UPDATE: 9/14 5 PM ET: Adding information regarding Netflix videos transcoded using AV1.

YouTube has uploaded about a dozen videos that were transcoded using the AV1 codec, whcih was introduced earlier this year. The test sequences are expected to give Google as well as developers of browsers, decoders, and encoders an understanding how to better use the new royalty-free codec. Netflix is also testing AV1 codec and offers everyone a video in different resolutions and featuring various color depth.

To date, YouTube has added 14 videos transcoded using the AV1 codec to a special playlist. The list includes various types of content, including a talking-head program, musical clips, action videos, and demo footages from RED and Blackmagic Design. YouTube says that this type of content represents a large share of videos hosted by the service, so it makes a lot of sense for the company to learn how they behave on various devices in terms of performance, power consumption, and overall stability.

At present, AV1 support is available only in those Chrome 70 and Firefox Nightly builds released after September 12th. Meanwhile, the test videos use AV1 for resolutions that are lower than 480p, underscoring the fact that they are meant to test decoders that, for the moment, are going to be anything but optimized. This is on top of the fact that at the moment there are no hardware decoders that support AV1, so everything is being handled in software by the CPU to begin with. Eventually the codec will be used for content in 4K+ ultra-high-def resolutions, along with HDR and wide color gamuts.

Netflix's approach to the AV1 codec is a bit different. The company is offering just one video, but in from 432p all the way to 1080p and featuring 8 or 10 color depth.

Finally, YouTube is promising to expand the collection of AV1-transcoded videos over time.

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Source: YouTube (via SH SOTN)

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  • GreenReaper - Sunday, December 23, 2018 - link

    They've been adding stuff like that over recent months, because it's best to make something work first before you make it work fast. A few months ago they threw a switch and certain operations got 2-4x faster because of improved threading. AVX and SSE2/3/4 optimizations go in all the time.

    That said, it's still doing more work, and without using certain patented techniques that might be cheaper, so it's going to be expensive CPU-wise. The big push is likely to come with hardware support.
  • eastcoast_pete - Monday, September 17, 2018 - link

    As indicated in my previous post: I would be game to try an AV 1 encoder if (IF) it's at least in the ballpark speed-wise with x265. I use my phone to take videos (so typically 1-10 minutes), and like to store them on my NAS after conversion and compression with handbrake. If the AV 1 developers wants to get fast uptake and broader use by many, making a optimized and multithread-capable AV 1 version available to the handbrake and similar teams would be a great way to do that.
  • newpipe - Thursday, December 6, 2018 - link

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  • Yaina - Saturday, July 17, 2021 - link

    This article's headline reminds me of why I thought av1 was a terrible name from the beginning.
  • americanyoutebers - Friday, November 19, 2021 - link

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  • aleena gulzar - Friday, March 11, 2022 - link

    This article's headline reminds me of why I thought av1 was a terrible name from the beginning. I read it as "AVI", and was all "LOLWUT!" because AVI is a really old format. thanks for sharing great information i need suggestion want to increase subscribers on youtube so how can i increase subscribers?

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