Video: BEST SETTINGS for Sony Vegas output rendering (for YouTube / online streaming)

I've been using Sony Vegas Studio HD Platinum 11.0 for over a year now. I LOVE IT. But I have had one problem with it. The output video has not been quite as good as I had hoped. And when I upload to YouTube, it looks like CRAP.

YouTube's guidelines say to upload in the highest quality for the best effect. Then it gives specifics about how to export to a Quicktime .MOV file. None of the specifications match Sony Vegas.

Well! After much experimentation over the months, and after watching various video tutorials and reading through other pages, this is what I have decided is the best solution....
  • Save your work. SAVE NOW!
  • Go to Project > Render As ....
  • Find: "> Sony AVC/MVC (*.mp4; *.m2ts; *.avc)"
  • Pop open the selection submenu.
  • Scroll down to: HD 1920x1080-60p
  • Click [Customize Template...]
  • Click the [Project] tab.
  • Change "Video rendering quality:" to [Best].
  • Click the [Video] tab.
  • Notice the frame rate is "59.940 (Double NTSC)."
  • Frame size should be [High definition (1920x1080)].
  • Field order should be [None (progressive scan)].
  • Bit rate (bps) should be the highest [25,999,360].
  • Click [OK].
  • Make sure your folder and filename are correct at the top.
  • Click [Render] to begin.

The quality will be very good, but the filesize will be larger than other choices, however not nearly as big as Windows .AVI format. 

If you must have a smaller file size, reduce the Bit rate setting.

YouTube will still slightly degrade the quality of your new video after you upload it -- nature of the beast, free is free. Hopefully, you have a high-speed connection because uploads can take a while with higher-quality files because they are larger.


Google's latest (Nov. 2013) suggestions for encoding are here.

Container: .mp4

  • No Edit Lists (or you may lose AV sync)
  • moov atom at the front of the file (Fast Start)

Audio Codec: AAC-LC

  • Channels: Stereo or Stereo + 5.1
  • Sample rate 96khz or 48 khz

Video Codec: H.264

  • Progressive scan (no interlacing)
  • High Profile
  • 2 consecutive B frames
  • Closed GOP. GOP of half the frame rate.
  • Variable bitrate. No bitrate limit required, though we offer recommended bit rates below for reference
  • Color Space: 4.2.0

Frame rates

Frame rates should match the source material. For example, content shot in 24fps should be encoded and uploaded at 24fps. Content recorded at 30fps should be uploaded at 30fps. Content shot in 720p60, should be uploaded at 720p60. Content at 1080i 60, should be deinterlaced, going from 60 interlaced fields per second to 30 progressive frames per second before uploading.


Standard quality uploads
TypeVideo BitrateMono Audio BitrateStereo Audio Bitrate5.1 Audio Bitrate
1080p8,000 kbps128 kbps384 kbps512 kbps
720p5,000 kbps128 kbps384 kbps512 kbps
480p2,500 kbps64 kbps128 kbps196 kbps
360p1,000 kbps64 kbps128 kbps196 kbps
High quality uploads for creators with enterprise quality internet connections
TypeVideo BitrateMono Audio BitrateStereo Audio Bitrate5.1 Audio Bitrate
1080p50,000 kbps128 kbps384 kbps512 kbps
720p30,000 kbps128 kbps384 kbps512 kbps
480p15,000 kbps128 kbps384 kbps512 kbps
360p5,000 kbps128 kbps384 kbps512 kbps


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