Wednesday, September 17, 2008

How to Get Widescreen HQ on YouTube

Note: Now there's a "watch in HD" option, which is better than "watch in high quality." I'll link you to the update when it's written but basically use 1280x720 instead of the resolution below.

For those who just want a quick answer, here goes:

1. Use a screen size of 480x360 or larger. You will get HQ with 480x360, but for widescreen I recommend 640x360.
2. Use a bitrate of 1000kbps or higher to be safe. The requirement for H.264 is about 600kbps and for Xvid/Divx it's about 900kpbs.
3. Use a frame rate of 24fps or higher. (Yes, nerds - 23.976 is fine too.)

That's the short of it. Here is some additional info:

The exact file type isn't critical: AVI, MOV, WMV, and MPEG have all worked. Inside that file, a variety of video codecs seem to work fine, so it's hard for me to tell you the exact ones that work. Flash has never worked for me though. Make the video look as good as you can. You be the judge of bitrate vs. file size (and upload time). Remember: it's also important to make the video look as good as you can before you upload: use a tripod to cut down on unnecessary motion, light it well so it's sharp (not snowy), and deinterlace (unless you shot in progressive mode). Audio does not affect YT's decision to show the HQ link. For best quality, I recommend uncompressed audio.

What if you don't see the link? It can take some time for the link to appear. Usually the larger the file, the longer it takes. It doesn't hurt to check with MediaInfo to make sure you did everything right. Beware, for example, of the bitrate. Just because you set it at 1000, doesn't mean it will end up being 1000 when it's all said and done. Videos that are at risk of having a lower bitrate are ones with not a lot of motion (like screen captures and videos with lots of still images). To resolve this problem, see this video:


Andreas said...

Thanks great info!
I might add one thing I have noticed... Once you have uploaded your video it takes some time for the video to appear. It will say "processing", but then right away when you can see it the high quality option might not be available under your video, but just wait a while before you bug out, because for me it appeared a few minutes after the normal version.

Anonymous said...

600KB?! you don't know what your talking about! All you get with that bit rate is a crap video. The minimum is 4000kbs!


JTR said...

THanks, Nerdwithnolife, lol, love the name of your blog too!

robin said...

Thanks, I really found this useful!

If you're uploading screencasts, make sure you watch the video at the bottom of the post, which shows how to use MediaInfo to double check the bitrate on low motion videos.

I could not achieve a high enough bitrate with Camtasia's AVC1 H.264 MP4 codec, so I exported to AVI with Xvid compression instead, and uploaded that. Worked a treat: Normal/HD.

Anonymous said...

does this work with windows movie maker? if not, do you have any recommandations?