Google Chrome, Firefox adding support for AV1 video codec

AV1 continues to gain device and platform support. (Unsplash)

Support for emerging video codec AV1 is increasing as web browsers Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox will soon build in support.

As Ghacks points out, both companies recently added AV1 support into development versions of their browsers and will add AV1 functionality in the future. Google added AV1 support to the Chrome 69 beta release and Mozilla added it to Firefox 63.

RELATED: Can AV1 and HEVC just get along?

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At the NAB Show’s Streaming Summit in April, Matt Frost, head of strategy and partnerships for Google Chrome Media, shed some light on an adoption roadmap for AV1. He said that broad hardware support won’t show up for about two years. He said Alliance for Open Media founding members like YouTube and Facebook will be adopting AV1 early for playback in HTML5 browsers and that further down the road, software playback on Android devices will show up. He said that with YouTube, they don’t have to re-encode everything in AV1 to push a high volume of the codec.

AV1 is an open-source royalty-free video codec that was developed by AOMedia, which counts Amazon, Apple, Intel, Microsoft and Netflix among its founding members.

AV1 is something of a successor to VP9, an open-source video compression codec developed by Google. AV1 promise 30% better compression than VP9, based on testing performed by Bitmovin. That means AV1 can deliver 4K UHD video content while using less data.

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