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By Alisa Cassiel - Last Updated: Contact Author

What is the Best Bitrate Setting for H.264 Encoding

H.264 might be the most popular codec used to encoding HD videos, for its high compression ratio. If you have the plan to encode or re-encode video into H.264 with, like say freeware HandBrake, one thing that you better pay close attention to is the bit rate settings, which, to some extent, decides your video visual quality. So what is an appropriate bitrate setting for H.264 encoding? Is it different when applying to videos in different resolutions? See the answers below.

What Is Video Bitrate?

Video bitrate is the number of bits per second output from video data (video color quantity, brightness measurement, pixel quantity), and the usual unit of video bitrate is kbps.

The Necessity of Setting Appropriate Video Bitrate

In the application of video conference, the quality of video and the network bandwidth occupation are contradictory. Normally, the video streaming occupying more bandwidth gets higher quality. Therefore, the high quality of video requires high network bandwidth. The way to solve the contradiction is video coding technology. To judge the advantages and disadvantages of a video coding-decoding technology, on one hand, we can compare which video's quality is better based on the same network; on the other hand, we can compare which video occupies less room on the basis of the same quality.

However, do videos with higher bitrate get high quality? In theory, it's true. Yet in the range of visual resolution, when the bit rate is high enough, it doesn't seem to make a difference. Therefore, the bitrate does have its optimal value. In the documentation of h.264 (also known as AVC or x.264), the recommended bitrate of H.264 video is as follows:

Suggested bitrates for different video resolutions with H.264 Encoding

Resolution

Suggested Bitrate

480P

720 x 480

1800 kbps

720P

1280 x 720

3500 kbps

1080P

1920 x 1080

8500 kbps

Suggested bitrate settings for mobile phones with different resolution

192 x 144

320 x 240

480 x 360

640 x 480

1280 x 720

1920 x 1080

Ultra low bitrate

30 kbps

60 kbps

120 kbps

250 kbps

500 kbps

1 Mbps

Low bitrate

60 kbps

120 kbps

250 kbps

500 kbps

1 Mbps

2 Mbps

Medium bitrate

120 kbps

250 kbps

500 kbps

1 Mbps

2 Mbps

4 Mbps

High bitrate

250 kbps

500 kbps

1 Mbps

2 Mbps

4 Mbps

8 Mbps

Ultra high bitrate

500 kbps

1 Mbps

2 Mbps

4 Mbps

8 Mbps

16 Mbps

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alisa Cassiel

Alisa Cassiel, an English Copywriter of Digiarty, has 4 years of writing and marketing experience. Love writing and always provide thoughtful how-to guides and tips related to video processing, recent hot topics, new digital devices, hit movies, music, etc. She is a life-enthusiast who is independent, persistent, enthusiastic, energetic, and interested in music, exercise, travel, dance, painting.

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