Roku HDCP Error 020: I Finally Fixed The Frustrating Error

After getting through a hectic week at work, I planned to watch Top Gun: Maverick on the Roku Channel to get the most out of my weekend.

All set for an adrenaline rush through the movie, I turned on my Roku device and TV only to come across an HDCP error message on the screen.

I’ve had my Roku for years, and this was new to me.

I figured it was just a temporary glitch and tried to restart my Roku, and it worked as normal for about five minutes until it showed up again.

This was starting to get annoying.

After hours of research and staring at the irritating HDCP error 020 screen, I was finally able to come up with the best solution that worked for me. 

Here’s how to fix Roku HDCP Error 020 and get back to watching TV in no time.

Roku HDCP Error 020 can be fixed by disabling the Auto-adjust Display Refresh Rate option on your Roku Device Settings. Change the display type to auto-detect.  

All You Need to Know About HDCP

High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) is a safety protocol developed to prevent illegal copying or distribution of high-definition media.

HDCP is implemented in several streaming devices and platforms, including Roku, Amazon Fire TV Stick, and Chromecast, to stop content from being distributed without permission as a part of copyright protection. 

Roku error code 020 usually implies that your Roku device has failed to determine if the HDMI cable or your TV is compatible with the HDCP protocol. 

Now that you know what HDCP error on Roku means, let’s move on to the most effective solutions to fix it. 

Disable Display Refresh Rate 

The HDCP error code 020 can arise if the Refresh Rate of your Roku device (only limited to 4 K-supported Roku devices)  is not compatible with the TV.

In this case, disabling the Auto-Adjust Display Refresh Rate in the Roku Settings may fix the error. 

To do this, follow these simple steps: 

  • Open Roku Settings in the Home menu 
  • Select System and open Advanced System Settings from the options menu
  • Lastly, set Auto-Adjust Display Refresh Rate to Disabled and check if the error code 020 is fixed 

Power Cycle The Roku Device and TV

The Roku HDCP Error 020 might result from a temporary glitch or bug, such as the HDMI cable or your TV not passing the HDCP protocol test.

The best way to fix the error in this scenario is to power cycle your Roku Device. 

Power Cycle your TV if your Roku Remote is not working.

Power Cycle The Roku Device

  • Press the Home button on the Roku Remote 
  • Scroll down and select System
  • Click on the System Restart option 
  • Wait for the Roku Device to turn back on 

Power Cycle Your TV 

  • Power off your TV and unplug it from the power outlet
  • Press and hold the Power Button on your TV for about 5 seconds (Skip this step if the power button is not available)
  • Wait for at least 10 to 15 minutes before plugging it back in 
  • Plug it back in and turn the TV on

If the error code 020 is still not cleared, move on to the next step. 

Reseat The HDMI Cable

Ensure that your HDMI cable does not have any visible damage on it. You will need a working HDMI if you need to change input on Roku TV, so make sure it works properly.

If it doesn’t, you may need to replace it. If there is no physical damage, here’s how to reseat the HDMI Cable: 

  • Unplug the HDMI cable from the Roku Device, and your TV
  • Turn off the TV and unplug it from the power outlet
  • Now, unplug the Roku device from the power source as well
  • Keep the Roku Device, and Television unplugged for at least three minutes
  • Plug the HDMI cable back in the TV, and the Roku Device
  • Reconnect both the TV and Roku device back to the power source and turn them on to check if the HDCP error message is removed
  • If the error still appears, repeat the same process but on step 6, turn on your TV first, then the Roku device, and check if the error 020 is now fixed 

    Change the HDMI Cable (If Required) 

    If the error still persists, try using a different HDMI Cable to ensure that the issue is not related to a faulty or damaged cable.

    The cable might appear okay from the outside but can still be broken from the inside.

    It is always better to ensure your cable is not causing this error. 

    Change The Display Type in Roku Settings 

    If the display type in the Roku device is not properly configured, it may lead to an HDCP error. 

    Here’s a guide to changing the Display Type to Auto-Detect: 

    • On the Roku Home menu, select Settings
    • Scroll down and choose the Display Type option 
    • Now select Auto Detect and check if Roku is rid of the HDCP error 020
    • You can also try selecting some different display types to check if the error disappears 

    Ensure Your Media Setup is HDCP Compatible 

    If you’re using a new TV, soundbar, speakers, or any media setup, it is possible that one of these might not be HDCP compatible. 

    To check the HDCP compatibility for any of your devices: 

    • Check the box of your device to check for HDCP compatibility. Manufacturers are often required to secure a license for the same, and they advertise HDCP support on their boxes as well. 
    • Go through the device manual and look for the mention of HDCP in the description of features or video ports
    • Reach out to the customer support of your device manufacturer and ask their representatives if your device is HDCP-compliant by providing the model number 

    Roku HDCP Error on An External Monitor 

    If you’re using an external computer monitor, a Roku HDCP error might appear due to monitor incompatibility as well. 

    To rule out this possibility, disconnect the HDMI cable from the external monitor and try to watch the same content on your computer or laptop screen.

    If the content plays correctly, replug the HDMI cable, ensuring each connector is plugged in properly, and check if the error comes back. 

    If it does, you can make use of the following suggestions: 

    • Change the HDMI input on your external monitor (if available)
    • Try using a different HDMI cable to ensure that the cable doesn’t have any defects (internal or external)
    • If possible, check if the same error comes on using a different external monitor that is HDCP compatible
    • If you’re using a new device, go through the device box or user manual to confirm if it is HDCP compatible or not. As discussed above, you can also contact the manufacturer for compatibility-related queries. 

