Do you know what is video bitrate? This post addresses the term bitrate, explaining how bitrate affects the video quality, shows what is the best video bitrate and how to easily change video bitrate with free MiniTool software.

You may find the bit rate option when exporting video. However, what is bit rate? What is the best bit rate? What is a good bitrate for 1080p? How bitrate affects video quality?

Don’t worry, this post will tell you everything you need to know about video bitrate.

What Is Bitrate?

Bitrate (bit rate or as a variable R) is the number of bits that are conveyed or processed per second. The symbol of video bitrate is bit/s. In most environments, 1 byte consists of 8 bits.

Video bitrate is the amount of video data transferred for a unit of time. Usually, it determines the quality as well as the size of video/audio files. You have to make sure the data transfer quickly if you want to create a great video.

How Is Video Bitrate Measured?

We usually talk about bitrate in megabits-per-second (Mbps) for video and bitrate in kilobits per second (kbps) for audio. Higher video bitrate means a higher quality video, which requires

more bandwidth, from a streaming perspective.

Warning: Mbps is different than MBps. We use Mbps (megabits-per-second) for download and upload speeds. It takes 8 bits of data to equal 1 byte. We use MBps (megabytes-per-second) when talking about the file size, or the amount of data transferred.

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Constant Bit Rate (CBR) and Variable Bit Rate (VBR) are two types of bit rate encoding.

Constant Bit Rate

CBR is an encoding method that keeps the same bitrate throughout the entire video, making it easy to playback and quick to load. CBR is useful for streaming multimedia files because the video constantly being downloaded, and is subject to stutter with bitrate spikes.

But, CBR can be restricting for some output formats because this bitrate encoding will produce a large file size.

Related article: send a large video file

Variable Bit Rate

VBR allows the bitrate of an audio file to dynamically increase or decrease depending on the level of detail needed in a given moment. When compared with CBR, VBR provides significantly higher video quality with a much lower file size. If you encode audio with VBR rather than CBR, you can achieve a smaller file size. VBR only spikes its bit rate when necessary, thus it is recommended use for progressive and direct downloads (e.g. YouTube or Vimeo)

How Bitrate Affects Video Quality?

We will consider this issue in two aspects.

First, bitrate is the key measure of any video file size. But, using extreme high bitrate video will waste bandwidth. For instance, compared to 1000 kbps video, 2000 kbps video will consume double bandwidth.

Second, high bitrate means high video quality. When exporting the same video with the same resolution, using a higher bitrate will accommodate higher image quality in the video output.

If you choose a high resolution, more data will be processed, thus the bitrate should be expected to go up.

In a word, high video bitrate makes sure the video has excellent quality. Please note that a high bit rate will place a major strain on your hardware.

What Is The Best Video Bitrate?

How to Choose A Good Video Bitrate for Streaming?

To make sure your videos have stream steadily, please match the video resolution with the right video. You can choose the following bitrate for YouTube, Twitch or any other channels streaming.

  • Regular HD videos with a standard resolution: 2,500 to 4,000 kbps.
  • Regular HD videos with high resolution, 3,500 to 5,000 kbps.
  • Full HD videos with a standard resolution: 3,500 to 5,000 kbps.
  • Full HD videos with high resolution, 4,500 to 6,000 kbps.
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What Is The Best Video Bitrate for YouTube Videos?

Now, many users want to share their video on the largest video sharing site – YouTube. However, do you know the best encoding settings for your videos on YouTube?

  1. Container: MP4
  2. Audio codec: AAC-LC
  3. Video codec: H.264
  4. Frame rate: Common frame rates including 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60 frames per second. Make sure to use the same frame rate it was recorded to encode and upload content.
  5. Bitrate: please use the following recommended bitrate to upload content.

Recommended Video Bitrates for HDR Uploads


6.5Mbit/s [24FPS, 25FPS, 30FPS]

9.5 Mbits/s [48FPS, 50FPS, 60FPS]


10Mbit/s [24FPS, 25FPS, 30FPS]

15Mbits/s [48FPS, 50FPS, 60FPS]

1440P (2k)

20Mbit/s [24FPS, 25FPS, 30FPS]

30Mbits/s [48FPS, 50FPS, 60FPS]


44-56Mbit/s [24FPS, 25FPS, 30FPS]

66-85Mbits/s [48FPS, 50FPS, 60FPS]

Recommended Video Bitrates for SDR Uploads

Note: Please use a browser or device that supports 4K if you want to view 4K uploads in 4K.


1 Mbit/s [24FPS, 25FPS, 30FPS]

1.5 Mbit/s [24FPS, 25FPS, 30FPS]


2.5 Mbit/s [24FPS, 25FPS, 30FPS]

4 Mbit/s [24FPS, 25FPS, 30FPS]


5Mbit/s [24FPS, 25FPS, 30FPS]

7.5Mbits/s [48FPS, 50FPS, 60FPS]


8Mbit/s [24FPS, 25FPS, 30FPS]

12Mbit/s [48FPS, 50FPS, 60FPS]

1440P (2K)

16Mbit/s [24FPS, 25FPS, 30FPS]

24Mbit/s [48FPS, 50FPS, 60FPS]


35-45Mbits [24FPS, 25FPS, 30FPS]

53-68Mbit/s [48FPS, 50FPS, 60FPS]

Tip: Here, you might be interested in the recommended audio bitrates for uploads: Mono: 128kbps Stereo: 384kbps 1: 512kbps

For most online video platforms, these recommendations should serve you well.

