Vimeo Announces Support for AV1 Codec, Starts With Staff Picks

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Video sharing site Vimeo announced today that it now supports the AV1 codec, which it believes will let it deliver videos at a reduced bitrate but the same high visual quality. It's starting small, encoding its Staff Picks selections in AV1 and streaming them to supporting platforms, which include Chrome and Firefox. The company didn't announce when or if it will expand AV1 encoding to additional videos.

News 2Vimeo joined the Alliance for Open Media—which created AV1—last year, and worked with Mozilla on rav1e, Mozilla's open source encoder. For Vimeo, AV1 support seems to be just as much about improving video efficiency as boosting open collaboration and development.

"AV1 is ripe with new and innovative video technologies, and is the first royalty-free video codec to see widespread adoption," says Vittorio Giovara, lead engineer of encoding at Vimeo. "In the continued quest to democratize high-quality video, this levels the playing field by letting everybody implement AV1 without unforeseen costs. Moreover, video creators will now benefit from the ability to stream exceptional videos all over the world with better playback and while using less bandwidth."

Perhaps Vimeo's support will help jumpstart the fledgling codec. Encoding.com's latest Global Media Format report, released in April, knocked it by saying, "AV1 remains a codec waiting for a major hardware, browser, or media ecosystem company to give the next generation codec a day job.”

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