Netflix has begun employing the AV1 codec to stream content to some users.
The codec is being used to deliver a “select” amount of titles to Android users who have enabled the ‘Save Data’ feature on their phones.
Netflix said its “goal is to roll out AV1 on all of our platforms.” It says it has launched on mobile because “cellular networks can be unreliable” and users have “limited data plans.” This results in an overall “good fit for AV1’s compression efficiency.”
Writing on its Tech Blog, Netflix said its AV1 support on Android leverages the open-source dav1d decoder built by the VideoLAN, VLC, and FFmpeg communities and sponsored by the Alliance for Open Media. It has optimised dav1d so that it can play Netflix content, which is 10-bit colour. The blog said it is helping to make AV1 more widely available by sponsoring an open-source effort to optimise 10-bit performance further and make these gains available to all.
According to the streamer, it will look to employ AV1 more as “codec performance improves over time.” Netflix said it is already working with “device and chipset partners to extend this into hardware.”