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Thread: YouTube and max data rate (Mbps)

  1. #1

    Default YouTube and max data rate (Mbps)

    I recently upgraded my Internet connection speed. In effect, I can now watch YouTube HD (720p) without the pausing/spluttering which I used to have. I also had a chance to look at the Presets in Adobe's CS6 Encoder.
    In the past, I have tended to upload clips with 'Target 6Mbps and Max 10Mbps'; and then let YouTube do all the necessary conversions. But, Adobe's preset for YouTube 720p HD is 'target 5Mbps, max 5Mbps'). YT don't appear to offer any guidance on the data rate; but if they cap 720p at 5Mbps; it would explain why I used to get delays on my old Internet connection (I had a max of 8Mbps which in reality tended to give a max between 4 and 6 Mbps).
    Does anyone tend to set their max Mbps when encoding clips for YouTube? Is it likely that uploading a clip already encoded at the best data rate will give a better result?

  2. #2


    An interesting question Tim. I did some testing on what it reports on playback at the different resolutions and found it doesn't always make sense.

    At 240p resolution it would go down to 258 kbps putting it up to 360p it went up to 265 kbps and stayed on that up to 1080p. Then I did it again and on 480p-720p it went up to 758 kbps so my conclusion is that it is still a mystery to me. I tested it again and at 480p-1080p YouTube reported I was getting 822kbps.

    I usually up load videos that have been rendered at around 24/25Mbps, depending on the original footage. Rightly or wrongly, I currently work on the basis of the better the quality to start with the better the finished YouTube render. I also use the files for my own playback on the computer so I don't have to do a YouTube version and a personal playback version.
    Last edited by Midnight Blue; 11-15-2012 at 02:40 PM.

  3. #3


    I generally do a target of 6MBps with a max of 8, with .H264 it works great!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    So Paulo - Brazil


    Im with MBP... I always render at the maximum quality possible from my files (25 to 28mpbs + 1960x1080).... and upload it as that (avchd or, mostly, as mp4). At Vimeo I always get a message that they will downgrade the original for presentation, although they keep the original file for future download in case I need (what is a good safety point). Not sure what happens at YT, as they dont give me any return during uploading. Would be a good test uploading the same video rendered at different sets. But, after 6 days of havy rains here, I must go back to work now.... (no resin work with over 80% humidity) :(

  5. #5


    1080P on youtube = 5 Mbps is what they do, There really is no point in uploading any higher than this on youtube as it merely increases your upload times!
    I've seen 4K 2:1 23.98 fps ProRes422 LT become a puny 12Mbps...

  6. #6


    After reading the comments, I created 2 cuts of a video. One at Target and Max of 5Mbps, the other at 10Mbps. (files sizes were 182Mb and 362Mb). I uploaded them to YT and used a browser plugin to download the clips from YT into PC files.
    Then, I placed the two downloaded files into an editor, inverted the colours in one; and 'added' the two tracks together. The visible results then showed the differences between the tracks. In both cases, YT had encoded the clips to have Target and Max around 2.5Mbps. And there was almost no difference between the files; merely showing a *very* little in a fast moving scene with lots of small detailed objects (a panned show around a garden).
    My view, after this wholly unscientific test, is that there is almost no advantage in uploading files with a higher than required bitrate (as hinted by Bpotter90. However, sensing that YT's codecs may be better than the ones on my machine, I may as well upload huge fies; as proposed by Midnight and TonyBR.

    Wikipedia (YouTube - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) refers to the likely datarates available on YT. I suppose the YT gods reckened that 2 or 3 Mbps (for 720p) is a speed which many Internet users could handle.

  7. #7


    The table on the Wiki page makes interesting reading, I took a look at what YouTube says about it and found that it does recommend to load videos with high bit rates on THIS PAGE. On THIS PAGE it gives a table of suggested bit rates for each resolution.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    So Paulo - Brazil


    Thanks for testing Tim!!! Im sure we all learned a lot from them.

    There are 2 reasons why I always upload on the highest quality I can get to:

    1) were not 100% sure about how, how much, when or why they downgrade the files. I wouldnt be surprised also if some users get a better file-treatment for example... Its so easy to do something like this base on views for example...

    2) maybe next week - or next century - they will get a much better way to run their show (with all this talk about 4K everywhere, quality+speed must move forward). At Vimeo they keep the original file, so, maybe, one day, who knows.... And you will not need to re-upload better files.

    Oh, a third reason.... Rendering one or two extra lower quality files to save uploading time may not save much time at all.... And Im not organized enough to keep 2, 3 or more files of the same thing. Im already lost with the zillions of semi-finished projects left behind at Vegas, the ones we save with different names as safety during editing....

    Uploading anything over 1GB is quite boring.... but, thats what "madrugadas" are for...

  9. #9


    I often start my up loads just before bed, so it's all done by the morning as well.

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