Promising Initial Results with AV1 Testing

AV1 encoding is now only 2x slower than x265. See the latest results here.  I began testing AV1 early this week. Briefly, my tests involve 16 ten-second clips in four genres (movies, sports, animations, gaming) and an “other” category (music video, nature video). I’ve completed the first set of tests with FFmpeg 4.3, benchmarking x264,…

Preliminary VMAF and PSNR Scores for New Xilinx Transcoding Appliances

Live streaming at scale is the perfect application for hardware transcoders that deliver highly-affordable encoding density. Xilinx just announced a series of transcoding appliances targeting these live streaming use cases built around the new Xilinx Real-Time (RT) Server reference architecture. I’ve been benchmarking output quality with two card-based encoders deployed in these appliances, the Alveo…

SmartTVs with AV1 Support Now Shipping

Would you design a SmartTV that couldn’t play UHD videos from YouTube? Me neither and designers from LG and Samsung apparently agree. I was researching codec support among smart TVs for upcoming training sessions at Streaming Media East and noticed that the 2020 version of the Samsung SmartTV supports AV1 decode. A quick search found an…

AV1 Turns 2.0

Just a quick announcement that the Alliance for Open Media has launched version 2.0 of the AOMedia AV1 encoder that you can download here. According to the Phoronix website, from which I grabbed this news: “Libaom 2.0 is the first release since the original 1.0 release back in mid-2018 after the AOMedia codec working group…

Lesson of the Week: Codecs are Not Generic

I discuss the bandwidth savings delivered by VP9 and HEVC over H264 in my course Streaming Media 101: Technical Onboarding for Streaming Media Professionals. I wanted to illustrate this with my own tests, so I used FFmpeg to encode H.264, HEVC, and VP9 output using about 25 short test files. This felt like a good…

Encoding VP9 in FFmpeg: An Update

This is a long post only of interest to those attempting to optimize their VP9 encodes. The three key takeaways are 1) use the command script shown on the bottom of the page, 2) a speed setting of 2 offers the optimal quality/performance tradeoff, and 3) the row-mt setting improves performance significantly with zero quality…