The entertainment and technology industries have been working on a novelty that promises to make content lighter and even cut some costs. This is the AV1 codec, new content compression and decompression algorithm developed by Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Mozilla, and other companies that are part of the Alliance for Open Media flame, established in 2015.
In addition to optimizing file sizes, AV1, which rivals popular solutions such as H.264 and H.265 (HEVC), is completely free and royalty-free, unlike its competitors. This can avoid licensing issues and possibly affect the amounts charged for content.
Almost six years after it was announced, the AV1 is beginning to gain popularity, already being a must-have item for new televisions with Android TV. However, the codec still has a long way to go, considering that MediaTek’s Density 1000 chipset is currently the only one on the market to have support for the novelty. Not even the powerful Snapdragon 888 is compatible with the feature.
This scenario is expected to change soon, given the recent statement by Synaptics. During the launch of its newest SoC, VideoSmart VS640, the manufacturer pointed out its platform’s compatibility with AV1, “a requirement for future content on YouTube and Netflix”, as stated in its press release.
According to the XDA Developers website, rumors already indicated that the two streaming platforms would now require support for the new codec, but this is the first time that a company has clearly cited this. If this information is confirmed, Android TVs will not be the only devices required to bring compatibility with the AV1.
It is not yet known what type of content will require the feature, but it is speculated that videos in 4K with HDR or even 8K should be among them. What is certain is that manufacturers will not want to be left behind, so expect more TVs and other devices with the ability to decode AV1 content as one of its features.