Encoding and decoding AVIF pictures with open-source software & libraries

One of the new features of Android 12 is support for the AVIF file format that provides much smaller files at the same level of quality. Jake Archibald has done a great job comparing AVIF format to JPEG, WebP, and other still picture formats, and the results are really impressive. Besides Android 12, AVIF is already supported in Chrome browser, will be enabled by default in Firefox 86, but here’s we’ll look at some of the open-source programs and libraries that allow you to manipulate AVIF pictures. With libavif library, AOMedia has published a reference implementation in C, together with avifenc and avifdec tools, that rely on various codecs, but it appears rav1e is recommended for encoding AVIF picture, while dav1d is the best choice for AVIF decoding. libavif will not automatically build the codec, and they need to be enabled in CMakeLists.txt

as well as define the path for the selected codec. rav1e AVIF encoding library and cavif-rs […]

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Kodi 19 “Matrix” released with AV1, HDR, tvOS support

Kodi is an open-source media center that was initially designed for the XBOX game console, but was quickly ported to other platforms such as Windows and Linux, and eventually to low-cost Android TV boxes and single board computers such as Raspberry Pi. A new stable release of the software comes out every couple of years, and the developers have just announced the release of Kodi 19 “Matrix” a little over two years after Kodi 18 “Leia” release. The default user interface may look similar to the one for Kodi 18, but there have been many changes over the last two years with some of the highlights including: Skin/Look-and-Feel Screen redesign, especially for music with new metadata displays and changes to playlist views New “now playing” view Artwork and image file improvements Video Playback AV1 software decoding Windows 10 – HLG HDR and static HDR10 playback Android – Static HDR10 and dynamic Dolby Vision HDR More OpenGL bicubic scalers Metadata and […]

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4K AV1 Android TV dongles surface with Amlogic S905Y4 Cortex-A35 processor

Amlogic S905X4 is a quad-core Cortex-A55 SoC for 4K TV boxes and set-top boxes with H.265, H.264, VP9, and AV1 hardware video decoding. The silicon vendor usually provides a lower cost version of the processor for dongles without Ethernet, but keeping most of the same features, as we’ve seen in the past with S905X2 and S905Y2 processors for instance. S905X4 has now its own cost-down version with S905Y4 for Android TV (certified) dongles relying on WiFi for connectivity, but instead of keeping Cortex-A55 cores, the processor features four low-power Cortex-A35 cores. We do not have the full details about S905Y4 processor just yet, but it has start to show in dongles from SEI Robotics and SDMC that appears idendical. SDMC DV6071Z / SEI Robotics  SEI450 TV dongle specifications: SoC – Amlogic S905Y4 quad-core 64-bit Arm Cortex-A35 processor with Mali-G31 MP2 GPU System Memory – 2GB DDR (4GB optional) Storage – 8GB eMMC flash (16GB optional) Video & Audio Output – […]

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Mecool KM6 Deluxe (Amlogic S905X4) TV Box Review

Back in September 2020, Jean-Luc wrote about the Mecool KM6 TV Box. This comes with the Amlogic S905X4 with AV1 support and preloaded with Android TV 10. Since Jean-Luc could not review the KM6, I offered to do this for him. It was already mentioned the box was delayed in the previous article published in September. After that, it was further delayed until January 2021. So last week I received the Mecool KM6 deluxe for review. It comes with a remote, a 2A/5V PSU, and an HDMI cable. My deluxe version has 4GB LPDDR4 and a 64GB eMMC flash. They also sell the KM6 Classic which comes with 2GB LPDDR4 and a 16GB eMMC flash. Under the moto, don’t turn it on, take it apart. I opened the box to see its internals. There were 4 screws to undo under its rubber feet. It comes with a metal plate on the bottom which has a thermal pad making contact to […]

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Amlogic S905X3 vs S905X4 – Features Comparisons

