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AV1 Encoding for Aviation: A White Paper

August 7, 2023

Today content streaming without the use of an encoder is almost unthinkable.  While the H264 encoder has been used for years, a new generation of encoders are making their way into the industry, providing higher quality content that can be uploaded more frequently.

One of these new generation encoders is AV1.

APEX recently published a study on AV1 encoding. The study was the result of nearly two years of volunteer R&D research, encoding input from Google and V-Nova, and empirical research performed by us.  Thanks to Phil Watson from Panasonic Avionics and Alexander Solonsky from CastLabs for their contribution.

As AV1 encoding grows in popularity, this study confirmed that it’s a viable choice to not only reduce file sizes, and to do so with high-quality content, but also decrease encoding time as well.

We believe AV1 encoders can help companies deliver higher-quality content with the least amount of bandwidth. They save between 35 to 40 percent of disk space — a commodity in high demand considering hard to replace, aging aircraft hardware. And the need for space is growing, considering proliferation of new content produced by Hollywood studios, SVOD vendors, and independent producers.

AV1 encoders are great for companies who design seatback entertainment, a contained ecosystem which can be guaranteed to provide hardware-level support for AV1 decoding. However, IFE delivered to personal electronic devices (PEDs) can start considering AV1 as well.   The barrier used to be Apple, but with their recent announcement of AV1 support in Safari, PEDs can take advantage of AV1 encoded media.

In addition, a new trend in the encoding industry is to monitor the carbon footprint content processing operations leave on the environment. And AV1 is a good option for environment sensible streaming.

PAX-International recently provided a write-up on the white paper here.

You can find the full IdeaNova white paper here.

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