GOP is it "Closed" or "Open"?

I’ve been doing a deep dive into video export settings. Wish I knew earlier that Youtube actually put out a spec sheet of what they wanted.

YouTube recommended upload encoding settings - YouTube Help (

On the video part; it asks for Closed GOP. I do not see an “Open” vs “Closed” option in shotcut; and so I’m wondering how would I know; and if it isn’t a checkbox of some sort; is it an option I can type in directly. Also; I found out that “fixed” is not quite the same as closed.

So I am hoping someone more knowledgeable about this will answer if the GOP is open or closed. It doesn’t specifically say Fixed on the Youtube recommendation; but wondering if fixed would then be the better option.


I realize I’m not directly answering your question, but do keep in mind that these are just recommendations. Youtube will accept just about anything you throw at it. After all, they cater to content creators ranging from “I just shot this on my phone and uploaded it unprocessed” to “I’m a professional video producer” and need to handle everything in between.

And while some recommendations (like quality or bitrate) may have a significant impact on how your video looks or sounds to users, others (like GOP settings) do not. Youtube will transcode your video anyway (that’s the “processing to SD/HD” that takes place after you upload it). One of the things on that page suggests using the outdated H.264 (AVC) codec, for instance, but the only thing that happens if you use a more recent codec like HEVC (assuming you choose settings that produce comparable quality, of course) is that you’ll have a smaller file to store on your computer and upload to Youtube; your video will be just fine. Ditto for things like larger GOPs and more B frames.

So take those as suggestions, but if you’re happy with the way your exported video looks and sounds on your own computer, and it looks and sounds the same on Youtube after you’ve uploaded it and Youtube has processed it, you’re good to go.

I do export in HEVC; it’s just a WAY smaller video file without visual quality loss. And I’m making videos of my daughters on stage at school; not producing a Hollywood big budget film. That being said; my goal is a question of “What settings will make youtube meck with my videos as little as possible” I mean them mucking with it is inevitable; but I would like to as closely mimic their recommendations… Of course; (conspiracy hat on) the question that’s never answered is; are their recommendations the best for your videos; OR just the best as far as processing time and efficiency on their hardware part; with them having a “Youtube” centric view vs a content creator centric view.

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Thanks for the hint on HEVC, it does produce a smaller file and looks much like the one produced with the default settings.

It depends on the default for the codec implementation. x264 (H.264 with hardware encoder turned off) defaults to closed GOP while x265 (HEVC without hardware) defaults to open. I don’t know what each hardware encoder default is.

More than likely a closed GOP processes faster in YouTube because it is more compatible with a split-and-stitch transcode strategy, but it is unlikely to have any difference on quality.