Netflix Announces AV1 Codec For Select Titles On Android

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Netflix, although slightly more expensive than other OTT, is gaining popularity in India. Thanks to the mobile plan for Rs. 199 per month, many are opting for Netflix subscriptions. Now, Netflix is going to get even better as the company announced it would switch to AV1 codec to help save cellular data.

What Is AV1 Codec?
 

What Is AV1 Codec?

To understand how the announcement benefits us, we need to understand what is AV1 codec. AOMedia Video 1 or AV1 codec is an open, royalty-free coding format designed for video transmissions over the Internet. It requires low computational footprints and is capable of quickly optimizing the hardware.

AV1 Codec

Back in 2015, Netflix announced that it was teaming up with Amazon, Google, Intel, and other companies. The idea was to develop royalty-free codecs that worked well on modern devices. In 2018, the companies together brought out the AV1 codec.

In comparison, the algorithms used in AV1 codec are more advanced than the HEVC. In other words, AV1 delivers some of the highest-quality real-time videos and is scalable to any modern device at any bandwidth.

Netflix AV1 Codec On Android
 

Netflix AV1 Codec On Android

The benefit of having AV1 codec is that there's freedom from licensing payments that all OTT and other companies wanted to avoid. Moreover, it also saved up to 30 percent on the amount of data required to stream 4K HDR video. Netflix is now rolling out AV1 for ‘select' titles.

The option is available only for Android users who have enabled the ‘Save Data' feature. A probable reason why Netflix is limiting the use of AV1 for playback could be due to a lack of hardware support, where users would utilize more battery to watch the same videos.

netflix

Netflix says it would eventually roll out AV1 across all the platforms by starting with data savings on mobile, which began with the switch to VP9 in 2016. An Engadget report quotes Netflix saying that AV1 shows "20% improved compression efficiency over our VP9 encodes." This was followed by the shot-based encoding technique that brought in a lot of enhancements. Netflix then re-encoded its entire library in 2018.

The new move by Netflix is a huge leap forward. For now, there's no mention on which shows are available to watch in the new codec. We can expect more details in the coming days. Netflix users on Android are suggested to update the app to get the maximum benefits from the AV1.

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