What is HDCP on PS5: Should I disable HDCP, and does HDCP affect games?

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For many people, HDCP will mean absolutely nothing to them. Up until now, its existence has probably had no consequences to them at all. But if you are someone who plans on creating and sharing video of your gaming exploits on your PS5, then HDCP is going to impact you. So here is a handy little explainer, to tell you all you need to know about HDCP.

What is HDCP?

HDCP stands for high-bandwidth digital copyright protection. As wordy as this is, it is, in essence, a means of preventing external devices from recording video from your PS5. The reasons for having such a feature are pretty simple. The PS5 is much more than a gaming machine; it gives you access to a wide range of media apps, such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Disney Plus. There is an obvious problem if you were able to record video on the PS5 while accessing any of these apps. So that's the reason HDCP exists on your PS5.

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The question of whether you should disable it, is what we will look at next.

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Should I disable HDCP?

Given that HDCP is designed to prevent video from being recorded, if you are someone who plans to use a game capture device such as an Elgato, then HDCP is going to be a problem. You would need to disable HDCP to be able to use this sort of device and capture video. If you do want to disable HDCP, then the steps are pretty simple:

  • Go to Settings and then click on System
  • Choose HDMI to get a list of options
  • Turn off HDCP by hitting the toggle next to Enable HDCP
PSX PlayStation 5 HDCP settings
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PlayStation 5 settings

This will enable you to start using game capture devices. But the caveat to be aware of, is that it will prevent you from using many of the streaming services that are available on PS5. You can alternate between having it on and off, should you need to. But whether watching the likes of Netflix through your PS5 is the best option, is another question.

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Does HDCP affect games?

Another question people ask about this is whether or not it will have any impact on the games themselves. The answer is that HDCP won't have any discernible impact on your games. It is in place purely to prevent video from being recorded, so it won't cause any changes to the way your games run. So it will depend entirely on your set-up, and how you intend to use your console, as to whether it makes sense to change the settings. Or, indeed, whether it will have any impact on you at all.

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