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AV1 vs. VP9: Which Video Compression Format is Better for You

In the ever-evolving world of video, ensuring high quality while keeping file sizes manageable is a constant battle. This is where video codecs like AV1 and VP9 come in. But with two strong contenders, choosing the right one can be tricky. Fear not, this detailed breakdown of AV1 vs. VP9 will equip you with the knowledge to make an informed decision.

Part 1: What is AV1 and VP9?

AV1 (AOMedia Video 1) and VP9 (WebM Video Project Version 9) are royalty-free video codecs designed for high-quality video compression. Let's delve into their individual strengths and weaknesses:


  • Superior Compression: Boasts up to 30% better compression compared to VP9, resulting in smaller file sizes at the same quality level.
  • Future-Proof: Developed with evolving technology in mind, making it well-suited for future video formats like 8K and beyond.
  • Open-Source: Freely available for anyone to use and develop, fostering innovation and continuous improvement.
  • Encoding Complexity: Requires more processing power for encoding, leading to potentially longer encoding times, especially on older devices.
  • Limited Hardware Support: While growing, hardware support for AV1 decoding is still not as widespread as VP9.


  • Wide Compatibility: Enjoys broader support across various devices, platforms, and browsers.
  • Faster Encoding: Encoding videos with VP9 is generally faster compared to AV1 due to its less complex nature.
  • Proven Track Record: A well-established codec with a proven record of delivering high-quality video.
  • Lower Compression Efficiency: Compared to AV1, VP9 requires higher bitrates to achieve the same video quality, resulting in larger file sizes.
  • Limited Future Potential: May struggle to keep pace with the demands of ever-increasing video resolutions like 8K.

Part 2: AV1 vs. VP9: A Fundamental Difference in Compression

Now that you understand AV1 and VP9, let's explore some key factors that differentiate them:

1. AV1 vs. VP9: Bitrate and Compression Efficiency

Bitrate refers to the amount of data used per second to represent a video. Here's the crux of AV1 vs. VP9:

  • AV1: Achieves the same video quality as VP9 at significantly lower bitrates, thanks to its superior compression efficiency. This translates to smaller file sizes and potentially reduced data usage during streaming.
  • VP9: Requires higher bitrates to achieve comparable video quality to AV1, leading to larger file sizes.

2. AV1 vs. VP9: Compatibility

Compatibility plays a crucial role in video delivery. Here's how they stack up:

  • AV1: Hardware support for AV1 decoding is still growing, particularly on older devices. However, major players like Google and Netflix are actively pushing for wider adoption.
  • VP9: Enjoys broader compatibility across various devices, browsers, and platforms. This makes it a safer choice when ensuring your video can be played back on a wider audience's devices.

3. AV1 vs. VP9: Utilization

How demanding are these codecs on your system?

  • AV1: Encoding videos with AV1 requires more processing power compared to VP9. This can lead to longer encoding times on resource-constrained devices.
  • VP9: Encoding with VP9 is generally faster and less demanding on your system's resources.

4. AV1 vs. VP9: Sound Quality

Both AV1 and VP9 are video codecs and don't directly impact audio quality. The audio quality will depend on the separate audio codec used in your video file.

Bonus Tips: How to Choose AV1 or VP9: Using HitPaw Video Converter

Choosing between AV1 and VP9 depends on your specific needs. Here's how HitPaw Video Converter can help you make an informed decision and compress your videos with either codec: HitPaw Video Converter: Your One-Stop Video Conversion Solution.

av1 vs vp9

HitPaw Video Converter empowers you to:

  • Convert videos: HitPaw Video Converter can convert videos between a wide range of formats. Including popular formats like MP4, MKV, AVI, MOV, and more.
  • Compress video files: HitPaw Video Converter reduce file size while maintaining quality using efficient codecs like AV1 and VP9.
  • Edit your videos: Using HitPaw Video Converter trim, cut, crop, and add watermarks to personalize your videos.
  • Enhance video quality: Using HitPaw Video Converter adjust brightness, contrast, saturation, and other visual parameters.
  • Extract audio from video: HitPaw Video Converter separate the audio track from your video file.
  • Batch convert multiple videos: Using HitPaw Video Converter save time by converting multiple videos simultaneously.
  • Hardware acceleration: HitPaw Video Converter utilize your graphics card (GPU) for faster encoding and decoding, especially for demanding codecs like AV1.

You can take a closer look at HitPaw Video Converter in the video below.

How to Compress Video with AV1 or VP9 Using HitPaw Video Converter?

HitPaw Video Converter makes compressing videos with AV1 or VP9 a breeze. Here's a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Download and Install HitPaw Video Converter

Head over to the HitPaw website and download the software for your Windows or Mac computer.

Step 2: Launch HitPaw Video Converter

Open the application and you'll be greeted by a clean and intuitive interface. Click on the "Toolbox".

Step 3: Add Your Video

Click on the "Video/Image Compressor" button and select the video you want to compress. Alternatively, drag and drop your video file directly into the program window.

av1 vs vp9

Step 4: Adjust Compression Settings (Optional)

HitPaw Video Converter offers various options to fine-tune your compression. Click on the "Setting/Gear" icon. You can adjust the bitrate for a balance between quality and file size. Generally, a lower bitrate will result in a smaller file size but may also reduce video quality.

av1 vs vp9

Step 5: Compress Your Video

Once you're satisfied with your settings, click on the "Compress" button. HitPaw Video Converter will start compressing your video using the chosen codec. The encoding time will vary depending on the length and resolution of your video, as well as your system's processing power.

av1 vs vp9

Beyond Compression: Additional Considerations

While compression is a significant aspect, other factors come into play when choosing between AV1 and VP9:

  • Streaming vs. Download:
    • For streaming applications where bandwidth is a concern, AV1's superior compression can significantly reduce data usage during playback.
    • For downloadable videos, VP9's wider compatibility might be more important if immediate playback across various devices is a priority.
  • Futureproofing:
    • AV1 is designed with future video formats like 8K and beyond in mind. As video resolutions continue to evolve, AV1 might become the preferred choice for handling these demanding formats efficiently.
  • Security:
    • Both AV1 and VP9 can be used with various encryption methods to secure video content. The choice of codec itself doesn't directly impact video security.


Q1. Is AV1 better than VP9 for all situations?

A1. Not necessarily. While AV1 boasts superior compression, its wider adoption and hardware support are still under development. If compatibility across various devices is your primary concern, VP9 remains a safer choice. However, for future-proofing and smaller file sizes, AV1 is a compelling option, especially if your target audience has access to newer devices with AV1 decoding capabilities.

Q2. Can I convert a VP9 video to AV1 and vice versa with HitPaw Video Converter?

A2. Absolutely! HitPaw Video Converter allows you to convert between various video formats, including converting videos encoded with VP9 to AV1 and vice versa. Simply follow the steps mentioned above and select the desired output format and codec during the conversion process.


The battle between AV1 and VP9 boils down to your specific needs. Consider factors like compatibility, target audience, desired file size, and processing power when making your choice. HitPaw Video Converter empowers you to explore both codecs and compress your videos with ease. Download HitPaw Video Converter today and experience the power of efficient video conversion!

Ready to experience the power of HitPaw Video Converter? Download your free trial today and unlock a world of possibilities for your video editing and conversion needs!

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