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Google May Soon Require AV1 Codec On New Android TV Devices

av1 codec youtube and netflix
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According to a new report by XDA Developers, Google may soon require new Android TV devices to support the AV1 codec. Notably, it is important for smart devices including smartphones, TVs, etc. to support certain video codecs.

These video codecs not only allow these smart devices to ensure the best user experience, minimize network usage, and also support a wide variety of devices.

As per the XDA, Google Android TVs launching after March 2021 will come with AV1 codec support. Moreover, the AV1 codec support will come with every TV product launching with Android 10 or Android 11 later this year.

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AV1 codec has a bunch of benefits up its sleeves. It allows for transmitting video over the internet with no loss in quality. Besides, it is royalty-free, meaning that companies would not need to pay any licensing fees.

Av1 codec also helps in enhancing the file compression more effectively as compared to other alternatives. Even after having such advantages, the adoption rate of the AV1 codec has been rather slow.

However, this may change soon as Google is now mandating the use of the AV1 codec on all Android TVs being sold after March 2021.

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YouTube, Chrome, and Duo on compatible devices have already started using AV1 Codec

There are streaming platforms that are currently making use of the AV1 codec to encode some of their content. In fact, Google has also started using the AV1 codec on YouTube, Chrome, and Duo.

Apparently, only a handful of compatible devices support AV1 encoding on YouTube, Google Chrome, and Duo. Google plans to expand this AV1 codec support for Google Photos, Play Movies, Google TV, Meet, and Stadia over time.

Vimeo has also started to encode some of its content with the AV1 codec. You can watch videos encoded in AV1 on the Staff Picks Channel on Vimeo.

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On Netflix as well, if the data saving mode is enabled, then there are select titles that are encoded in AV1 codec. Let us talk about some numbers that show the efficiency of the AV1 codec over other codecs.

AV1 codec boosts compression efficiency by 20% and 50% compared to VP9 and H.264 codecs, respectively. This allows for playback of video content at a much higher resolution in smaller file-sizes.

AndroidTV Guide also notes that there are many recently launched 4K-HDR Android TV devices that come with AV1 supported chipset. FYI, MediaTek T30/T31/T32 or the Realtek RTD2851M are the names of some AV1 supported SoC.

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TCL's latest X915 8K TV comes with AV1 codec support because it is powered by the Realtek RTD2851M SoC combined with the RTD2893. It is also the first smart TV to support 8K video streaming from YouTube.