Video Preparation


JWP automatically transcodes virtually any video file that you upload to our dashboard. (Experimental codecs are not supported.) The file must have a duration of at least 2 seconds. If you are uploading video files through your dashboard, there is a 25GB file size limit.

Please note that if you are uploading content via the JWP Platform Management API the file size limit may be reduced β€” please see our documentation on uploading content via the API for additional details.

If you have control over the video format to upload, this article provides some tips for getting the best results.

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This article defines the formats for uploading to the platform. If you are looking for references to which formats the player will play back, please see Supported video and audio formats reference



Video Format

You can upload most media asset formats to your JWP account. The following is a list of media asset formats that are commonly uploaded to JWP accounts:

  • .3gp
  • .avi
  • .mov
  • .mp4
  • .wmv

Please note that while the platform accepts the above-listed media asset formats for upload, it then transcodes them into .mp4 and HLS formats. JWP does not retain the uploaded media asset formats in the player for output.

Please note that the 3gp media asset format is the notable exception as it is, essentially, interchangeable with the mp4 format on most devices. 3gp was designed for older devices that weren’t capable of playing MP4. For best compatibility, 3GP usually only utilizes the H.263 video codec instead of the H.264.

Files encrypted with Widevine, PlayReady, or Fairplay DRM cannot be uploaded to your JWP account. However, you can play DRM-encrypted media in a JWP player.

If you are in control of the format (e.g. when exporting the video from your editor), we advise you to always upload videos using on of the following:

  • MP4 container format
  • H.264 video codec
  • AAC audio codec

MP4 with H.264/AAC is an ubiquitous format these days. All widely used editing, compositing, screencasting and transcoding tools support it. If your tools do not, take a look at Handbrake, a free but powerful desktop transcoder.



Dimensions and Bitrates

In terms of dimensions, bigger is better. Video in 720p is today's standard and a great option. We also see an increase in 1080p uploads. If your original video is full HD, we suggest you upload 1080p too. If your source footage is standard definition (NTSC, PAL), we suggest 360p as the dimension to use. Anything smaller than 360p is not recommended.

Since H.264 and AAC are excellent codecs, the upload bitrates do not have to be extremely high. They should be sufficiently high to not introduce any data loss though. Remember that JW Platform creates the final encodes to be streamed. If the input format already has compression artifacts, the final transcodes may look quite bad.

Here is an overview that includes the preferred format, dimensions and audio/video bitrates to use. If you upload video in these formats, JW Platform will be able to build high quality transcodes and deliver smooth playback across devices.

RESOLUTIONDIMENSIONSVIDEO BITRATEAUDIO BITRATE
1080p1920x108015,000 kbps256 kbps
720p1280x72010,000 kbps256 kbps
360p640x3605,000 kbps256 kbps

Note that our built-in transcoding will generate smaller versions of your uploaded video. If you upload video in 1080p, only viewers whose device and connection support 1080p playback will see that resolution. Other viewers (e.g. on older computers or phones) will see lower resolution transcodes (e.g. 360p or 180p).

Note also that if your upload contains 5.1 audio tracks, we will retain the 5.1 audio for 720p, 1080p and higher. At lower resolutions, the 5.1 audio will be down-mixed to stereo. This provides a better playback experience for your audiences on networks where bandwidth is limited.

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It is highly recommended that you prepare your uploads using a constant, non-fractional frame rate. This will avoid timing issues and other glitches during transcoding. For example, instead of encoding your videos at a variable 29.97 frames-per-second (fps), use a constant 30 fps.



Additional Settings

There are many more settings associated with video encoding. Here are some additional suggestions to follow when exporting your video for upload:

  • Use progressive frames (e.g. 720p) instead of interlacing (e.g. 720i). Interlacing does not apply to online video and JW Platform will introduce artifacts when attempting to filter it away.
  • Use a screen aspect ratio of 16:9. This will fill the screen of many monitors, laptops, tablets and phones with your footage. More rectangular (4:3) or cinematic (2.39:1) ratios will result in black borders on many screens.
  • Use a pixel aspect ratio of 1:1. Older broadcast formats (like PAL or NTSC) use non-square pixels, but online video pixels are always square. JW Platform may have troubles converting non-square pixel aspect ratios, resulting in a stretched image.
  • Export the to-be-uploaded videos in MP4 format and not in MOV. The latter contains additional features like Edit Lists that often result in audio-video sync issues.
  • If available, select the Main or High profile for the H.264 video. These profiles support features like B-frames and CABAC, resulting in higher quality at the same bitrate.


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