LG Electronics has formally joined The Alliance for Open Media (AOMedia), on the “Promoter” level for the open AV1 codec that is building momentum as an alternative to HEVC H.265.

According to AOMedia, LG joined its ranks at the Promoter level, lining up with previous heavy weight supporters including Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Netflix and Samsung .

AV1 is regarded as a generally more efficient compression scheme than HEVC, with fewer royalty and licensing complications. It is being used today for streaming by Netflix and YouTube on portions of each service’s libraries.

However, both codecs are now beginning to see additional challengers in newer codecs including VVC, EVC, LCEVC and AVS3, for future uses in streaming, over-the-air broadcasting and other distribution methods.

A big advantage of AV1 is the general assumption that it is and will continue to be “royalty free.” However, a recurring concern in standards development is the danger of accidentally infringing on unknown or undeclared patents. Since the launch of AV1, licensing pool Sisvel has announced a number of members with potential patent claims in its Video Coding Licensing Platform for AV1 and VP9. Some of them have included: Dolby, Ericsson, ETRI, GE, SK Telecom, InterDigital, IP Bridge, NTT Docomo and Xylene.

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LG has included support for AV1 in select LG television series and its webOS smart TV platforms since 2020. With the latest announcement, the company is now taking a more active role in its advancement.

As a member of the Alliance, LG will collaborate with AOMedia members to advance open standards for media compression and delivery over the web, the announcement said.

“We are eager to work collaboratively to further the development and adoption of AV1-enabled innovative online video streaming solutions as a member of AOMedia. We look forward to exploring new possibilities for innovating online video across a wide range of applications,” stated Kim Byoung-hoon, CTO and executive vice president of LG Electronics.

“We look forward to collaborating with LG on the next generation of streaming media technologies. LG’s expertise in smart appliances will make them a valuable contributor to AOMedia’s projects,” said Matt Frost, chair of AOMedia and director at Google.

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By Greg Tarr

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