AV1 Live Streaming Is Finally Coming To YouTube
In recent videos, YouTuber EposVox Report YouTube has finally rolled out AV1 live streaming support to their platform and the technology is currently in beta. AV1 greatly improves the video quality of YouTube live streams, allowing users to stream up to 4K 60FPS with his Twitch’s limited bitrate. EposVox was able to check out the YouTube Live Streaming AV1 feature with early access to the development build of OBS 29.1.
The latest addition to the AV1 rollout is YouTube Live Streaming support in AV1. YouTube has rolled out beta support for a new video live streaming standard called Enhanced RTMP. It allows streamers to live stream their videos to YouTube using some of the latest video codecs such as AV1, VP9 and HEVC (H.265). .
EposVox was able to test enhanced RTMP using a development build of OBS 21.9 for streaming AV1 game content directly to YouTube. According to EposVox, the image quality is different between day and night compared to H.264. With AV1’s improved quality, he was able to push higher quality video into the live stream and remove pixelation entirely.
To give you an overview of how powerful AV1 is, EposVox was able to run Halo Infinite’s AV1 1440P 60FPS live stream at 500kbps. The bitrate was 15x the Twitch limit and the stream was perfectly watchable.
In typical use cases, EposVox found a sweet spot of 8mbps at 1440P 60FPS and around 15mbps at 1440P 60FPS. For perfectly good-looking live streams with little or no pixelation. For a user who still wants to stream 1080P video, he only needs a bitrate of 4MBps to get the same result. This is the difference between day and night with H.264, which is 8Mbps, which is the minimum required for a high quality 1080P 60FPS video stream.
AV1 represents a significant improvement in video quality and performance over the last decade. AV1 is the latest generation of open source codecs and has gained significant support from technology giants across many industries to replace older standards such as H.264. The media codec is far superior to H.264 and can run up to 4K 60FPS streams at bitrates similar to H.264 1080P video.
Slow in development, AV1 was originally 2015. However, after five years of development, AV1 is now in a working state, with all major GPU manufacturers and several major video platforms already supporting AV1 video playback. YouTube is one of these platforms and already supports AV1 video playback and AV1 upload. (In fact, Discord already supports AV1 live streaming of him with restrictions.)
The only side effect of YouTube’s implementation is that the video is transcoded to VP9. This means that AV1 live streams are recoded to YouTube’s VP9 codec. VP9 is known to be slightly lower in quality, but supports far more GPU hardware. Thankfully, this is no big deal. Transcoding does little to break AV1’s encoding capabilities, and the video quality remains very good.
We don’t know exactly when AV1 live streaming will officially roll out across the YouTube platform, but it’s likely soon as the rollout is already in beta. OBS isn’t far behind either. A new version is currently in development to support YouTube’s new AV1 live stream standard (Enhanced RTMP).
If you want to get ready for AV1 live streaming support, all you need is to buy a capable multi-core CPU (for software-based AV1 encoding) or the new RTX 40-series, RX 7000-series, or Intel A-series Arc Alchemist. A graphics card for live streaming AV1 to YouTube in the future.