A beginner's Guide to Video Formats

Twenty years before now, everybody watched videos and movies the same way — either with a projector or on a television set. Today many more options exist, and people are taking advantage of them all.

From 4K home theatres to video streaming from smartphones, video is everywhere. by understanding the various formats, you can ensure that your video is viewed in the right way with the best quality video format.

Are you a video editor, or you are just planning to get started? Then you need to understand video formats. In this guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about video formats, types of video formats, and how to choose the best video format. Let’s get started!

What are video formats?

What are Video Formats

Before we discuss the various types of video file formats, let’s understand what a video format is. Video file formats are a kind of file format for storing digital video data on a computer system. A video is always stored using lossy compression to compress the file size. A video format is a container that stores audio, video, subtitles, and any other metadata in a simple term.

When someone asks what format a video is, they are trying to know what codec and container the video were made from. Then they would like to know what videotape is used to store the video, hoping they will find a player that can play it perfectly.

What Is The Smallest Video Format With High Quality?

Maybe you have heard of the H.265 codec, or perhaps you haven’t. The H.265 codec is one of the most effective video formats available in the market, usually used to compress 8k USD video. One downside of the video format is that you’ll be required to pay a license fee that is why browsers or devices do not widely support it. When it comes to the World Wide Web, the VP8/VP9 or WEBM are the most commonly supported video codecs for making small video files.

Nevertheless, you need to consider other factors aside from size. These factors include where the video files will be played, and the video quality. In the next section, we’ll discuss some of the video file extensions to consider for your video works.

Understanding the top video extensions

We mentioned the most common video formats earlier. Here, we’ll go deep so you can have a better understanding of the different video extensions.

  • MP4

MP4 can play on most devices. It uses the MPEG-4 encoding program to store video and audio files and text. MP4 also works well for videos posted on all social media platforms

MP4. MP4 (MPEG-4 Part 14) is the most common type of video file type and file extension for a video. Apple's preferred format, MP4 can play on most other devices as well. It uses the MPEG-4 encoding algorithm to store video and audio files and text, but it offers a lower definition than some others.

  • MOV

This stores high-quality videos and audio, but these files tend to be large. MOV files use MPEG-4 programs to play in QuickTime for Windows. It is also supported by YouTube and Facebook and works well with TV viewing.

  • AVI

Microsoft introduced the AVI video format, and it’s still popular today. This type of video format uses less compression when compared to other video formats like MOV and MPEG. When you use it for compression, the outcome of this video format is a very large video file size, around 2 to 3 GB. This can be a problem for users with lower storage space.

Additionally, you can also create an AVI video file without compression, which will result in a lossless video file.

  • AVCHD (Advanced Video Coding High Definition)

This is a format used for the digital recording and HD video playback. Sonic and Panasonic introduced AVCHD for high definition video recording. With this video format, you can store hours of video files with a small amount of storage space using the H-264/MPEG-4 video compression technology.

  • WebM

WebM was created by Google in 2010. It’s an open-source video format that was created while considering the current and future state of the World Wide Web. The video format was designed for use with the latest web technology, HTML5. It requires a small computer power to unzip and compress video files.

  • MKV

The MKV video format encompasses video, subtitle, and audio in a single file. It supports all audio and video formats. So it’s easy to use and adaptive.

What Is The Difference Between a Video Container, Video Codec, and a Video File Format?

Before we dive in, we’ll like you to know that video files are made of 2 parts: a codec and a container.

A video codec is a protocol for programming and deprogramming video (and also the word codec comes from “enCOde / DECode”). As we all know, the standard codecs include H.264, MPEG-4, and so on. A well-structured codec has very high efficiency or capability to preserve quality while reducing the file size.

The container format defines how the file metadata and data are engineered, leaving how the video is actually programmed (which the codec determines). The container file contains the metadata and compressed video data, which is programmed using the codec.

The container format is also called “the format” and is also reflected in the file’s extension. Common container formats include .AVI, .MP4, and .MOV. Container formats can be joined with different codecs that influence what devices and programs the file will be compatible with.

How to choose the best video formats?

