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PS4 HDCP toggle must be off to record games, on to watch video apps

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Sony Computer Entertainment via Polygon

The PlayStation 4's most recent software update includes an all or nothing toggle for High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) that enables or disables the feature for all apps on Sony's newest console — and prevents some apps from being used when it's off.

HDCP encrypted signals are designed to prevent unlicensed devices from receiving or recording audio and video signals. Removing HDCP from the PS4 will allow users to directly capture video from the console.

Released today, system software update 1.70 adds an "Enable HDCP" option in the Settings>System menu. Toggling the setting from its on to off state or vice versa brings the message seen above, which warns that all applications will be closed to enact the changes.

Video apps like Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, Netflix and the WWE Network require HDCP to be turned on, so console users with HDCP disabled will be greeted with a message instructing them to to return to the menu and enable HDCP when launching these apps.

HDCP settings on other consoles like the Xbox and Xbox One are dynamic and automatically disabled when playing games but enabled for select apps. Retail PlayStation 3 units enable HDCP, while debug units allow it to be disabled. Users can also get around HDCP on consoles that support multiple outputs by using non-HDMI connections like component cables.

You can find the full list of changes and additions in 1.70 on the official PlayStation 4 website.

We've reached out to Sony for further information on its PS4 HDCP implementation and will update this article with more information as we receive it.