Windows 10 1903 to support AVIF format

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 28, 2018
Windows, Windows 10

Windows 10 version 1903, the next feature update release for Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system, will support the AVIF format.

AVIF, or AV1 Image File Format, is a new image format based on AV1; it uses HEIF as the container and AV1 frames.

Microsoft introduced support for AV1 video in Windows 10 version 1809; administrators had to install the AV1 Video Extension to add support for Av1 video to Windows 10 devices.  The extension is still listed as beta at the time of writing.

While video support is added to Windows 10 version 1809 or later when the codec is installed, support for the AVIF file format is not available in the October 2018 Update. Files cannot be opened in Microsoft Paint or other Microsoft programs, and File Explorer does not display thumbnails if a thumbnail view mode is selected.

Recent Insider Builds of Windows 10 version 1903 offer enhanced support for AV1. Users who store AVIF images on the device will notice that these display as thumbnails in File Explorer, provided that the AV1 Video Extension is installed on the Insider PC.

The images can be loaded into Microsoft Paint as it supports the new image format as well in Windows 10 version 1903.

avif image windows 10

Microsoft Edge does not support the new image format at the time of writing; the browser refuses to render AVIF images. Other browsers, Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, don't display the images either at this point in time. All browsers display options to save the images when they are opened directly.

Windows developers may use APIs to add support for AV1 and AVIF to their programs; this requires Windows 10 version 1903 at the time of writing.

Microsoft is not the only company that is working on AV1 support; all major browser makers plan to add AV1 support to their browsers or have done so already. Interested users may enable experimental AV1 support on YouTube to watch AV1F videos on the video streaming site. Programs like VLC Media Player, FFmpeg, or MPC-HC support the new format as well.

Closing Words

AV1 is supported by all major browser developers and other major technology companies. While it is unclear at this point if that is enough to make the new format the de-facto standard for video and images, it is off to a better start than previous attempts.

Now You: Do you have any expectations in regards to AV1 and AVIF? (via Deskmodder)

Windows 10 1903 to support AVIF format
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Windows 10 1903 to support AVIF format
Windows 10 version 1903, the next feature update release for Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system, will support the AVIF format.
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  1. Apparition said on December 28, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    About time. The sooner JPG finally dies, the better. It’s almost 2019, we shouldn’t be using a lossy image format from the early ’90s.

    1. Miha said on December 31, 2018 at 2:05 pm

      webp is around for a quite a long time. Just nobody seem to use it. And it’w way better than jpeg or png

  2. pHROZEN gHOST said on December 28, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    At the rate MS is going, this version could be on my PC before 1809.

  3. bytespiller said on December 28, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    AV1 is better than x264 (smaller size & better quality) and is also free (unlike x264 & x265 which have royalty/patent baggage).

    However, currenty there is no hardware-based decoding available on consumer hardware (like there is for x264) for AV1, so decoding these videos requires more power. And forget about *encoding* your videos into AV1 for now, it’s absolutely ultra-slow at this point in time.

    AV1 will be great standard for the future when more support is developed for it. It will enable more video for less data everywhere (because it’s free).

    In conjuction with 5G (which has low latency) it may make services for realtime game-streaming like OnLive *actually* viable (mid/far future game consoles might be little more than terminals, personally I don’t like that but that’s another topic).

    1. Alex said on December 28, 2018 at 7:17 pm

      You might want to check your terminology again, because everything you say about x264/x265 is wrong.

      1. bytespiller said on December 29, 2018 at 8:12 am

        Right, I meant H.264 (AVC) and H.265 (HEVC) formats themselves, I had indeed used wrong terminology.

        x264 is an open source library and encoder for AVC (but “x264” is often specified as if it’s a format e.g., as a part of the video file name in torrents).

      2. Alex said on December 29, 2018 at 11:23 am

        Nope, that specifies the encoder used, which in turn implies the video format.

    2. Apparition said on December 28, 2018 at 4:26 pm

      I don’t expect consumer hardware AV1 decoding until at least late 2020, and not generally available until 2022 or so.

      1. Arthur said on December 29, 2018 at 11:32 am

        On AOMedia’s adoption timeline/roadmap (see link below), hardware-acceleration of AV1 will be supported by all new silicon in 2020. I think adoption by all of the companies involved will be very fast due to the format being royalty-free.

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