How to encode video and screencasts optimally for the web using Handbrake

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What format should you use when you make video for the web? MP4

It is important to optimize your video for web use especially for our internal use using ACTube. Non-optimized video formats and settings can cause video pauses and stuttering.

Notice that when you upload a video to YouTube or Vimeo, they transcode and prepare the video in some way that it is web optimized. There are some very good reasons for self-hosting our videos.  One reason is security for some videos that we don’t want to make public.

Handbrake is free software you can use to make web video optimized for self hosting. Handbrake does a good job in making sure self-hosted web videos are compatible with virtually all platforms.

Quicksteps for settings optimizing web video using the free Handbrake software

  1. Preferences menu.  De-select the option for “Use iPod/iTunes friendly (.m4v) file extension for MP4″
  2. Main window.
    1. Choose the Source button.  Select the video you want to optimize for the web.
    2. Under Format.  Choose “Mp4 file.”
    3. Choose (enable) the Web Optimized checkbox.
  3. Main window / Video tab.
    1. Under Video Codec, choose “H.264″
  4. Main window / Audio tab.
    1. Under Bitrate, choose 128.
  5. Main window / Advanced tab.
    1. Next to Reference Frames, choose “4.”
  6. Back to Main window / Video tab.
    1. In the Quality section, choose Average bitrate.  Use the following rules of thumb to set bitrate value:
      1. For screencasting / screencast recordings:  use 600
      2. For live action videos / “talking heads”:  use about 800 to 900
    2. Enable the checkbox labeled “2-pass encoding”
  7. Main window:
    1. In the Destination field, choose the folder where you want your converted (transcoded) file to be stored.
  8. In the tool bar, choose “Start.”
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About the Author:

Amante Bustamante is the Senior Network and Security consultant and the company Chief Technology Officer. He is an expert in the design and operation of networking systems essential to supporting complex requirements. Amante Bustamante has over 15 years of Technical IT experience with a specialization in Network and Network Security integrations.
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