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AV1 Video Codec Specification Released


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Whether we are watching a movie off of a Blu-Ray disc or streaming a video from YouTube, the video codec used is important. The long-held standard is h.264, or AVC, and while it has served our video needs very well for years, as the desire for more media with more detail at higher resolutions has grown, a successor has been needed. While technically better codec do exist, like h.265 (HEV) and VP9, there have been adoption issues, including the cost of the license, which is why the Alliance for Open Media, AOMedia, was formed to create the AV1 codec. Today the AV1 specification has been publicly released, which is a major step toward seeing it adopted in software and hardware.

The AV1 codec, or AOMedia Video Codec 1.0, has been developed with the goal of providing 4K UHD and higher resolution content while being more efficient than other encoders and royalty free. Its target is video streaming and with an average of 30% better compression compared to its competitors, it is meant to help bring better quality videos to more devices.

As the specification has only just been released, it may be some time before we see AV1 deployed in software and hardware products. Although with partners like AMD, Intel, NVIDIA, Google, Microsoft, and Netflix, the roll-out might not be slow. Still, it will likely take some time for encoders and decoders to become optimized enough to compete with some current standards, like x264, which might not offer the same level of compression but will almost certainly be faster.

Source: AOMedia

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