Encoding for YouTube: How to Get the Best Results

Streamingmedia.com by Jan Ozer

Yes, there is a way to produce great-looking YouTube videos every time. Read on for expert advice and test results.

If we didn't live with YouTube's scale on a daily basis, and somehow seemingly take it for granted, it would almost be too big to imagine. According to one source, in February, 2012, YouTube accounted for 75.9% of all visits to video-related websites, with AOL Video and Hulu tied for second with 2.8%. According to YouTube's FAQ, over 800 million unique viewers visit YouTube each month watching over 3 billion hours of video. In 2011, YouTube had more than 1 trilllion views, or around 140 views for every person on Earth. These are U.S. federal deficit types of numbers.

When YouTube started, poor video quality and a young audience caused many organizations to ask, "Why bother?" Today, many Fortune 100 companies have their own corporate YouTube channels, as does the AARP. Many companies, including Deloitte and IBM, use YouTube to host the videos posted on their own corporate websites. At this point, if you're not posting your videos on YouTube, it's more appropriate to ask, "Why not?"

If confusion about the best way to post videos on YouTube was part of the reason, you're reading the right article. Seasoned YouTube posters might also find value in this article, where I synthesize YouTube's encoding recommendations, advice from several compression experts, a look at presets from common encoders, and the results of my own tests, to provide specific advice about how to configure your video for optimal quality and the most efficient upload time.

Let's start by chatting with our experts.

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