How to Decide Which Format to Use for Videos

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How to Decide Which Format to Use for Videos | Much Less a Feasible

How to Decide Which Format to Use for Videos | Much Less a Feasible

At various points you may find that you have a choice between different formats that you can use to save a video. More often than not it may be right after you record a new video, or after you edit or alter one in some way.


Trying to decide which format to use can be difficult, even assuming you understand what video formats are and what they do. However instead of trying to evaluate each format individually to determine which is best, an easier way is to base your decision on how the video is to be used:

Upload to online video platforms

Every online video and social media platform generally has its own preferred format and video settings. For example YouTube’s recommended upload settings specify the format should be MP4 with H.264.

In other words you should check the recommended settings for the platform you are going to upload the video to – and decide on the format accordingly. Mostly you’ll find that platforms currently prefer MP4 with H.264.

General distribution

If you are saving a video that you intend to send to various parties or share between users – you should focus on making sure the format can be viewed easily on any device or platform. The best choice in that regard right now is MP4 with H.264 due to the fact that it is supported by most computers, mobile devices, browsers, and platforms.

Burn to video DVDs

Video DVDs have strict specifications regarding not only the format but the resolution, aspect ratio, frame rate, and other settings. As far as the format goes it uses MPEG-2.

Publish as HTML5 video

To be honest it is possible to publish videos in any format as HTML5 videos, but not all formats can be viewed by all browsers. Because of that you need to decide on a format based on their compatibility with browsers.

As mentioned previously MP4 with H.264 is supported by practically all browsers, making it the best option. However in some cases you’ll also want to save versions of the video in other formats (such as WebM or Ogg) that may be more bandwidth-friendly – provided MP4 with H.264 is used as a fallback.

To edit later

Technically it is best to save videos to be edited later as raw and uncompressed or losslessly compressed video formats. However in a practical sense that is only done during professional video production, and for average users it may not be an option – much less a feasible one.

The next best thing is to simply save the video in the highest possible quality. If it is already saved using a specific format, it is best not to alter it until after it is edited.

Compress video files

While some formats can compress videos better than others, compatibility is also a factor. The best option currently with that in mind is to check for HEVC support and if it is possible use it to compress the video. It can reduce the file size of H.264 videos by up to 50%.

It should be noted in some cases you may encounter more obscure formats, and you should check to see if they are variants of existing formats. For example technically you could convert MTS to MP4, but both are very similar and use the same H.264 codec.

To convert videos you will need a video converter, and for example you could try Movavi Video Converter. It is a simple and easy-to-use converter and will also let you convert audio and image files, adjust the volume level, compress videos, and improve their quality by editing them in basic ways.

All said and done you should find it much easier to decide on a video format to use based on the list above. If and when new formats gain popularity you may want to consider updating the specific formats that are used for each item however.

How to Decide types of video formats quality

How to Decide types of video formats quality

How to Decide types of video formats quality

How to Decide types of video formats quality

How to Decide types of video formats quality
How to Decide types of video formats quality

How to Decide types of video formats quality

How to Decide types of video formats quality
How to Decide types of video formats quality
How to Decide types of video formats quality

How to Decide types of video formats
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