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Best MP4 codec for screen capture video

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Daniel Watrous
Best MP4 codec for screen capture video
on Feb 19, 2010 at 7:27:49 pm

I use Sony Vegas MS platimun 9 and do a fair amount of screen capture video. I'm interested in being able to edit my video in Vegas rather than just upload the single take I get from my screen recording software. The problem is that the file size ends up huge and the quality poor.

For example, I can use Jing Pro to record a few minutes of screen capture and I get a very high quality video that isn't very big (even for HD). If I edit the video in Vegas MS Platinum I only see options to export as
1) Main Concept MP4, but this is limited to two resolutions and a 4:3 aspect ratio.
2) Sony AVC MP4. This one gives me more options, but to get the same quality video out, the file size is HUGE.

I'm willing to pay for a commercial MP4 player, but I can't find anything suggesting which codec would be best for screen recording. Is there some way to use the Jing codec in my export settings in Vegas?

Thanks in advance.


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Daniel Low
Re: Best MP4 codec for screen capture video
on Feb 19, 2010 at 10:50:31 pm

There are codecs specially designed for screen capture like Jing and Camtasia and there's the MPEG-4 codecs which are designed for video in general.

The screen capture codec are specialists, if you like.

What you are asking for is like saying " I like the speed of this Ferrari race car but I also want something I can use to go food shopping".

Anyhow, using Vegas to transcode your video is very limiting. Do your edits at high quality then export to a dedicated transcoding application for coding to MPEG-4.

H.264 is perfectly capable of very high quality and small file sizes when used for screen capture, if you transcode it correctly.

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Daniel Watrous
Re: Best MP4 codec for screen capture video
on Feb 22, 2010 at 3:32:27 pm

If I'm not mistaken, the jing codec is MP4 h.264. The native mp4 files that I save from jing will play in flowplayer, for example. I understand that they're specialists, but I wonder where I can get one of those specialist codecs so that I can export higher quality edited video.

When you say "Do your edits at high quality then export to a dedicated transcoding application for coding to MPEG-4", do you mean to export in uncompressed avi format and convert to mp4 using another application?

When you say "H.264 is perfectly capable of very high quality and small file sizes when used for screen capture, if you transcode it correctly." I agree, but I've heard that not all implementations of the mp4, h.264 codec are created equal. Apparently there are some that are faster and higher quality than others. My question is, which is best and why?

It also seems to stand to reason that one codec might perform better for screen capture than others.


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