Google Mandates Android TV Box Makers To Support AV1 Codec Natively

Google has reportedly made AV1 Codec support a requirement for all future Android TV devices. The compulsion to include native support for the AV1 codec should push the adoption and usage of the codec. Created by the Alliance for Open Media, the AV1 Codec is supposed to be a better and efficient delivery medium for multimedia content in high definition.

AV1 Codec’s adoption may accelerate in 2021 as Google is reportedly mandating that all new Android TV products support AV1 video decoding. The new requirement will affect future Android TV Boxes or devices running on the current version of the Android TV platform, released after March 31, 2021.

Why Is Google Insisting on Native Support For AV1 Codec On All New Android TV Boxes?

AOMedia Video 1 (AV1) is an open, royalty-free video coding format initially designed for video transmissions over the Internet. Originally intended to be the successor to the VP9 codec, the AV1 Codec was observed to be the best alternative for delivering high-definition multimedia content over the Internet. AV1 has a royalty-free licensing model. This makes adoption and deployment relatively easy for open-source projects and startups.

Incidentally, AV1 is gaining popularity for online streaming and media consumption. It is robust, efficient, and reliable. However, only a handful of streaming services use AV1 Codec. YouTube streams some videos encoded in AV1 on select Android TV devices, meanwhile, Vimeo started to encode some of the videos on its Staff Picks channel in AV1. Netflix streams select titles in AV1 and that too if the users switch on Data Saving Mode.

Google recently announced its plans to use AV1 Codec for “the whole range of Google’s video applications and services”. Currently, there are dozens of different hardware companies making Android TV Boxes. Moreover, there are many software companies making apps and streaming services. Hence, it is up to the tech giants to step in support of key technologies to boost adoption.

AV1 Codec promises a better user experience, minimized network use, and supports a wide variety of devices. It is specially designed to efficiently transmit video over the Internet with a minimal impact on quality. The best part is that it’s royalty-free so companies don’t have to pay any licensing fees. Basically, AV1 is a necessity to ensure power-efficient and speedy video playback.

Alap Naik Desai

A B.Tech Plastics (UDCT) and a Windows enthusiast. Optimizing the OS, exploring software, searching and deploying solutions to strange and weird issues is Alap's main interest.