What Is Bitrate | Something You Need to Know

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

When it comes to the word "bitrate," some people may hear this word but do not know the detailed definition. Some people may confuse the two words "resolution" and "bitrate." So this article will show you the right answer to the question "what is bitrate" by providing some information. Now, let's learn this article together!

What Is the Video Bitrate

So, what is bitrate in videos? In fact, when we talk about the speed of uploading and downloading videos, we are talking about bitrate. Bits are the units of data that make up a piece of digital content, such as videos, movies, or images. Bitrate means the number of video data being transferred in a particular amount of time. Its unit of measurement is bit/s, or bps, which means the bits per second. When talking about streaming videos it is described in megabits per second (Mbps), While for audio, it is in kilobits per second (kbps).

what is bitrate 1

But we cannot confuse the term "bitrate" with "resolution." The latter means the number of pixels that make up an image on your screen. Generally speaking, the higher the resolution, the clearer the image is. In a word, resolution refers to the clarity of your image, whereas bitrate deals with how quickly your file is processed.

How Does Bitrate Affect Video Quality

So, how does bitrate affect video quality? Usually, the higher the video bitrate, the higher the video quality. But is a higher bitrate better? The answer is "not always." If the video bitrate is too high, it will add more strain on your computer hardware and data process, which may bring glitching to your device. Therefore, it is very important for you to choose the most suitable bitrate for videos instead of choosing the highest video bitrate. The HD bitrate, for instance, is 10,000–15,000 kbps at its highest for 1080p videos.

how bitrate affect video quality

In addition to the above factor that can affect the video quality, some other factors play a crucial role. One of the other factors is the resolution. The higher the resolution, the higher your video quality will be. For most YouTubers, the most commonly used is 1080p resolution, which enables viewers to enjoy a clear and high-quality image from the 1080p video. Another one is the frame rate, which can also affect the quality of videos. For example, the standard resolution for broadcasts on Twitch is 30 frames per second (fps).

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What Video Bitrate Should You Choose

After learning about bitrate, you may want to know what video bitrate you should choose. There are some recommended video bitrates for different platforms. You can refer to them.

Platforms Recommended Video Bitrate
YouTube Live 1,500 - 4,000 Kbps
Facebook Live A maximum bitrate of 4,000 Kbps
Twitch 2,500 - 4,000 Kbps
TikTok A maximum bitrate of 25 Mbps
Instagram 5 - 15 Mbps
The conversion between Mbps and Kbps is 1Mbps = 1000Kbps.


In a word, this article has talked about the question: what is bitrate for videos? It is believed that you have a better master of bitrate and know how it affects the video quality. Please share this article with more people if you find it helpful!


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Updated by Jean

Jean is recognized as one of the most professional writers in EaseUS. She has kept improving her writing skills over the past 10 years and helped millions of her readers solve their tech problems on PC, Mac, and iOS devices.

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