Large videos can cause lots of issues in regards to playback and user experience.
They can increase page load times which provide a negative user experience, and they can also negatively impact your site’s SEO as fast page load times are an important factor that Google and other search engines take into consideration.
Large videos also take up more storage in your account and can also cause issues with slow or stuttering playback.
Therefore we would always recommend that you compress videos before uploading and streaming from Spotlightr.
Even though Spotlightr optimizes your uploaded files in many ways we would always recommend that you start with an optimized video before uploading to Spotlightr.
It is important to ensure videos get accepted by as many browsers and as many phones, tablets, laptops, and operating system combinations as possible.
Unfortunately to-date, there is no one format/video codec/audio codec combination to rule them all.
First and foremost, to ensure compatibility with most browsers and devices, our best recommendation is to convert videos to MP4 and encode them with the H.264 codec.
Just like images, videos should be optimized for the web. Depending on the program used and the export and render settings used, some videos may have streaming issues on playback. Fortunately, there are plenty of programs that will reformat videos and rearranging file settings for faster playback and smooth streaming.
Our best recommendation is a free software program called Handbrake, an open-source video transcoder.
Handbrake is extremely easy to use. These are the settings we recommend in general. Your particular use case may be different. To optimize a video for the web using Handbrake:
- Starting in the Summary tab, adjust the Presets field for resolution. You should not attempt to encode at a resolution higher than the original video. If your resolution is 720 or higher we would always recommend that you choose the Preset for "Fast 720p30". 720 is more than sufficient for most use cases.
- If your video contains heavy text which should always be legible, you can also selec "Fast1080p30"
- Check the box labeled "Web Optimized"
- Make sure MP4 is selected
- Moving over to the Video tab, adjust the framerate. Although the Preset was set to 30, 20 or 25 is normally more than sufficient for most use cases.
- Ensure that the codec says H.264 (x264)
- Moving over to the Audio tab. Ensure that the codec used is AAC (avcodec).
- The default bitrate used does not usually need to be changed.
Recommended Settings for HD Video
For those of you who just need the settings, regardless of the Handbrake options, here are our basic recommendations what to use when compressing HD video (where the original is 1920 x 1080) for upload to Spotlightr for web use:
- MP4 format
- Codec: H.264
- Frame Rate: 24, 25 or 30 (Constant)
- Frame Size / Resolution: 1280 x 720 (720p)
- Fields: Progressive
- Bitrate: 5,000 – 10,000 kbit/s
- Codec: AAC-LC
- Bitrate: 160 kbit/s
- Sample Rate: 44.100 OR 48,000 kHz (retain original sample rate)