Originally Posted by toddklost
I recently read somewhere the Sapphire X1600s (and most Xxx00 ATI cards) are "HDCP ready", meaning these ATI chips allow a Sapphire or PowerColor to put in the HDCP chip but at extra cost to them of course. My Sapphire X1600 Pro AGP card has a DVI on the top and a VGA at the bottom, but it did come with a VGA-DVI converter so I'll try to see if I get HDCP through there.
Some implementations of graphics cards store HDCP keys on an external CryptoROM; this adds additional costs and complexities to the solution, as it requires board manufacturers to manage different configurations.
ATI Radeon HD 2000 series follow a different approach: The HDCP keys are stored directly on-chip, ensuring that all ATI Radeon HD 2000 ASICs are HDCP-ready2, thus enabling end-users to playback protected content. This implementation helps in lowering the cost of the total solution for HDCP compliant boards, and provides an easier and more reliable offering. In other words HDCP keys are a part of the overall solution provided by ATI.
This same approach was followed for the Radeon HD 3000 series as well. It took me awhile to come by this information so I thought it would be nice to share with other people looking for the same answers. Sorry, looks like I haven't made it to the 3 post limit, no links allowed but heres the name of the article on the ATI site that provides a lot of good info: