Windows 10 is getting hardware-accelerated AV1 video streaming support

In 2017, the Alliance for Open Media announced a new AV1 codec
that will eventually replace H.264. In future, AV1 codec is set
to become primary codec for online streaming and Microsoft has
also confirmed that Windows 10 will become one of the first
operating systems to support this royalty-free codec.

Unlike other patents laden codecs in the streaming industry,
AV1 is a royalty-free codec that is supported by the likes of
Microsoft, Google, and Apple.

In addition, AV1 codec offers better compression than the
current H.265 and it aims to reduce your data usage when
streaming supported videos online. For those unaware,
compression is performed by codecs and programs to reduce the
size of the data without destroying the quality of videos.

Later this year, Microsoft is planning to enable support for
AV1 video codec in Windows 10 version 1909 or newer.

Once enabled, you’ll be able to play AV1 videos and save your
bandwidth in a supported browser, such as Chromium and Firefox.
It’s worth noting that Microsoft is also enabling
Media Foundation (DRM-enabled 4K streaming) in Chromium
browsers to better AV1 codec on Windows 10.

With AV1 support, Windows 10 will deliver 50% better
compression than H.264 and 20% better than VP9.

AV1 video codec

In simple terms, Windows 10 will be using a new system that
will compress files and reduce your data usage for the same
quality of streaming.

Netflix app for Android already comes with support for AV1 and
the feature is coming to new videos on YouTube as well.

Microsoft says the new feature will also contribute to the
longer battery life of devices and overall streaming
performance.

To watch a stream using the AV1 codec, you’ll need to wait for
streaming companies to add support for the new video
codec. You’ll also need a device that runs Windows 10
version 1909 or newer on hardware with Intel’s 11th-gen Intel
CPU, RTX 30 series GPUs, or upcoming RX 6000 series graphics.

Unfortunately, the feature will currently remain exclusive to
new devices only.

AV1 support for Windows 10 is expected to begin rolling out
later this year when Microsoft and their hardware partners are
ready.

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