AOMedia published specification AV1 1.0: codec of the future
Last week the Alliance (AOMedia) published the first complete version of the specification of bitstreaming and decoding video codec AV1. The issue of the standard AV1 version 1.0 will allow members AOMedia and other interested parties to add support for it in their products or services. So, the chip designers will be able to complete the development of energy efficient hardware decoders flows AV1, that will be a critical milestone in the development of the standard. At least initially AV1 will be used mainly for streaming video and custom content as an alternative HEVC (respectively, disputes over licensing fees), but subsequently the introduction of the AV1 can be extended to other applications.
AV1 video codec open source was designed in 2015 by experts from a number of companies. The technology is designed primarily for video streaming in ultra-high resolutions (4K and above), with an expanded color palette and various technologies HDR. Among the key features of the new codec AOMedia indicates 30% more efficient compression algorithm compared to existing methods, the predictable demands on computing hardware, as well as maximum flexibility and scalability. The creators AV1 rely on its ubiquity on all platforms, because it is expected that it will be supported not only a large chip designers, software creators and service providers, but also leading manufacturers of consumer electronics.
AOMedia not disclose the key technological features of the AV1 in video codec as some compact form, while parsing the 600-page specification bitstreaming and decoding for developers not necessarily give a good idea of technology in General. In this regard, in the framework of the news will have to limit the technical details about the AV1 to the necessary minimum.
In General, the AV1 is conceptually similar to existing codecs such as H. 264 or H. 265. AV1 uses the same basic elements that many of the codecs that were used the last 10 years or more: block coding, dynamic block sizes (up to 128 ? 128 in the case of AV1), motion compensation, intra-frame compression, converting direct whole and so on. Meanwhile, because we’re talking about compression algorithms, more efficient than the existing ones, it is obvious that AV1 has a number of advantages in comparison to modern codecs. Innovations in the field of compression algorithms for efficient decoding methods useful for mass distribution of video in 4K resolution and the beginning of the spread of video at a resolution of 8K.
AV1 video codec supports 8-, 10 — and 12-bit formats for the presentation and processing of data, all three common types of color subsampling (4:2:0, 4:2:2, 4:4:4) and almost all of the major color palettes and formats (sRGB, BT.2020 (both 10-bit and 12-bit) BT.2100 and others). Recommendation BT.2020 and BT.2100 include support for popular 3840 ? 2160 and 7680 yet exotic ? 4320 (8K). In addition, they reglamentary the application of various technologies of high dynamic scope (like HDR10). It is worth noting that AV1 1.0 does not support specification SMPTE ST 2094-40 to transfer dynamic metadata that is used HDR10+. Because AV1 is the codec open source and do not involve license fees (this does not mean that the licensing process is cancelled at all), it also does not support proprietary technology of Dolby Vision. In other words, to support HDR with dynamic metadata AOMedia will have to create its own technology. Therefore, AV1 is technically ready for monitors and TVs of the next generation, but the codec will require some additional standards for the implementation of specific features.
As for the displays, and TV, it should be noted that AV1 is compatible with existing technologies connect receivers to the source signal, such as DisplayPort, eDP, HDMI and others. The technology is also compatible with modern methods of content protection.
Publication specifications AV1 version 1.0 is only the first step towards the mass implementation of technology. AOMedia expects that the tools for content creation and desktop browsers will start to support AV1 at the end of this year. To ensure this, AOMedia released unoptimized/experimental software decoder and encoder AV1 for use in various programs. In 2019, the consortium is waiting the appearance of the first chip with hardware support AV1, as well as wider support. The ubiquity of AV1 will start in 2020, when there will be an extensive set of programs and circuits that support the technology.
Speaking on the distribution and support AV1, it is worth mentioning that the list of members AOMedia includes many influential companies such as Apple, Amazon, AMD, Arm, Broadcom, Facebook, Google, Hulu, Intel, IBM, Microsoft, Netflix, NVIDIA, Realtek, Sigma and many others. These companies either are in control of a huge ecosystem, or develop chips that are used by hundreds of millions of users around the world. Their support will ensure wide dissemination of AV1 in the next decade. At the same time AOMedia has already started research and development of technologies for AV2, which should become the heir to the AV1 in a few years.