Status of Widevine L1?

There has been some talk in the past about getting Widevine L1 working on the Vero 4K. Is this something that is still being worked on, or has it been abandoned?

It was implemented some time ago internally. You won’t get L1 on a 4K/4K+ in circulation as we cannot provision keys OTA - there’s no mechanism.

However - in the future we are looking to be able to provide hardware acceleration for Widevine L3 on Vero 4K/4K+. This would mean 1080p playing smoothly as we are not using software decoding.

Well, that seems rather a shame. Is there some non-OTA method that could be used? Sending data by post? Having the Vero 4K posted back to OSMC headquarters for a hardware change?

That would be of some benefit for Netflix, but not for other services - Disney Plus is restricted to 720p (already decoded in hardware) while Prime Video is limited to 960x540. Maybe Widevine L1 wouldn’t actually help with those, I don’t know, but it would be interesting to find out.

I wouldn’t say it’s a shame – we never advertised support when we sold this device five years ago and people bought it knowing this wasn’t supported.

We will never officially support it, even with HDCP2 and Widevine L1 keys burned. Google don’t want to allow keys to be provisioned on non Android TV devices anymore, but still tacitly permit it. And they change minimum CDM version requirements regularly.

I’m glad we didn’t ship keys in 2020 when we are able, because I don’t want to give something and then take it away (which would’ve been the case when Google updated CDM requirements and SoC provider lagged behind).

Widevine L1 isn’t going to change that – I’m not going to pay for Prime Video licensing fees. The Kodi add-on is unofficial and could be disabled at any time. Paying the license fees would probably put Kodi on the radar more and accelerate this.

There are a number of add-ons that benefit from Widevine L1 support however.

Internally, we have some discussions.

If we support Widevine L1 and HDCP2.2 we have to lock down the device significantly. You can still have root access; but you cannot build or run your own kernel or bootloader.

I’m of the opinion that if you buy the device, it should be yours to do what you want with. So we are exploring ways to allow such functionality in a ‘jailbreak’ manner, i.e. you can boot a kernel you compiled yourself, but only if you have erased your Widevine and HDCP keys. These keys wouldn’t be reburnable.

We’ve brought a lot to the Vero 4K platform since it launched some time ago, but some things can’t be added post-production.