How to Add Pixels to a Low Resolution Video Clip

By Andrew Schrader

Adding pixels to a low resolution video clip is really a process of upping the quality of a video. That means you have to convert the video to another format, increase the file's bit rate, or change the video's codec. For example, if a user wants to enhance a low quality MP4 file, he or she should consider converting it to an MOV file, which is larger and of better quality. Upping a video's resolution is easy using one of several options, including MPEG Streamclip, HandBrake, or QuickTime Player Pro ($29.99). Each option offers their users preset settings for converting their files to a number of high quality encoded formats. Please note that image sizes and aspect ratios are subject to change during conversion, due to your file's settings.

Things You'll Need

  • MPEG Streamclip
  • HandBrake
  • QuickTime Player (Free) or QuickTime Pro ($29.99)

QuickTime Pro

Step 1

Download and install QuickTime Player. Agree to the terms of use. You can also download the QuickTime Pro component from Apple for $29.99, install, and open the program.

Step 2

Click "File" and "Open File..." to locate your video clip in the finder window and open in QuickTime.

Step 3

Click "File" and select "Export..." to bring up the "Save Exported File As..." window.Choose "Movie to QuickTime Movie" from the "Export:" icon bar.

Step 4

Click "Options" and select video "Settings" to choose an encoding option. For uploading to the internet, choose either "H.264" or "MPEG-4 Video" and setting your compressor to "Best" quality. For saving a high quality video to your computer, try exporting it as an "Uncompressed 10-bit." Click "Ok" twice to exit back to the "Save Exported File As..." window.

Step 5

Rename your file, if needed, and click "Save." Depending on your video's size, this may take several minutes.

MPEG Streamclip

Step 1

Download and install MPEG Streamclip. Agree to the licensing terms and open.

Step 2

Click "File" and select "Open Files" to locate your file in the pop-up window and open in MPEG Streamclip.

Step 3

Click "File" and select "Export to QuickTime." Choose a H264 or Uncompressed compression setting and check "Deinterlace Video."

Step 4

Choose "Upper Field First" as your "Field Dominance" and up your quality to 100%.

Step 5

Choose a frame size, depending on your needs. For example, if putting your video on a cell phone or handheld device, choose a smaller frame size, since your device would not be able to properly screen an HD resolution. Click "Make Movie" to begin the conversion. Depending on your file's size, this may take several minutes.

HandBrake

Step 1

Download and install HandBrake. Agree to the licensing terms and open. Click the "Source" icon to locate your video clip in the menu window and open in HandBrake.

Step 2

Choose your destination output location by clicking the "Browse..." button.

Step 3

Click "Presets" or "Toggle Presets" to open a side menu. Choose "QuickTime" under the "Apple" settings.

Step 4

Click the "Large File Size" setting and choose "H.264 (x264)" as your codec, as this results in better quality with lesser file size. You can also adjust your average bitrate setting for higher quality.

Step 5

Choose your picture setting, depending on what device you will be watching your video on. Click "Start" to begin the conversion. Depending on your file's size, this will take several minutes.

Tips & Warnings

  • To change your frame size in QuickTime Pro, click "Size..." in the "Movie Settings" window. Users may choose their dimensions and preserve their aspect ratio using a letterbox or cropping option.
  • Upping your bitrate will heighten your video's quality, but if set too high, the video will be unable to stream in some online forums.