True to its name, if you use screen recording to record a video it will essentially capture anything and everything that happens on your screen. However that doesn’t mean that the quality of the video will exactly match what you see on your screen – which is a fairly prevalent misconception.
Just like any video there are other factors that can affect the quality of screen recording videos, and by understanding what they are you can start to improve the quality of the videos that you record:
- Video resolution
Recording in a higher resolution will produce a video that looks sharper, clearer, and with better definition – as with any video. However there is a caveat when using screen recording, as the resolution of the recording will be the same as the resolution of the frame that you’re capturing from your screen.
In short if you’re capturing a 400×400 pixel frame – the resolution of your video will be 400×400 pixels, and if you’re recording in full screen with a 720p display, the resolution will be 720p. The reason this is important is because it means the highest resolution you can record in is the resolution of your display, and to do that you need to record in full screen.
- Frame rate
One of the factors that has the biggest impact on the quality of screen recording videos is the frame rate, and a higher frame rate will make it look far smoother. More importantly if the frame rate is 60 frames per second (or close to it) the video will match what you see on your display more closely seeing as most displays run at a 60Hz refresh rate.
While a high frame rate will make any motion in the video look more fluid, it is especially noticeable when it comes to fast movement – such as the mouse cursor.
- System performance
Because screen recording will record anything and everything that is on your screen, the video quality will be affected by the system performance. If your system is sluggish and runs slowly or tends to ‘lag’, that will be captured in the video as well.
Keep in mind that recording a video using screen recording will affect the system performance as well, and could play a part in its quality. That is why as a rule it is best to close any unnecessary apps and background processes before you start recording.
- Encoding settings
Last but not least the settings that you use to encode the video after you’ve recorded it could also affect its quality. In particular it is best to encode the video in the same frame rate as it was recorded, and with a bit rate that is based on the frame rate, resolution, and video format.
If you see any compression artifacts in the video it is likely because the bitrate is too low.
All of the factors listed above affect any video captured using screen recording, regardless of whether you record streaming video Mac, capture videos of an app, or even record a video game. Not all screen recorders will let you adjust the settings manually however, but for example you could use Movavi Screen Recorder for Mac if you require one that does.
It should be noted for some specific types of videos there are other factors that may impact the quality as well – such as the audio quality if you’re recording a voiceover. However that can be dealt with on a case by case basis, and now that you’re aware of the main factors you should be able to start making improvements to the quality of your screen recording videos.