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VideoLAN with FFmpeg Create Dav1d AV1 Decoder

Category: General News
Posted: 09:09AM

For years the dominant video codec on the Internet has been h.264 not just because of its efficiency, but because of the ease of licensing it. Though its successor, h.265 can compress video more efficiently, its licensing situation is tangled, so the Alliance for Open Media (AOMedia) was formed to create a new, open source codec to succeed h.265. It was in March when this codec, AV1, had its specification released, which means compliant encoders and decoders could finally be produced. Now the developers at VideoLAN, the organization behind VLC and host for popular encoder x264, and FFmpeg have built the dav1d decoder (Dav1d is an AV1 Decoder).

Currently dav1d has been written using C, works on multiple architectures and with Windows, Linux, macOS, Android and iOS operating systems. Compared to libaom, it has a tenth the lines of code, is one third the weight of the libaom binary, and uses a quarter the memory. The goals for the decoder are for it to be small, fast, cross-platform, correctly threaded, and open source, so it appears to be succeeding them currently, and we can expect it to improve as more developers get to work on it and write tuned Assembly code for it. Of course we still need to have high performance encoders, especially hardware-based solutions as its complexity will make it slower than something like x264, when it is a CPU doing the work. Hopefully it will not be long before those start appearing.

Source: JB Kempf (VideoLAN President)

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