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How to Play Netflix HD on any Android Device with Widevine Level 1 DRM

November 28th, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments

A while ago I wrote an article entitled “Why Doesn’t your Android TV Box Play Full HD or 4K Videos in Netflix?” basically explaining that most TV boxes running Android could only play SD quality, because HD and higher quality requires both Widevine Level 1 DRM, and Netflix certification, and the second part is the most difficult since Netflix need to spend time testing a given product, and may not agree to do so for smaller manufacturers. The end result is that only a small subset of devices can play Netflix HD.

netflix-hd-tabletSamsung Tab S2 is one of the device with Widevine Level 1, but is not certified by Netflix, and by default can only play SD quality. But XDA Forum user chenxiaolong apparently found a workaround and as the photo above shows is now able to reach HD resolutions (e.g. 1920×1080) with Netflix using his tablet. After analyzing packets between the server and his two Samsung tablets, he noticed that he could set “enableWidevineL1” from the JSON response to true, and provided a method showing how to change the app without uploaded a modded apk. But others followed his instructions and released a modified Netflix HD apk.

Although it might or might not breach Netflix TOS, please note that this has nothing to do with piracy at all, nor does it skip DRM, as it still requires both a Netflix HD subscription and a device supporting Widevine Level 1 DRM. Sadly that also means the trick will still not work on most cheap Android TV boxes that are limited to Level 3 security. It’s also quite possible Netflix eventually notices and changes the code to prevent this little hack. You can check Widevine DRM support with DRM Info app.

Thanks to Theguyuk for the tip.

  1. jmh2002
    November 28th, 2016 at 20:37 | #1

    Interesting, Thanks 🙂

  2. TMT
    November 28th, 2016 at 20:44 | #2

    Good news. I’ll test it the apk

  3. November 28th, 2016 at 21:35 | #3

    Question: How can I see the stream details? (resolution, bit rate etc…?)

  4. November 29th, 2016 at 09:02 | #4

    @Hetz
    Netflix has video samples to test bitrate and resolution that will show the text as shown in the tablet picture above.
    Last year, when I tried with somebody else account I searched for “Example Short 23.976”. This may have changed since then.

  5. Theguyuk
    November 29th, 2016 at 16:02 | #5

    @Hertz

    The above example is not available on Netflix UK , Netflix choice, don’t know why.

  6. Theguyuk
    November 29th, 2016 at 16:18 | #6

    Oddly Samsung’s galaxy tab 2 is listed here

    https://help.netflix.com/en/node/23939

    Netflix is available in HD on the Android tablets below.
    Note: Devices must run the latest firmware for HD playback to work properly.

    Acer Predator 8 (GT-810)
    Acer Iconia Tab 10 (A3-A30)
    Amazon Fire HD 8″ 2016 (KFGIWI)
    Asus Zenpad S8 (P01MA, P01M)
    Asus Zenpad 10 (P023, P021, P01T)
    Asus ZenPad Z8 for Verizon (VZW_P008)
    Dell Venue 8 7840 (Requires Android 5.0+)
    Google Nexus 7 2013
    Google Nexus 9 (requires Android 6.0)
    Google Pixel C
    Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro (YT3-X90F, YT3-X90L, YT3-X90X)
    Nvidia Shield Portable
    Nvidia Shield Tablet
    Nvidia Shield Tablet K1
    Nvidia Tegra Note 7
    Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 (SM-T700, SM-T701, SM-T702, SM-T705, SM-T707)*
    Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 (SM-T800, SM-T801, SM-T802, SM-T805, SM-T807)*
    Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 (SM-T710, SM-T715, SM-T715C, SM-T715Y, SM-T715N0, SM-T810, SM-T815, SM-T815C, SM-T815Y, SM-T815N0, SM-T817, SM-T817A, SM-T817V, SM-T817W, SM-T817P, SM-T817T, SM-T817R4)
    Samsung Galaxy View (SM-T670, SM-T677, SM-T677A, SM-T677V)

    Netflix is available in HD on the Android phones below.
    Note: Devices must run the latest firmware for HD playback to work properly.

