Video Bitrate for youtube

You know how I have always complained about videos sometimes looking like potato? Blocky artifacting on pavement surfaces in video, etc.

The answer lies in bitrate.

In the stage where I am editing the video using a program like racerender when you output the final file it asks, among other things, for bit rate.

I have been using the default settings but last night I doubled it almost and discovered that the road artifacts go away.

Here’s some high bitrate output. It doesn’t look as good as straight from camera but it’s much better than usual:

The downside is the processing time. This file took 85 minutes to render 4k 60fps.

There’s typically an “optimal” bitrate for a given platform. Where possible it’s worth sticking with that.

For sure bitrate is the primary contributor to blocking, higher compression essentially groups pixels together, in blocks.

I shall have to look into that, then. One would assume that the preset settings in the video editor would have considered that. That doesn’t seem to be the case.

As of Today per Google….

(Let’s see how copy/paste works from mobile on that.) /edit not too bad!


Below are recommended upload encoding settings for your videos on YouTube.

Container: MP4

  • No Edit Lists (or the video might not get processed correctly)
  • moov atom at the front of the file (Fast Start)

Audio codec: AAC-LC

  • Channels: Stereo or Stereo + 5.1
  • Sample rate 96khz or 48khz

Video codec: H.264

  • Progressive scan (no interlacing)
  • High Profile
  • 2 consecutive B frames
  • Closed GOP. GOP of half the frame rate.
  • Variable bitrate. No bitrate limit is required, though we offer recommended bit rates below for reference
  • Chroma subsampling: 4:2:0

Frame rate

Content should be encoded and uploaded in the same frame rate it was recorded.

Common frame rates include: 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60 frames per second (other frame rates are also acceptable).

Interlaced content should be deinterlaced before uploading. For example, 1080i60 content should be deinterlaced to 1080p30. 60 interlaced fields per second should be deinterlaced to 30 progressive frames per second.


The bitrates below are recommendations for uploads. Audio playback bitrate is not related to video resolution.

Recommended video bitrates for SDR uploads

To view new 4K uploads in 4K, use a browser or device that supports VP9.

Type Video Bitrate, Standard Frame Rate
(24, 25, 30) Video Bitrate, High Frame Rate
(48, 50, 60)
8K 80 - 160 Mbps 120 to 240 Mbps
2160p (4K) 35–45 Mbps 53–68 Mbps
1440p (2K) 16 Mbps 24 Mbps
1080p 8 Mbps 12 Mbps
720p 5 Mbps 7.5 Mbps
480p 2.5 Mbps 4 Mbps
360p 1 Mbps 1.5 Mbps

Recommended video bitrates for HDR uploads

Type Video Bitrate, Standard Frame Rate
(24, 25, 30) Video Bitrate, High Frame Rate
(48, 50, 60)
8K 100 - 200 Mbps 150 to 300 Mbps
2160p (4K) 44–56 Mbps 66–85 Mbps
1440p (2K) 20 Mbps 30 Mbps
1080p 10 Mbps 15 Mbps
720p 6.5 Mbps 9.5 Mbps
480p Not supported Not supported
360p Not supported Not supported

Recommended audio bitrates for uploads

Type Audio Bitrate
Mono 128 kbps
Stereo 384 kbps
5.1 512 kbps

Video resolution and aspect ratio

The standard aspect ratio for YouTube on a computer is 16:9. When uploading other aspect ratios such as vertical or square, the player automatically adapts itself to the size of the video. This setting gives the best viewing experience based on the aspect ratio and device.

Learn how to use video resolution and aspect ratios correctly.

Color Space

Recommended color space for SDR uploads

YouTube recommends BT.709 as the standard color space for SDR uploads:

Color Space Color Transfer Characteristics (TRC) Color Primaries Color Matrix Coefficients
BT.709 BT.709 (H.273 value: 1) BT.709 (H.273 value 1) BT.709 (H.273 value 1)

YouTube standardizes functionally similar color matrices and primaries before processing the video. For example, BT.601 and BT.709 TRC are identical, and YouTube unifies them to BT.709. Or, BT.601 NTSC and PAL have functionally similar color matrices and YouTube unifies them to BT.601 NTSC. In addition, YouTube may take the following actions to interpret the color space values:

When YouTube Action
The upload color space has unspecified TRC. Assumes BT.709 TRC.
The upload color space has unknown or unspecified color matrix and primaries. Assumes BT.709 color matrix and primaries.
The upload color space mixes BT.601 and BT.709 color primaries and matrix with specified values. Uses the color matrix to override the color primaries and make them consistent.
The upload color space mixes BT.601 and BT.709 color primaries and matrix, and either primaries or matrix is unspecified. Uses the specified value of color primaries/matrix to set and override the unspecified one.

After the Upload Color Space Standardization, YouTube will check if BT.709 or BT.601 matches and passes through the color space. Otherwise, YouTube converts the unsupported color spaces to BT.709 by mapping pixel values.

Note: YouTube converts the color primaries that require high bit depth without a supported HDR transfer function to avoid banding, such as BT.2020, to BT.709 (8-bit). YouTube converts full color range to limited color range.

Warning: YouTube does not recommend the RGB color matrix on uploads. In this case, YouTube initially sets the color matrix to unspecified before the standardization. It will then infer the color matrix using the color primaries during standardization. Note that sRGB TRC will convert to BT.709 TRC. YouTube re-tags the color primaries/matrix/TRC to BT.709 when it is not supported by FFmpeg colorspace conversion filter.

Recommended color space for HDR uploads

Refer to the Upload HDR videos article.

Learn how to use Spatial Audio, 360 video, and virtual reality video so your viewers can experience your video’s sound in all directions, just like real life.

1 Like

Thank you!

“2160p (4K) 44–56 Mbps 66–85 Mbps”

Yes but doubling this is how I got better footage quality.

The processed video is “smoother” and when YouTube re-encodes it again, it looks better with less artifacts than video processed at recommended bitrate.

1 Like

What bitrate did you use? I think the GoPro itself maxes out at 100Mb/s

I’ll have to do a side by side comparison.

The setting for ultra is a number that seemed like around 90000. I changed it to like 180000. That was a bit silly so I dropped it to 120000

Basically you should upload lossless (or near lossless) footage to YouTube and let it do its thing.

You should not encode the footage after merging the video. You can achieve that by using FFMPEG (ffmpeg - How to Merge two videos without re-encoding - Stack Overflow) or LossLess Cut (LosslessCut)

If the file size is too big, then I recommend using Handbrake to compress the video using HEVC/x265 codec

1 Like

Yeah. I did get losslesscut and that works great for combining the segments.

When I want to put the data, however, I have to use racerender which then re-encodes.

If I want lap timer/speedo, it has to be re-encoded.

I’ve been using avidemux for the same purpose but lossless cut seems less cumbersome. I’ll give it a go next time I need to cut up some video.