Choose live encoder settings, bitrates, and resolutions

 

Our Classic live streaming tools are going away soon. You can try the new Live Control Room, which combines our classic desktop streaming tools with new and improved features. Learn more

It's important to make sure your live stream is high quality. Make sure you choose a quality that will result in a reliable stream based on your Internet connection. We recommend running a speed test to test your upload bitrate.

If you're streaming in the Live Control Room or via Stream now, you only need to specify your resolution, frame rate, and bitrate in your encoder. YouTube will automatically detect which encoder settings you chose.

If you’re using Events, you can choose a variable resolution stream key to gain the benefits of Stream now. You can also specify your desired resolution and framerate manually.

YouTube will automatically transcode your live stream to create many different output formats so all of your viewers on many devices and networks can watch!

Make sure to test before you start your live stream. Tests should include audio and movement in the video similar to what you'll be doing in the stream. During the event, monitor the stream health and review messages.

Note: For 4K / 2160, the option to optimize for low latency is not available. All streams will be optimized for normal latency.

Variable Bitrate with Custom Stream Keys in Live Control Room

With custom stream keys, you can let your encoder set the resolution by selecting Variable bitrate. There's also an option to manually select a resolution.

4K / 2160p @60 fps

  • When you schedule Events, make sure to check the 60-fps box in the Ingestion Settings tab if you are not using a variable resolution stream key. Stream now will auto-detect the frame rate and resolution.
  • Resolution:  3840x2160p
  • Video Bitrate Range:  20,000-51,000 Kbps

4k / 2160p @30 fps

  • Resolution: 3840x2160p
  • Video Bitrate Range: 13,000-34,000 Kbps
1440p @60 fps
  • When you schedule Events, make sure to check the 60-fps box in the Ingestion Settings tab if you are not using a variable resolution stream key. Stream now will auto-detect the frame rate and resolution.
  • Resolution: 2560x1440
  • Video Bitrate Range: 9,000-18,000 Kbps
1440p @30 fps
  • Resolution: 2560x1440
  • Video Bitrate Range: 6,000-13,000 Kbps
1080p @60 fps
  • When you schedule Events, make sure to check the 60-fps box in the Ingestion Settings tab if you are not using a variable resolution stream key. Stream now will auto-detect the frame rate and resolution.
  • Resolution: 1920x1080
  • Video Bitrate Range: 4,500-9,000 Kbps
1080p
  • Resolution: 1920x1080
  • Video Bitrate Range: 3,000-6,000 Kbps
720p @60 fps
  • When you schedule Events, make sure to check the 60-fps box in the Ingestion Settings tab if you are not using a variable resolution stream key.. Stream now will auto-detect the frame rate and resolution.
  • Resolution: 1280x720
  • Video Bitrate Range: 2,250-6,000 Kbps
720p
  • Resolution: 1280x720
  • Video Bitrate Range: 1,500-4,000 Kbps
480p
  • Resolution: 854x480
  • Video Bitrate Range: 500-2,000 Kbps
360p
  • Resolution: 640x360
  • Video Bitrate Range: 400-1,000 Kbps
240p
  • Resolution: 426x240
  • Video Bitrate Range: 300-700 Kbps
     

Encoder settings

Protocol: RTMP Streaming
Video codec: H.264, 4.1 for up to 1080p 30 FPS
  H.264, 4.2 for 1080p 60 FPS
  H.264, 5.0 for 1440p 30 FPS 
  H.264, 5.1 for 1440p 60 FPS
  H.264, 5.1 for 2160p 30 FPS
  H.264, 5.2 for 2160p 60 FPS
Frame rate: up to 60 fps
Keyframe frequency:

Recommended 2 seconds

Do not exceed 4 seconds

Audio codec: AAC or MP3
Bitrate encoding: CBR
 

Recommended advanced settings

Pixel aspect ratio: Square
Frame types: Progressive Scan, 2 B-Frames, 1 Reference Frame
Entropy coding: CABAC
Audio sample rate: 44.1 KHz
Audio bitrate: 128 Kbps stereo
 
HTML5 streaming:  Many browsers support HTML5 and either the H.264 video codec or WebM format.
Live events are automatically available on game consoles and mobile devices via the YouTube app and m.youtube.com.
Looking for the 360 live streaming spec? Click here.

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?