Most of work now is delivered & viewed online now, whether it’s client review (for which, by the way, we recommend dropbox) or final delivery. Most often, we upload our content to Vimeo because of their video quality and embed options. Since ubiquitous fiber optic is nowhere on the horizon, the balance between great-looking footage and file size is something we deal with often.
H.264 is certainly the most popular codec out there. However, we’ve found that videos that are encoded in H.264 using Quicktime sometimes look faded out or experience heavy banding. To fix this, we’ve used the x264 encoder along with a Compressor setting that has worked very well for us. This setting produces 720p files at 5000Kb/s. To upload standard definition footage, we’d recommend going for 2000Kb/s.
Then, download this Compressor setting file, unzip, and put the .setting file into /Users/yourusername/Library/Application Support/Compressor/
The setting will then be available in your Custom presets bin.
Note, if you don’t use Final Cut Studio with its included Compressor application for encoding, you can still use x264 within Quicktime Pro for encoding.