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Alliance For Open Media announces the release of AV1 Codec

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Omega X

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Post Posted March 28th, 2018, 8:38 am

Image

The Alliance and most of its members have announced the release of AV1.
https://aomedia.org/the-alliance-for-op ... 1-release/

Bitmovin Cloud Streaming confirmed up to a 40% advantage over HEVC and 27% over VP9.
https://bitmovin.com/av1-multi-codec-dash-dataset/

The Alliance website changed also announcing support in major products.

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Browsers:
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Others:
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Omega X

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Post Posted April 11th, 2018, 5:26 pm

Facebook has declared AV1 superior to other options in a use case study.
https://code.facebook.com/posts/2538520 ... -use-case/

They discovered that quality/bitrate gets better the higher the resolution.
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Frenzie

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Post Posted April 13th, 2018, 8:49 am

I didn't see HEVC/H265 mentioned. Some on that here: https://www.elecard.com/page/aom_av1_vs_hevc
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Omega X

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Post Posted April 15th, 2018, 8:17 pm

HEVC wasn't mentioned because Facebook never planned to use it. Bitmovin did compare HEVC and found it was 30% worse in their use cases.

Both YouTube and Netflix are planning to deploy by the end of the year. Firefox Nightly is being used as a demonstration at the NAB conference since it has experimental support.
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Frenzie

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Post Posted April 17th, 2018, 6:38 am

If we assume that HEVC is roughly in the VP9 ballpark then that would make sense, although I've always thought lower-bitrate HEVC looks better than VP9. Netflix said HEVC is 20% more efficient for them than VP9 (source), in which case claiming AV1 is a ~25-30% improvement over VP9 may just mean it only slightly outperforms HEVC. But just throwing one percentage out there is rather meaningless. There's compression, encoding/decoding, and memory use. I typically favor compression for personal use but at scale other concerns might be more relevant.

Don't get me wrong, generally speaking AV1 sounds pretty much like a no-brainer. But at Facebook/YouTube/Netflix scales, you'd think the royalties just might be worth it for something like bandwidth or encoding time savings. NB I'm not saying there are savings, just that if I were Facebook I'd consider it in my own best interest to take the few extra hours to investigate the possibility. I'd find their reason for not doing so (royalties? browser compatibility?[1] hardware acceleration?) much more interesting than saying that AV1 beats VP9 in a practical use case. I'm pretty sure it already did that by last year, and if not it was for sure pretty darn close to doing so.

[1] My Firefox doesn't play AV1 yet, so… but they've announced it iirc. :)
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Omega X

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Post Posted April 18th, 2018, 5:50 am

Three tests so far says that AV1 is 30% better than both HEVC and VP9.

1. The Facebook Test.
2. The Bitmovin Test.
3. The Moscow State University Test. http://www.streamingmedia.com/Articles/ ... 22945.aspx

I don't know who's right yet but its 3 in favor so far.

In Facebook's eyes, HEVC costs a fortune to license. AV1 costs nothing. Netflix realizes this also which is why they want AV1 ASAP. Most of the HEVC transmission savings might have been negated in the amount of royalties they have to shell out. Royalties and the shaky license landscape are also the reason why HEVC adoption has stalled overall. Even Microsoft limits the native decoding of HEVC in Windows 10 so that they can't decode certain encodings or they face a lawsuit.

As for encode time, these big companies are using cloud based encoder farms where they literally split the workload across multiple machines. AV1 developers also promised to improve encode time dramatically which is one of the reasons why YouTube and Netflix plan to launch in the fall.

Chrome and Firefox will have full support for AV1 by the end of the year (Firefox should be sooner). Microsoft has already pledged support for Edge. Hardware makers are sprinting to make hardware acceleration possible by next year. The AV1 developers want to make GPU shader decoding a stop gap for those without acceleration. The only piece of the picture that hasn't pledged support yet is Qualcomm and Samsung, but I think they'll fall in when the avalanche hits.

Regardless if AV1 is the same or better than HEVC, its the perfect storm.
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Frenzie

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Post Posted April 19th, 2018, 1:00 pm

Three tests so far says that AV1 is 30% better than both HEVC and

But like I said, what does that even mean?

1. Okay, cool. Where does Facebook say this?
2. I only see them say expected without any particular details. (No, not in that "datasheet" either.)
3. Now that's an interesting link.

In Facebook's eyes, HEVC costs a fortune to license.

Also, awesome. I'd love to read their costs to benefits laid out. (Not that I expect Facebook to be so open about that, but it'd still be cool.)

