Native MP4 file bitrates being REDUCED by Movie Maker even when saved as MP4!



Hey everyone, I'm having a bit of a dilemma here. I thought MP4 was a huge upgrade, especially as a YouTube Gamer who cares about making quality content, but something started to happen. I noticed a significant drop in quality with my videos lately! I'm seriously upset here, and I need answers! I can't make these videos better, because I always have a habit of deleting the saved Windows Movie Maker files and backing up the edited footage only!

I use XSplit to do local recordings. The recordings are saved as MP4s by default. So you'd think that saving them in the same MP4 format, after editing them in the most recent version of Windows Movie Maker, would result in higher quality. But no, there is something seriously wrong here! Check out the images below for proof:

The latest episode of a long running series... look at how bad the data rate is!


The PREVIOUS episode, but not saved as a MP4! WTF?! I thought saving a native MP4 file as a WMV REDUCED the quality!


The settings I currently use for Windows Movie Maker.


It's all the correct settings, completely aligned to what I use for XSplit. I did, however, reduce the bitrate to 5000kbps for episode 7 of my series (it should of stayed at 5000, not go down to about 2300). I looked at my other 3 or so recent videos that have been edited in WMM, which were raw MP4s as well, then saved as MP4s. Each one had a strange or low data rate, and even lower than episode 7's stats! I watched those episodes on YouTube and they don't look that bad. A bit pixelated, yes, but not at 900kbps which one MP4 file said it was at! I'm well aware I should be saving MP4s at 6000kbps, not 5000 or 8000, but this is just completely unexpected.

So, can I get an explanation for why this is happening? And is this going to seriously hurt my videos? Should I be saving my raw recorded footage as WMV again after editing with 8000kbps? Those always seem to come out amazing looking! In the end, every single one of my videos, which are all saved as WMV, have data rates/bitrates of 8000kbps, so there shouldn't be this much of a change going on!

Note: I found something out. With XSplit, the program I use to record stuff, I have it recording at 1280x720 resolution with standard quality settings. My native resolution is 1440x900. The raw MP4 video footage comes out at 900 through 1500 kbps! After editing them and saving the file as MP4, it will usually inflate the quality higher or stay the same depending on the bitrate I choose to save as. But it never hits the bitrate I want. However, when I save the raw MP4 footage, after editing, to the WMV format, it will FORCE the bitrate to 8000kbps at all times. This increases the file size, which explains why my videos were 400MB to 1GB in size (since I've been saving at WMV for so long), but it also greatly increases the quality of the video! This doesn't make any sense! Is some sort of decompression going on when it forces it to 8000kbps? Also, when that WMV is uploaded to YouTube, it converts it to MP4, but it KEEPS the bitrate, resulting in good video quality.