Video for the Web

Nov 18, 2012

Here is a non-experts take on the most basic rules of the road for preparing video for the web.

File format

Most software will give you format options like Flash Video (.FLV), Quicktime (.MOV), Windows Media Video (.WMV), etc. Try to use either Flash Video (FLV) or Quicktime (MOV). Both seem to have a reputation for quality and are said to be widely compatible.

Compression Methods (Codec)

For best quality use the H.264 codec. For webcasts or smallest file size use the On2 VP6 codec.

Bit Rate

Higher bitrates produce better quality video, but also a larger file. To shrink the file size the first thing to do is set the audio bitrate at 64kbps.

Set the video bitrate between 150-250 kbps to be compatible with most broadband dsl connections.

Frame Size / Resolution

Set your video frame size / resolution to 640x480, to match well with the codec and bitrate I suggested. If you want to up this, use one of the following sizes:

Here is a good aspect ratio calculator:

Frame Rate

Set your frame rate to 15 fps for minimal issues & reasonable file size.