Emmy Statue

Video Upload Information & FAQs

For FAQs, page below. 

Click Here for a good general article on preparing videos for upload and recommendations for video encoding settings.

For filenames for your video, make sure there are no special characters in the filename.  For example, use simple filenames such as “miller entrant” and not “#Miller’s_Entry^/))<<.”  For some reason, the special symbols in the filename slow up the upload.  Once uploaded, the Emmy Express system will match the video file with your entry ID, so files can not get “lost” because the video filenames are not specific enough.

PREFERRED FORMAT: MP4 using H.264 video codec and AAC audio codec

  • For best quality, encode your video at its original size.
    – 1920x1080p or 1280x720p is recommended
    – Your video should be at least 720×480
  • Do NOT letterbox your video


  • MP4, WMV, 3GP, AVI, FLV, MOV
    *Some MOV files contain additional features, like edit lists, that often result in audio-video sync issues.

Since we use the FFMPEG framework for transcoding videos, all other formats supported by FFMPEG can be uploaded too.

Some formats we occasionally encounter, that are NOT supported:

  • Quicktime (MOV) files that use the Apple Intermediate codec (used in Final Cut Pro).
  • Quicktime (MOV) files that actually only contain a raw DV stream (some DV cameras export these). Export these files using either raw DV or H264/AAC Quicktime.
  • Quicktime (MOV) files with 24-bit audio.
  • DRM protected files from Microsoft (WMV) or the iTunes Store (M4V, MOV).
  • CSS encrypted DVD images (VOB).
  • WMV videos using the MSS2 video codec (for screencasting)


  • File Size –  The system will accept large files – and longer videos (over 15 minutes) may need to be larger to maintain quality. However, the larger the file, the longer it will take to upload your video. Reduce the bitrate and use two-pass encoding to help reduce file size.
  • Video Scale (Dimensions) – Video width should not be smaller than 480. If the video is smaller in size, it will not be upscaled. Smaller videos will be centered within the player video area. Again, the recommendation is to upload the best possible quality using the same dimensions as your original video. The transcoding process will resize the video as needed for judging.
  • Aspect Ratio – Videos should be exported in their original aspect ratio (16×9 or 4×3). DO NOT letterbox 16×9 video during the encoding process. Do not export 4×3 videos to a 16×9 format. Use square (1:1) pixel aspect ratio.
  • Frame Rate – Use progressive frames instead (e.g. 720p) of interlacing (e.g. 720i). The number of frames per second should not be less than 24. It is recommended that the frame rate be 29.97 or 30 frames per second to provide the best quality possible.
  • Video Bitrate – Higher bitrates provide less compression and better quality but will result in larger file sizes. Two-pass video encoding can help reduce file size. Videos under 15 minutes can be encoded at higher bitrates (5,000-10,000kbps). For longer videos, you’ll need to use a lower bitrate if you want to reduce the file size. It is recommended to not go below 2000kbps. Remember, you can upload large files, but be patient as the upload time will be longer.

Click Here for a good general article on preparing videos for upload and recommendations for video encoding settings.


I’m getting a message that I tried to upload my video too many times? If you get the message you have uploaded too many times use the Contact Us form to alert us. Please do not call. We can answer emails much more quickly and efficiently. Do leave a call back number in case we need to follow up via phone. We answer questions as quickly as possible, but your patience is appreciated.  You can email chicagoemmy@gmail.com or call 312-369-8600  if you have issues.

Why is it taking so long to upload?  As you prepare to upload, expect heavy server traffic at this point in the game. Take a deep breath and just roll with it. Your own internet connection may also slow this process. Be prepared. Get it started and then walk away if you need to in order to give the process time. Breathe some more.

What browser is best? We have found out that Internet Explorer does not work well as a browser for the upload process.  Please use MOZILLA, CHROME, or SAFARI.

Do I really need to check my internet connection/speed? YES!!! The better the connection/speed, the smoother the uploading process. This is especially true if you use a wireless internet routing system or work at a company where everyone at the station shares the same bandwidth. At a bare minimum, we recommend 1mb or faster uploading speed on your computer.

Should I use the back or refresh button during the process? NO!!!! The system is a sequential step-by-step process and using the back or refresh button during the video uploading process will cause problems.

What are common uploading problems issues I should know about in advance?
• Some school firewalls block uploads and won’t allow you to upload video. You may have to get permission or do it somewhere else. Please check with your IT department.
• Larger files need more internet uploading speed.
• If you share computers at work, please be sure to clear your session when you are finished. If you leave it open and someone else uses your computer to upload an entry, it could see your info defaulted in that session.
• Wireless internet is not the best to use for uploading but it can work. If at home, make sure no one else is playing online games or doing uploading/downloading things that may disrupt your bandwidth. If your wireless system drops the signal, you will have to start over.

Can I submit a URL to view my video entry?
No, unfortunately we cannot accept a URL for your video. All entries must have an accompanying video uploaded through the Emmy® Express system for judging.

What video format and file types can I upload?
Videos must be encoded to support Adobe Flash Player 9. Videos must be saved as either a .flv (Flash video), .mp4 (MPEG-4, H.264 encoding), vp6 (True Motion), or .mov (Quicktime MPEG-4, H.264 encoding) file type.

There are a few noteworthy formats that are not supported: Quicktime (MOV) files that use the Apple Intermediate Codec (used in Final Cut Pro), DRM protected files from Microsoft (WMV) or the iTunes Store (M4V, MOV), WMV videos using the MSS2 video codec (for screencasting).

We advise you to always upload videos using: MP4 container format, H.264 video codec, AAC audio codec. MP4 with H.264/AAC is an ubiquitous format that most 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.

Does the encoding process change the aspect ratio?
No, we never change the aspect ratio. Good quality in yields good quality out.

How do I shorten a full-length program to comply with entry time limits?
Full-length programs may be shortened by taking up to three (3) complete lifts from the program. In other words, a maximum of three lifts with black in-between is permitted to bring longer programs to the time limit. We encourage the use of the description to help judges navigate the entry.

Why is my video taking a long time to upload or not uploading at all?
The success of the video upload process greatly depends on your computer’s internet speed, connectivity, security settings and overall network demand. Please try the options below before contacting us.

  • Have you tried running a Speed Test on your computer?  If so, what was your speed? A slow internet speed can result in a long/slow upload process.
  • Does your computer need a Flash upgrade? 
  • Are your firewalls or security settings (i.e. Virus, Malware, Spam) preventing Emmy® Express from working properly. If so you will need to upload from a different location.f

We strongly suggest that you do not upload more than one video at a time. The amount of time it takes to upload a video to Emmy® Express greatly depends on your computer’s internet speed, connectivity, and overall network demand. If multiple people are using the same server to upload videos it will take a longer time to upload and encode. If you are having trouble, try uploading from another location at a different time.

My video has finished uploading but when I view the thumbnail preview it isn’t good quality. Should I approve it anyways?
Please note that the thumbnail preview you view is a low quality version and is not the version that the judges will see. Judges see the version as you have uploaded it.

Are commercials allowed?
Commercials must be deleted so there is no interruption in the program.

Can I get a copy of my video once it has been uploaded to Emmy® Express?
No. If you need a copy, or think you might need a copy, be sure to save it to your own computer. We do not make videos available for viewing at any stage of the process.

Questions: rcowing@emmyonline.tv

Still need help? See this old 2012 video on uploading produced by the Heartland Chapter (some info. may not be current).