Are you creating a portfolio video, or maybe some other design video content that you can publish on your website or use to promote your services? After you’re done recording and editing it – what format do you intend to encode it in?
The format that you choose to encode your design videos in is important – more so than most people realize. Although you can convert the format later on or optimize it in various other ways, each time that you do may affect the video quality.
Because of that it is best to encode it in the final format right from the get go – but first you need to figure out what the best format for your design videos is.
Factors To Consider
Unfortunately there is no one format that is ‘best’ for your video, and instead there are several factors that you should consider, such as the:
- Compatibility of the video insofar as it should be supported by the devices or platforms you want to watch it on. Ideally the format you choose should have hardware support, so the device doesn’t have to rely on software decoding that is processor intensive and consumes a lot of power.
- Compression that will be based on the video codec that is used. Newer codecs tend to provide better compression rates and can reduce the file size more while maintaining the video quality – but they are often not as widely-supported as older codecs.
- Features that you may need the container to support, such as subtitles, streaming, specific audio codecs, menus, chapters, and so on. In most cases this isn’t an issue with design videos, but it should still be considered.
See how each factor will affect your design videos? That is why it is important that you take your time and assess each format based on them.
Most Popular Video Formats
A good place to start to figure out which the ‘best’ format for your video is would be to decide how you’re going to use it. Once you do you can go over some of the more popular video formats and see which is the best fit:
- MP4 with H.264
As the most popular format, more often than not it is the one you will want to pick. It is widely-supported on a hardware level by most devices, and is the preferred format for online video platforms including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and so on.
- HEVC (H.265)
Being the successor to H.264, H.265 is a newer codec that has better compression and the same quality of video encoded in it would have up to a 50% smaller file size. However it is still not as widely-supported, and should only be used when you know your videos will be watched on a device that does support it. Normally videos encoded in it use a MP4 or MKV container.
Dated as it may be, MPEG-2 is a format that is still frequently used, and it should be your go-to option if you want to burn a video DVD so that you can distribute a hardcopy of your design portfolio, for example. Some newer DVD players may support other formats, but MPEG-2 remains the safer option that is supported by the majority of DVD players.
Between those three formats you should be able to account for most of your needs when you encode a design video. That being said they may eventually be supplanted by other formats, such as the AV1 codec that was released earlier this year.
For now however you should be able to quite easily pick a format to encode your design videos and avoid having to frequently convert it. In some cases you may still want to convert and optimize the video however, and there are plenty of software or online converters that you can use for that. For example you can click here to convert videos using Convertio.
Assuming new formats start to gain popularity, you can assess them based on the factors listed previously. As things stand AV1 is the only format likely to supplant HEVC and H.264 in the near future, but there may be others after that.