HELP!!! YouTube HD quality sucks

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    • #85729



      I am about to punch someone at YouTube right in the stomach. I have tried to upload 2 seperate encoded versions of a 1080p HD video to YouTube and the quality loss is astoundingly bad!


      I usually use Vimeo and am used to the high quality results I get from them but this is for a crowd funder and they will only accept YouTube video links.


      The footage was shot on Canon 1DC at 4K + 6D at 1080p. Am exporting a 1080p video from Adobe Premiere Pro CC v8.1. 


      1st export was H.264 using the 'YouTube 1080p25 preset from the Premiere drop down list of options when exporting. Bitrate 16Mbps, no changes to the standard preset settings – fail, the picture falls to bits ie. boxing, artifacting, softness.


      Tried again with a H.264 with a 'match source' setting in an attempt to keep more quality + increased the bitrate to a Target Bitrate of 20Mbps & Max bitrate of 25Mbps.

      I got the exact the same result.


      Here's my question. Is YouTube just absolute Rubbish and should I just expect this? Or is there a way I can make this work better like other videos I've seen on YouTube? Honestly I've seen smoother 640p videos on YouTube than this 1080p looks.


      Here are some comparison images:


      AFTER EXPORT FROM PREMIERE (before YouTube)   –

      AFTER UPLOAD TO YOUTUBE (on YouTube)  –

      * Yes I did make sure that the video had actually loaded the HD 1080p quality before I took the screen shot.


      And here is the full YouTube video link –

      *THis is now the ProRes upload I did – still not good at all


      I can't imagine YouTube is this bad and I also can't imagine I'm the only person getting this problem. I used the YouTube 1080 preset for Pete's sake how wrong could I have gone..??


      Anyway πŸ™‚ Any help would be VERY appreciated. I'd prefer this video to tell the story better with some decent image quality.


      Cheers in advance! 



    • #212416

      Update: I just exported a Prores422 .MOV and uploaded it to Youtube. It took 10 times longer and the improvement is almost not noticable : (

    • #212422

      My experience with YouTube is that you have to give it some time to be fully processed. If you look at your video immediately after uploading, it's not going to look good. Wait at least an hour and then look at it for quality purposes.

      I looked at yours in 1080p mode and it looked very good to my eyes.



    • #212423

      I agree with Mike above.  This seems to be an odd quirk with YouTube. When first uploaded everything looks pretty bad.  I find sometimes I have to wait a day or two before everything has been fully processed into a good, viewable HD image.  I also clicked the link to your video and it looked fine to me when viewed at both 720p and 1080p.

    • #212426

      Thanks guys, 


      Yeah I have noticed it looks a bit better now but still doing the dodgy artifacting and general softeness. I just checked it on another computer though and for some reason it seems to look alot smoother, I don't know if it's a Safari thing but I just watched it in Chrome and it looks instantly smoother and better quality.


      This is what I've learned recently from a number of different projects – Give Safari a wide berth, it is not good at all. Have had all sorts of problems lately with image quality.

    • #212427

      Hi Joel Colthorpe

      I am not such an expert but maybe this will help you from my own experience to uploading to YouTube. I have looked at your video (on MAC 1920×1200 screen res) and agree it lacks some crispness – so I understand your frustration.


      My experience: Always film at highest quality possible to start off with for the best quality. Stay away from any colour enhancing effects while editing – it tends to change crispness of you footage. Save your original copy to your hard drive first before uploading to YouTube. Save as: MPEG-4 1920×1080/25p (13 Mbps) for YouTube. Upload directly from your hard drive to YouTube and NOT via you editing software.

      Wait a day or so before you evaluate the quality of you video on YouTube. Try and view it on a very high res monitor before you judge. You will also find that the more traffic (viewers/hits/popularity) you get after a while, the quality improves – DON’T ASK ME WHY!


      One thing that is a fact: you won’t get the same quality on YouTube as you original copy – sorry.


      Here are two links to judge for yourself:

      The first video “Feel good zoo” colour enhancements were made on every clip – lost its crispness.

      “Semen extraction: African lions”: No colour enhancements were made: see how crisp the lions look.


      Hope this helps a bit. Take care.

    • #212429

      Thanks Zooman,


      Yeah this is similar to the results I'm getting, I'm just used to Vimeo quality I guess. Youtube may offer more encoding power to more popular videos you never know. 


      I'm certainly not expecting it to not lose SOME quality, It has to, I'm just surprised by the amount of quality loss compared to what I get from Vimeo. 


      I'm happy now at least know that it is looking about the best it can possibly look on Youtube. 


      Thanks for the response

    • #212432



      YouTube transcodes all videos. (for various reasons) and . 


      For that it is key to upload with a reasonably high bitrate but for 1080 everything over 20Mb/s is not going to matter for a thing.




    • #212499

      Another you can try install YouTube High Definition Mozila add-ons

    • #212507

      I think more importantly all, regardless of how it looks, you must see this video. I am new to the group here and the forum but, have been a hobby documentary guy for years.  Worth the share. 

    • #212510

      Youtube's system never seems to handle things going in and out of focus very well. If you look at the solid, all in focus panormics shots, they're pretty sharp, but when focus shifts, or there are two or three distinct focus planes, it has trouble and the out of focus image looks artificial. The stuttery slo-mo bit didn't get handled well. Can we see the vimeo version to compare what youtube is actually doing?

    • #212603
      Laura F

      I have the same problem!! HELP!!
      I film a video in 5k, so the image size is 5120×2700, ratio: 1.0, frame rate: 23.976. And after export my video in 1080HD from adobe premier I uploaded in youtube. The quality looks horrible. I know that I will not have the same quality that I filmed but I should have a really good quality considering that it was a 5k video. Someone knows how to export in adobe premier in a way that I will not lose so much quality? When I export in adobe premier using the 4k youtube option is the same. Watching the video in 4k looks nice in youtube, but the video is for youtube Vevo and they just accept 1080HD. Any solution??? thanks!

    • #212508

      Thank you Skiray, appreciate it.

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