I want to make some tutorials in 1080p on my MacBook Pro with retina display. Is there a way to record the screen "natively" in 1920x1080? I don't care if it would look scaled and blury at the time I'm recording it. Also, I wouldn't mind if I had black bars up and down (due to the different ratio). I just want to have a sharp 1080p video as the final result (a video that will be as sharp on YouTube, when it's switched to 1080p playback).

Has anyone tried it? Any suggestions, preferably experiences? Thanx...


After much searching and toying with various programs I finally found one that did exactly what I wanted.


Now I have this fancy menu that I can use to quickly change my screen resolution.

I record my screen at 1280 x 720 HiDPi (720p). It puts black bars on the top and bottom of my screen, but for recording purposes that's totally fine. You can also record at 1920 x 1080 if you need 1080p, but I find that text gets really tiny at that resolution; with 720p I only need to zoom my text editor in slightly.

  • Oh God this looks just like what I'm lookin' for... gotta run now, I'll try it out later, just hoooooping it hits the spot. Why, oh why, does Apple do these things, like when I take a screenshot the image is bigger than the physical screen resolution, and when I record screen, God knows what resolution is actually recorded and it is always scaled... why, Apple, why, in the name of reason... – Martin Jul 13 '14 at 19:37
  • Yeah. It took me a while to figure out how to record at the desired resolution. I can confirm that this tool has allowed me to upload youtube videos at precisely 720p and 1080p, or any of the other resolutions listed. The app boasts that it's not using any hacks and is just exposing functionality that Apple decided not to expose. Who knows why; it's Apple, lol. – Chev Jul 14 '14 at 1:41

Just for your information. We recently did a precise 1080P * 1920P screen recording video on macOS using all free tools. Please see the detailed steps in this post "Do Precise 1080P Screen Recording Video With All Free Tools on macOS" on Medium.

In response to the comment, updated with the essential part of the solution:

  1. Use QuickTime Player to do screen recording and clip editing;
  2. Use VLC Media Player to do canvas crop and scale;

Use cropadd video filter and transcode/stream (export). This is the most tricky part. If you need more details to figure it out how to do this, please refer to the above linked post. enter image description here Important Tips: 1) Use ctrl + scroll (mouse or trackpad counterpart gesture) to zoom screen to find out precise pixels to crop; 2) Deselect any “Repeat xx” option in the Playback menu when exporting video (Convert & Stream); 3) The advanced features of VLC are not that user friendly, so please be careful.

  1. Use FFmpeg to do video rotation transform.

Use FFmpeg to rotate video as 1920p * 1080p, so QuickTime could handle:

$ ~/Applications/ffmpeg -i 5.5inch-v1-cropped1.m4v -vf “transpose=1” 5.5inch-v1-cropped1-rotated1.m4v

and rotate it back at the end:

$ ~/Applications/ffmpeg -i 5.5inch-v1-cropped1-rotated1-edited1.mov -vf “transpose=2” 5.5inch-v1-cropped1-rotated1-edited1-final1.mov
  • @Glorfindel thanks for reminding. I've updated my answer. – Kenyth Apr 16 '17 at 10:18
  • Much better now (+1). – Glorfindel Apr 16 '17 at 11:10

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