Widevine L1 certification is a way to prevent video streaming content from being copied and redistributed. Media streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and others employ various methods of Digital Rights Management (DRM). This is why certain smartphones cannot stream movies or TV shows at resolutions higher than 480p through video streaming apps.
Other DRM services are available on the market, but Widevine is the most trustworthy and commonly utilized. It has various levels of certifications, and in this article, we’ve tried to explain everything that you need to know about Widevine L1 certification and why it is important for smartphones and tablets.
What Is Widevine?
Widevine is a solution that checks the security of video data streams on a device and keeps it safe from being copied illegally. It was acquired by Google in 2010, and it has since become the de facto Digital Rights Management (DRM) solution for Android devices, propelling the OTT revolution.
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Video streaming services such as Netflix, HBO, Disney+, Prime Video, Voot, and others use Widevine DRM system. Widevine operates by combining CENC encryption, license key exchange, and adaptive streaming quality.
Widevine has three security levels: L3, L2, and L1. These levels are fairly self-explanatory, although your device must be Widevine L1 certified if you want to stream HD resolution and HDR video from services like Netflix.
Getting a Widevine certificate is free for device makers, they just need to follow the basic guidelines and requirements laid out in the whitepaper and pass a simple test to obtain the exact level of certification.
Widevine Levels: L1, L2, L3
We will not go over all three Widevine levels for educational purposes, but our main focus will be L1 because most smartphones, tablets, and laptops on the market have this certification.
Widevine L3: This is the most basic certification available, requiring only software-based DRM. The content will typically only play at 480p resolution if you have a Widevine L3-certified device. For DRM encryption, L3 also typically means there is no Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) to secure the content.
Widevine L2: Widevine L2 is the second level, which incorporates software-based video processing or dedicated video hardware. Widevine L2 devices sometimes have a higher resolution output than Widevine L3 devices, up to 540p resolution. However, this is resolution and quality is not up to the mark on most devices being sold in the market.
Widevine L1: Widevine L1 is the highest degree of DRM protection, and video decryption and processing take place entirely within the Trusted Execution Environment in devices that support it (TEE). Widevine L1-certified devices can play videos at the best resolution possible. Dedicated hardware, which is now integrated into the processors that power your smartphones, tablets, and laptops, aids in unlocking the full potential of Widevine L1.
How To Check Widevine L1 Certification On Your Phone?
Device manufacturers used to be unconcerned about including data like Widevine certification levels in their specifications sheets, but that has changed as the number of OTT platforms have grown.
At least in some Asian markets, smartphone manufacturers are now emphasizing the fact that their handsets are L1 certified and can stream HD video when unveiling new products. Then some high-end gadgets allow you to stream videos in HDR or Dolby Vision, which is currently only available on a few Xiaomi and Apple devices.
In theory, all Android devices now have the Widevine certification. If you want to see if your smartphone is compatible with Winevine and other popular DRM services, you may use apps like DRM Info, which is available for free on the Google Play Store.
Simply look for the DRM Info app in the Google Play store to determine what degree of certification your device has. Furthermore, Netflix maintains a continually updated list of Android smartphones and tablets that can stream its movies and TV shows in high definition. The list also includes Qualcomm and Samsung chipsets that can stream Netflix content in high definition.
Why Is Widevine Important?
We’ve gone over what Widevine is, the many levels it comes in, and how to see if your device supports it. The most basic reason for Widevine’s importance is that it allows you to experience and comprehend videos in their purest form possible. It also aids artists and services in avoiding revenue loss due to piracy, as the Widevine L1 ensures that devices cannot screen record the content that is currently playing on the screen.