What Is HDCP? What Causes and How to Fix HDCP Errors

What Is HDCP Error? Can It Be Bypassed? How to Fix

HDCP is a digital content protection standard. When playing HDCP content, all playback devices need to be HDCP compliant and have compatible HDCP versions, or it may cause HDCP issues.

What Is HDCP Error?

HDCP Error Detected On the Screen

Andrew recently purchased a Blu-ray player and connected it to his TV screen using an HDMI cable. However, upon inserting a new Blu-ray disc into the player, he encountered an HDCP error on the screen.

What should I do with the Netflix HDCP error?

HDCP Issue When Streaming to Hotel TV

Andrew and his family had a fantastic day at the amusement park. Upon returning to their hotel, they attempted to stream Netflix content from their phones to the hotel TV. However, they were disappointed as the TV displayed only a black screen instead of playing the content.

What is an HDCP issue? What to do when encountering an HDCP error?

Encountering these issues may seem alarming, but don't panic. HDCP serves as a content protection standard for the HDMI transmission interface. It's important to note that these errors don't necessarily imply illegal access to content; rather, they indicate that your devices may not be passing HDCP's checks. Let's delve deeper into these scenarios to help you fix HDCP errors.

Common HDCP Error Messages

If you have ever encountered the following error messages, keep reading for how to fix the HDCP error!

HDCP Error Messages
  • "HDCP Unauthorized. Content Disabled." Netflix HDCP error message
  • "Disney+ has detected an HDCP issue that is preventing your content from playing." Disney+ HDCP error message
  • "HDCP Error Detected: To play this content, all HDMI connections must support High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP)." Roku HDCP error message
  • "This content requires HDCP for playback." Apple TV HDCP error message
  • "Your video will play in Standard Definition because your computer hardware, HDMI cables, and display must all meet content protection (HDCP) requirements for HD video." Amazon Prime HDCP error message
  • "HDCP error. Please restart the device." Windows Server HDCP error message

What is HDCP?

A Digital Content Protection Standard

HDCP, or High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection, is a standard for anti-piracy protection of digital content. Its primary function is to prevent unauthorized copying of copyrighted content during HDMI transmission. In the past, capturing cards could easily record such content. Devices or media content with HDCP protection must comply with anti-piracy protocols to successfully transmit or display images over HDMI interfaces.

What is HDCP? High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) is a standard for anti-piracy protection of digital content.


The relationship between HDMI and HDCP is integral. HDMI serves as the physical interface through which HDCP-protected content is transmitted between devices. Think of HDMI as the highway, and HDCP as the security checkpoint ensuring only authorized content passes through. Without HDCP compliance, HDMI alone cannot guarantee secure content transmission. Other interfaces, such as DisplayPort, also support certain HDCP versions.

How Does HDCP Work?

HDCP-compliant devices possess unique sets of encryption keys. When attempting to transmit HDCP-protected content from one device to another, they exchange these keys. These keys both confirm HDCP compliance and encrypt and decrypt content during transmission, preventing interception attacks from obtaining unprotected media.

How Does HDCP Work? HDCP-compliant devices possess unique sets of encryption keys that confirm HDCP compliance, preventing interception attacks from obtaining unprotected media.

Output devices initiate communication with the screen, asking, "Are you HDCP compliant? Here's my license. Can you provide yours?" In response, the display or other HDCP-compliant devices affirm, "I'm also HDCP-compliant! Here's my license!"

With successful verification, transmission seamlessly progresses. This handshake process occurs in milliseconds. When all devices adhere to the protocol, you can enjoy your TV or PS5 without even being aware of HDCP. Nevertheless, you're here, seeking further insight into HDCP through this article.

Earlier HDCP versions only supported direct device-to-display transmission of HDCP-protected content. Since HDMI 2.0, there are more and more audiovisual devices and a higher need to be compatible with HDCP standards. Such devices include repeaters, extenders, and splitters. Like direct connections, successful transmission in networked A/V systems requires compliance with the same HDCP standard across all devices involved.

All devices and cables involved in the transmission must be HDCP-compliant and support compatible HDCP versions to transmit the content successfully.

HDCP Versions

Generally, four HDCP versions are commonly found in devices on the market. HDCP 2.3 is the latest version, supporting resolutions up to 8K@60Hz. As HDCP is backward compatible, newer versions can work with older ones. When you have the content protected by HDCP 2.2 and HDCP 2.3 devices, the devices can still play HDCP 2.2 content. See the table below for detailed HDMI versions and HDCP versions.

In addition to HDMI, other HDCP-support interfaces might also lead to HDCP issues, such as DVI and DisplayPort. DisplayPort 1.3 and above versions are compatible with HDCP 2.2.

