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What Factors Affect the Quality of Screen Recording Videos?

As you’re probably aware screen recording videos are basically just video footage that is recorded from the screen of any desktop computer or mobile device.

However the quality of screen recording videos can differ quite a bit, and some may look crisp and clear while others look blurry and have poor definition.

The reason for this is because although they are recorded directly from your screen, the video quality of the recording is based on numerous factors.

If you want to record high-quality videos it is important that you understand each of these factors and how they can affect the final quality of your screen recording videos.

Screen Recording Set up on a PC Screen


Although explanations for resolution may sound confusing, in a practical sense the more pixels that are in the video the clearer it will look.

As such higher resolutions will have a better video quality than lower resolutions.

As far as screen recording videos are concerned, however, the resolution is more of a factor than most people realize.

The reason for that is because the resolution of the video that is recorded cannot be more than the display resolution.

In other words if you’re recording a video from a 1080p Full HD screen then the most its resolution can be is 1080p if you record the full screen.

If you only record a part of the screen, the resolution will be less than that.

At the end of the day that limiting factor is something that you can’t avoid – but you should still try to record in as high a resolution as possible.

Aspect Ratio

The aspect ratio is closely related to the resolution of the video, as it is the ratio of the width to the height of the video.

In a technical sense, it doesn’t directly affect the video quality, but it does affect its appearance when it is displayed.

If the aspect ratio of the video isn’t the same as the aspect ratio of the display it is watched on – it will either be stretched or compressed to fit it, or there’ll be black bars on either side.

Needless to say, you want to avoid either outcome, which is why it is important to record screen recording videos in the right aspect ratio.

In most cases, the ‘right’ aspect ratio is 16:9 as it is the most common aspect ratio that is used for monitors, TVs, and mobile devices in landscape mode.

However, sometimes you may want a vertical aspect ratio (9:16) for mobile devices or a square video (1:1) for some social media platforms.

Lady Pointing at a Laptop Screen

Frame Rate

One of the most important factors that affect the quality of screen recording videos is the frame rate.

The more frames in each second of video that you record, the smoother any movement will appear.

Conventionally a frame rate of 30 is considered acceptable, but if you want your video to really look great then pushing it to 60 frames per second is best.

The impact of high frame rates shouldn’t be underestimated, and sometimes even lower resolution videos can look much better if the frame rate is high enough.

System Resources

Recording the screen of a computer can take up a significant amount of system resources – and may tax older systems if lots of programs are running at the same time.

If your system can’t cope with the demands placed on it, the video could be affected or the system itself could start to respond sluggishly.

As you can imagine it is best to avoid this, and you should try to free up as much of your system resources as possible prior to recording.

In particular, you will want to close any unnecessary programs and background processes so that they don’t interfere.

Computer sat on a desk

Encoding Settings

At times the recording parameters aren’t the reason why the quality of screen recording videos are suspect – but rather it is the encoding settings that are to blame.

When you encode a screen recording video, it is important to take into account the following:

  • Use the same resolution as it was recorded in, or downscale it while maintaining the aspect ratio.
  • Never alter the frame rate of the recording when encoding or it could cause the video to stutter and look jerky.
  • Always make sure the bitrate is high enough based on the resolution and frame rate.

Most video capture software for Mac and PC will have presets that you can use to set the encoding settings without too much difficulty.

For example, you could try Movavi Screen Capture Studio for Mac if you need help.

That should cover all the factors that will impact the quality of your screen recording videos.

Be sure to take each factor into account the next time you record video footage, and see for yourself how much of a difference they can make.

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