Ron, have you followed the very surprising move by most mainstream AVRs manufacturers (Denon/Marantz, Pioneer, Yamaha) to support full HDMI 2.0 bandwidth (18Gbs) in their 2014/15 models WITHOUT HDCP 2.2? Onkyo seems to be the only manufacturer to have chosen HDMI 2.0b (10.2 Gb modified 1.4 chipsets) with HDCP 2.2, same as on the Sony 500/600/1100ES. Apparently even for models released at the end of this year it is still not possible to get HDMI 2.0 chipsets with HDCP 2.2, one has to chose between full bandwidth or HDCP 2.2 support. What is this madness???
The explanation given by Pioneer for this move) see Pioneer SC LX88 - 9.2 ch, Dolby Amos, HDMI 2.0
) seems quite laughable, but it raises a few questions:
- Does this mean that availability of full HDMI 2.0a chipset with HDCP 2.2 is still limited, and won't happen this/next year either? Apparently the Panasonic UHDTV set that supported HDMI 2.0a this year speed wasn't supporting HDCP 2.2 either. Are such chipsets indeed coming as far as you know, or has something changed in the industry strategy / acceptation of this as the next standard?
- Do you believe that competing manufacturers are trying to deprive Sony of their advantage (Sony is still the only one providing 4K commercial content and HDCP 2.2 protected sources). Is this a move to protect the sales of their devices until Bluray 4K (a global standard, not a Sony exclusive one) is released (if it ever is)?
- Does this side move mean that HDCP 2.2 could be a dead-end as seen as too Sony-centric? And that buying HDCP 2.2 supporting equipment could be a poor way to future-proof our investments?
- Some users are raising backwards compatibility issue of HDCP 2.2 with earlier versions (not established, just fear), meaning possible issues with older equipment non HDCP 2.2 compatible. As users without an HDCP 2.2 AVR (the majority) have to connect HDCP 2.2 sources directly to their HDCP 2.2 display, there are few ways to test for this until HDCP 2.2 AVRs with only HDMI 2.0 in/outs with HDCP 2.2 are released, like the new Onkyos. What is your take on that? Could going for an HDCP 2.2 model (like the Onkyos) cause such issues?
I was honestly baffled when I realised that the latest AVRs from Pioneer had 8 HDMI 2.0 inputs and 3 HDMI 2.0 outputs but no HDCP 2.2. I thought HDCP 2.2 was part of the specs for HDMI 2.0 (which was why for example the Sony 500/600/1100ES could claim HDMI 2.0 support but not the latest JVC range which had exactly the same bandwidth/features limitations but didn't support HDCP 2.2).
I'd be really interested to find out what you (and others with insider knowledge of this suicidal industry) are making of this.