Google Duo is testing new Lyra codec to compress videos over poor connection

Video calling app Google Duo has come up with a new compression technique which will be based on codec Lyra and guarantee that users in poor connection can also get respectable quality video and audio. The new audio codec is in the testing stage currently and will come in handy for the users who do not have access to high network connections.

Explaining the codec, a blog by Google said that compression techniques, or codecs are used to encode or decode signals for transmission or storage. This is the basis of connecting with others online through voice and video calls, an action which has been increasingly common in the modern world.

The blog explained how experts have been trying to constantly up their ability and produce codec, both for video and audio, that uses less data but provides high clarity. The post also spoke about how contrary to common belief that videos are more bandwidth hungry that audio, low-bitrate video and speech codecs usually deliver a high-quality video call experience, even though the network is not that strong. However, when the bitrate for an audio codec gets low, the voice signal becomes less intelligible and more robotic.

 Google Duo is testing new Lyra codec to compress videos over poor connection

Image: Google blog

Thus, Google AI’s latest creation, Lyra will focus on providing a “high-quality, very low-bitrate speech codec that makes voice communication available even on the slowest networks”.

As of now, the new codec by Google operates at 3 kbps and listening tests done by the firm have reportedly shown that Lyra outperforms any other codec at that bitrate. Opus, which is the most widely used codec for WebRTC-based VOIP applications, operates, on the other hand, at 8 kbps.

Google also posted several samples, comparing the sound, video and overall capability of video calls done using Lyra, Opus and other codecs. The firm said that if Lyra is paired up with new video compression technologies like AV1, then users with even a 56 kbps dial-in modem will be able to engage in a high quality video chat.