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Published Date: 5 December 2022

What is AV1?

AV1—or AOMedia Video 1— is a royalty-free codec developed by Alliance for Open Media in 2015 as an open-source alternative for compression standards. AV1 is one of the newer, more cost-effective codecs used for video transmissions over the internet. It offers useful advantages over the likes of VP9 and H264—which are among the most commonly used compression standards in existence today.

Benefits of AV1

  • A key advantage of AV1 is that it is open and royalty-free—meaning content broadcasting companies can embed the AV1 codec in their software free of cost.
  • It is significantly economical when compared to VP9 and H264 which aren't open-source codecs.
  • Based on Facebook Engineering's testing results, AV1 provides a 34% higher compression rate than VP9, and nearly 46.2% and 50.3% better compression than x264 (high profile) and x264 (main profile) respectively.
  • AV1 ensures higher quality streaming at slower connections as well as higher bitrates at faster connections.
  • AV1 takes inspiration from its open-source predecessor, VP9 which despite being widely adopted is touted to be less efficient than the likes of H.265. Fortunately, AV1 produces better results.

AV1 Use-Cases

  • AV1 is best-suited for real-time applications (specifically WebRTC).
  • It is applicable for video formats of higher resolutions such as UHD that have broader color gamuts and greater frame rates.
  • AOMedia has a list of leading companies as members—from the likes of Amazon, Mozilla, Intel, Netflix, Cisco, and Microsoft to Google and Apple.

Related Terms

Video Quality

In simple terms, video quality is the characteristic of a video that determines how clear, crisp, and detailed the video transmitted to the viewer is.

Video Watermark

A video watermark is a digital copyright tool used to identify the video's copyright owner or prevent illegal distribution.


1:1 is a commonly used aspect ratio in videography. It produces videos that are a perfect square; the width and height of the video image are the same.

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