How to Choose the Right Format to Encode Videos

When you want to export a video project and encode it into a format, the question that you’re going to have to ask yourself is: Which video format should you use?

How to Choose the Right Format to Encode Videos

Trying to choose from the many different formats out there and determine which one is ‘best’ can be a bit confusing. That is why instead of focusing on the formats, you should focus on how you want to use the video.

Encoding Videos for Online Platforms

If you’re encoding a video to upload it to an online platform, you don’t need to tie yourself in knots trying to figure out which format to use. Instead, you could simply look up the recommended encoding settings for the platform in question.

Most online video platforms have recommended settings that encompass not only the video format, but the frame rate, resolution, and bitrate. For an example you could refer to the recommended upload encoding settings for YouTube.

By following the recommended settings, you’ll be able to ensure that your video is displayed properly once it is uploaded. That makes the recommended format and settings the ‘right’ choice in this particular case.

Encoding Videos for Distribution

On the other hand if you want to encode videos so that you can distribute them to a wide range of people, the main concern you should address is compatibility. The format that you choose should be one that is widely supported, so that the people that you distribute the video to have no problem watching it.

How to Choose the Right Format to Encode Videos

As far as compatibility is concerned the ‘best’ format right now is MP4 with H.264. While there are other newer formats that can provide more benefits, the fact of the matter is that this format can be played comfortable on the majority of older devices as well.

Encoding Videos for Personal Viewing

If you are encoding a video that you’re going to be watching yourself, or you know will only be watched by specific people – you can be a bit more discerning with its format. In particular you will be able to know whether the devices that the video will be played on support newer formats.

Assuming your devices support the latest formats, you can then use new formats such as MKV with H.265 that will provide better compression rates without compromising in terms of quality. In other words the video that you encode will take up less storage space, while still having the same quality.

It is worth noting that you can convert the video format at a later point should you ever decide you need a more widely-supported version of the video. All that you need is a capable video converter such as Movavi Video Converter, and you can learn how to convert MOV to MP4, MKV to WMV or any other formats with it in no time.

Final Words

As you can see although there is no ‘one size fits all’ video format that you should use when encoding your videos – choosing the ‘right’ format need not be that complicated if you base it on how the video will be used. By making the decision on the format all about how it will be used, you can ensure that you end up encoding your video in a format that is perfect for it.

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