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Dav1d new release:
0.7.0 is a major new release, whose focus is, once again, speed. It is doubly interesting, for improvements are important for both computers and smartphones.
For once, the biggest speed improvement for desktop and laptops is not coming from writing more assembly code, but from Ronald's rewrite of the ref_mv algorithm.
This new algo gives a 8-12% speed improvement measured on Haswell machines while reducing memory usage by 25%.
We're talking about 10% faster for the complete AV1 decoding, that's a more important impact than a lot of assembly we wrote.
With 0.7.0 release, the assembly for x86 CPUs (32bit and 64bit) is now totally complete for the 8bit bitdepth.
We finished up all the small optimizations that remained for SSSE3 and AVX2, notably film grain, during the 0.6.0 and 0.7.0 development cycles. We added more AVX-512 assembly, for those with very recent CPUs.
In the future, getting faster on those Intel CPU is going to be very difficult (I know I said that already many times, but this time it's true).
As of 0.7.0, most assembly you should care about is done for 8bit/10bit/12bit on ARM64 and this makes decoding AV1 on the phones affordable.
gav1 is an open source decoder made by Google to compete with dav1d on Android and ARM.
As of 0.7.0, dav1d is between 1.8x and 2.5x faster on 8b content and 2.4x to 5x faster on 10b content than gav1 on different CPUs.
this graph was made on ODroid N2, for example.
ARM CPUs for mobile devices have an architecture with both LITTLE and big cores, which offer different speed and different power usage.
Using different types of cores allows to consume only the power you need for normal tasks, and be able to go in max power, when requested.
It is therefore extremely important to analyze the performance of our ARM code on both types of cores and when mixing it.
So let's see have a look at how dav1d and gav1 compare on the reference AV1 sample, made by Netflix, Chimera and on the SnapDragon 821 (Pixel 1 phone):
What we can learn from those graphs are the following:
For 10b, the situation is even worse for gav1.
I want to emphasis on the fact that dav1d can decode Chimera with 2 threads on the Pixel 1, from 2016, using only the LITTLE cores.
So, what's interesting is to look at the LITTLE cores performance on Android to see the actual speed of the decoder, under low-power cases.
We tested here, all the threads configuration, on the following Android devices:
Here are the results:
Once again, we can see, on LITTLE cores:
For the sake of completeness, here are the results for 10b on the LITTLE cores:
You can find all the details here, in the spreadsheet done by Nathan.
dav1d is now a very fast decoder on desktops, laptops, but mostly on mobile where it shows very impressive performance on 8b and 10b. It can decode 1080p with a couple of cores on mobile.
Thanks a lot to Nathan Egge, from Mozilla, who gathered all the data required for this post. He therefore did all the work for this blogpost.
VLC 3.2 is the second feature update for VLC 3. This update focused on polishing the user interface, adding some more features to Android TV and chromebooks and improving network browsing.
Under the hood, the VLC app is now (almost) 100% written in kotlin!
The browsing on Android TV has been made easier and more efficient.
You can now browse your media, filter them, jump to headers in a brand new screen.
When listening music, a
Now playing line now displays media currently played
On phones and tablets, the video player interface has been modernized and the controls have been reorganized.
The audio player design has also been improved.
The playlist now has redesigned covers and can be easily modified.
The equalizer UI has been completely reworked and is now more pleasant to see and to use!
The media information screen has been redesigned to be clearer.
We added the support for desktop multi-selection with ctrl and shift. We also implemented most of the VLC desktop player keyboard shortcuts.
The support for external devices has also been improved.
You can read more about this on the Android developer story
The videos can be grouped by name or by folder allowing you to find the right video quicker. This implementation is quite basic right now, next feature update will improve it to have grid view for any king of videos grouping.
The Medialibrary content is now searchable from TV launcher.
The media titles are cleaned up for a better readability. Medialibrary now removes files extension and common garbage keywords from video files title.
The SMB support has been improved to provide a better network browsing experience. There should be no conflict between SMBv1 and v2/v3 anymore. And login process has been improved too.
LibVLC has been updated, to get latest fixes, security patches and performance enhancements.
The whole Android app is now 100% written in kotlin! (but the medialibrary and libvlc API bindings remain in Java, to not induce kotlin dependency)
We also improved the architecture by continuing our Android Arch components integration and by the use of kotlin coroutines.