    Asus Zenphone 2 (Z00AD, Z00ADA, Z00ADB, Z00ADC)
    Asus ZenFone 3 Ultra (ASUS_A001)
    Asus Zenphone Zoom (Z00XS)
    Google Nexus 6
    Google Nexus 5X
    Google Nexus 6P
    Google Pixel and Pixel XL
    HTC One A9 (One A9U)
    HTC Butterfly 3 (B830X)
    LG G3 (D850, D851, D855, LS990, US990, VS985)
    LG V20 (VS995, LG-H918, LG-LS997, LG-US996, LG-H910, LGV34, LG-F800S, LG-F800K, LG-F800L, LG-H990N, LG-H990TR, LG-H990T, LG-H990ds, LG-H990, LG-H915, LG-H910PR)
    Motorola DROID Turbo (XT1254)
    Motorola DROID Turbo 2 (XT1585)
    Motorola Moto X 2014 (XT1092, XT1093, XT1095, XT1096, XT1097)
    Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (SM-N910A, SM-N910P, SM-N910T, SM-N910V, SM-N910R4)
    Samsung Galaxy Note 5 (SM-N920C, SM-N9208, SM-N920I, SM-N920G, SM-N920A, SM-N920W8, SM-N920T, SM-N920V, SM-N920P, SM-N920R4, SM-N920R6, SM-N920R7)
    Samsung Galaxy Note 7 (SM-N930A, SM-N930V, SM-N930P, SM-N930T, SM-N930R4, SM-N930R6, SM-N930U, SM-N930R7, SM-N930W8, SM-N9300, SC-01J, SCV34, SM-N930F)
    Samsung Galaxy S6 (SM-G920T, SM-G920T1, SM-G920P, SM-G920R6, SM-G920R7, SM-G920R4, SM-G920V, SM-G920I, SM-G920F, SM-G9208, SM-G920W8, SM-G920A, SM-G920AZ)
    Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge (SM-G925T, SM-G925P, SM-G925R6, SM-G925R7, SM-G925R4, SM-G925V, SM-G925I, SM-G925F, SM-G9250, SM-G925W8, SAMSUNG-SM-G925A)
    Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ (SM-G928F, SM-G928C, SM-G9287C, SM-G928I, SM-G928G, SM-G928A, SM-G928W8, SM-G928T, SM-G928V, SM-G928P, SM-G928R4)
    Samsung Galaxy S7 (SM-G930P, SM-G930T, SM-G930A, SM-G930AZ, SM-G930U, SM-G930R7, SM-G930R6, SM-G930T1, SM-G930R4, SM-G930V, SM-G891A)
    Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (SM-G935P, SM-G935T, SM-G935A, SM-G935U, SM-G935R4, SM-G935V)

    Android media boxes with phone firmware are treated as in the phone and tablet group.

  7. November 29th, 2016 at 16:22 | #7

    @Theguyuk
    The hack was actually first posted in January, maybe Netflix added the tablet to the list later on.

  8. Theguyuk
    November 29th, 2016 at 16:26 | #8

    And the Nvidia Tegra Note 7″ only has a 1280 x 800 resolution !

  9. Theguyuk
    November 29th, 2016 at 16:28 | #9

    @cnxsoft

    Very true

  10. December 2nd, 2016 at 20:17 | #10

    I cannot install the apk on my Q10 Pro. If it is an old hack, probably that is why it does not work on mine.

  11. December 2nd, 2016 at 20:22 | #11

    @Mihai
    Does Himedia Q10 Pro support Widewine L1 DRM?

  12. December 6th, 2016 at 19:46 | #12

    @cnxsoft
    No, it does not have Widevine L1 DRM. I had Netflix installed from Play Store, I could not even install the apk.

