VP9 and AV1 codec support on ATV

Good morning!

I recently purchased the latest Apple TV and noticed some performance issues when trying to play 4K 60 FPS videos encoded with VP9 or AV1 codecs.

For example, download the following video streams from 4k Costa Rica video

List streams
youtube-dl -F www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXb3EKWsInQ
701 mp4 3840x2160 2160p60 HDR 28033k , mp4_dash container, av01.0.13M.10.0.110.09.16.09.0@28033k, 60fps, video only, 1.02GiB
337 webm 3840x2160 2160p60 HDR 28869k , webm_dash container, vp9.2@28869k, 60fps, video only, 1.05GiB

Download
youtube-dl -f 337 www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXb3EKWsInQ
youtube-dl -f 701 same url

I am getting less than 1 frame per second when trying to play them with Infuse 7. It seems that Infuse is using software playback and processor inside AppleTV is just not powerful enough to handle them.

Native YouTube app however is able to play this video without any issues and “stats for nerds” show that it is using steam ‘337’ aka VP9 @ 60 fps without any dropped frames. I assume that native YouTube app is using hardware acceleration to play VP9 at such high bitrate/framerate.

Would it be possible to add hardware VP9 support for Infuse?

I think VP9 is only supported in all Apple SOC‘s via software decoding. Even the A14 I don’t think has hardware decoding. But that doesn’t mean that software decoding can’t be improved.

I was under impression that CPU in ATV is not powerful enough to decode 60 FPS in 4k, but maybe YouTube app team has done it.

@movie_lover cheers! I did not know that.

I have done a bit more testing with high bitrate YouTube videos (e.g. Real 4K HDR 60fps: LG Jazz HDR UHD (Chromecast Ultra) - YouTube)

VP9 / 2160p / 60Hz / SDR - video plays, but there are a lot of frame drops
VP9 / 2160p / 60Hz / HDR - video does not play. Black screen with a white spinner in the middle
VP9 / 1440p / 60Hz / SDR - video plays properly. I did not notice any issues.
VP9 / 1440p / 60Hz / HDR - video does not play. Black screen with a white spinner in the middle
VP9 / 1080p / 60Hz / SDR - video plays properly. I did not notice any issues.
VP9 / 1080p / 60Hz / HDR - video does not play. Black screen with a white spinner in the middle

Is it a known issue that VP9.2 encoded video with HDR does not play? Can anyone else reproduce the issue?