Recommended upload encoding settings

Below are recommended upload encoding settings for your videos on YouTube. 

Container: MP4
  • No Edit Lists (or the video might not be processed correctly)
  • moov atom at the front of the file (Fast Start)
Audio codec: AAC-LC
  • Channels: Stereo or Stereo + 5.1
  • Sample rate 96 khz 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, although we offer recommended bitrates below for reference
  • Chroma subsampling: 4:2:0
Frame rate

Content should be encoded and uploaded using the same frame rate that was used during recording.

Common frame rates include: 24, 25, 30, 48, 50 and 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. 60 interlaced fields per second should be deinterlaced 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 SDR uploads

To view new 4K uploads in 4K, use a browser or device that supports VP9.

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 video bitrates for HDR uploads

Type Video Bitrate, Standard Frame Rate
(24, 25, 30)
Video Bitrate, High Frame Rate
(48, 50, 60)
2160p (4k) 44–56 Mbps 66-85 Mbps
1440p (2k) 20 Mbps 30 Mbps
1080p 10 Mbps 15 Mbps
720p 6.5 Mbps 9.5 Mbps
480p

Not supported

Not supported
360p Not supported Not supported

Recommended audio bitrates for uploads

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

The standard aspect ratio for YouTube on a computer is 16:9. When uploading other aspect ratios (vertical, square, etc.), the player automatically adapts itself to the size of the video, giving the best viewing experience based on the aspect ratio and device.

Learn how to use resolution and aspect ratios correctly.

Colour space

Recommended colour space for SDR uploads

YouTube recommends BT.709 as the standard colour space for SDR uploads:
Colour space Colour transfer characteristics (TRC) Colour primaries Colour matrix coefficients
BT.709 BT.709 (H.273 value: 1) BT.709 (H.273 value 1) BT.709 (H.273 value 1)


YouTube standardises functionally similar colour matrices and primaries before processing the video. For example, BT.601 and BT.709 TRC are identical, and YouTube unifies them to BT.709. Or, BT.601 NTSC and PAL have functionally similar colour matrices and YouTube unifies them to BT.601 NTSC. In addition, YouTube may take the following actions to interpret the colour space values:

When YouTube action
The upload colour space has unspecified TRC. Assumes BT.709 TRC.
The upload colour space has unknown or unspecified colour matrix and primaries. Assumes BT.709 colour matrix and primaries.
The upload colour space mixes BT.601 and BT.709 colour primaries and matrix with specified values. Uses the colour matrix to override the colour primaries and make them consistent.
The upload colour spaces mixes BT.601 and BT.709 colour primaries and matrix, and either primaries or matrix is unspecified. Uses the specified value of colour primaries/matrix to set and override the unspecified one.


After the upload colour space standardisation, YouTube checks if the colour space matches BT.709 or BT.601, in which case the colour space passes through. Otherwise, YouTube converts the unsupported colour spaces to BT.709 by mapping pixel values.

Note: YouTube converts the colour primaries that require high bit depth (which does not use a supported HDR transfer function) to avoid banding, such as BT.2020, to BT.709 (8-bit). YouTube converts full colour range to limited colour range.
Warning: YouTube does not recommend the RGB colour matrix on uploads. In this case, YouTube initially sets the colour matrix to unspecified before the standardisation. It will then infer the colour matrix using the colour primaries during standardisation. Note that sRGB TRC will convert to BT.709 TRC. YouTube re-tags the colour primaries/matrix/TRC to BT.709 if it is not supported by FFmpeg colour space conversion filter.

Recommended colour space for HDR uploads

Refer to the Upload HDR videos article.

Learn how to use Spatial Audio, 360 video and virtual reality video so that your viewers can experience your video's sound in all directions, just like real life.
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