iQIYI’s QAV1 Encoder Achieves Top Rankings at Global Video Codecs Comparison Event
BEIJING, Dec. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- iQIYI Inc. (Nasdaq: IQ) (“iQIYI” or the “Company”), an innovative market-leading online entertainment service in China, is pleased to announce that its proprietary QAV1 encoder has debuted at the MSU Video Codecs Comparison 2020 event and won the third prize for structural similarity index measurement (SSIM).
The event, sponsored by Moscow State University and attended by dozens of teams from leading tech companies such as Alibaba, Baidu, Google, Intel, and Tencent, was held in May this year with the list of winning teams announced on December 9.
The MSU Video Codecs Comparison, now in its fifteenth year, is one of the world’s leading tech events. With significant influence in the field of video encoding, the MSU Video Codecs Comparison event also acts as a guide for the development of video codec industry. The 2020 contest saw the participation of 21 encoders of 6 video encoding standards from 17 companies or organizations including 10 H265 encoders, 6 AV1 (Alliance for Open Media Video 1) encoders, and 5 other encoders. Among them, iQIYI’s QAV1 encoder demonstrated an excellent balance between compression speed and image quality. Although the QAV1 encoder ranked third place for SSIM, it beat the first and second places for average FPS by 1.63 times and 2.52 times respectively, outperforming most H265 encoders in both compression speed and compression ratio.
Due to the rising popularity of short videos, UHD VOD, live streaming, and VR in recent years, subscribers’ demand for a seamless UHD video experience is surging. A burning issue for enhancing subscriber’ viewing experience has been the question of how to reduce bandwidth consumption without sacrificing video quality. As one of the most critical steps in this process, increasing attention is being paid to video compression encoding. AV1, a new generation video encoding standard released by the Alliance for Open Media (AOM) in June 2018, aims to transmit HD video content while using less bandwidth. At present, the AOM has 45 members, including Google, Facebook, Amazon, Intel, Netflix, Apple, and others.
iQIYI officially joined the AOM in 2018, becoming the first Chinese member of the alliance. Following that in April of this year, iQIYI launched the AV1 video encoding format for subscribers on PC web browsers and Android devices, becoming the first Chinese video streaming site to support AV1 video codec.
In addition to providing excellent compression speed and image quality, iQIYI’s proprietary QAV1 encoder also features low complexity and low computational costs for large-scale applications. At present, iQIYI already has the ability to produce HD AV1 video content on a large scale while enriching the online video content in AV1 format. iQIYI has not rested on its laurels and ceased upgrading and optimizing the encoder after participating in the MSU Video Codecs Comparison event.
For example, iQIYI has since completed the upgrading of the encoder’s rate-distortion optimization (RDO) algorithm, significantly improving the compression efficiency while still maintaining the advantage of fast encoding. In addition, the QAV1 encoder also successively supports many encoding functions such as 8K, HFR, and HDR encoding, achieving a better balance between bandwidth consumption and HD experience through a more intelligent bit-rate allocation. With the support of iQIYI’s world-leading QAV1 encoder, subscribers can experience high-quality video with higher definition, better color fidelity, and smoother picture movement.
As the 5G network accelerates the popularization of applications such as UHD video, cloud games, VR, and live streaming, video encoding has become a key technology that determines streaming platforms’ operating costs and user experience. As China’s leading online video streaming platform, iQIYI has long been committed to technological research in the field of video compression standards, constantly refining algorithms in order to eventually realize the QAV1 encoder’s fast trans-coding and efficient compression. In doing so, iQIYI has made it possible to deliver users a higher-definition experience at low bit-rates while also saving bandwidth costs. iQIYI has also teamed up with the world’s top chipmaker MediaTek to take the lead in launching AV1 format videos for subscribers on mobile devices.
In the future, iQIYI will continue to work with other AOM members to create open-ended and high-quality technical standards. By strengthening its partnerships with companies, chipmakers, mobile phone vendors, and other parties, iQIYI will further promote the commercialization of the AV1 standard and enhance the high-quality audiovisual experience for its subscribers in the 5G era.