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VLC for Mobile iOS App Adds AV1 Support

VLC for Mobile iOS App Adds AV1 Support


VideoLAN recently released an update to their VLC for Mobile iOS app on the App Store. In addition to several fixes, the new version of the app added AV1 support to the popular media player.

The updated VLC for Mobile app includes the new dav1d decoder to enable the playback of AV1 videos. The decoder was developed by the VideoLAN and FFmpeg communities and is partially funded by the Alliance for Open Media (AOMedia) consortium that developed the AV1 codec.
VLC for Mobile adds AV1 Support

Compared to other AV1 decoders, dav1d has been designed to support all of AV1’s features while providing a light and resource-friendly decoder that is able to quickly decode AV1 videos. The current release is its version 0.1.0 that has showcased what it can do and already supports all major operating systems.

One of the biggest advantages of dav1d is that it scales well with more threads, outpacing other decoders. It can take full advantage of Apple’s A10, A11 and A12 chipsets to decode high quality AV1 videos. In tests using the Apple A12X found on the newer 11 and 12.9 inch iPad Pros, dav1d was able to capably decode 4K videos at 30fps.

It should be noted that as a software decoder the power consumption required to decode high quality AV1 videos using dav1d can be quite high, which is to be expected. Hardware support for AV1 is only scheduled to be introduced in new devices circa 2020, and until then decoding will have to rely solely on software.

The incorporation of AV1 support into VLC for Mobile is a significant step forward as it will provide a way for videos using the codec to be viewed on iOS devices. Prior to this support for AV1 was not as readily available on iOS as other platforms where it has been more varied.

Several browsers have already added AV1 support, including Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Not too long ago Microsoft released a beta AV1 Video Extension to add support for the format to Windows 10 devices.

The amount of AV1 content that is available is still low however, and most video platforms are still testing the format. The YouTube AV1 Beta Launch Playlist is one of the more readily accessible sources of AV1 videos, but requires a browser with AV1 support enabled as well as YouTube’s TestTube set to prefer AV1.

As AV1 encoders and decoders are more widely available, most media players, browsers and platforms are likely to ship them in some form or other. Some video converters already support AV1 decoding, and for example you can use Movavi Video Converter for Mac ( www.movavi.com/videoconvertermac/ ) to convert AV1 videos.

Up to now AV1 seems set to emerge as the next generation format of choice for online video delivery. It is likely to face several challenges in the coming year however, including possible legal challenges that could impact its royalty-free status.

Until hardware support becomes more widely available other formats will be preferred over AV1. However once it is more widely-supported, the open and royalty-free status of AV1 make it an attractive option especially for large-scale video delivery due to the fact that it could save providers significant costs. That includes not only royalty costs, but also bandwidth and storage costs that will be lower due to the compression provided by AV1.
VLC for Mobile iOS App Adds AV1 Support Reviewed by Mike Beasley on 3/01/2019 03:40:00 AM Rating: 5

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