How to Upscale Video for Higher Resolution

By Cecilia Hwung | Last Update:

Most time, people want to upscale video when they want to upload their video file to YouTube or other platforms for higher resolution. So the viewers can have a good experience of watching. Luckily, in this post, we will share you with two methods to make it, with detailed steps.

The first one is for the beginners. The second one may seem a little more complicated. However, as long as you follow the steps correctly, it would not be a deal at all.

Now, let's dive right in.

Method 1. How to Upscale Video with VideoProc Converter

VideoProc Converter is a user-friendly media trans-coder. With its supporting level-3 hardware acceleration technology, you can use it to upscale a 100MB low resolution video file to higher one in seconds.

Next, let's see how it can help us with this job.

Step 1. First, download and install VideoProc Converter on your Windows or Mac computer.

Step 2. After installing finishes, launch VideoProc Converter. Then click one the Video button on its interface, which will lead you to the video processing panel. There click on +Video to import video file(s). Head to the lower part of the application click on Video tab and choose an output format.

Since our main job is to upscale the resolution, please make sure the output format as same as the original one. If you cannot find the same output format, you can click on the Target Format for more options.

Lastly, choose the cogwheel menu Option, which will open up another window for resolution settings.

import video file into VideoProc

Step 3. On the new window, find Resolution feature. There you can choose the resolution that you prefer, or click on the Custom button to input the resolution numbers manually. Then just choose the Done button back to the previous page.

VideoProc upscale video resolution

Step 4. Now you will be in the same window in step 2. What you need to do is just click on the RUN button to start the video processing. It won't last long. And you will get the video file with the up-scaled resolution.

Method 2. How to Upscale Video with FFmpeg

FFmpeg is a free and open-source software project, equipped with a bunch of libraries and programs for video, audio, and other multimedia files processing. To upscale video, FFmpeg will provide users with four algorithms to choose:

  1. Nearest-neighbor interpolation (point sampling)
  2. Bilinear interpolation
  3. Bicubic interpolation
  4. Lanczos interpolation

None of these algorithms require configuration, so you can use them free in FFmpeg. Since these four algorithms are all implemented in the library of libswscale that come with FFmpeg 4.2.1, please first download install FFmpeg 4.2.1 or above here.

After you finish the program downloading and installing, now, let's get started with the detailed steps.

Step 1. Press Windows Key and R, tap in CMD to open Command Prompt in administrator mode. Then tap in cd, press space, then paste the folder path which contains your source video there. Press Enter.

Step 2. Input these codes to upscale your source video to 720p,

Ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -vf scale=1280x720:flags=lanczos output_720p.mp4

OK, in this line of codes, there are four parameters which you can change based on your needs.

input.mp4 means the source video file name. Please change it to your file name.

1280x720 means the destination resolution which you want. You can change it your preferring one.

Lanczos means the algorithm you apply. Like we have mentioned above, you have other three options to choose, nearest-neighbor, bilinear, and bicubic. I choose Lanczos in most cases. Because it won't be the sharpest, combines sharpness with smooth to make the footage look better overall, and avoid blocky footage.

output_720p.mp4 means the output file name. You can name it whatever you want.

What to Do Next?

Both methods that we applied here are all about stretching what is in this original video file, since we cannot add extra information. So if the resolution difference before and after is huge, the image would look blurry.

It would be like taking a small image and stretching it out. It goes from appearing curved to having visible pixels because the illusion of a curve made of squares only worked at a smaller resolution.

There's really no way to stretch it out without it looking blurry or looking pixellated. You can only get away with it if you already start with a high quality image, ie something 1080p that was recorded on a 4k sensor and a good lens and a good codec, you can manipulate that and it might still look okay for most people.

However, if you really want to upscale a very small resolution video file, like 360p, to 4K resolution, the trendy AI up-scaling programs can help you.

About The Author

Cecilia Hwung is the marketing manager of Digiarty Software and the editor-in-chief of VideoProc team. She pursues common progress with her team and expects to share more creative content and useful information to readers. She has strong interest in copywriting and rich experience in video editing tips.

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