Update: Turns out, it isn’t just OnePlus 5 and 5T that can’t stream content in HD from the popular streaming services, even OnePlus 3 and 3T can’t.
Earlier: The OnePlus 5T smartphone can not stream content from the popular video streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play Movies and more in high definition (HD). Even though it packs the flagship-level hardware including Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor and 2160x1080p screen, the phone is only able to stream in standard definition (SD).
The issue, which was first revealed on the company forum and spotted by The Verge, is apparently also present in the OnePlus 5 phone, which is nearing its end of life. It is unimaginable for a flagship phone to lack such a feature, which is taken for granted.
Why can’t OnePlus 5 or OnePlus 5T stream in HD?
In order to safeguard the copyrighted works, the content creators like movie studios use digital rights management (DRM) technologies. It is present everywhere these days and in order to play the DRM-protected content, the device makers need to include the necessary support in their devices. Now, OnePlus 5T does include limited DRM security support using Google’s Widevine DRM architecture, but it lacks the support for Level 1 DRM, which is needed for HD or better resolution streaming. It only comes with Widevine Level 3 DRM, which allows for just SD streaming.
Will the OnePlus 5T ever get HD streaming support?
In a statement to The Verge. OnePlus has said that it is working on a software update, which is enable Widevine Level 1 DRM, in turn allowing HD or better resolution streaming. However, the company has not revealed why it was missing in the first place or why it is not present on the OnePlus 5. There is no word on when this software update will be available. It is important to note here that the phone will be able play or stream non-DRM content in HD or full HD.
Despite being a comparably large-screen phone with a 6.01-inch screen, OnePlus 5T’s display is still way smaller than laptops, tablets or TVs, where the lower-resolution is easily visible, which would explain why we haven’t see a lot hue and cry.
I am hoping that OnePlus will fix the problem sooner rather than later. The company might be selling millions of the phones, but issues like these and EngineerMode debacle show why OnePlus still needs time to grow-up and mature.