So recently I discovered that all videos on YouTube are stored under 5mbps bitrate. This is a huge heartbreak and disappointment to me. I always wanted to have a YouTube career and I have made about 200 videos. I firmly believe in providing crisp clear source quality content. I want people to see every pixel, not this gray, blocky garbage.

Anyway so 720p is 3500 bitrate. 1080p is 8000 bitrate. Google itself recommends you to upload 8mbps, but they limit it to 5. That bitrate recommendation article must be outdated. So basically all 1080p videos on YouTube are pixelated because they are basically upscale 833p.

This is very disappointing because i wasted hundreds of hours on rendering and uploading giant 15mbps videos. In fact, I don't even want to do YouTube if the only option I have is to upload blocky pixelated garbage.

So the question is, is there anything I can do, at all? to upload 1080p that will play with 8mbps, or upload 1080p 60fps that will play with 16000kbps?

  • There are certain video codecs and encoding settings you can try that YouTube will skip re-encoding your video files and just accept it as-is (by rumor, I haven't confirmed this) so I would advise investigating what settings Google will accept as-is. Good luck! - PS 1.1 million views. ;-)
    – John
    Commented Apr 14, 2016 at 23:11
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    I think your source is flawed or old... Youtube supports up to 4k, and even 8k video, in native resolution. extremetech.com/mobile/…
    – acejavelin
    Commented Apr 14, 2016 at 23:12
  • @acejavelin First of all, a quick google search instantly give you this. youtube.com/watch?v=XZ47NUaZSvc. Second of all, I spent two hours rendering, and two hours uploading a 10 GB file and when i went to download it, it was 3GB. You tell me how a 90 minute 1080p 60fps video can be 3GB. Using a bitrate calculator, dr-lex.be/info-stuff/videocalc.html, you can plugin 1920, 1080, 60 fps, high profile, get from time & bitrate, and see that the file is 10 gigs big. Again my original video is 15-16mbps and it cut it down to 4-5mbps.
    – Web Master
    Commented Apr 15, 2016 at 0:07
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    @WebMaster why are you responding to a question posted by superuser.com/users/583144/surge? Commented Apr 15, 2016 at 11:16
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    @WebMaster See How can one link/merge/combine/associate two accounts/users? and/or I accidentally created two accounts; how do I merge them? for guidance on how to merge your accounts. Commented Apr 15, 2016 at 17:06

1 Answer 1


At a given resolution, you can not override YouTube's chosen bitrate. YouTube caps it to provide a consistent experience across all videos. This is a good thing.

If your videos are too complex to look good at the 1080p bitrate, you can upscale your videos to 1440p as a workaround (assuming you can't get 1440p source footage. If you can, just upload that). 1440p video gets higher bitrates that will preserve complex scenes more accurately.

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    Jup. Also note that quality doesn't just depend on bitrate but also on codec used, and YouTube will use VP9 (for somewhat popular videos) which is going to increase quality by ~40% using the same bitrate as h.264. Commented Feb 5, 2017 at 9:06
  • It's still not clear if uploading videos as VP9 is a good idea, or just stick with H.264.
    – Ken Sharp
    Commented Jan 31, 2018 at 2:11
  • Ken, it doesn't matter from the viewer perspective. You can pick one or the other to make your production workflow easier, depending on whether you're limited by your video encoding speed or upload speed. New video codecs like VP9 can give you the same quality as H.264 at smaller sizes, but they take longer to encode. If you feel like your H.264 uploads take too long, try VP9 and see if the longer encode time is worth the faster upload. Either way, if your encodes are high enough quality, it won't affect the bitrate for viewers.
    – James
    Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 1:49

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