When you export a video after you record or edit it, or when you convert your video you may be asked to choose a format. That choice is more important than you might realize, as the format a video is encoded in can affect it in several ways.
To make sure that you choose the ‘right’ format, there are three factors that you should consider:
For a video format to be watched on a specific device or platform it must be supported so that its data can be decoded and displayed. That support is what is referred to as the compatibility of the video.
Generally, videos can either be decoded using hardware or software – and technically both will allow your video to be viewed. However, hardware decoding is more efficient and requires less processing power, which is why it is often preferred.
Hardware support is especially important on mobile devices, as playing videos without it can be a significant drain on the battery.
The video codec is part of its format, and it is used to compress the video data so that it takes up less space when it is stored. That should factor into your decision as well, seeing as some codecs provide better compression than others.
Ideally, you would want your video to be compressed to as small a file size as possible while retaining its quality. The main limitation, however, is the fact that new codecs with better compression are often not as widely-supported as older codecs.
For example, the newer H.265 (HEVC) format has better compression than its predecessor H.264, but it isn’t as widely supported and you may have difficulty viewing videos encoded in it on older or budget mobile devices.
The way in which a video is going to be used can inform the best choice of format as well. Some platforms (such as YouTube) will provide their own recommended video format and settings.
In other cases, the way in which the video is to be used can determine which factor is a priority. For example, if a video is to be distributed to multiple viewers, it needs to be widely compatible with devices in general. On the other hand, if a video is to be watched on a single device, the focus can be on its compression.
It should be noted that you can always use Online Video Converter to convert the format your video is in. That part is easy, and for example, there are instructions on how to convert MOV to MPEG online that you can follow. Because it is web-based you won’t need to install any software, and can quickly upload and convert your video to the format you require.
Make no mistake the factors described above are interrelated and each should be taken into account when choosing a format to encode your videos. If you do you’re more likely to end up with your videos in the right format, and not have to convert them in order to watch, publish, or distribute them.