Some Pixel owners have noticed over the last couple of monthly updates that their phones have lost Widevine L1 status, falling to L3 and rendering them incapable of playing back some DRM-protected content at high quality. More simply, that means they can't play HD content in apps and services like Netflix. By far the majority of devices are not affected and the cause isn't immediately clear. Google tells us it's aware of these reports and working on a fix, and devices from other manufactures may also be affected.
Some folks using the new ASUS ROG Phone 3 are having issues playing back HD content in certain apps like Netflix. The cause, as some of our more savvy readers might expect, is an issue with Android's Widevine DRM system, with some phone owners reporting that their L1 Widevine state has been lost, relegating them to standard definition playback. ASUS has now fixed the problem with a software update after initially asking customers to send in their phones to get back HD playback.
Today's theme seems to be DRM. Security researcher David Buchanan has managed to crack open Widevine L3, one of Google's less secure Widevine DRM implementations used by apps like Netflix and Hulu. Once decrypted, streams using the DRM method can be played back in "plain old ffmpeg" — trivially easily, in other words.