There is a new bug affecting Pixel owners. The new Pixel Widevine bug affects Netflix quality for owners of Google’s smartphones. According to Android Police, Google is working on a fix though. Some Pixel owners have been noticing that their Pixels have lost Widevine L1 status after the past few monthly updates.
The phones affected now have a Widevine L3 status which is making them incapable of playing back some DRM-protected content at high quality. Simply put, this means they can not play HD content in apps such as Netflix. Thankfully, the majority of devices are not affected.
However, Google is aware of the reports and the company is working on a fix. Other devices from other manufacturers may also be affected as well. The problem with this issue is that if a device loses Widevine L1 status it is generally hard to fix.
OnePlus once upon a time offered to add Widevine L1 certification to the OnePlus 5 and 5T. However, to do so the company had to send phones back in to have them flashed with the feature. The ROG Phone 3 also has experienced an issue with Widevine L1.
New Pixel Widevine bug affects Netflix quality for some devices
The gaming phone lost its L1 status, and when it did Asus requested that users send their devices in to get fixed. Thankfully the company was able to fix it via a software update. Widevine is a DRM solution that Google made. It is used on Android to provide secure playback of content. L1 is the highest level of certification.
To get L1 certification companies must secure the element behind it by installing it in the factory or delivered to the device using an approved secure delivery mechanism.” The L3 status is less secure and.
It is hard to detect if your device has lost Widevine L1 status but there is an app for that. The DRM Info app can be downloaded on the Google Playstore. This app once ran will report the current Widevine certification level.
It is super easy to use. Install it, open it, scroll to “Widevine CDM” and see the “Security Level” In the “Playback Specification” section SD corresponds to L3 and L1 corresponds to Full HD.
Again, not all devices are being affected. Your best bet is to check your device specifically to see if it is one of the devices being affected. There is one theory that the devices which are being affected may have had Android 12 Developer Preview flashed. Then later the device owners flashed it back to stock.
Again, Google is working on a fix. So if you have been affected, keep an eye out for any information on a fix.