The AV1 codec is the future, and Qualcomm’s support for it is more important than it seems

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We spend a lot of time watching videos on the internet, but we do it without really realizing how important the codecs used to broadcast them are. Today the battle to conquer the future in this area was between the H.265 (HEVC) codec and the AV1 codec (not to be confused with the old AVI format!), and decisive support for the triumph of AV1 has now arrived.

This is about Qualcomm’s intentions to provide native support for this codec in its mobile SoCs from 2023. It is the final accolade for the success of an AV1 that is more efficient than H.265 but which has an even more important feature for all of us: it is a royalty free codec.

AV1 is more efficient, but above all it is open and royalty-free

The adoption of the AV1 codec it was slower than expected. This codec is the natural successor to the VP8 and VP9 codecs that were developed by Google and are managed by the so-called Alliance for Open Media. In this consortium are the big technology companies (Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Intel Microsoft, Netflix, Nvidia, Mozilla, Samsung, ARM), and that makes it clear how relevant their decisions are in terms of the popularity of these codecs.

In the case of AV1, the greatest support has come from Netflix and YouTube, which have converted that support in a requirement for future content. In Google the adoption is absoluteand the company is preparing YouTube data centers with video hardware transcoding hardware.

What is the AV1 codec and what are its advantages

The funny thing is that the AV1 codec support is still limited on mobile or set-top-boxes: Neither the Pixel nor the Chromecast or Chromecast with Google TV offer such support, for example, something remarkable considering that they are Google products.

That is precisely why Qualcomm’s support for this AV1 codec is so relevant: the current Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 does not have such support, but according to Protocol the next generation of Qualcomm’s SoC will offer it. Other rivals like samsung exynos 2200 or the MediaTek Dimension 1000 they do have that feature already and mention it in those release notes.

All this suggests that the definitive victory of the AV1 codec is close to taking place, something important considering that the rival codec, H.265 (HEVC) is controlled by the Moving Picture Experts Group and it’s a royalty-free codec for which the companies that use it must pay. Netflix, Amazon or Hulu already showed their reluctance to adopt it years ago.

This group is working on the VCC codec, more efficient than HEVC and even than AV1but again with a royalty model that he has it hard against the thrust of AV1.

the codec AV1 is instead interoperable and open, royalty-freeand that also helps to make it part of the code base of projects like Firefox or Chromium so that Open Source developers from all over the world contribute even more to its evolution.

Via | Ars Technica

We spend a lot of time watching videos on the internet, but we do it without really realizing how important…

We spend a lot of time watching videos on the internet, but we do it without really realizing how important…

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