Apple TV (2nd and 3rd generation): About Apple TV and HDCP

HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) is a form of digital copy protection that requires compatibility between your Apple TV and high-definition TV.

HDCP compatibility is required for video playback between your Apple TV (2nd and 3rd generation) and high-definition TV. Apple TV supports HDCP but all devices in the HDMI connection, including the TV, must also support this digital copy protection for successful video playback.

If HDCP is not detected

If HDCP authentication does not succeed, you may see one of the following symptoms:

  • A message may appear on your television stating "This content requires HDCP for playback. HDCP isn't supported by your HDMI connection."
  • You may see periodic bands of static, or full screen static, flashing across your TV screen.

If you are experiencing either of the symptoms above, try playing the same content again for at least another ten seconds. If the issue persists, try the following steps until the issue is resolved:

  1. Connect your Apple TV (2nd generation and 3rd generation) directly to your HDTV using an HDMI cable.
  2. Set your Apple TV to sleep mode and turn off your HDTV:
    1. From the Apple TV interface, select: Settings > Sleep Now.
    2. Turn off your TV and wait for about ten seconds.
    3. Turn your TV back on.
    4. Press the Select button on your Apple TV remote to wake your Apple TV.
  3. Some HDTVs may need a firmware update. Consult your TV manufacturer's user manual or online support pages for additional information about how to update your TV's firmware.
  4. If available, try using a different HDMI to HDMI cable, such as an Apple HDMI to HDMI cable, directly between your Apple TV (2nd generation and 3rd generation) and 720p/1080p HDCP-compatible HDTV.

Learn more

Even if your HDTV supports HDCP, you may still experience HDCP-related issues when connecting your Apple TV (2nd and 3rd generation) to your HDTV if you are using an adapter that doesn't support HDCP. Here are some examples of equipment that may lack HDCP compatibility in some circumstances:

  • HDMI-to-DVI adapter
  • AV receiver
  • HDMI hub, switch, scaler, or extender

For additional information about HDCP compatibility with your accessories, contact the accessory manufacturer.

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