Online video streaming services like Netflix and Prime Video offer HD and HDR content these days. To stream HD videos on an Android phone, Netflix checks the Widevine Security Level of an Android phone. If your Android phone’s Widevine Security Level meets the criteria set by a service like Netflix, it can stream a movie or TV show in HD or higher quality. Unfortunately, the Widevine Security Level is not listed in the spec sheet of an Android phone. There is a particular method to check this. The method is given in this guide. Knowing how to check Widevine Security Level of Android phone is useful when you want to check if a certain phone supports HD streaming on Netflix or Prime Video.
Before checking the Widevine Security Level of Android phone, let’s understand Widevine CDM in detail.
Widevine is Google’s proprietary DRM architecture. This architecture enables content creators and services to stream protected content. All devices that use Google’s ecosystem support the Widevine DRM. The Android OS incorporates Widevine CDM to stream HD videos from various platforms. Google has added Widevine to its Google Chrome browser which cooperates with the streaming websites. Browsers like Firefox and Opera also use Widevine architecture for video lovers.
Widevine is also used to stream content on devices like Google Chromecast and Android TV. The purpose of Widevine DRM is to ensure that the users get the best HD streaming experience on their devices.
When users are watching videos on Netflix on their Android phone, Netflix first checks the Widevine CDM. The Widevine CDM Security Level has to be at L1 in order to stream anything in HD quality. Android devices generally have two security levels. It can either be L1 or L3. If an Android device supports L3, it means it doesn’t support Netflix or Prime Video in HD.
Widevine CDM is nothing more than a certification. If a high-end smartphone with a display capable of handling HD videos comes with a Widevine CDM of L3, it means that the phone manufacturer is at fault. For example, the OnePlus 5T, at the time of its launch, did not have the security level of L1. The phone couldn’t stream Netflix videos in HD. The company added L1 support later on which proved that it was OnePlus at fault.
Similarly, Xiaomi’s Pocophone F1 did not have Widevine L1 either. The company updated it to L1 later on after facing server criticism. When Xiaomi released the Mi 9 recently, it did mention that the phone supports Widevine L1 so that the users do not take a hard stance once again.
That said, let’s move on to the guide to learn how to check Widevine Security Level of Android phones.
Check Widevine Security Level of Android
Time needed: 2 minutes.
Checking Widevine DRM of an Android phone is extremely easy. Just follow these easy steps to determine your phone’s HD video streaming capability.
- Open Google Play Store on Android phone.
First of all, you need to open the Google Play store on your Android phone. Make sure the internet is connected and then open the Play Store.
- Install DRM Info from the Play Store.
In the Play Store, find the “DRM Info” application. As soon as you find this
application, install it.
- Open DRM Info.
DRM Info will appear under the App Drawer on your phone. Open it.
- See the Security Level under Widevine CDM.
At the bottom of the DRM Info application, you will find Widevine CDM. Under this, you will find Security Level. If the Security Level is L1, it means it’s all Hunky-Dory. If the Security Level is L3, your phone doesn’t support HD.
By this time, you should have a clear idea about where your phone stands. If you think that your phone’s hardware is capable of handling HD or HDR video, but it doesn’t have security level L1, you can raise voice on various forums to urge your phone maker to roll out an update. Pocophone F1 users forced Xiaomi to get L1 support and they succeeded. Let us know if you found this guide helpful. For any queries and questions, feel free to reach out to us.
Last Updated: 26th October 2019