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Netflix has announced that they have started streaming AV1 to our Android mobile app. With this, users will be able to watch select titles encoded in AV1 by enabling the ‘Save Data’ feature in the app
According to excerpt from netflixtechblog, Netflix posted;
We are excited to announce that Netflix has started streaming AV1 to our Android mobile app. AV1 is a high performance, royalty-free video codec that provides 20% improved compression efficiency over our VP9† encodes. AV1 is made possible by the wide-ranging industry commitment of expertise and intellectual property within the Alliance for Open Media (AOMedia), of which Netflix is a founding member.
Our support for AV1 represents Netflix’s continued investment in delivering the most efficient and highest quality video streams. For our mobile environment, AV1 follows on our work with VP9, which we released as part of our mobile encodes in 2016 and further optimized with shot-based encodes in 2018.
While our goal is to roll out AV1 on all of our platforms, we see a good fit for AV1’s compression efficiency in the mobile space where cellular networks can be unreliable, and our members have limited data plans. Selected titles are now available to stream in AV1 for customers who wish to reduce their cellular data usage by enabling the “Save Data” feature.
Our AV1 support on Android leverages the open-source dav1d decoder built by the VideoLAN, VLC, and FFmpeg communities and sponsored by the Alliance for Open Media. Here we have optimized dav1d so that it can play Netflix content, which is 10-bit color. In the spirit of making AV1 widely available, we are sponsoring an open-source effort to optimize 10-bit performance further and make these gains available to all.
As codec performance improves over time, we plan to expand our AV1 usage to more use cases and are now also working with device and chipset partners to extend this into hardware.
Netflix currently streams its content in a wide variety of codecs, including H.264(AVC), HEVC and VP9. On Android, the default codec currently is VP9 as it’s natively supported by the software and the hardware. However, from today, users will be able to choose AV1 as well, as long as the content supports it.
AV1 is a royalty-free open codec, designed primarily for encoding content for the internet. It is backed by multiple high profile companies, including Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Intel, Mozilla, Facebook, Cisco, Netflix, Samsung, Vimeo, MediaTek and more. It is considered to be the codec that will replace all other codecs in future, at least as far online content is concerned, and should simply things for manufacturers, content creators, and customers.
The main advantage of AV1, apart from being open and royalty-free, is that it is also more efficient than other codecs on the market today. Compared to VP9 (created by Google) that Netflix currently uses on Android, AV1 offers 20% better compression, thereby offering similar image quality at lower data rates.
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