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