AV1 Support

What is AV1?

AV1 is the next generation open source, royalty free codec, developed by the Alliance for Open Media, and was designed to overtake all current streaming codecs, providing more sophistication in capability as well as higher quality compression.

How does AV1 help me?

AV1 does a couple things. Right off the bat, AV1 provides superior encoding image quality. Down the road, AV1 paves the way for more complex possibilities such as high bit depth as well as HDR.

AV1 will also eventually support the ability to broadcast multiple levels of image quality in order to allow users with high bandwidth to take advantage of a high quality image, while still accommodating low-bandwidth users.

What does this mean for me right now?

AV1 is still in an adoption phase and is growing in capability. Today in our implementation of AV1 you can take advantage of the higher quality encode, which will allow you to push a higher quality image through a lower bandwidth environment.

Technical Details of AV1 on SetStream.io

By downloading the latest version of OBS from our support site you can stream with AV1 today. Simply go to the “Stream” setting in OBS and select AV1. AV1 currently streams in the same Rec601 colorspace as VP8/9. So your colorspace workflow shouldn’t change. It’s worth noting that currently you cannot select a specific bitrate. The bitrate is automatically adjusted, and generally averages around 2000Kbps. This is a decent quality for HD streaming from set, but might be lower than desired for a post review session or color session.

You can also stream from the SetStream project page. AV1 is now available as an option on the broadcast page in the codec settings. Broadcasting from here, you can set your bitrate limit like you can with other codecs, but at the present time AV1 generally won’t encode higher than an average of about 4000Kbps.

Compatibility and the Fine Print

Because AV1 is still in adoption phase, it’s only compatible with Chrome browser on MacOS and Windows desktop/laptop computers. You must use Chrome to view AV1, and when broadcasting from the project page, you must also use Chrome.

iOS/iPadOS does not support AV1, even on Chrome browser. Because iOS/iPadOS uses Apples video decoder on all browsers, AV1 is not yet supported on any of these devices.

As stated above, currently bitrates are limited to about 2000Kbps average when streaming from OBS Studio, and 4000kbps average when streaming from the SetStream project page.


This document will be updated as AV1 support expands!