Post 4K videos to YouTube for better quality images

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As most of you who've posted drone video to YT already know, YT crushes the bit-rate. For example, while the P4 encodes 1080p/30fps at 50 Mbps and 4K/30fps at 100 Mbps, YT will play back the 1080p at 8 Mbps and the 4K at just 35 to 45 Mbps. Higher compression (at lower bit-rates) reduces the clarity, making the video appear smudgy, especially where there's lots of movement on the screen.

On YouTube the difference between 4K and 1080p is significant, but you'll find that this is more a product of the bit-rate differential than the pixel count. The upshot is that even without a 4K screen, you're better off viewing the 4K version on YT. Of course, you'll only see 1080 pixels if you have a 1080p monitor, but it'll be a less compressed image than what you get if you stream the 1080p version. Try it for yourself.

I still see lots of drone video posted to YT in 1080p - which I find surprising. Most videos shot at 50 Mbps are a shadow of their former selves when streamed back at 8 Mbps. The more amateur the video (like my own), the more noticeable the quality loss. Streamed 4K video is also a shadow of its former self, but the difference is not nearly as marked.

So if you have the bandwidth, watch the 4K version on YT - even if you don't have a 4K monitor. And if you only have 1080p to upload, consider rendering your edited video in 4K and uploading the larger file. The streamed 4K version of your up-scaled 1080p video will be a much closer match - quality wise - to your original video!

The other advantage of uploading 4K is the VP9 codec. YT will encode a 4K video file in the more efficient VP9 codec. The entire resolution stack (4K down to 144p) will get the codec, where there's a clear improvement over the standard H.264. You can get VP9 on uploaded 1080p video files, but only if the video frame-rate is 50 or higher.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Why are people still shooting in 1080p? Are you one of those people? :)
 
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As most of you who've posted drone video to YT already know, YT crushes the bit-rate. For example, while the P4 encodes 1080p/30fps at 50 Mbps and 4K/30fps at 100 Mbps, YT will play back the 1080p at 8 Mbps and the 4K at just 35 to 45 Mbps. Higher compression (at lower bit-rates) reduces the clarity, making the video appear smudgy, especially where there's lots of movement on the screen.

On YouTube the difference between 4K and 1080p is significant, but you'll find that this is more a product of the bit-rate differential than the pixel count. The upshot is that even without a 4K screen, you're better off viewing the 4K version on YT. Of course, you'll only see 1080 pixels if you have a 1080p monitor, but it'll be a less compressed image than what you get if you stream the 1080p version. Try it for yourself.

I still see lots of drone video posted to YT in 1080p - which I find surprising. Most videos shot at 50 Mbps are a shadow of their former selves when streamed back at 8 Mbps. The more amateur the video (like my own), the more noticeable the quality loss. Streamed 4K video is also a shadow of its former self, but the difference is not nearly as marked.

So if you have the bandwidth, watch the 4K version on YT - even if you don't have a 4K monitor. And if you only have 1080p to upload, consider rendering your edited video in 4K and uploading the larger file. The streamed 4K version of your up-scaled 1080p video will be a much closer match - quality wise - to your original video!

The other advantage of uploading 4K is the VP9 codec. YT will encode a 4K video file in the more efficient VP9 codec. The entire resolution stack (4K down to 144p) will get the codec, where there's a clear improvement over the standard H.264. You can get VP9 on uploaded 1080p video files, but only if the video frame-rate is 50 or higher.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Why are people still shooting in 1080p? Are you one of those people? :)
Many times you have to take into account that many people don't have the computer power to edit in 4k. 1080p is much easier to deal with and a lot less lockup issues and losing your clip and having to start all over. Now what I recommend to people is this, shoot your footage in 4k, edited it at 1080p and then render it at 4k 24fps. I use several types of cameras and some don't even shoot in 4k, but when I render it all after editing I have a 4k clip I upload to YT. This sample below has [email protected] from my Mavic Pro, [email protected] from my Mavic 2 Pro GoPro [email protected]@30FPS, Spark [email protected] My system can handle 4k editing ok and I rendered it all at 4k 24FPS.


It all comes down to what your system can handle
 
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Many times you have to take into account that many people don't have the computer power to edit in 4k. 1080p is much easier to deal with and a lot less lockup issues and losing your clip and having to start all over. Now what I recommend to people is this, shoot your footage in 4k, edited it at 1080p and then render it at 4k 24fps.
People will drop a few thousand dollars on their drone setup but not bother getting a PC that can handle 4K. Secondhand, yet relatively powerful, PCs are dirt cheap.

I'm not clear about your recommendation. Are you just working with a smaller 'mirror' file during the edit, with your render still occurring on the source 4K file, or are you converting your 4K source file to 1080p, doing your edit, then up-scaling back to 4K? If the latter, I'm not sure why you'd choose to lose those pixels from your original file, especially when you have a computer that can handle 4K editing.
 
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People will drop a few thousand dollars on their drone setup but not bother getting a PC that can handle 4K. Secondhand, yet relatively powerful, PCs are dirt cheap.

I'm not clear about your recommendation. Are you just working with a smaller 'mirror' file during the edit, with your render still occurring on the source 4K file, or are you converting your 4K source file to 1080p, doing your edit, then up-scaling back to 4K? If the latter, I'm not sure why you'd choose to lose those pixels from your original file, especially when you have a computer that can handle 4K editing.
My system can handle 4k, I don't drop down to 1080p. I know others have to because their system can't handle the larger 4k files. I was just saying that no matter what you edit in, 1080p or above, just make sure you render it at 4k. That way the compression of YT won't be noticeable
 
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You right about computers, people don't upgrade their computers, but that just goes to show how many don't do much editing.
 
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I was just saying that no matter what you edit in, 1080p or above, just make sure you render it at 4k. That way the compression of YT won't be noticeable
I agree. Although viewers will still benefit from VP9 on the 1080p version, the main advantage comes when streaming the 4K version. I don't think many people realise how much better it looks, even without a 4K monitor. But you do have to select it the first time. YouTube never seems to auto-select 4K... often it'll throw up 720p! I dare say this is deliberate policy.
 
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