Launched in 2015, the Alliance for Open Media is a Joint Development Foundation project formed to define and develop media codecs, media formats, and related technologies to address marketplace demand for an open standard for video compression and delivery over the web.
It aims to deliver a next-generation video format that is:
● Interoperable and open;
● Optimized for Internet delivery;
● Scalable to any modern device at any bandwidth;
● Designed with a low computational footprint and optimized for hardware;
● Capable of consistent, highest-quality, real-time video delivery; and
● Flexible for both commercial and non-commercial content, including user-generated content.
The group is currently developing a codec known as AV1 that is both state of the art and royalty free. It's about 25% more efficient than HEVC/H.265 but requires a 4 - 10X increase in encoding time.
Many major technology companies are already onboard including: Amazon, ARM, Cisco, Facebook, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Mozilla, Netflix and NVIDIA. However, the addition of Apple is a major step forward.
"It's definitely a pretty significant development and a sign of how times change and persistence pays off," said Matt Frost, head of media strategy and partnerships for Google's Chrome team.
Mozilla added experimental support for AV1 to Firefox Nightly back in November and YouTube plans to start shipping AV1 streams within six months of bitstream finalization. That's expected this month.
The Alliance believes the first AV1-compatible hardware components could ship within 12 months after bitstream finalization.
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