One year later, Samsung officially throws weight behind AOMedia

Samsung has finally followed through this week in what we knew months ago was an inevitability – signing up for the royalty free codec group the Alliance for Open Media (AOMedia) in what is sure to throw the cat among the pigeons as we approach NAB 2019.

Yet the South Korean electronics colossus has no need to join AOMedia for access to technology given its wealthy patent portfolio – although Samsung could be interested in getting on board to influence developments around AV2, the successor to the AV1 codec currently in development. We have suggested previously that Samsung could join as AV2 development gathers steam, suggesting the R&D wing at AOMedia is making significant progress in the development of AV2 – which could be the one perhaps destined to oust HEVC from the broadcasting domain.

Of course, Samsung is also a member of HEVC advance, the other major HEVC patent pool group, and will continue to back the rival codec. It has joined AOMedia at the organization’s highest rank of board level.

It’s almost a year to the day since Faultline Online Reporter spoke to AOMedia’s Executive Director Gabe Frost, of Microsoft, telling us at the time that Samsung’s membership was still on the cards despite rumors tailing off after the initial spike following Apple joining in January 2018.

“Devices don’t sell content, whether on the big screen or small. Membership is not a prerequisite for content – it’s the end users who are important,” Frost told us at the time. We wonder if Frost stands by that stance today now that AOMedia has officially signed up the world’s two largest smartphone manufacturers?

EVP of Samsung Research Seunghwan Cho said, “Samsung is a recognized pioneer in next-generation multimedia and video compression technology and an active contributor to the international video coding standards. We are committed to fostering innovation through openness,” “We’re excited to join AOMedia to help open up new possibilities to use AV1 open-source, cross-platform, online video in ways that will optimize today’s ecosystem to meet the increasing demands of next-generation users.”