Understanding Common FPS Values: The Advanced Guide to Video Frame Rates [2024 Update]

frame rate fps live

With video being so popular, businesses and broadcasters must produce high-quality video content. Live video streaming online is particularly popular today. In the US alone, over 85% of all internet users watch video content monthly. Furthermore, it’s been estimated that video will account for 82% of all consumer internet traffic by 2025.

Savvy businesses and creators are capitalizing on video. However, producing high-quality video requires knowledge and strategy. Understanding FPS values, for example, is an important step to undertake. But there’s also jargon to understand such as FPS video, multiple frame rates, picture resolution and more.

In this advanced guide, we help you understand common FPS values and their importance. We show you how to use common FPS values for professionally streaming video content online that will capture the attention of your target audiences. Furthermore, our experts provide easy-to-navigate tables to show you the best settings to use, how to connect to a professional online video platform, and more.

What is a Frame Rate?

what is frame rate

What is a Frame Rate?

Video is a series of still images that, when viewed in order at a certain speed, give the appearance of motion. Frame rate refers to the number of individual frames or images displayed per second of film or video.

Frame rate is the speed at which those images are shown. Each image represents a frame. To create the perception of motion, the brain automatically adds or fills in the missing information. This speed tricks your brain into thinking the video is playing in one smooth motion.

What is (FPS) Frames per Second?

Frames per Second (FPS) measures how motion video is displayed to the human eye. With the way our brain adds missing information to create motion, the higher the FPS, the smoother the motion appears before the eyes. For example, if a video is captured and played back at 24 frames per second, that means each second of the video shows 24 distinct still images.

In general, the minimum FPS needed that help avoid any jerky motion is 30 frames per second. You’ll be looking at around 60 frames per second for high-motion content. But, more on selecting the correct FPS for your videos from among the common FPS values later.

Why Does Frame Rate Matter?

Video making has been simplified dramatically in recent years thanks to innovations in video recording equipment and software related to editing and special effects. That increases the importance of understanding frame rates before you shoot a video, especially when it comes to producing high-quality business content. The frame rate dramatically impacts the style and viewing experience of a video.

When considering the best frame rate for your content, you are choosing between how realistic you want your video to look or whether or not you plan to use different techniques or effects like slow motion or transitions.

What is the Best Frame Rate for Live Streaming Video?

best frame rate for live streaming

The best frame rate for live streaming should be at least 30fps for live video. While common FPS values are one of the most critical technical aspects of online streaming, they’re not as important as video quality.

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) standardized frame rates in TV and movies, but frame rates in video content haven’t been. Frame rates are used in digital cameras used on DSLR, mirrorless, and smartphone devices.

These indicate the quality of the camera when capturing video. Cameras have a base frame rate, which you will need to check in your settings before you start capturing content. You can also find frame rate examples in the settings of your video encoder

Video-making is very diverse, so There isn’t just one best frame rate for video per se. Each frame rate example has a specific use. So the best frame rate for your video will depend on your niche, video settings, and overall vibe you want for your content. Here are some use cases for common FPS values used in the video-making industry:

  • 24 frames per second is the industry standard for videos on the web, most TV and film,
  • 30 frames per second is mostly used for live TV like news programs, concerts, sports, and soap operas. These six extra frames per second make for a much smoother video feel that works great for a less cinematic video.
  • 60fps and 120fps are used for recording video to be played back in slow motion

To figure out the best frame rate for your videos, you will have to determine what type of content you’re looking to create. Content should be encoded and uploaded in the same frame rate in which it was recorded when uploading to a hosting platform like Dacast.

Do Higher Frame Rates Mean Better Quality?

Higher frame rates do not necessarily mean better quality. As we mentioned previously, each frame rate example has a specific purpose. The higher frames per second, the slower the slow motion will be. 

For example, videos recorded at 120fps can be slowed down to a 24-frame rate, which creates that smooth slow-motion effect. The notion that higher resolution video looks better with higher frame rate examples is dependent on the display capabilities. An OLED display with 60-120 frames per second will show the content much better compared to an LCD at 24-30fps.

Some cameras may be able to film at 120 frames per second; they can only film at 720 pixels instead of 1080. So, the higher the frame rate, the higher the cost of video quality

Consumers have a low tolerance for bad streams and video quality. For many, 90 seconds is the most they will tolerate when it comes to low-quality content. If, after 90 seconds, the video is still low quality, they will look for a different video.

