What is ‘HDCP unauthorised. Content disabled’ and how to fix it? (Roku)

HDCP unauthorised. Content disabled

If you own a Roku streaming media player including Roku Ultra, Roku Express, Roku Premiere, Roku Streaming Stick, Roku LT, Roku 2, and Roku 3 you might have experienced issues when attempting to make a connection to a video stream and been shown a screen that says “HDCP unauthorised“.

HDCP unauthorised. Content disabled fix roku

Recently, a friend of mine plugged in his Roku 3, set up his NBA League Pass account, and attempted to view a live NBA game. However, when he tried to view the live media stream of the NBA game on the NBA Game Time channel for his Roku 3 he was not able to view the video and received an error that said “HDCP unauthorised. Content disabled.”

He was still able to hear the audio from the NBA game, but could not view the video. The video was unconventionally blocked by a purple screen that insisted that the Roku 3’s content is disabled.

My friend who regularly uses NBA League Pass suddenly became confused. He had the rights to view this content, he paid $200 to view this content, why can’t he view it?

He contacted me after a few moments and after a quick Google search I noticed that this HDCP unauthorized Roku error was not significant to NBA Game Time or NBA League Pass. Many Roku 3 users have had the same error appear when attempting to view videos on Netflix, Crackle, Amazon video, and others. The HDCP error even occurred for many users who simply want to view the Roku interface.

Once my friend contacted me about this issue I instructed him to send me a picture on his phone (above) of the Roku 3 error and check his HDMI connection. Upon inspection of his HDMI cable he discovered that it was slightly broken from his TV previously having fallen while the HDMI cable was plugged in.

He replaced the slightly damaged HDMI cable with a new one, and what do you know? The Roku 3 HDCP unauthorised – Content disabled error was complexly fixed. He was able to view content on his Roku 3 without error including the NBA Game Time app and all of the games on his NBA League Pass account.

The HDMI cable my friend was previously using was only slightly damaged. You could barely tell unless you held it right under your nose, but this cable/chord is what caused the issue and replacing it fixed this Roku error.

In other cases, the television is the issue, especially a TV with multiple HDMI ports and devices plugged into them. Some people are able to fix this issue by turning off their TVs, unplugging them, and plugging them back in to reset the signal.

It should be noted that this error is not directly related to the actual Roku Player itself.

How to fix the HDCP unauthorised Roku error

These are different solutions you can try out to fix the ‘HDCP unauthorised’ error.

  1. Restart your Roku by completely unplugging the machine for over 10 seconds. Remove power and unplug the HDMI cable from your screen and device.
  2. The issue might be with your TV and how it receives the signal from your Roku. Turn your TV off, unplug the TV, and plug it back in.
  3. If the above methods do not fix the error you might need to replace the HDMI cable to one that is not damaged.

I hope this helps. If you have any questions or concerns check out the comments section.

Sean Doyle

Sean Doyle is a tech author and engineer with over 20 years of experience in cybersecurity, privacy, malware, Google Analytics, online marketing, and other topics. Sean's content has been featured in numerous publications.