouldn’t they want to get the most out of that room? This is when prepping comes into place. With many products that will be released over the next 2 years including matrixes that can be upgraded to HDCP 2.2 or will come out of the box HDCP 2.2 compliant, it is still a good idea to run the cables while you can to allow for the future growth and improvement of the whole system.