Netflix has announced that it will start supporting Google’s AV1 video codec on its PS4 Pro and select TVs. There are a number of other devices in the pipeline, but this is one of the first consumer-facing announcements about AV1 support. This announcement comes at an exciting time for Netflix since two years ago they made their own VP9 encoder to do away with licensing fees from MPEG LA.

Netflix-Brings-AV1-Streaming-to-PS4-Pro-and-Select-TVsImage credit: Netflix

The AV1 codec is being rolled out to new platforms by Netflix. When streaming on specified TVs or a PS4 Pro, users may now experience the advantages of AV1. In February 2020, Netflix began streaming in AV1 on Android through its mobile app.

Netflix began broadcasting AV1 on the Android mobile app in February 2020. The open-source software decoder dav1d, created by the VideoLAN, VLC, and FFmpeg communities and funded by AOMedia, was used during the Android debut. We were thrilled to discover that AV1 streaming enhanced members’ viewing experiences, especially when network circumstances were tough.

The Alliance of Open Media’s AV1 codec is a royalty-free format (AOMedia). Netflix is a founding member of the group. AOMedia was established in the year 2018. The list of other members reads like a who’s who of tech and streaming firms.

1636682192_77_Netflix-Brings-AV1-Streaming-to-PS4-Pro-and-Select-TVsImage courtesy of AOMedia

AV1 compresses content up to 30% better than HEVC/VP9, lowering bandwidth requirements and buffering periods. When network conditions change, playback interruptions are also reduced. When utilizing AV1, Netflix has observed a reduction in perceptible quality dips of up to 38 percent on various TVs. All current AV1 material is 10-bit and HFR compatible (high frame rate). HDR is not currently available, but it will be soon. HFR allows users with suitable devices to watch the racing documentary Formula 1: Drive to Survive. The streaming service is now assessing its vast library of material to determine which films will be given the AV1 treatment.

A number of AV1-capable TVs, as well as TVs linked to PS4 Pro, are included in our first launch. We’re working with external partners to expand the number of devices that can stream AV1. Another intriguing area we’re looking into is AV1 with HDR. Netflix’s staff are dedicated to providing our subscribers with the greatest visual quality possible. Keep an eye out!

Netflix provided a current list of supported TVs to The Verge. The new codec requires a lot of processing power from the CPU and GPU. The codec is not supported by most television SoCs, but Netflix is working with manufacturers to increase acceptance. The year 2020 witnessed the most increase. GPU acceleration on the hardware level has already begun. One of the first consoles to be added to the list of supported devices is the PS4 Pro.

• Any TV connected to a PS4 Pro streaming with the Netflix app • Select Amazon Fire TV devices with Fire OS 7 and above • Select Android TV devices with Android OS 10 and above • Select Samsung 2020 UHD Smart TVs • Select Samsung 2020 UHD QLED Smart TVs • Select Samsung 2020 8K QLED Smart TVs • Samsung The Frame 2020 Smart TVs • Samsung The Serif 2020 Smart TVs • Samsung The Terrace 2020 Smart TVs

Netflix (via The Verge), and AOMedia

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