Transcoding Videos Using Handbrake

Note: There is no need to do this if your file is small enough and is accepted by the DSP. Only do this if you are unable to upload your video.

For videos uploaded to the DSP, we accept MP4 (using the H.264 codec) files up to 100 MB in size. But what if you have a file that is in a different format or is very large? Transcoding is the process of converting a video from one format to another. In fact, the DSP automatically transcodes the video file you upload into many different variations suitable for various devices. The objective is to provide the DSP with an input video file that is of suitably high quality for this, but not unreasonably large. If you have a file that is in a different format or is too large, you can transcode it to a compatible format and upload the new file to the DSP.

This guide outlines how to convert video files to a compatible format and size. HandBrake is a free, open-source program that you can use for this purpose. There are many other programs available, but since Handbrake is free and available for all of Windows, Linux, and Mac, it is a good choice.

The screenshots and steps below may vary slightly depending on your OS and the version of HandBrake you are using.

  1. Download and install HandBrake from the HandBrake website. Open the program.

    HandBrake_open.png

  2. Select a source video file to access the transcoding options.

    HandBrake_new.png

  3. Make sure that these options are set up correctly:

    • Summary
      • Format: MP4
    • Video
      • Video Encoder: H.264 (x264)
      • Framerate (FPS): Same as source and Constant framerate.
      • Quality: Avg bitrate (kbps)and 2-pass encoding. See the table below for the bitrate to enter based on the duration of the video, which is displayed near the top-right corner of the HandBrake window.
    • Audio
      • Codec: AAC
      • Bitrate: 256
      • Sample Rate: 48

      This table shows the video bitrate that you should enter to ensure that the total file size is under 100MB, assuming 256kbps for audio bitrate. If your video is an unusual duration, select the next highest option.

      Duration Video Bitrate Max suggested height and width for good quality
      15s  25,000 kbps  1920x1080
      30s  25,000 kbps  1920x1080
      45s  16,000 kbps  1920x1080
      1 min  12,000 kbps  1920x1080
      2 min  6,000 kbps  1280x720
      3 min  4,000 kbps  1280x720
      5 min  2,300 kbps  1280x720
  4. If you need to adjust the video's dimensions, click the Dimensions tab.

    Ordinarily, you will not need to change anything here. However, if you have a video of unusually high resolution (i.e. higher than we can process or too high to produce a reasonable quality file that is under 100 MB), you may have to resize the video. Review the recommended maximum heights and widths in the table above.

  5. Select an output folder and file name for the transcoded video file.

    HandBrake_rename.png

  6. Click Start Encode to create your new output file. This may take several minutes.

You can now upload the video file to the DSP.

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