Some of the most common questions I get asked on video quality are-
- What is the size of a video for a certain pixel quality? (Say 1 hour 1080p video)
- What does kbps mean? How much video bandwidth will 1 hour 1000 kbps video consume?
- I want my videos in 1080/720/480/360 p like Youtube. How does VdoCipher enable that?
- How many video quality options I need to have to ensure smooth playback across the world?
- Why does VdoCipher provide video bitrate (kbps) as quality options and not pixels (p)?
Here are some key definitions and concepts to help everybody better understand video quality parameters.
What are Pixels (p) – 1080 / 720 / 480 / 360 / 240 p
Pixels as a quality index essentially mean the height of video in number of pixels. Thus, a video quality at 1080p means – the height of video is 1080 pixels. Now the next question is what is the width of video? There is no exact technically right answer but in common convention, the video is 16:9 for online playback. Thus the width of video becomes 1080*16/9 – 1920 pixels.
So, in common convention 1080p means 1080 pixels as the height of video and 1920 as the width of video. Similarly, 480 p will mean 480 pixels in height and 480*16/9 -853 pixels as width of video. Though this may vary if the aspect ratio of video is different (like 4:3). So, until you know the video aspect ratio, you cant determine the exact number of pixels in a video.
Does pixel directly correspond to a size? What will be the size of 1 hour,1080 p video?
Surprisingly there is no fixed answer to that. If pixel quality is fixed, then the number pixels in a video is fixed. E.g a 1080 p will have 1080*1920 = 2073600 pixels. But how much of data is captured in video, is not determined by number of pixels exactly. Thus, Youtube , Vimeo and Vdocipher can provide different size of videos for the same length and same pixel quality. It is even possible that say 1 hour, 1080p video of vdocipher is of lower size than 720 p of Vimeo.
So, the next obvious question is what exactly determines the video size? It is video bitrate (generally represented by kbps like 1500 kbps etc). Please read the next section to understand bitrate as a quality index.
What is Video Bitrate (kbps) – 1500/ 1000/ 600 /300 kbps
Video bitrate is the video data transferred at a particular time. A high video bitrate is one of the most vital factors in the quality of a video. A good looking video consists of a high video bitrate along with a high video resolution and frame rate. So, I hope that answers what is bitrate in the video. For a particular video, you can use constant bitrate or variable bitrate, find out more about CBR vs VBR in the article linked.
How is video bitrate linked to the size of the video?
Bitrate is generally represented by kbps which essentially means kb (kilobits) of data per second. So, the size of a 1hour 1500 kbps video will be – 1500*60*60 -kilobits= 1500*60*60/8000 MBs of data = 675 MB per hour of video data.
Similarly, a 1000 kbps 1 hour video will be 450 MB in size , 600 kbps will be 270 MB in size.
What is the relation between pixels(p) and video bitrate (kbps)?
There is no precise technical relation between pixels and bitrate. For the same streaming provider; the higher the pixels, the higher the bitrate, and vice-versa. Though as I already mentioned different service providers can offer different pixels even at the same video bitrate. Pixels define the resolution of the video, while bitrate is average data size for a video file expressed per second of video. There can be high-resolution videos with low bitrate and low resolution videos at very high video bitrate . This imbalance is because of some complicated maths that is used to express what to display on a video with least amount of file size. These maths can force the bitrate for a video at any arbitrary small value while compromising on the quality.
What bitrate/pixels does VdoCipher use for HD streaming?
VdoCipher has a wide range for 1080p HD in terms of video bitrate. It depends on what size the customer uploads and what is type of content – Media, E-learning (In e-learning, if it is screen capture, animation or class recording etc.) Video bitrate for 1080p is at maximum kept at 2000 kbps for video course content , for certain high motion movies video bitrate for 1080p is kept at 2500 to 5000 kbps range. For certain cases, low motion lectures, video bitrate for 1080p can be as low as 600 kbps. You can read more about SD vs HD in this blog.
How does Video Bitrate impact Video quality?
Video quality is directly related to the video bitrate, generally, a higher video bitrate would mean higher quality, and a lower bitrate would mean lower quality.
Although it might not be the case always, an unreasonable high bitrate can cause buffering issues or glitches, as the user’s computer and data bandwidth might not be able to process the file. This is why it is quite important to find out the optimum bitrate for your videos.
Even with the same resolution, your optimum bitrate might vary depending on the video frame rate required for the video. For video lectures with about 30fps it can go up to 2000kbps, while with video content with a higher framerate like 60fps or more it can go up to 5000kbps.
