When streaming video to a display device, error messages can sometimes pop up.
But what does it mean when your device says, “This video can only be played on displays that support HDCP”? And how can you fix it?
Join us as we dive into all the information you need to know down below!
We have found that the “This video can only be played on displays that support HDCP” message can be fixed with six solutions: restart the devices, change the display resolution, and disable screen sharing, screen capture, display add-ons, and display mirroring. But only if the display does support HDCP .
- What Is HDCP?
- What Causes the “This video can only be played on displays that support HDCP” Message?
- Can You Fix the “This video can only be played on displays that support HDCP” Message?
- How Do You Know If Your Display Supports HDCP?
- How to Fix the “This video can only be played on displays that support HDCP” Message?
What Is HDCP?
High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) is encryption that protects digital audio and video from being copied through physical connections between devices.
It works by sending a signal to check if the receiving device – typically a display – supports HDCP encryption.
If it does, the video signal is then sent to the receiving device and can be played normally.
However, if the receiving device is found to not support HDCP encryption, the video signal is not sent to it.
This is how HDCP encryption protects digital audio and video from being illegally copied through other devices.
What Causes the “This video can only be played on displays that support HDCP” Message?
If you try to play a video on your display device and suddenly get a message that says, “This video can only be played on displays that support HDCP,” it can be due to two reasons.
First, it could be due to a straightforward reason: your display device doesn’t support High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP).
This might be the case if you’ve never watched HDCP encrypted videos on the display device before – especially if it’s an older model.
However, if you’ve already tried watching HDCP encrypted videos on display, it’s most likely a glitch. This could be caused by one or more issues – typically related to the software involved.
Can You Fix the “This video can only be played on displays that support HDCP” Message?
It depends entirely on the cause of the message.
If your display device doesn’t support HDCP encrypted content, then there’s no way to fix it. No matter how much troubleshooting you do, the video will not be played unless the display supports HDCP encryption.
However, if you know that your display supports HDCP , you might be able to fix the problem by running through basic troubleshooting. At worst, you may have to take the display device to a professional repair shop.
How Do You Know If Your Display Supports HDCP?
The fastest way to know if your display device supports HDCP is to check the device itself. It may have a label on it stating that it supports HDCP.
If there is no label on the display, you can try checking the box or manual that it came with, since the display’s specifications should be listed there.
If you can’t find the box or the manual, you could also try searching the manufacturer’s website for the specifications of your display’s model.
How to Fix the “This video can only be played on displays that support HDCP” Message?
Now that we understand everything behind this error message, let’s get into how to fix it when you know that your display does support HDCP encrypted content .
There are six main ways to fix the error message: restart the display, disable screen sharing, disable screen capture, remove display add-ons, disable display mirroring, and change the display resolution.
1. Restart the Devices
You know the age-old rule: if it’s not working, turn it off, then turn it back on!
The error message may be showing up due to a glitch from your display device being a bit worn out.
This can usually be shaken out of its system by:
- Restarting the device that you’re streaming from (e.g. your laptop)
- Restarting the display that you’re streaming to (e.g. your TV)
If your devices are simply tired, this should get the error message to stop appearing.
2. Disable Screen Sharing
The next step is to disable screen sharing if you’re using an Apple device.
If screen sharing is enabled, you’ll have to disable it with these steps:
- Go to the Apple Menu
- Click on System Preferences
- Navigate to Sharing
- Disable Screen Sharing
This sometimes gets in the way of HDCP encryption and can be automatically enabled after operating software updates.
3. Disable Screen Capture
Then you need to disable any screen capture programs that you may have running on your streaming device or your display device.
Screen capture programs, and any remote desktop programs, can get in the way of HDCP encryption, so be sure to disable or remove them, then restart your devices.
4. Disable Display Add-ons
If you are using any display add-ons or extensions, you should also disable or remove them.
Add-ons or extensions related to display can sometimes get in the way of HDCP encryption – especially if they aren’t produced by the manufacturers of your streaming and display devices.
5. Disable Display Mirroring
If you are mirroring your display or using Airplay, disable this as well.
The HDCP sensing the display mirroring and might be interpreting it as a display trying to copy the video content.
6. Change the Display Resolution
Finally, try changing the display resolution.
There is no proven reason behind this step, but multiple users have reported that lowering the display resolution made the error message disappear.
Lower the display resolution, test if you can now play the video, and try increasing the display resolution again.
HDCP stands for High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection and is a type of encryption that prevents people from copying digital audio and video.
The error message is shown when displays don’t support HDCP encryption, or when the streaming or the display device has a glitch.
You can fix the error message if it’s caused by a glitch. But if your display device really doesn’t support HDCP, there’s no way to fix it.
The best way to know if your display supports HDCP is to check its manual or the manufacturer’s website.
If you’re sure your display supports HDCP, then you can try fixing the error message by restarting your devices, changing the display resolution, or disabling screen sharing, screen capture, display add-ons, and display mirroring.
Vance is a dad, former software engineer, and tech lover. Knowing how a computer works becomes handy when he builds Pointer Clicker. His quest is to make tech more accessible for non-techie users. When not working with his team, you can find him caring for his son and gaming.