FFmpeg now supports NVIDIA NVENC AV1 encoder, outperforms HEVC by 75% to 100%

Published: Nov 6th 2022, 11:20 GMT   Comments

NVIDIA AV1 encoder in FFmpeg

Following the implementation of Intel AV1 encoder, FFmpeg now supports faster Ada architecture encoders. 

The popularity of royalty-free AV1 video codec is growing by the day. Earlier this month, OBS Studio announced it now supports NVIDIA’s NVENC AV1 encoder for their recording and streaming software. The same company announced last week it is now partnering up with AMD who have become a Diamond Tier sponsor, along with NVIDIA. This partnership was part of the AMD Radeon RX 7000 series reveal, which are to support AV1 encoding as well.

NVIDIA NVENC AV1 encoding support, Source: FFmpeg Git

FFmpeg, a very popular command line tool for video processing, will now support NVIDIA NVENC AV1 encoder. It is reportedly offering better quality at lower bit rate and outperforming HEVC (H.265) encoding by 75 to 100%.

The encoder seems to be trading blows with hevc_nvenc. In terms of quality at low bitrate cbr settings, it seems to outperform it even. It produces fewer artifacts and the ones it does produce are less jarring to my perception.

At higher bitrates I had a hard time finding differences between the two encoders in terms of subjective visual quality.

Using the ‘slow’ preset, av1_nvenc outperformed hevc_nvenc in terms of encoding speed by 75% to 100% while performing above tests.

Needless to say, it always massively outperformed h264_nvenc in terms of quality for a given bitrate, while also being slightly faster.

— Timo Rothenpieler

The AV1 decoding has been supported by nearly all modern GPUs, but encoding acceleration is only just being added. Eventually, there should be enough hardware with decoding support for video streaming platforms to consider making it a default choice. In the meantime, Intel, NVIDIA and now AMD are all racing to become the platform of choice for AV1 video recording. So, which platform will you choose?

Source: FFmpeg via Phoronix

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