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By Kayla Collins - Last Updated: Contact Author

What is AV1? Next Generation of Royalty-Free Codec

The video related entertainment we have today requires more efficient codec to meet the demand of 4k on-the-go, AR interaction and fluid video conference. AV1 was born to eliminate choppy video streaming thanks to its efficient compression algorithm.

AV1 Definition

AV1 (Alliance for Open Media Video 1) is an open source video compress format mainly for web. Intended as a successor of Google's VP9 and a rival of HEVC standard, this royalty free codec developed by AOM is claimed to boost video efficiency by 30% or more than HEVC.

AV1 codec
AV1 codec

Pros & Cons of AV1 codec

AOM's strong support ensures the timely deployment of AV1 in browsers, mobile devices, OTT, and smart TVs, as well as the rapid increase in the distribution of AV1 encoded contents from YouTube, Netflix and Amazon, thus giving AV1 a huge competitive advantage. However, HEVC has years of advantages in hardware deployment. Patent owners of related videos also won't sit still.

Though AV1 is integrated with features of Daala and Thor in the early stage, VP10 is where most of its codes come from. AOM wishes AV1 has a data compression performance 50% higher than that of VP9 and HEVC, and allows a reasonable increase in the complexity of encoding and play.

Usage of AV1 codec

AV1 is mainly used in UHD videos (videos with higher bite rate, wider color gamut, or higher frame rate), and is capable of playing 4k videos at 60fps fairly fast on supported browsers. The basic version of AV1 codec supports 10-bit and 12-bit coding. In addition, AV1 also provides codec support for WebRTC - Real-Time Communication.

Once AV1 is available, YouTube wants to switch the video codecs to AV1 as soon as possible, especially for UHD, HDR, and high frame rate videos, because this video codecs save bandwidth than VP9 significantly. At the time of writing, YouTube have already establish test playlist for AV1 videos.

History of AOM

AOM (Alliance for Open Media) is a non-profit, neutral, cross-industry, open-sourcing consortium established by firms from semiconductor industry, video on demand providers, web browser vendors in 2015. AV1 aims at replacing its predecessor - VP9 and competing with MPEG's HEVC, also known as H.265, and AVS2. Currently, members of AOM include Amazon, Cisco, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Mozilla, Netflix, AMD, ARM, and NVIDIA.


Kayla Collins

Kayla Collins, a senior member of Digiarty software for 5 years, knows a thing or two about digital devices & video processing software like GoPro, DSLR camera, Drone, iPhone iPad, iMac, iMovie, etc. and is glad to share her knowledge to help people out of trouble. She's also deeply passionate about yoga, jogging, roller-skating, handcraft, reading, music, movie and more.

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