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Two-Pass Encoding

Published Date: 15 March 2023

What is Two-Pass Encoding?

Two-Pass Encoding is an advanced video encoding strategy that is carried out to ensure that video quality remains optimum at the time of conversion. The process is also known as Multi-Pass Encoding.
Using Two-Pass Encoding, a video is compressed twice. Following this strategy, the codec processes all the samples for the digital content a couple of times to ensure optimum results.

How does Two-Pass Encoding work?

  • In the first pass of the multi-pass encoding process, input data like the number of colors, frames, and motion types are analyzed.
  • The analyzed data is then saved as a log file so that a set of encoding variables are available to be retrieved during the second pass.
  • In the second pass, the information saved during the first pass is used to ensure the best encoding quality during compression.

Features of Two-Pass Encoding

  • The main controlling factors in Two-Pass Encoding are the average bitrate setting, the target video file size setting, or the bitrate range setting.
  • Two-Pass Encoding is twice as slow compared to One-Pass Encoding.
  • Video files encoded using two passes are more efficient than files encoded using a single pass.

Benefits of Two-Pass Encoding

  • Higher chances of delivering optimized and compressed video of smaller sizes at the same apparent quality.
  • It uses a device-specific compression algorithm to retain as many details as possible without consuming too much storage space.
  • Offers superior experience to viewers without demanding large file sizes.
  • It provides more precise control over the bitrate settings of videos to be compressed.
  • Improves compatibility of the encoded videos.

Drawbacks of Two-Pass Encoding

  • Two-Pass encoding is slower than Single-Pass encoding.
  • It does not work with live streaming.
  • It requires additional computing power.
  • It is less cost-effective than Single-Pass encoding.

Related Terms


TVOD—or Transactional Video on Demand—is a VOD monetization model wherein consumers access content on a pay-per-view basis.


Transcoding is a method of decoding (or decompressing), reformatting, and re-compressing an encoded (or compressed) digital video file.

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