The Alliance for Open Media’s royalty-free codec, AV1, has been used by Google plenty in the past, but back in November, we found out that they had intentions to utilize it in even more Google services like Stadia, Google Meet, Photos, and even Google TV. Now, all Android TV devices may be required to implement it beginning on March 31, 2021, in order to operate with Google TV.
According to XDA Developers, this new requirement placed forth by Google is done in an effort to ensure that any televisions, dongles, set-top boxes, etc. that are running Android TV will be more power-efficient and speedy in their video playback on a connection. Only devices being launched with Android 10+ during this year and onward will be able to implement AV1 thanks to its reliance on hardware requirements being met, so older devices won’t be able to benefit from it, sadly.
Sony’s upcoming Bravia line will support AV1 decoding, along with LG and Samsung devices, which have already begun to implement it in some of their TVs. TCL has yet to confirm or deny their efforts with the codec, even though it’s confirmed that they will be working with Google to create a native version of Google TV for their new line up of devices. With that being said, if Google is going to require this for all Android TV devices, which are going to become Google TV devices over the next two years, it stands to reason that they will, of course, be on board as well.
All in all, it’s great to see that such an awesome, efficient, and open codec will be driving the experience across the board with seemingly less of a rollout than we had anticipated. Google seems to be pushing towards AV1 aggressively, which can only help consumers by providing a better experience, not only on TVs but also on mobile data connections.