I am recording and distributing relatively low motion screen content (not games). Using h264, fine text often appears very blurry due to the poor subsampling with 4:2:0 and 4:2:2 pixel formats. With 4:4:4, the video content (and text) remains very sharp, but all recommendations I've been had so far are to stay away from 4:4:4 at all costs.

I am wondering if there will be any real downsides to distributing 4:4:4 content? Aside from filesize - this is a nonissue. Does anyone have any anecdotal experience to say whether most modern devices (browsers, mobile phones) can decode and play 4:4:4 content? It seems to work on my own devices, but I have a pretty small sample size. Is there a published record of what software and hardware decoders support it, or what the common issues might be if distributing content in this format?

Note: I am not distributing using any online video platforms, so , for example, downsides such as YouTube automatically re-encoding it to 4:2:0 would not be an issue. The question is really more geared towards if devices will actually be able to play 4:4:4 content native / seamlessly or if many will run into compatibility issues.

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    I just setup an ffmpeg server at on office and was streaming 15mb/s and that was too much for that internet connection. Once I reduced it to 2.5mb/s it started working. However, only one viewer at a time with such bit stream capability. I think that will be your main bottleneck. If you don't need realtime video, reduce the number of frames per second (i.e. 5 fps still gives you a taste of motion). Commented Jul 26, 2020 at 21:58

1 Answer 1


Most phones and tablets do not support 4:4:4

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