Microsoft Windows 10 To Support Hardware-Accelerated AV1 Codec Promising Lower Data Consumption, And Better Battery Usage During Streaming

Microsoft Windows 10 will soon have native support for the AV1 Codec. The support for the codec will allow Windows 10 PCs to stream high-bitrate and UHD resolution video from streaming platforms securely. The codec will specifically benefit laptops as the codec is optimized for better quality, lower data, and battery drain.

Microsoft has announced that Windows 10 will soon officially support the AV1 Codec format which has been jointly developed by several IT companies. The AV1 Codec is significantly better than the currently prevalent and popular H.264 video codec and even the VP9 Codec. Moreover, the AV1 Codec relies on hardware acceleration wherever available.

Windows 10 To Get Native AV1 Codec Support But Not All Computers Will Benefit?

The Alliance for Open Media (AOM) is a consortium founded by Microsoft, Google, Mozilla, Cisco, Intel, Netflix, and Amazon in 2015. AOM is responsible for developing the AV1 Codec. The consortium promises to focus on developing next-generation and open-source media formats, codecs and technologies in the public interest.

AOM released the AV1 Codec back in 2018. The AOMedia Video Codec 1.0 (AV1) is a royalty-free specification, which promises to deliver cross-platform, 4K UHD, or higher online video resolution with lower data usage. It can deliver 4K UHD video at an average of 30 percent greater compression over prevalent codecs. Moreover, the codec enables more screens to display vivid images, deeper colors, brighter highlights, darker shadows, and other enhanced UHD imaging features.

Incidentally, AV1 Codec is even better than the VP9 platform by 20 percent. This means the amount of data can be reduced significantly for web-based video streaming applications. However, the most appealing aspect of the AV1 Codec is that it is hardware-accelerated. This means the codec depends on the hardware and not software. Computers and mobile devices with powerful hardware can now reduce the excessive battery consumption that software encoding usually causes.

The hardware acceleration aspect of the AV1 Codec means Windows 10 OS users will need some powerful hardware. Microsoft notes that Windows 10 PC must pack an 11th generation Intel Core processor and an integrated Iris Xe GPU to take full advantage of the AV1 Codec. Alternatively, a decent graphics card from the recently launched Nvidia GeForce RTX 30 series will work. Graphics Cards featuring GPUs of the AMD Radeon RX 6000 series will soon be supported.

Microsoft Has AV1 Codec Extension In Microsoft Store:

Microsoft has promised it will be rolling out support for AV1 on new Windows 10 devices with the latest GPUs this fall. Windows 10 v1909 or later is required to run AV1 Codec. Users will also need the AV1 Codec Extension which is already available on the Microsoft Store since last year.

The AV1 Video extension helps video apps installed on Windows 10 play videos that have been encoded using the AV1 video coding standard. Needless to add, an updated web browser or another app that supports AV1 Codec is required to benefit from the new video codec.


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.
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