AV1 and VVC are both new codecs on the scene. Codecs touch our lives every day both at work and at home. They are the only way that anyone receives audio and video online and television. So all together they’re pretty important and finding better ones generates a lot of opinion.
So what are AV1 and VVC? VVC is one of the newest codecs on the block and is undergoing standardisation in MPEG. VVC builds on the technologies standardised by HEVC but adds many new coding tools. The standard is likely to enter draft phase before the end of 2019 resulting in it being officially standardised around a year later. For more info on VVC, check out Bitmovin’s VVC intro from Demuxed
AV1 is a new but increasingly known codec, famous for being royalty free and backed by Netflix, Apple and many other big hyper scale players. There have been reports that though there is no royalty levied on it, patent holders have still approached big manufacturers to discuss financial reimbursement so its ‘free’ status is a matter of debate. Whilst there is a patent defence programme, it is not known if it’s sufficient to insulate larger players. Much further on than VVC, AV1 has already had a code freeze and companies such as Bitmovin have been working hard to reduce the encode times – widely known to be very long – and create live services.
Here, Christian Feldmann from Bitmovin gives us the latest status on AV1 and VVC. Christian discusses AV1’s tools before discussing VVC’s tools pointing out the similarities that exist. Whilst AV1 is being supported in well known browsers, VVC is at the beginning.
There’s a look at the licensing status of each codec before a look at EVC – which stands for Essential Video Coding. This has a royalty free baseline profile so is of interest to many. Christian shares results from a Technicolor experiment.
As we wait for the dust to settle on this NAB’s AV1 announcements hearing who’s added support for AV1 and what innovations have come because of it, we know that the feature set is frozen and that some companies will be using it. So here’s a chance to go in to some of the detail.
Now, we join Nathan Egge who talks us through many of the different tools within AV1 including one which often captures the imagination of people; AV1’s ability to remove film grain ahead of encoding and then add back in synthesised grain on playback. Nathan also looks ahead in the Q&A talking about integration into RTP, WebRTC and why Broadcasters would want to use AV1.
VP9 is a well-known codec, but it hasn’t seen many high-profile, live deployments which makes Twitch’s move to deliver their platform using VP9 in preference over AVC all the more interesting.
Here, Yueshi Shen from Twitch, explains the rationale for VP9 by explaining the scale of Twitch and looking at their AVC bitrate demands. He explains the patent issues with HEVC and VP9 then looks at decoder support across devices and platforms. Importantly, encoder implementation is examined leading to Twitch’s choice of FPGA to provide live encoding.
Yueshi then looks at the potential of AV1 to Switch_Frame to provide low-latency broadcast at scale.
There are a lot of codecs both new and old that are in use or vying to be the next big thing. Tom Vaughan helps us see what they really can achieve and where each one is useful.
Recorded at San Francisco Video Tech Meetup in September, this video starts with a look at a the ‘hype cycle’. Tom places each codec, from MPEG 2 to VVC on the curve before looking at what the barriers to adoption are.
Tom then looks at HEVC discussing which devices can receive it, which can create it, the streaming services which support it and where adoption is likely to be. Finally, HEVC discussion is complete without a look at the HEVC patent landscape Venn diagram.
The focus then shifts to the Alliance for Open Media and their AV1 codec, its patent status and technical progress to date. He then discusses the performance of AV1, HEVC and Beamr against each other.
Almost brand new out of the starting blocks is VVC from MPEG and the Media Coding Industry Forum (MC-IF). Tom explains the aims of the forum and the VVC codec they are creating before taking questions from the floor.
Date: Thursday February 28th 2019, 10am PT / 1PM ET / 18:00 GMT
Streaming continues to grow, in amount streamed, in people consuming it and in importance within this and other industries. One things which has always been an enabler yet made streaming harder to deploy is its rapid evolution. Whilst this has been a boon for smaller, nimbler companies – both content producers and service providers – the streaming has now arrived at most companies in one way or another and this breadth of use-cases has kept streaming tech moving forward and showing no signs of abatement.
Some aspects are changing. For instance we are seeing the first patent-free MPEG standard proposals (EVC, which has basic patent-free functionality and a better performing patent-controlled profile) on the heels of AV1. We’re seeing low-latency efforts such as CMAF taking hold as an alternative to WebRTC. With CMAF being much closer to the ever popular HLS, this may well beat out WebRTC in deployments at the cost of a slightly higher, but much improved latency.
To bring all of this in to focus for 2019, Jason Thibeault from the Streaming Video Alliance is bringing together a panel of experts to look at the coming trends and to give us an idea of what to look out for, and how to make sense, of 2019’s year of video delivery.
While it has never played a big role in practical applications, scalable video coding has been around since the times of MPEG 2, and might actually have some advantages over the multi-rate transmission often applied today. The purpose of scalable coding is to efficiently compress multiple different versions of the same video in one “scalable” bitstream. Actually this sounds like the perfect solution for VOD and streaming applications, but unfortunately it has some downsides and few vendors ever used it. In this talk, Chrstian will review the basic idea of scalable coding, how it is enabled in modern coding standards and the pros and cons of implementing the technology in streaming applications.
Zhou Wang explains how to compare HEVC & AVC with AV1 and shares his findings. Using various metrics such as VMAF, PSNR and SSIMPlus he explores the affects of resolution on bitrate savings and then turns his gaze to computation complexity.
This talk was given at the Mile High Video conference in Denver CO, 2018.
AV1 implementations are still being worked on along a number of fronts and the business cases are starting to shake out. Here’s a developer-focussed look at AV1 from patents to the way it works and to lessons learnt implementing it.
It was last year that the Alliance for Open Media released its next-generation video codec AV1. It achieves better compression than proprietary competitors, while its patents can be licensed via a royalty-free, open-source friendly license. With a broad array of industry support including all major browser vendors, many hardware partners, internet streaming video and conferencing providers, many think this is the best chance yet to create a successful video codec of its type that achieves wide deployment.
As the first post of 2019, please allow me to say Happy New Year and to thank you for the time you spend coming to the website, following by email and/or following on social media. Your visits, interest and recommendations are very important and highly appreciated. 2018 ended with being nominated for the Royal Television Society Website of the Year. Whilst the hardworking and knowledgable people at The Broadcast Bridge won, and deservedly so, I hope you’ll be as mighty pleased as I was to see a non-commercial site pitted against the best in the industry. Be assured that The Broadcast Knowledge always aims higher than before so what better motivation than to top that!
As we set our sights on 2019, there’s time for a brief look back at the top video linked to here on The Broadcast Knowledge in 2018. Looking back at the stats, it has the most page visits and the most clicks, so let’s revisit this panel on AV1 and HEVC. It’s not often you get the likes of Facebook and Harmonic sharing their latest research on stage with companies like Harmonic and Bitmovin who are very active in the Codec community, so it’s no surprise this piqued the interest of many.
This panel took place during NAB 2018 when AV1 had just ‘released’ the AV1 codec at the show but the points discussed are as relevant today as they were then including the adoption of HEVC in the marketplace. Having said that, do check out the AV1 and HEVC tags to see what more recent discussions there have been including a discussion of the future of video codecs at Streaming Media East 2018