Video tutorial: Understanding the critical H.264 encoding options

This short (under 10-minute) PowerPoint-based tutorial details how to configure the most important H.264 encoding parameters (profiles, levels, entropy encoding and b-frames), discusses why H.264 encoding quality varies by encoding tool and identifies which tools produce the best quality. It’s the entry level information that I provide in most H.264 encoding lectures and useful to anyone producing H.264 videos with tools like Sorenson Squeeze, Adobe Media Encoder, Apple Compressor and Telestream Episode Pro.

The video compliments the application specific videos available on, which detail how to configure options like CABAC and b-frames in different encoding tools, but don’t discuss why. This tutorial details the pros and cons of each configuration option, and tells you when and why to use it.

H264 overview