Netflix: JPEG needs replacing and AV1 Image File Format is our best option

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Video-streaming big Netflix has launched an replace to a brand new picture file format known as AVIF, or AV1 Picture File Format, which it believes generally is a superior substitute to the 27-year-old JPEG specification. 

Netflix has open-sourced the AVIF framework for others to evaluate towards present picture codecs for efficiency and compression effectivity. 

Whereas Netflix is all about streaming video content material, the corporate has loads of photographs to compress on its content material menus throughout good TVs, telephones, tablets, laptops, and streaming devices linked to TVs. 

JPEG got here from the Joint Photographic Specialists Group, which is creating a brand new JPEG specification known as JPEG XL. Nevertheless, as per CNET, for the previous two years Netflix, Google, Microsoft, Fb, Firefox-maker Mozilla and others have been creating AVIF underneath the Alliance for Open Media.        

Different image-coding codecs that AVIF is competing with embody the Google-developed WebP format, which is supported on Android, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and naturally Google Chrome. WebP arose from Google’s work on the VP8 video format. 

Netflix engineers note that WebP does not have the flexibleness of the JPEG 2000 format, although the lossy format is extra environment friendly than PNG in some circumstances. 

Then there’s HVEC or Excessive-Effectivity Video Coding, the successor of H.264 or Superior Video Coding, which is supported on Apple’s iOS and macOS units. 

Like HVEC, AVIF “permits encapsulating AVI intra-frame coded content material, thus profiting from glorious compression positive factors achieved by AVI over predecessors”, based on Netflix engineers.   

Netflix has posted some screenshot comparisons demonstrating the prevalence of AVIF over JPEG and different codecs in a variety of picture sorts that Netflix must cater for when displaying photographs of its video content material.  

Whereas Netflix says AVIF can present superior compression effectivity, the AVIF effort continues to be at an early stage of improvement. Nevertheless, the Alliance for Open Media is creating the libavif open-source library for encoding and decoding AVIF photographs. 

The library ought to assist increase adoption and assist, which is already occurring in Google Chrome. 

“It’s conceivable that we are going to quickly check AVIF photographs on Android following on the heels of our recently announced AV1 video adoption efforts on Android,” Netflix engineers famous.