The reason Youtube has multiple resolutions for playback is that without that they would lose people that cannot view high res versions of a video due to bandwidth, net traffic, number of hops, limits of end users lower cost smartphone, tablet, notebook, etc.
Having high quality beautiful videos without a low res version will mean, many of your visitors may try to play the video, encounter long buffering delays, leave and never come back. So you have to decide based on your business plan, your target client and if you wish to only show video quality to broadband customers like yourself who are perhaps close to the server location and let all other customers go jump in the lake.
Some years ago the recommended bit rate for users with low-speed bandwidth was 550 Kbps on Youtube. It's up a little since then and typically, I think it's around 800 Kbps. Going higher is usually done with a HD mod that allows two versions to be available. A good place to get that is with an HD mod, is with http://www.nuevolab.com/plugins.
Setting the bit rate on your current encode is usually done in Siteadmin, however because mods are often made to Clip-share, the settings in Siteadmin may include multiple encoding settings and the oldest original may no longer have any affect.
Original size videos not changing their size is not a good idea. There are 1920 x 1080 videos out there and if you don't re-encode those, the original can be greater than 100 MB. For all slow bandwidth or smartphone / tablet users on a slow connection, or Wifi, this could cause perhaps longer than 1 to 2 minutes buffering before any playback and the playback at 1920 x 1080 can choke many smartphones. Hence, users can try a few times on a couple of videos, get nothing, leave and never return.
ffmpeg config settings:
Usually command lines to convert videos are in
Siteadmin has a direct import option which hardly anyone uses. It's config settings are in:
3rd party mods may put these encode commands in other files.
Video issues that affect encoding quality:
- Do not encode to odd pixel dimensions
- Encoding to dimensions divisible by 16 is best, divisible by 8 is good, divisible by 4 is alright and only divisible by 2 is perhaps 20% less efficient than divisible by 16.
- Original content with meta data missing will often play back find in players but can cause sync problems ffmpeg or mencode conversions.
- Sizes exactly 50% of the original look excellent, 75%, 33.3 , 25% look good. Other reductions will have pixelation artifacts.
- Original videos from SD source with rectangle pixels are wrong for online playback, but many sites still have these. They are originally 720 x 480. Encoding them to a smaller size may cause interlace sync and wavy field lines. Original content should already be native square pixels or correctly converted rectangle to square pixels. This issue is going away, because it applies to videos from Standard def TV and DVD's and rectangular pixes are not present in widescreen 720 or 1080 HD.
Hope that helps.