Video Encoding


Amazon H.264 currently (2020) has the following maximum bitrates while streaming:

  720p 720p HQ 1080p 1080p HQ
bitrate 4.5 6 10 15
MB/min 34 45 75 112
30m TV 1012 1350 2250 3375
60m TV 2025 2700 4500 6750
90m Film 3037 4050 6750 10125
140m Film 4725 6300 10500 15750

Keep in mind that most videos will not be a constant bitrate, so actual streamed data will be lower.

Roku provides some guidelines around a bitrate ladder, with H.264 1080p @ 5.8, 4.3, then 720p at 3.5, 2.75. Not all their devices support 1080p60 so recommends 720p60 or 1080p24/30. For 4k recommends HEVC/H.265 up to 25mbps.

HEVC Notes

Some recommendations specifically for Anime - TLDR; Handbrake, Main 10 profile, slow preset:

  • 1 Setting to rule them all: crf=19-20, limit-sao:bframes=8:psy-rd=1:aq-mode=3
  • Flat, slow anime (slice of life, everything is well lit): crf=19-20, bframes=8:psy-rd=1:aq-mode=3:aq-strength=0.8:deblock=1,1
  • Some dark scene, some battle scene (shonen, historical, etc.): crf=18-19 (motion + fancy FX), limit-sao:bframes=8:psy-rd=1.5:psy-rdoq=2:aq-mode=3 crf=20 (non-complex, motion only alternative), bframes=8:psy-rd=1:psy-rdoq=1:aq-mode=3:qcomp=0.8
  • Movie-tier dark scene, complex grain/detail: crf=16-18, no-sao:bframes=8:psy-rd=1.5:psy-rdoq=4:aq-mode=3:ref=6
  • I have infinite storage, a supercomputer, and I want details: preset=veryslow, crf=14, no-sao:no-strong-intra-smoothing:bframes=8:psy-rd=2:psy-rdoq=5:aq-mode=3:deblock=-1,-1:ref=6

Audio: Avoid FLAC (save the data rate for video quality) and reencode, prefer Opus to AAC. If already in a lossy format, just copy it.

  • Opus: 192kbps stereo, 384kbps for 5.1.
  • AAC (Apple): -V 109 stereo, -V 100 for 5.1.
  • Fraunhofer FDK AAC (build your own Handbrake with non-free, docs): -m 5