Choose live encoder settings, bitrates, and resolutions

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, you only have to specify your resolution, frame rate, and bitrate in your encoder. YouTube will automatically detect which encoder settings you chose.

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 improve for low latency is not available. All streams will be improved for normal latency.

Encoder Live Streaming: Basics on How to Set Up & Use an Encoder

Subscribe to the YouTube Creators channel for the latest news, updates, and tips.


Variable Bitrate with Custom Stream Keys in Live Control Room

You can let your encoder set the resolution by selecting Variable bitrate with custom stream keys. There's also an option to manually select a resolution.
By default, your stream is set to Variable bitrate, which means YouTube will automatically detect your resolution and frame rate. If you want to manually select a resolution, create a custom key and choose “Turn on manual resolution."

4K / 2160p @60 fps

  • 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
  • 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
  • Resolution: 1920x1080
  • Video Bitrate Range: 4,500–9,000 Kbps
  • Resolution: 1920x1080
  • Video Bitrate Range: 3,000–6,000 Kbps
720p @60 fps
  • Resolution: 1280x720
  • Video Bitrate Range: 2,250–6,000 Kbps
  • Resolution: 1280x720
  • Video Bitrate Range: 1,500–4,000 Kbps
  • Resolution: 854x480
  • Video Bitrate Range: 500–2,000 Kbps
  • Resolution: 640x360
  • Video Bitrate Range: 400–1,000 Kbps
  • 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

(5.1 surround sound audio is only supported for AAC in RTMP)

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 for stereo audio, 48 KHz for 5.1 surround sound
Audio bitrate: 128-Kbps for stereo or 384 Kbps for 5.1 surround sound
Stream HDR or use codecs not supported by RTMP by using HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) ingestion protocol on YouTube Live. Learn more.
You can stream to YouTube Live with RTMPS, a secure extension to the popular RTMP streaming video protocol. Your data will be encrypted all the way into and through Google's servers, so nobody can intercept your communication with the service. Learn more.
HTML5 streaming: Many browsers support HTML5 and either the H.264 video codec or WebM format.
Live streams are automatically available on game consoles and mobile devices via the YouTube app and
Looking for the 360 live streaming spec? Check here.
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