In the Sekiro thread, @Decinoge and I were discussing how to get better quality uploads on youtube. I think this sort of information may be useful to people who want to utilize youtube for their gaming content.
This is the situation: if you arbitrarily upload 720p and even 1080p video, it will probably end up looking like crap. With a ton of compression artifacts. Because Youtube recompresses everything you upload. And for some reason, 720p and 1080p content get really low bitrates. Youtube requires you to game their system, to get access to better quality compression. What you have to do is upscale your content to 2K or 4K (or content which is native to those resolutions). At those higher resolutions, Youtube will use better quality compression and higher bitrates. So, you still need to keep the bitrate of your uploads fairly high, to give their system as much quality to work with, as possible. And that’s the whole point here.
My source file is 720p. So this really has nothing to do with a higher resolution looking better. Its just that youtube won’t give you enough bitrate for decent video quality, until you feed them a file which says its high res.
I did some tests, so here are the results. I’m working with an older dual core laptop right now, so I was a little limited on what I could do. But, the results were still pretty drastic.
I recorded 27 seconds of Dark Souls 2 at 720p/30fps, via the MJPEG codec set to 100% quality. Its still lossy, but not very noticeale. What I mean is, its a little bit “softer” looking than the actual game and it won’t do gamma correction. But, there are zero compression artifacts and that is our main concern today. The original file is 711Mb @ 218mbps.
The first sample is a 720p upload. The source recording is 720p, so no upscaling on this one. I compressed the original file with H.264 @ 40mbps (the file is 135Mb), using the standard “medium” speed setting for the H.264 codec. No custom/manual settings. Thats the same bitrate as a good 1080p Blu-ray. Which is overkill. But remember, we are trying to trick youtube’s system into giving us better quality. However, it seems like the resolution of your uploads is their main flag. Because this looks like hell:
720p (audio not working)
The next sample is the same video source, upscaled to 1080p @ 40mbps. Same bitrate and compression settings. It looks a lilttle bit cleaner. But still pretty bad.
1080p (audio not working)
And the final sample is the same video source, upscaled to 1440p AKA: 2K (2560x1440, exactly twice the numbers of 720p). 40mbps again. same compression setttings.
A whole lot cleaner
1440p (re-uploaded with working audio)
I could not get a 4K video to process in my upscaler. For some reason, my system would not finish the file properly. I have no doubt it would look even a little cleaner.
So, I think the results are pretty clear. I suggest opening the 1440p upload in a tab and then comparing back to back. Its insane. Even the 1080p upload does not compare. Pay particular attention to when my character goes down the stairwell. Its a mess in the 720p and 1080p videos. You can also pause it and use your arrow keys to skip to the same frames and compare still shots.
Remember, all 3 of these links are the same 720p video compressed at the same bitrate. The 1080p and 1440p are simply upscaled.