As for encode time, these big companies are using cloud based encoder farms where they literally split the workload across multiple machines.

So? :) It's not like those are free. (If they were surely YouTube would already have better quality? <_<)

Note that I also said decoding. Especially for home use it doesn't really matter if encoding takes all night, unlike potentially at scale where that could translate into major costs. But you don't want to wait two seconds to play one second of video, or even drain your battery to do so. ;)
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Post Posted Today, 3:27 am

Frenzie wrote:1. Okay, cool. Where does Facebook say this?


I meant more VP9 for Facebook. The others tested HEVC. Sorry about that, I should have worded it better.

2. I only see them say expected without any particular details. (No, not in that "datasheet" either.)


Apparently there's a detailed datasheet that you have to ask for. I don't know why, Maybe its related to their cloud system.
And of course, you're welcome to play with this thing to see Xiph's test suite charts: https://arewecompressedyet.com

So? :) It's not like those are free. (If they were surely YouTube would already have better quality? <_<)


They didn't just purchase those things overnight. Its become a requirement for them to deliver to every resolution and platform. Also YouTube crunches video for low bitrate/low latency rather than constant quality even though VP9 is capable. But its going to be the reason for quick deployment just like VP8 and VP9 when they went down that same path. Single machines will have to wait for optimized software encoders or the early hardware encoders promised.

Note that I also said decoding. Especially for home use it doesn't really matter if encoding takes all night, unlike potentially at scale where that could translate into major costs. But you don't want to wait two seconds to play one second of video, or even drain your battery to do so. ;)


I did address the decoding part (See GPU Shader based decoding). Also my current PC uses about 25% to decode 720p AV1 in Nightly with their experimental decoder. Its early days. I remember h264 was dirt slow when I first experienced it back in the early 2000s. Now its so dialed in that you barely waste any power playing it. That only took like 10 years. (I should mention that Twitch Streams do 30% in Firefox since hardware decoding seems to be broken.)

Just to note: Fraunhoffer and a couple of others have published hit pieces created to discredit AV1. They either try to diminish its efficiency to put it on par with h.265 or harp on its speed which is not an argument since HEVC was similarly slow a few years ago. AV1 presents a problem where they could be put out of business.
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Frenzie

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Post Posted Today, 12:29 pm

Also YouTube crunches video for low bitrate/low latency rather than constant quality even though VP9 is capable.

I know. It's very much a YouTube thing, not a codec thing. Vimeo looks a million times better in any codec. :) My point merely being that YouTube clearly has a certain concern for encoding speed.

(I should mention that Twitch Streams do 30% in Firefox since hardware decoding seems to be broken.)

Firefox? Playing something like YouTube or Twitch in any browser on my system depletes my battery at worse speeds than compiling software (also gets hotter) whereas playing high-quality 1080p video in mpv takes some 5% CPU on my laptop, maybe 10-12% in a worst case scenario.

It's not a Linux thing either; it's rather similar on Windows. Edge on Windows often does it slightly better at a slightly fluctuating "mere" 30-40% or so instead of a more constant 40+% like in Chromia and Firefox. The performance differences between codecs and quality can be quite drastic (10% is twice as much as 5% after all) but YouTube the battery drainer should not be on the end of the scale. The CPU/heat difference between a dedicated video player in any format and any browser is literally the difference between playing video for 2-3 hours and doing it for 6+. (Of course in practice that means how often you have to charge it, not literally 6 hours at once.)

I remember h264 was dirt slow when I first experienced it back in the early 2000s.
As recently as '06 or '07 my Core 2 Duo was barely able to handle it (at reasonable quality). Then they added multiple decoder threads and it became a piece of cake for my dual core. I don't even want to think about the battery life implications though, haha

Just to note: Fraunhoffer and a couple of others have published hit pieces created to discredit AV1. They either try to diminish its efficiency to put it on par with h.265 or harp on its speed which is not an argument since HEVC was similarly slow a few years ago. AV1 presents a problem where they could be put out of business.

Note that I'm talking from personal experiments when I say lower bitrate HEVC looks better than VP9. The speed thing I hardly care about; I'm just curious.

Interesting link: https://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/av1/demo1.shtml

Btw here are some test videos: https://www.elecard.com/videos
Now I just need to figure out how to play it to see how my computer does at it… (I've had a UHD monitor for over three years now. Will AV1 finally bring me YouTube videos that look like UHD? :P)
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