Other Common
HDCP 2.3 HDMI 2.1 2018 8K@60Hz
Yes Enhanced security features,
improved key exchange mechanism
HDCP 2.2 HDMI 2.0 2013 4K@60Hz 4:4:4 Yes Enhanced content protection for UHD content,
higher bandwidth support, support DP
HDCP 1.4 HDMI 1.4 2009 4K@30Hz
4K@60Hz 4:2:0
Improved security over HDCP 1.2,
support for higher resolutions
HDCP 1.2 HDMI 1.3 2008 Up to 1080p Not
Basic content protection for HD content,
support DVI

Possible Causes and Solutions for HDCP Errors

HDCP Errors in Wireless Projection

  • If you have HDCP error when screen mirroring to your TV, it may result from suppliers' restrictions on wireless projection. Airplay and Miracast on iPhones, iPads, or Android devices may be unable to project Netflix content directly to the TV. In such cases, you can refer to the regulations set by content providers. While the projection of premium streaming services may be restricted, using platforms like YouTube may not pose this issue.
How to deal with the HDCP error of screen mirroring.

How to Fix HDCP Errors in Wireless Projection

  • Check if the app has a built-in projection feature. Some apps like Netflix may offer this functionality depending on your subscription plan. Please refer to your service provider for detailed information.
How to deal with the HDCP error of screen mirroring.
  • Consider using a physical connection. Connect your iPhone or iPad to the TV screen using Apple's original HDMI adapter and HDMI port. Ensure you use Apple's original equipment, as third-party alternatives may still result in display issues.
Use Apple's original HDMI adapter to project video instead of screen mirroring to avoid HDCP errors.
  • If the problem remains unsolved, please refer to the solutions for wired connections below.

HDCP Errors in Wired Connection

Common reasons for HDCP errors include:

  • Lack of HDCP support in one of the playback devices, screens, or other audiovisual devices. Generally, HDCP is now standard in most TVs, screens, and players. Other devices such as switchers are more likely to lack HDCP support.
  • Damage or looseness in the HDMI connection interface, leading to errors during HDCP information exchange between devices.
  • Incompatibility of HDCP versions between devices. For instance, HDCP 2.2 devices cannot play HDCP 2.3 content.
  • Quick switching between different HDCP version sources when using switchers or matrices. Such as switching between a Blu-ray player and DVR, or between a Mac and a PC, may lead to display device misjudgments.
  • Unsynchronized power on/off between intermediary devices and backend devices, leading to abnormal HDCP status detection.
  • Playback devices forcing HDCP version settings that the display doesn't support. Typically, HDCP version settings are set to auto-detect.
  • HDCP signals failing to respond within the specified time when transmitted over long distances using fiber optics, such as over 1km.
  • Some HDMI products designed with DVI or DP configuration may not consider HDCP specifications, rendering them unusable for HDCP-encrypted audiovisual devices.
  • Connecting a splitter or matrix switch with multiple displays of different brands. When multiple HDCP versions coexist, it may fail to satisfy all playback device requirements for HDCP versions.

How to Fix HDCP Errors in Wired Transmission

Here we provide some effective solutions for common HDCP errors:

  • Check your HDMI, DP, and DVI interfaces for damaged or loose pins, and re-connect them. Try to unplug and reconnect.

  • Replace audiovisual transmission cables (HDMI, DP, DVI) as they are often the source of the problem. Try replacing your current HDMI cable with another one, or use an HDMI-certified cable from a trusted vendor. Also, check the HDCP version of your display device, which may indicate its HDCP version around the interface.
How to fix HDCP errors: Try replacing HDMI cables, and ensure the cable matches the HDCP version of your display device.
  • All devices' HDCP versions must not be lower than the source device. For example, your screen can only be higher or equal to the HDCP version of the source. Otherwise, it may fail to output or output in a lower resolution.
Screens and other audiovisual devices must support the same or higher HDCP versions than the HDCP-support source.
  • Ensure that all devices for image transmission comply with HDCP specifications. Check the specifications of your sound bars connected via HDMI, extenders, switches, splitters, etc. All SC&T's devices indicate HDCP support and versions in the specification table.
  • Some screens allow HDCP settings adjustments. Through your TV's OSD, you can configure the HDCP version for each HDMI interface on your TV.
Some screens allow HDCP settings adjustments.
  • Rebooting your devices is often an effective solution. By restarting your devices, you allow HDCP and EDID to renegotiate. Sometimes, issues arise during this renegotiation process, rather than due to device compatibility.
  • If you're using an older screen, some people may incorporate devices that convert HDCP versions. However, terminating HDCP communication before the image reaches the TV does not comply with HDCP regulations, and we do not recommend this approach.

Understanding HDCP protection and its principles is crucial for seamless audiovisual experiences. By troubleshooting HDCP errors effectively, users can enjoy uninterrupted access to high-quality, protected content.

In addition to HDCP, display issues may also result from EDID issues. Learn how to address EDID issues in The Quickest Way to Solve Your EDID Issues.

2024-03-21 3:00 pm

Cable Used

Product Name


Power Source



1080p Distance

4K Distance

Optical Fiber Cable

HDMI Fiber Cable


(Reflection of Light)

Power From Source

Video/ Audio




HDMI Fiber Dongle Extender

Mini USB


300M/ 1KM

300M/ 1KM

Network Cable

HDMI CAT5e Dongle Extender


Power From Source

Video/ Audio




HDMI CAT5e Extender

External Power Supply

Video/ Audio




HDMI over IP Extender

Internet Protocol

External Power Supply

Video/ Audio




HDMI KVM over IP Extender*

Video/ Audio/ Keyboard/ Mouse



HDMI Cable

HDMI Repeater


External Power Supply

Video/ Audio




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