Windows 10 Adds Hardware Support for AV1 Codec This Fall

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Microsoft has announced that it will add components acceleration help for the Aomedia Video 1 (AV1) video codec to Home windows 10 this drop. AV1 is an open up, royalty-totally free codec supposed to give substantial-excellent net video at greater compression rates than those people obtained by requirements like H.264 and VP9. Regular quoted figures are a 50 % compression advancement in excess of H.264 and 20 % in excess of VP9.

There’s a caveat to this announcement, as our sister website PCMag notes: Very minimal components help. Up until finally now, it has not mattered that Home windows 10 only implemented AV1 in software, simply because there were being no AV1-supporting GPUs to deal with decode in the initially place. Components help for AV1 decode demands a GPU based on Intel’s Xe, an Nvidia RTX 30-series GPU, or an AMD Radeon RX 6000 GPU. All of these are extremely new, to the point that the 6000 series of playing cards has not even been launched nonetheless.

Secondary needs include things like that you be operating Home windows 1909 or afterwards, have the AV1 video extension mounted, and that your world-wide-web browser has AV1 components help designed-in.

What is Critical About AV1?

AV1 is critical simply because it considerably increases on the compression of more mature open up-supply, freely offered codecs. The dilemma of how it performs in opposition to HEVC (H.265) seems to be an open up 1 — there are a handful of benchmarks offered suggesting it’s about on par with HEVC, nevertheless unique comparisons occur to somewhat unique effects.

Chart and knowledge by the BBC

Codecs like HEVC are closely encumbered by commercial patents and cannot be played in a browser like Firefox except Firefox pays a licensing rate to the correct patent holders. AV1 was launched by Amazon, Cisco, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Mozilla, and Netflix with a certain concentration on providing substantial-excellent world-wide-web video. As the benchmark higher than displays, VVC (h.266) supplies even better effects than H.265 or AV1, but VVC is also patent-encumbered and demands royalty payments. AV1 is the alternative task that supplanted Google’s VP10 and is specifically made for authentic-time applications and greater resolutions than those people ordinarily supported by H.264 or VP9. It’s the spiritual descendent of Theora — an open up-supply codec supposed to give a royalty-totally free world-wide-web common for handling on the web video.

With help built-in into Home windows 10 and components help not far driving, Netflix and other streaming expert services will have a royalty-totally free method of distributing information that doesn’t have the patent entanglements or problems of H.265. It’s not obvious if any big expert services intend to swap to AV1 instantly, but the solution to reduced yearly license payments will definitely be attracted to at least some providers.

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