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Converting video files into formats SlingStudio can use

Got some video clips that aren't in a format SlingStudio supports? A free, open-source software application may be able to help you.

Importing video clips into SlingStudio

SlingStudio can import video clips with these specifications:

  • File Types: MP4, MOV
  • Maximum File Size: 4 GB
  • Bit rate (in KB/sec, max: 30,000
  • Maximum Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Minimum Resolution: 100 x 100
  • Video Codec: H264 (Profile: Baseline, Main and High; Level: up to 4.1)
  • Audio Sample Rate (in Hz): 32,000, 44,100, 48,000
  • Audio Channel Count (max): 2 (stereo)
  • Audio Codec: AAC (Profile-LC)

What if your video clip has different specs?

If a video clip that you'd like to use isn't within these parameters, then you can consider using the HandBrake open source video transcoder product to convert your video clip(s) into a format that the SlingStudio Console app can work with.

Sling Media internal testing has determined that the HandBrake software can work with these unsupported files:

  • Unsupported file formats: Video file formats that SlingStudio does not support (such as .MTS, .MPEG, .M2T, and .AVI) can be converted into video formats that SlingStudio does support (.MP4 and .MOV).
  • Unsupported resolutions: 2K, 4K, 8K resolutions can be converted to supported resolutions (1920x1080 or less).
  • Unsupported video and audio codecs: Can be converted to supported codecs H264 and AAC-LC.
  • Unsupported audio sampling rates: 8 KHz, 16 KHz, and 24 KHz audio sampling rates can be converted to the SlingStudio supported audio sampling rates of 48 KHz and 44.1 KHz.
  • Higher video bit rates and audio bit rates: Can be converted to SlingStudio-supported bit rates.
  • Audio channels 5.1 and 7.1: Can be converted to SlingStudio supported stereo audio.

Additional features offered:

  • Preset options to streamline conversions
  • User-defined presets
  • Multiple platform availability (Windows, Mac, Ubuntu)

But … there are some limitations:

  • HandBrake does not support up-scaling resolution or frame rate conversions of the original clip.
  • There is no option to set the output bit rate.
  • There is no option to set audio sampling on Windows or Mac platforms. HandBrake transcodes based on the input.
  • The .MOV format is not available in the output format list. However when the file extension is renamed as .MOV, the converted file is in the .MOV format.

Using HandBrake

If you'd like to consider giving the HandBrake open source software a try, you can download it here:

If you need assistance installing it, you can find more information here:

Downloading and installing HandBrake

Converting a video file using HandBrake

Before you use HandBrake to convert one of your video files, you'll first need to download a settings preset (.plist) file that you import into HandBrake. This file helps make sure that the conversion works properly.

You can download that .plist file here:

HandBrake settings preset file for SlingStudio

To use HandBrake to convert a video file format:

  1. Download the HandBrake .plist file as described above.
  2. Install and launch HandBrake on your computer.
  3. Open the video to be converted by clicking Source (from the Toolbar at the top of the main window).
  4. Click Browse.
  5. Select the file that you want to convert, and then open it.
  6. Import the SlingStudio.plist settings preset file. To do that:
    1. Select Import from the Presets menu.
    2. Select the settings preset file SlingStudio.plist and then import it.
      You see SlingStudio in the Presets list.
  7. Select SlingStudio from Presets.
  8. Click Start from the Toolbar (at the top of the main window).
  9. Transcoding begins.

You can find converted file at the path that you specified. It should have the filename that you specified in the Destination field in the main window.

More detailed information can be found here:

Starting the HandBrake encoding process

IMPORTANT NOTE: All references to third-party products or URLs are offered as helpful suggestions only. No guarantees are stated or implied as to compatibility or suitability of purpose. No liability is assumed on the part of Sling Media. Please understand that you try any third-party products entirely at your own risk and expense; no guarantees are stated or implied as to either performance or for fitness for purpose.