The Ultimate Guide to VOD Video Renditions & Bitrates on Dacast

By Rich Jenkins

4 Min Read

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Rich Jenkins

Director of Product at Dacast with experience in enterprise, start-ups and everything in-between. Believes coffee and kale do compete and enjoys consuming both.

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    As a broadcaster, it is important to understand that not all viewers will have the same internet speed.  Why is this important, you might ask? It is important to acknowledge the variation in internet speeds so that you are providing files with the optimal bitrate to reduce buffering or lagging. In this article, we will be covering video bitrate, multi-bitrate streaming, the value of providing multiple VOD renditions, and suggested video rendition settings.

    What is Bitrate?

    Bitrate is the measure of how many bits per second are transferred. A video with a higher bitrate would transfer more data at one time than a video with a lower bitrate. When it comes to broadcasting, bitrate is often measured in megabits per second (Mbps).  Faster internet connections can handle larger bitrate streams. Please keep in mind that the higher the bitrate you use, the more bandwidth your stream will consume.  In order to create multiple renditions of your video, which would be copies that are a variety of sizes, you must transcode the video. Dacast uses cloud transcoding on uploaded videos.

    What is Multi-Bitrate Streaming?

    As we mentioned, higher internet speeds can handle streaming at a higher bitrate. On the flip side, lower internet speeds may destroy the quality of a high bitrate stream. A solution to varying internet speeds is multi-bitrate streaming. Multi-bitrate streaming uses multiple video renditions at different bit-rates.  Some video players that use multi-bitrate streaming allow users to choose the rendition they’d like to stream. There are also adaptive bitrate video players that automatically choose the best rendition for each viewer based on their internet speed.

    Suggested Video Rendition Settings

    Below is a table that documents the full details of the output for each VOD rendition.

    NameDescriptionLongShortFPS (Round Down)Max Video BitrateMax Audio BitrateContainerVideo CodecProfileAudio Codec
    4k – 2160pUHD (Ultra High Definition)3480216025/30/50/6020 Mbps128MP4H264HighAAC
    2k – 1440pQHD (Quad High Definition)2560144025/30/50/6015 Mpps128MP4H264HighAAC
    FHD – 1080pFHD (Full HD)1920108025/30/50/607 Mbps128MP4H264HighAAC
    HD – 720pSHD (Standard HD)128072025/30/50/605 Mbps128MP4H264HighAAC
    SD – 480pFWVGA (Full Wide Video Graphics Array)85448025/29.97/30/50/59.54/602 Mbps128MP4H264MainAAC
    LD – 360pnHD (Ninth of High Definition)64036025/30/50/601.5 Mbps128MP4H264MainAAC
    ULD – 240pWQVGA (Wide Quarter Video Graphics Array)42624025/30/50/600.5 Mbps128MP4H264MainAAC
    Magic EncodingMagic EncodingN/AN/A25/30/50/605 MbpsN/AMP4H264MainAAC
    DNE – Do not encodeDo Not EncodeN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A

    Other Required Live Encoder Settings

    Since bitrate goes and in hand with some other aspects of videos, now is a good time to touch upon encoder settings for streaming on Dacast. The following live encoder settings are required for live streaming with Dacast, regardless of your selected resolution and bitrate:

    VIDEO CODECH.264 (x264 may work)
    FRAME RATE25 or 30
    KEYFRAME INTERVAL2 secs (or 2x frame rate)
    AUDIO BITRATE128 kbps
    AUDIO CHANNELS2 (Stereo)
    AUDIO SAMPLE RATE48 kHz (48,000 Hz)

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    Rich Jenkins

    Director of Product at Dacast with experience in enterprise, start-ups and everything in-between. Believes coffee and kale do compete and enjoys consuming both.

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