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How AV1 Improves 8K Delivery

See the full video from this session, AV1: A Reality Check, on the Streaming Media YouTube channel.

Learn more about emerging codecs and 8K at Streaming Media West 2020!

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Paul MacDougall: Under the hood of AV1, and one of the biggest driving parts of it, of course, is that you're getting better efficiency out of the codec. When we look at what it takes to deliver such a large-sized piece of video, you really need to have that extra level of efficiency to make that practical for many people. Quite a bit of our audience here today, and certainly the members of this panel all have very good internet connections. We're probably on the cutting edge of that compared to most people in America and around the rest of the world. But that's not the case for mainstream audiences. In order to be able to reach those audiences over the connections that they have, you're going to have to be able to deliver that video much more efficiently.

Obviously, related costs come into play with the delivery in itself. CDN usage and so forth is going to go up considerably when you have such a large-sized piece of video trying to be pushed through those pipes, which multiplies itself as a cost. If you're delivering a video at one size or a much larger size, that cost gets multiplied out every time you have to go stream that. I think that's one of the reasons why--especially amongst the larger companies--we've seen so much eagerness to adopt AV1, especially for their more popular content that we've seen elsewhere.

Tim Siglin: So, do we expect to see AV1 in 8K TVs? What does it mean in terms of chipsets? What does it mean in terms of power consumption? Because I think that's also important.

Paul MacDougall: Absolutely. Especially when we look at some of the recent announcements that came out of CES earlier this year, AV1 was really the 8K codec of choice. In fact, I'm not aware of anybody who was stating delivery through any mechanism besides AV1. I think Samsung probably was the one that made the largest headlines around that. They really pushed AV1 as a marquee feature for the 8K television. Although, actually, every 2020 model set from Samsung has AV1 decoding support.

Of course, that's more about having application-specific integrated circuits that you would need in order to decode that in the lower-processing-power environments we tend to see in a smart TV. They don't necessarily have a need for the beefy CPUs, but they do have needs for those very specific use cases decoding complex video.

Power tends to be of course, somewhat less of a consideration. You always want to be as efficient with power as you can, but if you're plugged into a wall outlet, you're not necessarily going to be as concerned about that. I think we see that becoming a much larger concern, which is really relevant when we talk about mobile delivery for that. So not necessarily those 8K resolutions, but handsets, of course, are where that's really going to be making the big difference.

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