You just got a new Roku and you’re excited to test it out at home. But after trying to plug it into your TV multiple times, you still are greeted by the same “HDCP Error” screen. If you’re asking yourself “why do I keep getting HDCP Error on Roku?” we’re here for you.
In this article, we look at the possible reasons you’re experiencing these issues, plus what solutions you can take to fix them. We also discuss a little bit about what HDCP is, how it works, and answer a few of customers’ frequently asked questions.
Scroll on to learn more.
What is HDCP?
High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection, or HDCP, is a protective protocol that defends digital content from illegal duplication and distribution. Nowadays, most digital services and equipment are HDCP-supported. However, there are still a few exceptions, e.g., devices from manufacturers not registered with HDCP, old TV sets, and other old audio/video equipment.
When a non-HDCP-compliant device tries to connect with an HDCP-protected system, errors occur. Roku is an HDCP-protected device, meaning the audio and video equipment used alongside it should also be HDCP-compliant.
Why do I keep getting an HDCP error on Roku?
If your Roku detects that any of your devices (cables or ports) are not HDCP compliant, both devices will fail to make a connection. Furthermore, if one device is using an HDCP version that isn’t compatible with the one on your Roku, handshaking errors can also occur. This is why it’s important that you make sure that all your cables, ports, and sources are HDCP approved to avoid issues like these.
Why do I keep getting HDCP errors on the Roku channel?
The Roku Channel provides users with a platform to enjoy movies and TV shows for free. In some cases, people using external monitors to enjoy Roku content may experience HDCP errors. Often, the culprit is a non-HDCP-compliant HDMI cable. There are also some instances when the monitor is the one that doesn’t support HDCP.
What to do if an HDCP error occurs on your Roku stick/player?
Roku is a nifty device that lets users stream 4K and 1080p HD content on their TV and other equipment. If you experience errors when trying to connect your Roku, the following steps should be able to resolve the problem:
Step 1: Unplug each end of the HDMI cable from your TV, AVR, or soundbar.
Step 2: Turn off all devices (including Roku) and unplug their power cords for a restart.
Step 3: Take all the HDMI cables and reconnect them to the right ports. Make sure that each end is firmly attached to avoid errors.
Step 4: Plug all power cords back into their appropriate devices. Attach them to their power source and wait for them to start. Make sure only to use the available remotes to turn on all devices.
Step 5: Check to see results.
If the same error message appears on your TV, try doing the following troubleshooting methods:
- Check your devices for their HDCP licenses. (You can do this by going through your devices’ user manuals or product labels.)
- Buy new HDMI cables for your devices; make sure they’re HDCP-compliant to avoid repeating errors.
- Get an HDMI splitter to use with your devices.
What to do about Roku HDCP errors on your laptop?
If you experience HDCP errors on your laptop or external monitor while trying to watch The Roku Channel, the following steps should help solve your problem:
Step 1: Try disconnecting your laptop’s external screen and watching on its native screen instead. If the content plays without any issues, then there might be something wrong with your HDMI cable or your monitor.
Step 2: Reconnect your HDMI cord, ensuring that each end is securely attached to its appropriate ports. Check results on the screen.
If the same error happens, consider changing your HDMI cord to HDCP compliant one. Meanwhile, check to see if your monitor is also HDCP-approved. You can buy an HDMI splitter to bypass the HDCP protocol if your monitor is not HDCP-compliant.
Roku shows HDCP error all of a sudden — what do I do?
If you’ve had Roku for a while and it shows you an HDCP error message all of a sudden, there are several reasons why this may be happening. One is that your HDMI cable has come loose from its port and needs to be secured properly. Another is that the HDCP versions on your devices aren’t compatible with each other.
Each device is given a unique HDCP key that matches HDCP keys on other equipment. There may be instances when these keys fail to match each other, which causes the “HDCP Error” message to appear.
In that case, you can try unplugging your source and output display to refresh their functions.
Turn off all your devices and unplug the power cords. Next, disconnect the HDMI cords and wait 10 seconds before reconnecting them. Once you’ve reconnected all the necessary cords, turn on your TV and Roku to check the results.
This process should restart your HDMI and HDCP handshake authentication and resolve the connection issue.
HDCP issues can happen to anyone, even if their devices are HDCP-approved. It’s one of the many downsides of the HDCP protocol. However, users can easily bypass these errors by taking restorative action and continue enjoying their favorite shows and movies on their devices.
Roku is an HDCP-approved streaming device that’s used by people worldwide. If you experience HDCP errors while using the Roku stick or computer application, the solutions we provided above should be able to help you out of the issue.
Remember that HDCP compliant devices only work with other devices that support HDCP. If the TV, source, or HDMI cable you’re using is not HDCP-approved, you may experience trouble using them. Luckily, you don’t have to buy new equipment to solve this problem. You need an HDMI splitter, plug it between your two devices, and you should be good to go.
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.