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Recommended upload encoding settings

Container: MP4
  • No Edit Lists (or the video might not get processed correctly)
  • moov atom at the front of the file (Fast Start)
Audio codec: AAC-LC
  • Channels: Stereo or Stereo + 5.1
  • Sample rate 96khz or 48khz
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
  • Chroma subsampling: 4:2:0
Frame rate

Content should be encoded and uploaded in the same frame rate it was recorded.

Common frame rates include: 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60 frames per second (other frame rates are also acceptable).

Interlaced content should be deinterlaced before uploading. For example, 1080i60 content should be deinterlaced to 1080p30, going from 60 interlaced fields per second to 30 progressive frames per second.

Bitrate

The bitrates below are recommendations for uploads. Audio playback bitrate is not related to video resolution.

Recommended video bitrates for uploads

Type Video Bitrate, Standard Frame Rate
(24, 25, 30)
Video Bitrate, High Frame Rate
(48, 50, 60)
2160p (4k) 35-45 Mbps 53-68 Mbps
1440p (2k) 16 Mbps 24 Mbps
1080p 8 Mbps 12 Mbps
720p 5 Mbps 7.5 Mbps
480p 2.5 Mbps 4 Mbps
360p 1 Mbps 1.5 Mbps

Recommended audio bitrates for uploads

Type Audio Bitrate
Mono 128 kbps
Stereo 384 kbps
5.1 512 kbps
Resolution and aspect ratio

YouTube uses 16:9 aspect ratio players. If you're uploading a non-16:9 file, it will be processed and displayed correctly as well, with pillar boxes (black bars on the left and right) or letter boxes (black bars at the top and bottom) provided by the player.

Learn how to use resolution and aspect ratios correctly.


Learn how to use Spatial Audio so your viewers can experience your video's sound in all directions, just like real life.
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