Other factors that affect Video Quality
Apart from video bitrate, there are other parameters that affect the quality of the video. Generally, there is a direct correlation between the size and the quality of the video. Video frame rate and video resolution also have a good impact on video quality.
- Video frame rate is basically the number of different frames or images used to play the video. It is measured in fps or frames per second, which defines how many frames or images there would be in the video. So a 30 fps video would have 30 different frames in a second, as the number of frames increases, you can show much more details in that video. Sports, animation, and gaming videos would generally have a higher frame rate.
- Video resolution is the number of pixels in the frames of video. A video with more pixels would have better video quality. This is the most common term used in order to define video quality. In most video platforms, you can see the option to choose different resolutions. Mostly used video resolutions are 480p, 720p,1080p, and 4k.
Why does Youtube use pixels as a quality parameter, while VdoCipher uses video bitrate for the same?
There are two primary reasons –
- Video Bitrate directly corresponds to size and hence bandwidth consumption & costs. 1000 kbps video will consume double bandwidth as compared to 500 kbps video. Pixels don’t have such direct co-relation.
- VdoCipher can provide higher pixel quality even at low bitrates. So, for many cases , VdoCipher can provide 1080p or 720 p HD even at 500-900 kbps range. Thus, there is no need for a lower pixel parameter.
From VdoCipher experience –
- For Movies/Serials with a lot of motion – 3 or maximum 4 qualities. We typically do 4000/5000 kbps, 2000 kbps ,800 kbps, 600 kbps
- For Educational content – 3 in most cases. 2000, 800, 400 kbps Or sometimes – 1500, 800, 300 kbps.
VdoCipher has customers across all 6 continents. (Sorry, we don’t have a customer in Antarctica yet :D) . The bitrate and quality optimizations are made keeping in mind slow connections of Asia & African users. Over the time, they have worked well for all geographical distributions ensuring a great viewing experience.
Video Quality FAQ Summary
What is the video bitrate for 1080 p ?
There is no precise technical relation between pixels and bitrate. For the same streaming provider; higher the pixels, higher the bitrate and vice-versa. Different service providers can offer different pixels even at the same bitrate. If pixel quality is fixed, then the number of pixels in a video is fixed. E.g a 1080 p will have 1080*1920 = 2073600 pixels. But how much of data/video size that has is not determined directly by number of pixels. Thus, Youtube, Vimeo, and Vdocipher can provide different bitrate/size of videos for the same length and same pixel quality.
What is the relation between pixels(p) and bitrate (kbps)?
There is no precise technical correlation between pixels and bitrate. For the same streaming provider; higher the pixels, higher the bitrate and vice-versa. Different video hosting providers can offer different pixels even at the same bitrate. Pixels define the resolution of video, while video bitrate is average data size for a video file expressed per second of video. There can be high-resolution videos with low bitrate and low-resolution videos at a very high video bitrate. This imbalance is because of some complicated maths that is used to express what to display on a video with least amount of file size. These maths can force the bitrate for a video at any arbitrary small value while compromising on the quality.You should choose the pixels based on the content of video and target display. Afterwards, choose a bitrate based on limitations of the transmission medium, say internet speed.
Does video bitrate affect quality ?
Yes. Video bitrate is directly correlated to video quality. Higher the bitrate, higher the video quality. But bitrate is not the only parameter affecting visual quality, pixel also plays a role in video quality. Bitrate is generally represented by kbps which essentially means kb (kilobit) of data per second. So, the size of a 1hour 1500 kbps video will be - 1500*60*60 -kilobits= 1500*60*60/8000 MBs of data = 675 MB per hour of video data. Similarly, a 1000 kbps 1 hour video will be 450 MB in size , 600 kbps will be 270 MB in size.
How is bitrate linked to the size of the video?
Video bitrate is generally represented by kbps which essentially means kb (kilobits) of data per second. So, the size of a 1hour 1500 kbps video will be - 1500*60*60 -kilobits = 1500*60*60/8000 MBs of data = 675 MB per hour of video data. Similarly, a 1000 kbps 1 hour video will be 450 MB in size , 600 kbps will be 270 MB in size.
A different section of the blog to help you produce quality lecture content.
How to Create High-Quality Video Lectures?
Smart learning and e-learning industries are growing at an unprecedented rate. As technologies have evolved, students are enrolling for remote workshops, tutorials, and leverage e-learning facilities to broaden their knowledge on core subjects. When teachers and professionals need to impart education virtually through the internet, they often rely on high-quality videos to serve the purpose, instead of a live broadcast.
