Smaller videos exist with the AV1, so why wait for the Qualcomm VVC?

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC up close


  • A Qualcomm representative suggested that the company would skip the AV1 codec.
  • The representative hinted that Qualcomm could skip to VVC encoding instead.
  • This will allow for much smaller file sizes when recording video on mobile.

Qualcomm Release Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 The chipset is due in November 2022, and it powers high-end smartphones from a variety of brands. One of the notable additions related to multimedia is AV1 Decoder / playback support.

Why does AV1 playback matter

The AV1 codec is an open source, royalty-free video codec that delivers better video quality and up to 30% smaller file sizes than the High Efficiency Video Codec (HEVC) used by many companies and content services today. More specifically, you should expect the same quality with a smaller file size or better quality for the same file size.

These advantages have led to mobile chipsets from Samsung, Google, MediaTek and now Qualcomm all offering support for AV1 decoding/playback. Moreover, Netflix and YouTube were shown AV1 Video streams to supported Android phones Since 2020, using this codec to save users bandwidth.

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and chipsets from other brands still rely on the older HEVC codec for recording videos on phones, but will we actually see AV1 coding capabilities (like recording) come to mobile chipsets? Unfortunately, it seems you shouldn’t have to hold out for Qualcomm to implement this feature.

Qualcomm to skip AV1 codec?

Qualcomm Vice President of Product Management for Cameras suggested Judd Heap Android Authority that the company will skip the AV1 codec in favor of a future video codec.

“I don’t see the AV1 codec getting much traction in mobile, let me put it this way,” Heape noted in an interview, adding that the company believes VVC (Versatile Video Codec) will be better than AV1 in terms of Encryption efficiency.

It is not in great demand (AV1). And in mobile, I think the next codec we’re going to implement probably won’t be the AV1 codec. It would be something else like VVC, yeah. I can’t tell you when, I can’t tell you what products, but I think in general, Qualcomm is very interested in moving forward with VVC.

Heape also explained that the AV1 encoder is “very complex” and that the “cost-benefit” is likely to be unattractive on mobile compared to current HEVC encoding support.

A Qualcomm representative indicated that it will introduce support for the AV1 codec in other product segments, but that legacy H. 264 and HEVC encoding capabilities will “last for a few more years” on mobile.

It seems odd for Qualcomm and other chip makers to avoid the AV1 codec right now, given its free and open source nature. However, HEVC encoding still does a good job for now. Furthermore, Heape’s comments on efficiency indicate that your phone’s battery life may be affected by recording a video with the AV1 codec.

What’s the deal with VVC?

There’s already a new codec in the works called VVC, or H.266. This is amazing promises To deliver the same video quality as HEVC at half the file size. Furthermore, it is claimed that VVC will enable delivery of 4K video content at the file sizes currently used for HD content. In saying that, VVC is not a free and open source codec (unlike AV1), so companies will need to pay to use it.

However, we’re keen to see smartphones and SoCs adopt this codec in the future, as it should allow for much smaller file sizes when recording video. This codec is especially important in light of smartphone video advancements such as 8K recording, 4K/120fps video, and other advanced video options.

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