A change to DRM requirements has forced popular streaming services to downgrade from 4K to HD or SD streaming on some Android TV devices. 4K on Disney+ is still not working after 3 months.
4K streaming not working
After some services decided on purpose to reduce steaming quality due to the coronavirus pandemic last year, owners of some Android TV devices have had to endure another round of streaming quality reductions.
It started in November 2020 where Amazon, Netflix and Disney+ suddenly stopped streaming 4K and HDR to some Android TV devices, reverting to HD or even SD resolution in some instances. Users have been reporting widespread problems on Philips Android TVs (as discussed here). There are also reports of problems on Sony Android TVs, Chromecast (Google TV), Nvidia Shield, and Hisense Android TVs.
The issues appear to be related to new DRM requirements although it is not clear what the exact change is. Studios and content providers generally tie 4K streaming to stricter DRM schemes than those for HD streaming.
4K on Disney+ is still not working after 3 months
Fixes for Amazon and Netflix
The Netflix issue was solved in quick order on Philips TVs, as reported by Toengel.net. Amazon's first update did not fully resolve the issue on the various Android TV devices affected but a subsequent update this week appears to have restored 4K HDR streaming capabilities. If you are still experiencing issues with Amazon 4K, try to restart your device or reset the cache.
Disney+, however, is still not working after 3 months. If you are experiencing issues with getting 4K HDR and Dolby Atmos from Disney+ it would seem that, unfortunately, the only thing you can do is to wait for the parties involved to solve the issue on their end.
It is another hassle for streamers who have had to accept significant compromises in the last year.
- Source: AVForums, Toengel.net