What’s the Difference Between Common FPS Values: 24fps, 30fps, and 60fps?

streaming fps

The most common FPS values in videos are 24, 30, and 60 fps. Since there are three major frame rates to consider for uploading business video content online, we’re explaining each.

That’ll help ensure your encoder, camera, and other live streaming equipment settings are optimized before you hit “record.” 

24fps

This frame rate is the one used by most in Hollywood. It makes video content seem more cinematic. While an average person may be unable to tell the difference between this frame rate and a higher one, most professional video makers can. 

One of the main disadvantages of filming in 24fps is that it can look quite choppy and unprofessional if slowed down. If a broadcaster plans to shoot footage to slow it down in post-production, we always recommend filming at a higher frame rate.

30fps

Many modern cameras can film video content in 30 frames per second. Traditionally, this is the best frame rate for live streaming (fps live) for TV video content in the USA. As your camera is capturing more still images per second than it was with 24fps footage, this is ideal for sports and other fast-moving videos.

If you bought your video camera between 2000 and 2010, will likely only have the option to film in 30fps for live streaming fps.

60fps 

The 60 frames-per-second setting is nearly equivalent to 50 frames per second. If the camera you’re planning to create video content on was manufactured in the US, it would likely offer the ability to film at 60 fps rather than 50. Some cameras will have the option to film in both.

This live video FPS is a high frame rate mainly used for slo-mo. Typically a video is recorded at 60fps and is then slowed down to 24 or 30 fps post-production. That allows for a smooth slow-motion effort during post-production. 

Any frame rate over 60 frames per second is considered a high-speed frame rate. Some cameras on the more professional side will go as fast as 1,000 frames per second. You may have seen video examples like a bullet going in slow motion or a water balloon popping.

Which is Better: 24fps, 30fps, or 60fps?

After learning the differences between the most common FPS values, you may be wondering which is the best frame rate for live fps streaming: 24fps, 30fps, or 60fps.

All three common frames per second rates have a place in today’s digital world. There isn’t one answer to which is better, 24fps or 60fps, or better, between 30fps or 60fps. Your frame rate choice depends on your video camera, your encoder settings, post-production, the type of content you’re creating, and where you will be hosting it. Shooting at either 24 or 30fps should give you your camera’s best performance and quality it has to offer.

How to Choose the Best Common FPS Values and Frame Rate for Streaming Video

best fps for streaming

Since you will choose your live FPS rate based on what you’re shooting, here are the best use cases per streaming frame rate: 

24fps

  • If someone is speaking
  • Landscapes 
  • Video where you need to get details and textures 
  • HD video
  • Reviews
  • Podcasts
  • Most live-streams

30fps 

  • Can be used as-is and can be slowed down to 24fps
  • Sports and other fast-moving content 
  • TV shows and vlogs
  • HD video
  • Cinematic shots
  • Action shots
  • Shots that require you to capture extra details

50fps

  • This is the interlaced field rate of PAL. Some 1080i HD cameras record at this frame rate
  • HD video
  • High-speed games
  • Gaming reviews and playbacks

59.94fps

  • HD cameras can record at this frame rate. While it’s sometimes referred to as 60fps, it’s best to use 59.94 unless you mean 60fps
  • Compatible with NTSC video

60fps

  • When the subject needs a more graceful appearance 
  • Adds emotions to the shot
  • Great for slowing down video shots during sporting events
  • It can be slowed down to the perfect slow-motion ability 
  • HD video
  • Fast-paced content
  • Action content 

When you know the type of content that you’ll be shooting, ensure that your camera setting is correct and so is your video encoder. Once those are dialed into the correct streaming frame rate, you have chosen the best frame rate for your video

If all this still seems confusing to you, try using a lower FPS value to ensure your live-stream plays without lag for your viewers. Unless a specific requirement calls for a higher FPS, steer clear of it. For newbie broadcasters, a simple rule of thumb to keep in mind is:

You can get away with lower FPS (which would also lower the amount of bandwidth you are using) if you are streaming slow-motion content. You will probably want a higher FPS to make the motion feel more fluid if there is heavy motion.

Frame Rates and Live Streaming FPS

live streaming fps

When it comes to video frame rates for live video (FPS live) there are many factors to consider. Suppose you’re a business interested in live streaming video content to your employees or your clientele. In that case, you will have to know the settings that create the best-finished video product. 

