We hope you haven’t missed this good news. Netflix has started streaming AV1 to TVs. If only your Smart TV supports AV1 decoding, from November 9 you should enjoy AV1 streaming (most popular titles first). Of course, owners of Full HD / 4K streaming devices supporting AV1 codec will also be pleased.
What’s the deal with AV1 codec and AV1 streaming?
AV1 is a high-performance, royalty-free video codec that provides 20% improved compression efficiency over HEVC/VP9 and manages to save up to 30% in bandwidth for the same image quality.
In February 2020, Netflix started streaming AV1 to the Android mobile app.
As you know about streaming devices supporting AV1 decoding, we have been informing you for a long time. You can find them in a large number of our articles.
Due to the large number of TVs that meet hardware support for AV1 decoder, Netflix decided to introduce AV1 streaming on TVs.
Today we are excited to announce that Netflix has started streaming AV1 to TVs. With this advanced encoding format, we are confident that Netflix can deliver an even more amazing experience to our members,[…]We compared AV1 to other codecs over thousands of Netflix titles, and saw significant compression efficiency improvements from AV1. Netflix
Company said that all of its AV1 streams are encoded in 10-bit and in the highest available resolution and frame rate including HFR – but not yet HDR. Netflix did not specify bitrates other than saying that “AV1 delivers videos with improved visual quality at the same bitrate” compared to MPEG4 and HEVC and that “some streams have a peak bitrate close to the upper limit allowed by the spec”, which probably refers to AV1 level 5.0 (30 Mb/s bitrate for Main) or level 5.1 (40 Mb/s bitrate for Main).While, For non-compatible TV devices Netflix will continue to use HEVC and MPEG4 AVC.
AV1 Streaming Interesting Features
You can find interesting details in the extensive article on introducing Netflix AV1 streaming on TVs. Below are a few selected.
More streaming at the highest resolution
- With higher compression efficiency, the bandwidth needed for streaming is reduced and thus it is easier for playback to reach the highest resolution for that session.
- For 4K eligible sessions, on average, the duration of 4K videos being streamed increased by about 5%.
Reduced start play delay
- On some TVs, with the reduced bitrate, the player can reach the target buffer level sooner to start the playback.
- On average, we observed a 2% reduction in play delay with AV1 streaming.
[Update 11/11/21] Here are the first supported devices according to Netflix (via The Verge)
Netflix AV1 Streaming: Supported TV devices at launch
Additionally, Smart TVs supported list:
- Select Samsung 2020 UHD Smart TVs
- 2020 UHD QLED Smart TVs
- Select Samsung 2020 8K QLED Smart TVs
- Samsung The Frame 2020 Smart TVs
- The Serif 2020 Smart TVs
- Samsung The Terrace 2020 Smart TVs
- Any TV connected to a PS4 Pro streaming with the Netflix app
- Amazon Fire TV devices with Fire OS 7 and above
- Select Android TV devices with Android OS 10 and above