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Thread: Looks Good on YouTube Bad on iPhone??

  1. #1

    Default Looks Good on YouTube Bad on iPhone??

    I have created a number of videos in different 16X9 resolutions that are then uploaded to YouTube so they can be watched on the iPhone. All of the video I create is done on a computer. I don't actually use any film footage. It's all digital (screen share, webinars, After Affects projects, etc).

    I have tried several resolutions like 1920X1080, 960X540, 640X360 and even the iPhone display resolution 480X320. I use the Quicktimes default preset (Web - High (Multi-pass)) which uses H.264 multi-pass video encoding at High Quality.

    The videos look great on YouTube in very high quality. But when I view them through the YouTube app on my iPhone they look grainy and somewhat blurry.

    I'm trying to figure out if I'm doing something wrong in the compression/video dimension arena or if the YouTube app on the iPhone simply doesn't keep the same high quality?

    Does YouTube have to re-compress into a .mov container because the iPhone doesn't handle Flash? Are my video or export settings not optimal?

    It's probably worth mentioning that I've only watched the videos on my phone through a 3G connection. I'll check WiFi tonight to see if that has anything to do with it.

    I unfortunately don't have an example to share at this time as all of the videos I have so far have not been compliance approved yet by my company, so I can't make them public yet.

  2. #2


    I could be wrong, but at first glance; I think it could be the mobile network throttling the resoultion to reduce bandwith while streaming. That is my first thought, I suggest contact your network and ask the question. But I don't think you'll get a workable answer.

    put the movie on the phone and then play it, I bet theres a difference.

    I think your gut feeling is right.
    "The videos look great on YouTube in very high quality. But when I view them through the YouTube app on my iPhone they look grainy and somewhat blurry."

    Because its an app; your compression theory could well be right; bandwith in the air waves.
    The app may have a criteria in which to operate or throttling by the network in question, 1 of the 2 i think.

    Dig deeper in to the app read up on it more, all I can suggest really
    Last edited by zandebar; 01-20-2010 at 10:52 PM.

  3. #3


    I tend to agree with you. I have a feeling there is a level of bandwidth management that YouTube does to make sure you don't get a really heavy file that would take too long to load. So they give you the lower quality file when you're on 3G.

    However, I did just compare this to ESPN Mobile's site. When I watched a basketball highlight video (lots of motion) it was pretty blurry, but still not bad. But then I watched a video of the commentators just sitting there talking, it was beautiful. Almost looked HD but small.

    ESPN Mobile does use a Quicktime player vs. Flash but I'm not convinced that's the difference.

  4. #4


    Its something that I have not looked into; but I agree with you, You Tube just present the lower image to the phone. Read the help files on You Tube to confirm this or search it. It has to be there as google own You Tube. Am sure you'll find your answer if you dig deep enough..

  5. #5


    I haven't had a chance to scour the YouTube help articles. However, I did compare the video from my home WiFi connection and it was night and day different. So, when you upload to YouTube, they definitely create multiple versions of the video and provide the appropriate one, based on bandwidth limitations.

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