How to Identify the Best Format for Videos

Identifying the ‘best’ format for a video is a bit tricky. Not only are there lots of video formats out there, but the ‘format’ itself consists of two parts: A container and a codec.

Because of that if you want to identify the best format, you need to identify both – the best pair of the container and codec, and that in turn is based on several factors:

Compatibility
Different devices and platforms support different formats – both in terms of containers and codecs. As such the format that you select needs to be compatible with the device or platform you intend to view it on.

Compression
The codec of the video format is the part that determines its compression, and that in turn affects its file size. Newer codecs have better compression, and will compress the same quality of video to a smaller file size.

Features
Some containers have additional features, such as captions, menus, 3D support, and so on. If you need such features, you will need to select a container to match.

In short the ‘best’ format for a video is one that is compatible and has the features that you need – while offering the best compression possible given that. Instead of combing through formats trying to find one, there are a few common options you could consider:

  • MP4 with H.264 is generally the most widely-compatible format as it can be played on most devices or platforms. It is also the format that is preferred by social media and online video sharing platforms.

  • MP4 or MKV with H.265 is the current standard for compression, and will offer smaller file sizes with equivalent quality. It is starting to become more widely supported, but is still not as universal as H.264.

  • MPEG-2 is an older format, but is still widely-used in DVDs. Some newer DVD players may recognize DivX or H.264, but it is not nearly as popular.

Between those three options you should be able to take care of most of your needs as far as the format of your video is concerned. However if you do want to change the format – you will need a video converter to do so. 

One option you could consider is using Movavi Video Converter to switch the format of your videos. It is easy to use and supports a wide range of formats, and you can even use it as an MXF converter or to convert other obscure formats. 

On top of that Movavi Video Converter has other features that you can use to convert audio or image files, edit your videos, compress them, create animated GIFs, and more. Although these features are unrelated to the format of your video, they can help you to prepare your videos as well as other media files for various purposes. 

At the end of the day you should now know how to identify the ‘best’ video format to use – and have a way to convert it. In short, you should be able to make sure your videos are in the best format without breaking a sweat.