Motion Picture Film HD MP4 for Streaming Service Upload [MPD-D7]

Record Type: Digital Output from Motion Picture Film Source

Expected Use: Distribution Copy

Product Name: Motion Picture Film HD MP4 for Streaming Service Upload [MPD-D7]

Product Purpose: This product is created for upload to streaming services (YouTube, etc.). It has added National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) identification slates and may have additional overall digital color or density adjustments applied. Once uploaded to the streaming service, the file is not retained.

Nature of Source Material: This product is created from any 4K ProRes 4444 MOV (QuickTime File Format), HD (High Definition) AVI Audio Video Interleaved), or MP4 reproduction master video file from film-based source material.

Possible File Derivatives: Derivatives are not made from this product category.

File Properties

Container Format

MP4 File Format (MPEG-4 Part 14)

File Specifications

Target Total Bitrate: ~8.4Mbps


Video Data

  • Video frame size: 1920x1080
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 (4:3 image with pillarboxes)
  • Video codec: Advanced Video Codec (avc1)
  • Video bitrate: ~8Mbps
  • Video mode: CBR
  • Video frame rate: 24 fps
  • High Profile @ Level 4.0
  • Color space: YUV
  • Chroma subsampling: 4:2:0
  • Bit depth: 8 bit
  • Progressive


Audio Data

  • Audio channels: 2 (stereo L R)
  • Audio bitrate: ~384 Kbps
  • Audio codec: Advanced Audio Codec (AAC)
  • Audio mode: CBR
  • Audio sample rate: 48 kHz
  • Bit depth: 16 bit


Typical file size: ~60MB/minute or ~3.6GB/hour

Quality Control

Quality Assurance and Quality Control for Distribution Copy Video Files

NARA uses a commercially available, automated batch processing software tool to evaluate specific quality metrics for files created directly from film captures (see MPD-R1 and MPD-R2). The MP4 derivative described here is sourced from a 4K MOV, HD AVI, or MP4 reproduction master file following the NARA Film Reference SOP. We rely on visual quality control (QC) and spot checks to confirm completeness and accuracy of slates, as well as technical characteristics of the files. If an MP4 does not meet specified requirements, a new file is created from the source.


The MP4 filename contains metadata that associates the file with external sources of descriptive and technical metadata. Each filename is a unique identifier composed of the item’s record group, series, item number, and reel number. To distinguish this file from the 50Mbps HD MP4 distribution master, a suffix identifying the bit rate is appended to the filename (ex. 255-hq-199-r2_8Mbps.mp4).


Video streaming service websites typically advise the upload of files with a bitrate higher than that of NARA's reference delivery HD MP4. The bitrate of this product satisfies that need while also ensuring the file is not too large to be easily uploaded over an internet connection.