Windows 10 will soon get hardware-based AV1 codec, Spotlight for Desktop
Microsoft has officially announced that it is finally bringing hardware-accelerated AV1 video codec to Windows 10 later this year. The AV1 codec offers better compression compared to the existing H.265 codec, and at the same time, it aims to reduce data usage when streaming videos online. The codec was announced by the Alliance for Open Media (AOM), a consortium founded by Microsoft, Google, Mozilla, Cisco, Intel, Netflix, and Amazon. AV1 or the AOMedia Video Codec 1.0 is a royalty-free specification and can be delivered across platforms. It has the potential to deliver 4K UHD video at an average of 30-percent greater compression compared to other codecs.
Microsoft had released the AV1 Video extension in the Microsoft Store last year. This helped users play videos on Windows 10 that were encoded using the AV1 video coding standard. By enabling hardware support for AV1, all the workload of decoding would move from software to hardware, which should reduce power consumption and increase battery life on mobile devices.
Hardware-accelerated AV1 video support will be available on new Windows 10 systems with the latest GPUs this fall. Here are the components required to experience hardware-accelerated AV1 video on Windows 10:
- One of these new GPUs or CPUs:
- 11th Gen Intel Core processors with Intel Iris Xe Graphics
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series GPUs
- AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series Graphics (coming soon)
- Windows 10 build 1909 or later
- The AV1 Video Extension
- A web browser or other application with hardware acceleration support for AV1, including apps built on top of Media Foundation
- Latest Graphics Drivers
Spotlight comes to Desktop
A separate report also suggests that Microsoft is working on expanding the Spotlight feature on Windows 10. At the moment, users can enable this feature to show new wallpapers on their lockscreen. Users also get certain suggestions, facts, and tips when they enable Spotlight. The latest Windows 10 Preview reportedly offers the ability to expand this feature to your desktop wallpaper. The feature is not enabled by default but Twitter user Albacore has a small trick. Download the ViveTool app by Albacore and use the following command in PowerShell:
.\ViveTool.exe addconfig 26008405 2
You'll be able to use Spotlight wallpapers not only for your lock screen but also for your desktop background. pic.twitter.com/QwzWeRxxsu
— Albacore (@thebookisclosed) October 8, 2020
Microsoft hasn’t spoken about this feature yet, so there is no confirmation if it will arrive in one of the final builds. Having said that, the addition of Spotlight to desktop could prove to be quite useful for users who love personalizing their PC.