Most people are aware that there are lots of video formats out there, but never really think too much about it until they have issues playing a particular format – or need to choose a format for themselves when encoding or converting a video. However the video format plays a much more important role than you may realize, and it is important that you choose the right one if you ever need to do so.
In particular there are several reasons why choosing the right video format could make a world of difference:
- Ensures the video is compatible and can be played
Not all video formats are supported by all devices, and choosing the right one will ensure that you don’t have difficulty playing in. To be more specific you will need to make sure the container of the video format is supported, and that the codec has hardware support preferably.
While many devices can play videos using software decoding, it is processor intensive and will consume a lot of power – making it far from ideal. That is especially true for mobile devices that have limited battery power.
- Compresses the video to a smaller file size
The codec that is used in the video format is what is used to compress the video. Without compression videos would be too large and unwieldy, making it difficult to manage or transfer them, and causing them to take up significant storage space.
Newer codecs tend to have more efficient compression and will be able to compress videos to smaller file sizes while maintaining the same quality. However they aren’t as widely-supported as older codecs and take time to be adopted.
- Enables additional features that the video may require
The container of the video format not only contains the video codec and data, but it also contains various other components and features. The range of features supported by containers can vary, but includes options such as captions, menus, chapters, streaming supports, 3D video, and so on.
As you can see the right video format (both in terms of the container and codec) has an important role to play. In some cases it may even help to convert videos to optimize them, and for example you could use Online Video Converter to convert M4V to MP4 to make it more generally compatible.
At a bare minimum the video format that you choose should be compatible with the device or platform it will be viewed on, and support any additional features that may be required in the video. However the ‘best’ format will be the one that also compresses it as much as possible so that it consumes the least amount of space.