YouTube Launches Public Beta Test for AV1 Video Codec

YouTube has launched its AV1 beta playlist, a selection of videos encoded with the AV1 video format, with which Google intends to replace its current VP9 codec. Users browsing on Chrome 70 or Firefox 63 can access the content once they’ve activated AV1 video in their browser settings.

Google has eschewed the industry-standard HEVC compression method due to its high royalty fees, instead opting to develop its own royalty-free video format. While Google’s VP9 hasn’t seen widespread adoption, AV1 has been developed by the Alliance for Open Media, in which Google is collaborating with Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Mozilla and Netflix, among others.