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Bitrate and Resolution– Features of a video file

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Bitrate and Resolution are terms associated with live video streaming. They represent two features of a video file and work in correlation with each other. They are often manipulated to adjust the quality of video streaming content. Read along this brief post to know more about bitrate and resolution.


Bitrate is the calculation of the size of data used in the process of compressing and changing the format of raw video content to a digital file or format. It measures the speed of data transfer over the internet and the amount of bandwidth consumption in this process. Bitrate is always calculated in megabits per second (Mbps) for video, and kilobits per second (kbps) for audio. A higher bitrate implies better streaming quality and faster transfers of video files over the internet.

There are three classifications of bitrate encoding. Constant bitrate encoding, variable bitrate encoding and multi-bitrate encoding.


Resolution is the distinct number of pixels that could be displayed on a display device. It is a measure of the width by the height of a video. When a video is 1280 pixels x 720 pixels, it means the video is 1280 pixels wide and 720 pixels tall. However, in regular usage of the terms, resolution is only referred to with the height, i.e. 720p.

In common usage parlance, higher resolution is always associated with higher video quality. However, the internet speed and quality that the screen can display also play a key role in an optimal viewing experience.