Recommended Video Source Formats and Specifications

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While Kaltura supports a wide range of video formats and codecs, there are some recommended specifications for creating source files. These will ensure that your source file is quickly transcoded to multiple flavors (renditions), while offering the optimal video and audio quality. 

The lists and tables below are designed to supply you with the recommended settings you should use when compressing a video project in software as Final Cut Pro, Avid, Compressor, Adobe Premiere and others.


Please note: this is a best practices document. Other settings are likely to work as well.


Recommended Video Settings




Compressed Source

H.264, ProRes






x1.5-2 of the largest flavor


Frame Size

As big as the largest desired flavor

Don’t scale/zoom

Frame Size

Multiples of 16 (see below)


Frame Rate

Keep the original

Don’t re-sample


 Some editing and transcoding software include various export profiles. We recommended exporting using the QuickTime MPEG-4 profile. In the options choose the following:


MP4/MOV Streaming - choose Fast-Start.


MP4 Video Compression - choose H.264 High profile.


Bitrate – based on video dimensions. See table below.


Progressive scan mode – avoid interlaced (Kaltura can handle interlaced as well, but it’s not recommended).


Multi passmulti-pass will provide better quality (although Kaltura can convert single-pass file as well). 


VBR vs. CBR - VBR (variable bitrate) usually provides better quality than CBR (constant bitrate).


Frame Rate – choose Current.


Frame Sizes with Recommended Bitrates

An ideal source bitrate is 6,000-8,000 Kbps, however for smaller dimensions you may use lower bitrates as shown in the table below (default kaltura flavors dimensions appear in bold).


16:9 4:3 Bitrate Range
1920x1080 (1080p)   6,000-8,000 Kbps
1280x720 (720p)   3,750-5,000 Kbps
1024x720 (iPad)   3,750-5,000 Kbps
960x540 (540p)    
640x360 640x480 1,350-1,800 Kbps
560x315 560x420  
480x270 480x360 600-800 Kbps
400x225 400x300  
320x180 320x240 600-800 Kbps


Recommended Audio Settings


File Recommended Avoid





Stereo, Mono

Surround, 7.1

Sample Size

44.1 kHz or lower


Sound Levels


Peaks, low sound










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