Ultimate Guide to Variable Frame Rate [2024 Updated]

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Jane Zhou updated on May 10, 2024 | Home > Glossary and Terms

If you often deal with video recording and editing, you might have heard of variable frame rates. But, most of you may know little about this technical term. Given that, this post comes in handy. Here, we will show you the VFR's meaning, usage, advantages, disadvantages, and more. Now, let's come into the details.

What's the Variable Frame Rate?

variable frame rate

Variable frame rate, also called VFR, is a type of frame rate that allows the frame rate to change dynamically throughout the video. It means that certain frames might be displayed for a longer or shorter duration, depending on the nature of the content.  If a video is recorded in VFR mode, the camera will automatically adjust the frame rate according to what's going on in the scene.

For example, if you choose 60 FPS at the video settings but can only get 40 FPS while recording, you can still get a variable 40- FPS video if you set the variable frame rate in advance.

VFR provides more flexibility in capturing or encoding videos as it adapts to the motion or complexity of each individual scene.

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Variable Frame Rate's Benefits and Potential Challenges

After having a general knowledge of the VFR, let's explore its advantages and disadvantages in detail so that you can make the right decision.

Benefits of using variable frame rate

#1. Improved efficiency in video compression and storage

It allows for more efficient video compression by allocating higher frame rates to scenes with more motion or complexity, resulting in better video quality without significantly increasing file sizes.

#2. Enhance visual quality and smoothness

With the VFR's help, smoother playback can be ensured, as it will eliminate stuttering that can occur when playing back with a constant frame rate. Moreover, leveraging their capabilities to display higher frame rates will improve the viewing experience on high-refresh-rate displays, such as gaming monitors or certain smartphones.

Disadvantages of using VFR

Currently, there is a potential challenge about using the variable frame rate mode, and that is compatibility. Because some older video players or devices may not support VFR, leading to playback issues or incorrect rendering of the video. And some certain codecs or formats may have limited support for VFR.

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Popular Applications of Variable Frame Rate

In recent years, the variable frame rate has been used in various industries. Below are some typical ones you can have a look:

#1. Streaming services video content

Online video services, like Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc., use the VFR to deliver high-quality videos to the viewers. It allows optimizing video playback based on the capabilities of devices and internet connection.

#2. Video gaming and screen recording

Another one is the video gaming industry. VFR enables gamers to record gameplay and share their experiences with optimal frame rates, ensuring that fast-paced action sequences are smooth and fluid. 


The Bottom Line

This post shows you everything about variable frame rate. If you find it helpful, share it with your friends now.


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Updated by Daisy

Daisy is the Senior editor of the writing team for EaseUS. She has been working in EaseUS for over ten years, starting from a technical writer to a team leader of the content group. As a professional author for over 10 years, she writes a lot to help people overcome their tech troubles.

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Written by Jane Zhou

Jane is an experienced editor for EaseUS focused on tech blog writing. Familiar with all kinds of video editing and screen recording software on the market, she specializes in composing posts about recording and editing videos. All the topics she chooses

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