Converting video formats (otherwise known as transcoding) may seem straightforward, but it is actually a bit more involved than most people realize. In fact it is important that you understand a bit more about video formats and how they affect your video so that you can convert it into the ‘right’ format.
To do that there are three main factors that you should consider:
The format that you choose needs to be compatible with the device or platform that it is going to be viewed on. It can take time for newer codecs in particular to be supported, and as such you may have difficulty viewing them on older devices.
If the video is going to be distributed to be watched on a wide range of devices, a format that is widely supported such as MP4 with H.264 may be best.
The codec is the part of the video format that determines the type of compression that is used, which in turn will affect the file size of the video. Newer codecs provide better compression rates, which will result in a smaller video file size at a similar quality.
As mentioned previously however the compatibility of the codecs may limit your options. For example converting your video from H.264 to H.265 can reduce its file size by up to 50%, but H.265 is not nearly as widely supported as H.264.
The container of the video format determines what other features it can support,such as different types of captions, chapters, metadata, menus, and so on. Some containers (such as MKV) support practically every feature under the sun, while others are much more limited.
Overall the features of the container that you choose should be based on your requirements and the data in the video that you’re converting.
Aside from the factors listed above, it should be noted that your options may be affected by the video conversion software that you use. Some converters only cater to a handful of the more popular formats, while others support a much wider selection such as Movavi Video Converter.
It should also be noted that when you convert your videos you may or may not want to adjust the other video settings. As a rule it is best to keep the same resolution and frame rate, but adjusting the bitrate can help to reduce the video file size further – though its quality will be affected.
If you take into account the factors listed above when converting your video, you should be able to easily find the ‘right’ option. Keep in mind that the formats mentioned may be supplanted by new ones in time, but the factors you need to consider remain the same.