Bit Rate

What Does Bit Rate Mean?

Bit rate refers to the rate at which data is processed or transferred. It is usually measured in seconds, ranging from bps for smaller values to kbps and mbps.

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Bit rate is also known as bitrate or data rate.

Techopedia Explains Bit Rate

In networking and digital telecommunications, bit rate refers to the per-second measurement of data that passes through a communications network. In this context, bit rate is synonymous with data transfer rate (DTR).

For multimedia encoding, bit rate refers to the number of bits used per unit of playback time, such as video or audio after compression (encoding). Multimedia size and output quality often depend on the bit rate used during encoding.

Therefore, in both cases:

BR = D ÷ T

Where:

BR = Bit Rate
D = Amount of Data
T = Time (usually seconds)

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Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.