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YouTube Compression

Been running several tests with YouTube to see what happens when uploading beautiful looking videos in several formats, using various bitrates, frames, codecs and settings. It turns out that even a beautiful looking 1080p video, on YouTube looks like – very bad ! YouTube is capping the bitrates.

A 1080p video gets like 2-3 Mbps bandwidth, no more. Result: artifcats, blurs and what not. When 1440p is available and you select it from the playback options, that item will get boosted and gets easily up to 9Mbps bitrates. This means: 1440p looks great and is having that same ‘look and feel’ like 1080p videos did years ago.Times have changed …

So why does my 1080p video looks awful on Youtube ?

It’s not your video. It’s a YouTube thing. Try and search Google and sites for it. People ended up in a mental institute because of it. You will go nuts when you find out whats happening and if you start fighting against it. Forget it ! HD 1080p times are pretty much done. You will be FORCED to join 2K, 4K and higher.

But what about certain YouTube channels that do show good quality 1080p …?

There’s YouTube accounts and … there’s YouTube accounts. There’s the free ones. There’s the paid ones. Bandwidth costs money. You do the maths.

Also: the footage that is showing in the video can make a difference. Steady shots with few movements of subjects do not need high bitrates and can look good in 1080p. But action shots and fast moving subjects (sports, water, fireworks, traffic ) need a higher bitrate to guarantee sharp picture quality and smooth looking video.

Ambient Zone TV : high quality ?

In order to watch our Ambient Zone TV channel videos in high (good) quality, please select the 1440p option. It’s much better than 1080p. And soon we will run the 4K tests now that we have a dedicated computer for it.

When we watched our latest Snorkel TV video on the TV last night in 1080p …. we were flabbergasted or should we say devastated? Therefore we spent the night uploading many tests. Even if we upload the original video format (2560×1440 resolution) in the ProRes 422HQ format (having the most perfect quality but insane file size!) the 1080p video on Youtube looks terrible! The compression and the capped bitrate are just crazy. Are they for real?

Conclusion: HD 1080p is done. Over. Finished.
At least according to YouTube!

Not really a surprise when 8K is just around the corner.
But it’s sad how we (consumers) are being manipulated.


// ambient zone //


Edit [03:15 PM]  – I have just tested the Vimeo platform and uploaded a piece of high bitrate video. The playback quality in 1080p is SIGNIFICANTLY better or should I say … stunning compared to YouTube! Vimeo offers higher bitrates during playback and is BY FAR not messing around when it comes to re-compression. Quality above quantity.

Note: even my old iPad that can not play 1440p video from YouTube, is able to stream 1440p video directly from the Vimeo site to the Apple TV using Airplay! Need I say more?

Will think about a Vimeo (upgraded) account so we can embed better quality videos for Ambient Zone TV. Just a few more members would be nice so we can cover the costs.

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