LG throws its weight behind the AV1 codec, joining the Alliance for Open Media

Mike Wheatley

LG Electronics has become the latest big company to join the Alliance for Open Media, the organization that develops the open-source and consequently, royalty-free AV1 video codec.


Amazon, Apple, Cisco, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Netflix and Samsung Electronics are also members of the Alliance, which was founded in 2015 to develop and promote the open-source codec. The founding members of the Alliance were motivated by the botched rollout of HEVC and its heavily-criticised royalty structure.

Apple joined the Alliance in 2018 followed by Samsung in 2019. Now, LG is joining too.

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

The move makes sense because LG’s TVs have supported AV1 hardware decoding since 2020 anyway. That said, it hasn’t yet integrated full support for the codec. While its 8K TVs support YouTUbe’s AV1-encoded 8K streams, none of its televisions yet support Netflix’s AV1-encoded 4K streams. It’s not clear if this is due to LG not being an official member of the Alliance, so we don’t know yet if this will change now that the company is a full-fledged partner.

LG Electronics CTO and EVP Kim Byoung-hoon said the company is eager to work collaboratively with the rest of the Alliance to further the development and adoption of AV1-enabled innovative online streaming solutions.

“We look forward to exploring new possibilities for innovating online video across a wide range of applications,"he said.

Proponents of AV1 say the codec is anything from 20% to 40% more efficient than HEVC. What that means is, viewers will see better quality video at the same bitrate, or the same quality video stream at a lower bitrate, compared to HEVC streams.

There are plenty of other TV makers that support AV1 despite not being an official member of the Alliance, including Sony, Panasonic, Philips and TCL.

AV1 faces competition from the Versatile Video Coding (H.266) codec, which is also aiming to supplant HEVC as the number one choice for 4K and 8K video streaming.