The Ultimate Guide to YouTube for High-Quality Uploads

high quality uploads
high quality uploads

High-Quality Uploads


YouTube is one of the most popular video sharing platforms in the world, and for good reason. It’s a great platform for people to share their videos and to reach a wider audience. However, the key to a successful upload on YouTube is to make sure that your videos are encoded and uploaded properly.

In this article, we will be discussing the recommended upload encoding settings for videos on YouTube, specifically for partners who use YouTube Studio Content Manager. We’ll also be covering the recommended video and audio bitrates, video resolution and aspect ratio, and color space for your uploads.

So, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced YouTuber, this guide is for you. Let’s dive in!

Settings for High-Quality Uploads

  1. Container Format
  • The recommended container format for videos on YouTube is MP4.
  1. Audio Codec and Channels
  • The recommended audio codec is AAC-LC.
  • For channels, stereo or stereo + 5.1 is recommended.
  • The sample rate should be 96khz or 48khz.
  1. Video Codec
  • H.264 is the recommended video codec for YouTube.
  • The video should be encoded using progressive scan with no interlacing.
  • Use a high profile and 2 consecutive B frames.
  • Use closed GOP with a GOP of half the frame rate.
  • Use CABAC and a variable bitrate with no bitrate limit required.
  • The chroma subsampling should be 4:2:0.
  1. Frame Rate
  • The content should be encoded and uploaded in the same frame rate it was recorded.
  • Common frame rates include 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, and 60 frames per second, but other frame rates are also acceptable.
  • Interlaced content should be deinterlaced before uploading.


  • The recommended bitrates for video and audio are listed below:

Recommended Video Bitrates for SDR Uploads

  • 8K: 80 – 160 Mbps (Standard Frame Rate) and 120 – 240 Mbps (High Frame Rate)
  • 2160p (4K): 35 – 45 Mbps (Standard Frame Rate) and 53 – 68 Mbps (High Frame Rate)
  • 1440p (2K): 16 Mbps (Standard Frame Rate) and 24 Mbps (High Frame Rate)
  • 1080p: 8 Mbps (Standard Frame Rate) and 12 Mbps (High Frame Rate)
  • 720p: 5 Mbps (Standard Frame Rate) and 7.5 Mbps (High Frame Rate)
  • 480p: 2.5 Mbps (Standard Frame Rate) and 4 Mbps (High Frame Rate)
  • 360p: 1 Mbps (Standard Frame Rate) and 1.5 Mbps (High Frame Rate)

Recommended Video Bitrates for HDR Uploads

  • 8K: 100 – 200 Mbps (Standard Frame Rate) and 150 – 300 Mbps (High Frame Rate)
  • 2160p (4K): 44 – 56 Mbps (Standard Frame Rate) and 66 – 85 Mbps (High Frame Rate)
  • 1440p (2K): 20 Mbps (Standard Frame Rate) and 30 Mbps (High Frame Rate)
  • 1080p: 10 Mbps (Standard Frame Rate) and 15 Mbps (High Frame Rate)
  • 720p: 6.5 Mbps (Standard Frame Rate) and 9.5 Mbps (High Frame Rate)
  • 480p: Not supported
  • 360p: Not supported

Recommended Audio Bitrates for Uploads

  • Mono: 128 kbps
  • Stereo: 384 k

YouTube has established certain guidelines and standards for video resolution, aspect ratio, and color space to ensure the best viewing experience for its users. When uploading a video to YouTube, it’s important to consider these guidelines to make sure your video looks its best.

For resolution, it’s recommended to upload videos with a minimum resolution of 480p, but for the best viewing experience, it’s recommended to upload videos with a resolution of 720p or higher. 

For aspect ratio, the standard for YouTube on a computer is 16:9, but the player can automatically adapt to other aspect ratios such as vertical or square.

When it comes to color space, YouTube recommends using the BT.709 color space for SDR uploads, which is a standard color space used in video production. YouTube will standardize the color space to BT.709 if it is not specified or unsupported by FFmpeg colorspace conversion filter. The color matrix and primaries may also be standardized if they are mixed or unspecified.


In conclusion, following these guidelines can help ensure that your videos look their best on YouTube and provide the best viewing experience for your audience.


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