Video Bitrates

Updated 12/25/2009

Computer/Video Communication Systems
(Green is in service formats, red is likely future formats)

Type of System

Resolution

Total Pixels

Basic Bitrate
(30 fps)

YouTube SD

320x240

76,800

2.3 Mbit/sec

NTSC (480i/p)

720x480

345,600

10.37 Mbit/sec

PAL (576i)

720x576

414,720

12.44 Mbit/sec

HDTV (720)

1280x720

921,600

27.65 Mbit/sec

HDTV (1080)

1920x1080

2,073,600

62.21 Mbit/sec

Quad HDTV (2160)

3840 x 2160

8,294,400

248.83 Mbit/sec

4K Digital Cinema (2160)

4096 x 2160

8,847,360

265.42 Mbit/sec

Ultra High Definition TV (UHDTV) (4320)

7680 x 4320

33,177,600

995.33 Mbit/sec

Color Depths Possible for different Bit lengths
(generated via 2x; where x is the number of bits)

Bit Length

Individual
Colors

Bit Length

Individual
Colors

1-Bit

2

7-Bit (ASCII)

128

2-Bit

4

8-Bit (UTF-8)

256

4-Bit

16

16-Bit

65,536

6-Bit
(Minimum For English Text)

64

24-Bit (Truecolor)

16,777,216

Type of System

8-Bit (256 Color)
Raw Bandwidth

24-Bit (True Color)
Raw Bandwidth

YouTube SD

18.4 MBit/Sec

55.2 MBit/Sec

NTSC (480i/p)

82.96 MBit/Sec

248.88 MBit/Sec

PAL (576i)

99.52 MBit/Sec

298.56 MBit/Sec

HDTV (720)

221.2 MBit/Sec

663.6 MBit/Sec

HDTV (1080)

497.68 MBit/Sec

1,493.04 MBit/Sec

Quad HDTV (2160)

1,990.66 MBit/sec

5,971.97 MBit/sec

4K Digital Cinema (2160)

2,123.37 MBit/sec

6,370.1 MBit/sec

Ultra High Definition TV (UHDTV) (4320)

7,962.62 MBit/sec

23,887.87 MBit/sec

If you wanted to save a 60 second video at NTSC resolution in true color; total size would be:

60 seconds x 248.88 Mbit/Sec = 14,932.8 megabits

Conversion to megabytes is done through the following factors:

Byte Measurement

Conversion Factor

megabyte

8 megabits

gigabyte

8,192 megabits

14,932.8 megabits / 8 = 1,866.6 megabytes

That's for raw, uncompressed video. If we compress it, we can save a lot of space. Popular compression codecs are listed in the table below.

Type of Codec

Compression Ratio

Compressed Size (MB)
of a 1,866.6 MB uncompressed video

YouTube

114:1

16.37 megabytes

H.263/MPEG-2
(Decent Quality)

30:1

62.22 megabytes

H.264/MPEG-4
(Decent Quality)

50:1

37.33 megabytes

Compression however, reduces the quality of the video, and requires increasingly powerful computers on both ends of the datastream for compression and decompression.

Megabits per second transfer rates for compressed video are shown in the table below; to save you some time.

256 Color (Greyscale) Video

Resolution

YouTube Quality

Decent Quality
H.263/MPEG-2

Decent Quality
H.264/MPEG-4

YouTube SD

0.16 MBit/Sec

0.61 MBit/Sec

0.37 MBit/Sec

NTSC (480i/p)

0.73 MBit/Sec

2.77 MBit/Sec

1.66 MBit/Sec

PAL (576i)

0.87 MBit/Sec

3.32 MBit/Sec

1.99 MBit/Sec

HDTV (720)

1.94 MBit/Sec

7.37 MBit/Sec

4.42 MBit/Sec

HDTV (1080)

4.37 MBit/Sec

16.59 MBit/Sec

9.95 MBit/Sec

Quad HDTV (2160)

17.46 MBit/Sec

66.36 MBit/Sec

39.81 MBit/Sec

4K Digital Cinema (2160)

18.63 MBit/Sec

70.78 MBit/Sec

42.47 MBit/Sec

Ultra High Definition TV (UHDTV) (4320)

69.85 MBit/Sec

265.42 MBit/Sec

159.25 MBit/Sec

True Color Video

Resolution

YouTube Quality

Decent Quality
H.263/MPEG-2

Decent Quality
H.264/MPEG-4

YouTube SD

0.48 MBit/Sec

1.84 MBit/Sec

1.1 MBit/Sec

NTSC (480i/p)

2.18 MBit/Sec

8.3 MBit/Sec

4.98 MBit/Sec

PAL (576i)

2.62 MBit/Sec

9.95 MBit/Sec

5.97 MBit/Sec

HDTV (720)

5.82 MBit/Sec

22.12 MBit/Sec

13.27 MBit/Sec

HDTV (1080)

13.1 MBit/Sec

49.77 MBit/Sec

29.86 MBit/Sec

Quad HDTV (2160)

52.39 MBit/Sec

199.07 MBit/Sec

199.44 MBit/Sec

4K Digital Cinema (2160)

55.88 MBit/Sec

212.34 MBit/Sec

127.4 MBit/Sec

Ultra High Definition TV (UHDTV) (4320)

209.54 MBit/Sec

796.26 MBit/Sec

477.76 MBit/Sec

Capacity of Storage Mediums

Notes:

Disc is filled to only 85% of Capacity to be on the conservative side.
Minutes are rounded to the nearest number.
Soundtracks are assumed to be 0.5 Mbit/Sec for MPEG-2 and 9 Mbit/sec for MPEG-4.

I also assume that compression ratios don't improve much between MPEG-4 and whatever comes for HVD -- it may well be that television shows get lossy compression, while two hour movies get lossless video.

Resolution and Codec

595 MB CD-R

7.99 GB DVD-DL

42.5 GB BD-DL

425 GB HVD (2015?)

850 GB
HVD
(2019?)

5,100 GB
HVD
(Ultimate)

NTSC (480i/p) MPEG-2

10 minutes

121 minutes
or
2 hours

644 minutes
or
10.7 hours

6,439 minutes
or
107.3 hours

12,879 minutes
or
214.6 hours

77,273 minutes
or
1,287 hours

HDTV (1080) MPEG-4

2 minutes

27 minutes

146 minutes
or
2.4 hours

1,458 minutes
or
24.3 hours

2,916 minutes
or
48.6 hours

17,499 minutes
or
291.7 hours

Q-HDTV (2160) MPEG-4

25 seconds

5 minutes

27 minutes

272 minutes
or
4.5 hours

544 minutes
or
9 hours

3,262 minutes
or
54.4 hours

UHDTV (4320)
MPEG-4

10 seconds

2 minutes

11 minutes

116 minutes

233 minutes
or
3.9 hours

1,397 minutes
or
23.9 hours