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127 posts

Master Geek

# 243734 29-Dec-2018 09:45
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Hi all,


I have just purchased a Sony X90F TV and have been watching some 4K content on the inbuilt youtube app, and now that I am getting sick of watching almost meaningless videos which are only really good for showing off a TV pictures quality until the watcher gets bored, I would like to look into being able to play some 4k HDR documentaries which my partner and I could watch and find interesting, while admiring the quality of the video at the same time.


We do not have anything hooked up to the TV except a sound bar, no DVD or Blue Ray player at all, so we thought downloading a 4K HDR documentary would be out best bet, but we want to know if we download a 4K documentary (something like BBC Dynasties when available) what is the best way to get this on to the TV without compromising the quality, I was thinking USB would be easy but was worried that the TV reading the data from a USB might not be 4k HDR quality as I am not sure if a USB slot can transfer such high quality content, is that correct or is USB able to handle that content fine with no reduction in quality?


The other option would be simply to hook the laptop to the TV with the HDMI cable, I am assuming that would be fine and has no loss of quality? its just more of a hassle doing it that way and takes more time.



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1385 posts

Uber Geek

  # 2151770 29-Dec-2018 10:18
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Yes-ish, but your main issue will likely be HDCP 2.2 compliance.

HDCP works by creating a secure tunnel (like vpn) between a two devices (a source and destination) which is called a “sink”. My understanding is that when connected a handshake occurs where encryption keys are exchanged. If they are wrong you get a blank screen.

It is possible to add other devices into the mix (called repeaters) which also participate in the secure connection.

The other potential issue may be data rate - HDMI 2.0a (4k) and HDMI 2.1 (8k) are typical, but I think USB 3.0 should be fine - may require a bit of research. I dont think HDCP really cares about the cable type.

Software Engineer


127 posts

Master Geek

  # 2151773 29-Dec-2018 10:35
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Yes I had to Google what HDCP was when looking at the specs of the TV when I bought it, after finding out what is was I knew that it may effect everything I download but it seems a lot of TV''s have it these days, making it harder for those who like to download free content.

Most (if not all) of my content is... well you know....
I was wondering HDCP would block any content downloaded from the pirate bay or other torrents etc?

Is there any way to bypass HDCP?


1385 posts

Uber Geek

  # 2151786 29-Dec-2018 11:11
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HDCP has nothing to do with DRM from memory - it just creates a secure connection as far as I know.

In terms of HDR (High Dynamic Range), I think both source device and end device need to support HDR10 (or 10+) as the requirements for that are 10 bit color (and a minimum/maximum range for contrast).

I have never really given any thought as to whether thre original content has to be HDR encoded. But I think blue ray is only 8 bit, so not HDR compatible I guess.

Software Engineer


5799 posts

Uber Geek

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  # 2151788 29-Dec-2018 11:13
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HDCP only really matters if you want to play from an original source like Blu-ray.  Your issue is the USB slot is probably not USB3.  The bandwidth capability of the port will limit.  4K HDR needs high bandwidth, hence needing a HDMI 2 cable vs 1.4 etc.  Even HEVC sources can range from 20-90Mbps sustained bandwidth requirements.

210 posts

Master Geek

  # 2151825 29-Dec-2018 12:06
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You could try Plex, or even Kodi?

3885 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2151850 29-Dec-2018 13:21

If you have HDCP issues, you will find that torrented content will be the only content that will play at max resolution.

Flatmate owns an old plasma tv that doesn't have HDCP. You can't use it to watch legal HD content, as the playback device simply downscales the resolution.

466 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 2151854 29-Dec-2018 13:34
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If I'm reading your post right, you're putting the compressed (i.e. .mp4 or .mkv) version of the video on a USB drive and playing that? That will work fine, even over USB2. USB2 has a maximum transfer rate of ~450mbps, which is tonnes even for high bitrate 4k video.




You might have issues if the USB drive is cheap and slow, but a decent quality one should be fine.


3601 posts

Uber Geek

  # 2151956 29-Dec-2018 17:52
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As a side note, I've played multi-channel, UHD HDR content on a 2018 Sony TV (sorry, can't remember the model code) via USB.


It was using the USB 3.0 port (it is blue)... and it worked well.


Dolby audio only in this particular case, not lossless.



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