Netflix thinks that the JPEG image codec has already become obsolete and insufficient at 27 years old, and that the most modern variants, along with other more current image codecs on the market, do not exceed the capabilities it can provide. the new AV1 Image File Format (AVIF) codec.
That is, the AVIF codec still has a long way to go before reaching the average user, currently in early development. This codec is being developed by Netflix and other technology companies under the Alliance for Open Media.
For the media streaming giant, the AVIF codec is what best meets your requirements: Be as compatible as possible, efficient in compression, and have a broader set of features.
Deep down Netflix needs a cdec that is capable of keep the compressed image as closely as possible to the original image by occupying as few bytes as possible, regardless of the content that is in the image itself, and can be used for all those devices where users make use of their service, be it a mobile phone, a computer, smart TVs, among other electronic devices.
It is necessary to take into account the great graphic diversity that users find through the Netflix application interface on any device, which makes it necessary for images can keep the details as faithful as possible.
And betting on this codec, now they have just released their development framework to allow third parties to compare the results against other existing image codecs. In fact, the engineering team has published in its blog a comparison using original quality images with the results obtained with the maximum subsampling with both the JPG codec and the AVIF codec, leaving no doubt about the potential of this new codec of image.
Best of all is that the new cdec already begins to have support within Google Chrome, which will help expand your support. In addition, the Alliance for Open Media is also working to launch the open source libavif library for both encoding and decoding, so sooner or later we could see support in graphic editing applications, in image viewers, among other possibilities.
Those who want to deepen the information with all the technical details, have what they need within the Netflix technology blog.
Image credit: Netflix Tech Blog