If you have Chrome or Edge on a Windows 10 machine with an updated software package and great graphics support, you can probably run the AV1 video codec. As far back as 2020, Google and Microsoft were officially supporting hardware acceleration in their flagship browsers, but the Mozilla Foundation didn’t make including AV1 video support in Firefox a priority because it requires powerful PCs with current software. According to Mozilla, that was just a small percentage of PCs.
A recent Bugzilla update noted by Neowin revealed that the upcoming Firefox 100 release will incorporate support for AV1, and it will be available beginning May 3, 2022. While Mozilla’s developers had clear reasons to put off the update, it still feels overdue. After all, AV1 is cost-efficient — it’s open-source and royalty-free (unlike MPEG-2 or HEVC). AV1 also offers compression that’s 30% better than the closest competition with little to no change in image quality. Additionally, AV1 processes video by moving the burden from software to your computer’s hardware, which turns out to be pretty energy-efficient and can extend tablet or PC battery life.
In addition to the straightforward reasons to adopt AV1, there’s the fact that it’s friendly to streamers like Netflix. So we can expect that Firefox 100 with built-in AV1 will definitely provide a better streaming experience for anyone watching one of their favorites in the browser. That’s good news for content providers and Firefox fans alike.
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