    Get in Touch With Roku Support

    If none of the solutions have worked for you till now, you can visit the Roku Support Page for video tutorials related to your issues.

    You can even opt for agent support to get expert solutions for errors related to your device by signing in to your Roku account. 

    SMART Suggestion: Bypass the HDCP Protection (100% Working) 

    An alternative way to get rid of HDCP-related errors completely is to bypass the HDCP protection.

    There are two different ways to do this – using an [amazon link=”B004F9LVXC” title=”HDMI Splitter with HDCP Stripping” /], or using an Analog Cable.

    Use HDMI Splitter with HDCP Stripper 

    When manufacturers cut corners while making HDMI splitters, they don’t include the circuitry that scrambles the signal again at the output ports.

    An unintentional side-effect of this is that they act as HDCP strippers, letting you then send that unscrambled signal to devices regardless of whether or not they support HDCP.

    This means you can bypass HDCP by getting yourself an HDMI Splitter with HDCP Stripping.

    However, not all HDMI Splitters behave this way, and manufacturers update their manufacturing processes all the time, so we’ll keep you updated on splitters that work.

    Here’s how you can remove HDCP from your media by getting an HDMI Splitter with HDCP Stripping: 

    • Connect the HDMI Splitter to your TV and the Roku device
    • Restart your Roku device as mentioned above and try streaming content 
    • The HDCP error should be removed 

    If you’re willing to spend some extra dollars to eliminate any HDCP-related errors, this method is surely worth it! 

    Use an Analog Cable 

    Another way to bypass HDCP errors is by using an analog cable, which cannot receive HDCP protection.

    A major disappointment of this method is that the picture quality may degrade while using an analog cable. 

    Follow these steps to use an analog cable:

    • Connect analog cable instead of HDMI cable to your HDCP device such as Roku
    • Now connect the other end of the cable to your TV

    This will eliminate the HDCP-related issues on your Roku, but you may have to compromise on the content quality. 

    Happy Streaming! 

    While the HDCP Protocol is vital to prevent illegal copying of content, it can lead to several issues for streaming device users.

    Even if you have HDCP-compatible devices, you can still encounter errors such as Roku HDCP error code 020.  

    There may be different reasons behind this error, and it is important to determine the root cause before you can fix it. 

    Disabling Auto-Adjust Refresh Rate can work if your Roku device’s refresh rate is incompatible with your TV. 

    In case there are any temporary bugs or glitches related to your Roku device, they can be fixed by Power Cycling your Roku Device and TV 

    Roku Error code 020 can also occur due to a faulty or broken HDMI cable.

    Hence, you should make sure there are no issues related to your cable. Replacing the HDMI cable can also help fix this error. 

    Setting the Display Type to Auto Detect can help fix the HDCP error if the display settings are incorrectly configured or if they are interfering with the HDMI connection.  

    Though all your devices are most likely to be HDCP compatible, the best practice is to ensure each one is HDCP-compliant to rule out the possibility of compatibility issues. 

    If you’re trying to stream on an external monitor and the Roku HDCP error 020 occurs, you can try playing the same content on a different HDCP-compatible monitor or without an HDMI on your laptop/computer screen.

    Replacing the HDMI cable can be an effective solution in this case as well. 

    Getting in touch with the Roku Support Team can also help you solve the HDCP error by leveraging their video tutorials or getting assistance from an authorized support agent. 

    I hope one of these solutions would have already fixed the Roku HDCP error and that the not-so-pleasing error screen is replaced by your favorite movie or TV show! 

    Frequently Asked Questions 

    What does HDCP error mean?

    High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) is a safety protocol developed by Intel Corporation to prevent illegal copying or distribution of high-definition media.

    The HDCP error usually means that your HDMI cable or device is not HDCP-compliant.  

    Why does my Roku keeps giving me an HDCP error?

    HDCP error usually occurs when the Roku device cannot determine if your TV, cable, or external monitor is compatible with the HDCP protocol.

    There may be several reasons for this error, such as temporary bugs, display type errors, faulty HDMI cables, etc. 

    Are HDCP and HDMI the same? 

    HDCP (High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection) is not the same as HDMI.

    HDCP is a protocol providing piracy prevention and copyright protection to three connection types that include HDMI, DVI, and DisplayPort.

    Does HDMI Cable affect HDCP?

    Yes, HDMI cables can affect HDCP.

    Make sure that you use Premium High-Speed HDMI cables for all the connections, as using an incompatible subpar HDMI cable can lead to an HDCP error.

    Always verify that your HDMI cable is HDCP compatible. 

    How to verify if my HDMI cable or any device supports HDCP? 

    To start with, you can check the package or box of your HDMI cable to check if it supports HDCP.

    Alternatively, you can also visit HDMI.org to confirm the HDCP compatibility of your cable. 

    For other devices, checking the box may help confirm if your device supports HDCP.

    You can go through the user manual of your device and read about HDCP.

    You can also contact the manufacturer with the model number to verify its compatibility. 

    About the author

    Maria Chan, or MC, as we call her, is the genius girl-boss who gave up on her cushy silicon-valley job to grind it out with us. Her undying pursuit of wanting Zeebox to the best makes it very clear that she has no interest in running a generic tech-site.