What Is Widevine L1, L2, L3 Certification?

The screens of today’s mobiles are excellent. Although logic indicates that a phone with an HD, Full HD, or QHD screen can reproduce the content in high definition, the reality is that this is not the case. If you are using a smartphone, you might have heard about the term ‘Widevine’. 

So, today I am going to explain to you guys about the same, how its levels are defined and you can enable it in your PC. So, let’s begin.

What is Widewine DRM?

Its full name is Widevine Digital Right Management standard. And, the main role is to protect the content of OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HULU, and others from piracy. That is why large services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime Video use it. It is for all devices like android iOS, televisions, game consoles, or laptops with Windows.

Widevine Technologies was founded in 1999 but was acquired in 2010 by Google. It is therefore used as a protection measure to prevent piracy. It is not the only solution, but it is one of the most popular ones.

Widevine Certification Levels

Depending on the protection and the level of encryption, we have up to three levels. Widevine L1, L2, and L3, although only the first and third are used in Android. 

Widevine L1

On Google Widevine-L1, videos are processed under the Trusted Execution Environment (TEE), a series of processor and security-related components. The video you will be getting will be the maximum possible resolution of content (1080p or higher) with the maximum level of security and encryption. 

Widevine L2

If you have Widevine-L2 then it means you will only get videos with a maximum of 540p. This happens because the cryptographic operations do happen in your phone but content processing does not take place, and the out is low-resolution videos. 

Widevine L3

If you have Widevine-L3 on your phone, there won’t be any cryptographic operations nor any content processing takes place. And due to this, you will only be getting content of up to 480p

How To Check Widevine Certification On Your Phone?

DRM Info
DRM Info
Developer: Android Fung
Price: Free
  • DRM Info Screenshot
  • DRM Info Screenshot
  • DRM Info Screenshot
  • DRM Info Screenshot
  • DRM Info Screenshot
  • DRM Info Screenshot
  • DRM Info Screenshot
  • DRM Info Screenshot

To check which certification your device is compatible with, you can download the DRM Info application from the Play Store. The application is free and works without any problem.

All you have to do is open the application and scroll down to locate the WidevineCDM at the bottom we can see the versions under the Security Level. 

Widevine L1 is there on your phone, but why are you not able to stream HD content?

There is another point that must be mentioned because even if your equipment has Widewine L1, Netflix has to do another certification to play content in Full HD and of course also in HDR. Your device needs to fulfill certain hardware conditions as mentioned by OTT platforms to stream the content in Full HD.

Note: This event does not occur in iOS, where the iPhone and iPad with the compatible resolution can play content in Full HD.

Why Widevine Is DRM Very Important?

It is one of the world’s oldest and most established DRM services, thus most OTT platforms today use it as a standard certification that must be there in your device. Without Widevine certification, you won’t be able to stream content from Netflix and other OTT services at all. 

As I have mentioned above, it helps protect the content and prevent piracy. Only the one which pays for a subscription on OTT services gets to watch the HD content. This is important for OTT services as they may lose their revenue if people start watching pirated content. 

Why You Can’t Record Screen On OTT Platforms

If you use any OTT service, you would have seen you can’t take a screenshot while the media is playing. You can’t even record your screen. The reason is the support of Widevine-L1. It protects the content of OTT platforms and will prevent screenshots and screen recordings. 

Widevine Certification Process

If you have any misconception that mobile brands have to pay for this certification then it’s not the case. The certifications are completely free of cost Any mobile phone brands have to pass a certain test and if they do they can get the certification for their phones.

Widevine has partners. So any mobile brands wanting the certification have to reach out to the partners which then test the phone and its hardware. If the phone fulfills all the hardware requirements then it can have the Widevine certification of different levels; L1, L2, or L3.

How to Become Certified Widevine Implementation Partner

Now, who are these partners? If you visit the Widevine official website, you can see their current partners. If you want to join them you can apply on their website and they will provide you the training and then you can join them as a certified partner. 

What If Your Phone Doesn’t Have Widevine Certification?

If your phone doesn’t have a Widevine Certification then you won’t be able to stream content on OTT platforms properly. This has happened with a few phones in the past. But they got the support after an OTA Android update. But in certain cases, you might have to visit the service center physically to patch the Widevine support. 

How To Enable Widevine Certification In Your Laptop or Desktop?

Now that you know about mobile devices, let’s talk about your PC. If you use any browser on your PC, you can search through the setting for an option ‘Widevine’ and make sure you have enabled it.

So, if you visit any OTT platform, it will ask you to install a plugin. This plugin will enable Widevine support for the OTT platforms. Again, the certification level will depend on your PC hardware.

Note: By default, the Widevine is enabled on Google Chrome so you don’t have to do anything. 


How do I know if I have Widevine l3?

You can install the DRM info application from playstore and check if you have Widevine L3 on your phone.

How do I install Widevine?

You can not install Widevine on your mobile device. It is done by the manufacturer itself.

Does Netflix use Widevine?

Yes. Netflix uses Widevine DRM to prevent piracy. 


In this article, I have mentioned all about what is Widevine and its main role is to protect the content of OTT platforms. Without Widevine certification, you won’t be able to stream content from Netflix and other OTT services at all. So, it is a must to prevent the piracy of the content.  

I hope you like my article if you have any doubts feel free to drop a comment in the comment section.

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Satish Shah
Member of Team TJ - Tech Enthusiast, and Programmer

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