What Is Video Format and Which Video Format to Choose?

By Mar 22,2017 9:47 am

If you are editing and uploading a video to Youtube or Vimeo, one question you will surely meet is that, which best video format should I choose to export? There are a huge amount of video formats out there and choosing the right one for your project can really be frustrating. Today we’ve put together some information to help you understand the following questions:

  • What video format means
  • How to choose one video format that is best for your project

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What are Video Formats?

Video formats are the structure in which videos are stored in a computer file. Just as you’re dealing with a video, it is best to understand that a huge amount of data will be required in depicting a video signal. The information will be compressed and will also be written into a file. In this section, you will learn more about video formats and their differences.

There are truly a lot of formats used in saving video and this can be quite confusing on your part. Other formats are known to be optimal for capturing the videos while others are used for editing workflow. Apart from it, there are also video formats that are utilized in the distribution and delivery of video.

Which Video Format to Choose?

You may already be researching over the web and asking your friends about it. Good thing, below is some information that you would ever want to consider.

1.Sharing Format Best for Online Video Platforms such as YouTube

It is important for you to choose MP4, FLV, MOV or AVI as your sharing format. This is actually best for online video platforms, specifically YouTube. If you also want, you can make use of MPEG or WMV and SWF.

2.HD Formats that are Best to be Watched on TV or Computers

If the video you are editing will mainly be watched on HD TV or computers, it’s a good idea to export in formats with the highest quality. MOV, AVI, and MKV are good choices for that purpose. The only problem is that high quality videos usually takes up more spaces, so always make sure that your hard disk has enough spaces.

3.Best Format to Choose to Burn onto DVD

As per the best format to choose to burn onto DVD, MPEG-2 can be your best option. This is also known as a container format and there is also a codec of the similar name. This is often called by people as H.262. This is basically intended to be used for DVD players.

4.Video Formats for Websites

If the video you are making is for your website, it is best to choose to output using WEBM or HTML5. These two formats have small sizes, making them very easy to stream. So your customers won’t have to wait for too long when they watch it on your website.

Different Types of Video Formats

The following is a full explanation of the different types of video formats that are found online:

“Flash Video Format” or .flv

Due to the availability of cross-platform of Flash video players, this format has even become more popular. In fact, the flash videos can be played in different Flash movies files. These are entirely supported by each browser on each platform. The best thing about these flash videos is that they support both streaming and progressive downloads.

AVI Format or .avi

Created by none other than Microsoft, AVI format effectively stores data to be encoded in different codec’s. This is an abbreviation of “audio video interleave” and this was introduced by Microsoft. This also contains both video and audio data. In this format, you will notice that it utilizes less compression as compared to other similar formats. This is also one of the famous formats used by internet users.

MP4 Format

This is used in storing visual and audio streams online. This mainly utilizes a separate compression intended for video and audio tracks. The video will be compressed using the MPEG-4 video encoding.

MPG Format

Standardized by the famous MPEG, this video format is used to create downloadable movies.

3GP File Extension

This 3GP format is designed for transmitting video and audio files between the internet and 3G cell phones.

The RealVideo Format

This mainly serves its purpose of streaming videos at low bandwidths.

Quicktime Format

This is likewise used for saving video and movie files on the internet. This also contains a single or multiple tracks that store audio, text, video and effects. This can also be made compatible with Windows and Mac Platforms.


Wondershare Filmora is an easy-to-use and powerful video editor which allows you to import and export video files in almost all formats, such like MKV, MP4, WMV, AVI, MOV, MPEG,GIF, etc. What's more, it allows you to burn your video files into DVD or transfer them directly into your mobile phone. Please check this video to know more about Wondershare Filmora:

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