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    Chrome improves video calling with an update

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    Valery Aloyants
    @valeryaloyants

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    Among updates di Google Chrome that should arrive with the next stable releases, i.e. those intended for all users and not just beta testers, there could be useful support for video calls, even if made with poorly performing connections. This is the AV1 codec and is already present in the version beta 90 of the Google browser, currently being tested.



    A few days after the last stable release of the desktop browser, now at version 89, Google has kicked off the dress rehearsal of the current beta by once again aiming for the performance improvement. As the most attentive will have already noticed from the changelog, also this time the choice of Mountain View fell on the inclusion in the package - already available for download through the Play Store o APK Mirror - few new features, focusing all efforts on the execution speed of operations and oncomponent efficiency integrated in the releases of the last few months.

    Google Chrome and AV1 codec, what changes

    AV1 is the free and open source video codec which replaced the old H.264 / AVC on streaming services. According to the developers themselves, compared to its predecessor and other compression standards such as H.265 and VP9, ​​AV1 would be able to offer a better compression efficiency in addition to maintaining better image quality, despite the smaller size of the files encoded in this format.

    The focal point of use, however, is that relating to videoconferencing applications based on the framework WebRTC, such as Google Meet or Facebook Messenger. Through the use of this codec, users will be able to count on an improved compression capacity compared to a less bandwidth usage compared to the past. As stated by Google itself, the improvements brought by AV1 will allow you to make video calls even using connections up to 30 Kbps speed.



    AV1: encoder and decoder

    AV1 is not an absolute novelty for Chrome: Google has included it in the desktop version of its browser starting from 70 release dating back to about two years ago. At the time, however, Google only included the “decoder”, ie the software used to play videos encoded in AV1 (for example YouTube videos in 4K).

    The novelty that will arrive shortly, however, is the presence in Chrome of an "encoder", that is the software that is used to compress our videos with the AV1 standard. Thanks to it, therefore, we will be able to transmit much more compressed videos, therefore also with not very performing connections.


    There are already two video conferencing and video calling software that support AV1 encoding and decoding: Google Meet e Google Duo. Regarding Androidinstead, only Duo has already integrated AV1 even if in Big G's plans there is the idea of ​​adding it soon to other products such as Meet, Gallery, TV and Stadia.


    The implementation of an AV1 encoder inside Chrome (and consequently also inside Edge and all other open source Chromium based browsers) will allow many more video conferencing app to exploit this standard in a bidirectional way: both in sending and in receiving the video stream.

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