In fact, YouTube restricts its quality compression excessively according to resolution. For instance, you may want to export your video with 4K dimensions even if your video is only 1080p.

What Is A Good Video Bitrate for OBS?

Open Broadcaster Software is a free and open-source cross-platform streaming and recording program that allows video-makers to capture and record videos as well as live streaming. Video users can choose video bitrate according to their device’s compatibilities and data affordability.

The below chart will help you.

Video QuialityVideo Bitrate
Low 480 x 270400kbps
Medium 640 x 360800-1200kbps
High 960 x 540 / 854 x 4801200-1500 kbps
HD 1280 x 7201500-4000 kbps
HD 1080 1920 x 10804000-8000 kbps
4K 3840 x 21608000-14000 kbps

What Is The Best OBS Video Bitrate for Twitch?

Every day, thousands of videos are streamed on Twitch. You can set the best video bitrate (450-6000kbps) for your video streamers to get a good viewer experience. Twitch limits all uploads to 6000kbps, but you had better go lower in many cases.

Twitch will always reserve its bandwidth for its partners. Therefore, if you want to access to quality options, you have to stream during non-peak hours.

What is the best video bitrate? Click to Tweet

How to Change Video Bitrate?

Reading here, you might have basic information about bitrate. Changing bitrate not only can reduce video file size but also can change video quality.

Related article: improve video quality

Do you know how to change the bitrate of a video MP4?

MiniTool MovieMaker, a free video editing software without watermark, lets you create and edit movies easily. Besides, it is a practical video bitrate converter for you. Moreover, it allows you to convert video to other formats including AVI, WMV, etc. For instance, you can convert WebM to MP4 for free.

MiniTool MovieMakerClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Steps on How to Change Video Bitrate

Step 1. Import your files to MiniTool MovieMaker.

Download and install the free MiniTool MovieMaker on your PC. Launch this free video bitrate converter to get its main interface.

Click the Import Media Files button to import your video file, drag and drop this video file you want to change its bitrate to timeline.

You can import multiple files to combine them into one. Let’s learn how to combine videos.

the main interface of MiniTool MovieMaker

Step 2. Select video format

Click the Export button to get the following window.

export video

Here, we can see the PC and MP4 are selected by default.

If you want to save the video file to iPhone or other devices, you can click the Device and choose iPhone.

If you want to change video file format, you can choose another format including WMV, AVI, MOV, F4V, MKV, TS, 3GP, WEBM, GIF, others. This free tool even can easily convert video to MP3.

Step 3. Change video bitrate

To change bitrate, you should click the Setting button. Next, you can change the bitrate according to actual needs.

change video bitrate

In this window, you also can change video quality as well as change video resolution.

Step 4. Save video bitrate

After selecting a suitable video bitrate, please click OK to go back to the Export window. Next, give the name of this video and choose a location to store it, and click Export button again to save this video with a new video bitrate.

MiniTool MovieMaker can easily change bitrate for free. This free editor also provides some other features you might like:

  • Rotate video easily
  • Change video format
  • Convert video to GIF
  • Add animated text to videos
  • Apply video transitions, as well as effects to videos
  • Trim or split video to remove some unwanted parts from your videos

With MiniTool MovieMaker, I easily change video bitrate without difficulty. Click to Tweet

Bottom Line

This post shows what is video bitrate, how bitrate affects video quality, what is the best video bitrate, and how to change video bitrate for free. If you have any questions about bitrate, please feel free to contact us.

Bitrate FAQ

?️What is a good bitrate for 1080p?
If your 1080p video has a high framerate (60fps), your bitrate should be 4500 to 6000kpbs. If your 1080p video has a standard framerate (30fps), your bitrate should be 3500 to 5000 kbps.
?Does higher bitrate mean better quality?
First of all, you need to know how bitrate control corresponds to video quality and file size. In general, if you want the video output has higher image quality, you need to make sure the video has a higher bitrate. Besides, it is recommended to choose a new codec such as H.264 since it looks substantially better than an older codec like H.263 at the same time. Also, in most applications, you can try variable bitrate (VBR) encoding because it produces better image quality than constant bitrate (CBR).
?️How is bitrate calculated?

Here are the simplified formulas which you can calculate instantly. In these formulas, we use megabits for bitrate and gigabytes for file size.

  • Bitrate = frequency × bit depth × channels
  • 1,411,200 bits per second (or 1,411.2 kbps) = 44,100 samples per second × 16 bits per sample × 2 channels
  • 338,688,000 bits (or 40.37 megabytes) =14,411,200 × 240
  • File size = bitrate * number of minutes * .0075
  • 0075=1/8 * 60 / 1000
?What does bitrate do for streaming?
In a live stream, uploading is the transfer of data from your local device to the internet and downloading occurs when viewers receive the live video from the internet to their devices. we use bitrate to measure the speed of the upload and download transfers. Higher quality video content needs more data, and getting more overall data requires faster data transfer. Therefore, the high bitrate will let you stream at that level.
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