Live encoder settings, bitrates and resolutions

It's important to make sure that your live stream is high quality. Make sure that 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 do not need to specify a resolution, frame rate or bitrate. Stream now will automatically detect your encoder settings.

If you're using Events, you can either choose a variable resolution stream key to gain the benefits of Stream now or you can specify your desired resolution and frame rate manually.

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

Make sure that you 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, optimise for low latency is not available. All streams will be optimised for normal latency.

4K/2160p @60fps

  • When you schedule Events, make sure that you tick the 60fps 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 @30fps

  • Resolution: 3840x2160p
  • Video bitrate range: 13,000–34,000 Kbps
1440p @60fps
  • When you schedule Events, make sure that you tick the 60fps 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: 9000–18,000 Kbps
1440p @30fps
  • Resolution: 2560x1440
  • Video bitrate range: 6000–13,000 Kbps
1080p @60fps
  • When you schedule Events, make that you tick the 60fps 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: 4500–9000 Kbps
1080p
  • Resolution: 1920x1080
  • Video bitrate range: 3000–6000 Kbps
720p @60fps
  • When you schedule Events, make that you tick the 60fps 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: 2250–6000 Kbps
720p
  • Resolution: 1280x720
  • Video bitrate range: 1500–4000 Kbps
480p
  • Resolution: 854x480
  • Video bitrate range: 500–2000 Kbps
360p
  • Resolution: 640x360
  • Video bitrate range: 400–1000 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
Key frame frequency:

Recommended 2 seconds

Do not exceed 4 seconds

Audio codec: AAC or MP3
Bit rate 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 bit rate: 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.

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