HandBrake is a program that can be used to compress and prepare video for Vimeo. It can be downloaded for free here.
If you have a question about using HandBrake, or are running into an error, please check out HandBrake's Support FAQ.
Please use the following instructions when transcoding your video with HandBrake:
- When you open HandBrake, you will be automatically prompted to select your source file. You can also access the file selection menu by clicking File > Open Source, or by clicking the "Source" button in the upper left-hand corner of the application.
- Select the file that you want to work with, then click "Open." HandBrake will scan the source file, which may take several seconds.
- Under the "Source" heading, ensure the following settings are selected:
- If you're working with a file that contains multiple titles, select the option that shows the longest duration. This is usually the main title.
Select the title that you wish to work with.
- Under the Destination heading, select the following setting:
This is the destination path of your output file. You can enter a new path manually, or select Browse to choose a new destination.
- Under the Output Settings heading, select the following settings:
- Large file size
- Web optimized
- iPod 5G support
- Under the Video tab, enter the following options:
- Video Codec
- Framerate (FPS)
There are some situations where you'll want to choose a frame rate different from the source:
If your frame rate is higher than 30 FPS: Choose a factor of your frame rate that is between 15-30 FPS. For example, if your frame rate is 50 FPS, choose 25 FPS.
If your frame rate is lower than 15 FPS: Choose a multiple of your frame rate that is between 15-30 FPS. For example, if your frame rate is 8 FPS, choose 16 FPS.
If you upload a frame rate that is higher than 30 FPS or lower than 15 FPS, Vimeo will automatically adjust the frame rate for you — but we can't guarantee the results will always look as expected. It's best to do the conversion on your end prior to uploading.
Same as source
- Variable / Constant Framerate
Select Constant Framerate.
- Video Quality
These data rates are suggested for average video files. If your video contains below average visual complexity (such as a slideshow presentation), choose a lower data rate. If your video contains above average visual complexity (such as a video with high levels of grain), increase the data rate.
Remember: Lower data rates lead to smaller file sizes and faster uploads! Experiment to pick the lowest data rate that yields acceptable image quality.
Select Average Bitrate (kbps). Then, enter the average bitrate appropriate to your video file:
720p HD video: 5000 — 10000 kbps
1080p HD video: 10000 — 20000 kbps
SD video: 2000 — 5000 kbps
- 2-pass encoding
- Use x264 Advanced Options Panel
- x264 Preset
Drag the slider until the "veryfast" option is displayed.
- x264 Tune
- Fast Decode
- H.264 Profile
- H.264 Level
- Under the Audio tab, enter the following options:
Select the audio track you'd like to include in your video file. Or select None if you do not want to include audio in this video file. (If you select None, you can skip ahead to step 8.)
Stereo (if available), otherwise Mono
- Skip the "Subtitles," "Advanced," and "Chapters" tabs. These aren't required for the average Vimeo video!
- In the upper right-hand corner of the application, click the "Picture Settings" button.
- Under the "Size" tab, select the following options:
Vimeo uses some unique calculations to determine how your video should be displayed. Please take note of the following:
Will my video play in 720p HD on Vimeo? Videos with a frame size area equal to or larger than 700x700 (499,000 pixels square) are considered "720p HD" by Vimeo. Your video will need to have a frame area of at least 700x700 in order for your video to generate an HD version.
Will my video play in 1080p on Vimeo?* To generate a "1080p HD" version on Vimeo, the minimum dimension must be at least 1080px or the maximum dimension must be at least 1920px. For example, 1920x1080 is considered "1080p," but 1280x720 is not.
*All 1080p source videos are automatically converted to 720p upon uploading to Vimeo. Plus and PRO users have the option to upgrade their videos to 1080p, but only if your source file qualifies as 1080p. Read more.
This value should default to your source file's width. You can leave the default value.
- Keep aspect ratio
This value should default to your source file's height. You can leave the default value.
- Under the "Filters" tab, select the following options:
- Decomb / Deinterlace
If your source is interlaced, select Slow. If your source is progressive, select Off. If you're not sure, select Off. Learn more about deinterlacing with HandBrake.
- If your video contains a lot of grain or visual noise, you may want to enable this feature to reduce your bitrate and file size. Use with caution.
- If your source footage is low quality, you may want to enable this feature to remove blocking artifacts. Use with caution.
- Click the "Start" button in the upper left-hand corner of the application to begin the encoding process.
- View your finished, compressed file to make sure it looks and sounds correct — then upload it to Vimeo! Questions about uploading?