AV1 has strong backing from tech giants but is still seldom seen in the wild. Find out what the plans are for the future with Google’s Debargha Mukherjee.
Debargha’s intent in this talk is simple: to frame a description of what AV1 can do and is doing today in terms of the history of the codec and looking forward to the future and a potential AV2.
The talk starts by demonstrating the need for better video codecs not least of which is the statistic that by 2021, 81% of the internet’s traffic is expected to be video. But on top of that, there is a frustration with the slow decade-long refresh process which is traditional for video codecs. In order to match the new internet landscape with fast-evolving services, it seemed appropriate to have a codec which not only delivered better encoding but also saw a quicker five-year refresh cycle.
As a comparison to the royalty-free AV1, Debargha then looks at VP9 it is deployed. Further more, VP10 who’s development was stopped and diverted into the AV1 effort which is then the topic for the next part of the talk; the Alliance for Open Media, the standardisation process and then a look at some of the encoding tools available to archive the stated aims.
To round off the description of what’s presently happening with AV1 trials of VP9, HEVC and AV1 are shown demonstrating AV1s ability to improve compression for a certain quality. Bitmovin and Facebook’s tests are also highlighted along with speed tests.
Looking, now, to the future, the talk finishes by explaining the future roadmap for hardware decoding and other expected milestones in the coming years plus the software work such as SVT-AV1 and DAV1D for optimised encoding and decoding. With the promised five-year cycle, we need to look forward now to AV2 and Debargha discusses what it might be and what it would need to achieve.
Many companies would love to be using free codecs, unencumbered by patents, rather than paying for HEVC or AVC. Phil Cluff shows that, contrary to popular belief, it is possible stream with free codecs and get good coverage on mobile and desktop.
Phil starts off by looking at the codecs available and whether they’re patent encumbered with an eye to how much of the market can actually decode them. Free codecs and containers like WebM, VP8 etc. are not supported by Safari which reduces mobile penetration by half. To prove the point, Phil presents the results of his trials in using HEVC, AVC and VP8 on all major browsers.
Whilst this initially leaves a disappointing result for streaming with libre codecs on mobile, there is a solution! Phil explains how an idea from several years ago is being reworked to provide a free streaming protocol MPAG-SASH which avoids using DASH which is itself based on ISO BMFF which is patent encumbered. He then explains how open video players like video.js can be modified to decode libre codecs.
With these two enhancements, we finally see that coverage of up to 80% on mobile is, in principle, possible.
The codec world is fragmenting. None of the new entrants on to the market is expected to ever gain the universal status that AVC enjoys. This panel from Streaming Media East takes a look at how to prepare for this.
The panel kicks off discussing the differences between AVC and HEVC, VP9 and AV1 and moves on to discuss the pros and cons of supporting multiple codecs. Tarek from Twitch explains its partial adoption of VP9 – the reasons that it makes sense but the overheads which it brings the business.
Vittorio Giovara from Vimeo explains their reasons for using HEVC including their drive to be able to encode and deliver 10-bit video. Ellation’s Subhrendu Sarakar makes the point that managing codec changes and bitrate changes needs to be done carefully to ensure viewers that notice the change understand them and don’t feel there has been a reduction of quality.
After a brief discussion of encoding strongly characterised video types such as anime and gaming, the conversation moves on to AV1 and migrating from VP9 and there is an audience question on HEVC licensing and the lack of use of SVC (Scalable Video Coding)
It’s now relatively well known that Twitch deployed VP9 using FPGAs rather than as a software encoder which was the only way to get the real-time speed at 1080p60. The panel discusses encoding speed both in the encoder and decoder for VP9 and AV1 then finishes with a Q&A from the audience.
Brightcove, an online video hosting platform with its own video player, has a lot of experience of delivery over the CDN. We saw yesterday the principles that the player, and to an extent the server, can use to deal with changing network (and to an extent changing client CPU usage) by going up and down through the ABR ladder. However this talk focusses on how the CDN in the middle complicates matters as it tries its best to get the right chunks in the right place at the right time.
How often are there ‘cache misses’ where the right file isn’t already in place? And how can you predict what’s necessary?
Yuriy even goes in to detail about how to work out when HEVC deployment makes sense for you. After all, even if you do deploy HEVC – do you need to do it for all assets? And if you do only deploy for some assets, how do you know which? Also, when does it make sense to deploy CMAF? In this talk, we hear the answers.