Encoding Video For YouTube: Advanced Specifications


Encoding Video For YouTube: Advanced Specifications

We suggest the following format for high quality uploads to YouTube. Note that these are advanced encoding specifications, and we have simpler encoding instructions available elsewhere.

Container: .mp4

  • No Edit Lists (or you may lose AV sync)
  • moov atom at the front of the file (Fast Start)

Audio Codec: AAC-LC

  • Channels: Stereo or Stereo + 5.1
  • Sample rate 96khz or 48 khz

Video Codec: H.264

  • Progressive scan (no interlacing)
  • High Profile
  • 2 consecutive B frames
  • Closed GOP. GOP of half the frame rate.
  • CABAC
  • Variable bitrate. No bitrate limit required, though we offer recommended bit rates below for reference
  • Color Space: 4.2.0

Frame rates should match the source material

  • For example, content shot in 24fps should be encoded and uploaded at 24fps. Content recorded at 30fps should be uploaded at 30fps.
  • Content shot in 720p60, should be uploaded at 720p60
  • Content at 1080i 60, should be deinterlaced, going from 60 interlaced fields per second to 30 progressive frames per second before uploading.

Resolutions

YouTube uses 16:9 aspect ratio players. If you are uploading a non-16:9 file, it will be processed and displayed correctly as well, with pillar boxes or letter boxes provided by the player. If you want to fit the player perfectly, encode at these resolutions:

  • 1080p: 1920×1080
  • 720p: 1280×720
  • 480p: 854×480
  • 360p: 640×360
  • 240p: 426×240

Notes:

  • Do not burn-in letter boxing or pillar boxing into your video. This will result in a bad user experience for viewers on mobile devices.
  • You can upload resolutions up to 4k.

Suggested bitrates for uploads

Standard quality uploads

Type Video Bitrate Mono Audio Bitrate Stereo Audio Bitrate 5.1 Audio Bitrate
1080p 8,000 kbps 128 kbps 384 kbps 512 kbps
720p 5,000 kbps 128 kbps 384 kbps 512 kbps
480p 2,500 kbps 64 kbps 128 kbps 196 kbps
360p 1,000 kbps 64 kbps 128 kbps 196 kbps

High quality uploads for creators with enterprise quality internet connections:

Type Video Bitrate Mono Audio Bitrate Stereo Audio Bitrate 5.1 Audio Bitrate
1080p 50,000 kbps 128 kbps 384 kbps 512 kbps
720p 30,000 kbps 128 kbps 384 kbps 512 kbps
480p 15,000 kbps 128 kbps 384 kbps 512 kbps
360p 5,000 kbps 128 kbps 384 kbps 512 kbps

About Nataro

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