AOM AV1 vs. HEVC

Is AOM AV1 a disruptive technology?

The story of AOM (Alliance for Open Media) officially begins in August 2015 with the first collaboration steps in early spring 2015 after one more licensing pool for HEVC — HEVC Advance — appeared in addition to MPEG LA’s HEVC Patent Portfolio License. It was not the direct consequence, but no doubt, the catalyst of what is foreseen to be significant technological advancement and the growing popularity of AOM AV1.

Dollars and Cents:

Initially, licensing conditions for HEVC/H.265 from MPEG LA were quite frugal — first 100,000 devices/copies per year for free, then $0.20 per copy for a maximum of $25 million per year. There was no charge for content production and distribution in the HEVC format. HEVC Advance added from $0.20 (mobile phones, main profile, region 2) to $1.95 (UHD TV, main profile + all three extensions, region 1) per device. For content, the cost is 2.5¢ per subscription per month for OTT operators and 1.25–2.5 ¢ per title for content distributors.

The Founders:

The AOM was formed by seven companies: Amazon, Cisco, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Mozilla and Netflix, which combined all their patents in the field of digital video to create a new video compression technology that is better than HEVC and royalty free — source code available under BSD 2 Clause License (FreeBSD License)

The Technology:

The new technology is called AV1 (AOM Video 1). Google’s VP10 was taken as the basis, Cisco’s Thor and Mozilla’s Daala contributed deblocking and deringing filters, Perceptual Vector Quantization.

The Future:

With the significant improvements of encoding quality, the Alliance quickly began to grow in participants. As of April 10, 2017, there are 23 members which include industry ecosystem giants such as Adobe, AMD, ARM, Broadcom, Nvidia, Xilinx among new members. Only two of the Alliance members — BBC and Vidyo are licensors of MPEG LA.

Author

Andrey Pozdnyakov

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