AV1 capable Amlogic S905X4 processor has been expected for more than a year, and only now are we starting to see announcements of S905X4 TV boxes and development kits. So it may be a good time to compare the features of the new Amlogic S905X4 processor again its predecessor, namely S905X3, and see if there are other notable differences apart from support for AV1 open video codec. We’ll use data from S905X3 specifications,  S905X2 vs S905X3 comparison, and a post on SDMC LinkedIn page. Amlogic S905X4 will be slightly faster due to the higher (default) maximum CPU frequency of 2.0 GHz, but most people will not notice the difference.  S905X4 is supposed to support Vulkan 1.1, while S905X3 does not, but I believe this is just due to more up-to-date Android SDK, and not differences in the silicon itself. S905X4 supports Nagra DRM, a more recent version of HDCP, and integrates a dual-core audio DSP which may be why there’s […]

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Amlogic S905X4 Android TV & RDK developer kit ships with ATSC, DVB, or ISDB tuners

We were expecting Amlogic S905X4 TV boxes with products like Ugoos X4 or Mecool KM6 by the end of last month, but due to supply issues manufacturing has been delayed. However, if you’d need a device to get started with your own project as soon as possible, for example, to work on AV1 hardware decoding implementation, SEI Robotics has launched an Amlogic S905X4 developer kit for Android TV & RDK development under their DroidLogic brand. The devkit looks like a standard TV box, and the company also provides a choice of tuners with DVB-S2, DVB-T2/C, DVB-S2+DVB-T2/C Combo, ISTB-T, or ATSC-T. DroidLogic Amlogic S905X4 developer kit specifications: SoC – Amlogic S905X4 quad-core Cortex-A55 processor with Arm Mali-G31MP2 GPU (Amlogic S905X3 as option) System Memory – 2GB DDR4 Storage – 8GB eMMC flash Video Output – HDMI 2.1 up to 4Kp60 with CEC, HDR, and HDCP 2.2 support; CVBS (composite video) Video Decoding AV1 MP-10 L5.1 up to 4Kx2K @ 60fps VP9 […]

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Intel Celeron 6305 and Pentium Gold 7505 Tiger Lake Processors Launched

Intel launched various Core i3/i5/i7 Tiger Lake processors in early September, shortly followed by more Core i3/i5/i7 UP3  Tiger Lake Embedded SoCs, so I was a little confused when Congatec launched a Tiger Lake COM Express module with of choice of processors including the usual Core processor plus an unnamed Celeron Tiger Lake processor because none were listed in Intel Ark. But a few weeks have passed, and there are now three new Celeron and Pentium Tiger Lake processors in the list namely: Pentium Gold 7505, Celeron 6305, and Celeron 6305E with the later optimized for embedded & IoT applications with a wider temperature range from 0 to 100°C. All three processors come with a 15W TDP and are manufactured using Intel’s 10nm process. As we can see from the table below both Celeron 6305 and Celeron 6305E have the exact same key features. The main difference between the Celeron and Pentium part is that the latter supports Hyperthreading and […]

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Enabling AV1 Hardware Video Decoding in Windows 10

AOMedia AV1 royalty-free video codec delivers up to 50% better compression than H.264 and up to 20% better than VP9 for the same video content, so streaming companies like Netflix and YouTube enabled the codec a while ago. When I play a YouTube video in Chrome in Ubuntu 20.04 and check the stats for nerds info, it will usually show the video is played with “av01.0” codec which refers to AV1, but it’s played with software video decoding using libraries like Dav1d leveraging SIMD instructions. But ideally, you’d want hardware video decoding for lower power consumption for increased battery life, and potentially smoother videos. One good news is that Microsoft has recently announced support for AV1 GPU-accelerated hardware video decoding in Windows 10. The less good news is that support will be limited to recent and fairly powerful GPUs. So for instance, if you own mini PCs with older Intel SoC featuring integrated Intel HD/UHD graphics, AV1 hardware decoding won’t […]

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