Thread: YouTube Video Codecs, Resolutions & Data Rates

Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 9 12345 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 82
  1. #1 YouTube Video Codecs, Resolutions & Data Rates 
    Senior Member Brian Iannone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    1,501
    I just recently learned that YouTube supports some more advanced video codecs like ProRes, so I decided to do a few tests (okay... A LOT of tests) to see exactly what codecs and resolutions it supports.


    YouTube Supported Codecs

    1080p
    (1920x1080)
    4K (4096x2304)
    MainConcept H.26410 Mbps (Level 4.1, Main Profile) Yes n/a*
    MainConept H.26450 Mbps (Level 5.1, Main Profile) Yes n/a*
    MainConcept CUDA H.264 Yes n/a*
    Photo-JPEG Yes Yes
    Apple Animation Yes Yes
    Apple Intermediate Codec No No
    DNxHD 220 10-bit No n/a**
    DNxHD 220 8-bit Yes n/a**
    DNxHD 145 8-bit Yes n/a**
    Apple ProRes 4444 Yes Yes
    Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) Yes Yes
    Apple ProRes 422 Yes Yes
    Apple ProRes 422 (LT) Yes Yes
    Apple ProRes 422 (Proxy) Yes Yes
    QuickTime Uncompressed 8-bit 4:2:2 Yes Yes
    QuickTime Uncompressed 10-bit 4:2:2 Yes Yes

    *MainConcept H.264 and CUDA H.264 encoder does not support 4K.
    **DNxHD codecs do not support 4K.

    Personally, I find these tests to be very interesting. And surprising. Normally, we export a video from our NLE to H.264 and then upload that to YouTube only for it to get recompressed again by YouTube's encoder. That means that the video is being compressed (and destroyed) twice. Whereas, if you export from your NLE to a codec like ProRes or DNxHD, you can reduce the loss of quality by ensuring the you're delivering a high quality file to YouTube. YouTube will then take that high quality file and compress it down to H.264, but at least you're doing everything you can on your end to receive the highest quality image possible from your YouTube videos.

    So, what difference will uploading a 4GB file encoded in Apple Animation make when compared to uploading a 32MB file in H.264 at 10 Mbps?


    Apple Animation




    MainConcept H.264 at 10 Mbps




    Original Frame



    View Original 4K Uncompressed Version (10MB)


    See the peak signal-to-noise ratio section below for additional tests.


    Disregarding the gamma shift, the H.264 version has noticeably more blocking in the gradients and more compression artifacts everywhere. At first glance, the H.264-encoded one may appear sharper due to the image being darker, but zoomed in, you can see that the lines are worse than the version encoded in Apple Animation.

    This specific video was about 27 seconds long. The Apple Animation file was more than 4GB. Converting all your videos to Apple Animation from your NLE to upload to YouTube would be inconvenient, to say the least, due to the enormous bandwidth that would be required. Using another lossless compression method like DNxHD or ProRes would be a much better choice. Both the DNxHD 220 8-bit and Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) versions of this video were nearly identical in file size at 722MB and 721MB.

    That also means faster exports from your NLE to the file that you'll be uploading to YouTube. Normally, your NLE should be set to render to a format like 8/10-bit Uncompressed or ProRes/DNxHD. If your exporting a file in the same format as what you've been editing in, your conversions are (typically) going to be much faster. Many people aren't aware of this, but converting to H.264 is a very CPU-intensive process. By the way, I know this may come up, so I'll address it now... GPU-accelerated H.264 encoding is not at a point yet where its quality can compete with that of multi-pass CPU-processed video conversions. GPU-powered encoding methods such as Nvidia CUDA is limited to 2-pass encodings. The definition of "multi-pass" CPU encoding is between three and six passes. So, there's quite a substantial difference in quality. But, it is getting better.

    YouTube supports resolutions up to a maximum of 4096x2304, which is 4K with an aspect ratio of 16/9. (That's larger than Quad HD or "4K HD.") When you watch a video on YouTube, you have the option to watch it at different resolutions, and ultimately different levels of quality. YouTube takes the video that you upload and converts it to each of those files. YouTube's encoder sets a different data rate for each version according to the file's frame rate and resolution.


    YouTube Encoder Data Rates

    23.98 fps 29.97 fps
    4K (4096x2304) Results on 1/22 Results on 1/22
    1080p (1920x1080) 3.75 Mbps 5 Mbps
    720p (1280x720) 2 Mbps 2.5 Mbps
    480p (854x480) 825 Kbps 1 Mbps
    360p (640x360) 550 Kbps 725 Kbps
    240p (400x226) 300 Kbps 325 Kbps

    So, watching a video on YouTube at 1080p will, of course, show you a higher quality file than if you select 480p. But... If the original file that was uploaded to YouTube had a frame rate of 30p, it will be of "higher quality" than if it were a 24p file. Basically, the higher the frame rate, the larger the data rate that YouTube encodes your video in.

