Identifying the best video format to use can be difficult. With so many different formats available nowadays it can be tough trying to determine which one is ‘best’. To add to that there are many formats that are similar to one another in various ways.

Use vs. Format

If you want to quickly identify the best current format for a video, you should first identify how it is going to be used. That should help you to narrow your options down to just a handful of choices:

  • MP4 with H.264

Overall MP4 with H.264 is the ‘safe’ video format. It is the one that you should use if you aren’t sure which format is best because it is compatible with most devices and platforms while at the same time provides good compression rates.

Because of its compatibility, MP4 with H.264 is also the best video format for distributing videos in general. It is often the recommended format for online streaming platforms and social media and is the most widely-compatible format for HTML5 video.

  • HEVC (H.265)

Essentially HEVC is the successor to the H.264 codec and improves upon its compression. It is able to reduce the file size of H.264 videos by up to 50% while retaining their quality.

However, HEVC is not as widely-compatible, which is the reason it isn’t as popular. That restricts its use but makes it arguably the best current video format to compress videos – provided the device you want to watch them on supports HEVC.

  • MPEG-2

Despite its age, MPEG-2 is the best current format for encoding video DVDs as it is the format that most DVD players support. The video will need to adhere to other specifications in terms of its resolution, frame rate, and video settings for it to be DVD-compatible.

  • Ogg (Theora) and WebM (VP9)

Both these formats are alternative formats that are widely used in HTML5 video. They are not the best in terms of their compatibility but can provide a better alternative to MP4 with H.264 due to their compression.

If you use HTML5 videos in either of these formats, and an alternative version will need to be provided to cater to browsers that do not support them (e.g. Safari and Internet Explorer).

Based on that list you should be able to find the best current video format to upload your video to online platforms, publish HTML5 videos, or distribute, compress, and burn video DVDs too. In short, it caters to most of the common ways that you may want to use your video files.

Conclusion

As you may have noticed there are some other reasonably popular video formats that didn’t make the list, such as FLV, AVI, MOV, WMV, and MKV as well as codecs such as MPEG-4 and DivX. The reason for that is simple: They aren’t the ‘best’ for any particular common use.

If you want to use those formats it will normally be as an alternative to one of the formats listed above, or for a specific reason.

Now that you’re able to more quickly identify the best current format for your videos, however, you should try converting them. For example, you could learn how to convert FLV to MP4 easily using Movavi Video Converter.

Once you’re able to convert your videos to the format that you need, it should make them far easier to manage. More importantly, you won’t be ‘locked in’ to the format that you export your videos in, and can always convert them into the format that you require at any point that you need to.