2020 was a terrible year for people, but a pretty good one for monitor manufacturers. I got an ASUS PB277Q monitor for working from home, which features a nice 1440p (2560×1440) resolution and HDMI, DVI, VGA, and DisplayPort inputs. I found the DVI port was able to handle the max 1440p resolution at the max refresh rate…most of the time. Frustratingly, watching digital content like Netflix or Showtime never worked: my screen became full of noise and static as soon as digital video started playing, and went back to normal as soon as I exited.
This was confusing to me, as I was using an HDCP compliant monitor, cable, and graphics card. But it turns out this was because of the 75Hz refresh rate of my monitor. DVI appears to have enough bandwidth to handle 1440p at 75Hz for non-encrypted video content, but it seems 1440p@75Hz fails/yields too much output when HDCP overhead is added, at least on the ASUS PB277Q .
The fix? Change the monitor refresh rate to 60Hz whenever you watch HDCP content like Netflix in 1440p over DVI. This is tedious/annoying to do manually, but you can use a tool like Display Changer to quickly toggle between two resolutions in one keystroke. I mapped two macro keys on my keyboard to two commands that toggle my display between 75Hz and 60Hz. Whenever I run into an issue watching video, I switch to 60Hz. When I’m done watching I toggle back to 75Hz. This isn’t ideal but is a limit of DVI let’s me keep my full 1440p resolution and use DVI. You could also switch your resolution to 1080p, but most people including myself will prefer 1440p@60 over 1080p@75.
Here are sample commands for toggling monitor refresh rates using Display Changer (change to your own monitor name/path accordingly):
"C:\Program Files (x86)\12noon Display Changer\dc64.exe" -monitor="ASUS PB277" -width=2560 -height=1440 -depth=32 -refresh=60
"C:\Program Files (x86)\12noon Display Changer\dc64.exe" -monitor="ASUS PB277" -width=2560 -height=1440 -depth=32 -refresh=75
Mapping these to keys or mouse button macros, or creating shortcuts on your Desktop that point to each of these settings both makes toggling between the two modes much easier!