AV1 video / AVIF graphic format

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webfork
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AV1 video / AVIF graphic format

#1 Post by webfork » Sun Sep 30, 2018 1:50 pm

So it's not quite here yet, but in the next 6 months to a year, programs here on the site should begin to support encoding.

AV1 is a new video codec that promises to help companies and individuals transmit high-quality video over the internet efficiently, without paying royalty fees. Being royalty-free is important because:
  • Current streaming video costs (a lot of) money
  • Newer codecs are twice as efficient
  • New codecs may cost ten times more
  • With H.264, small players get a free ride
https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2018/07/1 ... eo-codecs/

AV1 is different from AVC/H.264 because it:
  • Uses next-generation compression technology that is nearly twice as efficient
  • Can transmit high-quality video faster over the internet
  • Has no licensing fees; anyone can compress and decode video files without paying royalties
  • Can deliver higher-quality experiences to end users, even when bandwidth is constrained
https://research.mozilla.org/av1-media-codecs/

You can evidently create the file type right now using FFMPEG, but encoding is very slow, something that is owed to how new the codec is. Hopefully this will be THE standard by 2020.

Related:

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AV1
* https://hackernoon.com/encoding-av1-700b6ee4210

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Re: AV1 video codec

#2 Post by SYSTEM » Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:58 pm

webfork wrote:
Sun Sep 30, 2018 1:50 pm
Hopefully this will be THE standard by 2020.
AV1 has good chances to make it there. It's royalty-free, and performs better (i.e. can achieve either better compression ratio or quality) than anything else. It would be stupid for companies and individuals not to utilize AV1.*

* (except for MPEG-LA members, who lose licensing money that way)
My YouTube channel | Release date of my 12th playlist: November 1, 2018

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Re: AV1 video codec

#3 Post by webfork » Wed Mar 11, 2020 4:28 pm

Largely driven by patent woes, less-than-ideal compression, and ancient formats, I'd hung a lot of hopes on AV1 as the solution to a lot of different problems. It also seems to have an uncharacteristically large number of major corporate sponsors, but that doesn't guarantee success. Software and technology, are not simple and every codec wants to lean on hardware decoding to save battery life.

Anyway, I'm a little surprised it's been 1.5 years since the original post in this thread and things haven't moved very quickly here. Still, there are some updates:

  • Netflix is currently using the video format on Android and is seems already pleased with the bandwidth savings.
    While our goal is to roll out AV1 on all of our platforms, we see a good fit for AV1’s compression efficiency in the mobile space where cellular networks can be unreliable, and our members have limited data plans. Selected titles are now available to stream in AV1 for customers who wish to reduce their cellular data usage by enabling the “Save Data” feature.
  • Apple has joined Microsoft, Google, and Mozilla all now seem to be supporting AV1. There's some oustanding questions as to whether or not this will be exactly patent free by a group that appears to have had nothing to do with the format's development, but it's actively being used:
    Developed by the Alliance for Open Media (AOMedia), the AV1 codec provides a 20 percent improvement in compression efficiency on the VP9 codec it was using for the Android app. https://www.htxt.co.za/2020/02/07/the-a ... -you-data/
  • Handbrake - It's old news, but that project said they'll tackle it once it becomes viable. There was a lot of excitement about it (maybe too much) in this thread from 2 yrs ago:
    https://github.com/HandBrake/HandBrake/ ... -380591452 ... evidently they've added a decoder in the most recent version (about 4 months old), but no encoder yet.
---

AVIF (the derived image format)

It's listed as also being driven by Netflix and (at least in the headline) a replacement for JPEG:
https://www.zdnet.com/article/netflix-j ... st-option/

Supposedly paint.net can evidently open the files but not save. I've so far only tested Firefox with some test AVIF images without success.

EDIT NOTE: I accidentally left off probably the most important news item in this post: active use by Netflix.

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Re: AV1 video / AVIF graphic format

#4 Post by webfork » Tue May 05, 2020 7:12 pm

webfork wrote:
Sun Sep 30, 2018 1:50 pm
So it's not quite here yet...
Looks like it may have finally arrived. You can watch an AV1 video in Firefox today: https://demo.bitmovin.com/public/firefox/av1/ ... I have a 7 year old system running under virtualization with no video card, but it still looked great.

Also in Firefox, you can also enable it on Youtube, though of course only some videos will play in the new format.

It's also available not just in the latest VLC: https://www.portablefreeware.com/index.php?id=599 ... the most recent release included some optimizations: https://twitter.com/videolan/status/125 ... 89223?s=20

---

Not much on the image side. Yesterday, Ghacks posted about experimental support in Firefox Nightly for AVIF.

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Re: AV1 video / AVIF graphic format

#5 Post by webfork » Sat Jul 25, 2020 8:52 pm

So a Nomacs update is out, now supporting AVIF.

I tried exporting one of my desktop backgrounds (JPEG) with the "best" quality converter to the new format saw both a quality and size decrease. On the right is the original file (JPEG), left is the AVIF file set to "best" compression:

Image

Size difference: 660k -> 93k (14%)

Caveats on this test: I only tested two files. Also, using a lossy compression method on an already lossy compressed file will almost always see a quality decrease, regardless of format. While I wish there was a version closer to the original that was a similar size, I am impressed by the size-quality tradeoff.

Most importantly, we are not close to a point where you should not abandon the JPEG format for AVIF unless working with large, high quality JPEG files that you wanted to reduce anyhow.

Related

The program will open the other contender for JPEG replacement used by primarily by Apple (HEIC) but Nomacs does not currently save HEIC files. I don't plan on testing that format due to lack of general support and patent concerns that will probably keep it unsupported by most tools in years. I'm expecting an outcome similar to the JPEG 2000 format.

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