How to Fix “Protected Content License Error” on Roku?

The Protected Content License Error is a common issue reported by Disney+ users, primarily on Roku devices/TVs. The error manifests when a user attempts to launch the Disney+ app or tries to stream a movie, show, etc., on the platform. Occasionally, the error is confined to a specific title.

How to Fix “Protected Content License Error” on Roku?
Fix for Protected Content License Error on Roku

The protected license error indicates that Disney+ perceives the media as DRM-protected, and something in your setup, such as a faulty cable, router misconfiguration, etc., does not comply with the requirements for playing DRM-protected media.

Several factors can contribute to the protected license error, but the following are identified as common causes:

  • Outdated Firmware of the Streaming Device: Corrupt or outdated firmware can prevent the proper execution of an app like Disney+, resulting in the protected content error.
  • Auto-Display Refresh Rate of the Streaming Device: If the streaming device’s auto-adjust feature for matching content’s refresh rate to the display’s native rate is misinterpreted as a recording attempt, this can trigger the app’s DRM-protection mechanism, causing the error.
  • Corrupt Firmware of the Streaming Device: Corrupted firmware may hinder Disney+’s operations and lead to the error.

1. Perform a Cold Restart of the Device, TV, and Router

A temporary communication glitch between the device and Disney servers can cause the protected content license error. Performing a cold restart of the device and router may resolve the issue.

  1. Launch the Settings of your streaming device (e.g., Roku) and navigate to System.
  2. Select Power and choose System Restart.
    Navigate to System Restart in Roku Settings
  3. After restarting, open Disney+ to see if it functions correctly.
  4. If the issue persists, power off the streaming device and the TV.
  5. Disconnect both the Roku and the TV from the power source.
  6. Power off the router and unplug its power cable.
    Detach Router from Power Source
  7. Remove all network cables from the router and wait for 5 minutes.
  8. Reconnect the router’s power cable, followed by connecting the Internet and ethernet cables.
  9. Power on the router and wait for the indicators to stabilize.
  10. Plug in the TV’s power cable and switch it on, waiting for it to connect to the Internet.
  11. Reattach the streaming device to your TV, launch Disney+, and check if the error is resolved.
  12. If not, see if a different HDMI cable resolves the issue.
  13. Alternatively, try connecting the streaming device to another TV port.

2. Update the Firmware of the Streaming Device to the Latest Build

Outdated firmware can cause compatibility issues with the Disney+ app, resulting in the protected content license error. Updating your device’s firmware might resolve the problem.

  1. Open the Roku’s Settings and navigate to System.
  2. Go to System Update and select Check Now.
    Search for Roku Updates
  3. If an update is available, allow the firmware to download and install.
  4. Restart the Roku and check Disney+ for the error post-update.

3. Disable Auto Display Refresh Rate of the Streaming Device

An auto-refresh rate feature that doesn’t align with Disney+’s DRM requirements can cause errors. Disabling this setting on your streaming device might fix it.

  1. Access Roku’s Settings and select Display Type.
    Adjust Display Type in Roku Settings
  2. Choose the 1080P option and confirm the change.
  3. Navigate to System under Roku’s settings and select Advanced System Settings.
    Access System in Roku Settings
  4. Go to Advanced Display Settings and turn off Auto-Adjust Display Refresh Rate.
    Access Advanced Display Settings of Roku Device
  5. Restart your Roku and open Disney+ to see if it’s functioning properly.
    Disable Auto-Adjust Display Refresh Rate

4. Perform a Network Reset of the Streaming Device

Network-related issues within your streaming device can cause the Disney+ license error. Resetting your device’s network settings might provide a solution.

  1. In Roku’s Settings, select System.
  2. Choose Advanced System Settings and select Network Connection Reset.
    Perform Roku Device Network Connection Reset
  3. Confirm to reset the connection and wait for the automatic reboot.
  4. Reconnect your Roku to the network and check if Disney+ works without the error.

5. Disable Hardware Acceleration of the Browser or Device

Incompatibility between hardware acceleration and Disney+ could lead to protected content license errors. Disabling hardware acceleration settings may resolve this.

  1. Open the Chrome browser and its Menu.
  2. Click on Settings, expand Advanced from the left pane.
    Open Chrome Browser Settings
  3. In the System tab, toggle off Use Hardware Acceleration When Available.
    Disable Use Hardware Acceleration When Available
  4. Relaunch Chrome, visit the Disney+ website, and check if the issue is resolved.
  5. If unsuccessful, try accessing Disney+ in a different browser like Firefox.

