Video Compression Guidelines

As of October 18, 2011, we have clarifed our compression guidelines to make your submission simpler and easier.

For the best overall experience, please adhere the following guidelines.

Codec: H.264
Filetype/container: .mp4
Bitrate: 1,500 kbps
Aspect Ratio (4:3): 480 x 360
Aspect Ratio (16:9): 640 x 360

Your editing software should include compression software to export your video files. There are also numerous tools available for download from the web. MPEG Streamclip is a good free tool. DV Kitchen for Mac is a paid tool, but has a free trial. 

Some definitions:

Video Codec and Container:
A codec is the format in which your video will be encoded. A container is a file framework in which your encoded file is placed for playback.  Your choice of codec and container results in variance in file size, compression, features and quality. For best results, ITVS recommends H.264 codec with an .mp4 container.
Audio Codec:
All common audio codecs and formats are acceptable (AAC, WAV, AIFF, etc.), however these will be converted to AAC upon submission. For best results, ITVS recommends encoding audio using AAC.
Frame Rate:
This is the speed at which your program plays back. Standard rates are 24, 25 or 30 FPS. For best results, encode video in the frame rate in which it was captured.
Aspect Ratio:
Upon submission, all videos will be automatically adjusted to one of two aspect ratios: 4:3 (SD) or 16:9 (HD and widescreen SD), whichever is closer. The video is centered vertically and horizontally, and any extra space that occurs from the adjustment is padded with black. Alteration of your original video aspect only occurs when you submit something other than 4:3 or 16:9.
Please note: We cannot accept any SD file resolution smaller than 480x360.
For any questions on technical specifications for submission, please contact: N'Jeri Eaton