CBR - Constant Bitrate

CBR or Constant Bitrate is a method used in encoding wherein the video encoder maintains a constant bit rate regardless of the size and complexity of the files being processed.

What is CBR?

CBR—or Constant Bitrate—is a method used in encoding wherein the video encoder maintains a constant bit rate regardless of the size and complexity of the files being processed. Simply put, the encoder generates a constant number of bits per 1 second or less—thereby ensuring that the codec's output data remains constant.

Advantages of CBR

  • The data transmission in CBR does not vary with file size and complexity—which makes it ideal for time-sensitive multimedia encoding.
  • It delivers consistent results; for instance, if you set the encoder to 2000 kbps, the bitrate will remain constant at 2000 kbps.
  • CBR is the more popular and widely compatible option in most streaming situations—especially where real-time encoding is involved.

Applications of CBR

CBR is a standard in the world of live streaming where any dynamic changes in the bitrate of a video stream can stall the output data and cause the player to fall behind. The majority of content broadcasters use CBR—which is compatible with all the major software and hardware platforms of video streaming.