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Exporting Video: What Are Bit Rates?

Whenever I am editing and im going to export the video, i always make sure everything is supposed to be checked off. I make sure its maximum resolution, the correct settings, and the correct aspect ratio but when i get to the Target Bit Rate, i just dont know what it means. I see the range and its just so big that i dont know what could be done correctly. I had to take a dive into other blogs to get a good idea. These numbers arent the tell all for every situation but it will give you a better idea when youre exporting next time.

CBR vs VBR

A bit rate is the number of bits (a bit is a zero or one, and is the basis of all computing) processed in a given amount of time. For instance, a bit rate of 30 megabits per second, or 30Mbit/s means that 30,000,000 bits are being processed every second in order to play video and audio. Higher bit rates provide higher quality at the expense of file size.

There are two types of bit rate encoding: Constant Bit Rate and Variable Bit Rate

1. Constant Bit Rate

CBR maintains a set bit rate throughout the entire video, making it easy to play back and quick to load. This is best used for cloud-based streaming services where the video is constantly being downloaded, and if youre running a computer that has slow playback it may be the best if youre under a tight situation. Sadly, CBR will produce a larger file size, so watch out for that.

2. Variable Bit Rate

VBR features a dynamic bit rate that changes depending on the level of detail needed in a given moment (usually moments of motion). Its harder on play back but, it provides significantly higher video quality than CBR with a much lower file size.

Uploading Videos Online

Google has provided the best bit rate depth to choose so it will give you a better idea as to what you should look for.

720P

5Mbit/s [24FPS, 25FPS, 30FPS]

7.5Mbits/s [48FPS, 50FPS, 60FPS]

1080P

8Mbit/s [24FPS, 25FPS, 30FPS]

12Mbit/s [48FPS, 50FPS, 60FPS]

2K

16Mbit/s [24FPS, 25FPS, 30FPS]

24Mbit/s [48FPS, 50FPS, 60FPS]

4K

35-45Mbits [24FPS, 25FPS, 30FPS]

53-68Mbit/s [48FPS, 50FPS, 60FPS]

These recommendations should serve you well for most online video platforms.

As a side note, YouTube actually restricts its quality compression excessively according to resolution, so even if your video is only 1080P, you may want to export it with 4K dimensions. By tricking YouTube into thinking it is processing higher-resolution footage, you can cause it to process your video with a higher bit rate than it normally would.


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