6. Disable IPv6 Protocol of the TV

If your TV is using the IPv6 protocol but the router cannot properly handle IPv6 traffic, it may lead to content license errors. Deactivating IPv6 on your TV could be the solution.

  1. Navigate to the Samsung TV Settings and select the General tab.
    Access Network in Samsung TV General Settings
  2. In the right pane, choose Network, then Expert Settings.
    Disable IPv6 in Samsung TV Expert Settings
  3. Toggle off the IPv6 protocol, restart your TV, and launch Disney+ to check for errors.

7. Reinstall the Disney+ App

Corruption within the Disney+ app installation may lead to content license errors. Reinstalling the app can often rectify such issues.

  1. On your Android device, go to Settings and tap Application Manager.
    Access Apps in Android Settings
  2. Select the Disney+ app and hit Force Stop.
    Open Disney+ among Installed Apps on Your Phone
  3. Confirm to force stop and proceed to Storage.
    Access Disney+ App Storage Settings
  4. Clear the cache and data by pressing Clear Cache and Clear Storage (or Clear Data).
    Clear Cache and Data for Disney+ App
  5. Back out and choose Uninstall, confirming the removal of Disney+.
    Uninstall the Disney+ App
  6. Restart your device, then reinstall Disney+ to check if the error is resolved.

8. Perform a Factory Reset of the Streaming Device

Corrupted firmware can prevent Disney+ modules from functioning correctly, possibly causing content license issues. A factory reset could address the problem.

  1. Access Settings on your Roku and choose System.
  2. Go to Advanced System Settings and select Factory Reset.
    Perform a Factory Reset on Roku Device
  3. Confirm the reset, reconfigure, and re-pair your Roku to the TV.
  4. Install Disney+ and check if the error still appears.
  5. If the error persists, consider factory resetting the TV as well.

9. Disable the Network Firewall

Network firewalls like PiHole may interfere with Disney+ traffic, causing an error. Disabling the firewall might resolve this.

Warning: Proceed with caution as disabling a network firewall comes with security risks.

  1. Press the Windows key and search for Command Prompt.
    Open Command Prompt as Administrator
  2. Right-click Command Prompt in the results and select Run as Administrator.
  3. Type the following and press Enter:
  4. In the PiHole interface, type and execute:
    pihole disable
  5. Launch Disney+ on the affected device and check if the issue is fixed. If so, consider whitelisting specific addresses in the firewall settings:

10. Use the 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi Band of the Router

Weak Wi-Fi signals on the 5 GHz band might break the Disney+ app’s operation. Switching to the 2.4 GHz band could fix connectivity-related errors.

  1. Open a web browser and navigate to the router’s web portal.
  2. Enter the router’s Settings and select the Wireless section.
  3. Deactivate the 5 GHz option, ensuring the 2.4 GHz band is active.
    Switch to 2.4 GHz Band in Router Settings
  4. Save changes, restart your router, and check if Disney+ is working correctly.

11. Edit the DNS Settings of the TV

Problems with ISP DNS resolution might cause the protected content license error. Editing your TV’s DNS settings to use a public DNS like Google’s could resolve latency issues.

  1. Head to your Samsung TV’s Settings and access the Network tab.
  2. Select Network Status</
  3. Click on IP Settings.
    Access IP Settings in Samsung TV Settings
  4. Choose DNS Server and opt for Enter Manually.
    Manually Configure DNS Values on Samsung TV
  5. Input the Google DNS value or another preferred public DNS:
    Input Google DNS Value on Samsung TV
  6. Save the settings and restart your Samsung TV.
  7. After the restart, open the Disney+ app and check if the protected content license error has been resolved.

12. Reset the Router to Factory Defaults

Corruption in the router’s firmware can interfere with the transmission of data between devices and Disney+ servers, causing the protected content license error. A factory reset on the router might resolve this issue. Prior to proceeding, record all necessary information for re-configuring the router post-reset.

  1. Locate the physical reset button on the router, typically found on the back or bottom.
  2. Press the reset button with a pointed object (like a paperclip) for 30 seconds, then release it.
    Reset Router to Factory Defaults
  3. Wait until the router has fully rebooted and the lights are stable.
  4. Reconfigure the router as per the manufacturer’s guidelines and reconnect your device or TV to the network.
  5. Then, check the Disney+ app again to determine if the license error has been corrected.

Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.