What is AV1 and What Should it Mean to You?

Introducing the new video standard

What is AV1 and What Should it Mean to You?

Ready to get more value out of video? Prepare yourself for AV1.

Some of the biggest brands in the technology world, including Microsoft, Cisco, Google, Amazon, and even Netflix, have recently completed the first version of a brand-new form of video compression tech. The new standard “AV1” can match and improve upon the quality of other video compression technologies, while only using about 60 to 70% of the network power required by predecessors.

For most companies, AV1 will emerge as a replacement for H.264. Up until now, the old standard has worked well enough – but it’s pretty outdated. It’s been around for a little over fifteen years, and obviously, the video codecs and requirements we have today have evolved astronomically. Everything from the demand for on-the-go 4K video to virtual reality and augmented reality apps means that video needs to be bigger, better than ever.

A Powerful New Standard for Video

The tech companies we mentioned above came together to form a new group called the Alliance for Open Media. The team was established to respond the challenges that the older video standards were facing, with a new codec that could boost the efficiency of video systems by a minimum of 30%. The upgrade makes AV1 significantly more powerful for the demands placed on video today. Not only does it work for streaming media like your favourite Netflix shows, but it’s also a powerful real-time video solution too – making it ideal for companies interested in video conferencing.

One of the new standard’s biggest benefits is the fact that it compresses the amount of network power required to run a video system. Compression is often a key component of streaming live and historical video, as it helps to eliminated blurry content, and upgrade higher-resolution connections. Of course, that’s not the only benefit of AV1. It’s also royalty-free. All the participants involved in creating AV1 have agreed to license their patents on a royalty-free basis. This means that the codec can spread faster and evolve more dramatically too.

Where Will We See AV1?

YouTube LogoThe new video standard from AOM could appear anywhere, in just about any video connection, from the ones on your when you’re watching YouTube video, to your video chat screens at work. Additionally, the speed and efficiency of this technology could help to bring in a new era for the AV world, with high-resolution video and virtual reality headsets that enjoy a greater level of quality.

There’s a good chance that you’ll start to see faster and clearer video available for major browsers throughout the world in 2018 and 2019. However, the solution hasn’t arrived as quickly as some organisations would hope. The AOM team originally wanted to bring the product out in 2016 or 2017 after the alliance formed in 2015.

For now, there’s still work to be done before AV1 sees significant deployment, including software and hardware implementation, upgrades for real-time connectivity, and the introduction of new interoperability tests. It’s going to take some time, but we’ll start to see the next generation of video soon enough.


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