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VBR vs CBR - An Efficient Assistant for Video Encoding Between Them
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[VBR vs CBR] Which One Do You Prefer for Video Encoding/Transcoding?

Author by Kevincy

Updated on Jan 26, 2024

VBR and CBR are two video encoding methods widely used in the vigorous development of digital media nowadays. However, due to their different characteristics, the application and usage also vary. Therefore, to ensure a reliable, convenient and efficient conversion, this article will vulgarly explain the differences between CBR and VBR.

If needed, you're recommended to install this handy tool to switch VBR and CBR encoding mode at will:

CBR vs. VBR - CBR Encoding

CBR vs VBR - CBR EncodingCBR vs VBR - CBR Encoding

CBR means Constant Bitrate, the bit rate remains constant in a fixed value during the video encoding, e.g. 3000kbps, which means the video will be encoded in 3000kbps from beginning to end. Based on this, CBR is the most effective solution for online video streaming. Think about it, if there is the limited bandwidth on some streaming platforms that matters the maximum bit rate, CBR encoding will take full advantage of the capacity to reach the best quality. However, CBR is not suitable for local multimedia storage, because CBR will result in insufficient bitrates to encode complex video scenes (thus leading to quality degradation), while some bitrates will be wasted on simple scenes.

VBR vs. CBR - VBR Encoding

VBR vs CBR - VBR EncodingVBR vs CBR - VBR Encoding

As opposed to CBR, VBR is the abbreviation of Variable Bitrate. As its name implies, the video bit rate can vary with the complexity of the image, so the video encoding in VBR mode is very efficient with high quality but smaller file size. That is to say, during a VBR video encoding, the video bitrate will dynamically go higher or lower based on the changes of different parts, increased for complex scenes and decreased for simple scenes, which will save storage space. So VBR is quite suitable for local multimedia storage. VBR encoding seems pretty good, huh? Not really, this encoding process may take more time, and you may run into incompatibility issue or audio sync problem on some players & devices by the lack of ability to decode VBR video files.

What Are the Differences between CBR and VBR?

If you're bored with the above obscure content, go straight to the summary about Constant Bit Rate vs Variable Bit Rate below.


CBR Encoding

VBR Encoding


1. Constant video bit rate, fixed quality.
2. Faster encoding speed.
3. Useful for multimedia streaming.
4. Better compatibility.

1. Better quality-to-space ratio.
2. Flexibly adjust bit rate to meet different scenes.
3. Useful for local multimedia storage.


1. Take up more storage space.
2. Lower quality on processing more complex scenes.
3. Inflexible.

1. Slower encoding speed.
2. Less widely supported.

How to Convert VBR Video to CBR and Vice Versa?

After you go through the brief explanation of CBR vs VBR above, you're supposed to know how to make a choice based on your actual need. Next, WonderFox HD Video Converter Factory Pro is an accessible utility that I recommend to help you transcode video in VBR or CBR bit rate. You're completely up on it due to its intuitive GUI and straightforward operations.

Without further ado, free downloadfree download this handy application and follow the simple steps below to convert video between VBR and CBR mode.

More than a VBR to CBR Converter, It Can Also...
HD Video Converter Factory Pro
  • 1. Flexible to change VBR and CBR encoding mode.
  • 2. Convert videos to 500+ configured presets in batches.
  • 3. Record live streams, gameplay, video call, etc. with ease.
  • 4. Download HD/FHD/UHD videos from 1000+ websites.
  • 5. Trim, merge, flip, crop, rotate, watermark video easily.
  • 6. Compress large videos with minimal quality loss.
  • 7. Make animated GIFs from video or image sequence.
  • 8. Make ringtones, add/extract subtitles, and more...
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Compatible with Windows 11, 10, 8, 7 Windows, 100% Clean!

Simple Guide for Switching CBR or VBR Encoding

Load Source Video Files

Step 1 - Load Source Video Files

Install and launchInstall and launch HD Video Converter Factory Pro, go to Converter module. In the new intuitive window, import your video files via Add Files button. Alternatively, simply drag them into the interface.

Related Topics: Convert VFR to CFR | H.265 VS H.264 | XAVC S VS AVCHD | 4K VS 8K | AVCHD VS MP4

Switch CBR or VBR Mode

Step 2 - Switch CBR or VBR Mode

Expand the Output Format list on the right side and select one desired profile from 500+ preset formats and devices. Then press the Parameter settings button to open the Settings window, here you can select video encoder, modify resolution and change video bit rate as well. You are able to select one optimized CBR option from the Smart Fit drop-down list, or press the nearby Customize button to manually input the specific bit rate. In contrast, to enable VBR mode, you have to check the box alongside the VBR mode, then you can move the slider to High quality below. Click OK and go back to the main interface.

Start Video Conversion

Step 3 - Start Video Processing

Finally, navigate to the inverted triangle icon on the bottom of the program and specify a destination folder to save your converted file. Then hit the Run button to start the conversion between VBR and CBR mode.

Tips: This program also allows you to compress video, trim/merge/watermark video at full hardware-accelerated speed.

At last...

If this brief and perspicuous explanation about VBR vs CBR does release your confusion, that's what I would expect. And if there is any misconception or something that I've missed, you're welcomed to give the advice, I'd like to hear about it. So don't hesitate to contact us.

Foolproof Video Processing Software for Non-Tech Savvy People

HD Video Converter Factory Pro

HD Video Converter Factory Pro

1. Flexible to change video bitrate for VBR or CBR encoding.

2. Customize detailed settings for output video as you wish.

3. Abundant preset profiles of mainstream formats and devices.

4. Entry-level editing features: cut, merge, rotate, crop, watermark, etc.

5. Built-in online video/music downloader, screen recorder, GIF maker...

Free Download HD Video Converter Factory Pro Free Download HD Video Converter Factory Pro

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