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Old January 18th, 2010, 03:28 PM   #1
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Best cbr for progressive h.264 on broadband cable?


Quick question...

Just curious what video bitrate you think is best for h.264 progressive video on a broadband cable connection?

I have heard some folks go as low as 750kbps, but I kinda prefer 1.5mbps (good quality and appears to download well on fast connections).

Do you think 2mbps is pushing the envelope?

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Old February 4th, 2010, 11:02 AM   #2
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Depends on a lot of things but I usually do a nice 2 pass encoding from an HD source @ 750 kbits total Video Audio and it looks very nice @ a resolution of 608*342(16:9). This video seems to play for most people without issue. When I go above that the people on entry level DSL/cable seem to get left out and buffer a bit. One solution I have put in place is using a streaming server that switches between multiple bitrate files which allows the video quality to scale with the internet connection without having to stop and re-buffer on every change.
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Old February 4th, 2010, 11:56 AM   #3
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Why not VBR?

Bitrate is only one of the things to consider. Talking of which, why would you go CBR? VBR is a lot more efficient, getting you higher quality video for the same bitrate, or the same quality for lower bitrate. And by any means, to multi-pass!

Another thing to consider is your content. A "talking head" interview shot from tripods will only need a quarter of the bitrate of an action-packed sports event or rock concert with flashing lights and handheld cameras.

Also take into consideration the size of your online video, the larger it is, the higher the needed bitrate.

Then think of the viewer's computer. The more you compress, the more the viewer will have to decompress (need a more powerful computer).

To "play it safe" - if your target audience is the general audience (e.g. not high tech geeks all with 15Mbps cable and 8-core/24GB RAM computers)... well, you have to keep it between 500 and 700 Kbps...

So there is no easy answer to your question. If you need to go higher for any reason, then so be it - but provide a download link as well for those with slower internet and/or older computers.
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Old February 4th, 2010, 01:29 PM   #4
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Mickey, one thing missing from your original post is any pixel size info.
My recent testing has me headed for the following:
360p (640x360 16:9, square pixels) = 400Kbps
480p (854x480 16:9, square pixels) = 900Kbps

Of course, a lot depends on content - high motion or low motion. I'm providing both the above bitrates so that users can select.
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