  13. Aie Massfiria
    December 30th, 2016 at 14:08 | #13

    Hi.

    Im remodded that apk to force HD in non-certified device L3. Try it.

    http://199.175.53.21/netflix-hd-remodded.apk

  14. theguyuk
    December 30th, 2016 at 14:51 | #14

    @Aie Massfiria

    Not being rude just security concious, who are you?

    How have you modified it?

  15. Aie Massfiria
    December 30th, 2016 at 15:04 | #15

    @theguyuk
    just a normal person

  16. theguyuk
    December 30th, 2016 at 15:53 | #16

    @Aie Massfiria
    Being evasive too ?

  17. December 30th, 2016 at 16:28 | #17

    @theguyuk
    He has commented on CNX Software before, and linked to OpenELEC for K1 Plus on the same server @ http://www.cnx-software.com/2016/03/28/openelec-vitmos-os-for-videostrongvenz-k1-plus-android-dvb-receiver/#comment-532886

  18. December 30th, 2016 at 16:33 | #18

    @cnxsoft
    If you still worry, you could download the apk on your PC first, and run it through https://apk-analyzer.net/ or other tools.

    Edit: I’ve tried one report and it says it’s clean: https://apkscan.nviso.be/report/show/40d31d941f05e717ff67a51a869b1576

  19. theguyuk
    December 30th, 2016 at 17:50 | #19

    @cnxsoft
    Thank you

    I was, am worried over security exploits or account harvesting.

    Not turned on the PC in months. Am I right in thinking Widevine L3 is software and Widevine L1 has to be firmware enabled in hardware and have a non rooted device.

    Curious how it breaks DRM Widevine L1 to force a Widevine L3 to play L1.

    Maybe me, but don’t feel trust in posted app. I will adopt the surrogate goat, miners canary, security method myself.

  20. Aie Massfiria
    December 30th, 2016 at 19:50 | #20

    @theguyuk

    @cnxsoft

    Tq for coorperation. Yes, its clean…After i get the apk look into its. I think the apk is disable DRM Detection Level and only supported only Cert-Device L1 then im thinking how to force it to HD in level 3…Actually im re-modded the apk :-

    1) To always return Detection Widevine L1 even the device is L3. Means no false (0)..always true (1)
    2) To always detect Device is HD

  21. Aie Massfiria
    January 7th, 2017 at 20:12 | #21

    new latest netflix modded apk by me normal app not leanback. This version is more clear. force to play on UltraHD http://199.175.53.21/netflixlatest.hdonly8.apk
    Quote

  22. Massimo Olivieri
    January 10th, 2017 at 17:45 | #22

    @Aie Massfiria
    Can be done same hack with Android TV leanback version APP? and/or force DD+ 5.1 audio?

    • Aie Massfiria
      January 10th, 2017 at 21:03 | #23

      leanback is hard if using noncertified device..but maybe can on Certified device. Will try.

  23. Massimo Olivieri
    January 11th, 2017 at 16:17 | #24

    @Aie Massfiria
    Not work. netflix show UHD logo into info movie screen, but when playback video OMX decoding report 720×480.

    • Aie Massfiria
      January 12th, 2017 at 06:10 | #25

      What device that tested and netflix package?

  24. Julian Seidler
    January 12th, 2017 at 17:43 | #26

    @Aie Massfiria:
    Netflix.hdonly8.apk does not work on Samsung galaxy tab A 10.1 2016 LTE. The resolution is not improved (480p).

    Netflix.hd.remodded.apk does not work either. With this version it only plays sound and shows the message: “unable to reach netflix service. Please refer to the customer service.”

    • Aie Massfiria
      January 12th, 2017 at 18:24 | #27

      Not tested on any device with L1 level..Actually modded special for L3 coz L1 still can using original apk at Playstore and can get HD or UHD depending on device, hdcp level and TV.

