What is the Best Video Format?

best video format
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“Back in the day”, it was easy to make a video, or to watch one. While the options were very limited and we didn’t have all the tools and extras that we have today, it was a much simpler time. If you were going to shoot a video, you would use a camcorder and if you wanted to transfer it to something to watch outside of the recorder, you put it on a VHS tape. It was very easy to know what the best video format was because it was the only one available. You could easily read a 1-2 page article and know everything you needed to know, without being confused.

Then video merged with the digital world and it all got very, very complicated. You have video file formats, containers, codecs, video compression and dozens and dozens of different types of video file extensions. Because of that, you can no longer talk about the best video format without also including a lot of disclaimers and explanations. Chances are also pretty good that at some point you may need to convert your video files to a different type of file extension. This is very easy with a good online video converter.

The problem is that we have too many options today. There are too many different types of video files available and everyone who makes a video gets to pick what file type they want to use. Companies that make video devices also sometimes create their own unique video file extension. Unfortunately, not all devices that you may use to watch videos have the ability to show all of the different types of video formats.

The real answer when you’re looking for the best video format is that there is no “best”. It all depends. It depends on what you’re planning to do with the video, how much storage space you have and how much flexibility you need.

Before you can determine what the best video format is for your situation, you will have to ask yourself several questions.

  • Who is your intended audience and what type of devices/technology are they likely to have?
  • Will they be watching your video online?
  • Are they likely to have a connection speed fast enough to view it?
  • Do you want your video to be usable for a long time (so you should choose a format that is stable and you know it will continue to be supported)?
  • Do you plan to produce and store multiple videos (so space might be an issue)
  • Does the video need to be compressed (which is likely if you plan to distribute the video for others to see)
  • Will you be uploading the video to any online sites? If so, you will need to check their guidelines to be sure you are using the right format.


The one thing that is constant is that no matter what you are doing with your video, you should try to keep it “uncompressed” for as long as possible. In most cases, your video will eventually need to be compressed, but when this happens, you may lose some of the finer details that you won’t be able to recover if additional editing is needed.

Unfortunately, there is no single answer to “what is the best video format”. It all depends on your personal situation. If you do find that you need to convert your video from one format to another, a good video converter can easily handle this job for you.