This weekend I sat down to watch “Argo” using the Amazon Prime Video app on the Roku box. When I attempted to purchase and watch the movie on Amazon Instant, it threw an error on the screen. I could still hear the audio, but the blue and white error that said “HDCP unauthorised. Content disabled” error took up the entire screen.
HDCP stands for “High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection“. It is a feature used in most modern video equipment to prevent users from copying content to a device and used for piracy. But this feature can cause problems sometimes when legit users are just trying to use their video player to watch something.
Fix 1: HDCP error occurs a few times
I logged out of the Amazon account, then logged in again. When that didn’t work, I uninstalled and reinstalled the Amazon app. Still, this error appeared on the screen.
Fortunately it was still easy to solve this problem. I simply reset the Roku box by unplugging it, then plugging it back in. The next time I attempted to watch the movie, it worked just fine.
I believe this happened because I switched the Amazon account I was using. I had recently switched from my own account to my girlfriend’s because she had Amazon Prime. I think the Roku gets confused as to which account is in use if you purchase a movie on Amazon Instant, and causes this error message to appear.
Fix 2: HDCP error happens all the time
You may have a TV or other equipment that has a problem with HDCP. Some older televisions don’t handle it so well, so you may receive the error message all the time. In this instance, you might want to try a new HDMI cable. If that doesn’t work, you may want to resort to trying to strip HDCP out of your connection altogether.
There are some expensive pieces of equipment out there that are made specifically to strip HDCP out of an HDMI connection. However, I found a cheaper approach worked for me in this situation.
I purchased this HDMI splitter. This device was made to split the HDMI connection out so that two displays can be used. As a side feature though, this particular splitter seems to ignore HDCP.
I simply plugged the HDMI splitter into my TV, plugged the Roku into the splitter, and things worked without a hitch. I no longer received the “HDCP unauthorised. Content disabled” error when using Amazon Prime Video on my Roku.