Most online streaming platforms will back 60fps. At a minimum, you should try stream video content at least 30fps. 

As with video resolution, frame rates affect video bandwidth requirements. Video content with a higher frame rate has more data to transmit than content with a lower frame rate. 

Other reasons why FPS live streaming frame rates matter in video streaming include 

  • When the live stream concerns something fast-paced like a sports event stream or a concert, a stream with higher frames per second will produce better video. The event’s fast-moving motion can be captured using more frames per second.
  • For live streams where the event isn’t high-paced, like educational content, tutorials, a church service, or a government meeting, high frame rates aren’t typically required as most of the motion can be adequately captured by lower fps as well. 

Higher frame rates are becoming the new norm as increased video bandwidth capability reaches more viewing devices. That means until it’s the norm, it’s critical to pay attention to all the settings on your devices and encoders to ensure the proper live FPS rates are being chosen. 

Streaming Frame Rates and Encoders

According to HubSpot, online video was the number one media format in 2020. While video technology continues to advance, the quality of the captured images has never been better. But, the file sizes have also grown exponentially. That brings the various types of live video encoders to light.

Encoders are either hardware or software that bring raw video and convert it into a digital format and size that becomes compatible with online players and devices. There are two types of encoders – software encoders and hardware encoders. Let’s discuss the differences.

Software encoders

  • Video conversion programs that run on a computer 
  • Have a graphic interface to manage the conversion process
  • Allow control over elements such as video bitrate and stream quality 
  • Low cost and easy operation

Hardware encoders

  • Standalone, dedicated devices that do not require a computer to use
  • The only purpose is to encode raw video into streaming data
  • Small, portable case but can also be set up as large, permanent fixtures 
  • Include specialized internal components that don’t share resources with any other processes

To upload your content, you must encode your video to fit the needs of your video hosting platform

Recommended Live Encoder Settings

h.264 encoder

At Dacast, we use the real-time messaging protocol for RTMP ingest of live streams. The platform transcodes that live video content into the HLS streaming protocol. Finally, streaming content reaches your viewers via top-tier CDNs. 

Most live stream frames move from the encoder to the online video platform in RTMP format. Then the platform transcodes this video into HLS. RTMP encoders are all configured in the same basic manner. To ensure your live stream is stable and fully functional if you’re planning to live stream the video content you’re creating, you will have to configure your encoder to use the settings below.

First, ensure you are following everything in the Common Settings section. Then select the most appropriate bitrate & resolution (depending on your needs) and configure all settings for that size exactly.

Common Settings:

The following settings are recommended for optimal live streaming FPS, regardless of your selected resolution and bitrate:

VIDEO CODEC
H.264 (X.264 may work)
FRAME RATE25 or 30
KEYFRAME INTERVAL
2 secs (or 2x frame rate)
SCANNINGProgressive
ENCODING BITRATEConstant (CBR)
AUDIO CODECAAC
AUDIO BITRATE128 kbps
AUDIO CHANNELS2 (Stereo)
AUDIO SAMPLE RATE48 kHz (48,000 Hz)

Resolution & Bitrate Settings:

Select one of the following configurations and ensure your encoder is set up with these exact settings for optimal live streaming:

ULDLDSDHDFHD
NameUltra-Low DefinitionLow DefinitionStandard DefinitionHigh DefinitionFull High Definition
Video Bitrate (kbps)350350 – 800800 – 12001200 – 19001900 – 4500
Resolution Width (px)42664085412801920
Resolution Height (px)2403604807201080
H.264 ProfileMainMainHighHighHigh

Video and audio codec:

  • The video codec profile we recommend using for H.264 is High. You may also see an X.264 option; this is simply another implementation of the same protocol. You can use either one.

Audio bitrates:

ULDLDSDHDFHD
NameUltra-Low DefinitionLow DefinitionStandard DefinitionHigh DefinitionFull High Definition
Video Bitrate (kbps)350350 – 800800 – 12001200 – 19001900 – 4500
Audio Bitrate (kbps)6464128256256

Bitrate Recommendation:

  • We recommend a standard or low definition (480p/360p) under 1000kpbs (audio and video bit-rates included based on the table above).

Frames per second (FPS):

  • Simply put, most users should generally set frames per second (fps) at 30. For people in certain regions of the world, however, 25 frames per second are standard. However, 30 fps will work anywhere.

