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I want to start producing videos and looking around the internet for usual bitrate ranges (VBR) and H.264 profiles and levels for Web Video exports.

I found some guides with Vimeo and YouTube and construct my own export settings, based on the previous mentioned guides.

I am producing the videos mostly within the EU, so I am shooting my videos in either 25p or 50p to reduce the light flicker effect due to the power frequency (50 Hz).

I came up with the following settings for HD-ready, Full-HD, (true) UHD, and (true) 4K.

  • 1280×720p25.000, 5-10 Mbps, H.264 High Profile Level 4.0, HDp25
  • 1280×720p50.000, 10-15 Mbps, H.264 High Profile Level 4.2, HDp50
  • 1920×1080p25.000, 10-20 Mbps, H.264 High Profile Level 4.0, FHDp25
  • 1920×1080p50.000, 15-25 Mbps, H.264 High Profile Level 4.2, FHDp50
  • 3840×2160p25.000, 40-60 Mbps, H.264 High Profile Level 5.1, UHDp25
  • 3840×2160p50.000, 60-80 Mbps, H.264 High Profile Level 5.2, UHDp50
  • 4096×2160p25.000, 40-60 Mbps, H.264 High Profile Level 5.2, 4Kp25
  • 4096×2160p50.000, 60-80 Mbps, H.264 High Profile Level 5.2, 4Kp50

The container format will be MP4, with the moov atom at the start of the file (fast start). I will introduce the moov atom as a post process (ffmpeg), since my primary transcoding software does not support the moov atom at all. The audio is AAC-LC, stereo with 96 KHz and 320 kbps.

My question is: Are those settings suitable for better quality Web Video presentation? Did I miss something while merging the various guides on how to setup the transcoding process?

I would like to point out again, that the above mentioned settings are for the Web Video exports only. When I author Blu-ray releases, I will do much higher bitrates etc.. However this question is only about the Web Video presentation.

  • Are you hosting the videos yourself, or uploading to YT..etc? Which transcodng s/w? – Gyan Jul 15 '18 at 11:58
  • This is for YouTube and Vimeo only. I also host them in my own servers with "original" settings (much higher). I use Adobe Media Encoder CS4 – burnersk Jul 15 '18 at 14:59
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    As long as the quality looks good, doesn't matter. Profile/level are relevant when your output is being played. YT and Vimeo always transcode. – Gyan Jul 15 '18 at 15:13
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If you are looking to get the best possible quality, encode at the highest bitrates you can factoring file size / upload time.

Regardless of what you bitrate you transcode at; nearly all streaming platforms - YouTube and Vimeo included, will re-transcode the files using their own settings for Various Resolutions. Youtube for instance will take a 1080 file and transcode it into 1080, 720, 480, 360, and 240 versions for people who have slow connections.

Your original file on both Vimeo and YouTube will remain available for download later from your Video's Setting Page. I am not sure if you can make that public, but they do retain it if you wish to pull the file back at a later date.

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