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Convert videos to H.264 MP4 with HandBrake

We recommend the H.264 MP4 format for video on the web because the majority of web browsers and devices support it. SiteBuilder can convert a video to H.264 MP4 when you upload it. For large videos though, or when you need a fine degree of control over the video quality, we recommend you use the open source software, HandBrake, to prepare your video before uploading to SiteBuilder.

In this article:

Download and install HandBrake

  1. Go to
  2. Download the HandBrake software (available for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS and Ubuntu) and install it.
  3. Open HandBrake:

    HandBrake on Mac OS

    The HandBrake interface varies depending on your operating system

Choose a source video

  1. Select the Open Source button at the top left.
  2. Browse to the video you wish to convert.
  3. In the Destination field, specify the file name and folder to save the converted video to:

    Select source and destination files

Specify the picture settings

  1. If it's not already visible, go to the Picture tab to set the dimensions of the output video and any cropping. We recommend limiting your video to a maximum of 1080px wide for use in Sitebuilder. Note that with automatic cropping on, HandBrake aggressively attempts to remove black borders from around the video, which may cause issues with subtitles.

    Picture settings

  2. If your source video is already interlaced, change the Deinterlace drop-down menu to Off. This can help prevent the video looking jagged during movement.
  3. The following settings work reliably for videos embedded in a SiteBuilder page and mobile devices:
Parameter Value
Width 720
Anamorphic None
Modulus 16
Cropping Custom (0, 0, 0, 0)
Video Filters All off
Video Codec H.263 (x.264)
Framerate (FPS) Same as source
  Constant Framerate
Quality Avg Bitrate: 1500kbps
Reference Frames 2
Maximum B-Frames 0
CABAC Entropy Coding unchecked
8x8 transform unchecked
Weighted P-Frames checked
No DCT-Decimate unchecked
Partition type Default (Most)
Trellis Off
Motion Estimation method Uneven Multi Hexagon
Subpixel ME & Mode Decision 6: RD in I/P-frames
Motion Estimation Range Default (16)
Deblocking Default (0)
  Default (0)
Adaptive Quantization Strength Centred
Psychovisual Rate Distortion Centred
Container MP4 file
Tip: download these recommended settings and import them to HandBrake (Import > Preset).

Convert the video

  1. When you have finished specifying the settings, click the Start button.
  2. Depending on the size of the video, converting it to a new file can take some time.
  3. Once your converted video is ready in the destination folder, upload it to Sitebuilder.


Email webteam at warwick dot ac dot uk
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