AV1 News – in preparation of NAB

Within AOMedia things are moving fast with the preparation for AV2 in full speed.
Outside of AOMedia, the adoption of AV1 is like a blazing fire. With the first AV1 adoption by Browser (decoder) two years ago, Netflix switching to AV1 for all content, recently on mobile as well, Hardware acceleration available for more than a year, and Real-Time codec implementations by google and Cisco, all is already on the table for success. Cisco demoed publicly real-time AV1 in webex, on a MacBook Pro in june 2019 !
With NAB around the corner, a lot of big player are positioning themselves, not only to differentiate their offer in production, but also internally to position themselves as the implementation reference for AV2. Netflix/INTEL SVT-AV1, google’s libaom, and xvc from Divideon (non-aom member)

This is content gathered from public PRs, and AOMedia members, originally distributed as a newsletter. Unless explicitly noted, no modification was made to the original text.

We’re continuing to see that AV1 offers generational improvement in coding efficiency over any web codec available today. Netflix announced it has started streaming AV1 to its Android mobile app, providing 20 percent improved compression efficiency over its VP9 encoder. During Intel’s CES keynote, Netflix’s Anne Aaron joined Intel CEO Navin Shenoy on stage to discuss the importance of video codecs, their collaboration on SVT-AV1, and AV1 gains.  

Additionally, Samsung was one of several manufacturers that announced full hardware support for AV1 at CES in select 2020 TVs and set-top boxes. Consumers will be able to enjoy AV1 encoded videos in resolutions up to 8K on Samsung QLED 8K TVs. Samsung is working with partners like YouTube to stream AV1 8K content through the native app.

In addition to the activity at CES, AOMedia kicked off its first Research Symposium this past fall to work with the academic community to develop new coding tools that deliver improved compression performance. The conference attendees and presenters included AOMedia members and leading academics from universities worldwide. [NOTE: CoSMo and Millicast both presented their real-time AV1 work at this symposium, made possible thanks to Google’s libaom real-time mode available since april 2019.]

As a result of ongoing AV1 improvements in encoder performance and decoder penetration, we expect to see a continuing increase in the return on investment from AV1 in 2020 and beyond. We are very excited about the widespread adoption of AV1 across the ecosystem.

If you have any questions or comments on the above, please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts by contacting AOMedia Chair Zach Hamm or me through AOMedia’s collaboration portal. If you receive a media inquiry, please email our AOMediaPR team contact Jessie Hennion at jhennion@virtualinc.com
Regards,
Matt Frost, AOMedia VP of Communications and Membership Director at Google

Conclusion

AV1 is here. Even better Real-Time AV1 is here, with fast enough public codecs available since at least may 2019. [Note, one wouldn’t do car speed benchmark while staying in 1st gear, so when benchmarking real-time capacity of AV1, use the real-time mode.] In may 2019 you could already achieve more than 1080p@30fps on a 500 USD intel 7th generation Dell computer with libaom real-time. INTEL promised an equivalent real-time mode for april 2020, but is currently focussing with Netflix on the VOD mode where latency is not the focus.

The missing pieces now to have AV1 in a real-time server, or platform, is the adoption by a real-time transport, like webrtc, of AV1. That has been achieved in Chrome 80 with the support for AV1 RTP payload, and now the remaining missing pieces are: connecting an AV1 codec with the RTP payload implementation in chrome, at which point p2p calls will be possible, and providing an AV1 compatible Media Server.

CoSMo has been at the forefront of those development and had an implementation of the full stack since 31st october 2018. Instead of making it a walled garden, we have worked with AOmedia, W3C and IETF to make sure everybody could get access to the tech, and with google in particular to bring it to chrome for everybody to benefit from it. We presented numerous public demos, last but not least at CommConUK last year. We also made private Demos to those who asked at IBC, as announced previously.

Nowadays, with the pressure and the excitement, Real-Time AV1 is like teenage sex. Everybody wants to do it. Everybody claim to do it. But in reality only a few are doing it, and those are likely pretty bad at it. Many, who do not belong to AOMedia, do not make benchmark themselves, will go fishing whatever benchmark to convince you it’s not here and not ready. They don’t have it anyway, and talk is cheap.

At CoSMo, we will remain true to our original pledge to Linus torvald moto: “Talk is cheap, show me the code.” Just like we demoed our AV1 solution publicly and made both binaries and source code available to those who wanted it, since end of 2018, we will make full implementation of AV1, client and server, available for people to benchmark by themselves before the end of April, in collaboration with Google. For the happy few who will decide to join us for the (free!) IETF Hackathon in Vancouver on march 20th and 21st, 2020, stop by and we ll give you a tour of the stack, the implementation, and the demos. The others will have to wait for my post-IETF recovery, after Thai New Year (songkran).

Don’t trust them, but don’t trust us either. Take the code and judge by yourself. If you want to be part of our internal AV1 newsletter, and get news and demo access before most, contact us directly.

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