The company began using a "new" video encoder for devices with Android which provides "20% improved compression performance" through the VP9 encoder previously used by the company to display emissions and movies on devices with Android.
The new encoder used by Netflix is called AV1, and is a free video encoder.
AV1 is supported by some of the biggest tech companies, such as Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook, Netflix, Mozilla and Nvidia. So there is a very good chance that it will become the next generic codec.
What has happened in recent years:
Mozilla and Google offer full support for AV1 in Firefox and Chrome respectively, we had the launch of AV1 support on YouTube in 2018, but also a beta application released by Microsoft called AV1 Video Extension at the end of 2018 to add AV1 video support to Windows 10. The AV1 codec promises better compression without affecting video quality.
The Android was chosen as the first mobile platform to adopt the AV1 encoder, and there are reasons for this. Mobile networks are not always reliable, and bandwidth is often not as fast on mobile.
Her customers Netflix can enable the "Save Data" feature in Netflix to make use of the new AV1 streaming. This is done from the menu Menu - Application Settings - Cellular Use Date. There is the option "Save data" or "Save Date".
The company states that there are currently "selected movies" that use AV1, but does not say which are and which are not. We certainly expect availability to increase over time.
The Netflix is a founding member Alliance for Open Media, which oversees the development of AV1. The company decided to use the new encoder for Android only for the time being, but plans to extend its use to "more devices".