Whether you’re streaming your favorite game to all of your Discord friends, or you’re watching your friend play their favorite game, you are using Video Codec. What is Video Codec and how do you actually use it? All excellent questions, let’s go over those and more!
What does this article cover?
- What Is a Video Codec?
- Where Can I Find These Video Codec Options?
Video codec is a software or hardware that compresses and decompresses digital video so that it can be transmitted over the Internet. Video codec is a key component when it comes to high quality streams. This means that the better the codec, the better the video quality.
H.264 is a very widely adopted technical standard of video codec. Almost every device nowadays (this includes both desktop and mobile devices) uses a software and hardware codec that is compatible with the H.264 standard. Since H.264 was developed in the early 2000’s, the encoding algorithms were targeted mainly for standard definition (480p) video compression.
AV1 is one of the latest technical standards of video codec. It is developed by AOM (Alliance for open media), which is sponsored by most key players in video communications like Google, Apple, Netflix, and Meta. It uses the most sophisticated algorithms to improve video compression efficiency.
In contrast to H.264, AV1 is developed to better support HD/UHD video communications, especially 4k, or even 8k, video applications. The AV1 codec employed by Discord presents up to 100% higher compression efficiency than its H.264 counterpart for 4K 60fps videos. Enabling AV1 can significantly boost streaming quality.
To enable or disable these Video Codec options, press on the cog-wheel in the lower left corner of your Discord desktop client to access your User Settings.
Once there, you’ll want to head to Voice & Video located under App Settings.
Finally, you’ll head down to the section that is called Video Codec. While here you can enable or disable the following settings.
OpenH264 Video Codec provided by Cisco Systems, Inc: Disabling OpenH264 will also disable hardware accelerated video encoding, if it’s available.
H.264 Hardware Acceleration: Enabling this will use your GPU for video encoding and decoding for H.264, if available.
AV1 video codec: If the hardware requirements are met, enabling AV1 video codec will allow you to send videos in AV1 format. To utilize this feature, all viewers on the same voice call must enable AV1 codec. Additionally, when an AV1 video is sent, Discord will use your GPU for video processing.
Adjusting your video codec options is only available on the desktop app. Currently, sending AV1 video is only supported via Windows desktop with NVidia RTX 4080/4090 GPU. However, desktop viewers can still watch AV1 streams without RTX40xx GPU.
If you are having issues with your video on Discord, you can check out this section on Voice and Video Troubleshooting article for some initial steps!
If you need further assistance, please reach out to our Support team!