AV1, the next-generation video codec, is expanding its reach with the release of OBS Studio 29.1. This latest software update adds support for AV1 streaming to YouTube over Enhanced RTMP.
All GeForce RTX 40 Series GPUs including laptop GPUs and the recently launched GeForce RTX 4070 support real-time AV1 hardware encoding, providing 40% more efficient encoding on average than H.264 and delivering higher quality than competing GPUs.
This reduces the upload bandwidth needed to stream, a common limitation from streaming services and internet service providers. At higher resolutions, AV1 encoding is even more efficient. For example, AV1 enables streaming 4K at 60 frames per second with 10 Mbps upload bandwidth — down from 20 Mbps with H.264 — making 4K60 streaming available to a wider audience.
As a founding member of the Alliance for Open Media, NVIDIA has worked closely with industry titans in developing the AV1 codec. This work was necessitated by gamers and online content creators who pushed the boundaries of old formats. The previous standard for livestreaming, H.264, with 1080p at 60 fps at the commonly used bitrates of 6-8 Mbps, often produced blocky, grainy images.
AV1’s increased efficiency enables streaming images of higher quality, allowing creators to stream at higher resolutions with smoother frame rates. Streamers can reap the benefits of high-quality video shared with their audience in network-limited environments.
Support for AV1 on YouTube comes through the recent update to RTMP. The enhanced protocol also adds support for HEVC streaming, bringing new formats to users on the existing low-latency protocol used for H.264 streaming. Enhanced RTMP ingestion has been released as a beta feature on YouTube.
Users can learn how to configure OBS Studio for streaming AV1 with GeForce RTX 40 Series GPUs in the OBS setup guide.
GeForce RTX 40 Series GPUs usher in a new era of high-quality streaming with AV1 encoding support on the eighth-generation NVENC. A boon to streamers, NVENC offloads compute-intensive encoding tasks from the CPU to dedicated hardware on the GPU.
Designed to support the rigors of professional content creators, NVENC preserves video quality with a higher accuracy than competitive encoders. GeForce RTX users can stream high resolution images at the same bitrate as competitive products or encode at a lower bitrate while maintaining a similar picture quality.