HD streaming: how to tell if your smartphone supports Widevine L1

how to check widevine streaming hd support

If you have an Android smartphone, then most likely the concept of streaming in HD can only interest you. Yes, because for years the use of video content has moved from the future exclusively on TV to also include telephony. A very considerable advantage, since it allows us to watch movies and TV series around, whether on public transport, in a park or simply in bed. However, some of you may not know that your smartphone is unable to support streaming in HD. Not everyone is able, in fact, and it is precisely for this reason that I want to explain to you how to check if your phone is able or not.

How to check if your smartphone supports HD streaming

Unlike smart TV TVs, hacking streaming content from a PC or phone can be much easier. And that's why a few years ago Google introduced Widevine DRM, based on the Digital Rights Management system. This encryption technology ensures that apps that rely on it enjoy protection against unauthorized copying and redistribution of content. Among these apps we find Netflix, Prime Video, Disney +, Google Play Film, NOW, and so on.

Not all certifications are the same

All Android smartphones are natively equipped, but there are various levels of Widevine certification. Every time a new smartphone is launched, Google must certify its existence under various profiles. Among these certifications there is also the Widevine one: if it is passed, then the smartphone is able to support HD streaming. This means that, connection permitting, it will be able to stream video in 720p quality and above. Smartphones that are part of this group have certification Widevine L1. To achieve this level, the phone must guarantee the highest degree of TEE protection in terms of processing, encryption and control.

If the TEE support is not complete and the video processing is done separately, then the smartphone will have certification Widevine L2 and videos will be limited to a maximum of 540p. Finally, if your phone doesn't have TEE support then move on to that Widevine L3, where the videos reach a maximum of 480p. Beware, though: unlocking the bootloader and getting root permissions on an L1 phone will automatically switch it to L3. Also, it can happen that an official update may give some problems, worsening the degree of certification.

Example of non-certification with Prime Video

How to know if your phone is Widevine L1

If you have the doubt or the curiosity to find out if your Android smartphone has HD streaming support, there is an app that is right for you. It's called DRM Info and you can find it for free on the Google Play Store.

Once downloaded and installed, just start it, scroll down and you will have an overview of the Widevine Lx certification of your device. Should you encounter an L2 or L3 certification, unfortunately there is not much you can do to get it to L1. It is a step that necessarily touches the Google team. If, on the other hand, the problem stems from a failed update, then we always recommend that you do a Google search to see if other users with your phone model have managed to solve.

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