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Posted by Donna Peng - Contact Author

Can VLC Support AV1 Codec and Play AV1 Video File Correctly?

AV1 is an open, royalty-free video coding format from AOMedia (aka. Alliance for Open Media). It is launched in 2018 and designed to replace VP9 and compete with HEVC (see AV1 vs HEVC). We have seen AV1 support on Mozilla's Firefox, Google's Chrome, YouTube, FFMPEG, MPC-HC, and more programs. Does the popular VLC Media Player support AV1? Can VLC play AV1 file properly? Read on.

AV1 Codec
AV1 Codec

VLC Adds Support for AV1

VideoLAN is a member of the AOMedia - the developer of AV1 format. VLC 3.0.0 released on February 8, 2018, introduced the early support for AV1. It added decoder support for experimental AV1 video. And from VLC changelog, we notice that VideoLAN keeps updating VLC to better support AV1.
In version 3.0.4 (release date: 2018-08-09) - Decoder: Decode AV1 streams
In version 3.0.5 (release date: 2018-10-19) - Codec: Add a new AV1 decoder based on dav1d library; Demux: Miscellaneous AV1 demuxing improvements; Packetizer: Add an AV1 packetizer
In version 3.0.6 (release date: 2019-01-10) - Codec: Add support for 12 bits decoding of AV1; Fix HDR support in AV1 when the container provides the metadata

But, VLC Can't Always Play AV1 Video File

Some users reported that they got an error message saying "Codec not supported: VLC could not decode the format "av01" (AOMedia's AV1 Video)" when they tried playing an AV1 encoded video file. Some said that only audio played, no video.

To fix this, you can convert the AV1 encoded video to a more universally recognized video codec. WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe is fully compatible with AV1 file, and can convert AV1 encoded file to H.264, H.265/HEVC, MP4, MOV, WMV, AVI, FLV, and so on. Currently, it supports using Intel QSV and NVIDIA CUDA/NVENC hardware acceleration to encode and decode H.264 and HEVC video at 47X real-time faster speed without degrading quality. NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series have special hardware decoding units for AV1 video[1]. WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe will add AV1 decode support in the near future. Stay tuned. Besides changing file format, WinX allows you to do some video editing tasks like cutting and merging, and free download AV1 videos from YouTube and other video-hosting sites.

Free download WinX HD Video Converter onto Windows or Mac computer to decode AV1 video.

How to Convert AV1 video to a VLC playable video format with WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe?

Step 1. Download, install, and launch WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe. On the converter's main interface, click the +Video button at the top left corner to browse and open the AV1 video that VLC player cannot decode.

Convert AV1 encoded video to VLC playable format
Convert AV1 encoded video to VLC playable format

Step 2. After importing AV1 file, the Output Profile panel will pop up. What you need to do is to choose a format that VLC can play correctly. You can go to General Profiles category and choose MP4 Video (codec: h.264+aac) which VLC Media Player can handle without any hassle.

Step 3 (optional). Click the setting button to adjust video and audio parameters, such as bit rate, frame rate, aspect ratio, and resolution. Click the Edit button to trim video, crop video, and disable/add subtitle.

Step 4. Hit the blue RUN button to start transcoding your AV1 video to a VLC compatible format.

In Addition: What's AV1 Codec & How to Encode AV1 Video Files

References:
[1]. "GeForce RTX 30 Series GPUs: Ushering In A New Era of Video Content With AV1 Decode". nvidia.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

author - Donna Peng

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Donna Peng's fascination with multimedia began at an early age - shortly after she licked the physical disc and then she's been obsessed ever since. Her decade-long career at Digiarty after the graduation has seen her unmatched expertise in the field of DVD, digital video, software and anything related to home theatre. She is currently fascinated with photography.

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