Fix “HDCP unauthorized content disabled” error on Roku

When using Roku, some users have come across a purple screen with an error that reads “HDCP unauthorized. Content disabled.” The error is common and indicates your device has lost its HDCP handshake.

HDCP stands for (High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection). But what does HDCP unauthorized content disabled mean? It is an anti-piracy protocol designed into all standard HDMI cables.

What causes HDCP unauthorized content disabled error on Roku?

In most cases, the protocol does not always work as it should. Instead, it breaks down from time to time hence the purple screen and the reason for your poor viewing experience.

When the HDCP unauthorized content disabled on Roku error appears, several factors can explain the problem.

  • You are using a non-compliant HDCP HDTV
  • There is a problem with your HDMI cable
  • You have a hardware problem where the protected content cannot play on your device

How to fix HDCP unauthorized content disabled error

When you encounter the Roku HDCP error code, there are several things you can do to fix the HDCP error on Roku:

1. Upgrade your TV

If you are using an older HDTV set, chances are it is not HDCP compliant. That means you cannot watch any content that is compliant with HDCP.

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Also, if you plug in an HDCP-compliant device to the non-compliant one, you will encounter the error.

To fix the Roku content disabled error, you need to upgrade your television. The fix may seem expensive and unnecessary.

Unfortunately, the best way of complying with HDCP is to have an HDCP-compliant device.

2. Restart your device

Restarting and setting up Roku again is the easiest fix you can have. Follow the steps below.

  • Unplug the Roku device from its power source for ten seconds
  • Plug the device back in
  • Turn Roku on by pressing the power button on the remote
  • Wait for a minute

Try again by opening the content you were watching before.

3. Check your hardware connection

When the HDCP unauthorized content on Netflix error occurs, it will prevent the streaming service from playing any content.

The steps below can fix it:

  • Ensure you have an HDMI cable
  • Connect your Roku directly to your HDTV
  • Reverse both ends of the HDMI cable when connecting
  • If it does not work, try using a new HDMI cable or try another port on the HDTV
  • Try using the same cable on a different TV

If you can watch content from a different TV, the HDMI port on your HDTV could have the problem. Contact your TV manufacturer for help.

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4. Troubleshoot your HDMI cable

In most cases, the Roku HDCP error code 020 occurs when your HDMI cable is not working properly. Here is what to do.

  • Unplug the HDMI cable from your TV and Roku
  • Unplug the TV and Roku from the power source for 30 seconds
  • Reconnect the cable to both your Roku and TV. Ensure the cable is firmly inside the two devices.
  • Plugin the power cables of both Roku and TV and turn them on

Once you turn on both devices, try playing the video again. If your HDMI is still giving you a problem, here is a video guide for troubleshooting:

Whenever the Roku HDCP error is detected on your TV, the first step is to check your HDMI cable. If it is defective, you will encounter the problem. But if you are using an older TV, you will encounter the error because it is not HDCP-compliant.

Where the cable and your TV are new, the problem could be the HDMI ports on your TV or Roku. Contact the manufacturer for help.

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