Having Netflix or HDCP problems with Apple TV

If you’ve upgraded your Apple TV iOS 4.2 and still encountered HDCP (high definition copy protection) problems (or even worst, you didn’t have any issues before and now you do!), especially with Netflix – you’re not the only one! This seems to be quite a common problem, but luckily we’re here to help!

First of all, what is this HDCP and why is it causing so many issues? To put it shortly, HDCP is a type of digital copy protection put in place to stop unauthorized copying of audio and video material as it travels around the web.

Unfortunately, a lot of the time it appears to be more of a hassle for regular, (copyright) law-abiding citizens, since people who would actually go through the trouble of pirating multimedia content have also figured out how to get around this system.

What HDCP basically does is it creates a secure HDMI connection from the content box (like an Apple TV or Blu-ray player), through intermediaries (like a receiver) to output (a TV). In order for the video to play, every part of this chain has to be secured with HDCP – which, as you can imagine, makes it really easy for a simple malfunction to mess up everything.

And this is precisely why you might get the “not HDCP compliant” message every now and again from your Apple TV (or other devices), preventing you from watching your Netflix or iTunes content, basically anything with DRM (digital rights management) software attached to it.

Here are a few tips to try in order to get around this issue:

  • This might sound silly, but turn everything off and then back on again. Start with your Apple TV, and f that doesn’t work, move on to the TV and receiver.
  • Check your HDMI cables and make sure they’re all plugged in securely everywhere they are supposed to be.
  • Unplug everything, wait for about 20 seconds, and then plug everything in again. Just as before, start with your Apple TV and then try the same with the TV and receiver.
  • Restore your Apple TV to its factory settings.
  • Swap HDMI cables. If there’s a bad connection between the Apple TV and the TV, this could do the trick.

There’s also the option of taking your Apple TV back to the Apple Store, perhaps even exchanging it for one which doesn’t have this problem, but this should probably be the last step on your list. Try what we’ve recommended above and let us know if anything worked, or if you’ve found other ways of dealing with the issue.

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