Encoding HD widescreen video for YouTube

Got a video you wanna put on YouTube? This tutorial will talk you through the new (ish) HD and widescreen settings. There’s a text and video version. This will make you both a low-quality and HD version on the ‘Tube.

•    Have a video you wanna upload, in the highest quality you can muster*
•    Get free software MPEG Streamclip (Mac or PC) from www.squared5.com
•    Open the file (you can trim to a selection using the timeline under the video: use I for in and O for out)

mpeg streamclip interface

mpeg streamclip interface

•    Export with these settings:

mp4 container
h.264 codec
1800kbps bitrate
size 1280 x 720 (864 x 486 gives just high-quality)
deinterlace video (not always essential but doesn’t hurt)

160 kbps

NB – if you’re in the US or Japan, you’ll want 30fps if you’ve shot your own video. Europe and (IIRC) Australia is 25fps. Feel free to comment if you’re having trouble and I’ll get back to you.

Prefer AVI? Fine.

Use DivX codec instead of h.264, and mp3 audio istead of MP4 AAC, and you’ll get similar results.

*NB – If your source video’s resolution is less than 1280×720, you’re upscaling it. You can’t polish a turd, and if you’re scaling too much it’ll still look crap. 720×576 (PAL) or 720×480 (NTSC) is the smallest resolution I’d bother with.


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