YouTube Begins Rolling Out AV1 Support In Beta

Written by Michael Larabel in Multimedia on 13 September 2018 at 07:07 AM EDT. 35 Comments
YouTube has begun transcoding videos into the new royalty-free AV1 video codec.

So far just a handful of videos are available with this AV1 beta support on YouTube. The Google company is supporting AV1 in MP4 within the Media Source for Chrome 70+ and the newest Firefox Nightly builds as of today. The Firefox Nightly support also requires media.av1.enabled and media.mediasource.experimental.enabled preferences enabled.

Given AV1 isn't supported by GPUs yet and can be quite taxing on CPUs, AV1 is only used for videos playing less than 480p while YouTube will switch over to VP9 for higher resolution videos.

So at this stage the YouTube AV1 support is mostly for testing and evaluating AV1 decoder performance, but it's interesting to see anyhow. Check out the YouTube AV1 beta playlist for more details and videos.
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