How the Choose the Best Video Formats

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Choosing the best video formats might be a daunting task to do. However, this depends entirely on what you plan on using the video for. You should choose a format that accomplishes the quality of the video you want, but nothing more. You should understand that unnecessary high-quality video files can be cumbersome to move, share, convert, and manage. Additionally, how the video files will be viewed is also very important. Not all programs, browsers, and devices can open a particular video format. Consider a couple of scenarios:

  • If the video will be seen on the web, you should choose a format that is supported by most browsers. In this way, your video can be played without downloading the file and using different players. Browser-compatible video formats include MP4 and WEBM.
  • If you are documenting a home video, choose a high-quality format with a good chance of being playable in the future. Open source formats are more durable than registered formats that are controlled by a specific company. Formats that fit this category are MP4 or AVI
  • When you find yourself working for a company with older Windows computers, you should choose a format that is highly compressed and compatible with Windows. When you find yourself in this situation, the WMV is the best option to consider.

How to convert your video file?

If you are just getting started with video editing and you are finding it difficult to convert your files, don’t fret. Converting video files is easier than you might think, and we will show you a quick and effective way to get the job complete.

We know video files can be throbbing. That 4K footage you shot on your phone is going to be way too big to email or send to your friends, while those old home videos you did back in the past are mostly saved in formats that many modern apps can't run. Thanks for video file converters, which enable you to take your videos and export them in the format and quality of your choice.

There are a bunch of really good tools for converting video for separate devices, and one of our go-to tools is Any Video Converter, which is available free for PC and Mac. With a range of useful tools like color adjustment, special effects, and cropping in addition to support for a large range of file formats it’s great for anybody who wants to quickly convert from format X to format Y while getting Great possible results.

Commonly asked questions on video format

And that brings us to the common video format questions we all ask ourselves

How Do I Know The Format Of My Videos

1. Select video, whose info you want to know

2. Right-click on the file

3. Then Select Properties.

4. Switch to the Summary tab

5. Check the description

6. You will see the audio format and the video compression

7. These are the used codecs for your video clip

How Do I Know What Codec A Video Uses

To determine what codec was used with a specific file, play the file in the Player, if possible. While the file is playing, right-click the file in the library, and then select Properties. On the File tab, look at the Audio codec and Video codec sections.

Is H. 264 the Same as MP4

From the respective definition above, we can easily see that MP4 is a file container format, while H. 264 is actually a video compression codec that requires a video container to host the encoded video. In most cases, H. 264 encoded files are MP4 files, and they can also be AVI or MKV ones.

How to Add Background and Foreground Videos to your Strikingly Page?

Now that you have understood the various video formats that are available to use, you might consider making your website more stunning with beautiful videos. Strikingly is an all-in-one website building platform that you can use to cater to your website needs - whether it’s for business or personal, we’ve got you covered.

The good news about using Strikingly to build your website is that you have the option to add a background image to each section of your page. This will entice and keep your customers engaged when they visit your site. However, ensure that the videos you’ll add are of small size. This is to ensure that it doesn't affect the performance of your website.

You might wonder, how can I add videos to my website? Well, this is simple! Log in to your Strikingly account if you already have one.

Strikingly Login page

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But If not, you can create an account with us. It’ll only take a few minutes.

Strikingly signup page

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Create an account by supplying information such as your password, email address, and first name. After that, you can click on the “GET STARTED. IT’S FREE” button. You’ll be automatically logged in.

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You can choose a template if you just want to build your website, or you can just edit if you have an existing one.

Adding Background video

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To add a video to your site, click on the “Video” button under the background section. There are several pre-customized videos that you can choose from. Click on “More” to access more videos. Strikingly supports several types of video formats such as MPEG, MP4, AVI, and more.

Add more videos

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Strikingly has a video library with lots of videos that you can choose from. These videos can make your website more dynamic and pretty. You can select videos from a wide range of categories such as All, Nature, City, Abstract, Recreation, People, Food, Animals, Business, and Crowd. Regardless of your business needs, you’ll find a video that best fits your business.

Add videos from Vimeo and Youtube

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On the other hand, if you can’t find any video that suits your business goals, you can add videos straight from your YouTube channel or from Vimeo. To do that, click on the “Embed Video” option. It will display a box where you can insert the YouTube/Vimeo URL. Once you insert the link and click the “Upload” button, the video will be added to your background.

You can also add images to your website by clicking on the “image” button. This is a great way to entice potential customers to your website. Thinking of building a website, look no further. Strikingly has all you need to create awesome websites. Create an account with us today to get started!