Video Compression Research for Web

The videos we are creating for C-Tex will be used on their website, therefore will be important for me to be aware what video compressions should be used. We will be shooting the high quality videos in HD using a Canon C100 therefore the video files will be fairly large. What I will have to be aware of is compressing the large video files down, but without losing quality.

After looking what different types of software to use to compress large video files it was most apparent that Handbrake was the most popular. During university workshops one of my tutors also highly recommended this software for video compression.

What Handbrake is capable of:

  • It can convert video from nearly any format, e.g. .wmv – Windows Media Video File, .avi – Audio Video Interleave File, .m4v, .mov, etc.
  • It is free and Open Source
  • It works on Windows, Mac and Linux

Handbrake tutorial taken from

  1. Download Handbrake at
  2. Double click the downloaded file to install Handbrake by following the instructions on screen.

Compress videos

3. Launch Handbrake.  Do not be put off by all the buttons and options available – you usually only need to use a few of them.

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4. Click Source > Open File to select the video you want to compress.  In this tutorial, I select WL_Video.wmv and then click Open.  You can see the original size was 39MB.

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5. In Handbrake, under Destination you can decide where the compressed file is saved by clicking Browse.  By default, it is saved in the same folder where the original file is.  You can change to other location if necessary.   You are required to provide a name for the compressed file.

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6. For Output Settings, choose Mp4 if it is not selected and select Web Optimised.

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7. Click on Video and make sure that H.264(X264) is selected.

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8. Click Start to compress the video.  The green Start button will become red Stop button until the compression is complete.   When it is back to green.  You are ready to view the compressed video.  The original video file was reduced from 39.0MB to 4.40MB.  The compressing process for this small file took around 20 seconds.  If it is a very large file, it can take much longer to compress.

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