Microsoft has confirmed that AMD’s upcoming Radeon RX 6000 Series graphics cards will support the Alliance for Open Media’s AV1 (AOMedia Video 1) video codec. While the immense popularity of H.264/AVC hasn’t wavered, AV1 aims to supersede it with vastly improved data compression, allowing for even higher-quality video at moderate or lower bit rates. It also happens to be royalty-free (H.264 and HEVC both require payment for usage).
Echoing Microsoft, here are the components required to experience hardware-accelerated AV1 video on Windows 10. Note that NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 30 Series graphics cards also support the AV1 codec.
- One of these new GPUs or CPUs:
- The AV1 Video Extension
- A web browser or other application with hardware acceleration support for AV1, including apps built on top of Media Foundation
- As is common with new features like this, you may need to update your graphics driver from time to time to get the latest features and improvements.
“This fall, Microsoft’s hardware partners are rolling out hardware accelerated AV1 video support on new Windows 10 systems with the latest GPUs,” the company wrote. “With video consuming an ever-increasing portion of the world’s internet traffic, better compression technology helps to improve video image quality while also reducing bandwidth consumption.”
“AV1, which is developed by the Alliance for Open Media (AOM), can reach 50% better compression than H.264 and 20% better than VP9 for the same video content. Enabling hardware support for AV1 allows users to get the benefits of this improved video codec, and shifting decode work from software to hardware typically reduces power consumption and increases battery life on mobile devices.”