Mozilla Shows How Intel-backed Open Source Codecs are Transforming Online Video

At last year’s International Broadcasting Convention, Intel announced efforts to improve widely used codecs. Our initial work focused on Scalable Video Technology (SVT) architecture, an encoder core library that enables multiple codec generations (HEVC, AV1, and VP9). We began work on an SVT-AV1 open source encoder core library, an alternative implementation to the AV1 reference encoder from the Alliance for Open Media (AOM).

Fast forward to the National Association of Broadcasters Show this year: In collaboration with Netflix, we released the SVT-AV1 encoder implementation and demonstrated the first live AV1 4k60p 10-bit HDR SW encoding, making AV1 commercially viable for the first time.

As we return for IBC 2019, we’re excited to welcome the Mozilla Firefox team to the Intel booth (Hall 15 – MS30) to showcase how AV1 is transforming how videos are watched on the internet.

Growing Adoption

Firefox 67, released in May, includes the high-performance, royalty-free AV1 video decoder dav1d, which makes files 30% smaller than the VP9 web codec and nearly 50% smaller than the H.264 predecessor. This means providers migrating from AVC can deliver the same content at about half the bit rate.

"We are excited about Intel's commitment to royalty-free, open source video technology,” says Nathan Egge, Head of Codec Engineering at Mozilla. “At Mozilla, we believe it's important to collaborate on standards and implementations that allow more people to enjoy high-quality video on the Internet.  Products like SVT-AV1 are a vital part of the growing AV1 adoption as more companies get involved in delivering next-generation, royalty-free video."

Intel optimizations help the SVT architecture take full advantage of Intel® Advanced Vector Extensions (AVX) 512 performance yield enhancements in key areas: three-dimensional parallelism, rate distortion optimized classification, and Resource Adaptive Scalability. Architectural features allow SVT-AV1 to run 65x faster than the HEVC-HM16 reference point at the same visual quality on 1080p content. With multiple presets, the SVT-AV1 encoder also supports services that demand the utmost video on demand visual quality or the responsiveness for live 4kp60 events.

IBC 2019 Demos

At IBC, the Mozilla team will demonstrate the benefits of simultaneous AV1 live encode and playback in Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Safari, and VideoLAN VLC using dav1d with SVT-AV1 in MPEG-DASH format from 360p to 1080p.

If you’re attending IBC 2019, come to the Visual Cloud Conference on Friday, Sept 13 from 1:30 – 6:30 pm in RAI, Room E102, and stop by the Intel booth (Hall 15 – MS30) to see Intel’s advancements in visual cloud. In addition to Mozilla’s demonstration, we will host a cloud gaming demonstration for low latency AAA games with partners SMART Embedded Computing and Gamestream.

Those not attending the conference can download the “IBC 360 Live” app on iOS App Store, Google Play, Oculus Go, or Oculus Gear VR Store to see presentations in 8k 360° VR thanks to a collaboration between several partners. For more information about Intel visual cloud solutions, visit intel.com/visualcloud.

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Craig Hurst

About Craig Hurst

Craig Hurst, Director of Software Strategy & Product Management within Intel’s Visual Cloud Division, is responsible for leading the delivery of optimized media, AI, and graphics SW for cloud native services across the portfolio of Intel® Xeon™ processors and Visual Cloud Accelerators. His efforts led to the release of Intel’s first open source encoders (Scalable Video Technology) and established strong ecosystem collaborations with the world’s top cloud and communications service providers. Prior to this role, Craig established Intel’s automotive product portfolio roadmap for silicon and software, and lead the formation of an automotive cybersecurity consortium. Craig has held various director roles for strategy, marketing, and product management at Intel in divisions ranging from SW developer products, healthcare devices, and networking. His passion is to inspire innovation for new products, market segments, and business models. In his 24 years at Intel, Craig has led teams to help deliver dozens of new products to market, many winning industry awards (including Intel’s first direct to consumer retail product, the world’s first UPnP certified residential gateway, Intel’s first FDA approved product, and Intel® RealSense™ Technology). When not at work, Craig enjoys fishing, waterskiing, travel, and perfecting a new BBQ or kitchen recipe. Craig holds a BSEE from Seattle University, and Certificate of Business Excellence from U.C. Berkeley.