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Netflix Brings AV1 Codec Streaming To Smart TVs

by ZeeshanN

If you want high-quality movies and web shows on your Smart TV, Netflix is here with a feature that would allow you to do that. The biggest OTT platform has begun to release the AV1 codec to selected content on TVs.

If you don’t know, AV1 (Aomedia Video 1) is a compression tech that allows high-quality video streaming in small file sizes. It is an open-source and royalty-free high-efficiency video codec created by the AOMedia alliance, which comprises industry leaders like Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Firefox, Netflix, and more.

Netflix had first introduced AV1 encoding on the Android platform back in 2020, and now it is beginning AV1 streaming to TVs as well. This could increase the quality of content and perhaps, in turn, lead to the growth of its viewer base.

Netflix said that the AV1 content will be in the 10-bit color gamut with the highest available resolution and frame rate (HFR). It adds, “AV1 delivers videos with improved visual quality at the same bitrate,” and that “some streams have a peak bitrate close to the upper limit allowed by the spec”. This should allow them to preserve the creator’s intent to a great extent.

It notes how AV1 encoding has produced a 2% faster playback with up to 38% better streaming quality on select TVs. Yes, it would be available for some TVs only that are equipped with an AV1 decoder. And those TVs that don’t meet this requirement will continue to play HEVC and MPEG4 AVC.

Launching a new streaming format on TV platforms is not an easy job. In this section, we list a number of challenges we faced for this launch and share how they have been solved. As you will see, our “highly aligned, loosely coupled” culture played a key role in the success of this cross-functional project. The high alignment guides all teams to work towards the same goals, while the loose coupling keeps each team agile and fast-paced.

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