How to Fix Roku HDCP Error

A quick Google search and it’s easy to understand why many Roku users struggle with the HDCP error. It appears as a warning message on a black screen or as a notification on a purple screen. But why does this message appear and how can you fix it?

How to Fix Roku HDCP Error

The following article will help you understand HDCP and offer tried and tested methods to get your streaming gadget up and running. Without much further ado, let’s dive right in.

HDCP Error Disambiguated

HDCP stands for High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection. Developed by intel, this is a common protection standard used by most TV and movie companies.

If you remember the old days when it was impossible to make a copy of some VHS tapes, the HDCP is pretty much the same thing for digital media. It works with HDMI connections and applies to all streaming devices, cable boxes, as well as Blu-ray players.

The important thing is that HDCP 2.2 is necessary to stream in 4K, but more on that later.

Why Does HDCP Error Appear?

The HDCP error appears for two reasons (and can also show up as an error code 020). First, the error occurs if the content you’re trying to stream doesn’t support content-protection technology.

roku HDCP error

The streaming gadget figures out your HDMI link isn’t HDCP compliant and displays the message. On the other hand, the error might pop up if you’re using a faulty HDMI connector or cable. Therefore, you should start by inspecting the cable or the connector.

Chances are you have a spare HDMI lying around your home, so unplug the existing one and reconnect with the new cable. The Roku should automatically pick up the switch and remove the error message.

Fixing the HDCP Unauthorized Issue

When trying to stream Ultra HD 4K content, a purple HDCP screen might appear. In this case, you should inspect the Roku settings for 4K streaming.

fix roku hdcp error

You need an HDMI 2.0 input that has support for HDCP 2.2. An internet connection that supports Ultra HD streams is also necessary. As a rule, 25 Mbps download or higher should be enough for high definition streaming.

As for HDCP 2.2, all connected devices need to support it. This includes your TV, AVR, soundbar, etc. Otherwise, you won’t be able to stream 4K content and the maximum resolution might not exceed 1080p.

Tip: If you have an older smart TV with multiple HDMI inputs, one of them usually supports HDCP 2.2. Refer to the TV’s manual to determine which input you should use.

Repairing the HDCP Error

A black screen signaling at the HDCP error may occur more often and it’s not linked to high-definition streaming. A simple unplugging and plugging of the cables can help you revive the device. These are the steps to take.

roku error

Step 1

Start by unplugging the HDMI cable from all the devices. This goes for the Roku player, AVR, and/or your smart TV. And yes, you need to unplug both ends of the cable.

Step 2

Turn off your Roku and unplug its power cord (both ends again), then repeat with your TV. Now, you can reconnect the HDMI cable and don’t forget to check if the connection is secure and firm.

Step 3

Plug the power cord back in (both your TV and Roku) and be patent until the devices fully boot up. Afterward, try playing the same video again and there shouldn’t be any error message.

Note: The unplugging and plugging action give your Roku a kind of a hardware restart. Doing the software restart doesn’t help because the system still remembers the error and is likely to display it again after the Roku boots up.

Other Fixes

As indicated, one of the quickest and easiest ways to troubleshoot the HDCP error is to use a new HDMI cable. But your options don’t stop at that.

When using an AVR or HDMI switch, you can try to connect your Roku directly to the smart TV. If this doesn’t help, check if the Roku and the connection or cables work on another TV. Should this fail to yield results, hook up Roku to your monitor and play the problematic stream.

The same trick applies the other way around. Remove the Roku from your monitor (if it’s your primary streaming screen) and connect it to the smart TV. Plus, you can also play around with the Display Settings.

Navigate to Settings from Roku’s home screen and choose Display Type. Select different types to find the one that won’t display the error message.

This method might take some trial and error. But once you find the right Display Type, the HDCP error message shouldn’t appear again. Of course, this applies until you switch to another TV or monitor.

Error-Free Roku

Disconnecting everything from the Roku and your TV can be a drag, but it’s the only way to repair the error. The bottom line is that you need HDCP compliant, HDMI inputs and use them as a rule when choosing a smart TV or monitor.

What is your favorite channel on Roku? Which video did you try to play when the error message appeared? Share your experience in the comments section below.

2 thoughts on “How to Fix Roku HDCP Error”

Bill says:
lol this error is serious enough that i’ve scrapped roku completely and moved to a different streaming device. well done guys.
Bob says:
Do you realize how difficult it is to access the hdmi connections for some of us? How about just ditching roku?
Brad says:
I get this error 2-3 times a night. I just unplug the cable from the Roku and immediately re plug it. The error goes away for a while but will return. I am using HDR complaint HDMI gold cables but unplugging/re-plugging is a pain.

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