The best 1080p export settings for YouTube with Adobe Premiere Pro or an overkill?

If you are reading this, you probably just want to see the settings:

What do you think, are these settings an unnecessary overkill?
I will be using these export settings from now on when I want better 1080p streaming quality in YouTube. What do you think, are these settings an unnecessary overkill?

Let me tell you why I ended up with these settings. I’ve been struggling with 1080p streaming quality in YouTube for some time. Video quality is amazing straight after export, but when uploaded to YouTube videos get this awful compressed and blocky look. It’s really frustrating when you have carefully fine-tuned your footage, but in the end it doesn’t really matter.

With 24 inch monitor you can really see the difference between original and YouTube 1080p HD streaming quality. Then again, if you are watching videos with a crappy tablet or a smartphone the quality issue is nonexistent. A while ago I uploaded this video and it was the last straw. The image quality was so much better before uploading. 

A storm named Valio filmed at Kallo 2.10.2015.
Gear List:
EOS 5D Mark III (+Magic Lantern), Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM, Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM, RØDE VideoMic with the Windcutter windscreen, Triopo MT-2205+KJ-1S, VisionTech -picture style.


Since I knew YouTube is full of videos that look amazing qualitywise, I really needed to sort this matter out. One thing I didn’t mention before. I like to add some grain to my videos as a finishing touch ( http://holygrain.com/ ). In a sense this has been pointless, since YouTube has crushed the grain unseen. In fact I suspect that YouTube doesn’t handle grain very well, that being one of the reasons videos hadn’t looked as good as I wanted.

So I dove into the dephts of Google search and forums and eventually found some answers. First I thought the bitrate is the determining factor when you want the highest streaming quality, and to a certain extent it is. YouTube has its own recommended upload encoding settings, which specify bitrates, codecs etc. At some point 50 Mbps  bitrate was recommended for high quality 1080p uploads for creators with enterprise quality internet connections https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/1722171?hl=en. For some reason this specific information is gone now. Here is some discussion overt the topic http://www.eoshd.com/comments/topic/9460-making-your-videos-look-good-for-youtube/

First i tried to export at higher bitrates up to 75 Mbps, which was recommended here https://youtu.be/MnQDGQAI0yk. The result was better, but not so much i had hoped for. The realization came to me after I watched this tutorial https://youtu.be/tbfDYxjM50o?t=1m50s. So I upscaled the 1920 x 1080 video and exported to 2048 x 1152 resolution. And that was the trick that really made the difference. I’m not sure how YouTube is encoding uploaded videos. I suppose it assigns a certain streaming bitrate for the video depending on the resolution of the original.

Of course there is a catch with my preferred settings. The rendering takes longer and the resulting files are huge compared to something exported as 1080p / 8 Mbps.

If you really have nothing else to do, you can watch my unscientific video tests here. There are 14 videos with different export settings. Number 10 is best in my opinion. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJnvcnZIWYNSHDg_Jw9hNQ57Buo8Anady

Now, please tell me which settings you use! There must be better ways to approach the amazingly intriguing mystery of Adobe Premiere Pro export settings.

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9 thoughts on “The best 1080p export settings for YouTube with Adobe Premiere Pro or an overkill?

    1. Thank you for your kind words, much appreciated! I’ve been kind of busy at my dayjob lately. There is a couple of blog posts waiting for the right time to materialize. I promise to jump back in the ring soon 🙂

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  1. hi guys,
    i made a screen capture with from my display(1366 x 768) with WebM (VP8) High Quality.
    now i want edit it in adobe premiere CS5 and export it to youtube.
    which settings i must use for opening the project and which settings for Export?
    Thanks!

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    1. Sorry for the late reply! I have to admit I have no expert answer for this one. Have been using premiere CC for a while and don’t remember all the limitations of CS5. What I would do in CC: import screen capture clip to Premiere, create a sequence with native resolution 1366×768, edit the video. I haven’t used WebM at all, so I don’t no is it a good codec for editing or do you need to convert it first to another codec. Exporting is the tricky part. Really the only way is to test which works best. Either export it to 720p or 1080p with different bitrate settings. You will loose some quality no matter how you export the clip. You’ll just have to figure out the best compromise 🙂

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  2. Thank you for actually showing the settings in a simple way instead of an endless explanation! I tried out the settings and while I guess it’s a bit of an overkill for me, it really did improve from what I was doing before so I’m fine waiting a bit for the exporting. 🙂

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  3. hey bro. thanks for the settings,

    us noobies need a push from time to time

    Omar
    Saudi Arabia

    PS: no this is not for an isis video you racist idiot XD

    Like

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