There are many reasons for this growing trend. High-quality videos make learning accessible at learner’s pace and give them the flexibility to pause and resume as time permits. Education videos, sales videos, informational presentations, corporate training videos, etc., need to demonstrate expert opinions to attract the learner’s attention and ease the process of education.
As a sole tutor, high-quality videos can significantly enhance your brand and credibility in front of your students. Video marketing is getting bigger and better, and this is the best time for you to leverage your skills and market your expertise while earning through high-quality video courses.
But, how is it that solopreneurs manage to create high-quality videos within shoestring budgets and tight schedules?
A Step-By-Step Guide to Creating High-Quality Video Courses
1. Pick a Lecture Format
Your lecture format impacts how students consume information. The most effective and high-quality video lectures have a mix of these formats for enhanced learning. Within the video format, you can choose out of the three most popular and effective:
- Create a talking head
- Slide presentation
A talking head shows sympathy, expressions, and emotions in a lecture video. It also provides a variation for students as they are interacting with a human being. A talking head video can be used for the introduction or summary of each section, covering the essence of the chapter or imparting personal experiences, as needed.
Slide presentations are a great way to focus the learner on a few key points. It helps them visualize a complex structure or model or ensure they spell out specific terms correctly. Slideshows are ideal for teaching multi-step concepts, highlighting key points or breaking down jargon in any high-quality video lecture.
Screencast videos are a great way to walk with the learner through multiple steps that might be hard to tell than to show. Screencast videos have a great place in describing how to develop or use a software program, so they can follow along and learn efficiently.
2. Plan Your Videos
Planning your lecture content and videos in advance can help you get less overwhelmed with everything all at once. Start by spending some time learning about your audience, the kind of language they speak, how they like to learn, and so on. This can help you set the context and find where your audience struggle and how they can be informed adequately.
Next, you can create a storyboard outline to facilitate quick video production. Write a script not to run astray when in action. Practice a lot so you can record the perfect high-quality video course within a short timeframe.
3. Speak Clearly Into the Microphone For Recording Audio Narration
For good audio and video recording, sound dampening is a crucial factor to address. You want to ensure people cannot hear the voices coming from outside. Choose a place with quiet surroundings.
If you are recording the video from your computer, frequently you are using a pinhole mic at the top of the monitor. Since it is placed away from you, your voice might get canceled at some places. Use a noise cancellation headset right by your mouth to get a clear audio recording. Since the quality of the audio is critical in creating high-quality video lectures, consider investing in a good headset.
4. Record High-Quality Video Through a Stable Recorder
If you might need to record a screencast video, clean up your desktop, close any unnecessary applications, and turn off any notifications that might pop up. If you are recording yourself, place the recording camera at an appropriate location of people are not staring into your nostrils.
When using your laptop’s camera, position the laptop on a stack of books so that it is looking down on you. Otherwise, it might be a good decision for you to invest in a low-cost webcam that will help you record high-quality video lectures. These webcams can be attached to a stable position, can be moved around, and made to stand on their own as well.
5. Use High-Quality Video Recording or Video Capture Software
If you are using a smartphone or a laptop to capture videos, the device already includes the software to perform and handle the recording. However, to take your high-quality video production to the next level and use screencast, or slideshow presentations, you’ll need additional software.
Screencast-O-Matic, a popular free software allows you to record up to 15 minutes of high-quality video and publish it on YouTube. Its $15 a year pro version expands the available options to longer recordings that can be posted on other platforms. You might also consider other feature-rich software such as TechSmith Camtasia, Adobe Presenter, and Adobe Captivate.
6. Assess and Optimize Audio and Video Quality
Your recording environment decides whether or not you need extra equipment or devices to maximize audio and video quality. Here are a few things to look out for in a high-quality video lecture-
- Backlighting – Ensure there is not a lot of light behind you, risking you to look like a shadow.
- Low lighting – Webcams often make you look choppy and grained. Ensure optimum light in the room where you are recording.
- Background noise – Listen close to spot any background noise from humming machines, air conditioners, computers with loud fans, and noise from outside the place.
- Visual clutter – avoid sitting in front of anything that can cause a distraction to your audience. Ensure they only have your content to focus on. Use a clutter free HTML5 video player.
High-quality secure video lectures might be hard to produce. But, with the right set of actions, it will become a seamless task. Create high-quality video lectures to engage your audience and impart your skills to them in an effective manner of teaching.
Supercharge Your Business with Videos
At VdoCipher we maintain the strongest content protection for videos. We also work extremely hard to deliver the best viewer experience. We'd love to hear from you, and help boost your video streaming business.
CEO, VdoCipher. Writes about video tech, ed tech and media tech.