Apple Safari 16.4 beta browser gets AV1 codec support

Published: Feb 17th 2023, 10:06 GMT   Comments

AV1 support with future Apple Silicon?

Apple adds AV1 codec support to its Safari web browser.

Modern APUs and GPUs support decoding of this latest royalty-free format, while streaming and recording services are beginning to implement AV1 support for their platforms. The only company that made no progress on this front is Apple, whose M1 and M2 silicon series do not have hardware acceleration for AV1 codec whatsoever.

Things might be about to change, as Safari web browser 16.4 beta now lists AV1 coded for its MediaCapabilities API and WebRTC AV1 hardware decoding. The changelog mentions that these features are supported on devices that have such capabilities, yet no modern Apple product does. Furthermore, Safari browser is no longer available for Windows (Apple ceased to provide updates in 2012), so the list of supported configuration is even smaller.

AV1 codec support in Safari 16.4 beta, Source: Apple

Safari update could be a sign that Apple is now preparing the groundwork for future AV1 support with systems-on-a-chip such as A17 or M3. Apple would join AMD, Intel, and NVIDIA who already support AV1 decoding, and in cases of GPUs, powerful encoding. The latter is likely to become even more important as AMD/NVIDIA launch mid-range desktop GPUs with encoding support later this year.

Source: Apple Safari

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