Video compression for iPads & iPhones

I’ve been working with video for more than a year now and have learnt so much over that period. I really want to thank my wife Grace who runs her video/photography company called Stories for teaching me so much. Now, I teach her stuff too!

With all these awesome videos, I want to show them off on our iPhones and iPad. Digging around for the best and optimum video settings to compress to is just a pain. I’ve summarized my options here for you (and skipped all the lengthy explanations).

When converting / compressing videos, I use Handbrake – it’s an excellent FREE software.

Standard settings for all devices

Format: MP4
Video Codec: H.264
Framerate: Same as source
Quality: Constant quality: 100%

The only settings that differ between devices are the Picture Settings. Click on the button and set Anamorphic to None, check Keep aspect ratio, then adjust the width as shown below. All widths are in pixels (px).

iPad / iPhone 4

General info: iPad screen resolution: 1024 x 768
General info: iPhone 4 screen resolution: 960 x 640

If compressing HD / Blu-ray videos (or anything wider than 1024px), set width to 1024 (height will automatically adjust accordingly)
If compressing DVD, set width to 720  (DVD resolution is SMALLER than your iPad, so we don’t want to blow it up unnecessarily)

iPhone 3 / iPhone 3Gs

General info: iPhone 3 & iPhone 3Gs screen resolution: 480 x 320
Set width to 480 (height will automatically adjust accordingly)

* Disclaimer: I don’t claim to be a guru on all things video related, but these settings work for me. If you encounter issues, do leave a comment and let me know. All the best. :)

1 Comment

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