What is HDCP?

High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) is a system designed to protect digital content. The technology is intended to protect unauthorized duplication of high definition (HD) video and audio as it travels across connections—from your computer to your TV or monitor, for example. Your setup, from devices to displays to cables, adapters, and software drivers, must all be HDCP compliant in order to watch HD-quality videos with HBO GO.

For example, if you are watching HBO GO on an HDCP compliant laptop, you shouldn't encounter any issues. However, if you connect that same laptop to a TV, then your laptop, the TV, and the cable connecting the two devices must all be HDCP compliant in order for you to view HD-quality video in HBO GO.

How do I know if my setup is HDCP compliant?

HBO GO verifies that your setup is HDCP compliant when you play a video. If your setup is not HDCP compliant, HBO GO displays an error message and one of the following will occur:

  • Video will play in standard definition only.

  • If a standard definition video is not available, playback will be limited to either audio only or video only. In most cases, video won't play at all. 


In general, newer HDTVs and HDMI or DVI cables should be HDCP compliant. Older TVs, VGA cables, and some older DVI or HDMI cables are more likely to lack support for HDCP. If you aren't sure, try checking the manufacturer's specifications for the device, cable, or adapter.

What should I do if I'm getting an HDCP error?

If you've never had an issue when watching HBO GO with your setup before and get an HDCP error message, it's most likely that the HDCP authentication failed temporarily. In some cases, an out-of-date video driver or loose cable connection can cause your setup to appear as if it isn't HDCP compliant.

Computer

  1. Check to see if there's an update available for your browser. To find out how to do this, search the Internet for update + browser name (i.e. 'update Chrome'). See supported browsers.
  2. Disable browser plug-ins and add-ins. Then, close and reopen your browser before trying to play video again.
  3. If your computer has multiple display monitors, try streaming HBO GO on your primary monitor.
  4. Google Chrome, FireFox, Internet Explorer on Windows 10, Microsoft Edge, or Safari 11 and later: 
    Try the troubleshooting steps in this article: Troubleshooting browser playback issues.
  5. Internet Explorer (on Windows 8.1 and earlier) and Safari 9 or 10: 
    Right-click on a paused video and then choose Settings. On the Display tab, clear the Enable hardware acceleration check box.
  6. Try using a different browser.

If you still get an HDCP error message, you might need to troubleshoot your device setup further, including cables, adapters, graphics card, drivers, and TV or monitor. All devices, cables, adapters, and software drivers must be HDCP compliant.

TV or Mobile

  1. If you're using a streaming device (such as an Apple TV or Roku), unplug the device, wait a minute, and plug it back in again. Open HBO GO and try playing a video again.
  2. Disconnect and reconnect both ends of your HDMI cable.
  3. Try using another HDMI cable.
  4. Try reversing the ends of your HDMI cable.
  5. Try using another HDMI port on your TV.
  6. Bypass your receiver or stereo equipment by connecting your streaming device directly to your TV.

If you still get an HDCP message, you might need to troubleshoot your device setup further, including cables, adapters, drivers, and TV or monitor. All devices, cables, adapters, and software drivers must be HDCP compliant. For additional help with your device, consult the documentation or customer support for your device.