Do you want to convert a video into the right format so that it can be viewed on a particular device? Figuring out which format is ‘best’ may seem tricky, but it will be a lot easier if you approach it methodically.
Before you begin it is important to remember that the video format consists of two parts: The container and the video codec. To convert videos into both the right container as well as codec for various devices, there are three tips that will be useful:
- Narrow down formats to those that are compatible and supported
Different devices support different formats, depending on the type of device, when it was manufactured, and the software that it is running. It should be noted that there are two types of compatibility that you need to look for: Software and hardware.
In some cases your device may be able to play certain formats, but without hardware support it will require a lot of processing power. On mobile devices in particular that can be risky, as it will quickly run through your battery life.
Simply put you should narrow down the formats that you consider to the ones that are both compatible and have hardware support.
- Find the codec that provides the best video compression
Needless to say you won’t want your video file size to be any larger than it has to be, which is why encoding it using the video codec with the best compression makes sense. Although newer codecs tend to have better compression rates, they may not be compatible or may not have hardware support.
From the options that are available you should try to figure out which video codec would be best. If H.265 is an option then using it could reduce the video file size of H.264 videos by up to 50%.
- Look into other features that may be required
Aside from compatibility and compression, if your video requires other features you will need to choose a container that caters to it. Some of the features present in containers include support for captions, streaming, menus, chapters, and so on.
Some formats have a very limited range of support for the features listed above, while others are more liberal. The more popular containers such as MP4 and MKV are known for their wide range of support.
Based on the tips listed above, you should be able to narrow your options and select a pairing of a container and codec that is best for any device. Actually converting the video is easy enough, and for example you could use the Online Video Converter to quickly switch it to the format that you want.
One of the more popular formats right now is MP4 with H.264, so it is a good place to start due to its widespread support. If your device does support H.265, you can consider using it and pair it with either MKV or MP4. However if you’re running an older device that does not support H.265, or even H.264, you may want to consider other options such as MPEG-4.
As you are probably aware new formats are constantly being released, so some of the options mentioned above are likely to be supplanted in time. The tips should help guide you to select the right format however – regardless of what new formats enter the fray.