How To Check Video Bitrate on Linux

Regardless of the type of video we have, every one of them has a feature called bitrate which plays a fundamental role when determining the quality of an image.

What is Bitrate?

The bitrate, or also called data flow, is basically the rate of bits or data that are processed per unit of time, that is, the amount of information when playing a video that our team reads per second.

Seen in this way, the greater the data flow, the greater the quality of the video to be reproduced.

Therefore, even if a high resolution video has a bitrate under its appearance it will be blocked and distorted.

Check Video Bitrate on Linux

For this tutorial, we will use Ubuntu 16.04; we can make use of an application called mplayer which we can install by executing the following:

sudo apt install mplayer

Once installed, we will run the following syntax:

mplayer -vo null -ao null -identify -frames 0 (video_path)

The -frames 0 option indicates that the file should not be played and -vo null -ao null will give you the null drivers for video and audio.

Once this line is executed we will see the complete information of the selected video. In the line “VIDEO” we can find the data rate used by the selected video.

Check Video Bitrate using VLC

VLC has positioned itself as one of the best applications to play audio and video on Windows, Linux or macOS operating systems offering us several vital features.

You can install vlc in Ubuntu with the following command:

sudo apt install vlc

VLC has a small practical tool which allows you to see the bitrate of a video in real time.

The higher bits mean more details, but it also requires more processing power and bandwidth.

The lower bits may be easier to transmit or play on older hardware, but you will see a decrease in the quality of the image.

To see this information, we open the video with VLC and go to the “Tools” menu and there we select the option “Media Information”:

Note: It is possible to use the following key combination Ctrl + I to access this information

In the window that will be displayed we go to the tab “Statistics” and there, in the field “Input/Read” we display the options of the line “Input Bitrate,” and we can see the bitrate of the video in real time during playback in graphic form:

We have these practical options to know in detail the bitrate of each selected video.

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