Reducing Video File Size

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    • #89354


      I have a question that is haunting me for years, and I have been looking for a solution ever since. I am just an average user/editor of videos. Depending of the term average, it means for me that I can download converters, knows how to twitch (very little) some of the qualities to reduce a file size like resolution and such. But really, I don’t know any other things so I’m really not a professional in ay way at all.

      Going straight to my point, I really have a hard time reducing file sizes. My girlfriend and I are constantly having vacations. And as normal couples do, we take pictures, videos of the sceneries, beaches, natures, cities. Currently, I’m just using my Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge phone for capturing such moments set in Full HD mode, not the 60 FPS mode. just the normal one.

      Concentrating on videos, I find it really frustrating why a simple 30 minute HD video garnishes 4GB worth of file! At my first use of a technology, I though maybe it was a glitch, but years of frustration shows an average of 1GB for 10 mins of video, 2.5GB for abround 20 mins and my last one was 3.99GB for 33 mins of video. It’s not even on 4k.

      Maybe I’m asking for two things, knowledge and solution. Are there anything wrong with shooting with a smartphone? I had the same experience with my other Samsung phones as well and a few LG ones, so I know this is not just hardware related. Am I doing anything wrong? I am also an avid movie viewer as well that downloads digital movies (legally of course). I ALWAYS download 1080p movies and sometimes Blue-Ray ones. I notice that for a 1080p movie which spans to about 1.45 hours to 2.30 hours only has roughly about 1.2GB of space! I mean wow, compared to my videos, these 1080p movies are about 50% clearer, better fps, better sound but about 75% smaller than my home videos. You understand my frustration on this issue, as I have hundreds of videos, and now I was compelled to write in video forums as I’m losing space and just don’t want to delete videos for sentimentality.

      Now for my 2nd thing to ask which is the solution, I have tried video converters. On my last video the 3.99GB worth 33 mins, I notice that using video converters, and converting it to the same format mp4 to mp4 with 1920×1080 > 1920×1080 resolution, I was able to reduce the file size by have to exactly 1.99GB, even though it has the same quality based on the settings before converting. But I see somehow a reduced quality comparing the old and newly converted video side by side. I am tempted to say that it is a “tolerable reduced quality” being that it was reduced in half, but I can not as better movies shot is 1080p as stated above only garnish around 900MB-1.5GB the most for a full size movie and mine is just 30 mins.

      As much as I want to consider reducing resolution, reducing sound quality, reducing fps and anything that amounts to reducing quality, I can not do so as I want to know, how do movie people do that kind of magic? Am I doing anything wrong? Is there some sort of software I’m missing that’s why I have these issues?

      Apologies for the long post, but I gave my best detail of what is my issue, what I am asking, what have I already done, some things to compare with, hoping that professionals will be able to direct me to a solution.

      Thank you so much, may everyone have a God blessed day!

    • #213656

      You’ve asked a lot of questions, and I can understand your frustration. Let me suggest that you view these videos and article here on Videomaker that explain what codecs and file formats are all about. Note that some, like the first link, are a little out of date, as Youtube no longer used Flash for video, but the explanations are still valid:

      Web Video

      Video File Formats:

      There’s a lot more using this search:

      After reviewing the articles and videos, come back with more specific questions.

    • #213666

      Handbrake is a great tool to shrink your massive files down a lot and still have them look good. For example, a 1.5 hr. I show I did a few months ago came out to 25 GB. in size for the HD master file (MXF format). I ran it through Handbrake and got it down to 4 GB. in size (MP4 format). Both were 1920 x 1080. In comparison the MPEG-2 file for DVD creation (720×480) was also 4 GB. in size. for the download.
      Once you’ve downloaded it, stay on the main page as there’s a link to their community & support page for lots of help.


    • #213674

      Seems strange to me that no-one has mentioned the rendering side of things – I use VP (Video Pad “Professional” – their words, as it definitely is not good enough for that) version 2.41 and I always render into mp4 file format. When saving the movie (ie rendering the project file) it always gives the option of changing the ‘output quality’ settings. This is under Encoder Settings but will probably be called a different thing on your video editor. In my case they have a slide bar annotated from 1 to 51, with 1 being the highest quality and 51 being the lowest. If 1 is selected then the output file (the movie) will be a huge file size, eg 3Gb per minute. And Vice Versa. I choose around the middle, 23-27 and the videos come out the same quality as the higher settings because the original quality was about the same. So for a 10minute HD video my output file size is around 350-500Mb. Any good video editor will surely give this option to vary the output file size?

    • #213707

      Champaulm, in regards to your questions, just from personal experience, most cell phones record video in the H.264/MP4 codec, which is a heavily compressed codec.

      And when I see a file size for anything HD that is below 25GB, then I know that it is going to be extremely compressed. And with extreme compression you are going to see a loss in quality. And what makes it even worst is when you try to compress a video even more than it already is. It’s kind of like in the 90’s when you had something on VHS-C in SLP and you wanted it on Full-Size VHSin SP, sure you could copy it to a VHSin SP, but you would be taking a hit from having a second-generation VHS copy made by composite connections, and if you went further a recorded it in SLP, then you would be taking a hit from the slower tape speed. Your better bet back then would’ve been to have transferred the VHS-C to a higher-quality videotape, such as Betacam SP by S-Video, and then transferred to Full-Size VHS in SP via S-Video. This is why, when you compare a Blu-Ray to a download of a 1080p movie, the Blu-Ray, more often than not, will look more sharp and clearer, even though most modern Blu-Rays are recorded in H.264. The Blu-Ray, at 25 or even 50 GB will have more room to allow for less compression than downloads.

      When I edit H.264/MP4 into any of my videos, I do either one of the two

      1. During the editing, convert the file to a SD DV file and work with that and then for the final render relink the original H.264.

      2. Convert the H.264 to a better codec, such as DVCPROHD @ 100Mbps and work with that, and then export.

      And for both, I usually have Premiere Pro set to edit in DVCPROHD, and then I’m able to go from the DVCPROHD workflow and export a High Quality master that I can then give to stations, or have it converted to their specs, as well as create a good-looking H.264 for download or my phone, or I can also export out a really good, High-Quality 480p SD version, either on DVD or Mini-DV tape.

    • #214875

      Here we take compressing MP4 file size as example:

      Method 1: Reduce Size of MP4 to a Smaller-Sized FLV, WMV

      Method 2. Lower Video Resolution, Frame Rate and Bit Rate to Losslessly Compress MP4 Files

      Method 3. Trim Unwanted Part to Downsize MP4 Video File

      To get those job done, what you need a professional video compresson software. Seeking for one online.

    • #278013

      One thing to note is that compressors either run to a set quality level or a set bit rate. That is if you want to increase quality you will need to increase the bit rate or file size of the video. Newer technology used by Netflix has started to use the video content to drive the file size or quality level. That is the compressors become more intelligent in deciding how much compression can take place to maintain a certain quality level depending on the content of the video. will be coming out with this ability and there are additional encoders in the industry that have started to use “content aware” methods.

    • #72052740

      huge thanks for the iqcompress recommendation. will check it out.

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