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

 

YouTube will automatically transcode your live stream to create many different output formats so that all of your viewers across many 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, the option to improve for low latency is not available. All streams will be optimised for quality and set to normal latency.

Encoder live streaming: Basics on how to set up and use an encoder

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

Stream resolution detection with custom stream keys in Live Control Room

By default (recommended), 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 settings' under 'Stream resolution'.

Recommended bitrate setting ranges are based on video ingestion codec, video ingestion resolution and frame rate. 

Ingestion resolution/Frame rate

Minimum bitrate setting (Mbps) AV1 and H.265

Maximum bitrate setting (Mbps) AV1 and H.265

Recommended bitrate setting (Mbps) H.264

4K/2160p @60 fps

10 Mbps

40 Mbps

35 Mbps

4K/2160p @30 fps

8 Mbps

35 Mbps

30 Mbps

1440p @60 fps

6 Mbps

30 Mbps

24 Mbps

1440p @30 fps

5 Mbps

25 Mbps

15 Mbps

1080p @60 fps

4 Mbps

10 Mbps

12 Mbps

1080p @30 fps

3 Mbps

8 Mbps

10 Mbps

720p @60 fps

3 Mbps

8 Mbps

6 Mbps

240p–720p @30 fps

3 Mbps

8 Mbps

4 Mbps

Encoder settings

Protocol: RTMP/RTMPS streaming
Video codec: H.264
H.265 (HEVC) (recommended)
AV1 (recommended)
Frame rate: up to 60 fps
Key frame 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/RTMPS)

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
Colour space: Rec. 709 for SDR
HDR video codec: H.265 (HEVC)
AV1 is not supported for HDR
Bit depth: 8-bit for SDR
10-bit for HDR
Tiling Minimum of two tile columns for AV1-encoded streams at resolutions of 3840 x 2160 and above
Notes:
  • We recommend streaming 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.
  • If you want to stream in HDR, we recommend using H.265 over RTMP(S). If your encoder does not yet support these capabilities with RTMP, you may consider using HLS (HTTP Live Streaming). Learn more.
  • Live streams are automatically available on game consoles and mobile devices via the YouTube app and m.youtube.com.
  • Looking for the 360 live streaming spec? Check here.

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