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Incoming Chrome Browser Will Have Always-On DRM, Limiting Netflix To 720p Display

The upcoming Google’s Chrome browser known as Chrome 57 will remove the option to disable Widevine DRM, limiting Netflix users at 720p display view. The update will make the plugin always-on. Widevine is a web video DRM system developed to protect the streaming Netflix content through a browser.

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For the Netflix content viewers, either at PC, console or portable devices, they will be completely left out of the equation to watch Netflix at 1080p using Google’s Chrome browser. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer for PC and Edge for consoles will be the only option left after the Chrome update to watch Netflix content at 1080p without display issues.

This is because Netflix HD video encryption requires Silverlight, and browsers without support of Silverlight are limited to 720p video streaming only. The always online feature after Chrome 57 will not suddenly allow streaming of 1080p content.

The always online Widevine DRM comes from forced-enabling of EME. The EME later enables high-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP). HDCP is the real issue when watching streaming encrypted content.

Google Chrome browser is reported to have crashed periodically with time interval of every 20 minutes. All the opened tabs go blank and re-render with half second time delay. This becomes awful for Netflix viewers.

The move to disable Widevine DRM will stop forced-enabling of EME but, it will also limit Chrome browser to stream at maximum of 720p display. Let us know what you think about the update. If you are one of the Netflix subscribers who watch on Google’s Chrome internet browser and have faced crashing problems, comment down your experience in the section below.