Connecting to your Online Video Platform:

online video platform

Generally, this requires gathering a few pieces of information. With Dacast, this necessary information includes

  • Stream name
  • Stream URL
  • Log-in code (unique for each stream)
  • Log in password

Every platform is different and will require different settings. These are the correct settings for Dacast. At Dacast, we believe in simplifying live streaming and creating video content. And that’s why we offer easy-to-operate streaming solutions for businesses. Even if you have a limited workforce or knowledge of the technical aspects of video recordings and streaming, you can do both successfully via Dacast.

The platform offers everything from video hosting to advanced paywall and monetization capabilities. Our online video solution is built around the largest and most powerful Content Delivery Networks in the world. No matter which geographical location your viewers wish to stream your content, the content will play smoothly without glitches.

We can help you live stream video content or host the video content for Video on Demand (VOD). Let your end-users find your videos when they need them, while you relax, knowing your frame rate is correct and your video content will look great for them when they click play.

Plus and Minus 

Advantages of High Frame Rates (e.g., 60fps):

  1. Smooth Motion: High frame rates result in exceptionally smooth motion, making them ideal for fast-paced action scenes or sports broadcasts.
  2. Enhanced Realism: Higher frame rates can create a more lifelike and realistic viewing experience, reducing motion blur and flickering.
  3. Slow Motion: Footage shot at high frame rates can be easily slowed down during post-production to achieve a smooth slow-motion effect, adding cinematic value.
  4. Reduced Judder: High frame rates reduce juddering or stuttering, providing a seamless and immersive viewing experience.
  5. Ideal for Gaming: High frame rates are essential in gaming to ensure responsive and fluid gameplay, reducing input lag.

Disadvantages of High Frame Rates (e.g., 60fps):

  1. File Size: High-frame rate videos typically have larger file sizes due to the increased amount of data per second, requiring more storage space.
  2. Compatibility: Not all devices and platforms support high frame rates, potentially limiting your audience’s access to your content.
  3. Unnatural Look: Some viewers find videos shot at very high frame rates (e.g., 120fps or above) to have an unnatural, almost hyper-realistic appearance, which may not be suitable for all content.

Advantages of Lower Frame Rates (e.g., 24fps):

  1. Cinematic Aesthetics: Lower frame rates, such as 24fps, have been a standard in filmmaking for decades, giving content a traditional cinematic look.
  2. Reduced Storage: Lower frame rates result in smaller file sizes, making them easier to manage and store.
  3. Ideal for Narrative Content: 24fps is well-suited for storytelling and narrative content, providing a more artistic and deliberate pacing.

Disadvantages of Lower Frame Rates (e.g., 24fps):

  1. Motion Blur: Lower frame rates may exhibit more noticeable motion blur in fast-action scenes, potentially reducing video quality.
  2. Incompatibility with High Motion: They might not be suitable for content with rapid motion, such as sports, as it can result in choppy or less fluid visuals.
  3. Not Ideal for Gaming: Lower frame rates in gaming can lead to input lag and a less responsive gaming experience.

In summary, the choice between high and low frame rates depends on your specific content and goals. High frame rates offer smoother motion and enhanced realism but can result in larger file sizes and may not be universally supported. Lower frame rates provide a cinematic look and smaller file sizes, making them suitable for narrative content but less ideal for fast-action scenes. The decision should align with your content’s intended style and the preferences of your target audience.

Conclusion

With a fundamental understanding and ability to use frame rates, you can elevate your production value. Whether you’re streaming sports events or hosting training videos for staff, this guide will help you appear more professional by producing higher-quality videos.

For a deeper understanding and more tips, combine this guide with Dacast’s knowledge base. There you can discover expert advice on live streaming and hosting guidance. These will help you further grow your skills and become a greater video content creator.

Dacast is a professional platform and complete solution relied upon by businesses around the world. With Dacast, businesses and broadcasters of all shapes and sizes deliver exceptional content. Whether it’s live streaming, video hosting or compiling a library of video content at the highest quality possible, Dacast is the tool you need.

Fortunately, you can try Dacast completely free for a full 14 days. Sign up today and reap the benefits that others have.

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Do you have questions or feedback about frame rates and video encoders? Send a message to our 24/7 technical support team, and we will get back to you. For regular tips and exclusive offers, you can join our LinkedIn group.

Emily Krings

Emily is a strategic content writer and story teller. She specializes in helping businesses create blog content that connects with their audience.