For FAQs, page below.
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.
FORMATS NOT SUPPORTED
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)
VIDEO ENCODING GUIDELINES
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.