23 February 2021
Netflix has announced that it will now use AV1 codec for video streaming on Android devices. It is a royalty-free video codec claimed to be capable of offering 20% better compression as compared to the VP9 codec. The whole idea behind the added option is to help users save data while streaming their favorite TV shows and movies.
AV1 codec has been developed by the Alliance for Open Media (AOMedia) whose founding members include the likes of Google, Netflix, Amazon, Mozilla, Intel, and Cisco. It was released in 2018 and in an attempt to make it more mainstream, Netflix has decided to opt for its own services. While the ultimate goal is to make AV1 available on all platforms, it is beginning with Android devices.
Since Netflix has a good number of mobile users and many of them face unreliable cellular data connectivity. They are also known to have a data cap on their data plans. The newly supported AV1 codec can be used after enabling the "Save Data" feature available within the app settings related to cellular data usage.
Lastly, it should be noted that AV1 codec currently supports only select Netflix titles. It will be expanding the compatibility to more titles as the time will progress. We will keep you updated as Netflix will expand the support to other platforms including web version.