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27 January 2023

For better quality transcoding and less storage, KWIKmotion supports AV1 Codec

As the digital industry is always avid for new and revolutionizing technologies, AV1 codec has been resounding more frequently in the media field. 

AV1 is springing as an open video compression technology and expected to be the next generation of royalty video codec. 
What is AV1?
The AOMedia Video 1 or AV1 is a new codec created by the Alliance for Open Media (AOMedia). First released in 2018, AV1 was developed as a successor to VP9 and is specifically defined as an open, royalty-free video coding format initially designed for video transmissions and streams over the Internet. It was also used to compress and decompress video content. 

What is the importance of AV1?
1- AV1 is royalty-free and open source
2- AV1 codec provides 30% more compression in comparison to H.265
3- AV1 is used by Google and Netflix (on supported devices with 4K videos)
4- AV1 allows users to watch 8K/4K videos using optimized bitrates thanks to its data compression
AV1 Video Performance 
AV1 is intended to be the successor of H264 and H265 as it achieves better data compression that ranges from 30% to 50% depending on bitrate and resolution. The new codec can use frame parallel encoding to gain a 30% to 34% performance improvement for 1080p videos. While transcoding a video in AV1 takes much longer than H264 and H265, the AV1 codec may still not be ready for the masses.

What devices support AV1? 
AV1 codec is supported by Firefox, Chrome, and Android devices on the new editions so far. Safari, in its preview version 161, mentions the support of AV1 as well. 
However, Apple has not yet integrated AV1 support on Safari which makes it impossible to play a video transcoded in AV1 codec on iOS run devices today.

KWIKmotion adaptation with AV1
To dig further into the efficiency and quality of AV1, KWIKmotion updated its media delivery suite to support AV1 on its transcoding profiles as well as on its packagers and succeeded to have AV1 supported on both HLS and DASH.

While many packagers support AV1 with Dash, KWIKmotion is among the very few that support AV1 with HLS protocol. The video played successfully using DASH on Chrome, Firefox, and Android devices. However, HLS did not go through. Our team is still checking over Safari support for HLS with AV1 codec. However, our packagers were able to generate an HLS packaged stream with AV1 codec.

Through our initial adaptation, KWIKmotion was able to transcode a video that has the same size (1920x1080) as an H.264 video with a 30% smaller file size and better video quality. Moreover, with deeper transcoding tuning, our team was able to reach fast transcoding at a speed similar to H.264.

The present news blog will be continuously revised and updated.

Meanwhile, feel free to check the AV1 video playback on the below player. Make sure you are on the latest version of Chrome/Firefox and an updated Android mobile phone using Chrome browser; otherwise, the video will not play.
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