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Windows Media Center Display Driver Error on Dell U2713HM Using DisplayPort + DVI Adventure

Posted on Wednesday, March 6, 2013 @ 09:43:25 PM CST by David Yee [] [read 6454 times]

Tips: Windows-world
I got my brand spanking new Dell 2713HM today- wanted it for its 2560x1440 resolution and of course excellent reviews abound. I read that it did NOT include a DisplayPort cable, so I ordered one from Amazon for $9. This, turned out to be a waste of money as you will see. I was under some dumb notion that if I wanted to do 2560x1440 on this 27" beast of a monitor, I needed dual DVI cables, which I thought I was too messy. That's why I bought the DisplayPort cable which supports 2560/1440p, unlike single DVI and HDMI.

I was able to get the 2560x1440 beautifully on the U2713HM with the DisplayPort cable. I definitely liked it better than the bulky DVI cable I was using for my former 24" 1920x1200 monitor. Then I was like- uh oh, almost time for the game. So I fired up Windows Media Center on my Windows 8 PC and was greeted by this message:

Display driver error

The video playback device does not support playback of protected content.

WTF? I rebooted the computer, but same thing. Turned out that Windows Media Center currently STILL DOES NOT support HDCP over DisplayPort. Most cable channels require DRM in order to display, and HDCP is the mechanism where this copy-protection is ensured.

So I was like crap- what am I going to do? Then I noticed the 2713HM only has a single DVI connection. Then after a little more research, it turns out that DVI Dual Link can be a single cable, and the DVI-I Dual Link cable the U2713HM came with fully supports 2560x1440. I am, BTW, running a Sapphire Radeon 6950 2GB. I yanked out the DisplayPort and plugged in the DVI cable that the Dell monitor came with. It only could go as high as 1920x1080. But it was because I had plugged it into the DVI-D Single Link connector of the 6950 video card. After I plugged it into the DVI-I Dual connection of the 6950, at first there was no video. But then I disconnected the DVI cable from the monitor and replugged it in, and it was 2560x1440 no problem.
c Then I had another issue. I had a 15" VGA-only monitor that was using the DVI-I Dual Link connector (via a DVI to VGA adapter). And it was interesting how everyone of my DVI to VGA adapters will NOT fit into the remaining DVI-D connector. So I had to look on eBay and buy a DVI-D Dual to VGA Adapter (EDIT- DO NOT buy such an adapter- it will NOT work). This is how it looks like:

So it was quite a lesson in all the different DVI adapters for me. And I certainly hope that sooner than later, Microsoft will fix this oddball problem of DisplayPort connection not being supported by Windows Media Center in Windows 8 (and Windows 7 from what I have read).

[EDIT 3-13-2013] So I received, from eBay, the DVI-D to VGA adapter today, plugged it in- and the video card simply could NOT detect the monitor. So I did some research. It turns out that DVI-D connections DO NOT pass through the analog video signal that VGA monitors need to operate. DVI-I can do this, but NOT DVI-D. DVI-D delivers only DIGITAL signals (hence the "D"). The DVI-D connector on my Sapphire 6950, unfortunately, was only single-link which only supports up to 1920x1200, meaning that connecting the U2713HM to it is not an option in order to achieve the full 2560x1440 resolution. This brings forth the question of why are DVI-D to VGA adapters sold? It sure seems like a scam because a passive adapter would never work. No wonder I had 4 DVI-I to VGA adapters lying around, but none of the DVI-D to VGA variety- because they would never work. You would need to be an expensive digital to analog DVI-D to VGA converter to utilize the DVI-D connection for VGA monitors. Ah well- at least I only paid about $2 for this lesson, SMH!

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