Encoding

We suggest the following three format options for high quality uploads to YouTube. Please note that if you are already delivering a previously approved format, your workflow may not need to change. Please consult your partner operations contact to determine which format is best for you.

These specs differ from the High Quality Specs for YouTube User-Generated Content. Please contact your partner operations contact with any questions about these differences.

HD Common Parameters (apply to all 3 format options below)

Resolutions 1920x1080 (16:9 content or 16:9 with letterboxing per matting guidelines below)
1440x1080 (4:3 content only)
1280x720 (16:9 content or 16:9 with letterboxing per matting guidelines below)
960x720 (4:3)
Pixel Aspect Ratio Pixel Aspect Ratio of 1:1 (square pixels)
Frame Rates 23.976, 24, 25, 29.97, 30

Native frame rate only. Content containing duplicate or telecined frames will be rejected. Mixed content will be considered on a case-by-case basis -- please contact your partner operations contact.

Matting 16:9 frame size delivered with letterboxing will be accepted. If content contains pillarboxing (black on left and right), windowboxing (black on all sides), or is 4:3 LTBX, the content should be cropped to active pixel area only.

SD Common Parameters (apply to all 3 format options below)

Resolutions 4x3 - 720x480, 720x576, 768x576 (square pixels), 640x480 (square pixels)

16x9 - 720x480 (NTSC 16x9 with anamorphic flag set), 720x576 (PAL 16x9 with anamorphic flag set), 1024x576 (square pixels), 854x480 (square pixels)

*720x404 will be accepted but may result in lower quality outputs

Content should be delivered in its Original Aspect Ratio.
Pixel Aspect Ratio Aspect Ratio flag and/or "pasp" atom (for .mov files) must be set to correct aspect ratio (4:3, 16:9 or 1:1 for square pixels)
Frame Rates 23.976, 24, 25, 29.97, 30

Native frame rate only. Content containing duplicate or telecined frames will be rejected. Mixed content will be considered on a case-by-case basis -- please contact your partner operations contact.

Matting 16:9 frame size delivered with letterboxing will be accepted. If content contains pillarboxing (black on left and right), windowboxing (black on all sides), or is 4:3 LTBX, then content should be cropped to active pixel area only.

Format Options

Option 1 - ProRes 422 HQ

Video Profile

Attribute Specification
Codec Apple ProRes 422 HQ
Color Space HD - ITU-R BT.709
SD - ITU-R BT.601
Bitrate HD - Variable Bitrate, expected ~110 Mbps
SD - Variable Bitrate, expected ~40-60 Mbps
Scan Type 23.976, 24, 25 - Progressive
29.97 - Interlaced or Progressive
Notes Edit lists are not allowed as these cause the file not to transcode correctly and/or loss of A/V sync.

Audio Profile

Attribute Specification
Codec LPCM, 16 or 24 bit, at least 48kHz
Option 1 (5.1 + Stereo) -- preferred Track 1: L R C LFE Ls Rs
Track 2: Lt Rt
Option 2 (5.1 + Stereo) Track 1: L
Track 2: R
Track 3: C
Track 4: LFE
Track 5: Ls
Track 6: Rs
Track 7: Lt
Track 8: Rt

*Also acceptable for Track 7 to be a composite stereo.

Option 3 (5.1 + Stereo) Track 1: L R C LFE Ls Rs
Track 2: Lt
Track 3: Rt
Option 4 (Stereo Only) Track 1: Lt
Track 2: Rt
Option 5 (Stereo Only) Track 1: Lt Rt

Note on audio channel assignments

Channel assignments must be set in the file metadata. Channel assignments in ProRes .mov files can easily be set after export/transcode using QuickTime 7 Pro. "Mono" is not an acceptable channel assignment. For content that is truly 2-channel mono, please assign channels as "Left" and "Right." Channels that are not assigned correctly may result in delays in publishing or in your asset being rejected. Assignments of "Left" (L) and "Right" (R) can be used instead of "Left Total" (LT) and "Right Total" (RT) in stereo tracks.
ProRes Content Eligibility

Due to the additional processing time required to process large ProRes files, only certain types of content can be accepted as ProRes at this time.

Supported

  • TV - Library/Back Catalog TV
  • Movies - New Release movies delivered more than 2 weeks prior to avail start date and Library/Back Catalog movies

Not Currently Supported

  • TV - Next Day TV
  • Movies - New Release movies delivered less than 2 weeks prior to avail start date
Option 2 - H.264 Codec

Video Profile

Attribute Specification
Containers .mp4
.mov
Codec H.264
Profile High
Bitrate SD (fewer than 720 lines) - 15 Mbps
720 lines - 50 Mbps
1080 lines - 60 Mbps
Scan type Progressive
  • Native frame rate content should be deinterlaced.
  • Telecined content should be inverse telecined to original frame rate.

Note: Content with blended frames or interlacing artifacts will be rejected.

GOP Structure IBBP (M=3, GOP Length not to exceed ½ of frame rate)
Color Space 4:2:2 (preferred)
If 4:2:2 color space is not available, please use 4:2:0
Notes Edit lists are not allowed as these cause loss of A/V sync.

moov atom must be present and at the front of the file.

Audio Profile

Attribute Specification
Audio Codec PCM (preferred)
AAC-LC
Audio Bitrate >192 Kbps for Stereo
>384 Kbps for 5.1
Audio Sample Rate 48kHz
Audio Configuration PCM
Stereo
  • Stream 1 (Lt/Rt)
Stereo + 5.1
  • Stream 1 (Lt/Rt)
  • Stream 2 (L/R/C/LFE/Ls/Rs)
 
AAC-LC
Stereo
  • Stream 1 (Lt/Rt)
Stereo + 5.1
  • Stream 1 (Lt/Rt)
  • Stream 2 (C/L/R/Ls/Rs/LFE)
Option 3 - MPEG-2 Transport Stream

Video Profile

Attribute Specification
Containers MPEG-2 Transport Stream (.mpg, .mpeg, .ts)
Codec MPEG-2
Profile SD: Main@Main
HD: 422@High
Bitrate SD (fewer than 720 lines): 50Mbps
HD (720 lines or higher): 80Mbps
Scan type Progressive
  • Native frame rate content should be deinterlaced.
  • Telecined content should be inverse telecined to original frame rate.

Note: Content with blended frames or interlacing artifacts will be rejected.

GOP Structure IBBP (M=3, GOP Length not to exceed ½ of frame rate)
Color Space 4:2:2 (preferred)
If 4:2:2 color space is not available, please use 4:2:0.

Audio Profile

Audio Codec s302m
MP2
MPEG-1 Layer 2
Audio Bitrate >192 Kbps for Stereo
>384 Kbps for 5.1
Audio Sample Rate 48kHz
Audio Configuration s302m
Stereo:
  • Stream 1 (Lt/Rt)
5.1 + Stereo:
  • Stream 1 (L/R/C/LFE/Ls/Rs/Lt/Rt)
 
MP2 and MPEG-1 Layer 2 (Stereo Only)
Stereo:
  • Stream 1 (Lt/Rt)