  25. Julian Seidler
    January 13th, 2017 at 22:24 | #28

    Okay, I thought when this app can trick netflix to accept a L3 device, a L1 device should be easy as well… Bad luck for me

  26. Damkier
    January 18th, 2017 at 04:26 | #29

    Seem to work 1080p on my widevine l3 s912

  27. MisterX
    February 23rd, 2017 at 17:33 | #30

    Does anybody have an APK for an L1 Device?

  28. February 24th, 2017 at 14:55 | #31

    @MisterX
    Try that one: minix.com.hk/downfile/Netflix_HD.apk (link broken). Use that one instead

  29. Victor
    March 1st, 2017 at 01:47 | #32

    @Damkier
    it work at 1080p without mod apk?

  30. Bob Snelgrove
    March 25th, 2017 at 00:16 | #33

    Any updates for android tv boxes? Amlogic S912.

  31. Bob Snelgrove
    March 25th, 2017 at 00:17 | #34

    cnxsoft :
    @MisterX
    Try that one: minix.com.hk/downfile/Netflix_HD.apk

    Dead link

  32. March 25th, 2017 at 09:15 | #35

    @Bob Snelgrove
    I found a mirror @ https://mega.nz/#!kVgDFARC!rA6ASZB-cR65_t-PlHHUwV-6VobbEBc-dEMniK563cI

    You need Widevine Level 1 DRM for HD video to work with this. Among Amlogic S912 TV boxes only MINIX NEO U9-H has it (AFAIK).

  33. Bob Snelgrove
    March 25th, 2017 at 10:56 | #36

    cnxsoft :
    @Bob Snelgrove
    I found a mirror @ https://mega.nz/#!kVgDFARC!rA6ASZB-cR65_t-PlHHUwV-6VobbEBc-dEMniK563cI
    You need Widevine Level 1 DRM for HD video to work with this. Among Amlogic S912 TV boxes only MINIX NEO U9-H has it (AFAIK).

    Thanks, I have a Beelink GT-1 (S912). So I can’t run Widevine or use the HD Netflix apk then?

    bob

  34. March 25th, 2017 at 11:22 | #37

    @Bob Snelgrove
    You can run that apk, but you’ll be limited to 480p. 720p is only possible if you have a box with Widevine L1.
    The DRM is something done at the factory that can’t be updated by firmware update.

  35. Bob Snelgrove
    March 25th, 2017 at 12:44 | #38

    cnxsoft :
    @Bob Snelgrove
    You can run that apk, but you’ll be limited to 480p. 720p is only possible if you have a box with Widevine L1.
    The DRM is something done at the factory that can’t be updated by firmware update.

    No 1080P then, even with the MINIX?

  36. March 25th, 2017 at 20:05 | #39

    @Bob Snelgrove
    That’s my understanding based on what I read on minix forums.
    You need to have a Netflix certified device for 1080p/4K, even the hacked app discussed in this post is limited to 720p.

  37. Bob Snelgrove
    March 25th, 2017 at 20:43 | #40

    cnxsoft :
    @Bob Snelgrove
    That’s my understanding based on what I read on minix forums.
    You need to have a Netflix certified device for 1080p/4K, even the hacked app discussed in this post is limited to 720p.

    Thanks,

    No need to get the MINIX then! So I guess the hacked Samsung at the beginning of this article is an exception then? (1080p)

  38. March 25th, 2017 at 20:58 | #41

    @Bob Snelgrove
    I forgot about the Samsung thing. Maybe better confirm on MINIX forums about the limitation. I don’t have Netflix myself, but right now my understanding is
    1. Beelink GT1 works up to 480p (same as other cheaper Amlogic TV boxes)
    2. MINIX NEO U9-H works up to 720p with hacked app
    3. If you want Full HD, one the cheapest option is Xiaomi Mi Box US -> http://www.cnx-software.com/2017/02/12/xiaomi-mi-box-us-android-tv-tv-box-review/

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