It seems that some Google Pixel devices are still stuck with the Widevine L3 support and SD quality on OTT services like Netflix. So, the Netflix users are unable to stream content of the higher resolution and only limited to the SD (Standard Definition). Now, if you’re one of the Pixel device users and encountering issues with the Widevine L3 support then you can check out this guide to fix the Google Pixel Widevine Level Changed from Level 1 to 3 issue.
To recall, almost every media streaming service like Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, etc uses various types of Digital Rights Management (DRM) to protect their content from being pirated or redistributed without their permission. Widevine is a widely-used DRM technology that’s used in multiple web and Android apps. But not all Android devices fully support Widevine DRM which might be a concern for the subscribers as they’re paying for the content and quality.
Fix: Google Pixel Widevine Level Changed from Level 1 to 3
To be precise, Widevine L3 is the lowest-supported video resolution. If a device has the Widevine L3 support only that means it doesn’t have a Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) for DRM encryption to run which may lead the content streaming limited in 480P resolution. Widevine L2 supported devices do have a Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) but video processing happens on a software basis. It allows to stream content at 540P maximum.
Whereas the Widevine L1 support is best for the OTT services if you’re paying for the subscription and want to watch content on bigger screens like monitors or TVs. This is the highest level of protection and the media is decrypted which is processed entirely in the Trusted Execution Environment (TEE). Android devices with Widevine L3 support can play Widevine-protected content at the highest possible resolution.
Now, if we come to the actual topic, most Android devices do come with Widevine L1 support by default (certified by Google) out of the box. Whereas some rooted devices or non-certified smartphones may only support Widevine L3 or L2. Sometimes even a software bug or corrupted update can cause Widevine DRM to revert to L2 or L3. If you’re not sure enough which Widevine level your device is supported then you can use the DRM Info app via the Play Store to check the same.
To check the Widevine level on your device for Netflix, you can simply open up the Netflix app > Go to ‘Settings’ > Scroll down to ‘Playback Specifications’ to see which formats are available. Unfortunately, some of the Pixel device users are reporting that the Widevine level has been changed from Level 1 to Level 3. Luckily, there is a Widevine Services APK file that can install the certificate properly. A big thanks to trapcoder (XDA Senior Member) for sharing it.
Steps to Fix Pixel Widevine Level from L3 to L1
- Just download the app-release_signed(3).apk file on your affected Pixel device or any other Android device and install it.
- If it asks to allow unknown sources to install the APK then make sure to allow the same.
- Once the APK file has been installed, head over to the device Settings menu > Apps > Netflix > Clear Cache and Data of the Netflix app.
- Reboot your device to apply changes.
- Enjoy! Your device is now supported by Widevine L1 for Netflix.
However, if the problem still persists then contact your device manufacturer or support team for further assistance.
That’s it, guys. We assume this guide was helpful to you. For further queries, you can comment below.