What does 'color range' mean and which setting should I use?

hello community,

i have a question about the video export settings: i would like to export an mp4 file and would like to know what i should set for ‘color range’ in the ‘advanced’ tab in export settings. you can choose between ‘broadcast limited (mpeg)’ and ‘full (jpeg)’. what do these settings mean and when should i use which setting?

Thank you for your answers in advance,


The easy answer is that the HD video specification (ITU-R BT.709) only has what you call broadcast limited.

The longer answer is to understand what it’s for. It gives you headroom for video processing and exposure changes. If you don’t have any headroom, then you get clipped highlights. If you have clipped highlights, then any further filters (including those used in the encoding process) will cause artefacts known as ringing - Ringing artifacts - Wikipedia

For a fuller overview:

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This was added because some people are shooting video with DSLR, mirrorless, or action cameras that are recording in full range and want the ability to keep that in export. So, you can decide based on your sources and the advice from st599. As for what it means, in some concrete terms, each color component is 8-bit and can have a value from 0 to 255 - but only when full range. Otherwise, typically, it is smaller ranges: 16-235 for luma and 16-240 for chroma.

Hi, st599 and shotcut leader,
many thanks for your quick answers. So, if I understand correctly, I can and should normally use the “broadcast limited” setting for all videos recorded by default (with my Logitech webcam), right?


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