    YouTube encoder quality: 1080p30 > 1080p24

    Keep in mind however that YouTube encodes using VBR. So, there will always be a fluctuation in the data rate. The table above is the most accurate data I've been able to put together.


    Peak Signal-to-Noise Ratio Tests
    This is a continuation from the first test above comparing a frame encoded in Apple Animation and MainConcept H.264 at 10 Mbps.

    Test 1
    Difference between uploading a video at QuickTime Uncompressed 10-bit 4:2:2 and MainConcept H.264 at 10 Mbps.


    Loss in quality from original and YouTube-encoded QuickTime Uncompressed 10-bit 4:2:2 file:




    Loss in quality from original and YouTube-encoded MainConcept H.264 (10 Mbps, Level 4.1, High Profile) file:




    Difference in compression artifacts between YouTube-encoded Uncompressed 10-bit and MainConcept H.264 file:



    That's the loss of quality you get when you upload an H.264 file at 10 Mbps compared to uploading an Uncompressed 10-bit file. The difference is substantial, both visually and "technically."


    Also, for those of you who are curious about the animation that I'm using as the test video, it's a Cinema 4D rendering of a city fly-through. I did a version of the animation at 1920x1080 for the 1080p tests. Rendering took just a little less than two hours in Maxon C4D NET Render across three machines (an 8-core Mac Pro and two PC workstations overclocked at 123%). It's a 16-core, 12.92GHz processing cluster. As I type this, the cluster is rendering the 4096x2304 version of the animation that I'll be using for the 4K tests.


    EDIT:
    Due to the character limits in this forum, I've had to post the additional tests in a separate post in this thread. See here: http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthr...l=1#post925175
    Last edited by Brian Iannone; 01-23-2012 at 04:27 PM.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  2. #2  
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    382
    That's great info I have had a lot of trouble with YouTube destroying my uploads I normally use H264, I'm in the uk and the upload speed is down to .05 which Has become unworkable as it takes so long and then says there's an error, not sure what's going on.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  3. #3  
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    256
    Just downloaded two videos (uploaded 4K 2:1 23.98 fps ProRes422 LT) from my YouTube channel to check the data rates. One is now 9.7 Mbps, the other 12.4 Mbps.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #4  
    Senior Member Kemalettin Sert's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Los Angeles CA
    Posts
    3,356
    downloading is different i guess..same for vimeo.it never buffers the actual video size
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #5  
    Senior Member Brian Iannone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    1,501
    Quote Originally Posted by Kemalettin Sert View Post
    downloading is different i guess..same for vimeo.it never buffers the actual video size
    Actually, it must buffer the precise size of the video. Buffering is the process of transferring the video data from the web server to your computer. So, in order to watch the entire video, the entire video file must be transferred to your local machine. You can then redirect that data to calculate the total video file size and then read the data rate of the individual tracks in that file.

    Vimeo's encoder is very interesting... I'll be writing about it a little later once I finish these 4K tests on YouTube. But, I find YouTube's support for HD formats to actually be better than Vimeo's (surprisingly).
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #6  
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    256
    Quote Originally Posted by Kemalettin Sert View Post
    downloading is different i guess..same for vimeo.it never buffers the actual video size
    Maybe...
    Downloaded another two videos (uploaded 1080p 23.39 h.264), one is now 2.7 Mbps the other 4.0 Mbps. It gives you roughly an idea about YouTube data rates, 10-12 Mbps vs 3-4 Mbps...
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #7  
    Senior Member Brian Iannone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    1,501
    Quote Originally Posted by Claus Mueller View Post
    Maybe...
    Downloaded another two videos (uploaded 1080p 23.39 h.264), one is now 2.7 Mbps the other 4.0 Mbps. It gives you roughly an idea about YouTube data rates, 10-12 Mbps vs 3-4 Mbps...
    By the way, how long are your videos?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #8  
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    256
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Iannone View Post
    By the way, how long are your videos?
    2-4 minutes
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #9  
    Senior Member Rosario Balistreri's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Rome (Italy)
    Posts
    143
    great thread ;)
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #10  
    Senior Member luigivaltulini's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Switzerland- LUGANO
    Posts
    2,522
    hey Brian,
    nice thread, i wait you test about youtube 4k ;)
    Grading Suite Davinci Resolve, Rental RED Digital camera.
    MONSTRO 8k CF #831 "BLACK PEARL" , EPIC-W GEMINI # "DAFNE".
    ARRI ALEXA EV , ALEXA MINI LF "ROZI"


    SITE
    www.cine5k.ch
    Reply With Quote  
     

Tags for this Thread

View Tag Cloud

Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts