Thursday, May 23, 2024

OBS is slowly bringing AV1 encoder

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Streaming your games on online services such as Twitch is a great way to engage with gaming community. Nowadays, streaming is much easier than what it used to be before as sufficient hardware and bandwidth is mostly accessible everywhere. Despite it is usually a bit tricky to achieve a very smooth stream depending on various conditions, most streamers are able to find a good balance. One of the variables in this equation is the encoding technology, which used to be H.264 encoder since a long time. 

This encoder is used for all sorts of streaming in last 20 years or so. While new encoders are coming out for better efficiency, it is very difficult for everyone to discard something they got used to for such a long time. But 2023 may just be the year for that as there is a new open source codec catching up. This new one is called AV1. After Netflix, now OBS Studio Version 29.0 included with AV1 support on AMD and Intel GPUs.

Streamers mostly prefer hardware encoding over software encoding due to resource efficiency, though it is a bit lower quality with H.264 codec. AV1 is looking much better than H.264 at lower bitrates, which could save a lot of streamers. Currently, AMD RX7000 series and Intel’s Arc cards are able to take advantage of this. For Nvidia, OBS added a limited support of AV1 which is available for only 4000 series. 

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