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How to turn on AV1 settings on YouTube and why you should do it

Liza Brown
Liza Brown Originally published Nov 08, 22, updated Dec 06, 22

Do you notice that many YouTube videos have been streamed in AV1? YouTube AV1 just happened suddenly a few years ago. This article will inform you about all the things you want to know about AV1 Youtube settings. I will let you know the tutorial to turn in AV1 settings on YouTube and the reason why should choose AV1 along with the others, and some more things about AV1.

av1 logo
In this article
  1. Part 1: How to turn on AV1 settings on YouTube?
  2. Part 2: Why choose AV1 over VP9 and other formats?
    1. 1. Royalty-free
    2. 2. Better performance
    3. 3. AV2 to come in the future
  3. Part 3: What's the best video editor for YouTubers with AV1 format?
  4. Part 4: FAQ: Does YouTube use AV1 or VP9?

Part 1: How to turn on AV1 settings on YouTube?

Do you wonder how to turn on AV1 settings on YouTube? For your information, AV1 is a video codec that is developed by a consortium of companies. It offers you advanced compression, enabling you to do smoother HD streaming and data savings for the video. Google also has already implemented AV1 use on YouTube. To turn on AV1 settings on YouTube, here are the steps:

Step1Go to playback and performance
youtube settings
  • To turn on the AV1 settings, go to your YouTube account, after that click "Playback and Performance".
  • In the AV1 settings. Besides "Auto (Recommended)", there are other two options, which are "Prefer AV1 for SD" and also "Always prefer SD".
  • "Always Prefer AV1" uses the codec whenever it is available for a video while "Prefer AV1 for SD" limits it to SD videos. There are two options to avoid low-performance devices when AV1 videos are played on YouTube. You can select "Always Prefer AV1" to see if your device performance is good enough when you play videos on YouTube that support AV1.
Step2Test if the AV1 settings are already enabled in your video
av1 settings

You may ask how to confirm your YouTube videos are playing with AV1 Codec. Well, you can search playlist on YouTube with the keywords "4K, 5K, and 8K videos with the new AV1 Codec". You can test it by playing one of the videos. You have to right-click on the media player and then select "Stats for nerd". If it shows the av01 codec there, then the AV1 settings are enabled already.

Part 2: Why choose AV1 over VP9 and other formats?

Now, do you need a reason why you should choose AV1 compared to VP9 and the others? As you know, there is also another video codec like VP9. There are also the others such as HEVC, VVC, and many more. So what is the superiority of AV1 over the others? I will let you know why you should choose AV1 in this part.

The main thing is, as mentioned before, AV1 is developed by a consortium of companies founded in 2015. It is supported by The Alliance for Open Media (AOMedia) such as Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Netflix, and also by web browser developers and semiconductor firms. Aomedia made it clear the algorithm is free-to-use. It means that there are no greedy negotiators that will be dependent on the developers.

giant techs behind av1

Also, these days, popular media uses either H.264 or H.265 codec, with a format that provides a much smaller workload for internet providers. Their today focus is, that AV1 can reach the quality but can get the job done with 20% more efficiency. Then, with AV1 encoding, a "standard" 4K movie will be much more accessible than it is now. These are some more reasons why you should choose AV1.

1. Royalty-free

As mentioned before, AV1 is royalty-free. AV1 is such a next-generation of royalty video codec. It means that it is not just free to use, but also free of charge, obligations, or even liability. It is an open and royalty-free video codec that the video platform will not charge to pay royalties to the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG), the developer of video codecs.

av1 is royalty-free

When it comes to the group that will ask for the royalty, MPEG is not the only one. There are also other patent groups and companies that can ask for it, you can experience it if you use the HEVC codec. Aomedia integrated Google, Mozilla, and Cisco, while they were busy creating their new video codec. However, the three companies joined together to create one codec to beat them all.

2. Better performance

It is said that the AV1 codec is 30% more efficient than H.265. According to the tests conducted by Moscow State University, AV1 can outperform AV1 by about 28% in the efficiency of encoding and decoding. As per the performance graph from the Graphics & Media Lab Video Group, MSU below, AV1 can offer the exactly same quality as X264 at 55% of the average bitrate.

av1 benefit

AV1 is designed so exclusively to function better than all the other codecs in the market. It is an open-sourced codec with simple patent licensing, and the integration manages to save, as mentioned, up to 30% of the bandwidth for the exactly same image quality. In other words, with AV1, distributors can send streams much faster and cheaper and we can enjoy higher definitions in the same bandwidth.

3. AV2 to come in the future

AV1 is undoubtedly superior if we compare it to other available video codecs and the exploration of the codec technology AV2 has already begun. This is such an early performance evaluation. There is some interesting part of the exploration development of AV2, such as multiple line selection for Intra prediction can make you select not just neighboring row/column for directional prediction. The same tool also exists in VVC.

There are also three essential improvements, which are simplifying the existing feature (also complete removal) and picking the tool used by VVC/H.266 (It is lack originality but so much work on it) and improvement periodically improvement of an existing tool, it is too few and also not original. We haven't known yet when AV2 will be done completely though, maybe there still be some more essential improvements.

Part 3: What's the best video editor for YouTubers with AV1 format?

When we talk about YouTube, it feels incomplete if we don't talk about the video editor. So, what is the best video editing software for YouTubers with AV1 format? Yes, it is Filmora. It is such a great video editing software that allows you to import and edit many video file formats. Filmora also allows users to export AV1 MP4 format video and then can directly upload it to YouTube.

filmora logo

Filmora gives some ways to export your videos. Here are the five ways. You can also customize the export settings then you can save them to reuse the same settings next time. The first is you can export your project file and video to the local computer. It supports export as MP4, AVI, WMV, HEVC, AV1, MOV, GoPro Cineform, F4V, MKV, TS, and 3GP.

After that, you can export your video to any device you want, such as iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Apple TV 4K, iPod, Samsung Galaxy, Smart Phone, Android Generic, Google Pixel, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PSP, and Smart TV. Then you can upload it to YouTube, Filmora provides you to export your video to Youtube directly. All you need to do is logging your Youtube account and export.

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Part 4: FAQ: Does YouTube use AV1 or VP9?

For those who wonder what codec YouTube uses, YouTube still streams H.264 even when VP9 is available. For today, YouTube encodes all the videos with the VP9 codec, but for some reason displays H.264 for low view count videos. AV1 usage also had been pushed to very low view counts. When it comes to cost or quality tradeoffs, AV1 took about 18 times longer to encode than H.264 (x264).

Liza Brown
Liza Brown Dec 06, 22
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