Samsung has joined Alliance for Open Media who has developed the open source and royalty-free AV1 video format. Other members include Apple, Google, and Netflix.
Samsung embraces AV1
AOMedia was formed in 2015 by a group of heavyweight companies, including Amazon, Google, Intel, Microsoft, and Netflix. Frustrated by high costs and uncertainty surrounding HEVC at the time, they set out to develop the open source and royalty-free AV1 format that handles video spanning low resolution to 4K HDR - and beyond.
Since 2015, companies such as Apple, AMD, ARM, Cisco, Facebook, IBM, and Nvidia have joined the movement. The consortium is now welcoming Samsung as its latest member. Samsung will join at the board level, meaning that they will directly participate in expanding adoption of AV1.
- “We are committed to fostering innovation through openness,” said Seunghwan Cho, EVP of Samsung Research. “We’re excited to join AOMedia to help open up new possibilities to use AV1 open-source, cross-platform, online video in ways that will optimize today’s ecosystem to meet the increasing demands of next-generation users.”
Samsung has yet to detail its plans for AV1 but having one of the world's leading CE companies onboard is obviously an important milestone on the way to making AV1 reality in the consumer space.
- “We’re tremendously excited to welcome Samsung to the Alliance for Open Media. Samsung is joining AOMedia at a critical time as adoption and use of AV1 picks up throughout the video ecosystem,” said Matt Frost, AOMedia Vice President of Communications and Membership, and Director at Google. “We look forward to collaborating with Samsung to accelerate development and adoption of AV1 and future media technologies.”
AV1 was released in April 2018, and Google, Mozilla, and Netflix are currently conducting public tests. Estimates vary but some claim that AV1 outperforms VP9 and HEVC by 30% on average. A few big players have committed to using AV1 for video streaming and some industry people expect AV1 to swiftly supplant HEVC but critics argue that despite improvements encoding times are still slow.
TVs and other devices with built-in AV1 hardware decoding are expected to show up in late 2019 or 2020. Will Samsung's 2020 TVs support AV1? That remains to be seen but it is certainly a possibility.