How to Decide on the Right Format for Video Content

How to Decide on the Right Format for Video Content

Deciding on a video format to use when you encode or convert your videos can be difficult considering there are so many options out there. While picking a popular format is normally a good idea, it helps if you pause for a few minutes and consider how you’re going to be using the video.

In particular, there are a few common ways in which video content may be used that could influence your decision:

Publishing videos on online platforms

If you want to publish your videos on online platforms or upload to one then embed it on your website, it is best to follow the platform’s recommended format and settings. Although most platforms nowadays support a wide range of formats, they are likely to transcode the video to their preferred format anyway – which you will want to avoid.

In general, most online platforms prefer MP4 with H.264, and YouTube’s recommendations specifically call for it.

Distributing video files to be viewed on various devices and platforms

Compatibility is one of the main factors to consider if you’re going to be distributing your video files. In that regard, a widely-supported format such as MP4 with H.264 is often a good option.

However, in some cases, the file size may be a factor as well, in which case using a video format with better compression may help. It may be worth thinking about using MKV with H.265 as it will reduce the file size significantly, but isn’t as widely supported.

Emailing video files as attachments

Overall it isn’t easy to email video files as attachments and most email platforms have strict file size limitations that range from 10 to 50 MB. If you are going to email videos as attachments they need to be short and highly compressed – so MKV with H.265 is a good option.

In some cases using a format with good compression alone isn’t going to cut it, however, and you may need to adjust the bitrate to reduce the file size further at the expense of its quality.

Burning videos onto DVDs

As a platform DVDs are designed around the MPEG-2 and you will want to use it if you’re going to be burning your video onto a DVD. Some newer DVD players do support other formats, but they are few and far between.

See how the manner in which you’re going to be using your video content will affect your decision? It is best if you decide on a format right from the get-go and encode your video into it, as data is often lost if it is transcoded later. However, if you do need to convert a video, you could use Movavi Video Converter for example with the instructions at

How to Decide on the Right Format for Video Content

All said and done deciding on right format should ensure that you don’t run into any issues when you try to publish, distribute, or view your video. It shouldn’t take long for you to weigh your options, but remember that new formats are released every year and better options may surface in the not so distant future.

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