Netflix has started rolling out AV1 streaming to compatible TV
Expect higher levels of image quality when using AV1 compatible TVs
Published: 11th November 2021 | Source: Netflix |
Netflix is broadening its AV1 codec adoption to support compatible TVs
Netflix has started to stream its content to TVs using the Alliance for Open Media's AV1 codec, a royalty-free video codec that promises users greater encoding efficiency than VP9 and HEVC. This alteration promises Netflix users "improved visual quality at the same bitrate", delivering higher quality video streams.
All of Netflix's AV1 content/streams will be encoded using 10-bit colour and at the highest resolution and framerate available for the content, though AV1 HDR streams remain unavailable.
Netflix has already brought AV1 streaming to compatible Android devices, with streaming to those devices starting in February 2020. Now Netflix is offering its customers broader support for the AV1 standard, offering users a better visual experience and higher levels of image quality when lower bitrates are used.
When compared to HVEC and VP9, AV1 offers a 30% increase in encoding efficiency, allowing the same level of image quality to be achieved while requiring less storage or streaming bandwidth or higher levels of image quality at the same storage/bandwidth usage.
Netflix is currently re-encoding its library of content to deliver AV1 compatibility, starting with the platform's most popular titles. With this update, Netflix hopes to stream AV1 content to tens of millions of Netflix users.
For end-users, Netflix has noted that their AV1 content enables a 2% reduction in play delay and up to a 38% reduction in times where users see noticeable drops in streaming quality when using compatible hardware.
Netflix's AV1 streams require an AV1 compatible television or a connected device that supports AV1 decoding capabilities. Netflix's initial AV1 launch included compatible TVs and TVs connected to Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro console. More widespread support for AV1 is coming as Netflix works with external partners to enable AV1 support on more devices.
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