Video formats consist of a container and video codec, both of which have a part to play in how your video is stored. In some cases you may want to convert the video format, and use a different container, codec, or both.

In order to do that however, there are several factors that you need to consider beforehand so that you select the right video format to convert it to:

  • Compatibility and support

Different devices and platforms are compatible with and support different formats. It is important that both the container and video codec that you select is compatible with the device you want to view it on, otherwise it may not play or the video may just appear as a blank screen.

Similarly it is essential that there is hardware support for the video codec that is being used so that it is more efficient both in terms of processing power as well as power consumption.

  • Compression

The video codec that is used by the format will determine the type of compression that it utilizes, and that in turn will affect its file size. Newer codecs generally use more efficient algorithms, and are able to provide better compression rates. In short the same quality of video could be compressed to a smaller size.

Unfortunately newer video codecs take time before they are adopted, so their compatibility and hardware support may vary. For example the newer H.265 codec can compress H.264 videos by up to 50%, but it isn’t as widely-supported.

  • Features supported by the container

The container that is used will determine the features that the video format can support. Some of the more popular features that are often used by videos include streaming, captions, variable bitrate, metadata, menus, and chapters.

If your video uses any specific features, it is important that the format you convert it to also supports those features. In the event that it does not, that data will be lost and won’t be transferred when the video format is converted.

Ultimately your goal should be to evaluate these factors and find a compatible and supported video format that has the features you require, and can compress the video as much as possible. Initially it may seem complicated, but it is a lot easier considering you can simply go through a process of elimination involving the more popular formats such as MP4 with H.264, MP4 or MKV with H.265, and so on.

It should be noted that the same considerations do not apply if you are converting across media types – and that is an entirely different kettle of fish. For example if you use Movavi Video Converter to convert a video to MP3 such as the steps at www.movavi.com/support/how-to/how-to-convert-mov-to-mp3.html there is no need to be concerned about any of these factors.

Assuming you’re converting to a video format however, each of the factors listed above has a part to play in your decision. By weighing them carefully you should be able to select the best format based on the device or platform you’re using.