Video Resolutions, Movie format, Bitrates, And Search Optimization

We all wonder what to call resolution or format. Let us try to understand what movie or video format is before diving into resolution. First, a movie format refers to a cameras frame rate and video resolution. For sharper, better quality pictures without cropping, as a photographer or movie or video producer, make sure that your are creating your video some of these resolution we are going to cover today. Oh! we have not explained what resolution means. Video resolutions come in different aspect ratios and sizes. The overall quality of a movie or video is determined by the frame rate, aspect ratio, and resolution. Most common minimum resolution of is 320x240 up to approximately 1920x1080, aspect ratios are typically 4:3 (the old standard for home video) or 16:9 (the new standard for home video), and last but not least frame rates range from 15 to 30 frames per second.

Most recommended cameras for capturing movies or videos should be 720p (1280x720) at frame rates of 24fps or higher. The 720p (1280x720)  gives the best options between high definitions (def) and also it is easy to use. Here are some great video resolutions on the planet and their correspondent names.

Resolution Name
3840x2160 2160p
2560x1440 1440p
1920x1080 1080p
1280x720 720p
854x480 480p
640x360 360p
426x240 240p


To understand what the resolution means, first let us pick a name with 1080p. A 1080p video also know as Full HD, captures the image with the most detail. on the other hand, 480p resolution if it is scaled to 1080p in order to explain the difference between 1080p and 480p resolution shows that. A 480p video is visibly softer even though for common eye, the quality still looks quite good from reasonable viewing distances.

For better quality movies or videos recording, we should try and use 720p or even 1080p resolution for best quality videos. For example, if a video producer is planing to upload their video on YouTube, The highest resolution with in the aspect ratio 16:9 widescreen should be proffered for YouTube upload. Next, once a video is uploaded to YouTube, the High resolution video  will be used by YouTube to create several  lower-resolution versions of the same uploaded video automatically.



The bitrates below are recommendations for YouTube uploads. Audio playback bitrate is not related to video resolution.

Here are the Recommended video bitrates for YouTube SDR uploads


To view new 4K uploads in 4K, use a browser or device that supports VP9.

Type Video Bitrate, Standard Frame Rate
(24, 25, 30)
Video Bitrate, High Frame Rate
(48, 50, 60)
2160p (4k) 35-45 Mbps 53-68 Mbps
1440p (2k) 16 Mbps 24 Mbps
1080p 8 Mbps 12 Mbps
720p 5 Mbps 7.5 Mbps
480p 2.5 Mbps 4 Mbps
360p 1 Mbps 1.5 Mbps


Recommended video bitrates for HDR uploads


Type Video Bitrate, Standard Frame Rate
(24, 25, 30)
Video Bitrate, High Frame Rate
(48, 50, 60)
2160p (4k) 44-56 Mbps 66-85 Mbps
1440p (2k) 20 Mbps 30 Mbps
1080p 10 Mbps 15 Mbps
720p 6.5 Mbps 9.5 Mbps

Not supported

Not supported
360p Not supported Not supported


Recommended audio bitrates for Youtube uploads


Type Audio Bitrate
Mono 128 kbps
Stereo 384 kbps
5.1 512 kbps


Calculation or bitrate conversion

How Many Kilobytes per second in a Megabit per second?

1 Kilobyte/sec is equal to (8 × Megabit/sec) / 1000.
1 Megabit/s = 125 Kilobytes/sec.

Mbps : Megabit per second (Mbit/s or Mb/s)
kB/s : Kilobyte per second
1 byte = 8 bits
1 bit  = (1/8) bytes
1 bit  = 0.125 bytes
1 kilobyte = 1000

1 bytes
1 megabit = 10002 bits
1 megabit = (1000 / 8) kilobytes
1 megabit = 125 kilobytes
1 megabit/second = 125 kilobytes/second
1 Mbps = 125 kB/s


So a quick experiment, to provide some more data:  A quick look at the bitrates of a YouTube video, and these are the specifications:

Resolution frames per sec bitrate format (container, codec) size YouTube itag code
144p 12fps 80 kb/s (3gp, mpeg4) 317 kB itag=17
240p 24fps 350 kb/s (flv, flv1) 1.4 MB
360p 24fps 520 kb/s (mp4, H264) 2 MB itag=18
360p 24fps 520 kb/s (flv, H264) 2 MB
480p 24fps 830 kb/s (flv, H264) 2.9 MB
720p 24fps 1.6 Mb/s (mp4, H264) 6.3 MB
1080p 24fps 3 Mb/s (mp4, H264) 12.4 MB


Even though above video specifications might not be 100 %  accurate because most adaptive encoding vary with the type of video content uploaded to YouTube. However, these are the specifications for a normal motion video in the modern video conversion processing.

Video Search Optimization

A video of 720p or higher should be preferred for upload to YouTube and other video streaming sites. Once a video has been uploaded with 720p or higher, a small HD label option will show up in search results which can also mean that Viewers can be able to search or select a video option with HD word.

The best quality video is achieved by recording movie or video in 1080p or higher. 1080p has wider adoption of native screens like smart phones, home monitors,  and screen displays. A 1080p video can play in most modern screens without being down sized or compressed to fit in those screens.

For more reading on resolutions and formats read this data bellow:

format code   extension    resolution details                  notes
249          webm       audio only DASH audio   50k , opus @ 50k, 1.19MiB
250          webm       audio only DASH audio   66k , opus @ 70k, 1.54MiB
171          webm       audio only DASH audio  116k , vorbis@128k, 2.72MiB
140          m4a        audio only DASH audio  128k , m4a_dash container, mp4a.40.2@128k, 3.20MiB
251          webm       audio only DASH audio  131k , opus @160k, 3.02MiB
160          mp4        256x144    144p  110k , avc1.42c00c, 13fps, video only, 2.72MiB
278          webm       256x144    144p  117k , webm container, vp9, 13fps, video only, 2.47MiB
242          webm       426x240    240p  255k , vp9, 25fps, video only, 5.19MiB
133          mp4        426x240    240p  260k , avc1.4d4015, 25fps, video only, 6.15MiB
134          mp4        640x360    360p  418k , avc1.4d401e, 25fps, video only, 8.05MiB
243          webm       640x360    360p  452k , vp9, 25fps, video only, 9.25MiB
244          webm       854x480    480p  823k , vp9, 25fps, video only, 16.17MiB
135          mp4        854x480    480p  866k , avc1.4d401e, 25fps, video only, 16.48MiB
247          webm       1280x720   720p 1634k , vp9, 25fps, video only, 33.51MiB
136          mp4        1280x720   720p 2216k , avc1.4d401f, 25fps, video only, 35.69MiB
248          webm       1920x1080  1080p 3123k , vp9, 25fps, video only, 64.76MiB
137          mp4        1920x1080  1080p 4240k , avc1.640028, 25fps, video only, 83.08MiB
17           3gp        176x144    small , mp4v.20.3,  mp4a.40.2@ 24k
36           3gp        320x180    small , mp4v.20.3,  mp4a.40.2
5            flv        426x240    small , h263, mp3  @ 64k
43           webm       640x360    medium , vp8.0,  vorbis@128k
18           mp4        640x360    medium , avc1.42001E,  mp4a.40.2@ 96k
22           mp4        1280x720   hd720 , avc1.64001F,  mp4a.40.2@192k (best)

Hope you enjoyed reading and if you have any question, feel free to leave a comment or liking this article.

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