movie file size1080p, 4K, 8K…  With so many video resolutions and formats, it gets difficult to determine how to move large video files. When dealing with video files, it’s safe to say you’re dealing with big files that will often take up 1GB of space or more. With the advent of 8K video and 360 immersive media, file sizes are only going to increase.

What makes a movie file large?

Video files are not all created equal – there are several factors that come into play when determining how big a video file will be. Before you can start to compare videos you need to understand the various factors that contribute to large file sizes.

1) Quality (Resolution)
The resolution of a video refers to the number of pixels that make up a video. In a standard 720p video there are roughly one million pixels that make up the picture. A 4K video on the other hand has eight million pixels. The more pixels that make up the image, the higher quality it will be and the larger the file size.

2)Length of movie
Some movies are quick 30-second clips, others might be hours in length. The longer a video, the larger the resulting file size will be because the more data will be contained in the file. If you’re moving big video files, it’s often helpful to send multiple smaller videos because the shorter pieces will be less lengthy.

3)Format/ Codec
The format of a video depends on which codec is used to compress the file. File formats like .mp4, .wmv and .avi act as containers for the audio and video information of a file, which is compressed into a file type using a codec. The more a video is compressed, the lower quality (and smaller file size) it will be. 

4)Frame Rate
The frame rate refers to the number of frames that make up one second of video. The frame rate is subtle to the untrained eye, but this is what helps produce the smooth, cinematic feel you notice in Hollywood productions.  In video some standard frame rates include 24fps, 30fps and 60fps. The more frames you have in one second of video, the larger the file size will be.

What are the average movie file sizes?

So now you understand the factors that contribute to file size, you realize it’s impossible to determine file size for a video unless you know a few key factors.. Let’s look at some of the standard video resolutions and how big the movie files generated from these would be.

For the purpose of our infographic, let’s assume a standard frame rate of 25 fps compressed using a BluRay H.264 codec to produce a .mp4 file.

Resolution 1 minute 30 minutes 1 hour
8K Video  (7,680×4,320) 6 GB 194 GB 553 GB
4K (Ultra HD) 3,840×2160 2 GB 44 GB 88 GB
2K (2048 x 1080) 430 MB 13 GB 26 GB
1080p 1,920×1,080 403 MB 12 GB 24 GB
720p 1,280×720 256 MB 5 GB 11 GB

Using different frame rates or codecs? Try this handy calculator from

How long does it take to move big files?

Understanding a file’s size is necessary when it comes to moving and storing media. The length of time it takes to move media is dependent on several factors:

        1. Latency: Refers to the delay in transferring or processing data.
        2. Bandwidth: The maximum transferring rate of a network or internet connection. The combination of how much can be transferred in a specific amount of time. 
        3. Distance: How far your data is being transferred. 
        4. Packet loss: The loss of a piece from block of your data. This slows your transferring process down dramatically. 

Let’s assume you’re moving an hour long 4K video that’s 88 GB in size using a standard connection of _______ with a ____________ of _____________ between various locations.

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